Monday 29 December 2008

My First A4 Book

I have just completed my first A4 book. It was quite hard work as it is so big - I had to make quite a lot of it on the floor as my work ‘table’ wasn’t big enough for it.
I love the wall paper that I’ve used to cover it in, (I may have to find some more of that) but I can see several places that I could have done better. The stitching and the end pages don’t match very well – the stitching being brilliant blue and the end pages being greeny/grey. And because it was so big I didn’t feel like I had much control over the pages when stitching them together. All things I can work on to improve in the future. I quite like the end product, but I think I will keep A4 books for when I find paper or material with a really huge pattern on it. Back to the smaller books then.

So you can get an idea of the size I was working on, I was working with A3 paper folded in half to make A4 pages. The covers are slightly bigger than A4 so they protect the pages, when laid flat that was much bigger than A3.
Normally if I am working on an A5 book, the pages are A4 folded in half and if it’s an A6 book its A4 torn in half then folded in half again. I’m sure you get the idea.
I’ve included this photo of a family of books to show the difference. They go down in size – A4, A5 and A6.

Sunday 28 December 2008

The Book Design Review

As I’m sure you can imagine I’m quite interested in ideas for book covers, which is why The Book Design Review is such an interesting blog. (Well I think so.)
Joseph Sullivan posts covers of books that he thinks are interesting and although most of them are ‘designed’, so very different from what I do - using any odd thing, I like seeing what other people are doing.

Anyway I’m drawing your attention to this blog now as you only have 3 days left to vote on his favorite book cover of 2008. Go here to see them all and vote – I won’t tell you which one I voted for.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

I just want to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.
Enjoy any time you have off with family and just think what 2009 might have in store for us.

Monday 22 December 2008

Feed Your Fingers

I have just found a brilliant new (to me) website called The Carrot Box, which is dedicated to rings made from anything but metal. Alice who runs it is allergic to all metals so wears glass, plastic, resin or stone rings.
Not only do I love the rings she sells, and will soon be making a purchase, but also I think this is an example of a really well thought out web site. (Sorry it’s my course work coming out.) What I really like is the fact that not only does she sell rings, but she’d got a gallery of her own rings too.
What inspiration. I think I shall try harder in 2009 to do as she suggests and ‘feed my fingers’.

Sunday 21 December 2008

Precious stones

In July this year I went to the Rock and Gem Show. There I found some lovely beads that I made into necklaces, which I have been meaning to post up here for ages. The problem has been getting photos of them that I like. Finally with the help of ‘im outdoors I have succeeded. So here they are.
The first is rock crystal or quarts. This is my favorite. I love the feel of the stone and the way they look like plastic or glass but aren't.

The second is amethyst, which can look black without any sunshine to light it.

The last is fluorite blue, which actually looks green normally. I also love this necklace as I think the colour is wonderful and its very light to wear.

I hope to find more great beads at the next Rock and Gem Show, when ever that is.

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Do you like lists?

I love lists.
Give me an old envelope and a pencil and I’m away. It might be about what I want to achieve over the next year, or during my holiday. It might just be all the stuff I’ve still got to do at work or a reminder that I really should have a tidy up, but I love the way they tidy up my thoughts and the look of a list with nice big red ticks through the things I’ve done.
So imagine how cool it is to find a website where you can list stuff and move it round to the correct order, then tick it off when it’s done and write a comment about how you did it for other people to see. This is what 43 Things is and I love it. You can put small things on, along with big things, so I’ve got ‘buy a new camera’ along side ‘see the northern lights’. You can see my list below.
The only thing that would make it even better is if you could have sub lists so I could list related things together.
So, what would go on your list?

Tuesday 16 December 2008

I don’t know why I agreed to this…

We had an early writers group meeting today – Christmas gets in the way of our normal date. Last meeting's home work was to write about ‘I don’t know why I agreed to this…’ We actually started this in the last meeting so I only had to finish it off, but that was sooooo hard.

Here’s what I ended up with;

She does this every time, makes me agree to something I really don’t want to do. This time it involved a tight black tux and shoes that pinch.
I guess I don’t look bad in a kinda James Bond way, but I can’t see why he wears one for so long. Give me jeans and a t shirt any day.
Anyway, there we are walking up the steps of this huge mansion out in the country somewhere, lights everywhere reflecting on the snow and people to take your car away or take your coat or give you a glass of Champaign, when this girl I haven’t seen in years waved at me from inside.
Waving back I had Rachel, hanging off my arm, hissing at me to tell her who it is.
‘Its only Nikki, her dad owns a pile like this.’
We wondered over to her through the crowd of richly dressed people to say hi. She was the only one I’d recognized so far, although Rach was in her element, it was after all her friends party.
Nikki looked different to how I remembered. Her eyes were glazed and her normal year round tan, from all those holidays aboard, seemed to have faded leaving her looking so pail. Her hair was flat and slightly greasy and was now a mousy brown, with none of the shiny high lights I remembered. And she’d gained a little weight so the dress she wore didn’t quite hang right.
As she leaned into me for a kiss on her cheek, I caught the aroma of chips and burgers.
‘Alright Nikki, how are you?’ I asked. But before she answered I remembered to introduce Rach. She hates it when I forget her.
With the pleasantries done we got down to life in general.
‘Wasn’t your dad in the news recently?’ I asked her. I didn’t expect that to bring on tears. I racked my brain to try and remember what the article had been about.
‘Yes’ she whispered through the tears. ‘And he’s lost everything.’ Now I remembered, his stocks had crashed or something. Whoops.
‘I’m, I’m working in Burger King now just to keep my flat.’ It ended in a wail. People where starting to look round and Rach was looking mortified.

Considering I was finishing this at about 11.30 this morning its not so bad. I couldn’t work out how to get him out of this so thought I’d just leave him. Poor guy.
At least I’ve got loads of time to work on the next home work.

Friday 12 December 2008

The Big Storm Picture

Well you should know by now how much I love photography, so it’ll be no surprise that I’m very taken with a new blog of note – The Big Storm Picture.
This blog has the most incredible photos of storms in America, with some marvellous cloud formations. I love storms here in the UK, but it’s unlikely that we’ll see any tornados. I’d love to go to the USA and do a bit of storm chasing. How amazing would that be!? Guess I’ll just have to enjoy Ryan’s photos instead.

Thursday 11 December 2008

Not as hard as you’d think

On Monday I had a well earn day off work and went with ‘im outdoors to London. We went to the Natural History Museum and looked at all the dinosaurs and stuffed mammals and volcanic stuff.
Then we had a brisk walk down Regent Street to see the beautiful Christmas lights before seeing Eddie Izzard live.

As you can see it was a jam packed day, but what I really want to tell you about was one of the shops we had a look in when we were walking down Regent Street. It was the National Geographic Society shop and was full of everything you could possibly want if you were off on a trip to a desert or rain forest; backpacks, shirts, boots, jumpers, canoes etc.
It was also full of things for the home; stuffed toys for the children, candles, prints and my favourite thing ever – pebble cushions.
They look just like those smooth grey pebbles with white stripes through them that you find on beaches. And the best thing? They come in all sizes from football to bean bag!
Looking on the web I’ve found they are made by a French company Smarin, based in Nice, who make all sorts of things including solid luminous raindrops for sitting on.

I adore their designs and am only sad that there are only a few British shops who stock them. Looks like we will have to go back to Regent Street.

Monday 1 December 2008

Ascending or Descending?

As I was moving things about in my room last week, I came across a bunch of old calendars from about 10 odd years ago. I’m rubbish at throwing things away, especially if they have pretty pictures on them, so they’d been put to one side. They include fanatic photos of deserts, world photos and drawings by Escher. Looking at them now I suddenly realised they would be perfect for covering my books, so I had a go.
The one above is my first attempt. It’s a drawing by M.C.Escher called Ascending and Descending. The paper it is printed on is perfect as it is nice and strong, and I think the drawing its self makes for an interesting cover.
I look forward to trying out the other calendars.