StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring

The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Poetry garland

Imagine a place where words are brightened, enhanced, clarified. Normally poets and rhyme lovers would be gathering now for StAnza, Scotland’s poetry festival. Instead here’s a project to celebrate the oncoming season with hopeful metaphors to adorn your home – StAnza bookart: Shades of Spring.

The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Image of all the things you'll need for this project

You’ll need:

  • Curious eyes
  • A pencil
  • Some paper for notes
  • Thicker paper to cut into shapes
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch or awl
  • Needle, if your holes are small
  • String/wool/thread (I’ve used Iona Wool)
  • Coloured pencils, or pens or crayons
  • A good pen for writing, or a printer
The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Write a list of ten words that make you think of Spring

Step-by-step:

  1. What comes to mind when you think of Spring? Jot down ten things: Objects, sightings, habits, flora, fauna, weather…
The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Come up with a kenning for each of your words

2. Now come up with a kenning* for for each of your ten words.

*A kenning is a two-word phrase to describe a one-word noun. For example a wave-traveller could be a sailor. This stylistic device derives from Old Norse and Anglo Saxon literature. Strictly speaking, not all my words are nouns, but I’m letting poetic license over-ride that detail….

The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Draw ten flags for your garland...any shape!

3. Create ten flags/pennants by drawing the shape on the thicker paper. If you’d prefer them to be all the same shape and size, then use the first one as a template for the rest. I’ve made irregular petal or boat shapes.

The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Write your kennings on each flag

4. Add your ten kennings, one on each flag, in your best handwriting or printed text. Then cut them out.

The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Choosing three colours to represent each kenning

5. Incorporate the colour you have described, as a paint swatch, a border, a drawing or all-over wash. I couldn’t choose one shade, so picked three that best represented the words.

The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Write your original words on the reverse, and add colour

6. Then, if you like, write the original words on the other side of the flag.

The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Make holes with an awl or needle

7. Make two holes on each flag, using the awl or a needle. Mind your fingers!

The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Go in from the front

8. Thread your string through the holes, in the order you wish them to hang.

The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Threading each flag into a garland

9. Tie a loop at each end of the thread and hang your ode to Spring in a place where it can be seen.

The Travelling Bookbinder: StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring. Finished piece

Share your poetry garlands on Instagram with @StAnzaPoetry and @PaperHazell or Twitter @StAnzaPoetry and @PaperHazell

StAnza Poetry Festival runs 6th – 14th March 2021, with many events available online.

Find more how-to projects on The Travelling Bookbinder’s blog, and sign up to the newsletter for advance info and book reviews.

8 thoughts on “StAnza Bookart: Shades of Spring

  1. Rachel,
    Every post from you that arrives in my inbox is an absolute treat. I’m enjoying your book as well. Thank you so much.
    Be well,

    1. Dear Sue, So delighted to hear that you’re enjoying Bound and these projects. Thank you! Sending best wishes, Rachel X

  2. I subscribe to many creative newsletters, and to be honest some get deleted before I even read them. But yours? Never. I pot over your words and work and devour them like breathing light. Thank you for another beautiful peek into your world and your passion.

    1. Aw Vanessa – thank you! Delighted to know how the newsletter is received. Gratefully, Rachel

  3. I’ve shared this with all my friends. What a wonderful Spring idea. Thank you.

    1. Ah that’s great Kay! Lovely to imagine Spring shades adorning your houses

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