Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year Greetings for 2013

Well, I haven't been a very regular blogger in recent months.

But I couldn't let the year come to a close, without managing one more post.

So, just to wish all my Blogging Friends, far and near, a Very Happy New Year and a successful, happy and bloggy 2013!

Happy New Year Friends!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Wednesday Worktable, December 12th : More Leather!

I'm joining in with WOYWW at Julia's Stamping Ground. Go and see what everyone else has been making (well, after you read my post, eh?)

I'm having a burst of successful sales, in my Etsy and Folksy shops!  This week I took three packages to the PO on Monday, three more on Tuesday and there are four waiting to go tomorrow (Thursday), as the PO was closed this afternoon. 
It seems that I should go out often too, as that appears to be when the customers sneak in and buy stuff!  Imagine, I can be a shopkeeper and make sales, without actually having to be on the premises! 

And this...
...was whisked off its (virtual and actual) shelf within half an hour of listing it... by a Person we all know well (but I won't divulge who that is, as they may not want me to!).  
Still, it's always lovely to have something bought by an online friend - it kind of gives you the "warm fuzzies" to think someone you know appreciates your work (even after getting all the gory details on my blog!). 
So the red leather chapbook is winging its way across the miles, to an undisclosed destination, to be a Christmas Gift for someone nice. 
Which makes me smile.
And I also sold a second leather journal:
This black leather and mulberry suede journal sold yesterday.

It's filled with a whole rainbow of paper!
The "thing for red" has given way to a "thing for leather" now!  I made three more chapbooks and a mini journal, which I have listed for sale today.  Wish me luck!
Another journal, from the same black leather piece.  I bought a large piece of Italian upholstery quality leather and I love it!

I used a rather gorgeous glass bead as the fastening.  It's black glass, with a green and aqua dichroic section in the middle.  I used teal suede strips to fix the bead to the front cover and as a tie to fasten it, attached to the back cover...
...and I used green Austrian linen thread for binding, to pick up the green in the bead.

It has 48 pages of that gorgeous cream laid text paper that I've recently acquired; I have lots and lots of it and I'm quite excited, as it's possibly the best text paper I've ever been able to buy - paper being expensive, especially if you buy it in packs of 500 full-size sheets (almost A1 size - around 30"x20", or around 80x55cm - that's pretty big!)
Then I made a second deep red chapbook.  This one has a strip of black leather, as decoration and for fastening, with another of those lovely metal Celtic Knots.

I used black waxed linen cord for binding..

The black leather is also on the back cover; it tucks through at the outside edge, so it can be wrapped over to the front and round the metal button.  (Don't you think that the leather strip looks a bit like a belt?)

I stitched the metal embellishment on, to keep the black leather strip in place on the front and to create space for the fastening tie strip to tuck beneath it.  It looks a bit untidy in the photo, but in real life it looks fine.  Who said that cameras never lie, eh?
This book is also filled with crisp, cream laid text paper.  Lovely!
The last of the chapbooks is my favourite.  This is made from the most gorgeous piece of Robins Egg Blue lamb leather.  It is amazingly soft and supple.  A bit thinner than the Italian calf leathers of the red and black books, but still nice for a limp leather binding. 

Because it's such lovely leather, I kept the overall thing quite simple - this is the back.

I attached a long glass bead to the front, as a fastening and plaited up some deep turquoise linen thread, to make cord for attaching the bead and wrapping round from the back cover, to close the book.  
I used the same deep turquoise linen to bind the book...

...and filled it with my favourite cream paper!
That's my little set of leather chapbooks. 
I also made this...
...or rather, I completed this little book, which I posted about the other day.  It was made up to this point...
...and I made a leather wrap-round fastening for it.

Now it closes neatly, with the leather strip wrapping right round and tucking under at the front.
I love this saffron coloured linen for the binding!

I think it looks quite smart like this.  
Of course, it's only a little book - just 3.5 inches high. 
But it still has 40 pages of great paper inside and I love it to bits!
I still have itchy fingers, to make more journals - watch this space!
And on another subject, I should be posting soon about James' new sports interest...  when the photos are ready!
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A Bit of a Thing for Red...

I've been busy bookbinding recently, even if I haven't blogged much.  The situation with my mum's health, has meant I have had to close my order book for the complex, bigger books and albums, that I was making up until the summer.  In an effort to keep the business running, at least in some measure, I'm fitting in as many smaller books as I can. 
I posted yesterday, about a batch of card-covered notebooks - many with rainbows of coloured pages.  These have been such fun to make! 
However, I've also made a number of other books in the last couple of weeks - and looking back, it seems that I currently have a bit of a "thing" for Red!

A ribbon-bound Japanese style stab-stitch notebook, size approx 6 x 4 ins.  Covers are in a deep red-purple marbled paper, which I "collected" recently, when exploring paper sources on the internet. 

The first book has a brother! 

This one is bound in black linen thread and has a deep maroon suede strip to wrap the bound edge, beneath the covers. 
Both have 60 pages of white paper and a hinged front cover. 
I love the gold marbling on this paper, but the shades of red, purple and magenta in the marbled paper are just beautiful too!
* * * 
A floral Japanese stab-stitch book, with a hinged front cover.  I found this paper when out for the day, in Cambridge.  It was so pretty and I immediately knew I wanted to use it for a book like this. 
The bound edge has a deep red-mauve suede embellishment on each cover.   It has 40 pages of paper, which is a medium-weight cream paper, with a lovely texture. It would be a nice guest book, I think. 
Not quite a "red" book, but certainly on the redder side of purple!
* * *

A pamphlet-style or "chapbook" journal, in a deep red leather. 
This is such gorgeous soft leather, that I left it completely alone - no lining, no adornment, other than the lovely Celtic Knot, which I used as a fastener, along with a charcoal suede strip. 
It's bound in a single section, with black linen cord and filled with some gorgeous cream laid paper that I bought for making text blocks. This comes in great sheets (A1 size) and I folded and hand-tore the pages of the book, to give a nice torn edge detail.
It feels great to handle and the cover is kind of soft and floppy - which just adds to its charm really.  I love this one and want to keep it - occupational hazard I suppose!
* * *

An addition to my "set" of five hand-embellished wool felt journals. 
This has a warm red felt cover, lined with so-soft deep grey suede. 
It's embellished with applique in red suede, black & moss green silk, plus two pieces of Liberty Tana Lawn, in the "Strawberry Thief" design. 
It has embroidery in gold and silk threads, plus three semi-precious stones and a heart-shaped nacre button. 
I made a knotted suede button and twisted linen cord, for the fastening (seen in the final photo).  It has 40 pages of lovely hand made paper, with the fab naturally deckled edges, plus "inclusions" of red rose-like flower petals and green leaf pieces.  I bound it in a Longstitch, using black linen. 
* * *

And still on the Table, is this little mini-journal.
It's made with the same red leather as the chapbook journal above.  But it is small - barely 3" high! 
The paper is also the same cream, laid paper, as the chapbook.  It translated beautifully, to this mini-book form.  I decided to make the book up with a longstitch binding, with six sections of pages - each with four pages, making 24 in total (that's 48 sides of paper). 
I like the shape of the wrap-over piece, which is why I haven't cut it off, but left it as a wrap cover.  However, I'm not sure what sort of fastening to give it.  It does need something... could be a button, or a single tie - leather strip, linen cord, or ribbon? I'm mulling over a few ideas and will try some options out.  It's such a sweet little book - I hope to finish it tonight!
* * *
So, there's a bit of a peek at my current "red trend".  Along with the Rainbow books, it's been pretty bright and cheerful at my binding table recently!
(Just in case you're interested, most of these books are for sale in my "LizzieMade" shops, at and ;-)   


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Storytelling Sunday, December 2012 - The Non-Weekend and the Birds

This post is part of Sian's Storytelling Sunday for 2012.  Read her story for this month, at her blog "From High in the Sky" and follow the links to dozens of other great stories!

 This is the last "Storytelling Sunday" of 2012, so I really wanted to join in. But what story to tell? I have been so busy recently and couldn't think what to share... 

Well, there's been a lot of laundry round here lately.  I've been very busy with household tasks, both for us and for my mum.  But doing those dull old jobs does give you time to organise your thoughts, even if you don't have time to write them down!
Anyway, not much blogging here recently, but I thought I'd share a quick story about our Non-Weekend - and also show you who visited our garden.
So, the weekend.  We had planned to do this:

But Mr LizzieMade woke up on Saturday with a headache and sore shoulder, so going into the loft was not a likely event...
We went to the local farmer's market and bought nice cheese, fresh eggs and veggies, a doughnut (for the ever-starving-teenager Boy's lunch), plus more art equipment for his increasingly-expensive school art studies - a set of decent acrylic paints this time. 
Then soup for lunch... by which time, Mr LizzieMade's face was swelling up a bit and looking rather red.  He said it hurt behind his ear.  It did all look a bit sore...  He used an ice pack and some muscle rub on the shoulder, then went to bed for a nap. 
He declined my offer to photograph him for my blog, so there is no photo for you!
So, no Christmas decorations on Saturday, eh? 
Sunday morning - bright and cold.  And Mr LizzieMade had a red swelling all up the left side of his face, which hurt him.  The sore shoulder seemed to have recovered, but the face problem was worse.  We called the doctor's and were put through to the out-of-hours service, who asked us to go down to the weekend clinic at the local hospital (not A&E, but a doctor's service).   Sooooo... off we went, leaving the Boy to do the dreaded homework.   
They gave Mr LizzieMade a prescription for anti-biotics.  After a visit to the pharmacy (in Sainsbury's - very handy on a Sunday), we came home and decided there'd be no visits to the loft on Sunday either...
* * *
So, instead of Christmas Trees, I made these:
Two nice A5 sized notebooks, one with a kraft cardstock cover, the other one covered with pearly ivory cardstock.  Both filled with a rainbow of pastel papers - in ten colours!
Some kraft card notebooks, like Moleskine books, with cream paper and sewn with red linen thread. 

And a batch of Rainbow Notebooks, with eight colours of bright paper inside and kraft card covers.  All fit nicely into an envelope, so they can be posted, or given as a present!
A bit of cheerful fun on a wintery weekend afternoon.
* * *
 And next weekend, perhaps we'll do this:
..and this too!  
* * *
And the Garden Visitors?
Not very clear photos, but a small flock of Waxwings settled in our apple tree, to eat some of the remaining fruit.  Davey counted at least seven, though I think there were more at one point. 

They obviously love the apples. 
Sadly I couldn't get a better photo than this, as going outside would have scared them away...
* * *
So, that was the story of our Non-Weekend.  As you can see, we managed to do quite a lot in two days, even if not all as planned!
And just to let you know that Mr LizzieMade seems to be recovering nicely.  He worked from home yesterday and went out at 6am (!!) this morning, to travel to Tunbridge Wells to a client's offices.  When I messaged him (a bit later than 6am!) he said he's feeling much better. 
* * *


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