Logo and lunch.

It’s been an exciting week for many reasons, where do I start?

Well, for ages now I have been deliberating as to the wisdom of publishing my own books. I did have a foray down that path and tried out print on demand. It was an education if nothing else. I learned many new things but felt that the overall quality of the books fell short of expectation. I have been too worried about all the practicalities of warehousing, sales and distribution to go it entirely on my own but now, I see a way forward. Like everything in life, this new venture of mine will be a gamble but I feel confident enough to have taken the first steps. Not entirely alone, I will be guided by an old and trusted friend whose company will handle all the tricky bits like storage, distribution etc. more of this later…

For now, I am the proud owner of Acornmoon Books complete with ten ISBN’s, a new logo and, fingers crossed, will see the first children’s picture book in the spring next year. I am hoping that given the right conditions, this tiny acorn sized venture will grow and thrive and if it falls at the first hurdle, well at least I will have tried.

I have also started to illustrate another book for a well known publisher, this time for an established writer who I admire enormously who also sometimes publishes her own titles. I dare not say too much about this as so much is still to be sorted and as they say, “There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip.” Hopefully I will be able to tell you more soon.

On the theme of acorns, I met up with two friends from the blog world -
Gretel from “Middle of Nowhere” and Frances from "City Views Country Dreams".
We met in Ludlow and had lunch and explored the town. Gretel, who makes the most wonderful needle felted creations gave me this exquisite acorn. The gorgeous stripy knitted gloves are the work of Frances from New York who was playing her very own version of “Miss Marple” whilst staying in a very old and quirky hotel in Ludlow. I have never met Frances before so it was an extra treat for me, and lovely to share some time with two very creative and interesting ladies.

Ludlow has much to offer, it has the most marvelous position but the inclement weather stopped us walking far. Amongst its many interesting shops we found a bindery shop and of course we had to venture inside for a spot of retail therapy. Well, could you resist hand-marbled paper? No, nor could I. We admired the many old black and white buildings, had a stroll around the castle, decided that the fallen leaves looked exactly like a Japanese Kimono pattern until all too soon, we had to say our goodbyes before heading home.


  1. I am truly glad about the wonderful times you have had this week - I am quite certain Frances is a lovely lady from her blog and the comments she leaves on others - and very excited for you about your future plans.



  2. Nice to have you back Valerie and congratulations on your new venture - do hope it is a success.
    I used to live in Wolverhampton, quite near to Ludlow, which was a favoutite destination on a Saturday = delightful place, but so difficult to hold on to one's money with so many exciting things to spend it on.

  3. Best of luck on your exciting new venture! I look forward to seeing what magic springs from this turn. And lovely acorn.

  4. Congratulations! Lots of Luck on your new venture. Love the logo, and your wee acorn is rather lovely too.

  5. I was in that bindery shop last week .... Exquisite. Isn't it? Your new book venture sounds excellent. Perhaps you will do some talks in independent book shops. I recommend the Much Wenlock bookshop....mention me to Anna there. Also the Pengwern books in Shrewsbury.
    Wishing you all the best .... Now IS the time

  6. Ludlow looks absolutely lovely. And your acorn logo is soooo cute - may your little acorn grow into a healthy oak tree! Best wishes!

  7. I hope your new venture is a great success - I'll watch progress with interest and I'm sure you've taken the right step as you never know until you try!

    I heard something of your day in Ludlow - yesterday I spent a fun day showing Frances around my favourite corners of Cambridge xx

  8. This is wonderful news, I am sure you won't regret it, your illustrations are so beautiful and you can do what you like, which is brilliant, in the time you need, which is also brilliant!! Love the logo and the teeny weeny acorn, how cute is that :)

  9. Congratulations on your new ventures, it all sounds very exciting!

  10. Hope all goes well with your new venture. How lovely to meet up with two fellow bloggers. I'm familiar with Gretel's gorgeous felted animals but shall have to visit the other lady's blog.

  11. Long live Acornmoon Books. This sounds a most worthwhile venture. I hope it has every success.
    Ludlow/Gretel/Frances/marbled paper!
    I know the first from my schooldays
    Gretel from7 years of blogging
    and Frances in person in NY
    and, well, paper.....
    so I'm green with envy. Whenever I wonder if the blog world is worth it, something pops up to remind me what a sure community it is both virtual and real.
    Greetings from NY!

  12. Your self publishing plans sound exciting, to say the least, and the logo is perfect. And how wonderful that you got to spend time with Gretel and Frances, I am a huge admirer of Gretel's work as you know, and a regular reader of France's blog. And Ludlow ... it's a favourite day out destination for us. So many good things in this post :)

  13. congratulations and best luck on your new venture!

  14. Hello from NYC, where I am just a little jet lagged after returning from London yesterday evening.

    My flight missed all the blustery weather that I've learned did some damage to southern England.

    How glad to have had that fine day in Ludlow with you and Gretel...no matter what the weather was like. It was a delight to meet you in person!

    Now Val, this new publishing venture seems like a very good venture. Your books are wonderful, the logo is perfect, and Acorn Books is an excellent name.

    I'm definitely looking forward to getting more reports in the future. xo

    What magnificent news. You know how much your books mean to me....this is really extraordinary news, Val, and I am thrilled for you.
    I will light my magic candle and think about you every so often, picturing you with stacks of illustrations being put forth to the world under your very own Acornmoon label.

    Fantastic, really........All The Best!!

  16. This is the first time I have seen your blog and therefore your artwork. It is beautiful, such talent. And now dipping your toe into publishing. Good luck with Acornmoon, may you have much pleasure and success from it.

  17. I am already looking forward to seeing your very first book! I'm sure this little acorn will grow into something very BIG. K.

  18. This is wonderful news! Mumsie's book will be out in early summer. She was talking about self-publishing, too. She has a writer friend who is doing this, and told her she's making a better living through self-publishing, than she did through a publisher. Amazing!

    I wish you GREAT success, my Friend!

  19. Acorn books sounds great. I will look forward to seeing your Books in the future. Wishing you good luck with this exciting project. As you have already experienced the world of publishing with your other wonderful books, I am sure all will go smoothly. Lovely to read about your day at Ludlow.

  20. Valerie, Welcome to the wonderful world of self-publishing, as for myself, it has been a God-send. I Am sure you will make a success of it; you have the talent and knowledge to make wonderful things happen, so great! Oh I do wish I could meet you and Gretel one day in England.