Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: Chiyogami

…and I don’t look a day over 199

I like this paper. Despite being a Japanese chiyogami paper, it’s a very tribal or ethnic design and according to the latest edition of the fashion magazine I subscribe to, that is one of the trends for the summer. We should all be wearing dresses made out of fabrics like this book. Well, all you ladies should – guys, it’s optional :-)

Guess what? This is my 200th post. 200! Whoever would have thought when I first started this blog 14 months ago that I would have so much to say? Certainly not me! I used to be incredibly shy and spent my teens hardly speaking to a soul. Things did improve as I got older, largely due to my (then) husband who made a point of making me speak up for myself at parties and the like. It was far too easy otherwise to let him do all the talking. At the time I thought he was being really cruel but with hindsight I see that it was just what I needed.

I remember the moment when I realised I wasn’t shy any more, vividly. I had enrolled on a course designed to get women who had taken time out to raise their families, back into the work place. We were asked to describe how we saw ourselves and how we saw everyone else on the course. Describing me, I came up with shy, lacking in confidence, quiet, reserved. All the other 20 or so people on the course said talkative, confident, friendly, outgoing. And in one of those Damascene moments, I realised I had been talking my socks off and joining in happily for the entire week! I do still find some occasions where I revert to crippling shyness and become awkward and tongue tied, but they are few and far between these days.

This was my anthem in those days – I give you Kajagoogoo – I had a huge crush on Limahl, my world fell apart when I discovered he was gay…..

Check out those hairstyles and fashions – hilarious!

Now to celebrate my 200th post, I thought I would say a little thank you to some of the regular visitors to Much of a Muchness who take the time to leave a comment. I always try to visit their blogs in return but sometimes I don’t manage it as often as I would like. So this is for you

Kim – wonderful artist and all round lovely person. She regularly updates the ‘101 Top Artists’ Blogs’ and is quite justifiably at number 1 in the rankings. (The fact I am number 3 has no influence on this list at all – honest) A labour of love if ever there was one. I won one of her portraits in one of her regular competitions, it is quite wonderful.

Paul – also known as Struggling Writer. Read his blog for snippets of his wonderful stories and news about his toddler daughter, ice hockey and his play off beard. Manages to be first to comment so many times it’s uncanny….

Creechman – what can I say? He loves actresses, TV, tennis, movies and his dog Emerson. He is a semi-rocket scientist from Houston. He seems to like English accents.

Teresa – sometimes her comments are funnier than my posts, but I forgive her :-) Her blog is full of news about yummy food, home schooling her lovely boys and birding amongst lots of other things.

Durano Lawayan – always has a pithy amusing comment to make. His blog is so full of wonderful, insightful posts about the world and all it’s many vagaries and absurdities which he brings to our attention with superlative skill.

RennyBA – everything I know about Norway I have learned from Renny! He is a ‘network evangelist’ and his mission is to introduce the food, customs and people of Norway to the rest of the world in a fascinating way. He succeeds admirably!

Diane CA – is Renny’s wife, her relatively new blog is full of insights into her interests in social work, her life as an American living in Norway and her views on the world around us. Her description of herself as ‘if I were any more of an extrovert I would turn inside out’ made me laugh!

Peteej – takes amazing photographs using his mobile phone camera and even is kind enough to give tutorials showing how he achieves such wonderful results. He also publishes photographs from other mobile phone photographers (ahem, mentioning no names but someone not too far from here was featured a while back…..)

Kylee – makes beautiful jewellery out of gemstones and polymer clay. She is an expat living in a beautiful part of France and I must warn her, one day I am going to arrive on the doorstep of her studio to see it properly! I have always vowed to visit Carcassonne and she lives quite close by…..

Astrid – is a German book artist who is talented and thoughtful enough to write her blog twice, once in German and then in English. I will confess to shamelessly stealing ideas from her and slavishly following her advice. A leading light over at the Book Arts Forum too.

Lord Likely – what can I say about Lord L that he hasn’t said himself? And in a much more – how can I put this? – outrageous, outrĂ© fashion than I could ever dare to….

Daddy Papersurfer – he thinks I’m scary. But perhaps not as much as his lovely wife, Lo the Terrible Goddess, who tries to keep him under control – with varying degrees of success it seems….

70’s teen – the diaries of a Manchester girl growing up in the 70’s. Strikes so many chords with me it’s scary. She is going to send me food parcels containing Northern delicacy, Hollands steak puddings – hurrah!

AmyH – I think Amy lives in a space -time continuum where she has 48 hours in each day – she has two small children and manages to make books, crochet, cook, read and do a million and one other things which totally puts me to shame….

Lady Banana– just loves to blog, in fact she thinks she may be addicted to it…. and I suffer from widget envy whenever I visit her blog. She loves photography and her life in London and it’s always fun to visit her wonderfully yellow blog.

Jenny – writes funny comments and has a blog to rival Lady B’s for widgets and an enthusiasm for life that leaves me breathless, Jenny’s blog contains the immortal truth ‘Drink coffee – do stupid things faster with more energy’ – that must be where I am going wrong. Memo to self – drink coffee!

And now to finish, a thought for the day.

Me? I’d be 21 again. But still with my lovely sons, (not sure how that would work as they are older than that!) but with the benefits of hindsight and experience…and better judgement as far as the opposite sex are concerned….. :-)


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Books and bears

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I’ve had this paper for ages but I could never find it’s complement for the inside – until yesterday. I have had the grey/cream inside paper for ages too but just didn’t connect the two. They actually work very well together. The paper on the outside is a Japanese ‘Katazome-shi’ paper which literally means ‘stencil-dyed paper’. It is also referred to a ‘Wazome’. It’s more expensive than the Japanese ‘Chiyogami’ paper I often use, as it is very time consuming to make apparently. According to Falkiners :

Based on traditional kimono-printing techniques, these elegant bold patterned papers were developed in Kyoto during the 20th century by an inspired soul. Using persimmon-dyed kozo as the stencils, and aided by paste and “Kojiro” (soy bean juice), the pigments absorb deeply into the paper to produce long-lasting colour and the unmistakable look of a print truly made by hand“.

I think this is a very ‘grown up’ book and the paper almost has the texture of fabric – beautiful.

It has been pointed out by various people that I have forgotten to mention several famous Polar Bears in my earlier post on the subject, so to remedy this here are a few more.

Firstly for Ed over at The Pisstakers, and to say thank you for TWO funny reviews this week, here is the Fox’s Glacier Mints Polar Bear. I hope your dad’s teeth have recovered.

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Then for Alex, here is Knut, the cutest Polar Bear cub ever, who was abandoned by his mother at birth in Berlin Zoo. The zoo staff decided that the best thing to do was to not intervene and to leave him to die naturally. Cue public outcry and Knut was reprieved.

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And I have just remembered this one, the Polar Bear in the Chilly Willy cartoons Did I mention I like penguins as well? (But that is a whole other post!)

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Then there is this Polar Bear

and finally, the one I want to see. I am re-reading this book for the third or fourth time and can’t wait to see the film. This is Iorek Byrnison, the armoured Polar Bear from the wonderful children’s book ‘Northern Lights’ by Philip Pullman, now filmed as ‘The Golden Compass’ starring Daniel Craig (woo hoo!) and Nicole Kidman.

Not such a cuddly bear….

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And finally, as they used to say on the news, my team, Manchester United, won their match against Newcastle United by 6 – 0 on Saturday, which took them to the top of the Premier League. Marvellous.