Saturday, August 20, 2011
My Beautiful New Magical Book
I've never been especially good at magical note-taking, and up until now have been using a large, three ring binder to hold all of my recipes, spells, correspondences, etc. About a year ago, though, I decided I needed to really focus on putting together a Book which I could not only use in my personal magical work, but which would be long-lived and a magical object in and of itself. There are many such books on the market, but I just couldn't find one I liked enough. They were either too "Gothic" looking, or were mass produced, and I didn't want a book that anybody else would have. As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I try to make things myself, but when I cannot I try to work with individual craftspeople who are willing to dialog with me so there's a whole lot of "Me" in the finished piece.
I was lucky enough to come across the enchanting and talented Jack Copal, of Bewitching Books. He specializes in making one-of-a-kind grimoires and Book of Shadows. I saw some of his previous works, and immediately fell in love with his style. His books tend to remind me of Victorian scrapbooks, with a lot of velvet, brocade, and embellishments, and had the magical yet tasteful look I wanted for my own. Also, he offers both sewn AND post-bound books, which is a huge plus; my handwriting is horrible, so I usually type my rough notes up into my computer and then print them out. With a post-bound book, you can take pages out and re-arrange them, while still having the appearance of a hard-bound book.
I e-mailed Jack, and he responded quickly with some ideas. We decided on a green, brocade cover with a black leather spine and corner pieces, holding 500 pages in the post-bound style. As he lives in Scotland, and I in the US, we discovered that paper sizes there and here are slightly different, so I sent him some of the parchment paper I use so he'd have something to size things with. We also decided on a metal seven pointed star, or Faery Star, as an embellishment for the cover. He's quite good with a computer, and was able to make me mock-up images of how my book would look when finished, so I was able to see what it would look like and make changes as needed. After agreeing on a price, he set to work, and I waited in anticipation. I should add here that Jack is a really nice guy, and in addition to our business talks about the book, we also shared a lot of witchy tales and tidbits, discussed various movies and books, and generally compared life (and cooking!) between his part of Scotland, and Texas where I live.
Unfortunately, the places he'd tried to order my Faery Star from turned out to be out of stock, or unreliable, and I began to wonder if he'd be able to find one. However, he told me he had a surprise for me, and soon after I found out what it was......he'd actually taught himself to metal work, ordered some silver, and had MADE me an exact copy of the star I wanted! Needless to say, I was incredibly impressed that he'd made such an effort on my behalf; he definitely went above and beyond what anybody else would have done, and I was very touched.
Finally, my book was finished, and Jack set up a time for delivery. He uses a courier service, rather than the mail, because the courier is much faster and safer. They guarantee delivery within 3 days, so I made sure to be home and yesterday,at around 11am, I heard the knock on the door and my book arrived. It was very securely wrapped, and I was almost too nervous to open it, I was so excited. When I finally got the paper off, I was floored.....my new book was even better than I'd imagined. The green brocade is absolutely lovely, and the ribbon markers are beautiful as well and a very nice touch. Jack had sent along a nice note, as well as some other treats, which was much appreciated. I am very, very happy I chose Bewitching Books to make my magical book for me, and should I ever need another one, I will absolutely use his services again. I've already started the process of transferring my pages and recipes into the new book.
Here are some pictures of my book. First, here's the "mock up" he made to show me what my book would look like:
And here's what the book actually looks like. Even better than the mock-up!
And here is the interior:
I'm glad I took the time to research my options, as I feel I definitely got the perfect book for me. I'm sure it will give me many years of service, and who knows.....maybe when I'm gone, I'll be able to pass it along to somebody else. Thanks, Jack, for making me something so awesome!