January 1, 2008
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Well, here we are, 2008 already. I haven’t written here for ages – a combination of a hectic Christmas and a severe ‘stuck in the doldrums’ mood. Just haven’t felt like blogging but I have decided that as it is a new year I am going to throw myself back into making my books and blogging, it’s good therapy.
Christmas was – well, Christmas was unusual to say the least. I was feeling very depressed following the unexpected break up of my current relationship and not looking forward to the festivities one bit. So my ex-husband volunteered to stay over Christmas and we all ended up having a really nice time. It was good to have someone with me to go the the various parties I had been invited to, and I’m sure we caused a stir. Half the people were wondering if we had got back together (we haven’t) and the other half weren’t even aware we had split up (it was six years ago!) and so were very puzzled by what was going on. I have always wanted a big brother (I have three sisters) and oddly, that is what my ex seems to have become – a great friend. My sons loved having him around and it took the pressure off me having to be jolly when I felt anything but.
The boys are both away after celebrating New Year with their friends so the house is quiet. I cooked dinner for some friends last night and we walked into town to see the New Year in. Today, for the first time I felt like writing. Another year begins and I am going to get on with it, stop moping and make a fresh start. I just read that I have won a year’s worth of flowers over at Go! Smell the Flowers which was a lovely start to the year and maybe an omen that this year is going to be better. Hurrah for me!
So have a very happy 2008 everyone. thanks for all your wonderful good wishes, encouragement and support. You are all fab. This is to make you smile.
December 20, 2007
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My lovely blogging friend, Kiwipulse, sent me this video in her comment yesterday. I enjoyed it so much I thought it deserved a wider circulation, so I am posting it here. Kiwipulse’s blog is always full of amazing things, it must take so much work to find all the weird and wonderful things she writes about. In fact, she wrote my first ever review and featured a lot of my books when I was first starting out (you can read that here).
As for the video, well this is just what it is like at my house when I am making a book……..not! I love the way she just gets on with it and produces what looks like it is going to be a gorgeous book – what a shame we don’t get to see the finished book properly, that spine looks interesting.
Both my boys are home now and we are expecting a guest for a few days over Christmas, so I have had to switch into mummy-mode. Today, we are decorating our tree (yes, I know I’m late but I haven’t been in the mood ….) and I’m not sure I will be able to make many books for a while. I shall still write here when I can and I’m sure I won’t be able to resist getting back to the books but it will be sporadic at best! I am going to make an new photograph album for our guest as part of his Christmas present, mainly as we couldn’t think what else to buy him (we all know men are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for) so I shall try to post that when it is finished.
Here is a little Christmas greeting to you all from me. Have a very jolly Christmas and the very, very best of New Years.
I must also draw your attention to this wonderful article By Mark Bittman in the New York Times, ‘101 Simple Appetizers in 20 minutes or less‘.
Yummy, quick, delicious, easy…. the man is a genius.
December 15, 2007
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This paper is an Italian design – a traditional pattern called a Florentine pattern (although the inner paper has a design of ‘Fleur du Lys’ which are French). Whenever I have visited Italy, (which is often, as it is my favourite country in the world) I have visited a chain of shops called ‘Il Papiro‘. They sell the most marvellous marbled paper made using traditional Tuscan methods, Murano glass pens, inks, notebooks, decorative papers, sealing wax, leather goods, stationery and cards. The shops themselves are small, dark old fashioned places but full to bursting with gorgeousness. There are branches all over Italy – in Florence, Rome, Venice, Siena, Orvieto, Pisa and I notice from their web site they now have branches in the USA and Australia!
Over the years, I have spent many happy times in these treasure troves and this is a photograph of the goodies I have bought. You will notice that they are all mostly in pristine condition. I can’t bear to use them so they sit in my workroom amongst my other treasures – I did try to use the seal and sealing wax once but it was very messy so the experiment was not repeated.
And to finish, I have modestly left this to last ;-) I was contacted by Justin at Pushapixel (a lovely blog which highlights artists’ web sites from around the world) and he told me that he has featured me! He has written a very kind review so I suggest you all dash over there immediately to check his blog out (well, when you have finished here!)
December 13, 2007
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I bought this paper a while ago and I’m not sure if it is meant to be a ‘seasonal’ paper but I think it looks like Santa’s hat so it can be classed as another Christmas book :)
Paul over at ‘Struggling Writer‘ was wondering yesterday where I stored my books. Well, that got me thinking and I got them all out, mainly to count them but also to tidy up the plastic storage boxes I keep them in. Here is a photograph of the books – all 77 of them – and the room I work in. I checked back and I have been making books since July 2007 – less than 6 months, so I was pleasantly surprised at how many there were, especially as I have sold quite a few and given others away as gifts!
The trees outside this conservatory are lime trees so I decided to call my business Limetree Studio. During the summer, on one of the few sunny days, I took a photograph of the tree and designed a banner for the web site I am building and I have just used the same image for some mini cards from my old friends at ‘Moo.com‘. They have just arrived and are really nice. I also bought a very sweet turquoise leather holder to keep them in when I am out and about, it is really cute.
I’m off to the hairdressers shortly. I keep trying to pluck up courage to have my hair cut shorter and into a different style but I chicken out whenever I get there and end up having the same old trim. I’m going to another Christmas party tonight, so it’s probably not the best time to be too adventurous anyway, so I shall come back looking exactly the same – just a bit neater and minus quite a few pounds – unfortunately not of the weight variety :)
December 12, 2007
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This one was made using another of the ready made book blocks – in this case an photograph album block, which I bought from Paper Source when I was in LA. The pages are cream, interleaved with glasseine sheets. It looks very professional but it does mean I can’t easily use a contrasting inner cover as the ready made albums come with a plain cream inner cover. It did solve one problem though, I have had this paper for ages and have never been able to find a contrasting paper to go with it, so by using it for this album – problem solved.
I’ve just been writing Christmas cards – such a chore. I know I should just get on with it but I am taking a break to make a book because I am bored. What a lightweight. I shall get back to it while the glue dries….unless I can find something else to do – like tidying the documents folder on my laptop, it’s amazing what is stashed away in there. Photographs, videos, jokes – stuff!
I think I might post some of the things I have found in there. Here is a little video I was sent a while ago. Those of you with children will enjoy – those of you without children will count your blessings – you could have one like Magnus….