Sunday, August 3, 2014

A new A Letter a Week alphabet

Over at A Letter a Week 2014, the themed alphabet for the year is an alphabet of place.  An alphabet that represents, shows, or tells a story somehow of place, or a place.

I gave myself the first half of the year to ponder what I would do, and then came up with one of my favourite places to visit - New York City.

I also figured that there would be lots of alphabet options in that city, so I started to think about the words that linked to the letters.

But to begin, for some reason I felt like embossing. Despite the city's vibrancy and liveliness and occasional neon overload, white on white embossing still felt OK for me. Perhaps because it was snowing the last time we visited and all was blanketed in white and Central Park looked so beautiful.  Or maybe when I stopped to think about words that linked to letters. I let the hubbub of the city disappear and just focused on that one thing.


I cut a map of NYC into a sheet of lino and then embossed it several times. I cut these embossings up into 7cm x 7cm squares so I would have a mixed up version of the map. The letters will be written in whatever part of the map that appears on top of the pile as I go along.





Here are my first four letters - I tried to make sure each letter was memory of our visit.

A - I love the Apple store
B - Bagels; we stay around the corner from one of the best bagel shops on earth. Heaven.
C - Central Park, so beautiful
D - Downtown, as the song goes...


 On occasions it hasn't been easy to choose just one word for the letter - we have so many wonderful memories of this place. But the good news is that so far, I'm on track with the weekly commitment. Phew.

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing. I need a fire lit under me and this might have done it!

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  2. Lots of texture, rhythm and contrasts - both physical and symbolic. Love it!
    And as an idea, it could give such a wonderful series, each place with its own character and feel. You don't get square grid like textures like that in many UK cities.

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    1. Thanks Hilary - despite their apparent simplicity there is a bit going on! I think the St and Ave grid of mid and downtown NYC is brilliant - just love it.

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  3. These are so subtle Fiona. I love that there is a meaning to each letter that might not be obvious to the viewer.

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    1. In the end its going to be a very personal story Jo - in spite of it being such a massive city.

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  4. What a creative and fun approach! I love the embossed lines and shapes.

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    1. Mmmmmm, me too Leslie, I just love embossing. Go well.

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  5. So elegant and spare, Fiona, a wonderful tribute to New Your!

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    1. Thanks Carol - it feels right to me , even in the big busy city, when I stop to think of places and memories for me, I go still and quiet. Interesting. Go well!

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  6. really love this one. Simple and striking.

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  7. These are simply gorgeous, and I love your reasoning for (and the effect of) using the white paper; it allows the focus to be on the straightforwardness/simplicity of navigating through nyc, complex though it may be on other levels. I was just walking those streets last month, so it strikes a pleasant chord of familiarity too!

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    1. One of the things I love most about NYC is the subway - you're going Uptown, or you're going Downtown - the simplicity of that system beguiles me! Glad you enjoyed wandering the streets as well - and thanks for agreeing re the embossing working! Go well.

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  8. I love jour embossing.
    beautiful project!

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    1. Thanks Susan - so glad you enjoyed it!

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  10. Lovely work - the embossing is wonderful!

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    1. I do love some good embossing Sharmon and think the map marks work really well.

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  11. You can't beat a bit of embossing! So elegant Fiona. A fabulous idea, cleverly realised.

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    1. Ahhhh embossers of the world unite I say! Glad you enjoyed, I am thinking it's working out OK.

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  12. What a wonderful idea! It's such a great and unique way to remember your visit to NYC. Your embossing is wonderful. Who knew the city's map could look so good? Gotta ask...will R or S be for the big red snails that graced the streets outside MAD? Enjoy!

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    1. Imagine the embossing fun we could have?!? It is working well for me here - I am really enjoying remembering...and those Red Snails bring a smile to my face very time I look at the photographs or even think of them again! Go well.

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  13. Your calligraphy and embossing always delights. Love this!

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I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.