In theory I am tidying my workroom, but need a breather so thought I'd tell you about this wonderful book which arrived yesterday. It has fired me with enthusiasm and is packed with useful information on how to use various products and make use of materials and items we already have in our homes. Cas Holmes is a great recycler and doesn't believe in wasting anything. Her techniques are all low-tech and she doesn't use chemicals, which pleases me as I'm not happy with either. Because of the mixed-media nature of her work she advises keeping various types of fabric and paper separately organised which makes so much sense, and today I have been trying to do just that, having first had to tidy my room to find said fabrics and papers. I have filled 4 or 5 large bags with things I will never use (famous last words!!) and think the local secondary school textile department might find them useful. If not they can help fill the charity shop ragbags. Cas Holmes does a lot of fabric printing and her work features beautifully machine drawn plants and birds.
We are having very interesting weather today. At lunchtime the sun was shining gloriously so we took our snack outside and began to eat. Five minutes later we heard the first rumble of thunder and saw very dark clouds coming ever closer. Another few minutes and the rain was pelting down, gutters overflowing and a moat forming round the house - it was very un-English rain. All is quiet at present but it rumbled on and off for quite some time.
I usually feel a bit guilty when I buy another book (there is another one on it's way) but I justified it as we are not going on holiday this year and I don't get to exhibitions and workshops these days so a book (or two!) is quite permissible. I have learned so much from books although the personal contact with a tutor is great, as well as the interaction with other students.
Well, break over and back to the tidying. I can see two baskets full of miscellaneous stuff which need sorting and am determined to have cleared my work surfaces before I pack up for today.
It is really entertaining watching this pigeon's strenuous efforts trying to get at the fat balls hanging on our cherry tree. It's been coming down to them most days and goes through the same performance each time - I assume it is the same bird. This morning, it finally settled for just eating the crumbs from the tray of the container on the left of the tree. I wonder if it will remember next time. Luckily I had the camera to hand today, but a video would have been even better.
Our son retires from the police force at the end of this month and I want to give him a little gift to mark the occassion. Inspired by the beautiful mini matchbox books that Gina Ferrari makes I chose a Swan Vestas box to give me a bit more working space. I found out just how much skill is needed to do a really good job. As it used to say on my school reports: Must try harder!
This is the top of the box. I covered it with fine black leather having first painted all the parts that might show, red. I found this little beaded strip in a charity shop and thought it was a very fitting decoration for something which contains an Apache blessing.
This is the base of the box with a tiny moon and star charm at it's centre.
I lined the tray of the matchbox with a muted abstract patterned paper and was very relieved to find that the finished book fitted after a great deal of measuring and checking. I made it as a concertina book with again the black leather on front and back covers and this time a little sun charm for decoration. A simple red cord wraps around to close the book.
I came across this blessing the other day - the words are so lovely: May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently through the world and know it's beauty all the days of your life. All I need now is a nice card to go with it.
I came home from my group meeting yesterday afternoon to find a small package on the mat, and in it was one of Gina Ferrari's exquisite tiny matchbox books. I had seen so many different ones on her blog (Fan My Flame) and couldn't resist buying one for myself. I asked for one based on Pisces as my birthday is in March and here it is. I love it and am in danger of wearing it out as I keep taking it out of it's box and looking at it.
Above is the outside of the box with one of our small matchboxes beside it so you can see just how small they are. Gina has fixed a tiny fishy tile to the front and the matchbox sleeve is covered with beautiful patterned paper.
The box part is covered with another paper featuring a fish design and I have two books for the price of one. The main book is beautifully worked with foil fish in the symbolic Pisces design swimming against eachother. With it is a tiny accordian style book explaining the characteristics of Pisceans.
This also has Japanese papers on its tiny covers and wrapper.
Everything about it is beautifully considered and executed. I am delighted with it as I am sure all the others are who have bought books from Gina.
The light today is dreadful for taking photos but they have turned out better than I imagined. It is so dark and dismal and has been raining all morning. There is nothing like a lovely summer day, and today is definitely nothing like a lovely summer day!
I treated myself to this book by Rebekah Meier this week. It is very inspirational and full of useful techniques for all sorts of products and materials. I have quite a few of those mentioned in the book and am hopeful of having a very creative autumn and winter ahead of me.
I glanced out of the window a couple of days ago and caught sight of this lovely young thrush beside our pond. He/she is very welcome in the garden as we are plagued with slugs and snails.
It already looks quite well fed but I hope it has room for more food, and perhaps it will bring it's friends.
The spacing here has a mind of it's own. I ask it nicely to do what I want but one moment it centres everything and the next moment it goes back to left alignment, which is really what I want.
I think an early night is in order tonight. Last evening at about 8.30 we had a power cut. It was odd as it only affected the dozen or so houses in our little cul-de-sac. The street lights were still on and the houses all around us had lights. It wasn't quite dark of course so we just sat for a while thinking it will come on again in a minute. Gradually darkness fell so I lit candles. My husband donned his head torch which he uses for DIY in dingy corners, and read his book. After a while I left him downstairs and went to read in bed by torchlight, something I haven't done since childhood. At about 2am I was woken by the sound of a lorry engine and reversing signal and then what sounded like someone hitting something with a very large hammer. I couldn't understand what could be going on at that time of night. I dozed off eventually and was woken again at about 4am to hear the same lorry driving away and noticed that there was a light on downstairs, so power had been restored. I went down to turn it off, got back into bed and slept a little more. This morning we found out what all the noise had been about - to repair the fault, engineers had had to dig a large hole in the pavement outside a neighbour's house just opposite us. We have been out all day and it is still there so maybe tomorrow someone will come and fill it in. I am very grateful that our power was restored but have been so tired today after my disturbed night - my husband is deaf so it didn't affect him. I'm also very grateful that I didn't have to turn out at 2am and spend two hours digging a big hole.