Things that make you go 'hmm'…
Category Archives: Calligraphy
I’ve just returned from Stratford on Avon. It was my sister’s birthday. A BIG birthday made all the more disconcerting because she is my younger sister and the less reminders I have the of how old I am, the better! I made her an album for her birthday, which involved the inevitable trawl through old family photographs. The bad hair do’s, the shocking clothes, Memory Lane can be quite a terrifying place to walk down. I also dug out some old home movie footage which was originally Super 8 film which I had transferred onto DVD. Quite hilarious. Memories of so many family outings – I can only think that every time my dad said ‘Do something for the camera’, we flung ourselves off whatever rock or wall we were standing on onto a beach or we did a cartwheel. In Scotland, in Wales, in Cornwall, in our garden – always the same. Here is a photograph of me and two of my three sisters (presumably just before we threw ourselves off the sea wall at Blackpool). I’m the tallest and birthday girl is the cutie in the middle.
This is the album I made for her.
We had a lovely family party at a hotel just outside Stratford on Avon. Yesterday, we had a very quick trip into Stratford to see the sights. It always astonishes me that William Shakespeare’s birthplace is still standing there on a busy shopping street.
We had a very quick walk along the River Avon by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. It is undergoing a huge renovation project so it is currently covered in scaffolding and camouflage. It normally looks like this
but at the moment looks like this
Here are a few more shots of the visit.
This last guy was one of those performance artists who stood as still as a statue until someone approached him to take his photograph and then he leaped off his box and frightened the life out of them. I’m not sure Will would have approved.
To round off, (tenuous link alert) this is a calligram I did a few years ago. I repeated the phrase ‘As You Like It’ to make this image of the great man himself. Click on it to enlarge.
I ran a little workshop last Friday and a few of my old calligraphy group came over and I showed them how to make a ribbon book. It all went very well and they went home clutching their own book that they had made – and one of them bought one of my books (the blue ‘Wave’ book) as well to give as a gift to some friends, so a successful day all round. This is the book I made to demonstrate the process.
Today, the sun is still shining. It’s chilly but such a treat to see these clear blue skies. I went for a walk on the beach with the intention of taking some photographs to use as book covers. I quickly realised that I had left the memory card in the card reader when I was taking the photographs of the book (above). I managed to take a couple of shots which saved onto the in-built camera memory and then in desperation, I used my phone camera. I have to report that I got some really good shots using my phone, which was very surprising!
Here is a gallery of some of the shots I took. If you click on each thumbnail you can see a larger version of each photograph.
The cliffs along the beach are eroding at an alarming rate. The severe winter weather has caused numerous landslides which must be very disconcerting for the caravans parked near to the cliffs and which are now looking scarily close to the edge. Even the big white houses which have stunning sea views and which I used to lust after, are looking at risk. One is a hotel and one, I believe, belongs to the singer Billy Bragg. It makes my flooding worries look rather minor. At least my house isn’t going to end up falling off a cliff….
This book is a work in progress. It is covered with a gorgeous Japanese tangerine silk bookcloth which matches the end paper perfectly. I have a very soft spot for this end paper, I used it in a very special green leather book I made as a gift for someone last year and it always looks classy.
I say this is a work in progress, as it is a binding I have not tried before, only two sections sewn so that the stitching forms the design on the spine. I’m not sure if this type f binding has a name or not. I wanted the stitching to highlight the end paper so instead of the usual cream linen thread I used this lime green embroidery silk which worked quite well. Now even though the book is almost finished, I am going to continue with it and for the first time, I am going to fill it with calligraphy and other goodies, so you may be seeing this one again when it is finished. I started making books to do this very thing but was completely sidetracked by the process of making the books, which became an end in itself instead of a means to an end, if you see what I mean. So we shall see how this goes….
Now, I’m not saying that vegans are annoying, but there is no doubt that life would be a whole lot easier if my Number 1 son was a vegetarian. I took him shopping this morning for smart shoes to wear with a suit. He has some job interviews looming and needs to look sharp. Easy task you might think. Not if your son is a vegan and refuses to wear leather, it isn’t. We came to an impasse when I refused to buy cheap and nasty plastic shoes (I notice people’s shoes and plastic one’s are just plain nasty and won’t last 5 minutes) and he refused to wear anything leather (although there are lots of leather shoes out there that looked like plastic!). We may just reach a compromise if we can find some leather looking but not so ‘training shoe’ looking shoes which I think is his only hope. There must be something suitable out there, I can’t believe all vegans only wear jeans and casual shoes. Or maybe I should let him wear casual shoes with his suit to assert his individuality? Who can say?
I have also been working on my web site (not my Etsy store though unfortunately). I am determined to finish my web site as I do enjoy coding the html and css. I find it strangely therapeutic. It definitely appeals to my inner Maths teacher :-) I was stuck for ages this afternoon with a problem which turned out to be a simple coding error but talk about not being able to see the wood for the trees, it took me forever to spot it. It’s times like this when I miss my ex, who was my encyclopedia and guru for all things Mac and technological. It was great having someone at the end of the phone or an email away who could always tell me what to do or where to find out what I needed to know. This just about sums up my afternoon…click to enlarge.