Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

A fine day indeed

I had a particularly good day yesterday. The night before, I stayed up until 2am printing pages and then got up at 7am to finish the job, rushed to the post office and posted the latest book to the record company, so that’s 8 finished, 12 to go. Once that job was done I could head off on a much anticipated trip.

Since I became interested in bookbinding, I have come across the work of Cathryn Miller on many occasions and I have always admired it. I was thrilled when she started commenting here. I bought a book recently called ‘500 Handmade Books’ a while ago and two books caught my eye in particular – both were by Cathryn.


The first of Cathryn’s books was called ‘Bipolar Dream Journal #2’ and it’s gorgeous, made using handmade paper.


I particularly like this one because I had a go at this ‘dos-a-dos’ binding and it’s difficult! The colour scheme she uses is a favourite one of mine – I love the black and white and the red ribbons. My own effort used my images printed onto linen bookcloth.


The second book I admired is one I have mentioned before in this post. It’s an ingenious construction made out of a single piece of card. The photographs on the book were all taken by Cathryn (the photographs of the books were taken by her husband, David) and when I think of what ingenuity and patience must have gone into working out the placement and construction of this it makes my brain hurt. It’s called a ‘bustrophedon variation’  and the piece is printed on both sides with Cathryn’s own images of street art. It’s called ‘No Skateboarding’.


I was thrilled when Cathryn started to comment here on my blog, and I was even more thrilled when she mentioned that she and her husband, David, were on a walking holiday in the UK and she suggested we meet. Well, yesterday, I went to Salisbury to meet her and David for lunch. Salisbury in Wiltshire, is famous for two things (there are probably a lot more but these are THE most famous things about Salisbury)  – Salisbury Cathedral


and Stonehenge


and it is now famous as the place I met Cathryn Miller  – and she gave me the artist’s proof of the ‘bustrophedon variation’ I mentioned above! It is exquisite! I have seldom been more surprised and thrilled, in fact I was almost (but not quite) rendered speechless at her generosity. If you read this when you get back from your trip, Cathryn, THANK YOU. You and David are delighful, talented people and it was a privilege and a pleasure to spend time with you both. I will let you know how I get on when I eventually have a go at a ‘bustrophedon variation’ – but it will have to wait until I have finished my book commission!

I’m having a lazy day today – watching movies (Howard’s End at the moment), varnishing prints, tidying my desk


and playing with the dog at the beach


We had a nice walk today but a couple of days ago, we encountered a younger Bichon Frisé puppy. The two dogs squared up to each other, danced around for a few seconds, then the other puppy turned around, cocked his leg and peed all over Milo. We were both taken aback – I’ve never seen a dog do that before. The cheek of it! Poor Milo! Apparently, this happened because Milo was being submissive to the younger dog – so I am going to give him assertiveness training then we will go and find the puppy and show him who’s boss :-)

20 responses to “A fine day indeed

  1. gitwizard April 25, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Love those books, they would make a really original gift for a
    bibliophile. That bustrophedon variation looks incredibly complicated, i’ve never seen that before.

    Your desk layout amused me – ‘yesterday’s mug’, now that’s what I call busy !!

    • Diane April 26, 2009 at 12:07 am

      Not to mention the day before that’s mug….

      It is very complicated and comes with a set of instructions showing how to fold and unfold it. I’m itching to have a go at making one :)

  2. 70steen April 25, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    yep I have a desk just like the one in the sketch ….diary, leaflets, notes, sketches, projects, ideas……. note to self one day I will be organised

    Milo is looking particularly handsome Layla tells me as she is sat on my knee as I am typing :-)

    • Diane April 26, 2009 at 12:09 am

      Desk is still a disaster area – I seem to have spent the day just moving stuff around from place to place….

      Milo says ‘thank you and would you like to share a bowl of dog food one day?’


  3. laketrees April 26, 2009 at 12:56 am

    you have certainly been very busy Diane….
    you will have to tell you son to give me a call if he is passing by the central coast in OZ the map lol..
    happy happy belated blog birthday wishes and congratulations on your success with the record covers
    sounds like you will be even busier with your future travel plans too…
    xxx Kim

    • Diane April 26, 2009 at 9:28 am

      He zipped up the east coast of OZ back in February and has been travelling around Micronesia, Indonesia and Malaysia since then. He still has Thailand and Laos to do, back home in June. A long time off….

      Busy, busy, busy and loving it! At least the lolling about when travelling punctuates the busy-ness. D xxx

  4. Teresa April 26, 2009 at 12:57 am

    How wonderful that you finished your project – congratulations!!!

    Cathryn’s book art is, indeed, amazing, and I can totally see why you were nearly speechless with her gift. So glad you got to meet her!

    Ah, your lovely photos brings back memory of when I visited Salisbury (’86)…I wish I knew you then.

    Poor little Milo – oh dear! Would he mind terribly if I ROTFLOL just for a little bit? ;D

    Well, this breaks my no-blog-reading-for-a-few-weeks resolve, but your blog is always worth breaking my own rules for!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    • Diane April 26, 2009 at 9:32 am

      Completed set number 8, still got 12 to do. Still enjoying it though but ask me again around number 15…..

      Cathryn’s gift was such a welcome surprise and I’m trying to tempt them to come back and walk around my neck of the woods on their next trip!

      I’m so glad you come back here – your comments are always worth reading too :-)

  5. Daddy Papersurfer April 26, 2009 at 8:00 am

    I suppose the Bipolar Dream Journal could be extended for multiple personalities – I love it – always delighted to see puns made into tangible objects.

    Very pleased to see that you’re getting organised …….. at last – tee hee …… and also pleased to hear [re: last post] that Milo may not have a ‘nut free’ future ……. [which has just reminded me of a sculpture I wanted to make ………. do I dare? …… probably!]

  6. Diane April 26, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Ha! Very good, I like that, must put my thinking cap on to see how a multiple personality disorder book would work…

    Milo has had a reprieve ….for the moment. He has stopped the – erm – ‘antisocial behaviour’ but he is still being watched closely….

  7. strugglingwriter April 27, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    That’s awesome. Those books are works of art (yours are too).

    That’s awesome you got to meet somebody that you so respect and admire. That is a fine day!

    • Diane April 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm

      Ahem! Mr-published-author! Your stories are awesome too! I agree about Cathryn’s – she really is a serious bookbinder. I still think of myself as an enthusiastic amateur :-)

  8. RennyBA April 28, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Good to know you had a good day and a great trip and wonderful, well organised work done.

    You know I always say: Blogging connecting people’ and now you can say Bookbinding do so too :-)

    • Diane April 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm

      …and blogging about bookbinding is even better!

      I loved reading about your trip north, Renny. As always the food sounds delicious and the scenery is amazing. I’m not sure I could cope with the temperatures though – I am a hothouse flower! :-)

  9. writinggb April 29, 2009 at 2:51 am

    Love the books. One of my colleagues at my university is an artist who specializes in miniature books. I recently took my son to see her latest show, and we were both really impressed.

    • Diane April 29, 2009 at 3:04 pm

      They are great aren’t they?

      I’d have loved to see the show – I’m not sure what would be more difficult, making miniature books (which must be SO fiddly) or making oversized books (like my latest project) which is tricky because you are manhandling (single-handedly) large sheets of wanting-to-curl-up, glue covered paper.

      I either need an assistant or another pair of hands :-)

  10. creechman May 1, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Loverly post. Lots to stroll over and admire.

    • cathryn miller May 28, 2009 at 3:17 pm

      Well, I am back safe and sound and after reading this post I am blushing! Your turn: you are as attractive and charming and funny in real life as you are on your blog.

      Perhaps we’ll walk the Dorset coastline someday. There are so many places to see …

  11. Diane June 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Now I’m blushing! Love to hear how your trip went – you need to write a blog!!

    The good news is that I have managed to fold and unfold your lovely gift successfully. Next step is having a go at making one :-)

    I do hope you make it down to Dorset, the coastline is stunning, you would love it I’m sure.

  12. Tipsy June 26, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Woah you keep a crapton of stuff on your desk! I usualy just have my laptop, ipod and speakers laying around. This way I always have space to put some documents and stuff.

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