Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Book Catch-Up

Life is really busy here as always, but I am managing some book-binding work, in amongst all the rush.  So, I  thought I'd just post a little update on what I have been working on recently: 

A Coral-pink leather journal with light blue longstitch binding. 
 Lined with a Cath Kidston designed paper... 
 it contains lined pages, with the lines printed in pink 
and the pages have a floral design in a kind-of watermark print.
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An Artists Book.  
This has stiffened covers of black leather and is stitched in a coptic style with pale orange thread.
The covers are lined with a hand-marbled paper, by artist & bookbinder, Rhonda Miller... 
The pages are three types of artist's paper - cartridge drawing paper / pastel paper / watercolour paper. 
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This journal has covers of softest leather, in lovely aqua blue.  
The floral design is raised-embossing.
  It has plain white pages, with cover lining & endsheets of this great birdcage patterned paper.  
The paper even has glittery bits, which is fun.
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I showed you these fun little 6"x4" notebooks... 


So, I added a couple more to the collection - fun, aren't they? 
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And I've been making more rainbow notebooks - this one is 7"x5", with pastel pages in 10 colours.
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I showed you this very large photo album recently, which I sent as a gift for a friend with a new baby boy.
It was well received, so I'm really very happy about that!
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And currently, I am working on two large albums - one with a cover paper you may well have seen a couple of times before, but the other will have a very lovely, summery design paper, which I have never used for a book before now, with a very unusual paper trim at the bound edge of the covers.  The binding for this is a bit experimental too ... 
I hope all will be revealed very soon! 

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and if you made it this far:
Thanks for Reading! 

Friday, 27 June 2014

A Birthday Elephant

I've been getting the Simply Homemade magazine regularly, since issue 1.  A few issues back, there was a pattern for a lovely crochet elephant.  I decided to make it for my mum and adapted the pattern a little bit, to suit what I wanted.

The elephant is basically the same, except that I made the "arms" a bit thinner than the legs because I thought they would look neater that way.  However, the original pattern was just for an elephant, with no garments.  I thought it would be nicer to make a dressed doll, so I invented a dress, hat and bag - complete with little friend!
 Here she is! She's rather nice, I think...
 And she has a hand-made dress, hat and bag... and a little friend!  

See, the little mouse?  I invented him too - no pattern! 

The elephant and mouse are made in double-crochet (US single crochet!), using the circular technique popular for amigurumi style toys.

The bag is two granny squares slip-stitched together, with a narrow ribbon strap.  And the dress is a fab stitch I found in my crochet stitch bible, adapted slightly to make it flare; the bodice is double-crochet again, with some lace I had in my stash, to make it pretty. The yarn for the majority of the dress is one of those "self-striping" yarns, in cotton. It's produced a great patchwork effect which I'm very pleased with.  I used a plain lilac cotton for contrast, which I also used on the hat.

I didn't photograph the back of the elephant... probably should have, as she has a dear little tail and her dress fastens down the back, with narrow ribbon bows.

I'm really very pleased with how this has turned out!  It's taken me about five months to complete it all, as I don't have much spare time for crafting, but now it's ready for my mum's birthday at the beginning of July. She adores elephants, so she will love to have this as a gift.  Eeeeee.... I can hardly wait to give it to her and see her big smile! 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

A Family Album Gift

We have a lovely friend, who was married last year and became a step-mum to a lovely boy and girl.  About eight weeks ago, she and her husband, were blessed with a beautiful baby boy, as a brother to her dear little step-children. 

I wanted to send a gift for the whole family, not just for the baby, or for our friend.  So, I made one of my extra large albums for their family photos and memories.

I posted it yesterday, but my timing was a bit bad, as they left this morning, to go and visit her mother for a few days!  The post office apparently tried to deliver this afternoon and left a card.  I really hope they're home before it's sent back to me as undelivered.

I know she doesn't read my blog, so I feel safe enough showing you photos here - just so long as it's not shared on Facebook yet!
I messaged my friend on Facebook and just asked her "Beatrix Potter, or (original) Winnie-the-Pooh?"  She replied  "Beatrix Potter", so this is what I have used - a lovely green fabric, with a paisley-style background and lots of the best-loved characters from Beatrix Potter's wonderful books.  
 
I teamed it with an emerald green silk edging and stitching in mulberry coloured hemp thread, to pick out the purpley shades on some of the characters and give a nice contrast with the green.
I made an embossed and printed "Family Album" label, which I mounted on a piece of silk and attached to the front cover.

I so hope she likes this!
 
Back cover,
The stitching of the book - a Coptic binding, with a section of French Stitch in the centre, as a decorative touch.  I hope the number of pairs of threads will help you to realise how large this album is.  It's about 11.5" tall and 13.5" long.
 
Each page was a single sheet, which I folded over to make a spacer.  The thirty pages were made into sets of three, then stitched on the folds, so the album will open out flat the whole way through. 
 
It made a lovely thick and heavy book.  You'll see that the spine edge is a lot deeper than the right-hand (front) edge.  This is why the spacers are there - to provide room for expansion when the photos are added.  Otherwise you'd end up with a book that bulged out of shape and looked "overfilled". 
 
I said it's big - the photos on the left are 6" x 4" and the right-hand photos are 4.5" squares, with white edges on three of them, making them 6" wide.  The album would hold a good number of photos. 

I really hope our friends like their gift - I so enjoyed making it! 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Up, Up and Away!

I was standing upstairs a couple of evenings ago, when I heard a familiar sound from outside. 
A whooshing kind of sound.  I knew that if I looked out of the window, this is what I would see:
Rising into the air, taking off from the meadow on the other side of the river.  I had heard the whoosh of the burner, as it was switched on and off, to warm the air inside the balloon and lift it above the house-tops.

What I didn't expect was this, just a few minutes later:  
A second lovely balloon, taking off from the same place.

And then this:
A Third Balloon! 

Totally unexpected - balloons are a fairly regular sight over our village in the good weather, but three at once hasn't happened before.   
 
 
Floating away on the evening breeze... Wishing I could be up there too!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

One Photo and Twenty Words - May 2014

Does he feel guilty? I think not.  The mummy starling wasn't impressed though, when he tried to eat her baby!

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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?

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You may notice a bit of a pattern to my "One Photo & Twenty Words" posts... The Furry One features yet again!  This time though, he's in disgrace...

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