Sunday, 23 March 2014


In 2012 I visited a local Book Art Fair and I was blown away by what I saw.  What's more, I was so excited when I was invited to have a stand at their next event!  After sending examples of my work I was accepted and then it was weeks of preparation.  I had so many ideas and this was my golden opportunity to show what I do.....  this has been a long time dream. 

I met inspiring book artists and loved our shared passion for creating with paper.  This took many forms from tiny bears sewn together out of pages from a book, and amazing dimensional landscapes covered with beautiful lines of handwriting.  I could have admired for hours.  If you want a glimpse of some of the work it is shown on the Artbookart Facebook page a long with some of my own. 

I was so pleased when my friend Pauline said she would come for the day to help me, I am always glad of her company.  Other friends came during the day too and I finally got to meet Patricia.  We met through my 5in5 neme and have enjoyed getting to know each other through blogging.  We share other interests too (such as VW campers and a like for walking) and although we live nearby this was our first time of meeting - but certainly not our last.  I loved Patricia's enthusiasm and excitement for the books she saw and she left the Fair with ideas, a shopping list and she headed straight to a craft shop!

And family came too.  My grand daughters nearly burst with excitement seeing my work displayed, especially as some of the books have been made for them which I borrowed for the occasion.  They were so proud when visitors stopped to look and ask questions.  And they were excited again when they each made a tiny book and asked if they could add it to my stand.  I added a 50p price tag and their faces was an absolute picture when someone bought the books. What a wonderful boost to their confidence...  I may face competition next time!

Anyway, enough words.  Lets have some pictures and a snapshot of my day: 

'Launching' myself meant I had to find ways of telling people what I do.  After lots of thought I made bunting and leaflets that folded into a small book.  I also made lots of tiny books for people to sew and decorate, to take away.  This was enjoyed by adults and children and one man wrote on every page about how much he liked my stand and making the book.  He gave it to me to keep and I will...
Below you can see people busy making mini books on the side table.  And do pause to admire the work on the stand next to mine.  The shoes and doll are all made out of pages from books.  This is work by Karen Apps and it is amazing.

More of my work below. 
I will post about individual books and how I have made them another time. 
I am planning to run local classes where people can learn how to make their own book.  If you are interested do let me know so I can keep you informed.   

 As well as making books from scratch I also love upcycling.  I recently found this copy with beautiful illustrated pages and I hoped to finish the book in time to display. But I didn't want to rush it.... making books is a joy and I love to loose myself in this.  But there are only so many books I can keep for my personal use and so I planned to sell this book when finished.  It is one of those books that I would gladly keep, but it's label 'waiting for someone to love me' spoke to my friend Sue.  And though it would be nice to keep the book, I know it is going to be well looked after and appreciated.

 My books take many form and sometimes simple is good too. 
The little notebooks below were very popular at Christmas. They sold out first day in a gallery and I had to make more.  The idea is to write down 3 or 5 things each day that you are grateful for.  It is too easy to get caught up in the pressures of life and not to take time to smell the roses.  And right now I am counting my blessings and excited about what comes next.  

I realise I have been neglecting my blog a bit lately but it is not because I have lost interest.  No!  My one word for 2014 is CREATE and that is what I have been doing.  Lots of books made, ideas forming, and here I spoke about how I want to create space in my home because that too has been neglected.  Well, I have been busy in all these areas and making huge progress!  My head is popping with ideas of blog posts and I plan to create time to organise myself so that I do this more.  So, thank you for popping by - and watch this space!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

5 in 5 - MELANIE March 2014

Those who follow my posts might know that Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia. She loves photography and every month she has taken part in this monthly neme.
Melanie does not have a blog and so each month I post her photos. I love that we have found a way for her to take part!
When I began this photo challenge last July I did not anticipate that this partnership would develop. It was not planned but I am SO glad that it happened because it has added something unexpected. I am so excited each month when I open Melanie's email with her monthly photos so once again Melanie, a big thank you, and over to you:

"Difficult to believe it is March already and time for another 5 in 5.  Once again my five in five photos have not been taken where I thought they would be taken.  I really thought they would be in that illusive National Park, Belair but it looks like I shall now be scheduling that photo shot for April. 

This week it is the annual writers’ week in Adelaide and I did not want to miss a minute of it. A whole six days when you can listen to authors from around the world talk from 9:30am until 6pm.  It begun on Saturday March 1st and finishes tomorrow March 6th.  If you would like to have an idea of some of the authors I have enjoyed listening to you can check out the programme at this link.

Some of the authors I have read, some I have never heard of and some I knew of and intended to read but at yet have not found time to read.  After the first five days of listening my ‘Want to read’ list is now much bigger than it was. While listening to the authors one of the things that has fascinated me has been the shadow patterns from the trees on the shade cloths in the gardens where the talks are held.  The talks are held in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Gardens in the city.  The weather has been perfect and the talks have been so varied, some very entertaining, some very informative, a couple boring and some extremely full on.  My head is bursting from information overload. 

As for the photos the one in the middle at the top is the statue which the West stage has been built around.  The other photos are just various shadows so not a long explanation this month".

I love that vivid blue of the shade cloths and the shadows of the trees. It just shows that sometimes we don't have to go far to take stunning photos, and that we can be in one place and observe.  It reminds me not to over complicate, and to use what is right there. Last month Melanie also planned to go to Belair but risk of fires meant that the area was closed.  I look forward to seeing Melanie's photos in the National Park one day! 
If this has inspired you to take photos to add to this challenge you have until 25th before the link closes. It's great fun and this post should answer any questions or give any other information that you need.

Thank you to Melanie and everyone else who has taken part. Links for this months posts are here and I'll be back next month with more photos from Melanie and myself. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

5 in 5 - March 2014 - ABOUT BOOKS

                                         Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of
each month I post 5 photos that I have
taken in 5 minutes. 


A while back I went to a local Book Art Fair. I was blown away by what I saw and was very excited to hear another was planned. I was invited to have my own stand at the next one and I waited in anticipation. But it never happened. Then recently I got word a date was set and I was invited to send photos of my work. I was really excited to hear I had been accepted and so I have been busy making some new books.  Putting long-term-ideas into play. At a recent retreat I experimented with painting paper, and giving new life to old hardbacks. I also made notebooks and started to play with ideas for journals. I realised how much more creative I am when I do not have to juggle this with my work-life. But that's another story in itself.  For now, it is time to share 5 photos that I took in 5 minutes, and so here's a glimpse of some of the books that I have made and will be showing:
A nice fat journal waiting to be filled.   This has pockets and tags and I have ideas for other journals.. I can't wait to get started! 

A simple notebook but sometimes this is just what you need.

 Hand painted pages...  I will cover these and some will have lace, fabrics, and what ever else takes my fancy. I love the contrast of string and the gold... I may even use that somewhere in the making.

I am always on the look out for books. These ones will be given a new life, with some pages kept and others added...
One was a school library and I love that it has a label with dates and names of children who borrowed the book. Another is a French book, it's title translates to 'The House of Paper'.  How beautiful is that? 
And this is a page from a book that I have finished. Others are still work in progress and I also need to start thinking about how I will display my work.
The Book Art Fair is on Saturday 15th and it's all very exciting. And something I always dreamed of doing.  This will be a 'most novel experience' and I will be back to tell you how I got on.

Thank you for popping by and to everyone who has taken part in this monthly challenge.  I really look forward to seeing your photos and I hope you are inspired to get out your camera and join in. Here is the plan:

1.  Choose a location.

2.  Have your camera ready.

3.  Set a mobile timer for 5 minutes.

4.  Take as many photos you can until the time is up.

5.  Choose 5 photos to download and share by using the link tool.
   You have until the 25th of the month to add your photos.  
If you want to know more there are details here.

And one more thing - when you use the link tool, please click on your post title.  This will show the web address. Please right click, copy and paste this as your link.  This will take readers directly to your '5 in 5' blog page and be easier for them to find.

And don't forget, you have until 25th to post your link!
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