Friday, 21 February 2014

Books, Books, Books

Today has been mostly about books. I have always been a bookworm, some of this I put down to the lack of a telly in my formative years. My parents weren't ideologically opposed to the box, but were undergoing an economy drive in the late seventies and the TV rental was one bill they decided they could do without.

Turns out they could do without the telly too, and they didn't get another one for ten years. They still don't know who shot JR...

But much as I moaned at the time (a lot) about not getting being able to watch Dr Who like all my friends, there were always books to fall back on. Also my father was an antiquarian bookseller who specialised in illuminated manuscripts and early printed books, so throughout my childhood and adolescence I got the chance to see some beautiful things. Although being a kid I of course took this for granted at the time.

These days I do have a Kindle, and I read plenty of novels on it, I'm not fussy about how I get my literary fix. But I do like to get books as presents (including the lovely one above, which was a birthday present, thanks little bro!) pick up secondhand stuff, and go to the library every couple of weeks. Not just for me but because I have two bookworms in training in the house, and we'd have to take out a second mortgage to keep up with the oldest's thirst for words. I discovered recently that you can access any kids books FOR FREE from the whole of the LibrariesWest area (which is pretty big and covers Bristol, Bath, Somerset and Gloucestershire). Oldest child has recently discovered Percy Jackson, so I ordered the second in the series for him when we visited the library today, I'll get an email when it's delivered to our local branch.

Having lugged our bag of goodies back from the library, I sat down with youngest and made her some quick instant books out of some ordinary sheets of A4 paper. She then set to work filling them with pictures (she's a bit of a reluctant writer at the moment). One of them featured a series of instructions for making cornflake crispy cakes...

'Basic Instant Book' from How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith
Interestingly, it was while flicking through How to Make Books in a bookshop nearly two years ago that I was inspired to make a little fabric baby book, which turned out to be one of my most viewed blog posts. How to Make Books has been on my wish list ever since, so I was very pleased to unwrap it on my birthday yesterday.

Another birthday present makes an appearance in the top picture, a fantastic new lamp. If you're me, then that's a super cool present, as my old lamp is busted, and having a really good light is essential for sewing. It's given me the push I needed to have a good tidy up my workroom and I hope to be spending some time over the weekend making stuff in here (it's where I'm sitting to write this post).

When a bit of winter sunshine comes streaming in, I'm reminded that this is a really lovely space to be in, and I just want to get on and make some stuff. Hope you enjoy a crafty weekend too.