handmade journals

bookbinding

i attended a day workshop in Traditional Bookbinding at the National Print Museum last april. we were a small class of 5 and we had a wonderful tutor, Caroline. this particular workshop is offered once a year only and apparently very popular, so if you’re interested and you live in Dublin,  you’d have to book a place early. you can contact them through their website. i highly recommend them!

handmade

since then, i have made a few books already. i am amazed how much work goes into each book, especially handmade ones. from folding, to sewing to gluing to making the cover – so much patience and precision is required that only one who truly loves making books would derive pure pleasure from it. and yes, i love every bit of the process! well, okay, that is not really very honest. cutting the hard boards would be my least favorite part, and mainly because i couldn’t afford to make an error. the measurements have to be very precise, and the cutting even more so. finishing more than 10 books later though has built up my confidence. slow, strong, steady hands are what you need, and a very sharp stanley knife!

the only downside with bookbinding here in ireland is the lack of a proper supplies shop. i have been toying with the idea of stocking supplies for a bookbinding starter kit in my shop. i am not yet very sure how much demand there would be, so we’ll see.

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during our bookbinding workshop, we used a kind of art paper to cover our books. when i got home though, my interests were leaning towards fabric-covered journals and notebooks. i experimented with different kinds of fabrics and have now happily settled with the linen-cotton mix. it’s thick and therefore much easier to work with, it’s got lovely texture, and just feels really nice to the touch.

i’ve had a couple of orders already (thank you!) for my fabric-covered journals/notebooks and one has arrived in the Netherlands last Monday. i couldn’t be happier! i am finishing a few books at the moment, and they will soon be in the shop. in the meantime, if you’re interested to buy one for yourself or as a present, you can leave a comment below or send me an email and i’ll get back to you as soon as i can. your handmade journal will be beautifully packaged and ready to give as a present. there are 2 sizes available at the moment, Small (1/4 of an A4) and Medium (1/2 of an A4) with approximately 160 pages of 100% recycled paper. more details will follow when i have them ready in the shop.

we dragged our old dining table to my little studio upstairs. it’s perfect, holds all my tools and lots of space for drying books and helpful cats. 

studiopartner

have a lovely day.

xx Odette

p.s.

sunny outside with gorgeous blue sky. but i’m praying for rain. to wash away all pollen in the air. yep, still sneezing my way around. O_o

home

swann&smerlin

I left the door open to my flower-less back garden as I sipped my cup of coffee. Wool wash is churning gently in the washing machine. The grass has been cut shortly before the rain came and it smelled good. Pippi is hiding behind my raised flower bed, stalking the birds. Tom is softly snoring on the sofa. We make our own associations based on our individual experiences when we are asked what “home” means to us. My definition has evolved having moved so far from our families. I struggled with it for a while, felt lost. It has been a slow process of discovering what works for me and for our little family, until I realized the most essential component is there already in abundance – LOVE in all its beautiful forms. Inspired, I started working towards the physical comforts and manisfestations of this love. Nothing grand, just simple things like a vase of fresh flowers and lighted candles for dinner. Through the years I’ve slowly made little corners for myself to nurture me, heal me, inspire me. Yes, I’m home. I’ve been home all along.

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[ Our new dining area got a bit of a make-over when we had to replace our tiny fridge with a bigger one – which didn’t leave  enough space for the old table. Yay! (I love changes!) Dining table and chairs are from Ikea and cushions are from the Carolyn Donnelly eclectic collection for Dunnes. ]

While I go nurse myself from a really really really really bad hay fever, I leave you with pictures of my babies.

Till next time.

xx Odette

tom

Pippi

the weekend

(there’s a pond we pass by on the way to the shops and we can’t resist taking some photographs)

what a productive weekend!

it all started with our decision to stop our cable tv subscription last week. we’re not huge fans of the telly as we only watch the news every night, although i must admit i will miss my Nat Geo Wild and Home channels, and of course, the programme A Place in the Sun from Travel and Living. :( anyhoo, with Ireland switching to digital television, the 4 free channels that came along with it are more than enough for us. so out with cable tv, in with Saorview!

we cycled to the shops on early Saturday morning and boy was it cold. before we started shopping for the electronics, we got ourselves a little treat by having Praline Mocha coffee at starbucks. it was good, but not as good as the Caramel flavour from last season. and not as good as Kj’s homemade coffee too, if i may so! okay, i digress. back to the digital tv: upon setting up our Saorview channels at home, we were so frustrated that we can’t get a signal unless we open the window and one of us stands by it, antenna in hand thrust out into the cold. in this irish weather? no.

we thought of trying the antenna upstairs in our bedroom, and voila, it worked! the rest is then history – we turned the house upside down over the weekend, dragging our desktop from the bedroom to the living room and the telly and our whole entertainment system up to the bedroom. we have completely re-arranged the house and it felt like moving to a new house, i can’t be happier! i may have a bruise or two from dragging furniture up and down the stairs but i’m very pleased with the results. i will post pictures soon, i promise! next up on the list: the craft room, which is a bit tricky as it requires dumping old furniture from the landlord (he won’t be happy) and a long shopping list for Ikea shelves and working desks. i can’t wait!

the cat was a little confused about the weekend flurry, checking every new nook and cranny. he seemed pleased in the end as he went around to give his approval “rubs”. here’s Tom keeping his watch on us.

New floral fabric tapes in the shop

floral fabric tape

I updated the shop yesterday with these lovely floral fabric tapes. Also available at my Etsy shop.

They’re gorgeous for sealing envelopes of your wedding invitations if you’re having a vintage, floral theme.

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