A London woman's mission to give back to the community, one bookmark at a time

A London woman is leaving handmade bookmarks all over the city as a reminder to appreciate the small things in life.

Amy Timperley has left bookmarks all over the city including in Springbank Park and at Heeman's garden centre

Amy Timperley has been leaving bookmarks all around London in hopes of making members of her community smile. (Submitted: Amy Timperley)

When Amy Timperley first moved to London, Ont. from Sarnia in October, she felt a little disconnected. 

She wanted to explore and get to know others in the community, but wasn't sure how. 

"Because we moved here in October, we were just settling and then there was Christmas and then you feel like you don't have a lot of time to get out and explore during that time of year and then it feels like COVID hit."

Looking to find her place in the community, Timperley began thinking of ways she could use her love for painting and reading to establish a stronger bond with the city. 

"I really wanted to explore different places and different areas in the city. I thought if I could leave a bookmark in all of those places that I would feel a greater connection, maybe."

The mom of three boys began leaving her handmade bookmarks around the city for Londoners to find and post online using the hashtag #100bookmarks2020.

Amy Timperley has left her handmade books all over the city. She left her first bookmark at Byron Bridge in early February. (Submitted: Amy Timperley)

And just like that, the between the pages project was born. 

Leaving bookmarks wherever she goes

Timperley has left her handmade bookmarks all over the city. The first one was left at the Byron branch of the London Public Library in early February. 

"I spent probably three days obsessing over the hashtag online, trying to see if somebody had found it and shared it using my hashtag."

"I was really excited to get it started and just to find out what would happen," she added.

Timperley has also left bookmarks at Heeman's Garden Centre and Springbank Park. 

Timperley has left a couple bookmarks at Springbank Park in London. (Submitted: Amy Timperley)

When she first started the project, not much thought was given to where the bookmarks were left. 

"At first, I made a bunch of bookmarks, with images or thoughts or quotes on them that I thought were funny or unique. I would just leave whichever one spoke to me at the moment."

It was after a coffee run to a local Tim Horton's, she realized it would be nice to leave a themed bookmark at each location. 

"I started thinking ahead to places that I might visit and creating more themed bookmarks for those places."

Timperley also hands out the bookmarks to people she feels made a positive impact on her day. 

"I always keep 10 or 12 bookmarks in my purse," she laughs.

"I'll whip them out and be like 'Here, please choose a bookmark.' And then I often feel really silly because I don't know that other people understand the project and that they're just free to make somebody's day better."

A reminder to appreciate the small things in life 

Timperley doesn't want to sound cliché, but she hopes her bookmarks serve as a reminder to appreciate the small things in life. 

To date, she has made close to 50 bookmarks. By the end of 2020, she hopes to make and distribute 100. 

She asks those who have found a bookmark to share it on social media using the hashtag on the back of the bookmark. 

Creating a community of artists

Recently, Timperley started a London chapter of Urban Sketchers, an international non-profit dedicated to creating a global community of artists who practice on-location drawing. 

Recently Timperley started a London chapter of Urban Sketchers, an international non-profit dedicated to creating a global community of artists who practice on-location drawing. (Submitted: Amy Timperley)

They hosted their first event last weekend where members of the group sketched London's Covent Garden Market. 

Timperley hopes that after six months the group will become a certified chapter. She invites all other interested artists to join them on Facebook.