It has been very hectic around here for the past few weeks, not only have I been trying hard to meet work deadlines, I have also had to plan three separate social events including a family party to celebrate my husband Tony’s early retirement from teaching. These were happy/sad occasions as it meant very many goodbyes not only to pupils and staff but also to a way of life that has dominated our lives for the last thirty-four years. Needless to say there was much laughter and a few tears, mainly from me as I read all the warm testimonials, letters and cards he received.
I wanted to give him a gift that would be appropriate to this new and exciting phase in his life and wracked my brains to find the perfect answer. In the end I settled for two things that I knew he would appreciate: one is a handmade notebook and the other is a piece of original artwork, both by wonderful people I met in the blogosphere and whose work we both admire.
The original artwork is a pencil drawing of a storyteller and weaver of tales entitled “Once Upon a Time” by Rima Staines of Hermitage fame. I was very honoured that she agreed to part with her original artwork, as every piece is very personal to her. I could have bought a print, indeed if you would like a copy she has them in her Etsy shop. The original artwork is something special, so beautifully rendered and imaginatively designed with very many tiny details to enjoy. I thought the theme of the work was very fitting for a man who has spent his career as an English teacher, one who held his classes spellbound with his stories and love of books.
The other gift is a handmade book that has a good thickness and is nice and bendy. It has been lovingly stitched around a recycled leather cover and has herringbone details on the spine. This is the work of Sarah Mitchell who has a wonderful blog called Little Paper Bird. It positively cries out to be used and I know it will be put to good use for note taking, ideas and thoughts. Again, if you would like a similar book she has them in her Etsy shop.
My name is Valerie Greeley. I am an artist, surface pattern/textile designer and illustrator. I have a special interest in the book arts including illustration, bookbinding, printmaking and artist books. I also have an interest in quilting, nature and bumblebees.