I am still working on the China book. I had to get more printing paper. I want to try reprinting some of the photos that did not make me happy, and I still have to finish printing the book. All this time I've been mulling over the binding. I began by thinking of some Chinese silk scraps I've had for a long time; finally decided it was too fancy.
I thought about using some olive green binding cloth, first wrinkling it, then coating it with lacquer with graphite or ink mixed it to give it some dark areas. This didn't please me either. I keep thinking about China as dusty and a little grimy. Xian, being near to the loess plateau gets a lot of dust blown in. And the sky always seems to have some gray in it, even on sunny days. There were always people cleaning, but the dust was ground into all of the crevices and never seemed to go away. Making the book too fancy or elegant seemed contrary to all of my feelings about China.
I'm the one with the large bag. It was big enough to carry all of my usual necessities along with that folding cane I used for stairs. I bought it in Target for $15 or maybe $19; I don't remember. Of course, it was made in China–very appropriate. It was very well made, and except for the dirt, held up very well and not easy to take apart. Here is the front with all of the pockets.
Unfortunately, it's too large. The large pocket would fold around the binding board and I don't want that. It would be very clumsy. I've removed all of the pockets and will sew the smaller covered one back on and put some things in it.
It has a green lining that I'll use for the inside of the covers and do some decorative stuff in the empty spots.