Friday, 12 November 2010

A bit of Catching Up

Hello again, all Blog Friends – old and new!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything… I was busy telling you all about our family trip to London – still some of the story left to tell; I’ll post (the final) Part Three very soon. 

Before I carry on with that though, a bit of “housekeeping” and a little catching up on my last two or three hectic weeks… 

* * *

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks, since we got back from our London trip.  J. has been back at school for two weeks now.  D. has been at home, “in between contracts” and has been busy with various projects of his own.

I’ve been doing the usual juggling of household chores (housework, what’s that? I’ve no time for housework!!); trying to make sure the house isn’t too grubby for good health; that we all have clean clothes, towels and bed linen; that the pets are fed and watered, with clean homes/beds…  Then I’ve been taking my mum to her usual assortment of appointments – mainly nurse and dr. visits – helping her with a few jobs, keeping an eye on her. … and trying to make books – lots of them!
And, of course, there was the small diversion of a Blog Party to go to last weekend…

* * *

Blog Hop Prize Draw

Firstly, I forgot to put a Draw Date on my blog hop post.  I will make the draw for the Five prizes on Sunday evening, some time around 8pm (GMT).  I hope that will give anyone who’d like to join in, the time to read the post and leave their entry on the Comments.

* * *

Then there’s this:

Ships Photo Album

9”x6” Photo album - Front view
Back view
Binding view

This was a commission order, that I received from a friend on Tuesday morning.  She rather urgently wanted an album, in blue, with a ship design, that she could put photos in and give to someone as a present.

After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, discussing her requirements, I came up with this lovely ultramarine blue paper for the hinged edge and inside the covers, and the fabby travel design paper on the covers.  I also used the travel paper as guards/spacers round each pair of pages.  It added a bit of colour and interest to the bound edge of the book.

I spent a while trying to decide whether to make a Coptic stitched binding, or a Japanese-style stab-stitch, with hinged cover.  I decided that neither would allow room for expansion, which would be needed if photos were being put into the album.  It was to have between 20 and 40 pages, which is quite a lot for a photo album (a paper one anyway).

I decided to make a traditional tied binding, through two holes in the covers and pages, so set about making the album along those lines.  After a while, I worried that a cord tie would be tricky to use for such a thick book. 

A bit more thinking and I came up with these binding posts, which are used for scrapbook albums.  I had a set of K&Co album binding posts, which were brand new and shiny, so I used those;  even so, I’m not sure there is enough room in the album and I’m going to try and find some extra extension posts (I only have 1 extension and obviously need 2!!), which I’ll send on asap.

I was quite pleased to have this completed in two days (in amongst my various commitments for J. and my mum!).  It went off in the post yesterday, with guaranteed delivery by 1pm today.  I’m waiting to hear if she likes it (I hope!!).  Apart from my reservations about how thick it is and whether the posts are long enough, I am really pleased with this album.  I’d have liked just a little more time though, to spend on planning and binding, as it has a couple of small mistakes, which I wouldn’t have made, if I had been able to take more time over it.  But it isn’t too “imperfect” and overall is quite a nice book!

(smiles broadly Winking smile)

* * *

Going a bit further back in the calendar…

I did my first ever “Craft Fair” last Saturday.  A local lady organised an Art and Crafts Exhibition in the Village; this was the second year that she has done this.  Last year I saw her advert, but didn’t think I would have enough stock for a stall, so I chickened out…

When we went to see the exhibition, there were people with little teeny card tables, on which they were displaying their work.  Even I could’ve filled one of those, so this year I phoned as soon as I saw the advertisement (before I lost my nerve) and booked a table, to have a Handbound Book stall.
I also booked a large table to be used by our Scrapbooking Club, so we could give demonstrations and try to drum up a few more members. 

We were lucky enough to be given 3 notice boards and a small table to display stuff on – some of our work.

Two Scrappers hard at work!

My Stall

I spent the two or three weeks leading up to the sale working flat-out to make books to sell.  The organiser thought I should have plenty of lower priced items, since she thought that people would not have a lot to spend.  So I made quite a few of my pamphlet-style notebooks, to sell in pairs; also a number of sets of covered note-pads (ready-made tablets of note paper, on which I put nice “policeman style” flip over covers). 

I made a couple of bigger books too:-

A large Album/ Sketchbook, covered with lovely collage-style paper.  Japanese-style stab-stitch binding in red linen.  Contains ten hand-torn pages of heavy-weight watercolour/print paper, with folded spacers.  Measures 111/4” x 81/4

A Journal or Sketchbook, covered with “Pens” paper, with a navy silk quarter binding. Contains 50 pages of sketch paper.  Measures 81/4” x 61/4”.

So the Big Day Dawned:

My stall, all set out and ready for Business!

I didn’t actually sell a great deal.  I made £24 of sales, which means I covered my costs, but no  more.  There just were not enough people coming through – and many who did come were not really spending any money, they were just there to look at the crafts on display.

However, I think it was still worthwhile, as now a lot of people locally know that I exist.  Quite a few took my business card away with them and some took my phone number.  A few stopped to chat and seemed interested – maybe I will get some orders from them later.

And, of course, the experience was good for me; planning, making, packing, pricing, presentation of books and the stall, putting together a portfolio album, just getting it all sorted out and experiencing a sale – even if a small one.  I may do it again – perhaps at a slightly bigger venue.  It wasn’t a waste of a day, but useful experience. I am glad I took the plunge and did it!

* * *

That’s a quick summary of the last couple of weeks in “Lizzie Land”.  Lots of other things have happened, but now they’ve gone by, it doesn’t seem a good idea to drag them back up again – nothing of much significance in the Great Scheme of things! 

I will post about London soon – probably tomorrow! 
G’night All…


  1. I really like The Ships Photo Album, nicely done. And your booth for the craft fair looked great, glad you were able to gain a lot from the experience.

  2. I like the albums you made for the craft fair, they are very pretty :)

  3. Well I guess you've got etsy inventory now! I'm doing an open studio tomorrow. No clue how many folks will show up.

  4. Many years ago I did a few craft fairs with soft toys - there is such a buzz when you do sell something! It's a great experience and I bet you do get further offers because of the publicity. Your ship album is fantastic - a very, very nice job :)

  5. :-)) Thank you everyone, for such positive comments. I just logged in and it's made me smile!
    I also checked my Etsy shop and found that two people have put my "Pen to Paper" navy journal (that is featured in this post) into their Etsy Treasuries - curated lists of items they like, which anyone can view and comment on. I'm smiling lots!

  6. Love the ship album! The stuff you made for the craft fair is great to!

  7. I love the ship album,Lizzie.
    Hopefully some orders will come your way from doing the fair.


I love to read your comments!


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