Friday, 9 December 2011

Christmas greetings

If anyone is struggling to get into the Christmas spirit, I can thoroughly recommend going to see a children's nativity play.  But then again, this probably only applies to parents.  Yesterday I had the privilege of watching my 7 year old daughter play the part of an angel in her school nativity play, and I felt Christmassy for the first time.  The wonderful music and the joy on the children's faces gave me what I can only describe as a warm fuzzy feeling.

Taking inspiration from this moving experience, my recent additions to my Etsy shop try to capture the spirit of the season.  My festive miniature books can be used to write notes in, Christmas lists perhaps?, but they can also be hung from the Christmas tree to make an unusual ornament. 

These items and more can be found in my Etsy shop Glass Roof Books - do take a look.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Book Press

Christmas came early for me last week when I took ownership of my nipping press, thanks to my beloved husband, who bid for it on eBay.  A combined Christmas and birthday present from my other half, these things don't come cheap, even second hand.  We travelled to Congleton (nice place), and collected the press, which my hubby struggled to place in the boot of the car, not realising how heavy these things are.  Struggling to catch his breath, we drove back to Manchester, the car noticeably heavier.  Then came the fun part of trying to get the damn thing into the house.  We struggled, but together, somehow, we got the nipping press into the living room, amidst much huffing and puffing, and giggling.  And there it remains, tucked away in a corner of the living room (God forbid if anyone should stub their toe on it!!).  Unfortunately, it's doubtful that it will move from its resting place, as hubby is afraid it will go straight through the floor if moved to the conservatory, where I do most of my bookbinding.  But I think you'll agree, it's a real beauty.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011 live event in Manchester

I was lucky enough to attend the live event yesterday at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester.  Organised to help mums find information on flexible working and starting a business, the event featured some excellent seminars. 

'Working for yourself - practical steps and options' featured three guest speakers: Iain McIlwee, from PCG, who explained some of the benefits of working as a freelancer; Paul Southworth from The Direct Selling Association, who aimed to explode the myth that direct selling was little more than a means of earning pin money; and Rachel Ray, founder of Bright & Beautiful, who provided an excellent introduction into the world of franchising.

The afternoon's sessions kicked off with 'Setting up your own business - Social Marketing & PR'.  Possibly my favourite seminar of the day, Naomi Timperley, who launched Baby Loves Disco in the UK, and Social Media Boom, gave a fascinating introduction into the world of social networking, helping to unravel some of the mysteries of Twitter and Facebook.

Finally, speakers Bernie Cox of the Women's Organisation and Neil Lewis of MediaMoDo provided some practical information on the subject of Business Planning.   

All in all, an interesting and informative event, which I'd recommend to any mums thinking of setting up their own business.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

As welcome as the unexpected sunny spell was last week, there's something comforting for me about the arrival of autumn.  The tree that I view from my window is looking spendid now, there's a slight nip in the air, and the crunch of leaves underfoot, coming into a warm house from the cold - I love this time of year.  Amidst all the day to day stress of lost schoolbooks, emergency dentist appointments, and the other unwelcome trivia of daily life, walking through the park soothes my soul, and calms me - an oasis of calm in this mad world.  Feeling all inspired, my latest miniature book tries to capture the colours of autumn (  Must remember supplies for the Harvest festival on Wednesday morning!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

18th century inspiration

I've always loved the various styles of the 18th century.  And it's lovely to see so many of my fellow Etsy sellers who share this appreciation.  My latest journal was inspired by the decadence of the 18th century, with this wonderful paper-backed fabric which evokes the feeling of 18th century dress fabric.  It goes perfectly with the dark green book cloth, which I've used on the spine and the corners of the book.
The finishing touch to the book is a cabochon, in a bronze, antique-effect setting.  Inserted into this is an image, based on a painting by Fragonard ('The Love Letter'), which depicts a lady in full magnificent 18th century attire, glancing furtively over her shoulder as she reads a love letter.  It's my first attempt at cabochons - quite pleased with the results, but as is often the case, next time I'll do things differently.  Any hardened cabochon-users out there?  Please do let me know if you have any advice you'd be happy to share.
The matching slipcase is covered in the dark green book cloth used on the spine and corners of the book, whilst internally, the slipcase is lined with green and gold patterned paper.
And so there is my personal homage to 18th century style.  New designs will be posted soon, including Autumn and Halloween-inspired books.  Watch this space!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Autumn's here

Taken from my bedroom window - leaves beginning to turn red.  Autumn has definitely arrived.  I love the colours of this season - golds, reds, browns.  I feel a bout of inspiration coming on....

Friday, 9 September 2011

Summer's over - back to work

Back from summer holidays, feeling refreshed and raring to go, having been inspired by a fabulous week checking out the delights of the Kent coast – my first ever visit.  Weather wasn’t brilliant, so spent much of the time sitting in cosy cafes with steamed-up windows, sipping lattes and people-watching, in between investigating all the fabulous boutiques, selling wonderful handmade goodies.  Special mention must go to the boutiques along Harbour Street in Whitstable, including Frank (where I saw the wonderful work of Abigail Brown  in the flesh!) and She Sells,  and also the Margate Old Town,  including Blackbird.  Also fond memories of lunches in the Belgian cafe in Ramsgate, wonderful seafood at Wee Willie Winkles on the sea front at Whitstable; exploring the beautiful city of Canterbury; and snug evenings sat in our rented cottage in Fordwich – loving the exposed brick detail and original floorboards.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

School holidays

August has arrived, and with it, the school holidays, stretching out like a never-ending road before me.  There's nothing like the challenge of trying to keep a six year old entertained for five weeks, when you have little money, no transport and the weather is awful.  Started off with the best of intentions this morning by walking to the swimming pool (in the pouring rain), setting off early in the hope that the pool would be quiet (it wasn't), but after about an hour of trying to get my daughter to swim rather than just splash about noisily, I'd had enough, and it was time to trudge back in the rain again.  I was so hacked off that I had to treat myself to a Cadbury's Dairy Milk from the vending machine (why do leisure centres always have such unhealthy food?).  But I figured I'd burnt most of those calories off during my swim anyway.  At least I managed to get my latest journal finished, covered in this fabulous fabric depicting dainty ladies' shoes and handbags, complete with charm feature.

Monday, 18 July 2011

A5 landscape campervan journal and slipcase

Just added another finished journal and slipcase to my Etsy shop  I used this fabulous material I bought on a recent trip to the Lake District.  It features images of campervans against a black background.  I teamed it up with some vibrant orange leather-effect fabric on the spine, and on the edges of the slipcase.

Fabric shopping in Chorlton

Spent a wonderful day on Friday in Chorlton perusing the aisles of Leon's Fabric Superstore, like a kid in a sweetshop.  The weather was also fabulous - unlike today, which has seen a constant downpour of rain.  After spending about an hour in this wonderful Aladdin's Cave of a shop, it dawned on me that I was going to have to make a purchase, but the choice of fabric was just breathtaking.  Eventually settled on two beautiful lengths of  fabric, which have provided inspiration for my next bookbinding projects.  Watch this space!