Things that make you go 'hmm'…
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I took a break from my big project this week (still can’t really show you it!) It was a bit of a busman’s holiday as a friend’s daughter, Jemima, who is in the second year of a Visual Communication degree at a local uni, asked me to help her with her final project. She had found a little known story by J.R.R. Tolkien called ‘Roverandom’ and she has produced 31 illustrations to accompany the text and she needed help binding it into a book – which is where I came in. The illustrations are beautiful – she drew them and used monoprinting onto handmade paper to achieve the wonderful textured effect of the finished images. Here are some photographs of the book, it’s box and some of the illustrations.
I thought the book looked fantastic when it was finished and the illustrations fitted the text perfectly. I’m sure that Jemima will do really well when she presents this finished project to the university for assessment and I’m sure she has a very promising future ahead of her.
Other than this, a mixed week again. My laptop died and had to be resuscitated at the Apple Store in Exeter. It was caused by a faulty graphics card and I am very pleased that NVidia are picking up the tab for the repair. I didn’t really mind having to go to Exeter, it’s a rather nice city which has very good shopping (always a bonus in my book) and I bought some new glasses – which I did need as I keep mislaying my other pair (and then I can’t find them because I need my glasses…..) – it is really annoying. I went to the supermarket ‘sans specs’ the other day and was wandering around in a blur, unable to read any labels or price tags. Luckily, I knew by heart where the keys were on the PIN machine.
I have chosen a rather nice pair of Paul Smith frames and they are going to have the sort of lenses that turn into sunglasses when it is sunny out so I won’t need to keep swapping and changing glasses all the time when summer comes (and we have been promised a good summer this year. Yeah. Right.) or on my trips to sunnier climes – which will mean one less pair of sunglasses to worry about losing (or sitting on).
I do find it very difficult choosing new glasses – mainly because of the problem everyone faces – I can’t see myself properly in the optician’s mirror when I’m trying them on. I think they should video you wearing them and then play it back to you (while you are wearing your own glasses of course :-) )
Oops, just had that problem –
Any way, back to my specs. As I was handed the bill for my varifocal, transitions lensed, (very lovely) glasses I was reminded of this ad. Maybe I should have gone to Specsavers…..
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 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 :-)
Well, I’m back. Christmas and New Year passed off very smoothly and enjoyably – ate too much, drank too much, watched too many movies but I am actually facing the New Year (despite the downbeat news) with optimism and equanimity, I am going to make it a good one. It was great to spend time with my boys and my lovely friends. Santa must have thought I had been a good girl last year, as he was extraordinarily generous and somehow managed to get a new 24″ iMac down my chimney.
The dog loved having the boys home as much as I did, and he adored having two large creatures willing to roll about on the floor with him and brave the arctic conditions to chase around the garden and take him to the beach. Boy toys as opposed to toy boys, I guess. Now they have returned home, Milo sits looking at me with a tragic look on his face whimpering quietly, wondering why I am such a boring replacement ( answer – because I am playing with my iMac…..)
I haven’t been blogging (what do you mean you hadn’t noticed?!) but I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook. Yesterday I decided to delete all the outstanding ‘notifications’ (almost 60), so apologies if you sent me ‘Karma’ , a plant for my Lil’ green patch, an invitation to play poker, scrabble or a war game, or just wanted to poke, hug or throw a sheep at me, but there were so many I decided to start afresh. New Year and all that….sorry.
The new year has begun on a very good note. I was very gratified to read that it is a really bad idea to go on a diet at the moment, what with the flu epidemic and the horrid sickness (and worse) lurgy doing the rounds, apparently if you are on a diet, your body’s ability to fight off the viruses is reduced. Read more here. So that’s one less resolution to have to worry about breaking.
More good news is that Andy Murray has just won an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi defeating both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the way. And the BBC are announcing who the new Doctor Who will be in 30 minutes in a special program on BBC 1 – all very exciting.
I’ve also been asked to do several web design projects and a big bookbinding project which I will tell you about in a few weeks time. Who knows? Maybe my ‘hobbies’ will start to earn me some money – which would be a fine thing indeed.
I found a really funny image which keeps making me laugh…
So it’s been a really good start to the year. I hope yours has begun as well and I wish you lots of wonderfulness for 2009. The best New Year wishes I read were two both by the great Neil Gaiman
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
“…I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”
Wonderful. You can’t put it better than that, can you?
Happy New Year everyone.
Later : Ooh, couldn’t wait so I have seen who new Doctor Who is and thought I would tell you all…it’s ……..Matt Smith. Matt Smith? Who?
Ooh I’m not sure about this at all. My year might have just gone pear-shaped already…
You might not have noticed, but it’s Christmas. Again. I have tried to ignore it but as lovely Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek once said ‘resistance is futile’ so here is my Christmas post. First my two favourite Christmas cartoons.
Yes, I know they are both essentially carrot jokes but I like them anyway.
I’m off up to London tomorrow to meet up with my boys and we are going to see my most favourite of comedians, Eddie Izzard. I am SO excited. I have wanted to see him for years and I thought I had missed my chance as he seemed to be concentrating on his film career at the expense of his stand up comedy. However, he is back! And I am going to see him! Yay!
However, as I’m going to be away for a few days and as it’s Christmas and it’s a busy time and as we are going to be spending Christmas with friends and as I have been very bad at keeping my blog up to date and am feeling a bit jaded, I have decided to take a break from blogging for a week or so and will resume in the New Year.
So, have a wonderfully jolly time with lots of love and merriness and plumptious Christmas good things. I wish you all an especially excellent New Year, may everything be as you would wish it to be. In the meantime, here’s a little Christmas fun, courtesy of my hero, Eddie Izzard.