Friday, July 15, 2011

Rustic Leather Bound Book for a Cowboy at Heart's Birthday

He is a Harvard graduate.  I'm pretty sure he likes fast cars.  He has a clear perception and is well-informed of his business world.  Pure integrity guides his actions.  He is an avid outdoorsman; loves to fish, hike, and go where no man has gone before.  He collects rocks, gems and minerals.  My daughter, June, can't stop talking about the visit she recently had with him when he showed her his collection and even gave her a treasure that she keeps in a special case.  For that reason alone, June adores him.  I adore him for the fact he took some of his rare free time on a Sunday afternoon to spend with my 9 year old who has a fascination with rocks.  In addition to his career and interests, he helps save souls on the side.  In our religion, we refer to him as President Pugh, as he is a steward over 7 congregations of the L.D.S. church in our Sandy area.  He has served in this capacity nearly a decade.  He publicly speaks with precision in his words and has the ability to spiritually discern the needs of his audience.  Our family has a deep respect and love for him that will remain in our hearts forever, long after the release from his current church calling.

So a few months ago when his granddaughter, Hannah, asked me to help with a special book for him, I didn't even hesitate to respond affirmatively.  I was honored and grateful for the opportunity to spend time with my friend Hannah, and at the same time, create a unique keepsake that would honor such a well respected and beloved man as President Pugh.  The custom, hand bound book contains a collection of letters and photos from those family and friends who share an admiration and enduring love for him.

Hannah and I talked about the project and discussed a few design elements.  She really wanted leather as the primary material for the book.  So we started at the leather shop and went from there.  We hit a couple of my favorite places downtown, Reuel's Art Supply off of West Temple and The Leather Factory (a long time fave place of mine).  It was all I could do to pull myself away from the leather stuff, calligraphy inks, soft paper and acrylic paints.  I could have drank some of those bottles they were so tempting.  I did manage to purchase a vibrant orange and a stunning pink calligraphy ink.  I must write Matt a 19th anniversary love letter with something bold, right?
When Hannah saw this leather skin in the leather shop, there was no question in her mind, this is exactly what he would choose.  I actually know she was spot on with the gorgeous chestnut color.  It is similar to the color of those van der Rohe Barcelona leather chairs that used to be in their living room for years, and now sit in his home office.  I bet it is the color of his favorite saddle too.

She wanted waxed sinew-looking cord to stitch the pages.  She also requested an "X" in the binding on the spine.  She loved that detail.  

And she wanted a long strap to wrap around at least 2 times.  You can't see from the photos, but it did.

For the pages of the book, she chose beautiful deckled art paper in cream and a mustard brown color.  She has great taste.  The paper was rich and soft with those classic watermarks imbedded in the fibers.

Hannah carefully worded the dedication page, and each word had a precise order. 

 Gold calligraphy ink seemed to be the best choice to inscribe the dedication, he's golden and refined.

The unbleached cotton muslin protective wrap with fine linen twine and a red sun wax seal.  


The final packaging, I just couldn't do a bow.

Happy 70th President Pugh.  I hope you get some free time with the horses out on the range, find some rocks on a hike, catch a fish or two, and enjoy a dutch oven meal for your birthday.  The heavens only know, you deserve it.

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