Antiques for Everyone Fair

I’ve been very preoccupied recently with helping my mum purchase a retirement flat and feel that I have been wading through mud as far as creating anything new artistically. I seem to spend more and more time sitting at my computer, trying to get to grips with some new programme or other, at the moment I am doing battle with Indesign. It is always so much more difficult to learn from a book but feel reluctant to enroll on anymore evening classes so I suppose I will just have to carry on regardless. I have been thinking for some time now about getting some of my children’s books back into print through one of the POD companies, one of the reasons why I need Indesign.

Light relief has been found in bookbinding, making origami structures from folded Elephanthide. In case you are wondering, I have not skinned an endangered species; Elephanthide is a very tough paper, which lends itself to paper folding! You can see the finished result here-

I also had some illustrations exhibited at The National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham where I met up with Mike and Hilary Emeny from Books Illustrated Ltd. (see above) at the Antiques for Everyone Fair.The day I went they were very excited to have sold an original Arthur Rackham. Other works on their stand included Ernest Shepard, Edmund Dulac and Annie French.


  1. I think there are times when every creative person seems to face that same "wading through mud" phase and I find it's usually when my mind is preoccupied with family matters.

    Coming from a printing background, I had a giggle over the Elephanthide...I have always been facinated by the strange names given to papers...have absolutely no idea how some of them come about!

    Warmest hugs,

  2. The picture looks so good framed. Good luck with the software.

  3. Valerie, your picture looks grand!

    Bravo to you for teaching yourself new skills...that is how I have learned my computer bits, and I know that my collection is still a bit slim.

    I also like the look of the origami. If I were ever to take an origami class, rather than rely on books' inscrutable diagrams, I would most likely be able to get beyond the crane and box stage.

    Let's see, what else...oh, of course, bravo to you on helping your mom.

    What a busy lady you are. xo

  4. I love the book - and I know what you mean about technology. I have the Adobe Design bundle and have for a year or so now. I used to be at least somewhat literate in Quark Express and did any graphics I needed there. Now I struggle with Indesign, feeling completely out of the loop. Someday maybe I'll have time to figure it out!

    It seems lately that I am pining over the days when my job was to be an artist- not manage the hundreds of papers and bills and stuff of life. Has it just gotten really out of control? I think so. I am so hoping to create simplicity again and be able to flow with artistic process and keep the other things to a minimum...

  5. Oh, congratulations on the exhibit!
    Rackham, Shepard, Dulac and French.
    Your lovely illustration was in very good company.

  6. I like the idea of that paper and the paper folding idea Valerie.

  7. I was wondering when we were going to see more of The Owl and the Pussycat. When will it be available to purchase?
    Summer doldrums seem to be a common affliction this year. And yet you are making these perfect little books. All the drudge-work becomes the unseen force behind seemingly effortless beauty.

  8. Lovely photo of you Valerie, with your Owl & Pussycat poster. I'm so envious of your paper folding dexterity too! x

  9. Hi Valerie,
    I use InDesign (though you're probably on a newer version than I am) and though I'm not an expert by any means, if I can help in any way will be glad to. I used to publish a local magazine and used InDesign to do the layout each month.

  10. Valerie,
    I have looked at your Keepsake Miniature Artist Book and read the story behind it: what precious arts and craft! Alone the fact that you are able to match the printed cards' colours to the original is a big achievement, not to mention the folding of the book.

    Congratulations on having some of your illustrations included in an exhibition at The National Exhibition Centre!

    Wading through mud may be necessary every now and then to give creativeness a pause, to then come back with new inspiration and force.

    Teaching yourself new skills: chapeau! :-)

  11. I love your little Blizzard Book, especially beautiful with your wonderful illustrations. I have just used a Blizzard to make my latest edition for BookArtObject, such fun to make.

  12. I really enjoyed the little book--I know what you mean about helping elderly parents as they age. I also know the sense of losing art in front of the computer screen. (sigh)

    Your paper art and book binding are inspiring. My son does paper sculpture--I often make little books, too. But not like these.

    I feel inspired.

  13. I can sympathize with the fact that caregiving drains creative energy. I am also managing my mom's care. And we just moved and are remodeling/ downsizing a new place. It leaves you feeling like your brain is full of cotton. I am just beginning to attempt some creating again and it is so therapeutic. Good luck.

  14. I can relate to the energy drain of caring for a parent. Also, we just moved and are downsizing/remodeling our new place. I have been way to stressed/drained to be creative. And yet, I know that is just what I need to do to heal and become energized again. I am beginning to attempt it. Good luck to you.