Art helps us connect, to challenge, to get curious, to stay sane, it can also impact positively on our wellbeing…  

When artist Amy Lord first told me about her project The Story of you and Me last September at our spa debrief from the last project we worked on, I was so intrigued!  I wrote a little post about it a few weeks ago and have even done an instagram live to show my books.

I’m already a huge fan of bookmaking and have enjoyed learning more about it as a craft over the last year or so.  I’m still a rookie but I’m ever curious about new techniques and love following the hashtags over on instagram!  (there are lots).

Amy received funding from Arts Council to make her project so The Story of you and Me went into production this June!   (For those of you Arts Council fund individual artists and projects that make brilliant art and think about the best possible ways to engage people in it).

The project combined beautiful hand made papers with creative writing prompts to prompt ideas about recording your story or the story of someone else and book making.

Amy says; “over half a million stories die every year in the UK”.

I mean just stop and think about that for a moment… what an incredible thought and what are we doing to record, share and store them?  In an age of digital over exposure can we find the REAL stories, the memoirs, the family moments and traditions.

Dave’s mum’s cooking is spoken about often in our home, I would have loved to have learnt some of her recipes – her scones were legendary and we’ve all tried and failed to recreate them over the years.

In the time I’ve been involved in the project, I’ve lost my grandad, my niece has lost her auntie and my best friend has lost her dog… I’ve made books to gift to people special to me to capture all their stories, when they’re ready.  The books have been gratefully received at a time that has been incredibly difficult for them.

For me, The Story of you and Me has been as much about therapy and having a place to celebrate life as it has a participation project.  

Gramps and me in oz

Gramps and me in oz – the story of you and me

Onto the book making with video instructions… 

Making my book was so much easier than I thought!!   I’ve always been a little intimidated by hard covers as I couldn’t really work out how it came together.

With Amy’s instructional videos and written prompts it was SO easy! The kit was as lovingly received as it was put together. It’s such a special thing to have posted.

The Story of you and Me

Book spine – The Story of you and Me

Book cover - marbled paper

Book cover – The Story of you and Me

Laying out the pages

Laying out the pages – The Story of you and Me

I was gifted the kit as I’m working with Amy on her project but you can get a ticket to participate here for just £10 or a beautiful toolkit  here from just £12.

Claire x

PS – follow the project hashtag over on instagram #thestoryofyouandme