5/21/2011

Two hundredth blog post and a giveaway!



The time is flying by at an alarming rate, my garden is knee high in nettles and brambles, my laundry basket is groaning and my desk is piled high with work. One reason for this backlog is our trip to The Lake District where we attended a book repair workshop followed by a short holiday based in Ulverston.

I have of course taken a zillion photographs, which will have to wait for another day. Today I wanted to do something a little bit special, as it is my two hundredth blog post. I started this blog originally as a place to share inspiration and for me this normally comes in book form so today I am offering as a giveaway a hard back, cloth bound, (second hand, I pounced on it in a charity shop!) of one of the most exquisite books ever- “In and Out of the Garden” by Sara Midda. When I had my first child, some thirty years ago, my husband bought me a copy of this remarkable work of art, which sits here on my bookshelf and is a constant source of delight.

For those of you who do not know the book let me try to describe it; every page is hand painted or drawn including the text. It is a collection of garden lore, images and quotations, which have been exquisitely rendered in minute detail, the book was three years in the making and in my opinion is outstandingly beautiful. I am sure many of you will already own a copy but for those of you who don’t you can enter my giveaway by leaving a comment below and please indicate your wish to participate. Maybe you have a special, treasured title, which we should know about, please share your recommendations too. I will pick a winner at random on the first of June. Oh yes, and I should say that the edition that I am giving away is a second edition printed in 1982, Sidgwick and Jackson, London and is missing its dust jacket but everything else is good.

And now, back to the workshop. We learnt, over the space of three days, how to reback a Victorian cloth bound book. You know the sort, one that has torn endpapers, a tatty ripped spine and bumped corners; my shelves are full of them! We separated the text block from the bookcase; I needed to do some secondary sewing to secure the sections. We dyed new cloth and paper to match the original cover and endpapers. We then went on to reback and repair the book, taking time to make a new spine, repair the endpapers and consolidate the corners. You can see some of the stages below, click to enlarge.




the finished book! Just so we are all clear, the giveaway book is "In and Out of the Garden".

40 comments:

  1. Oh how my daughter would love this book! She just graduated with her Masters in education. Last year she started collecting children's books both old and new. New books are nice, but there is something special about the beautifully illustrated children's books done years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How wonderful! Congratulations on your 200th post. I think I was one of the first people to comment on your blog after you left a lovely comment on mine. I have that book on my 'wish list' on Amazon so I would love to be entered into your giveaway. Sounds like you have had a very productive and enjoyable time in the Lake District:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a great giveaway!! I would love to win it, its also in my wish list.

    Congratulations,

    ReplyDelete
  4. hello my dear!!! i envy you the journey to and from the lake district. so many of my memories are tied up in walks along the little roads and especially into the hills. this book is new to me and so i am grateful to you for having shared it here. i'm always excited to be included in a draw, so please pop my name on your list as well! best of luck to everyone. steven

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congratulations on your blogging anniversary, and many thanks for the pleasure you have given this follower!

    I well remember the Sara Midda book, and find it astounding that it was published so long ago. I bought the diary calendar that contained those amazing watercolors. It still has a place of honor on one of my bookcases.

    And now, let me compliment you on your book restoration skills. The workshop surely did help you to learn how to practice magical skills.

    Best wishes. xo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congratulations on your 200th post!! I just discovered your blog a few months ago and I haven't finished go back thru all those older posts but I am enjoying what I HAVE seen and read sooooo much!! I would love to be entered to win the book!! I love illustration and old books and TRY not to let books overtake my whole house but....my husband also loves books so it's hard!! I can't wait to see more of your work!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Are you sure you want to part with this? It looks too good to give away. It would be a great inspiration and might kick some more creativity into my work so I would love to be entered into your give-away.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures on your blog too - I look forward to seeing many more.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have to say one of my favourite books is The Winter Hare by Andrew Haslen. it's a large book containing his beutiful prints, mainly of his rescued Hare, JW. a lovely book to sit and flick through.
    Congrats on your 200th post and I would love to go in the hat, so to speak!
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  9. I LOVE old fairy tale books! I love reading to my grandkids and I am sure they would love it as much as I would.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would love a chance at the Garden book! Congratulations on your 200th post and good luck with the rebacking and repair of your antique fairytale book - what a treasure.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations on your 200th blog.
    I have so enjoyed them for the past two years,especially the visits to an England that some would persuade us no longer exists.
    The book restoration is amazing.I can only imagine the detailed sensitive work that went into it.
    Now I am looking again at books on my shelves that I had thought were beyond repair.
    Please enter me into your lovely giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It is lovely to be introduced to this book, and the way you speak of it makes me desire it even more - please could you pop my name in the draw.

    I have a favourite, very worn book, almost collapsed from use, so I now know where to bring it for new life!

    ReplyDelete
  13. happy 200th. I'm nearly at the same number. I have that book - given to me by a persuing suitor in the firm of an eccentric book dealer. You have just reminded me of it and I'm going to take it to bed tonight. The suitor has passed away but the book rekindles so many shared memories all those years ago x

    ReplyDelete
  14. That's so wonderful..congrats..I've been following you for more the a year ....NO, two years I believe. Love your art...
    And that book..what can I say..its on my wish list..just a book a Dutchess needs..:)
    Happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh yes please, being born and bred in Australia and now at a greater age than I thought I would be, brought up on British books, I would really love this one, it sounds just the sort of book I would love.
    Congrtulations on your 200th.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Congratulations on completing 200 blog posts Valerie - well done!

    Lovely to see the newly bound book in its full glory too. Have a restful Sunday! Lesley x

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hearty congratulations on your 200th post!!! I've loved every one. And I'm so impressed with your book binding talent! Beautiful result!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congratulations on your 200th post! You are a source of great inspiration to me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congratulations on a really great blog.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations on your 200th post. I also have this lovely book. The tiny drawings and soft colours are a joy to read.

    ReplyDelete
  21. you are invited to follow my blog

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yes, congratulations on your 200th post. This book looks like the perfect inspiration for my upcoming retirement and plans to redo my garden. Please enter me in the chance-taking. I would love to share this down the road with my granddaughters. In time they will want to carry on gardening, I am certain. Lovely job on repairing the book. Looks absolutely super!

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a wonderful way to celebrate your accomplishment. As an artist and a writer I'm inspired to continue with my children's book. I would love a copy and shall look forward to winning. How is that for positive thinking eh?

    ReplyDelete
  24. This sounds like a fantastic book. How nice of you to offer it as a give-away. I love that you are repairing books. Too often people just throw them away. I always feel the hair on my neck rise up when someone tells me I have too many books! My favorite book was given to me a a gift. It's not a children's book - it's called Random Harvest and came out after the movie. The dust jacket has sketches of Greer Garson and Ronald Coleman on the cover and inside there is a notice to Buy Bonds!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Many congratulations on your 200th post! (Never mind, the wildlife will love your nettles!) The course sounded really fascinating.

    The giveaway book is beautiful, and very generous of you but please don't include me in your draw, as I'm sure someone else would be able to provide a much better home.x

    ReplyDelete
  26. First of all...congrats on number 200 and what a great job or rebinding that old book. It looks marvelous.
    How generous of you to offer such a treasured little book as your giveaway. I would love to win it.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Happy Blog-versary Valerie!
    I feel a bit cheeky really entering your giveaway having just last week won one at Drawings from Nature!
    Old and intersting books are a great love of mine, the book binding workshop sounds brilliant!
    I must say I'm particularly fond of my little old antique Mabinogion embossed with a phoenix and a Welsh Dragon on the covers, full of wild and tall tales too!
    Glad I'm not the only one with a garden going to wilderness and piles of washing! Hehehe
    Carrie...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Congratulations on your 200th blog post! I also have been inspired by Sara's book! It is a treasured in my library. Thank you for reminding me to take another look at it.
    xo,
    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  29. This book looks absolutely delicious! Please include my name in the hat for the giveaway. Happy Spring to you. I hope the UK weather is cooperating and bringing you lots of magic in the garden.
    Hugs!
    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  30. Congratulations on your 200th blog. It is a lovely book, always enjoy looking at mine. The green pea pods are my favourite page . You were very close, sorry I missed you, hope you enjoyed your days in the Lakes and the weather was kind.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The giveaway sounds fantastic (I am always amazed at the treasures people uncover!). I'm so impressed with your restoration work on the other book - what a wonderful skill to learn! I have some books on my shelf that are in dire need of similar assistance :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I loved that book. It came out when I was at college. I'm sure I have my old and dusty copy somewhere. Hope I can find it!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I bought this book years ago and always found it inspirational...if you pick my name, ignore it and pick someone who doesn't yet have it! Congrats on your long and lovely blog...thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hello there! I just found your blog, and love your artwork and beautiful pictures. What fun to learn how to re-bind books; I have a shelf devoted to poor old books whose covers are long since lost!

    I would love to be entered in your giveaway, but only if the shipping wouldn't be too dear.

    Love

    Marqueta

    ReplyDelete
  35. wow....I have two copies of "In and Out" and so does Mom! Just goes to show how those great things get around, right Val?
    It's a lovely gift for someone who has never seen it, though - absolutely!
    Think of you sooo often.,,love checking your blog..
    Love to Tony..
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  36. Growing up, I poured over Jill Barklem, Beatrix Potter, Alison Utteley and other 'nature worshippers' of the British countryside's 'Wheel of the Year', trying to get my fix of foxgloves and primroses! My own childhood was confined to the dusty eucalyptus of the Australian bush, as far from cottage gardens and hedgerows as you could get -- but oh, how I dreamed! Now with two children of my own (both aged under 28 months!) I am revisiting all my old fancies, which is why I've been following your enchanting blog. Sara Midda looks like another precious book for my oft-worshipped dog-eared collection... all of which are fulfilling me until the day I am able to visit England and dance through the buttercups myself :-)

    ReplyDelete
  37. That's me, in and out of the garden! Congratulations on 200 posts Valerie. I would love to be entered into your giveaway. x

    PS. Glad you had an enjoyable and productive time up in the Lakes.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Congratulations, Valerie! As you know, I adore vintage books. Wonderful restoration.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I would love this book and use it profusely!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I missed it, shame on me, into Google Reader you go!

    Congratulations to Rosie!

    ReplyDelete