Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Inspiration…and a little perspiration

I’m sorry, I’m sorry – been neglecting my blog, I know. My excuse is that I have been working on a very complicated web site (well, for me anyway) and after spending every waking moment toiling away at my computer, the last thing I felt like doing when I stopped to relax was blogging. Anyway, it’s all finished now , I even found time to make a book for a friend. I made her a web site a few months ago for her new bed and breakfast business, and she asked me if I would make her a visitors book for her guests to sign. Here it is.


I used an image I took of her house and printed it onto Belgian linen bookcloth. I made the striped back cover in Photoshop and it was tricky working out where to place the stripes and image so that they were in the right place when I bound the book. It worked even better than I hoped. I hope she likes it.

One of the things that tempted me back to my blog (apart from my friend Carol telling me how much she enjoyed reading it – all bloggers should have a friend like Carol!) was finding that the lovely writing gb had given me this award. The award was originated by Montessori Mama – isn’t it pretty? Very cheering on these cold winter days.


The rules are these:
– List six things that inspire my creativity
– Pass the award on to 6 more kreativ bloggers
– Link back to the person who gave you the award
– Link to the people you are passing it on to and leave them a comment to let them know.

Six things that inspire my creativity. Hmmm…

1 Reading. Once I am interested in something, I have to read as much as I can about it. The down side of this is my ever expanding library which threatens to take over my house. My latest inspiration is a book called ‘500 Handmade Books – Inspiring Interpretations of a Timeless Form‘ published by Lark Books.

2 Other bookbinders. One particular thing that has caught my fancy (which is in ‘500 Handmade Books’) is a wonderful ‘bustrophedon variation’ by Cathryn Miller, which is a sort of book which folds up into a small cube. I think it’s delicious and especially as I think this was created by the same Cathryn Miller who also comments here and is a member of the Book Arts Forum, a wonderfully inspiring place to visit.

3 Blogs. I was inspired to try bookbinding by reading the blog written by Dennis Yuen. He also has a beautiful book featured in  ‘500 Handmade Books’. His blog features lots of tutorials and images of the gorgeous work he does.

4 Curiosity. I see something, I have to try and work out how it was done and reproduce it. Expect to see a ‘bustrophedon variation’ attempt gracing (or otherwise) these pages sometime soon…

5 A slightly obsessive nature. I have been designing and writing this web site I have been working on for over a week. I sit down to work as soon as I get up and often find myself sitting working until late at night. I even dream about solutions to problems I am having. I realised on Monday, I had not been out of the house for a week, apart from taking Milo into the garden for a run around. (No wonder I am not having much luck meeting a new chap). I am also obsessive about finding lovely materials to work with, nice paper, leather, fabric and so on. Oh and kit. I love the tools and gadgets and equipment that go with bookbinding.

6  I love it when people appreciate something I have made. It gives me such satisfaction. When I was younger, I was always lacking in self confidence so when people praise my work it gives me such a buzz.

So there you have it.

I pass this on to  the following people who all create such wonderful things and who all seem to inhabit a parallel universe where days are 48 hours long. How else do you explain how much they achieve? Or is it that I am rubbish at time management….?

Teresa – home schooling , soap making, homesteading, cooking wonderful food, writing and so much more

Amy H – she knits, she makes books and brings up two small children – they are all gorgeous.

Kylee – making polymer clay jewellery, running language and jewellery making workshops, bringing up a baby, President of her local Arts and Culture Association….

Kim – the friendliest, most supportive blogger who encouraged me when I was first starting out and who is a wonderful artist. She also founded the  Top Artists Directory which must take so much time to keep updated and also writes the poetry blog PoeArtica

Astrid – a bookbinder from Germany who has never failed to inspire with the quality and the variety of the books she produces. Not to mention the quantity….

Claire – my friend in the real world, who has written a really funny book ‘Plus One: A Year in the Life of a Hollywood Nobody‘ and whose persistance and hard work in getting this book into print and then used as the inspiration for a movie ‘The Making of Plus One‘ is truly inspirational. She even appears in the movie – how cool is that?

Now to close, this is so creative it deserves a Kreativ award of its own. Great music and a superb video by Oren Lavie. Enjoy.

20 responses to “Inspiration…and a little perspiration

  1. RennyBA January 28, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Congrats – you really deserve this award!

    What really inspiring me, is your passion and enthusiasm for your work and for sharing your lovely, creative and artistic, unique book binding work!

  2. 70steen January 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    What is there not to like about the book you have made it is simply divine … what a beautiful house and topiary … not seen that for a while in gardens :-)

    A well deserved award Diane btw

  3. Lord Likely January 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    What a charming award, and well earnt, to boot!

    I doff my hat to you, m’dear! Keep up the spiffing work!

  4. daddypapersurfer January 29, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Great video – she must wake up exhausted in the mornings!

    Lovely to see you back in the groove young Diane……….. although Milo the mophead must be frustrated !!!!!

  5. Diane January 29, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Thank you, Renny. It’s the same as the passion you have for sharing your beautiful country with us all!

    70s – we were trying to think of a name for her house to use on the web site. I came up with Duck House because of the topiary duck as a joke but my friend really liked the name and it has stuck! Very nice B&B if you are ever in Dorchester!

    Lord L – how kind of you to say so. *curtseys*

    DP – I think Milo is missing his beach trips. I may have to remedy that today. If only the weather were a bit nicer – so grey and cold….

  6. cropandscrapdesigner January 29, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    What a good friend you are! And your book; it is beautiful! Congrats on the award and thanks for sharing the video, too. Soooo cool.


  7. Claire Fordham January 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Glory be! I was about to send out a search party. Though not sure it’s a good idea to be holed up for a week with only Milo for company, however creatively brilliant you are. Time to plan a trip to LA I think. To be discussed – not before Spring though as I’ll be there. Many thanks for the plug for my book. You rock! And congrats on the award. You are so deserving.

  8. Teresa January 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    *giggle* @ what Claire said! I was wondering about you myself. ;) Not even a peep on FB – you had us all worried!

    Thank you, thank you, my dear, for the award! And congratulations to you on receiving it!

    Speaking of appreciating the things you make – this is my semi-regular reminder to set up shop (and don’t sell my favorite books before you get it set up!). ;)

    That is a gorgeous guestbook you made, and you did a grand job on the website: cute and clean…like a duck! *grin*


  9. 70steen January 30, 2009 at 12:13 am

    hee hee Duck House brilliant …. how about Saxony or Aylesbury House too…. but duck house has that quirky theme..
    I am planning my summer hols and Dorchester would be absolutely wonderful but I need somewhere that would take a pup too .. oh and a Teen lol

  10. laketrees January 30, 2009 at 3:25 am

    hi Diane
    thanks for this lovely award and for your really thoughtful words :)
    the new book is divine and a great idea using the photo of the B & B…(the site design and the B & B is enchanting BTW)
    looking forward to your launch of the new website…
    is it your website???
    ps loved the photo of you and co with Milo :)

  11. cathryn miller January 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Holey Moley Bookman!

    Thanks so much for the compliments on my book. I have a lot of fun bending concepts and materials. And if I ever got brave enough to have a website, I would pick you as the designer.

    I am wondering where you live because my husband and I are doing another long English walk this spring. This won’t be the 900 miles of one of the previous trips! We are starting in Alderney (how odd ;}) and coming in from Southampton to walk to Appleby-in-Westmoreland where we will stay with a friend: former Lady Mayoress who accosted us on a sidewalk in the park and took us on a private tour the last time we were there!

    I would love to meet you and Milo.


  12. Diane January 30, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    cropandscrapdesigner – Thank you! you are very kind to say so. I enjoyed reading your blog too.

    Clarabelle! Just nose to the grindstone and keeping busy. It’s nice to be missed – the consensus in Dorset was that I must have found a new chap…no such luck. :-(
    I’d love to come to LA again soon, will have to rethink accomodation this time though I expect :-)

    Teresa – you are very welcome! I couldn’t face Facebook or blogging after a hard day glued to my computer, hence my silence! Fret not, I’m like a bad penny – will always turn up again :-)

    70s – Dorset is gorgeous – well worth considering. If we have a decent summer that is….

    Kim! You are most welcome. I hope you have settled into your new place. The photos look lovely – great views!
    The web site was for a friend’s husband and was VERY complex – had to learn Flash and Javascript. All good though – might use some of those tricks on my own web site…

    Cathryn – Southampton to the Lake District! That’s quite a walk! I live in Dorset about 90 minutes from Southampton and would love to meet up. You must keep in touch when you know your plans and we can sort something out. You can tell me how to make a bustrophedon (love that word) variety… :-)

  13. creechman January 30, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Facebook is taking over the world.

    PS. Great post :)

  14. Esther February 1, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    I love the book you made. So beautiful and professional. I’m still waiting for the day when we can buy them online!

    And congrats on the award. Well deserved.

  15. tulibri February 5, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Diane, sorry it took me so long again, but here I am to say thank your for the award and your kind words! Blogged about it today, so come have a look :)

  16. Daddy Papersurfer February 5, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    So what are you up to now …….. exactly …….

  17. Sadia February 9, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    The book looks just great ! I’m sure anyone would love to have a gift like this. Excellent design!

  18. 70steen February 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    just had to share .. teens mate has just got a same breed as Milo’ who also sits down when walking when a car goes past and won’t walk ……….they too have bought a dog carrying bag ….. lol

  19. tried Everything March 1, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    You did a great job on the book! Nice blog you have here too! Found you on BC.

  20. Pingback: A fine day indeed « Much of a muchness

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