Tuesday 28 April 2009

My Father Had a Face That Could Stop a Clock

It was the writers group meeting today. Sadly I’ve been too uninspired and busy to write anything for it. Listening to everyone else’s was still interesting though.
Then Anne gave us a set of first lines of novels from her flat – the task to use that first line as a starting point. Of course you can’t use the first line – it’s someone else’s work, but there is nothing to stop you being inspired by it.
I used the line ‘My father had a face that could stop a clock.’ I’m afraid I don’t know whose first line that is.

My father had a hammer, and knew how to use it too.
It’s the ticking you see. He just can’t stand it. Even the tiny tick from a watch is enough to drive him to his hammer.
My mother deals with it very well, she keeps a drawer of old wind up clocks for occasional use but otherwise she uses digital.
It makes the house look very modern and there’s never that uncomfortable silence where you all sit and look in your tea cup listening to the tick of a dozen different clocks.
I found one in the freezer yesterday, maybe my mother hid it or dad put it in there when he couldn’t find his hammer. Wonderful sound proofing and the cold soon stops them.

As you can see I was in a bit of a silly mood, but it made me smile.
Homework - to use one of the other lines in a similar vain. Wonder what I’ll choose next time.

Sunday 26 April 2009


I spent another day at South Hill Park yesterday. This time mostly drawing apples – I was on the Illustrator course.
I better start with explaining that Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator all work very closely together. Photoshop is for photos, Illustrator is for drawing and InDesign is for putting it all together is a newsletter or poster. Quite a lot of the tools are the same on the 3 programmes which means once you understand one programme the others are easier to pick up.
I think the key tool is the pen tool. This lets you make any shape you can think of, whether it’s the round of an apple or the creases in someone’s shirt.
Illustrator also lets you play with type, so you could make words in illustrator to paste on to a photo in Photoshop.
I really enjoyed the day and think I learnt lots. Our teacher, Rose, was very knowledgeable and was very happy to spent time with anyone who was having problems. Now I’ve got the basics of the 3 programmes I should be able to do some of the things I’ve been dieing to try but not had the skills. Shame I’m really busy for the next couple of weeks!

Friday 24 April 2009


Look what’s just arrived for me! Beautiful new shoes.
Once again Etsy has come up with the goods, this time from HydraHeart (you can find her on my etsy favourites below).
Molly makes a variety of different shoes – all handmade and vegan! And all of them are beautiful. Mine are Keyhole flats in mossy green, and very pleased with them I am too. What I really like about them is how delicate they feel. You don’t feel like your wearing shoes at all, which is just how I like it. But by wearing these my feet don’t go black! (sorry too much detail.)
My only concern is that because they feel so delicate I don’t think I’d dare wear them outside. But they will be perfect in the new flat – wooden floors do not appreciate heels.

Tuesday 21 April 2009


By now you should know how much I love Etsy and how I can’t wait to get a shop on there. And of course how much I like making/experimenting with book making – I hesitate to call it binding.

Anyway as I was browsing on Etsy today I came across the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team – BEST, and their blog. And they have a flickr page. Oh my life people like me! This is amazing. So much to read and so little time.
I wonder if anyone will be able to help me with my Coptic Stitch.

I hesitate to join the team without a shop, but it’s going straight on my list of Etsy things to do.
I love how the Internet helps to connect like minded people even when there's a great big ocean in the way.

Thursday 16 April 2009

Not so Naked Books

Last week I wrote about a different design of book that I was trying out – the naked book. Well now I’ve given it some clothes.
I made the first one without anything to cover the spine, but when I went into the local sewing shop at the weekend in search of wool, I came across some lovely blue fabric, which I thought would be just the job. Its just a shame that the sparkle doesn’t show up in the photo.
Now I need to decide if I like the design and if this is something I want to keep going with. I think its great for the thinner papers, they only have to cover rather than act as a hinge too. Were the thicker wallpapers are great for the books with spines. Something to play with I think.

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Come Alive

I've just come across this quote which I think is perfect.

'Don't ask yourself what the world needs.
Ask yourself what makes you come alive, then go do that.'
Harold Thurman Whitman

I shall keep this on my wall for those times when I'm feeling low and uninspired.

Sunday 12 April 2009

Knit One, Purl One

As if I don’t have enough to do right now, I’ve got the sudden urge to learn to knit again. My dad taught me when I was little and my mum helped me out when I got stuck, but I haven’t done any for years.
Then I was browsing on Etsy I came across some really lovely patterns, particularly one for a bear and one for a bag, and the urge came on me, not just to be able to knit, but to actually make something from my knitting that isn’t a scarf.
Luckily my friend Katie, who always seems to have a ball of wool and at least one set of needles with her, was most obliging on Friday afternoon, and patiently showed me what to do. Once I’d been reminded my fingers seemed to remember what was needed. Above is what I’ve done so far. Practice makes perfect after all. Katie also suggested the learn2knit website, which has some excellent diagrams on how to knit. Once I’m happy that I can do it right, I shall have a go at the bear I think. Of course that will mean learning to read knitting patterns!
Watch this space.

Tuesday 7 April 2009


I’ve just found another stunning blog.
It’s called Poppytalk and is written by a Canadian couple. It is just so full of designy goodness I’ve only scratched the surface so far. I’m really looking forward to digging a little deeper. It’s updated very regularly so there is always something new to have a look at.
Then there is Poppytalk Handmade, which is an online curated and monthly-themed marketplace showcasing handmade and vintage goods from around the world.
Both sites are fresh and exciting and well worth a look.

Sunday 5 April 2009

The Naked Book

I finished my Mindfulness course this week. It was really interesting and I’ve learnt a lot. Now I just have to remember to use what I’ve learnt in my day to day life.

Now I’ve finished the course I’ve got more time to do all the other things I like to do. One of the first things I’ve done is make a new book.
I call it the ‘naked book’ as there really isn’t any sort of cover and no spine (its based on something I saw in a shop a couple of months ago). This one is very rough to see if it would work, so it’s a bit gray. But I think if the card covers were covered in some pretty paper, and if the spine material was again a pretty colour then it wouldn’t look to bad. I was worried about how well the covers would attach – you don’t want them to come off, but they feel pretty secure, so I’m happy with this. I shall have another go, but make it more decorative.