Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: Falkiners

A very mixed bag…

It’s been a funny old couple of weeks since I last posted. Lots of good things happening and a few bad. The good things included me finding out I was a runner up in a photography competition I entered a few weeks ago. This is the image they liked, it’s East Cliff, West Bay, Dorset.

dianealdred03

I’ve always liked this as we think that one of the clouds looks like Milo running across the sky. There is no prize for the runners up but we do get our photographs displayed in an exhibition so I am well pleased.

Another thing that has pleased me greatly was getting an orchid plant to flower for a second time. You know the ones – you buy them looking like this.

orchid1

They flower for ages but eventually, all the blooms drop off and you try to follow the instructions to make it flower again. It tells you to cut it back to the first node which means in my book, you chop the flowering stem right back almost to the base to the first node from the bottom, so it ends up looking like this.

orchid3

And so it remains until (if you are me) you lose patience, bin it and start again with a new one. However, I now discover that it means the first node FROM THE TOP  and lo and behold…

orchid2

I have BUDS and NEW SHOOTS!! Glory be! There is hope for me as a gardener yet.

The other good news was seeing this on the Falkiners (now Shepherds) blog (which you can also reach from their web site). They have extended their famous and already impressive wall of paper and it now looks like this. I feel a trip to their fabulous shop coming on. They are also starting to run beginners courses and master classes – read all about it on their blog.

ffp

Other good things include my Dad’s 80th birthday weekend over Easter which passed smoothly. My niece arrived, terrified of dogs and screamed at the sight of Milo. With some patient intervention, she was transformed within 10 minutes into Milo’s biggest fan and she followed him around the house the entire visit. I almost had to check her bag to make sure she wasn’t smuggling him home with her. One of my sisters invited me to go sailing in Corfu with her and her husband in June – I accepted immediately and booked it all yesterday. Fab, can’t wait.

abigail

Needless to say Milo sulked for days after they went home.  The bad news also involves Milo. He is now 9 months old and after being a perfectly housetrained little sweetheart for most of this time, even learning to use the dog flap without prompting, he has suddenly started doing all sorts of unsavoury things like peeing all over the house and getting frisky with his toys and people’s legs. He has hit dog puberty! I’m hoping it’s just a phase he is going through but I’m going to talk to the vet and if this is likely to be a permanent problem – then I will have to make a big decision…

The book project continues. I have completed 7 books and matching clam shell boxes and am well into the 8th set. I ordered some new inkjet cartridges for my printer. It uses 10 different coloured pigment inks and the new set arrived today – in 10 separate padded envelopes. How wasteful and ridiculous is that?

To end, I want to point you to the Britweek website, it’s an event going on in Los Angeles to publicize the British contribution to LA life. This is my ex. He is now a rock star and a photographer and has an exhibition called ‘Poetry in the Streets’ at his gallery in LA. You can also see a video of him performing with his band GTA, at a Teenage Cancer Trust concert a few years ago at the Royal Albert Hall.

Blimey.

Groovy.

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Quel méli-mélo!

So the pooch is called Milo. I was embarrassed to take him to the vet for a check up and have to confess he was unnamed, so we finally bit the bullet and picked a name. Why Milo? Well, mainly because my friend Jenny, suggested Snowy (who was Tin-Tin’s dog – as in “Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin!” and in French, Snowy was called Milou – anglicized to Milo.

I tried to film Milo playing in the garden but it is so difficult as he only seems to want to play with my shoes and the bottom of my jeans (a problem Snowy seems to have too) but I did manage to get this short movie of him earlier.

His name also reminds me of a French phrase I always liked – ‘Quel méli-mélo!’ which roughly translates as ‘What a jumble!’ or ‘What a mish-mash!’ or a ‘What a muddle!’ and which describes one of my posts beautifully :-)

I remember a few years ago gazing longingly into a Cartier jewellery store window and seeing THE most beautiful necklace and matching ring, bracelet and brooch – which needless to say was completely out of my price range. It was called the ‘Méli-mélo’ collection and I have always remembered (and coveted it!)

It’s so aptly named as it’s a wonderful mixture/jumble/concoction of various precious stones. I have a birthday on the horizon if anyone is feeling generous….. :-D

Milo is also a chocolate malt drink from Australia

and the first name of the actor who plays one of my favourite characters in my favourite TV show ‘Heroes’ – Milo Ventimiglia who plays Peter Petrelli.

On a more serious and sensible note, my favourite shop, Falkiners, which I am sad to say I have not visited for quite a while, has been reborn as Shepherds Bookbinders. It will be hard to think of it as anything but Falkiners, but while perusing their excellent web site, I noticed they now have a blog which contains new products and news of workshops etc. I highly recommend a visit. They have just brought out an instructional ‘Handmade Books’ DVD which sounds very interesting and I also want a deckle edged ruler and the new 2009 diary book blocks are in and there is new paper to tempt me and an archive of traditional tools from Sangorski and Sutcliffe and gorgeous reindeer leather from Finland…. did I mention I have a birthday coming up…? :-)

A Fleeting Glimpse of Dorset

I went up to London yesterday. I won’t bore you with the tedium of the journey there and back but suffice it to say it was a sorry catalogue of delays, misinformation and outright porkie pies.

Example, on journey home:

Announcement 1: ‘delay is due to operational misunderstandings at Waterloo Station’.

Announcement 2: ‘delay was due to an electrical storm in the Wimbledon area’

Announcement 3: ‘delay due to major signalling problems just outside the station’

Drives me mad especially as on the way there, the train was 30 minutes late because there was a problem with the train doors which meant they decided not to stop at all between Southampton and London. ‘Hurrah!’ the passengers cried, ‘A faster journey!’ -until the train ground to a complete halt and just sat there for 30 minutes.

Anyway, I had a nice time in London. Falkiners is even more yummy than usual as they seem to have had a bit of a re-organisation and all the lovely papers are now catalogued beautifully so that you can see everything they have in stock and not just the relatively small number of papers on display. Result? I spent probably twice as much as I would have otherwise – genius!

I then walked to Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road and bought some more paper and then walked to Liberty to buy a birthday gift for a friend and yes-you’ve guessed it yet more paper! Surprisingly, Liberty had a really good range of Japanese Chiyogami papers and some pretty gift wrap. So it was a very successful shopping expedition.

I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL this last couple of days and especially sorry I haven’t been responding to your comments but yesterday, I met up with some girlie mates at a friend’s house and we had a very pleasant time making books. I showed them how to make ribbon books a month or so ago and they have caught the bug! It was really interesting to see their different approaches to materials and their ideas for extending what you can do with the books. It might even galvanize me into trying something new!

Last night I went for a long walk with a friend. We drove to a village called Langton Herring which is a mile or so inland from the Fleet and Chesil Beach. I’ve mentioned Chesil Beach before. It is a shingle beach which is 18 miles long and runs from Portland to West Bay. The stones on the beach are much larger at the Portland end and gradually decrease in size towards West Bay. It used to be said that sailors who were washed up on the beach could tell where they were by the size of the shingle. For 8 miles of it’s length, the beach encloses a lagoon called the Fleet. It’s famous because it is where Barnes Wallis tested the bouncing bombs which were used in the famous Dam busters raid during World War 2.

This is a photograph of the Fleet and Chesil Beach I took last year.

The walk from Langton Herring on a cool sunny evening was quite spectacular. It was silent apart from the sounds of skylarks singing and seagulls calling. The lambs in the fields were playing and leaping about, some of the field were bright yellow with oilseed rape. And when we arrived at the Fleet, the water was flat calm and the sun was setting, it was so peaceful and beautiful. here are some of the photographs I took. You can click on each thumbnail to see a larger version.

The other good news is that Abbotsbury Swannery which is also on the Fleet and had to close earlier in the year because of bird flu, has now re-opened and has just had the first cygnets hatch! Apparently, this has happened much earlier than usual and as the arrival of the first baby swan is said to herald the first day of summer, this is good news indeed!

This gorgeous image is by Geoffrey Franklin of Christchurch, Dorset and was taken from a slide show of his swannery images on the BBC website.

Luscious leather

I have been getting all experimental. If you have a really good memory (and have been following my comings and goings for a few months) you may remember I tried one of these woven cover bindings a while back. The last one was made with card covers, this one uses foam sheets which I spotted in my local art shop – I liked the bright colours. They are quite fun to make but the foam sheets aren’t terribly sturdy so I may try it again using leather pieces.


I bought some leather samples from Hewits, it was a starter pack and they said it would contain six pieces of various colours of leather for £37. I thought this was a bargain so I ordered one and it arrived today. It’s amazing value – there are actually 10 large pieces and they are all great colours – I am well chuffed!

I was checking out Astrid’s wonderful blog (which she writes in German and then translates into English) and she has been trying out some of the two and three section bindings from Keith Smith’s book using leather from a leather furniture swatch book. They are amazing so I may use some of this leather to have a go at some of these too. Here’s my first effort…

It’s a very simple one but I hope my future efforts will improve and I intend to try some trickier ones now that I’ve got the hang of Keith Smith’s rather complicated instructions! This is the next one I want to try…

See what I mean? :-)

It may have to wait though as I am up to my eyes at the moment making photograph albums for two friends. One is for a birthday gift and the other is for a friend who has two huge albums which she bought years ago and she now needs a third one, so I am trying to make one to match the other two.  They are the largest books I have ever made so I am taking it slowly and hope to be able to show them to you as they progress. I am off to London tomorrow – to visit Falkiners for some paper and to go to Liberty to buy a birthday gift and I maybe also look for a dress for a birthday party on Saturday night.

I am going on the train as you may remember that I am rubbish at parking, so I avoid driving in London whenever possible. I have mentioned my parking phobia many times and today, I found the perfect method for successful parking in a confined space.

There. Sorted :-)

 

 

We have ways of making you talk, Mr Bond…

The unthinkable happened yesterday. I ran out of paper. Not the decorative paper I use for the covers – I think I have enough of that to last me a year or so – but the plain paper I use for the pages of the books. I couldn’t leave the house as I was expecting a parcel to be delivered so I used a book block I bought ages ago from Falkiners instead. It’s large – A4 size – and for once meant I could make a book with lined pages. The Japanese chiyogami paper is also from Falkiners.

I’m really disappointed. My other source of paper is Paper Source in the US. I buy most of the contemporary papers I use from them as they have such a great range. I was lucky enough to visit their store in Beverley Hills when I was in Los Angeles last year, it was amazing. The shipping costs are quite high but are usually reasonable and worth it for the variety and quality of papers they offer. But a week or so ago, I placed an order with them and the shipping costs had doubled! In fact, they cost more than the cost of the paper. Apparently, they have changed couriers and the new couriers have different charges (something about including customs charges) so I’m afraid I can no longer ship paper from them. My only hope is that I can get Paper Source to deliver to one of my friends in LA and then they can send the paper to me – I need to check if this will be cheaper because I am devastated!

‘Booo!’ to Paper Source!

OK rant over. I gather it is a big day in the US as far as the Democratic nomination battle between White House hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Well, maybe this will help you make your mind up. Click on the image!

Nice moves….you may have spotted it is based on a clip out of the movie, Ace Ventura and those knees really belong to Jim Carrey…

To continue the movie theme (you know how I like a nice theme) here is a great cartoon I stumbled the other night. “We have ways of making you talk, Mr.Bond….”

Took me a second to see what was happening but it is SO clever. And silly. Now please excuse my self indulgence. You know how much I love Eddie Izzard and I couldn’t resist sharing his take on James Bond. (Usual strong language alert)

And I’m going to resist having a gratuitous photograph of luscious Daniel Craig at this point. I will admit I did look for one and have just spent a very pleasant time gazing at Google images of my hero, until I came across an eye-watering nude shot of him in the bath and as I have now come over all unnecessary, I am going for a cold shower….