Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: leather

Help!

you-v-tech

I have spent an inordinate amount of time this week trying to sort out my email settings. As you might know, I own the domain name dianealdred.com and it struck me that I don’t use the associated email so I decided to set it up as an alternate email address. My #2 son has been here this week too and as he has his own domain name and also wanted to use the associated email for business, I attempted to set both of them up. Oh my God! Why is it SO difficult? The domain names were registered with different companies so I had two separate and ridiculous sets of instructions to follow. I ended up (after much fiddling about), with me able to send emails but not receive them and my son, being able to receive emails but not send them. Nightmare.

chickenhold

Turns out my problem is that my domain name is now mapped to my blog and the emails sent to me at dianealdred.com are re-routed by WordPress to Google mail – but not my ordinary gmail account, oh no, to a separate ‘diane@dianealdred.com’ gmail account. Who knew? When I checked it, there were about 30 emails from the last two years stashed away there, unread, from various companies and an old boyfriend (which gave me a turn!) but mostly from my friend Claire in LA – sorry, love, wasn’t being rude or ignoring you – honest! My son’s email problem remains unsolved. We have copied the settings exactly as instructed but it still won’t work, there is some impressive buck passing going on by the company we have registered the domain name with and their website is confusing, unhelpful and clunky. Rubbish, AZC.

e-mailI now am suffering from tech support phobia and I am going to get on with making my books, a much more peaceful and stress free pursuit.

I went to Pittards factory shop yesterday and bought leather for several projects I have in the pipeline, two wedding albums, a ‘new baby’ album and a huge ‘our holiday’ album. The leather I bought was so cheap compared with buying it from the retailers I normally use, I couldn’t resist buying several pieces. Meanwhile, the work continues on the music anthology project (I am working on books 11 and 12/20) so I am busy, busy, busy, which is all good.

Right, I’m off, where’s the glue….

Advertisements

I may have found my new career…

I’ve been occupied this week with making a gift for my sister to say ‘Thanks’ for my wonderful sailing holiday in Greece. Here’s a sneak preview of what I made for her. I was going to send her a CD with copies of all the photographs I took but I decided it might be nice to make an album of the highlights which would hold the CD. So here it is.

greece2greece4greece3greece1greece5

I’m now going to make a birthday gift for a friend celebrating her 40th birthday on Saturday. She is the daughter of my very good friends, Mike and Julie, and it is very scary indeed to realise that my friends’ children are now reaching 40. How can this be? I am sure I’m not much older than that myself. Mind you I did start counting my birthdays backwards several years ago, so I might be mistaken….

As this is a return to my bookbinding posts, I want to tell you bookbinding folk of two discoveries I have made recently. One is Ratchfords who sell a full range of bookbinding materials from their web site  – not the best online shopping experience but they are extremely helpful and offer prompt delivery. My other discovery is a factory shop at Pittards. Pittards is  in Yeovil, where they make gloves (in fact the local football team, Yeovil Town,  is nicknamed The Glovers) but the factory shop has a HUGE range of all grades and colours of leather and leather working tools you can imagine – as well as gloves and handbags etc. I visited the other day and managed to take these photographs.

pittards1pittards2

Wow. Very inspiring and the prices weren’t too bad either.

wimbledon2009

I watched the epic Men’s Final at Wimbledon on Sunday. What a match! I started out rooting for Roger Federer but by the end I was so impressed with Andy Roddick’s play, I didn’t want either man to lose. Poor Andy Roddick looks shell shocked in the photo above. What a marathon, one of the best matches I have ever watched. I’ve been feeling a bit bereft this week, no more Wimbledon for a year but all is not lost. I can now move seamlessly on to watching the cricket – The Ashes series started yesterday and promises to be as exciting as ever. By the time that finishes, the football season will be starting again, hey ho.

And now, the job of a lifetime. It has come to my notice that Wookey Hole a complex of caves near Wells in Somerset and a famous tourist attraction is advertising a job vacancy. They are going to pay £50,000 a year to some one who is willing to live in the caves and be……a witch. Local legend says the original Wookey witch was turned to stone when a Catholic monk, sent by the Abbot of Glastonbury, splashed her with holy water. A large, vaguely witch-shaped stalagmite in one of the caves is said to be her petrified remains.

caves_wookey_hole_3sfw

Wookey Hole wants the appointee to go about her everyday business as a hag, so that people passing through the caves can get a sense of what the place was like in the Dark Ages. This was when an old woman lived in the caves with some goats and a dog, causing a variety of social ills including crop failures and disease. The job is straightforward: live in the cave, be a witch, and do the things witches do.”

The ad goes on

Wookey Hole is advertising nationally and hopes to attract a strong field of candidates, with the £50,000 salary serving as a major incentive. Ambitious witches, looking for a key career move, should turn up dressed for work and bring any essential witch accoutrements. A limited range of potion ingredients will be available. We are witchless at the moment so we need to get the role filled as soon as possible. The successful applicant will need to like dark, enclosed spaces, be good around a cauldron, enjoy the company of cats and have a good cackle. We are looking for someone who is friendly, a little mischievous and with lots of character.

Interestingly, there is also a paper mill at Wookey Hole and they make the most beautiful handmade paper which I have bought on many occasions. Perhaps I could be the Wookey Hole bookbinding witch….

PS Please check out the Social Vibe widget in my sidebar, if you click on it, TNT will make a donation to the ‘Fill the Cup’ campaign by the World Food Program. It’s free for you and it’s a very worthy cause. Better still, if you have a WordPress blog, put your own widget on your blog! You can choose from a selection of different charities and sponsors. Every little bit helps :-)

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 :-)

 

 

Work in progress

orangesilk.jpgorangesilk_sections.jpgorangesilk_open.jpg

This book is a work in progress. It is covered with a gorgeous Japanese tangerine silk bookcloth which matches the end paper perfectly. I have a very soft spot for this end paper, I used it in a very special green leather book I made as a gift for someone last year and it always looks classy.

I say this is a work in progress, as it is a binding I have not tried before, only two sections sewn so that the stitching forms the design on the spine. I’m not sure if this type f binding has a name or not. I wanted the stitching to highlight the end paper so instead of the usual cream linen thread I used this lime green embroidery silk which worked quite well. Now even though the book is almost finished, I am going to continue with it and for the first time, I am going to fill it with calligraphy and other goodies, so you may be seeing this one again when it is finished. I started making books to do this very thing but was completely sidetracked by the process of making the books, which became an end in itself instead of a means to an end, if you see what I mean. So we shall see how this goes….

the-first-annoying-vegan.gif

Now, I’m not saying that vegans are annoying, but there is no doubt that life would be a whole lot easier if my Number 1 son was a vegetarian. I took him shopping this morning for smart shoes to wear with a suit. He has some job interviews looming and needs to look sharp. Easy task you might think. Not if your son is a vegan and refuses to wear leather, it isn’t. We came to an impasse when I refused to buy cheap and nasty plastic shoes (I notice people’s shoes and plastic one’s are just plain nasty and won’t last 5 minutes) and he refused to wear anything leather (although there are lots of leather shoes out there that looked like plastic!). We may just reach a compromise if we can find some leather looking but not so ‘training shoe’ looking shoes which I think is his only hope. There must be something suitable out there, I can’t believe all vegans only wear jeans and casual shoes. Or maybe I should let him wear casual shoes with his suit to assert his individuality? Who can say?

I have also been working on my web site (not my Etsy store though unfortunately). I am determined to finish my web site as I do enjoy coding the html and css. I find it strangely therapeutic. It definitely appeals to my inner Maths teacher :-) I was stuck for ages this afternoon with a problem which turned out to be a simple coding error but talk about not being able to see the wood for the trees, it took me forever to spot it. It’s times like this when I miss my ex, who was my encyclopedia and guru for all things Mac and technological. It was great having someone at the end of the phone or an email away who could always tell me what to do or where to find out what I needed to know. This just about sums up my afternoon…click to enlarge.

web-design.gif

Deep purple…

On my last trip to Falkiners, I bought several leather panels, mainly because they are divine colours. I have used some of the purple one here, it is the richest most gorgeous thing you have ever seen. I decided to use this lime green book cloth for the spine as I think the two colours really ‘zing’ off each other. I also bought a ready made address book block and have cased it in. I think it makes a very nice address book.

purple-leather.jpg
purpleleather_open.jpgpurpleleather_index.jpg

I’m pleased to report that my cold disappeared overnight and I’m just a bit snuffly today, so don’t know what all that was about – I felt dreadful last night. It seems to come on in the evening and then disappear during the day – very odd. Maybe I’m allergic to darkness – what’s the opposite of a vampire…?