Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Nik the Booksmith's' challenge..........

......well that gave the brain a good workout. 

 Here is the very amateur video I made.

I apologise for the inky finger and the rather rude looking sponge.
It really was the best kind of mind stretching fun. Something I might try again in the future.

Nik has created a Playlist of  videos here. There some wonderfully creative people out there.

 Just in case the sound isn't clear we were  marooned on a "Deserted Island" with only the items in our "fanny pack". We were allowed paper, one type of glue, scissors and needle and thread.  We could then chose only four other items to make a journal.  I chose Distress ink,  my widest washi tape, 1 yard of sari silk and a bookcover.

Unfortunately DH has been in hospital with a couple of infections for the last week so all crafting is on hold.  Hopefully he'll be home today or tomorrow.

Friday, October 19, 2018

I don't suppose ..........

.......that anyone will see this as it is so long since I posted but I wanted to make these notes for my own record.

Last week we went Sew Not Strawberry Jam  , one of my favourite places in the whole world.  We went for a workshop with Viv of Hens Teeth .    What a delightful day, Great teacher, delicious scones and cakes from Sam and great company.

A welcome from the geese,

and this is what we made,
 Mine is last on middle row.

I have not been idle, I have made several journals of differing sizes but the main thing that has kept me occupied is this.
I was bowled over by a You Tube video from Luna Rozu  called Book of Pockets. I watched it in awe several times and finally decided I had to try making something similar.  Oh what fun. 

I really need to make a video to show all the hidden places.

Now I am going to have a go at Nik the Booksmith's latest challenge.  Making a journal with only 8 items.  This already has my brain in overdrive, great stuff.

Monday, August 20, 2018


...... I have just finished my my Scholar's Ledger course with Nik the Booksmith. It is a paid course but something I have been wanting to to do for a while and it didn't disappoint.  It was a lengthy process but I think that is because I was trying to make sure I didn't make (too many)mistakes. This is Nik's You Tube Channel and This  is her Teachable channel     
I have kept the inside very simple, lots of room for journaling, if that is your thing or they could be decorated in other ways.
The middle signature is a foldout with an extra space for writing and a couple to tuck spots.
This is an adaption(mistake) from Wendy's video.

So this now joins the ever growing pile of journals, I have no idea what to do with them butI don't suppose that is going to stop me making another.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

In case you were wondering.....

.....probably not but going about making a journal the wrong way, well for me anyway, had a very interesting out come.
 very blousy

journal which has nothing at all to do with Venice .
It never fails to fascinate me as to how the journal takes over and becomes what it wants to be,
Yesterday was a good day.  We went to a workshop at the Cockpit Arts studios in Deptford.  The subject was paper marbling and it was fun. Workshop was run by Lucy of Marmor Paperie  We started with just one colour and then went on to try several techniques and the day ended too soon. 
The first laughter of the day came when we looked at the aprons we had been given, summed us up perfectly, my meticulous friend and me.
Everything we needed was provided.

These are our first efforts.  There were six of us and, as you can see,  all had very different effects. 

These are our later efforts hanging out to dry.

Lucy was a good teacher and thanks also go to her friend who hung the papers so that we could get on with the exciting stuff.
 Hoping we will get the chance for another session sometime now we have the manner of it.
The long hot spell had finally broken and today we have rain.  It was funny to hear one of the children playing outside shouting, in great excitement, "It's raining".  Hope we don't now have too much to ruin everyone's holidays.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Comfort zone .........

..........I'm out of it. I started to work on a  new journal and it wasn't working.  I couldn't decide what was wrong and then I suddenly realised that I was out of my comfort zone.  An expression one hears and uses quite often but I think I now fully understand what it means.  This is how it happened.

I have made several journals lately and they have all been in my usual muted earth tones.  Entirely happy.  I decided as it was summer it would be fun to do something a little more colourful. First mistake.  I made this
I thought it would make a fun cover, don't judge a book by it's cover they say, so how do you make a book to live up to what is on the front. Second mistake, I decided my theme would be carnival, of Venice, to be precise.     I have never been to the carnival in Venice so I have no ephemera of my own.  Searching the internet soon revealed that all those people who have been don't publish copyright free images.  I found a few but it will be a stretch.  Third mistake, I got organised.  I made a box of scrapbook papers, some papers I made myself, searched out fabrics and dyed lace and now I have this really scary box challenging me to do something with it.
I made a page
and usually I can tell that something is right (for me in any case) but I keep looking at this and I don't get the expected "done" feeling. Just realised there is no tie in the tag but I don't think that's it.

Analysing my mistakes for future reference.  1. Decide on the cover when the signatures are finished. 2. Have a vague idea but don't be too specific at first, let it grow.  3. Don't try to second guess exactly what you are going to need, leave room for serendipity.

I am going to try and continue, mainly because I have done so much work so far, usually the journals take over and decide how they want to be  so I live in hope.

Two whole weeks of glorious warm weather, loving not to have to put on my usual many layers. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

It all makes work.......

.......for the working man to do!  This just about sums up my life at the moment, the man came to mend the fridge and managed to knock down part of my garden wall.  I've been waiting a week for them to come and fix it.   Enough moaning.

Last week we went to the Summer Exhibition at the National Gallery, looked forward to it because it was co-ordinated by Grayson Perry   and it didn't disappoint.  One of my favourite things about the Summer Exhibition was the smaller rooms crammed with all kind of art, chocolate box next to surreal and people, This year n the first gallery, which is usually reserved for reverential large canvases by Royal Academicians, was hung in the same way on bright yellow walls.  The effect was exciting.

There was a lot of "political" subjects, things to scratch your head over but also things to make you smile,
Want an idea to use up all your old jewellery?

Or perhaps you have an old rug you could re-cyle?
This was fun
The bits Constable left out by Chris Orr RA

as was this
Seaching for the Missing Button at Jackson's Chris Orr.

Our only criticism was that if anything there was too much of a good thing, we were in brain overload when we came out but that might have been due more to advancing years than anything else.  I would love to go again and start at the other end.

The fun started even before we went in as we paid our compulsory visit to look at Fortnum and Mason's window displays. The theme was picnics.
There were chimney pot raised pies,
loaves of bread with sunglasses
and tennis ball fizz.

I have been making journals but haven't got round to photographing them yet.  I would like to make another video but it all takes time which seems to be short at the moment.  Past the longest day.  Horror.

Sunday, June 03, 2018


..........that didn't last long, thank goodness.  Thanks to the kindness of friends and family and a total melt down when I dropped the apple pie face down on the floor the bored feeling disappeared.  I am not promising to suddenly blog every day and I am still collecting spam comments but here's what is exciting me at the moment.

First a little trip to the Big Brocante at the Hop Farm, we had been to one in the winter so were surprised by the size of this one.  I didn't resist temptation.
If you want tape, I'm your girl. I have already found a couple of uses for it.  It was a real bargain, not something that happens to me often.  I loved the scrap of fabric, book cover if ever I saw it and the books and cards were delightful, I will have to do a more detailed share at sometime.

The next thing to lift me was a video by Nik the Booksmith, I love this woman, the journals she make are wonderful but in this one she is trying eco printing of PAPER.
 Well how could I resist.  I found a lot of other videos and taking bits from each I gave it a try.  These are my garden gatherings.
as pr usual I was too impatient to photograph the process properly but it sort of went like this
and then like this
and then about eight hours later (I couldn't wait 24)
Yeah!!! Happiness.  I put a couple of onion skins in the water so I think that is what made the yellow edges. I also put a couple of spoonfuls of alum in the water. I boiled for about twenty minutes and then let is all cool down.
Here's a few favourites, the blue flower on this one was a brown ganzia....didn't expect that.

 Streaks on this one caused by next piece of paper which was tracing paper and shrivelled in the heat.

On Friday I went to my textile group and we had a fun workshop with Diane, a very talented lady, who showed how to make little animal brooches. This is my fiesta cat.

Right I am off to find a large roasting tin (mine will on do A5 paper) and then I will be   trotting round, with my little ziplock bag, to see my son who has some beautiful deep red roses.