Thursday, 21 June 2012

Bookbinding Day

Last week I was at The Art Nest in Hitchin for a bookbinding day with Ken Futers 

All having fun.....

 It was a great day learning more about traditional bookbinding and good to pick up tips from a new tutor. Ken was highly organised with all tools provided, packs of materials for each of us and he ably demonstrated all the techniques - we were told to WATCH!! He managed to keep all of us (6 women) on task and it was a very busy day. Lunch, provided by Emmeline, was yummy sandwiches, homemade scones and cakes which were greatly enjoyed; with tea and coffee throughout the day. What could be better than being creative in good company fuelled by good food?
Here's my book in progress....

and the finished book; 

which I was really pleased with. I had to dash off at the end of the day to teach but just got these photos of more lovely books, well done everyone!

Here are some books I've made recently.

and these since my course...

Bookmaking appeals to my precise nature, all that accurate measuring etc. but like printmaking has endless possibilities for colour combinations, different shapes and materials...... such fun! Also, my bookbinding press is now being used for it's original purpose as well as for relief printing.

Lastly a photo of Barney at the village Jubilee celebrations, he loved his crown (well done Mummy)......

and with my birthday present (2 this week)

Like his Granny, he loves gardening.

Friday, 8 June 2012

A Flavour of France

I recently spent a week in France with a friend at her house, the 2nd time I had been there. The nearest town is Thenon, NE of Bergerac.
 It was a wonderful week of relaxation, walking, wild flower spotting, sketching, reading, eating and drinking - what could be better than sitting on a terrace over looking the fields and woods, glass of wine in hand watching a  deer in the field below and listening to the birds. Luckily the sun shone all week, such a pleasure compared to our current weather. Lots of lizards around, they liked garlic sausage!
Birds we heard included owls, nightingales and orioles; we saw lots of kites, buzzards, jays and green and spotted woodpeckers as well as more usual chaffinches and blackbirds. There were masses of wild flowers, as the small farms with animals are left empty. This is dropwort.
Meadow clary (sage family),
pyramid orchids all round the house,
lesser butterfly orchid on the grass verge
and a man orchid.
This unusal plant we identified as Bath asparagus, it was nearly 3 ft. tall.
We sat by this lake not far from the house one lunchtime with a cold beer in hand.
We visited a fabulous garden, Marquessac near Beynac, mainly topiary with great views of the River Dordogne in the valley below.

Beynac is a delightful place,
 I enjoyed walking round Bergerac again.
This sums up France to me, poppies
and walnut trees.
Happy memories as I wrap up here with an extra cardigan....