Tag Archives: book

Custom birthday notebook in purple

31 Mar

Last week I was commissioned to make a purple notebook for someone’s birthday. The only brief was that they liked purple. This is what I made:


60th wedding anniversary memory book

31 Mar

Here is a special book I made for my Nan and Grandad’s 60th wedding anniversary. It is a memory book and photo album where they can reminisce about all the good times.

What to do with all those paintings left behind…

31 Mar

When the Playbus gets busy, full of children under 8 and their parents, there are A LOT of painting created; sometimes the first paintings they’ve ever painted.

Some of the paintings are taken home and cherished but many are left behind. We never know what to do with them and most end up being recycled.

A colleague from the Playbus was off on a trip so I collected the paintings up, got some black card and made a notebook out of them, just for him.

left-over paintings book left-over paintings book left-over paintings book Left-over paintings book


Custom made Women’s Suffrage book finished

12 Apr

I have just finished sewing this hard back book, commissioned by a friend. The outside and inside cover papers are from a replica women’s suffrage newspaper. The spine is shown off by the coptic stitching, with added hints of green and purple.


Look out for more hard back books and more women’s suffrage themed covers coming soon!

Handmade memories

30 Oct

In the last few months I have been getting stuck into book making using the fantastic new skills I gained at the Book Arts Course at The Art Academy. I’d really recommend the course if you want an overview of different book making techniques, whether you have made a book before or not.

One of the skills I learned was a beautiful single sheet coptic technique, which is fantastic for binding thick pages. One of the best uses for this is binding photographs into albums.

In August I finished my job working 1:1 with a young person with Aspergers Syndrom who is out of school. After two years or working together we’d shared some fun times. I pulled together all the pictures I’d taken, prepared some covers and created a photo book.


I was really pleased when I gave this handmade gift to the young person I worked with and her mum asked me where I had bought it.

I then had the opportunity to do what I really enjoy, share what I’ve learned. I worked with a close friend of mine to make a memory book of her friend’s wedding…but I can’t show you pictures yet as she hasn’t yet given the book to her friend.

If you have got some photos that you’d like to bind into a memory book, you’d like some help and you live in London, get in touch!

Experimental Book Making

15 Dec

I’ve been getting stuck into making some notebooks covered in beautiful fairy tale inspired notebooks. You can find several sets for sale in my Etsy shop but here’s a little taster

Because I’ve been busy making books, I’ve been thinking about books alot. When I go anywhere that has some interesting looking books I can’t help but have a good look and try work out how they were put together.

So, in my over excitement about book making, I’ve put together a prototype of a different type of book. Considering I didn’t really know what I was doing, I think it’s come out very well. Here it is…

I made the cover from some scrap curtain material and added a pocket into the inside of the front cover. The  stitch work on the spine is not only used to keep the book pages together but also to attach the cover, which means you get that beautiful stitch detail. What do you think?

I’m going to work on some ways of fastening the book, I’ve got some ideas already. I think I’ll also keep an eye out for some other cover material as this is quite flimsey…could add to the charm though. Anyone know of any material that might be good for this?


Look out for some interesting books popping up in my shop sometime sooooon!


13 May

I’ve been reading a book recently, recommended by a friend, written by Michael Ende called ‘Momo’. I’m not half way though yet but it is great. You should read it.

One part of the book has stood out to me for the way it captures my feelings about children, play and toys. I’ve worked in playschemes that have been stacked to the rafters with plastic cookery sets, dolls, toy cars and more, and I’ve worked in ones that had nothing but pieces of second hand fabric, stuff that you’d put into your recycling bin and lots of imagination and I know which one I think is best…

“More and more often these days, children turned up with all kinds of toys you couldn’t really play with: remote-controlled tanks that trundled to and fro but did little else, or space rockets that whizzed around on strings but got nowhere, or model robots that waddled along with flashing eyes and heads swivelling but that was all.

They were highly expensive toys such as Momo’s friends had never owned, still less Momo herself. Most noticeable of all, they were so complete, down to the tiniest detail, that they left nothing at all to the imagination. Their owners would spend hours watching them, mesmerized but bored, as they trundled, whizzed or waddled along. Finally, when that palled, they would go back to the familiar old games in which a couple of cardboard boxes, a torn tablecloth, a molehill or a handful of pebbles were quite sufficient to conjure up a whole world of makebelieve.”

Play is inherent, and so is the desire and ability to play. Children are having their imaginations sold short by things designed by capitalism to keep them occupied and teach them how to be good men and women.

This section goes further…

“…Momo came across a doll on the steps of the old amphitheatre…Nearly as tall as Momo herself, the doll was so life-like that it might almost have been mistaken for a miniature human being, though not a child or a baby. Its red minidress and high-heeled sandals made it look more like a shop-window dummy or a stylish young woman about town.

Momo stared at it, fascinated. After a while she put out her hand and touched it. Instantly, the doll blinked a couple of times, opened its rosebud mouth, and said, in a metallic voice that sounded as if it were issued from a telephone, “Hello, I’m Lola, the Living Doll.”
Momo jumped back in alarm. Then, automatically, she replied, “Hello I’m Momo.”
The dolls lips moved again. “I belong to you,” it said. “All the other kids envy you because I’m yours.”

“Let’s pretend you’ve come to pay me a visit,” Momo suggested.
“Hello,” said the doll. “I’m Lola, the Living Doll.”
“How nice of you to call,” Momo replied politely. “Have you come far?”
“I belong to you,” the doll said. “All the other kids envy you because I’m yours.”
“Look,” said Momo, “we’ll never get anywhere if you go on repeating yourself like this.”

Momo tried several games in turn, but nothing came of them. If only the doll had remained silent, she could have supplied the answers herself and held an interesting conversation with it. As it was, the very fact that it could talk made conversation impossible.”

I’m reading this book at a time when the cuts are putting children and young people’s services at real risk. I was in Walthamstow for work this week, where it is looking like as many as 6 children’s centres are at risk of closure. These are places that insure that every child has access, not only to play, but also to health checks and support for their parents. Here in Hackney, the youth team are being merged with the youth offending team, and then half of that collective staff are set to lose their jobs. At the moment it is looking like the youth workers who are going to go. Youth centres will close, and those that remain open will be staffed by youth offending staff.

Important spaces for our children and young people are seriously under threat.

I was excited this week by an email doing the rounds about a potential new adventure playground in Hackney, springing up on unused, squatted land. I’ll be getting involved in that and I’ll update on here when I can.

Keep up the fight against the cuts for our children and young people!!