Saturday, 26 April 2014

An Interesting Experiment - A Travel-themed Journal Sketchbook

I recently  made a set of concertina photo books, with covers of Liberty print lawn bookcloth.  They turned out really lovely.   
While fiddling around with the concertina-folding for the album pages, I thought about the "flutter books" and concertina book structures, created by bookbinders Hedi Kyle and Alissa Golden (both my heros!).  I thought it would be fun to experiment with a book that used the concertina structure as a kind of support, with sets of pages stitched into each valley fold - on both sides of the concertina.

It seemed to suit a tall, thin type of book, also a journal/sketch book; I had some of the lovely Cavallini paper with a collage design of vintage luggage labels... A Travel Themed Journal started to form in my mind.

I cut hard covers of book board and covered them with the Luggage Label paper.

I folded a concertina of stiff cartridge paper, then used the same type of paper and some lined text paper to create folios of pages, mixing the lined and sketch paper, so that each sketch page had a lined page next to it.  Then I stitched each of these sections into a fold of the concertina.

I fixed the covers at either end of the concertina, with ribbons to tie each side together - this would allow the book to be opened like a traditional notebook - from either side of the concertina - or for the whole thing to open out when both sets of ribbons were untied. 
Inside the "back" part of the accordian, the three centre pairs of sketch pages fold inside, so there is a large page that opens out to almost A4 size (letter size for my US friends!). 
The "front" cover opens to show two pairs of ticket pockets, embellished with the same luggage label paper as the covers. 

I used red linen thread for the stitching, to give a cheerful pop of colour.

The concertina structure allows the book to be used in a very flexible way, not just in the usual sequential "turn to the next page" way you would use a traditionally bound notebook. 
It's a nice size too - just right to pop into the front pocket of your backpack or in your hand luggage, to take with you on your special holiday.

A successful experiment I think - I may make some more!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

One Photo & Twenty Words - April 2014

This Furry Person believes he runs the household. 
We are merely the Staff, paid in kind with purrs and head-bumps.

* * *
This is part of Abi's Meme 'One Photo and Twenty Words':
"Find one photo and choose up to twenty words to tell its story. Jot it down and link back here."

Why not join in too and leave a link in the post at Abi's blog?
* * *

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Springing Around in the Garden!

It's been Springtime in our garden this week.  Tom has been very happy to be allowed outside.  He lies happily in the grass, watching birds and insects, sunning his tummy or back and enjoying the breeze. 

Tom is ready for his close-up...


Tom also spends a lot of time running around, which is good for his fitness routine.  He has been on a Diet, as he was a bit overweight. I'm sure all the dashing about and adventuring outside is doing his little chubby figure some good - he'll soon be fitter than me!
Dave has also been busy.  He's renovating the lawn near the new deck.  It was pretty mashed up by the builders' equipment.  We had some stepping stones across to the steps, but the digger rolled over them and broke one, so he's dug them out and filled in the holes.  They are no longer in the best place, as the whole dynamic of the garden is affected by the new building and decked area.  We'll replace them with new ones soon, running on a slightly different line.  

He's also making a soakaway next to the deck, as all the rain we had in the winter turned the lawn area into a huge swampy puddle.  The hole is quite deep and has a thick layer of sharp sand, with another of nice green stone chippings. 
He has smoothed and levelled the ground (digging out several loads of stones, rubble and bricks embedded there by constant running of machinery over the grass!).  Four boxes of grass seed, some feed and a layer of compost later, we are hoping for a few new green shoots in the next week or so.
 * * *
The garden itself is enjoying the warmer weather and many of our spring flowers are now opening out and giving us a display of colour, after all the greys of winter.

Euphorbia... (pretty and so cheerful in their corner by the acacia tree)
Muscari (grape hyacyinth)  
The pear tree is now beginning to waken too and the blossom is almost out.
Pear blossom ready to open...
And the tulips have big green buds, with evidence of fast-ripening flowers inside.
Tulips - these will soon be red!
* * *
The birds are enjoying the springtime too.  There's been much activity and flurry going on, with pairings-up and dashing around with beaks filled with fluff, twiggy bits and straws for nest-building.  The robins are nesting in the hedge, the greenfinches somewhere nearby (they collect stuff from our garden, then vanish over the top of the big hedge), the sparrows are out in a gang, twittering and squeaking in the shrubs. 

Also, this nest box has proved popular.  There have been several Viewings, but it is no longer To Let - it has been taken for the season...
 The nest box is high up in the false-acacia tree, far enough away from cats to make it a desirable location.

I sat and watched with my (new!!) camera, on Friday lunchtime...
Blue Tit...
...checking it's safe...
...going inside...
...with nesting material! 
So, soon we will have little twitterings and flutterings from the blue-tit box (and we'll need to police the cat!). 


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