Tuesday 25 January 2011

A Journal

Normally when I post photos of my little books on here, they are new and shiny and waiting to be used. Today I post photos of a journal which I made a couple of weeks ago, but which has spent the last 12 days in my day pack being taken all over Egypt. I’m very pleased with how it has held up; it doesn’t seem to have minded the sun, sea or being sat on.

Egypt its self was amazing, and I will be posting more about it later, but now I need to catch up with my Open University course work, Swallows and Amazons here I come…

Thursday 20 January 2011

I am 30 this week

I find this shocking! How can I be 30? I don’t feel like an adult, I’m not ready yet.

I fear that I’ve done 29 an injustice, by spending the year not thinking and saying ‘I’m 29’, but that ‘I’ll be 30 next year’. Even after spending a year saying this it is still shocking.

It depresses me slightly when I hear that this up and coming artist is only 21 or this new award winning writer is only 23. Why isn’t that me? What have I done?
But then I look at what I do have and I realise that I shouldn’t be depressed.
Who really wants fame and fortune anyway?

I have been trekking and seen elephants in Namibia. I have spent 4 weeks in the rainforest in Ecuador.

I’ve visited New York and the Guggenheim. I’ve met reindeer in Scotland (and fed them).

I’ve been to both Paris and Barcelona.

I have been up in a hot air balloon. I have donated over 30 pints of blood and am registered as a bone marrow donor volunteer. I’ve seen Green Day, Robbie Williams, Supergrass, Jamie Cullum, Turin Brakes and Blink 182 live, amongst others; and I’ve been to Reading Festival twice.

I’ve seen Bill Bailey, Eddie Izzard, Russell Howard and the 100th recording of QI live. I’ve adopted a creative writers group and a pair of aardvarks.

I have made my first piece of clothing and completed more than one short story. I have made a website from scratch.
Then look at all the things I have learnt since I’ve left school, a Certificate in Humanities, a Diploma in Creative Writing and Literature, Photoshop, book binding, XHTML and CCS, and I’ve learnt to read music and play the flute. Who knows how many books I’ve read.
And on top of all that I have the most wonderful partner and a flat and garden that I could never have imagined.

Sure there are still hundreds of things I want to see and do, learn to knit and visit Australia are just two, but without anything to aim for wouldn’t I be bored!

So this year to celebrate my birthday we have decided to go on holiday. I’ve always had a problem with my January birthday. Too close to Christmas so people don’t know what to give you as a gift as they used up all their ideas in December. Right in the depths of winter so cold and dark and depressing. You can’t go and do anything outside unless you want to freeze or be rained on. (I remember as a child having a party in September one year to celebrate and all my friends came over and played in the garden and we had a BBQ. But unless I have two birthdays like the Queen that’s not going to work.)
So we’ve gone to Egypt. In theory this is the best time to go, when it’s not too hot. We shall soon find out. I will write more about the trip when we are back.

Should I worry about 30?
Well 30 is just a number, and to be honest I think I’m too busy to really worry about this right now. Maybe when I’m 40…

Monday 17 January 2011

Christmas Bookbinding Books

I should have blogged about this pair of books last year, but what with essays about Peter Pan and days with the family I didn’t get the chance.
For Christmas my mum very kindly bought me Vol 1 Non-Adhesive Binding, Books without Paste or Glue by Keith Smith and Bookcraft by Heather Weston.
I’d been hoping for Smith’s book, as I’d seen some of his other volumes while doing the bookbinding evening class and was fascinated by the idea that you can bind a book without any glue (something I have tried but not very successfully).
Weston’s book I hadn’t seen before, but it’s a really nice collect of easy to follow techniques, not just for binding but folding and decorating books, and examples – perfect for getting ideas going.
I look forward to trying lots of new techniques out, although I might get my essays finished first.

Monday 10 January 2011

Geninne’s Art Blog

I really can’t believe that I haven’t blogged about this sooner.
Some time in the summer I got it into my head that I wanted to try hand carving my own stamps (something still sitting on my to do list).
I must have seen it on a website somewhere and one of the links took me to Geninne’s Art Blog where she gave you a step by step break down of how to do this. Very interesting and exactly what I wanted to know. So then I started looking at the rest of her website.
To be honest, I was blown away. It’s pretty simple, mostly about her wonderful bird illustrations, with photos of the place she lives and her dog Turbo, but the colour is just amazing. If I’m feeling a little down this is the place to cheer myself up. Go have a look and get a taste of Mexico.

Monday 3 January 2011

Beady Necklaces

As if repairing Bibles and writing essays about Peter Pan wasn’t enough I’ve also finally gotten round to making the necklace with the beads I bought at the last Bead and Gem Show. What I liked best about them was their pastel colours and the feel of them.

While I was at it, I also strung some seed beads on some elastic to make a really simple necklace. Something with a little colour but hardly any weight. It was just an experiment really, but I really like how it’s turned out, so I might try it with some other colours when I’ve some more time (and some more elastic).
Note - 4 Jan 2011
I think the seed bead necklace needs some work.
Back to work today and I thought it would go nicely with my outfit. Put on my big coat and my scarf and felt something tickle my back. Didn’t think anything of it. Picked up my handbag and there is a sudden weird noise! I thought my water bottle was leaking for a moment, then realised it was the beads escaping onto our wooden floor. Nearly had to strip to get them all out – they got caught in my vest, bra, pants….