Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sewing Again (at last)!

My first sewing project in a Very Long Time!
New Roman Blind 

Not a very difficult thing to make, but it's literally the first sewing project I have done in years.  I took my sewing machine to be serviced last week, so it would be working well.  Then I turned the spare curtain (from the two pairs I bought for the windows - only needed three, not four) into a matching blind for the long window. 
I'm pleased with myself. :-)

Thursday, 23 October 2014

More Leather Journals

Someone asked a question yesterday, in comments, about the leather journal currently on my binding table. She wondered if it was an Art Journal.   I replied that it could be, but she might prefer one of the leather-covered sketchbook journals in my online shop.

So, I thought I might show you some more leather books that I've been making recently.  I really have been enjoying myself, as I bought a stock of beautiful leather pieces and have been working with these, to create some new journals, with bright, cheerful coloured linings and binding threads.

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Please Note: You're welcome to share or "pin" my photos, if you like them.  However, if you do, Please will you credit me as the maker and link back to my blog - or my shop?
For a start, it's just polite and secondly, it may bring me a sale or two - thank you so much! 
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Some journals and sketchbooks, with leather covers, colourful linings and longstitch bindings.

Grey leather sketchbook or journal, with purple linen longstitch binding and magenta mulberry paper lining. Contains white sketch paper. 

Chestnut brown leather sketchbook or journal, with white sketch paper pages.  Hand bound in longstitch, with golden linen thread.  Lined with hand made lokta paper, with a design of leaves or ferns. 

Purple leather sketchbook or journal, with white sketch paper pages.  Hand bound in longstitch, with golden linen thread.  Covers lined with magenta hand made lokta paper. 

Golden brown leather journal or sketchbook, with cream text paper pages.  Hand bound in longstitch, with red linen thread.  Lined with red hand made mulberry paper. 

Navy blue leather journal, with wrap-over cover.  Contains cream text paper, hand bound with green linen thread.  Covers lined with golden yellow hand made mulberry paper.  Book fastens with hand made porcelain buttons and hand-twisted wrap-round cords. 

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Those are the five larger journals or sketchbooks that I have made recently.  They could all be used as art journals, though those with sketch paper might work out better; the cream text paper is gorgeous and excellent quality, but it might still not be ideal for wet media.  The sketch paper should cope okay with paint etc, as well as pencil, crayon etc.

I also made some smaller books:

Golden brown leather sketchbook, or art journal, with wrap cover.  Contains both cartridge drawing paper and  artists' watercolour paper. Hand bound in longstitch, with red linen thread.  Fastens with a red cord and button.  

Grey leather pamphlet-style notebook or journal, with cream text paper pages.  Hand bound with deep blue thread.  Cover lined with hand made lokta paper, in deep blue, with a design of leaves or ferns. 

Deep navy blue leather journal or notebook.  Lined with marbled paper by artist Rhonda Miller. Contains cream text paper.  Hand bound in longstitch, with smokey pink thread.  Stitching has a decorative crossed-stitch pattern.  

These, along with other leather and paper-covered books can be purchased, should you wish to buy.  Look in my Folksy online shop, to see what is currently available (or follow the link to my Etsy shop, if you prefer). :-) 

I hope you have enjoyed seeing what I've been making recently.  Thanks for reading!  

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

How to Make Lizzie's Day

The post-lady pushed some letters through the door.  I didn't pay much attention, as I'm working on several things just now - besides housework! - and didn't want to go to the door.

But eventually I did.  This is what I found:

What a fab thing to find on my doormat!  Made me smile a huuuuge smile (like this :-D ).
Thank you Fiona - you made Lizzie's Day!

Wednesday Worktable - 22nd October 2014 : Seasonal Preparations

It's been six months since I joined in with WOYWW (What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday), over at JuliaDunnit's Blog - hadn't realised how long!  Each Wednesday, Julia invites fellow crafters and bloggers to show a photo or two of their worktables, and explain what they've been doing.

So, here is my - rather messy - work table today!  Cluttered with assorted book projects, in various stages of progress.  I'm busy making seasonal stock, for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other celebrations that happen at this time of year. 

At the back, a number of sets of pages, for little notebooks, plus a 6" x 4" size Halloween-themed Notebook, ready for sewing later on.  

To the left, a Red, Woolfelt-covered Journal, with pages of handmade, petal-sprinkled paper.  The cover is decorated with buttons.  I made this some time ago, but I want to put some more work into it.  It was run up in a hurry, as a demonstration item for a bookbinding course; I want to add a nice lining to the cover and maybe do something extra with that cluster of buttons - I have a Plan! 

Then, in front of the red journal, is a set of pages and another woolfelt piece, in soft blue-grey. I intend to decorate the felt with fabric and leather, embroidery and beads, to make another of the embroidered journals, such as I made for Christmas time 2012.  

And in the middle - a journal, in lovely black leather, with purple mulberry paper endsheets and crisp, white "Three Candlesticks" text paper pages.  It has a sort-of uneven-style binding, with stitches of different sizes.  Not sure if I do, or don't, like it - yet - we shall see...  

The plan is to do "something" with the straight stitches on the spine, to make them look "different", so I'll finish the binding and see what kind of inspiration strikes (I do have a couple of ideas, if they work)! 

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So, that's my contribution to the WOYWW Story this week - thanks for reading.  Why not pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground and see what else is going on in the crafting world?

Thursday, 9 October 2014

One Photo and Twenty Words - October 2014

Summer 2000 : Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Gloucestershire. 
My father on a last day out with us. He died on October 9th. 

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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?

Friday, 3 October 2014

Thoughts from the Washing Line : Changes

It's been a while since I've posted some Thoughts from the Washing Line.  But laundry still happens and I still stand there, hanging up my clean, damp and fresh-smelling linen, contemplating the world.  

This past week, there's been a lot of laundry - the sun has been shining, but the forecast threatens rain, so I've been washing things that I might have left until later in the week - or next week - and hanging up three or more loads a day.   It gives me plenty of time to think thoughts in the sunshine...  

Such as the way things are changing around here... 

Last Friday, this man turned seventeen. Somehow it seems a more significant birthday than last year. Seventeen seems more "grown up", perhaps more serious, than sixteen.   

James sat his GCSE exams this summer and the results came at the end of August.  He did really well and now has eight A*'s, four A's, a C (for Art which he chose as a relaxation and something different to all the academic stuff), and a Distinction (A^ - for his extra Further Maths GCSE), plus an ECDL/BTEC Computing as well.  That's a lot of qualifications...   

He started back at school a month ago and has thrown himself wholeheartedly into a busy VIth Form timetable.  He is studying five subjects to "AS" Level (A-level year 1 exams) - Maths, Further Maths, Physics, History and something called Extended Project Qualification.  
For the EPQ he must choose an area of study, research it, compile information and produce a "thing", such as a presentation, a paper, an essay, a report, a short thesis - whatever is appropriate.  It's examined at A2 Level (2nd year A-level) standard. As he had a lot of heart-searching when choosing his fourth A-level, between History and Music, he has chosen to study an area of Music for the EPQ.  
Next year, he will continue all but the EPQ to A2 Level and hopes to gain a place at university, to study Engineering. 

So, you see that maybe turning Seventeen does seem so much more significant.  He's nearly grown up. Almost A Man.  He even has a 'tache - almost -  and refuses to shave it off...  He's not always finding it easy, but he is growing up all the same and starting to look towards the world beyond school.   Time is whizzing by and I'm sure it won't seem long, before he's packing up his books, clean socks and various musical instruments and heading off to university.... Sobering thought.  

Oh yes, speaking of Musical Instruments - look what we bought a few weeks ago! 

James actually asked for a piano for his birthday - though I think it was a bit jokingly.  But we'd wanted one for so long and now we have a space for it...  Two visits to the piano shop, then it was soon delivered and we are so delighted with it!  I'm polishing up my skills again and James just seems to be a natural - he plays away as if he's been learning all his life, but he's never had a single piano lesson!  

Me and James are in love with our new pet... Dave is less impressed.  He wonders why we didn't buy an electronic piano, with a socket for ear-phones - for silent practice.  That's what he says anyway, but I notice he doesn't seem to mind much when James is tinkling away in the Music Room (formerly the "Snug", but there are nine instruments in there now...).  

It's proving a hit with visitors too - here are James and Keri-Anne last weekend, enjoying a bit of together-time.  The weekend before, we had some friends up from London and they - and their little girls - enjoyed bashing away on our piano too.  It seems that quite a few people can "play a little bit" and they're delighted to get the chance to make a bit of noise.  

The cake was a bit small for 17 candles - so a 1 and a 7 were found, lit and duly "huffed" upon...  
Happy Birthday James.  We all wish you a very successful and happy eighteenth year! 

And, now that James is in VIth Form, with no more black-trousers-and-blazer school uniform, the laundry I hang out these sunny days is a lot more colourful than it used to be! 


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