Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Category Archives: Meme

Weird? Me?

Jenny, who writes an hilarious blog over at I’m having a Thought Here-The Latest Whatever, tagged me a while ago to tell you 5 weird things about me. I have already done this meme a couple of times now (you can check out the two previous occasions here and here) so I hesitated to burden you with even more of my oddities. However, on reflection I came up with yet another five quite easily so here they are:

1 I am a bit of a pedant about grammar and spelling. I realise of course, that I am now laying myself open to being corrected every time I write my blog but so be it….

2 My 25th wedding anniversary was on September 11th 2001. A very bad day to be celebrating anything. My (ex) husband had bought me a ring to celebrate the occasion. It was two long thin baguette diamonds – which looked too much like the fateful twin towers for comfort. I have hardly ever worn it.

3 My first pregnancy lasted 11 months. I was originally told my son was going to be born on 25th January but when I had a scan at the beginning of December, they said he was too small and my pregnancy wasn’t as advanced as they had originally thought. They then said he was due on March 9th. He was actually born on March 19th. He still finds it very hard to get out of bed…. :-)

4 I was once on the television local news. I had been shopping in Waitrose and as I steered my wobbly trolley around a corner I was confronted by a cameraman and a woman holding a bowl of muesli. Apparently Dorset Cereals muesli (delicious-highly recommended) is selling like mad out in the Caribbean because they consider it to be an aphrodisiac. She wanted me to try a spoonful and comment. I appeared on the local news looking particularly startled and gormless, mumbling through a mouthful of muesli. Marvellous.

5 When I did my degree, I was the only girl in the class of 20 boys. At the time, Metallurgy was not a subject that appealed to girls. I only chose it because I did Maths, Physics and Chemistry ‘A’ levels and as I was spectacularly indecisive, I decided to study Metallurgy as I had been told it used all three subjects and I didn’t have to make a decision. Bad idea. And as I was spectacularly shy too, I barely spoke to anyone for most of the time I was there. What a waste!

(This image is of Metal Corrosion and was taken with the PAXcam digital microscope camera on an Olympus metallograph at Battelle Advanced Materials. So there.)

I’m not tagging anyone in particular but I would like lots of you to have a go at this (if only to let me know I’m not as weird as all that!) Just leave a link in the comments so I can see how weird you are what you have to say.

I am very thrilled that Number 2 so has just arrived home from university after completing his final year. (Where did that time go? It doesn’t seem like 5 minutes since I was dropping him off on his first day – three years ago!) He gets his results on Thursday so we are on tenterhooks until then…. It seems so odd to think that soon he will be off in the big wide world. I could get all wistful about how time flies and start reminiscing about when they were both babies but thereby lies depression and gloom, so I am just going to show what HE was like as a nipper and move swiftly on….

You may have noticed that I have gone quiet on the bookbinding front…. The large album had a major disaster a few days ago. I was sticking the cover paper onto the board cover and thought I was being very clever. (Ha! I should have known better!) Instead of putting the glue onto the paper and having to manhandle a large gluey piece of paper, I thought, ‘I know, I will put the glue on the board and then I can manhandle a DRY piece of paper into place’. Genius. Except that the paper wrinkled terribly when it came into contact with the gluey board (I’m thinking that maybe this was because the act of spreading the glue onto the paper, stretches the paper first but doing it this way, the paper stretches after it is on the board and so, wrinkles up).

I tried to smooth out the paper but I managed to tear it and as I didn’t have any more of this particular paper, it was a disaster of epic proportions! And it was a Brazilian marbled paper I ordered from Paper Mojo in the US. However, I have to say, Shelly at Paper Mojo was a star and has Fedexed me a couple of sheets which have just arrived. (I ordered a spare sheet too!) Luckily, as Number 2 son is now at home, I have the extra pair of hands I needed to finish covering the book, so hopefully, the next stage will go a bit more smoothly…. fingers crossed.

I am listening to Coldplay’s new album Viva La Vida and I like it very much. Have I ever mentioned what a HUGE Coldplay fan I am? I have seen them twice in concert in London and then I saw them at Glastonbury three years ago. They are fantastic live. This is the new Apple iTunes ad featuring them singing the title track from the album. I suppose it is just a coincidence that Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow called their first baby Apple?

The only other thing I need to rave about is the match I watched yesterday between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the final of the Stella Artois Championships at Queen’s Club in London. Sublime tennis – so exciting and as close a match as you could imagine. Nadal won eventually but Djokovic played wonderfully and it was a very close run thing.

What a shame my knee is still tweaking and I can’t play tennis otherwise I would have played like a demon today after watching such an inspirational match.

Yeah, right…..

Meme time…

I was tagged by Mimi over at Mimi writes… to take part in this meme, she tagged a whole lot of people and I noticed I was included over at Kim’s. Mimi was originally tagged by Travis, who created this – just as well, as a Mimi meme is too much of a mouthful :-)

Here are the instructions for Trav’s Staying Out Of The Dungeon Trivia Meme:
He said: A meme needs ‘structions.OK…here’s your ‘structions:
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to:
1. Choose a category from one of these: Television, Stage & Screen, Nightly News, Publishing, Lives & Times, Music
2. Find 8 bits of trivia about your selected category
3. Be sure to let me know when…ok, if…you decide to play along so I can see what you come up with.
4. You may tag, or simply offer the meme for borrowing or stealing as you like.

So here we go. My chosen topic is Stage and Screen.

1 Tom Selleck was the original choice to play Indiana Jones. He turned the part down as he was too busy with ‘Magnum PI’ and it went to the lovely Harrison Ford.

2 Daniel Craig is the first actor to play James Bond, who is younger than the series itself.

3 Johnny Depp only had 169 words to learn in ‘Edward Scissorhands’.

4 Daniel Day Lewis and Russell Crowe were considered for the part of Aragorn in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Even though he had never read any of the books, Viggo Mortensen took the part, after being persuaded by his son who loved them.

5 ‘The Last Samurai’ was not only Ken Watanabe’s first American Film, it was also the first time he had spoken English in a film. Tom Cruise took no ‘up front’ salary for making this film and trained for two years before film making began, learning sword fighting and taking Japanese language lessons.

6 Bette Davis was the original choice for the lead role in ‘Mary Poppins’. Danny Kaye and Fred Astaire were considered for the role of Bert, which was played by Dick van Dyke (and his atrocious Cockney accent….)

6 In the Coen Brothers film, ‘Intolerable Cruelty’, George Clooney plays a talkative character who is vain about his teeth. In his previous Coen Brothers film, ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’, he plays a talkative character who is vain about his hair.

7 Only days before the role of Batman was cast in ‘Batman Begins’, eight actors were asked to audition for the part. The actors were Christian Bale, Joshua Jackson, Eion Bailey, Hugh Dancy, Billy Crudup, Cillian Murphy, Henry Cavill and Jake Gyllenhaal. While Bale won the part, Christopher Nolan liked Cillian Murphy’s audition so much, he cast him as Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow.

8 Due to his part in ‘The Machinist’, Christian Bale was vastly underweight (about 120 pounds on his 6 foot+ frame) when he was under consideration for the part of Batman in ‘Batman Begins’. After being cast, he was told to become as “big as you could be” by Christopher Nolan, the director. Bale underwent a dietary and exercise regimen and ending up weighing about 220 pounds (about 40 pounds above his normal weight). It was decided that Bale had became too large (friends of his on the film’s crew dubbed him “Fatman”) and he quickly shed about 20 pounds to have leaner, more muscular frame.

So there you have it, 8 perfectly random facts (largely culled from the Internet Movie Database) and a wonderful excuse to have a look at some of my favourite movie actors. Yum!

I’m not going to tag anyone as it’s quite task compiling this list but if you’d like to have a go, please feel free!

While I’m at it catching up on tags and things, Dunn over at Simply Dunn, passed on this lovely award, which she received from Crissy, called the ‘Arte Y Pico’ award. Thank you so much, Dunn!

Arte Y Pico Award rules :

1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award through creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.

2. Each award should have the name of the author with a link to their blog.

3. Award winners have to post the award with the name and link to the blog of the person who gave them the award.

4. Please include a link to the “Arte Y Pico” blog so that everyone will know where the award came from.

I would like to pass this on to






I’ve tried to find out what ‘Arte y Pico’ means but the nearest I can get from my translator widget is ‘art and tip’ (which makes no sense) I think it means like a tip of a mountain (the peak) so maybe it means ‘the peak of art’. I’d be glad for a good translation….

The weather here has been glorious, we had a wonderful weekend and I went to my first barbecue of the year on Sunday. It was a gorgeous afternoon and we played croquet which was great fun. Not quite like this game though.

I played tennis yesterday and today and have even been doing some gardening (not my forte, I must confess) but it is so wonderful to be outside in the warm sunshine. Needless to say, it is going to get cooler after today so I have been making the most of it – hence the lack of both bookbinding and blogging. I’m sure normal service will be resumed very soon.

Come on over to my place

I like this paper. I will confess I relented and bought some more from Paper Source as I still can’t find a source of funky modern designs here in the UK. However, I have found another good supplier of lovely paper called the Paper Studio. They are based in Tempe, Arizona and the studio is a teaching studio and paper arts shop created and run by Cindy and Gary who are mixed media and book and paper artists’. It’s no good, I am just going to have to move to the USA.

I have been tagged by Kylee over at Bijoux and Banter to tell you all about my studio. I think calling it a studio is over stating it a bit, it’s more of a work room. I do have to confess though that in the interests of making my fledgling business sound a bit more groovy and professional than it actually is, I have called it Limetree Studio. This is a business card which uses a photograph I took in my garden last summer.

Artist name: Diane Aldred

Business name: Limetree Studio

Website/blog: This is it! New one on the way. Honest.

Do you have a dedicated studio/artistic space? Yes. I used to work in my kitchen but I moved to a spare bedroom.

Where is it located? On the top floor of my house.

Is it a large or small space? It’s quite big, it doubles as a study and all my books are up there as well as a TV and a sofa.

What medium(s) do you work in? Paper, I am an addict.

Do you have a separate area for each? If I was organized I would have a separate area for gluing as keeping glue under control is the bane of my life.

What one word would you use to describe your studio? Comfortable.

What do you think is the best feature of your studio? My plan chest keeps me organized.

What would you change if you could? I’d buy more storage so it was tidier.

Can you share an organisational tip? Tidy as you go (that’s rich coming from me…..)

Describe the usual state of your work table? A disaster zone

Does your work table face out into the room or toward the wall? Towards the wall (which has a large painting of my lovely boys on it) and which I am going to paint soon (as soon as I can get someone to help me move the plan chest…..)

What’s one drawback of your studio/artistic space? It’s too far from the kitchen (2 floors away) so I am constantly running up and down stairs to make tea/answer the door.

Do you have an idea wall or inspiration board? No. I take inspiration from the papers I buy.

Do you listen to music in your studio? Yes, loud music which I sing along to.

Do you display your own work in your studio? No

Other artists’ work? I have paintings on the wall.

What’s one quirk or unusual feature of your studio?
My desk where my laptop is, is always tidy but my book making work space is very untidy. Not sure why….

Whose studio space would you like to read about? I would like to tag the following artists to reveal their studio spaces….

Kim at Laketrees.

Astrid at Tulibri

Amy Hanks

Jane at My Wooden Robot

And now for my weekend. Click on all images for a larger version.

I had a lovely weekend. The weather was fantastic, warm and sunny. I went for a walk around the Fleet on Sunday and then stopped for lunch at a pub in Langton Herring. I must confess I ended up watching TV as it was the last match of the football season and my team Manchester United were tied for first place at the top of the Premier League so everything depended on this last day of matches. Without boring you with too many details, suffice it to say, my boys won the title for the 17th time. All in all, a fantastic day.

I’m off to London for a couple of days tomorrow. I’m meeting up with some old friends who are visiting from Australia. The last time I saw them was about 6 years ago and before that I hadn’t seen them for about 20 odd years. I just hope the trains don’t let me down this time…..

‘Not’ the Oscars ceremony


It must be the Oscar’s ceremony which has inspired so many awards recently and just like buses, along come another batch all together!

Kim at laketrees has not only sent THE sweetest little award winging my way but has tagged me in the ‘Message in a Bottle’ meme. First, the award, how cute is this?


I love this award ‘so much’ too. I think it was originated by Emila at Emila’s Illustrated Blog and came to Kim via Mellanie at See it. Draw it. Share it. I’m going to pass it on to

Clara Teresa Dunn Astrid and Kylee

The ‘Message in the Bottle’ meme is quite complicated. Lots of instructions, so deep breath – here goes.

**** START COPY****
In a Bottle across the Blog Ocean. Leave a message in the sand or on the bottle. Write anything you wish. Be a pirate or a poet. Serious or silly. Anonymous or not.What message would you like to send out to the universe?
Mimi’s Message In a Bottle Meme
1. Compose a message to place in your virtual bottle.
2. Right click and SAVE the blank graphic below

3. Use a graphics program of your choice to place the message on the picture
4. Post the Message In a Bottle meme and your creation on your blog along with these rules
5. Tag a minimum of 5 bloggers – or your entire blogroll – to do the same. Notify them of the tag. Your virtual bottle will remain afloat in the blogosphere ocean for all blogernity (That’s a Mimism for blog + eternity.)

Mimi says: “ADD your site to the Mr. Linky list and place your blog’s name and url in a comment HERE TO LET ME KNOW YOU’VE COMPLETED THE MEME. I will add it to the master list of message bottles. Email mimiwrites2005 at if you have questions.”
Go HERE to see all the bottles floating in the blog ocean. The site is called Message In a Bottle.
***END COPY****

So basically, copy, paste and follow instructions…..hmm. Even I should be able to manage that…

In the spirit of irony, here’s my ‘Message in a Bottle”


Kim tagged the following people

Anand Archie Art News Blog Ascender Blog Elf Boyd Catsy Colin Cooper Corrine Debbie Deborah Diane DouDy Drowsey Monkey Durano Ev Fruity Hanna Janette Jeremy John Jos Kimmy Kris Leigh Life cruiser Lisa Lyn Lynda Lindsay Manuel Mary Ann Meg Megan Mel Mellanie Michelle Netster PALMA Pet Monologues Pearl Renny & Diane Santa She Walks In Beauty Shoshana Should Be Famous Snoskred Speedy Sue Sugar Queen Sully Suzanne The Artist’s Magazine Vin Walter williebaronet

So as you can see it’s getting hard to find people who haven’t already been tagged for this so I’m tagging anyone in my blogroll who fancies doing this one but particularly Struggling Writer, Pete at myGPScamera, Mike at The View From Here, Lord Likely or his friend Andy Fanton. As writers/Photoshop whizzes I’m dying to see what you come up with! Of course, it goes without saying only do this if you want to – no pressure!

A while back I resigned from my role as Founder over at Go! Smell the Flowers (pressure of work, artistic differences, leaving to spend more time with my family and other tried and tested excuses). I still pop over there on occasions, usually when I hear that things are kicking off again (which happens regularly – never a dull moment over there!) They are just in the throes of turning their blog into a full blown community with its 18 ‘founders’ (there were 20 but two, Drowsey Monkey and Olga the Travelling Bra, have also just resigned – see their blogs and GSTF for the reasons why). It’s a very lively place with humour, insults and serious debate flying around – every day brings several new posts and apart from never knowing what is coming up next – you also never know what the regular commentators are going to say next. Fur can fly and frequently does.

Jim & Em who started GSTF have given me a Flower Smeller badge, to read about this please go here. In their words :

‘This badge serves to acknowledge others who are, in their own way, smelling the flowers. They maybe regular visitors to this blog, one of the 18 founders blogs or someone that could contribute here who is yet to visit! Maybe they have recovered from an illness, written a book, made waves in the blogosphere, won the lottery, made a major shift in their life, won promotion, quit the rat race, raising a family, discovering their greatness and on it GO!s as more examples from around the world start to surface’.


I shall have to ponder on who to recommend for one of these badges….they will need to be hardy souls :-)

Any volunteers?

And now as a reward for anyone who has made it this far (thank you) here is a video clip. This is the beautiful song ‘Falling Slowly’ which won the Oscar for best song at this years Oscars. It comes from the film ‘Once’ a small budget, Irish film which has won many prizes and plaudits – you may remember I raved about it some months ago. It is now out on DVD so there is no excuse not to see it. It is quite simply fab.


Knowing me, knowing you…


I was tagged by Kylee over at Bijoux and Banter with this meme. It’s my punishment for not posting yesterday! Actually I reckon you are the ones who are being punished having to read even more ‘stuff’ about me :-)

It’s called ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ (with apologies to both Abba and Alan Partridge) and I have to answer all these questions so that you get to know me better. Well, I reckon you know probably as much as you would want to by now, but just in case there is anything else – here goes.

1. What is your occupation? Bookbinder/blogger/tennis player
2. What color are your socks right now? None, bare feet
3. What are you listening to right now? Gotan Project
4. What was the last thing that you ate? A hot cross bun
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes, my car is stick shift but I prefer an automatic.
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Red
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? A ‘gentleman caller’ (as Jane Austen would say…..)
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Very much
9. Favorite drink? White wine – especially Condrieu or viognier. Or champagne of course…. or a Bellini….
10. What is your favorite sport to watch? Tennis
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes
12. Pets? None
13. Favorite food? Italian and Thai
14. Last movie you watched? There Will Be Blood
15. Favorite Day of the year? When the clocks change in the Spring
16. What do you do to vent anger? I rarely get angry but if I do I tend to burst into tears of rage
17. What was your favorite toy as a child? Spirograph
18. What is your favorite, fall or spring? Summer – I am a hot house flower
19. Hugs or kisses? Both please
20. What kind of pie? Apple and cinnamon
21. Do you want your friends to email you back? Yes, I like hearing from them….
22. Who is most likely to respond? All of them I hope!
23. Who is least likely to respond? The one who doesn’t receive it!
24. Living arrangements? House by a river near the coast – perfect.
25. When was the last time you cried? I couldn’t possibly say….
26. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes
27. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? Blog friend – Kim
28. The friend you have known the shortest amount of time that you are sending this to? Blog friend – Teresa
29. Favorite smell? Newly mown grass, the sea.
30. What inspires you? Learning new things, going to art exhibitions, reading good blogs
31. What are you afraid of? Spiders, bugs
32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? None – not fond of burgers
33. Favorite car? Audi RS8. One day…..
34. Favorite cat breed? Maine Coon – my ex-cats.
35. Number of keys on your key ring? 3
36. How many years at your current job? This is a job?
37. Favorite day of the week? They are all pretty much the same but I play tennis on Mondays
38. How many provinces have you lived in? Is that the same as counties? Seven
39. How many countries have you been to? Loads including Russia, Kuwait, Thailand, Jamaica, Barbados, USA, Morocco, Kenya and all over Europe ( too many to list)

So there you have it. I am going to tag three people I’d like to know some more about:

Kim at Laketrees

Teresa at Homestead Notes

Brenda at Drowsey Monkey

I was also rummaging through my links at Technorati, and I found this which I almost missed, so apologies if I am late in acknowledging this.


This was given to me by the Political Cat who said Much of a Muchness

gives me beauty that soothes my soul (confession: I do love paper)’.

So, a fellow paper-holic :-)

I am supposed to pass this onto 10 blogs that I consider to be excellent blogs. I am going to cheat here slightly. I am giving this to all the bookbinding/book arts/paper artists blogs which are listed on my ‘Links’ page. They are all beautiful, inspiring and creatively excellent, so I am leaving it to you to see if you are on that ‘Links’ page – how idle is that?

Now then, talking of being idle. Have you heard about the ‘Hawaiian Chair’? It is the latest exercise craze. You can keep fit while sitting down. How cool is that? Here is Ellen Degeneres trying one out….

I think I’ll stick to tennis….. :-)