Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

I may have found my new career…

I’ve been occupied this week with making a gift for my sister to say ‘Thanks’ for my wonderful sailing holiday in Greece. Here’s a sneak preview of what I made for her. I was going to send her a CD with copies of all the photographs I took but I decided it might be nice to make an album of the highlights which would hold the CD. So here it is.


I’m now going to make a birthday gift for a friend celebrating her 40th birthday on Saturday. She is the daughter of my very good friends, Mike and Julie, and it is very scary indeed to realise that my friends’ children are now reaching 40. How can this be? I am sure I’m not much older than that myself. Mind you I did start counting my birthdays backwards several years ago, so I might be mistaken….

As this is a return to my bookbinding posts, I want to tell you bookbinding folk of two discoveries I have made recently. One is Ratchfords who sell a full range of bookbinding materials from their web site  – not the best online shopping experience but they are extremely helpful and offer prompt delivery. My other discovery is a factory shop at Pittards. Pittards is  in Yeovil, where they make gloves (in fact the local football team, Yeovil Town,  is nicknamed The Glovers) but the factory shop has a HUGE range of all grades and colours of leather and leather working tools you can imagine – as well as gloves and handbags etc. I visited the other day and managed to take these photographs.


Wow. Very inspiring and the prices weren’t too bad either.


I watched the epic Men’s Final at Wimbledon on Sunday. What a match! I started out rooting for Roger Federer but by the end I was so impressed with Andy Roddick’s play, I didn’t want either man to lose. Poor Andy Roddick looks shell shocked in the photo above. What a marathon, one of the best matches I have ever watched. I’ve been feeling a bit bereft this week, no more Wimbledon for a year but all is not lost. I can now move seamlessly on to watching the cricket – The Ashes series started yesterday and promises to be as exciting as ever. By the time that finishes, the football season will be starting again, hey ho.

And now, the job of a lifetime. It has come to my notice that Wookey Hole a complex of caves near Wells in Somerset and a famous tourist attraction is advertising a job vacancy. They are going to pay £50,000 a year to some one who is willing to live in the caves and be……a witch. Local legend says the original Wookey witch was turned to stone when a Catholic monk, sent by the Abbot of Glastonbury, splashed her with holy water. A large, vaguely witch-shaped stalagmite in one of the caves is said to be her petrified remains.


Wookey Hole wants the appointee to go about her everyday business as a hag, so that people passing through the caves can get a sense of what the place was like in the Dark Ages. This was when an old woman lived in the caves with some goats and a dog, causing a variety of social ills including crop failures and disease. The job is straightforward: live in the cave, be a witch, and do the things witches do.”

The ad goes on

Wookey Hole is advertising nationally and hopes to attract a strong field of candidates, with the £50,000 salary serving as a major incentive. Ambitious witches, looking for a key career move, should turn up dressed for work and bring any essential witch accoutrements. A limited range of potion ingredients will be available. We are witchless at the moment so we need to get the role filled as soon as possible. The successful applicant will need to like dark, enclosed spaces, be good around a cauldron, enjoy the company of cats and have a good cackle. We are looking for someone who is friendly, a little mischievous and with lots of character.

Interestingly, there is also a paper mill at Wookey Hole and they make the most beautiful handmade paper which I have bought on many occasions. Perhaps I could be the Wookey Hole bookbinding witch….

PS Please check out the Social Vibe widget in my sidebar, if you click on it, TNT will make a donation to the ‘Fill the Cup’ campaign by the World Food Program. It’s free for you and it’s a very worthy cause. Better still, if you have a WordPress blog, put your own widget on your blog! You can choose from a selection of different charities and sponsors. Every little bit helps :-)

44 responses to “I may have found my new career…

  1. strugglingwriter July 9, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    You’re much to glamorous to be a witch, unless you plan on being one of the good variety.

    The book you made is beautiful, of course. I particularly like the insert part for the CD.

    I know what you mean about the tennis. I felt the same way when the hockey season ended.

    Let me know if you want to read that story I wrote before it gets published to the contest site. It’s only 250 words long. I can email it to you.

  2. Diane July 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I was hoping someone would say that :-) Talk about fishing for compliments!

    Glad you enjoyed the book, I am always available for commissions!

    I would be thrilled to read your story – email it to me by all means :-) I am very impatient, I always like to buy books at the airport before they are available on the high street too!

  3. barbara July 9, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    I agree, I can’t picture you as a witch. Sounds like it might be a fun job for certain people.(Those that aren’t worried about maintaining their tan.)

    I agreed with you about the tennis match. Best I’ve ever seen. I’m not much of a sports fan but I do come from a tennis family.

    I enjoyed my book art class. I was worried that I wasn’t up for it- maybe not a good enough craftsman. If you have some spare time could you visit my blog and tell me the name of the binding on my playing card book. I didn’t take very good pictures so not sure if you can identify it. The teacher never did tell us what it was called. Also didn’t give very good directions on how to make it.

    • Diane July 9, 2009 at 10:48 pm

      Too kind! There are days when I fe eel like the hag they want – usually when my hair needs washing…. :-)

      I checked out your blog. The class sounds like great fun! I love the work you produced. It’s hard to tell from the photographs but I think it might be a piano hinge binding – is that a pencil or piece of wood threaded through hinges?

  4. cathryn miller July 9, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Too bad! You would never work as a witch — far too pretty!
    I could be a witch, but Beeston would be very unhappy pretending to be a cat!

    My husband would hate living in a cave,

    But I would never have to brush my hair again!


    • Diane July 9, 2009 at 10:52 pm

      Thanks for the photographs of our meeting – brought it all back, such a fun day.
      I could never work as a witch as I like my creature comforts far too much – a cave would be chilly and damp, not my style at all, I’m definitely a hot house flower! Mind you for £50,000 a year, I could have central heating installed in the cave…

  5. 70steen July 9, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    That is some travellers sketch book Diane… absolutely gorgeous your sister will be thrilled.

    I know what you mean about ages although my within my friends kids the eldest is 22 but I have a niece of 35 which is quite odd when she calls me Auntie *** plus being a Great Aunt too ….eeek!

    • Diane July 9, 2009 at 10:55 pm

      Thank you. I’m quite getting into making the photo albums. I did one for my Dad for his 80th birthday which was tricky as some of the photos were hard to print out as they were very old and yellowed. This one was a doddle as I took all the photos and the only problem I had was the amount of blue ink I used – all those shots of turquoise sea and blue, blue skies!
      I think it might just be my new thing along with the journals/sketchbooks I normally make :-)

      • 70steen July 9, 2009 at 11:00 pm

        I did a photo album for Mums birthday this year .. the old photos are a challenge… but with technology today they can transformed .. but you know that already. … oh the azure skies and crystal seas make great memories one of my best travellers sketch books was from Greece when I visited Athens :-)

  6. AmyH July 10, 2009 at 2:32 am

    It’s so good to see some of your work again! All of your shopping talk is getting me so excited! There is a small possibility that my family and I will be moving to the UK for about 6 months at the end of the year–and I can’t wait to hit up all the great shops! (My goodness–three exclamation marks. Do you think I could be any more enthusiastic?)

    • Diane July 10, 2009 at 12:51 pm

      How exciting!!! (three in one go) You must let me know if you do come to the UK, at the very least I can give you shopping advice (I know some brilliant bookbinding resources and my motto is ‘I am, therefore I shop’.

      I’m here if you need any help/advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch. :-)

      • AmyH July 11, 2009 at 4:32 am

        Thanks so much. If this little plan comes to fruition I’ll definitely get in touch. I’m going to need something to get me through those cold winter months and I have a feeling shopping will be high on the list! ;)

  7. Gerri Ward July 10, 2009 at 5:53 am

    I solely agree with everyone else you are too pretty to be a Witch !
    What a beautifully made book of wonderful memories to give to someone you love. I confess I am sooo happy Federer won because he’s my all time favorite but Roddick played exceptionally well ! – What a splendid post !

    • Diane July 10, 2009 at 12:54 pm

      You are all too kind and obviously haven’t seen me first thing in the morning….
      Glad you liked the album – it turned out very well and my sister liked it, so mission accomplished :-)

      I agree with you about the tennis. I wanted Roger to win but I was SO sorry for Roddick after his magnificent efforts.

  8. barbara July 10, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    About the binding on the card book: It’s a chopstick. I haven’t cut it down to size, yet, so it’s sticking way out-top and bottom. Not sure how to cut it or what to cut it with. I bet you laughed when I said on my blog that I could give directions for how to do it!! I could explain the binding part but obviously I don’t have the details down. Thanks for looking and for the compliment.

    • Diane July 13, 2009 at 8:28 am

      Ah, of course! Is it wood or plastic? Either way a hacksaw should do it shouldn’t it? Good luck anyway!
      I think you should write a tutorial showing how to make the book – at the very least it will bring new readers to your blog, I find lots of people are searching for information on binding and end up at my ribbon binding tutorial :-)

  9. fracas July 11, 2009 at 3:17 am

    ‘Greece is the word’ I love that!

    I’d like to thank you for the Wookey Hole link. I’ve been looking for a way to move across the pond, and, well… I could use a job as well, and as everyone knows… I’ve been part of the fraccy coven of witches for some time; this would just be a well-paid change of location. I must say, I’ve never made even close to £50,000 for my fraccy witchiness before.

    So glad I stopped by!

    Wish me luck!

    • Diane July 13, 2009 at 8:31 am

      Not sure you are suitably ‘hag-like’! The UK is cold and damp enough without living in a cave too still, whatever floats your boat :-)

      If you do decide to come I will of course visit and would like to apply to join your coven….

  10. Daddy Papersurfer July 11, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    That’s strange – I heard about that job today and thought of several people I’ve met on the interweave …….. all very suitable …… it isn’t a full-time job BTW, it’s pro rata ………

    I love Wookey Hole – I was taken there when I was a small child. The paper mill might have had an affect on my bro who has been in the industry all his life ,,,,,,,,now an active member of the British Association of Paper Historians …… actually, I’ve just realised, most people associated with paper are slightly deranged …… not Papersurfers …….. obviously ……..

  11. Carol July 13, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Great idea for the book, I like the dvd being stashed in the binding. Has anyone applied for/got the job as live-in witch? What fun – but I don’t think I could live away from the sunshine – lucky I’m too far away to apply.

    • Diane July 15, 2009 at 10:07 am

      Thanks, Carol! I’d get SAD syndrome living in a cave – I could never do it! I must check out if they have found a suitable hag yet….

  12. cathryn miller July 13, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Well, no takers here for the witch job, though I did send in a resume and photo.
    I can count sheep as well as numbers, can cook a soup out of nettles “that will fix what ailsed ye”

    and will happily scare small children as much as they want.

    In Canada they only require scaring around Hallowe’en.

    And my husband and cat and teddy would all be so disappointed!

    • Diane July 15, 2009 at 10:09 am

      Never tried nettle soup. I’m sure it must taste better than it sounds…at least better than
      “Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
      Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
      Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
      Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
      For a charm of powerful trouble,
      Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”

      Yum. Not :-)

  13. Nieruchomosci Gryfino July 14, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    This is amazing! Those should sell great on ebay. Don’t think you’d get much business starting a shop but on ebay everyone could find you. Go for it!

    • Diane July 15, 2009 at 10:11 am

      Thank you! I may open an Etsy store if I can ever get myself sorted out enough to set one up – I have one half done but it is SO complicated!

  14. RennyBA July 14, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    What a beautiful book – another piece of art from you Diane!

    Good luck with your new career (but never give up bookbinding!) :-)

    I’ll click the Social Vibe widget of course.

  15. Diane July 15, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Thank you, Renny, glad you like it. Not sure I could manage bookbinding in a cave – I need lots of light :-)

    Thanks for the click too. Every one helps!

  16. gitwizard July 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Beautiful work on the book. Was looking at blogs today that I found by endlessly linking starting at Madauntbernard, found a couple of sites that I thought you’d like, but can only find one now. It also involves papercraft but she doesn’t sound at all deranged, surprising when you saw the links I went through:

    Apparently the name refers to Alcohol Ink.
    Wookey hole is indeed a fantastic place, I love caves and have visited quite a few here and in France, Ireland and Crete. Wonder if I could apply, i’m sure the legend mentions that the witch was married to a mad old wizard……..

    • Diane July 15, 2009 at 1:57 pm

      Thank you! I liked the link, there are so many creative people about, I find it all rather inspiring. Trouble is I would spend so much time trying out new things/techniques/ideas/crafts, I would never get the things I am supposed to be doing finished…

      As for the Wookey Hole job…
      “The advert for the role goes on: “Wookey Hole HR has been advised that, under sexual discrimination law, unless it can provide documentary proof that the original witch was female, it can’t issue a gender-specific job description. Since Wookey Hole can’t furnish the required, legally binding proof, it has had to accept that the post might eventually be awarded to a man.”

      You have until July 28th to reply :-)

  17. gitwizard July 15, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Just found that other site, she is an Australian artist:

    and I found her by linking from who is apparently Madauntbernard’s Mother.

  18. gitwizard July 17, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Love your Glasto Flickrs BTW, last time I took a camera there, I woke up the next day with a big ball of mud on a Canon camera strap (ouch), back in the days when 50,000 was too hectic!

  19. Vanessa July 17, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks again for the books, they have been much admired.

    If you are in the area, please let me know, it would be good to meet for lunch?

    Keep being creative, you have much to be proud of!

    • Diane July 17, 2009 at 11:38 pm

      I’m glad the books have been a success!

      I’d love to do lunch, I might even do a special trip – or maybe we could meet up half way sometime?

      Thanks, you’re very kind :-)

  20. Zegarek July 21, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Start selling those now! This looks very professionaly yet you can add personal touches to every piece. It’d be a bestseller with a good ad campaign.

    • Diane August 4, 2009 at 10:15 am

      Thank you! Sounds silly but I enjoy making them so much, I can’t spare the time to actually sell any. Need an assistant to do all that side of things!

  21. Shinade aka Jackie July 28, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Great choice you made there and as always it is lovely!! I have never gotten into this hobby and it really is an art form. One, which by the way, you have mastered.

    Happy week Diane!!:-)

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