Today, I want to tell you a bit about the cover - or rather, the covers - of HANDMADE HOME. I have heard from every author, agent, editor and art director that I've spoken with - particularly those of the craft/art book variety - that the cover process is a tricky and challenging one. It's The Cover, you know? You - everyone - wants to get it just right!
This is the tale of how the HANDMADE HOME covers came to be...
Did anyone spot a similarity between the back cover photo and this one - my last post before Harper's birth - aptly named "still"?
Very (very) pregnant, I took that photograph on the same day as this cover photo shoot we had. For the task, we called in the most wonderful and dear photographer (and friend) I know - Jessie Fields, who shot the cover for The Creative Family (and also? has a photograph featured on the cover of the new Rebecca Wells book, The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder. Wooohoo!!!).
We cleared every last bit of furniture out of our newly painted bedroom (thank you, Steve!), crossed our fingers that I wouldn't go into labor in the meantime...and with craft projects from the book in hand, we tried to capture just the right feel we were after.
The way 'photo shoots' always work with my kids is a little unpredictable - it's whoever is into it at the moment, and never more than that. So I was prepared (with handmade clothing, of course!) for everyone...or no one, I wasn't really sure. At the time, it was Ezra who was way into being a model. Particularly that it necessitated the use of the blow dryer. Repeated use of the blow dryer, if I'm remembering the events of the day correctly.
And here I must mention the presence of another dear friend that day - my longest childhood friend who was present as moral support, sanity checker, and rather importantly - hairstylist extraordinaire. Because it's not anyone who can turn my everyday-pigtails into, well...something else. She's faaaabulous.
Jessie took a whole lot of beautiful photographs that day, one of which ended up right on the back cover of HANDMADE HOME. The kids were in and out of the photo shoot - all three of them at one point, but mostly Ezra for the duration, who was so patient and so pleased to be involved. We tried lots of different things, followed the sun around the room, and took breaks for all the Braxton-Hicks contractions.
Oh yes, it was quite a day. A day full of a lot of help from some very dear people...resulting in a permanent photograph which will always tell quite a story to me.
And the front cover? Well...in contrast and balance, the cover photograph itself was a bit more organic in it's origins. I had just made Adelaide her Word Banner and hung it on her bedroom wall. We had talked about it and what it meant (she had had a few nights of scary dreams, and this banner was a little blessing of sorts for her dreams to be sweet). As we talked, she drifted off to sleep snuggling her kitty cat (made by Hop Skip Jump). When she fell asleep, I decided to snap a quick photo of the banner. I tiptoed around the room trying not to wake her, got a couple of "book" photographs, and as always - took a few for me too (like the one above!).
With the photograph as a start, the talented designers at Shambhala Publications then worked their magic to create the cover as you see it now. I never imagined or intended for that photograph to be on the cover, and yet it feels just right. And if I may say so myself (I'm going to....), I LOVE these covers together. Together, we hope they're a true capture of the spirit of what HANDMADE HOME is all about.