Inner Hero Accordion Folder

Yesterday, I showed an accordion folder for one of my inner heroes, the Protector of Flight Feathers. Only part of it was visible. Here’s how it was made:

1. Cut a piece of heavy paper, about 8 inches long and 3 inches high. (This happens to be a page from a constellation atlas).

Book72. Paint the paper on both sides. I used a Gelli Plate to monoprint this paper, front and back. I used a texture plate from an architectural kit. The black side (constellation atlas, remember?) had some gold added.

3. Fold the piece of paper in half, to make a piece 4 inches by 3 inches. Fold each side to the center mark, to create a 2 inches x 3 inches high. Re-fold to create an accordion fold book.

Book54. Choose short pieces from your stash for additional pages. These will be folded and fit into a crease of the original book. They should be shorter and smaller than the original accordion fold.

5. Stack the pieces together to make sure the original accordion can still fold. Trim any sheets that create a problem.

Book86. Stitch the pieces in place to create a wild, multi-sheet accordion book.

Book2Now the fun begins. You could have written in the book first, and assembled it afterwards. I assembled it first, thinking about my inner hero. Until the book was complete, I didn’t have an Inner Hero at hand. Once I knew her name, I drew the feather images and added the words.

Book3It had been raining the day before, and I wondered where the birds go. I know they sit in trees and under eaves, but I rarely see them. What I do see a lot of is feathers. And I began to think that one of my strengths is thinking of details, and one of my weaknesses is that sometimes I forget how all those details piece together and make a glorious whole.

Book5The image of the birds’ feathers and how they serve different functions, but all come together, came back to me. If all I do is pay attention to details; I’ll forget the purpose of the whole.

book9So the last page (sort of) says, ” Don’t spend time wondering which feather lifts you–they all do. Practice flying instead of counting feathers.”  The Protector of Flight Feathers has a lot to teach me. The details are important, but so is the big picture, the goal. Without knowing how to see the goal, I can’t really grow toward it. And rather than thinking of the place of each feather, it makes a lot of sense to fly.

—Quinn McDonald is working on more Inner Heroes. A girl can never have enough of them.