The Penguin Great Journeys series is a fabulous collection to own. Not only do the covers make for an extremely pleasing shelf display, but the titles are excellent to boot; not to mention the fact that they are great reads!
Travel back to the time when there were Snakes With Wings And Gold-Digging Ants:
Read about William Dampier’s sea adventures in Piracy, Turtles And Flying Foxes:
Learn how Ernest Shackleton faired in his Escape From The Antarctic:
Or tour Europe with Mark Twain in Can-cans, Cats And Cities Of Ash:
“Great Journeys allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries – but also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things: Great civilisations, walls of ice, violent and implacable jungles, deserts and mountains, multitudes of birds and flowers new to science. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered.”
There are so many things I should be making right now, but I just couldn’t resist making this teeny tiny notebook.
See how small!
I’ve been thinking recently about what kind of books to make and decided that maybe it would be a good idea to figure out what kind of book I would want for myself. What is about a book that makes me want it when I see it? It’s most definitely the look of the thing, initially – it will always be the cover that caught my eye – but also the overall look and feel of a book, including the insides and how it’s been put together.
After that all important Google research, I discovered a wonderful world of artist’s books – and a concept that I was familiar with but that for some reason hadn’t registered fully.
Having started to become familiar with bookbinding techniques and thus able to start putting things together by myself, I think I may be almost ready to try my hand at something a bit more… well, a bit more.
This cake is not as faffy as it seems and it is de-licious.
The recipe calls for a 20cm square shallow tin, but I used a round one!
Firstly, preheat your oven to 180ºC. While it’s heating up, line your tin with baking paper and measure out your ingredients.
Next, toast walnuts in the oven for 5-6 mins; cool a bit, then roughly chop and set to one side.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan over a low-ish heat. And the sugar and honey and stir until dissolved. Once it’s nice and smooth, bring it to the boil, then pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to about room temperature.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs lightly. Add to the cooled honey mixture and whisk until evenly blended.
Finally, gently mix in the flour and chopped walnuts. You should now have something that resembles a cake mix! Pour it into the tin, level out, then bake in the oven for 30-40 mins. I was using a fan oven and it was pretty much done after about 25 mins; just keep an eye on it, once it’s a lovely deep golden brown and springy on top, it’s ready!
Allow to cool on a wire rack, then slice it up and eat it- makes a great accompaniment to coffee or Bailey’s. Or indeed coffee and Bailey’s.
This. Book. Is. Awesome. Ok, yes, I’m slightly biased as it’s my book, but still- you have to admit, it’s pretty damn awesome.
When preparing for my (I mean ‘our’, of course) wedding last year freezer_girl got me hooked on the Rock ‘n Roll Bride site. I found it endlessly inspiring and thoroughly refreshing, in a “Oh! Of course, it’s our day, we can do what we want” kind of a way.
Working as I do for a sheet music publisher, I got to thinking how yawn-worthy all the wedding music books we print are- in fact, all wedding music books. They’re full of stiff, traditional music, hymn suggestions and a few token utterly puke-some pop songs.
Ho hum, thought I. What the world needs is a wedding music book that ROCKS. What the world needs is a wedding music book version of the Rock ‘n Roll Bride site; something that people can look through and feel inspired and go “Oh!” at and then go off and plan their own wedding, their own way.
And here it is!
I emailed the lovely Kat, AKA The Rock ‘N Roll Bride, who wrote me a kick-ass intro and was generally great with input and advice. I filled the book with as wide a variety of musical styles as I could- Missy Higgins, The Buzzcocks, Portishead, The Beach Boys, Muse, Alice Cooper… It also contains some fab photos (oh, is that me?! How did that get in there…) and some casual but informative… um… information.
Go check it out: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Guide To Wedding Music– a big chunk of alternative wedding-ness for anyone who isn’t enthused by the idea of walking down the ideal to The Wedding March!
It’s taken me a while to get round to doing one of these, but I finally found the time to have a go at doing a traditionally bound hard back notebook with a proper spine.
Really enjoyed sewing up the signatures, very satisfying:
They’re actually a little loose I think, but as a first attempt I think it worked quite well.
Very pleased with the finished result:
Updated some of my stab-bound notebooks by layering simple geometric shapes on the cover. And writing the word ‘notes’ on the front, just for good measure.
When I was younger, I thought scrapbooking meant literally putting scraps of paper into a book.
In the last few years, I’ve come to think of it as more of a cheesy American thing and all about having notebooks full of stuff and making the pages look fancy and sticking lots of things in them- not just scraps of paper. You can buy kits and everything, to help you scrapbook. This seemed a bit over the top to me and never really appealed; however, I liked the idea of making notebooks or journals for other people to scrapbook in.
I thought I’d start off by doing a bit of research into scrapbooking and the kind of notebooks and papers people wanted to use for it. Inevitably, on my Google travels, a Wikipedia entry popped up and caught my eye.
And ohmyword did it make me want to start scrapbooking. All I had to read was this paragraph and I was HOOKED:
Friendship scrapbook example from approximately 1795 – 1834
The following photographs show some of the pages from a “Memorial of Friendship” scrapbook kept by Anne Wagner, a British woman, between 1795 and 1834. She belonged to the same social circle as the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Anne Wagner’s scrapbook includes pages she created, as well as contributions from friends and relatives. The scrapbook contains handwritten poems, notes left by friends and relatives, and decoupage ephemera like locks of hair, decorative paper clippings, ribbons, and detailed watercolour sketches.
*Squeek!* these pictures make me go all fluttery:
I have come to the realisation that scrapbooking is something that has been missing in my life. I always keep ticket stubs, bits of printed info, articles I find interesting- they’re all in a magazine file, gathering dust. They need a home. They need a scrapbook.
The idea of having friends and relatives contribute I really do like- I can’t think of anything better than having a notebook full of sketches, doodles, pictures, poems and writing from people I know and love. Those who know me be warned!
We’ve got a stall booked at this charity event, selling lovely cakes, chocolates and other delicious treats:
It’s at Franklin Gardens, from 11am to 2pm.
Please stop by if you can!