04 February 2010

"Never judge a book by its cover:

My feet are recovering from walking the many

cobblestone streets that I wandered for

the past month in Israel, Zurich and Paris.

I love the quaint streets and the many patterns and colours cobblestones streets have.

When walking on them I cannot help but wonder about all those who have walked before me and the history of the lives of those who have trodden the same path.

These boots have walked many a mile with me, in many a country and now they too have a story to tell.

In a Paris Flea Market, at the "Puces" I made Michael and my daughter come with me to the antique booksellers row.

We went the day before but rain cut our trip short.

A little voice kept telling me to go back - there was too much to 


to savour,

to find a prize hidden within the many stalls.

Whenever Michael and I go "on the hunt" for "that" object that 

makes our hearts race just that little bit faster, 

I always get stuck at the front of the stores.

I examine everything with fine detail.

He, on the other hand, scans the entire store with a type of x-ray vision

Spotting something he moves in grabs it and then calls me and says:

"Hey Bebe, come look at this"!

Usually, I am deep in wonder thinking about how I could use an object 


pondering the history of some object that I just know I will not see again

Not wanting to be distracted at all!!!

But I have come to know that "Hey Bebe" , only too well...

For it means, as usual, he has hit the jackpot,

Yet again

No doubt

Two very different artists and collectors, we may be, but when

in a good store it almost becomes like a competition - 

Who can find "the prize" of the hunt for the day?

In the end, though, its really about finding the perfect object for 



he for me

Not really for ourselves

For there is no greater pleasure for us than finding something that 

the other one knows, will appreciate fully

Michael's speed and his radar hit the jackpot yet again.

He spotted this wonderful unassuming book in the window of

one of the shops.

Usually, he hates entering or even coming into a bookshop

with me as I have been known to spend entire days in them.

I was so absorbed in the moment of perusing books and engravings 

from centuries ago, thinking of my other artists friends who would 

be able to use so much of what I saw to even wonder why Michael 

had begun the bargaining process on this precious book.

No, it is not a journal

It is a long handwritten story,

complete with paintings by the author.

A story about "LOVE" that was written for publishers

But it never got printed.

I stood there in that shop and thought,

"Oh he has done it again"

Found "The Find" of the trip

I recall thinking for a brief second why would Michael like


Other than appreciating the nievity of the original drawings.

I, meanwhile, was pour over the handwriting;

and the oiled stained paper from so many hands passing over it;

and feeling the thin tissue like paper  upon which the elegant script was written- gaining inspiration at every turn of the page

And each time we turned to yet another image, 

we would gasp

knowing how simplistic


how hauntingly beautiful it is to view another artists handi-work

no matter how nieve

For we booklovers and artists alike, appreciate the time and

effort that must have gone into this antique book from the early 1800's

And the dissapointment the artist must have felt at not having it published.

The beauty of the handwritten word and the original artwork

precipitated a discussion between us of just how important artist 

books and/or journals really are

Their innate innocence and beauty renders us speechless when we 

happen across one

The book becomes a treasure that needs to be had, kept, bought

by one who would savour in its beauty.

Michael bought the book!

And on the last day, just prior to him leaving, he presented me with 

the book

And in the end

It was I

Who won the prize

Both in receiving the book

But more importantly in knowing that being together with

someone who "gets me"

With whom I can travel  and enjoy the smallest of pleasures

Not only a lover and best friend but another artist who just

understands the pleasure I can gain from a humble book

such as this.

It takes that artistic passion to know this.

For that I am so appreciate

Thanks Bebe!

You are the best!



Kim Logan said...

a rare gift indeed.

Kerin said...

The book most certainly made it into the right hands. It's just beautiful, Judy! I do love the images but most especially the obvious care of writing this out just so and what it all meant to the creator.

Lynn said...

Such an intimate sharing. Thank you. My DH gets so mad when I share the joy of his giving to me in our relationship, him being such a "private person" (his words) and me being so "OUT THERE!" (my words). I'm glad you do it too, and sure hope it's okay with Michael.
What a find.
The book too!

noye studios said...

wow! what an amazing find!

Seth said...

An amazing find indeed. Of course I am referring to this treasure of a book but also you finding Michael and Michael finding you! Thanks for sharing this gem with all of us...who are also lucky to have found you!

Stacey said...

This is so beautiful and lovely, ALL of it, thank you for sharing this Judy!

Ludid said...

i found your blog just recently after seeing your artwork in several books. the sentiment behind your books is so powerful. deeply drawn to artists' books and stories told through them. the relationship you describe in this post sounds so mystical.

Julie said...

Humble gift??! Might as well be a gold brick or a diamond tiara...magnificent!

Jen Crossley said...

What a wonderful find Im so glad Michael found it with his eagle eye he is a keeper .
And that it has gone to someone who will treasure it .

Carmi said...

Wonderful, wonderful story
I scrolled so fast to get to the end hoping against hope that you really did have the book!

Four Seasons in a Life said...


What an incredible story and so very well told. The find too was unbelievable and then to be also the recipient, that must have been like walking on air.

I think only artist can understand our fascination for items as such. It is good to know this 'Find' has now not only a good home, but also found a heart.

Warmest regards,

vivian said...

what a beautiful story to read this morning.. thanks for sharing girl, goosebumps here ;)

Sharon Manning said...

Oh my "Paris" has certainly had an effect on you woman! Perhaps you should take Michael hunting more often; it would save you alot of time. I've been in a book store before with you and I know how long you can search for "the one".

Seriously, your Paris sojourn sounds wonderful, can’t wait to hear more and I knew you would end up with the book.

deMeng said...

you made me all teary...
thanks beautitiful girl...for so many many things

Maija said...

This story, and your affection for each other gave me goosebumps!! So beautiful!!

Sue McGettigan said...

He's a keeper Judy, and so is that book! I love it!

Dede Warren said...

Yes, I have to agree... you certainly won! Not only in being gifted the precious, and wonderous book, but also in having Michael to journey through life with! You're a lucky girl!!

JoAnnA Pierotti said...

Judy, love how you write and bring us in. And ya know what - that book really in a sense is now published. If the artist could see it now on your blog - imagine the excitement. So it did find its way to many eyes. When was it written? And Michael, what a guy - and having someone "get it" - not too many get that gift in itself.

xo joanna

TheEccentricLady said...

What a treasure! I am so glad it was found by people who will love it as the author and artist did! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. You made my night.

Angie in AZ said...

What a beautiful gift! A treasure for a treasure. What you guys have together is the greatest gift. A very, very rare treasure indeed.

Carol said...

A lovely story Judy, thank you for sharing it. The book is a real find and Michael is a wonderful friend - and a man who "get's it"? Priceless!

Judy said...

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments.
And I should say Egmont - this is one book I won't be touching!

layers said...

sometimes it is the search that is so important-- I know what you mean-- I go on the search sometimes with a fellow artist-- we have the same likes and taste-- she has the guick eagle eyes while I am stuck on the same spot pondering and zeroing in on one small item -- sounds like you have found the perfect one to form the perfect team.

Jennie said...

How wonderful is your story..love is always being able to give...enjoy your book:)

Judy Wise said...

What a treasure; handwritten words and paintings, among the best, most beautiful things on the planet IMO. You two are adorable. Sweet, sweet. xo

ginnycartersmallenburg said...


Leslie said...

What a beautiful post Judy! Beautiful book that found it's way to the right hands, wonderful hearts that found each other. Welcome home! We've missed you!

Lorraine @ creativedaily said...

What a lovely story Judy. This is a true treasure in more ways than one.

Cherie said...

Oh Darling ... ultimate love and understanding in every syllable. Gorgeous, totally gorgeous ;)

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Such a beautiful description of the appreciation, love, yearning and acquiring of a treasure-book! -J

Peggi Meyer Graminski said...

Such a beautiful gift of the heart ... thank you for sharing its story with us. A treasured find for years to come =) xo

Ruth Rae said...

be still my heart! what a tender story! you have me smiling ear to ear as I know how dear this book must be to you! oh how I wish I were there in that book shop with you! oh my fingers are tingling!

Loudlife said...

Judy, I haven't visited in a while and what beautiful things I miss while I'm away! What a sweet story this is, and a wonderful Paris memory.

Suze said...

Judy..that was the best story...knowing you both..it just makes me smile and feel extremely happy for YOUR happiness. Wishing you both many more years of good loving & great friendship not to mention..lots of great 'finds' !