Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: Falkiners

Another secret….

secret belgian binding

Well, I said I would have another go at this Secret Belgian Binding and here it is. I tried the method that Rhonda at My Handbound Books recommended. The text block is sewn first in the usual way and then the covers and spine are attached. It’s a bit of a juggling act trying to hold all three bits of board and the book block together while you stitch them together and it’s especially difficult to keep the whole thing tight when you have to keep pulling it apart to get at the stitching in order to sew it all together but I eventually managed it. I’m actually quite pleased with it. I overcame the problems from my last effort by using a much longer length of thread, so no knots and also this method doesn’t need masking tape, so no tearing. This book is A5 size – much bigger than the last one which was a sweet little thing – here is a shot of the two of them together.

I placed an order for some more supplies and paper from my favourite shop, Falkiners (incidentally, which is now known as Shepherds Bookbinders). You may remember I mentioned a while back, that I had an email from Falkiners thanking me for mentioning them so often on my blog! They had been googling themselves to check their ‘google-ability’ and I came up so often that they emailed to thank me and said that next time I placed an order, they would send me a gift to say thank you. Well, it arrived today – a whole black goatskin! I am so thrilled, it is so generous of them and I aim to put it to good use – it is gorgeous. I just wish that it didn’t look quite so much like a goat – little legs and all……

As you may or may not remember, it’s no secret that I am a sci fi fan and Number 1 son and I are closet Trekkies and we love Star Trek in all it’s incarnations. I seem to have come across a lot of Star Trek jokes recently so here they are. This follows on from a previous post, last year called ‘To Boldly Go….’ which included the best Star trek cartoon EVER and a great song about ‘Bald Headed Men’ by Christine Lavin. I only mention the song because Jean-Luc Picard is my favourite ‘Star Trek’ character…..

and finally, here is my favourite, Eddie Izzard talking about Star Trek, it’s a bit long (9 minutes) but is well worth watching (a little bit of strong language warning). Hilarious!

A very good day


I’m not a great fan of brown and black together but this paper, a Japanese Chiyogami, works surprisingly well. I had an email from Falkiners yesterday, thanking me for mentioning them so often in my blog and saying they like what I do with their papers! I was really chuffed that they had noticed – and that they are going to send me a little reward next time I place an order. Excellent news!

My good friend, Kim who also features regularly on this blog has two of her own. One is a blog to showcase her award winning art – in fact if you remember, I won a portrait by her in a competition she ran over at her blog Laketrees last year, and her second blog is a poetry blog called PoeArtica.

She is a always supportive and enthusiastic in her comments about my work. Yesterday, she created an award called the Significant Blogger Award She said this about it.

I have designed another Award to recognise Bloggers who make a significant contribution to my blogging world here at laketrees….These special friends have a sense of community and are wholeheartedly committed to spreading their message and friendship generously…these Bloggers excel in many different areas and all of them make a significant difference to my world….I do not expect you to pass this award on as this award is from me to you as my expression of gratitude


She very kindly awarded this to 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 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

Thanks, Kim. I think it should be you getting awards for your generosity of spirit.

All in all, yesterday was a pretty good day. I was away visiting a friend for a couple of days. On my way back, I stopped off and had a little retail therapy in Sherborne, a very picturesque little town with a beautiful abbey and two castles – one built by Sir Walter Raleigh in the 16th century and the ruins of an earlier 12th century one.


Astonishingly, I found the boots I had been searching high and low for for months, in a little shop in this sleepy market town. Perfect shape, in the sale, one pair left, my size. Meant to be. When I got home, there was a letter telling me that I had been succesful in the ballot for Wimbledon tickets and I have two Centre court tickets. Woo hoo!

As yesterday was the day which shall not be mentioned, I wasn’t going to mention the non-arrival of a small mountain of cards and bouquets to my humble abode but the day has been redeemed and my lucky streak continues. I am so honoured, humbled and chuffed to bits to receive the following from none other than Lord Likely.


In his own inimitable words

What with it being the season of love and romance, I should just like to take a moment to give a few honourable mentions to those fine ladies I have recently encountered, and whom I have deemed to be entirely exquisite and with whom I would very much like to procreate with, given half a chance. “

The lucky ladies chosen for this accolade are:
Nurse Myra; Claire; Chelle, The Offended Blogger; Dame Beenzzz; JD of I Do Things; Diane Aldred from Much of Muchness; the ever-radiant Paula; the delightful Valerie Morrison; and dear Lady Terri

What can I say? Best offer I’ve had all year…..


Vote for me or I’ll……make another book!

I really like this book. The cover is a Japanese Silk bookcloth from Falkiners. It is a rich red with a grey slub, so classy! I also love the paper inside. I think I bought this one from Paper Source when I was in Los Angeles, it has been waiting for the perfect companion and I think this is it.

Dear Kim over at Laketrees nominated me in three categories of the Bloggers Choice awards the other day. I am almost embarrassed to tell you the categories but as I would like your votes I shall :-) Unfortunately, they spelled my URL incorrectly and in correcting the error, they deleted Kim’s vote for me, so I am feeling like Billy No-Mates with no votes (instead of Billy One-Mate with one vote!) :-(

So all I can say is ‘Vote for me! Yay!’ :-)

My site was nominated for Best Blog Design!My site was nominated for Best Photography Blog!
My site was nominated for Hottest Mommy Blogger!

I played tennis this morning at the local tennis club. I joined a ‘ladies’ morning’ and it is more of a fun, coaching session than my usual doubles game. It probably involved a lot more running around so I really feel like it will do me good on a lot of levels, I will meet some new people, get fit and improve my tennis – result! It was raining when we started to play but by the time we had finished, the sun had come out and it had turned into a really nice day.

When I got home, I wandered around my garden for the first time in ages and was surprised to see how many signs there were that spring is approaching. Well, that or that global warming has finally hit Dorset. Lots of flowers were out – and I’m sure that apart from the snowdrops, they are early. I took some photographs to show you.


I’m actually feeling quite cheery today for the first time in ages. Long may it continue!

My Zen-like calm…


Every so often I make a book that I’m really not sure works. I have had this stencilled Katazome-shi paper for ages. In fact it is one of the first papers I ever bought from Falkiners. It has such a retro ‘feel’ and very strong colours and I have never been able to find anything that complemented it. I bought this marbled paper from Falkiners last week. It is a from a range of hand marbled papers by Ann Muir. The colours are almost exactly the same as the colours in the Japanese cover paper so I thought it would work but having made the book, I’m not so sure….

It ought to work, I usually choose the two papers by making sure that the inside paper has some of the colours from the cover paper and if it is a different pattern, that doesn’t usually matter as long as one is less ‘busy’ than the other. I think that’s the problem here. They are both too ‘busy’ and so it doesn’t quite work even though the colours are perfect and each paper is fabulous in it’s own right. Definitely a case where ‘less’ would have been ‘more’.

So far this year, I have won a competition over at Go! Smell the Flowers. The prize was a year’s supply of flowers from Flora 2000 – an incredibly generous prize and my first lot should arrive on Monday. Yesterday I heard from Suburose that I had won her crafty giveaway this week! How thrilling! Every week, at her blog Subu, Inc, (which is a showcase for her beautiful recycled notebooks), she has a different giveaway, this week’s is described as follows

…comes from the wonderful and talented Margaret of MargaretsWorld. This is a one of a kind 6×7 collage on wood based on a drawing entitled: “In the Octopus’ Garden”


Margaret constructs her art from found, recycled or otherwise discarded things [which makes me love her even more!]. She uses sculpture as well as two-dimensional material, such as canvas or water color paper in a collage format. all items are one of a kind.

If you want to see more work by Margaret, please feel free to visit her etsy site or her personal website [which houses some amazing pieces].’

I also received a beautiful calendar from Kim at Laketrees this week. It showed gorgeous views of the area in Australia around where Kim lives. This was a prize in a sort of supplementary quiz in her terrific ‘Win a Portrait for Christmas’ competition which was won by Colin over at Life.

I think my luck is finally changing! Now I’m don’t really follow horoscopes (except when it says something nice!) I’m a Scorpio and when I read last week that my ruling planet, Pluto is finally moving out of something or other (where it has been since the mid 1990’s) into something or other else this week, so my life is about to change, I was rather pleased. (Until my son pointed out that technically Pluto isn’t classed as a planet anymore so I am being ruled by a big lump of rock – but that’s another story….)

I am convinced that 2008 is going to be a good year, I checked out Pluto and it has been downgraded – but only to a dwarf planet, according to NASA, so that’s good enough for me. I just re-read the horoscope and it actually sounds like it could go either way…this is Shelley von Strunkel in the Sunday Times:

Keeping your nerve during this period of change isn’t easy. Much of your life, and your perspective on the future, is shifting. Some is by design, but just as much involves changes you neither anticipated nor initiated. Obviously, your instincts are telling you to scramble to save what’s worthwhile. But with your ruler, Pluto, moving into a new sign next week — for the first time since the mid-1990s — things can’t remain as they were. Because this influences others and circumstances as much as it does you, it’s a waiting game. Undertake this with a Zen-like calm and you’ll begin this new chapter in the best possible state of mind. “

Well, she was right about the unanticipated, uninitiated changes but the more I read this, the more ambiguous and scary it becomes. All I know is I must think positive and cultivate my Zen-like calm… :-)

Books and bears


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.


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.


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!)


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….


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.