Tuesday, February 1, 2011

WORDS TO LIVE BY: A Calendar of Days

On the first day of every month, I receive Convivio Bookworks' e-newsletter.
It usually includes a fun little (often quirky) Lake Worth tale, an update on John and Seth's
 handmade letter-press books, and a note about their classes
at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts (Florida Atlantic University Libraries).
Best of all, the dispatch signals a new month's Convivio Book of Days,
a calendar of holidays that John posts on their website.
When I click on "current edition," I see the new list of holidays
illuminated by John's photos and a bit of his gentle philosophy.
Ideas for celebrating begin circling in my head...
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It's a modern version of the ancient Book of Hours!

Calendar page from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves for June 1-15, c. 1440
Source: Wikipedia

The original book of hours, written in Latin and illuminated by monks in monasteries,
 began as a Psalter containing recitations required for monks and nuns.
By the 12th century, the Psalter became a breviary of psalms, hymns, and readings.

Eventually, monks produced a selection of texts in short volumes called a Book of Hours.
For a pretty penny, abbeys sold the lavishly illustrated books
to royalty and privileged upper-class women.

With the invention of Johannes Gutenberg's movable type printing press,
15th century books of hours were mass-produced and made affordable to the masses.

The Hours of Catherine of Cleves opens with an illumination of Catherine kneeling before the Virgin and Child, surrounded by her family heraldry.


Book of Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux,
Source: Wikipedia
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Thanks to e-publishing and the grace of writer, John Cutrone,
my book of hours (Convivio Book of Days) is free!
And just one or two convenient clicks away.

It's the first day of February and time to turn the page...
Click HERE to see what February's days are all about!

15 comments:

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

This is beautiful and I enjoy things that help me be more aware of the moment. Thanks for introducing me to this site.

Happy February and Happy February 1.

Fondly,Glenda

ELK said...

each page here is a work of art..what a wonderful idea~

RuneE said...

The beauty of these old books and pages are extraordinary. Otherwise (I followed you link), the days mean quite a lot of different things around the world. As they should.

rosaria said...

Ahhhhhhhh! Beauty in the simple routines.

S. Etole said...

elegant artwork ... aren't we fortunate to have it available for us?!

Linda P said...

A most interesting post.
Thanks for including Convivio Books and those old postcards are wonderful on the page for February.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Ahh, I love illuminated manuscripts :D

Jeanne Klaver said...

I love these gorgeous pages. What a work of art this is. Thank you so much for sharing.

Donna said...

Really beautiful works of art...great post!!!

Jeanne said...

Just had a peek Becky, it is brilliant. It makes you appreciate what lays ahead. I am off to look at it a bit more :)


Jeanne xxx

Tina @ Living In Art said...

It is so wonderful, just wonderful!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Becky
I have no brain today as it is 42C so you will have to decipher this comment.. hahaha.. Many years ago we had the ???'illuminated manuscripts??? on display here in Australia.. unfortunately I couldn't make it to see them... but I can imagine what beauty they would hold... these images remind me of them.. and also .. especially the first... of my parents christening certificates which I just re-found a couple of days ago in my big clean-out of 2011.. funny timing to see something so similar here on your pages.. When things settle I might photograph them for you...

Have a wonderful weekend.. and thanks for the sweet comment.. blogging really saves my sanity at times.. especially knowing there are wonderful people out there like you... who worry about me!!! ciao xxxx Julie

Sherman Unkefer said...

Super lovely work of art! Each page is heavenly!

Laura said...

What a neat post, Becky. And I followed your link and loved it!

Have you read Davis Bunn's book, The Book of Hours?

Shellbelle said...

Well, I guess I lost out, because their link is not working today. I even found them on Facebook and tried the link from there — still no luck. Maybe it's just a glitch today, so I'll try again tomorrow.

We studied these types of books in my typography and prepress classes, so beautiful!