'tis the season for bookbinding...

We are now experiencing cool autumnal weather after an amazingly hot spell, which took everyone by surprise and made it hard to be indoors. I had to spend time working on Christmas artwork, painting snowmen and Christmas trees when the sun shone and the garden beckoned.

Our grandson George celebrated his second birthday and I had my … errr hmmm birthday too. The nicest part about birthdays is of course the presents and I am thrilled with my new press, which my husband bought for me. A bookbinding friend called Robert Hamer built it, he numbers all his presses and I am honoured to own number 8. He laminates the plywood to make an extremely strong structure, which is much lighter than metal so even a wimp like me can lift it.

Having the new press has inspired me to do more bookbinding. I rescued a lovely but very tatty edition of “Highland Pack” illustrated in black and white by Keith Henderson. I choose a grey/green cloth and a piece of paste paper, which I had previously decorated in a workshop, believing that it would come in handy one day! This was my first attempt at a half cloth binding. If you would like to try yourself I can recommend a very thorough but easy to follow book by Kathy Abbott “Bookbinding A step-by-step guide”. I also made some more little notebooks for personal use and experimented with printing an image taken in Venice with a “photocopy” effect filter. I printed it out onto thin grey card on my ink jet printer and used it as a cover for a simple single section notebook.

Of course I am eager to devote some more time to printmaking, my lino and wood engraving tools are looking forlorn and neglected, oh for a thirty-six hour day.
Before I go I just wanted to point you in the direction of Mangle Prints who has been printing some delightful Christmas cards, each one hand pulled and nice enough to frame.


  1. Must be strange painting snowmen though it certainly felt chilly last night. Book binding also seems like such a useful skill for biblophiles.

  2. the heat has crossed the atlantic and we have it this weekend. the cooler weather will return and yes, the shops have started to display the christmas items, symbols and objects and so it is definitely time for you to get to work!!! steven

  3. I like your birthday present, suddenly when you have the the tools it opens up a whole world. I expect you will be putting it to good use. You can press your Lino cuts and have lots of fun experimenting.
    This year seems to have flown by, it certainly feels like autumn here. Nice to stay indoors and make things.

  4. I am sure Vslerie, that you are never ever short of a million things to do whatever the weather. Love the Buttercup Farm collection.

  5. What a fabulous birthday gift! You'll have a grand time exploring the possibilities granted by this beautifully made device.

    Yes...I long for days much longer than 24 hours. Or some way to reset my inner priorities. xo

  6. What a lovely birthday present. There seems to be no end to your many talents and you have so many lovely and exciting things to do. It must have been strange working on Christmas designs in all that heat - you must have wanted to be painting late summer flowers or autumnal scenes and not snowmen:)

  7. Thanks for sharing Valerie! Loved seeing the Christmas artwork. A good reminder to me that I need to get busy too! Love your magical touch!

  8. I think your new press is YUMMY!
    I can hardly wait to see what treasures you come up with, dear Val.....
    Love to you.... and to Tony.

  9. A totally beautiful and utterly absorbing post.

  10. OOOh i love your press Valerie, a whole world of experimenting & making opening up there i see, how exciting. I do so love your Christmas designs, and as always its your attention to detail that makes my heart sing x

  11. Oh, my goodness! That is wonderful! lol What fun to be able to use such an aparatus. You are truly and inspiration.

    And if you ever decide to head off to Montana, let me know! Perhaps we could persuade Tammie to be our guide! (grin)