Sunday, 3 April 2011

Books. Beautiful books.

I have a friend whose birthday came round at the start of March. As she's one of the friends who's always been supportive of my craft-based endeavours she has also had the misfortune of receiving many,ahem, experimental gifts. Kate, you never fail to be enthusiastic about the crap I give you, and I love you for it.

Anyway, this year I thought the limit had been reached, so I hit folksy to see what I could find that wasn't knitted or bead-based, and I found the definitive answer in the shape of one Kate Bowles and her fantastically beautiful books.

I love these books for two reasons: firstly because of the elegant reuse of beer mats and old shirts, and secondly for the pride in her craft that Kate shows by making the binding visible. There's something beautiful in laying out the mechanism by which a thing is held together, particularly when that mechanism is so attractive in it's own right.

Her shop can be found here:

Saturday, 2 April 2011

March excuses for making nothing

I seem to be losing time. Buckets of the stuff. Blink and another month has gone by.

I have a lot of intentions, plans, half-formed ideas of things I'm going to make. But none of it has been happening lately - it has been suggested that I might be trying to spread myself too thin and this may be true... Why not decide for yourselves with a few little snippets of the month gone by, by way of apology for the paucity of craft-based activity:

2nd: Racing Demon at Sheffield's Crucible theatre was a play by David Hare (he's written loads of screenplays as well, good bloke worth googling) about four clergymen with very different religious methodologies. It had a broader application though - the evangelical youngster could have been a fiery idealist newly entered into any profession.
Link to the Sheffield theatres blurb

5th: Chesterfield Beadshop! A veritable bead and stone mecca ( although I do love my little local Jam Jar Beads) with some fantastic semi-precious cabochons. I picked up a big bit of turquoise for probably my most valuable make yet.
Details here...

8th: Harry Bird and the Rubber Wellies gig at the Rude Shipyard in Sheffield. I've seen these guys and enjoyed their idiosyncratic brand of contemporary folk a number of times now. Originally recommended by my Madrid-based brother, it ultimately transpired that one Welly was in fact the Sheffield-born brother of my good friend Gill. Small small world.
Their website's here

19th: Snowdon ascent and camping. If you feel the cold, don't camp in march, especially not in Wales. It's cold and if the fog descends you don't get much of a view from the top. Our great campsite did allow fires though, which is always a bonus. Also, wet gloves will give you fat hands.

23rd: Kelham Island brewery tour. This place produces 30,000 pints a week to supply the alehouses of Sheffield and environs, all in a space with about the same floor area as a ubiquitous Sheffield terrace. How they do it, I still don't really know. They gave us some cracking chilli next door in the Far Cat pub too.

31st: Cocoa Knit Club just sneaks in. This place is my favourite chocolate shop slash cafe, and the monthly knit club is an orgy of chocolate and knitting good fun. I love the enthusiasm of the girls that run it, and the fact that they managed to go to Grenada to visit their favourite cocoa plantation last year is just plain cool. Makes me want to give up the day job and do something equally life-affirming.

April I want you to be quieter. I have things to do.

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Saturday, 5 March 2011

The triumphal return. And a footstool.

I've been away a while. I'm sorry. Life pulled some pretty hefty punches on me and things slid a little. But I'm back, making stuff again and talking...

So, the footstool. After an unfortunate incident involving damp cardboard and a crate of beer, I found myself with a cheap footstool from a certain ubiquitous Swedish furniture shop sans cushion and cover. The answer- my trusty sewing machine, a few buttons and ribbon and a much improved stool as a result. I am really rather happy with it so far.

Here's a little picture, and I'm off to play with resin.

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