Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Portfolio Book

This month we made a portfolio -style book with an exposed spine. Although it doesn’t have many pages, it is a quick book to make in all sorts of sizes and great for holiday (remember those?!) trip paintings/drawings/memorabilia, and indeed postcards. A satisfying construction which we hope everyone enjoyed. 



 We shared some on-going work, including paper teacups(Julie) and environmental works (Frances), and Marilyn showed her star book construction for our theme of ‘10’ and/or ‘secrets’ using the old magpie rhyme. If you’ve been making one of these books please.


We welcomed a new member, Julie, to her first Zoom meeting, and hope she enjoyed her session with us. 

In July Marilyn will be away for the usual working first Saturday Zoom, so we will let everyone know when we are able to either re-schedule or have a different host.

Stay safe everyone and enjoy the sunshine.....or rain....... share it with us in July?

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Origami - Belly Band

 Notes from Saturday May 1st meeting

Origami-based items are always challenging to make on Zoom and so it proved this time.   However, Jac’s persistence paid off and everyone had managed to make a Hedi Kyle-inspired belly band by the end of the session. Thanks to Jac and congratulations to us! Double -sided paper is recommendedfor this closure, and ideally a good quality copy paper weight.



 Marilyn also  shared some of her fastenings.

Make a gatefold cover out of thin card or heavyweight paper. Cut out a circle in a contrasting colour that is 8cm in radius. Cut the circle in half. Make 2 slots of about 1cm in length at a point that you like-mine started 2 cm down from the top and 1cm in from the open side of the cover as shown. The second slit goes about 1 cm underneath the first. Thread a thin (just under 1cm wide by c 8cm long) strip of book cloth through the slits starting at the back and returning through the second slit, leaving a loop that will accommodate a pencil or chopstick. Repeat on the other circle and then glue both down flat, aligning the straight sides of the half circles with the edge of your gatefold clover. Thread through your pencil/chopstick. I can demonstrate this at a later date if anyone is interested.

And here is a slightly different fastening that look a very elegant when completed and is not too complicated:

We enjoyed one another’s work from this month, and discussed good sources of paper supplies, especially double-sided paper. Recommendations included a lovely watercolour style from in 8x8 and 12x12 sizes, Pepin papers, via and other suppliers, Paper Tree, and Cambridge Imprints. Hide your credit card!  

The next two month’s themes for books include “secrets” and ‘10 ‘, together or separately.  

These might be suitable for a competition being organised by the Norwich Book Fair.

Our next meeting is on June 5th, via Zoom, starting at 10.30 am.



                                                    Jac's triangle binding


     Magellan Video....... Please download before viewing for easier access.



Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Sling Binding

We all made a sling binding book this month. The proposal is simple in essence but quite tricky to follow on Zoom. If you have the Hedi Kyle book 'The Art of the Fold'   you will find it in there alongside the modification which allows you to make it look like waves. It’s also available on YouTube in quite a few videos. Marilyn has found that using transparent paper, such as vellum, works well.


We have news of the Magellan video showing at Babe now (recent email sent to you all) and lots of us had made progress with our pages. Some beautiful embroidery from Brenda, and great fish, penguins, stranded sailors and meteorological occurrences from other members. If you have completed your initial ideas and want more, do contact Marilyn in the first instance for more ideas. All we need now is to actually meet in person and start to put the scroll together. Sometime later this Summer perhaps.



Our next meeting is via Zoom on the 1st May   and we will be focussing on fastenings for books. If you have an idea to share, and ideally demonstrate, please let Marilyn know the week before.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Fold Away Book

Report for March

This month we welcomed Lynne, who joined us from Cheshire. She is a college lecturers in photography and brings new skills to the group . She’s also an embroiderer and has joined our Magellan project. 

 We all enjoyed a great workshop with Jane, who led us in making not only a new structure but also a story writing exercise; two for the price of one! Many of us could see lots of potential for this structure, and it is here on the blog for those of you who couldn’t make the meeting. 

Foldaway Book Instructions: Ideal for a 4 or 8 sided book on a theme or story.


4 x 4 sheets of copy paper 29.5cm long x 10.5cm deep 

2 sheets of copy paper 18.5cm long x 10.5cm deep 

A cover sheet: light card or wallpaper 44cm long x 12cm deep

(A couple of small clips might help for construction)

You will also need a glue stick, bone folder, 3 split pins, crayons/felt tips, pencils, a ruler and an awl.


1 Mark the set of 2 sheets (shorter copy paper) at 2.25 cm. Fold a valley fold along the 2.25cm line. Around the centre of one page write the title of your book, and Written and Illustrated by……

On the other piece (valley fold up on your left) write The End. Set aside.

2 Mark the set of 4 sheets at 2.25cm; 14.5cm and 20cm for folding.

The sequence of the folds is valley, mountain, valley. Go over the folds with a bone folder for a clean edge.

Take the edge on your right and fold back underneath the main page.

You will have:

A margin of 2.25cm;

B page of 12.25 cm,

C fold under of 5.5cm,

D a flap of 9.5cm.

Now for your illustrations. Your first sketch is drawn on B, with a small sketched link near the bottom of D, and the word PULL at the top of D. Open out your page and fill in the gaps, being careful not to let you drawing exceed the fold between B and C.

Continue on each sheet until your story is complete. Make sure all ends/writing/detail matches.

Lay your title page at the front, and your end page at the back. Hold in place with a clip.

3 Take the cover, and fold in half. Check for size with your book.

Fold over about 2cm and glue down the edges, so the book sits neatly in its cover.

Place the body of your book inside the cover, hold in place with clips, then measure for holes for split pins, beginning centred on the spine.

Hey Presto – Your foldaway book 😊 From a design by Allan Ahlberg and Colin McNaughton 

It was great to see so many of you this month and lots of making has been going on, especially around the Magellan project which is very encouraging. Jac has been sending out cotton cloth for you to work on, and there are plenty of spaces if you have run out of things to do and need some inspiration! 

 Speaking of which, we set a theme......... ‘Puzzle’, or ‘Puzzling’ 

for the next couple of months if you fancy having a go.

I’ll be leading next month’s session, details to follow. We’ll be meeting on Zoom on the 10th April as the first Saturday is at the Easter weekend when some limited freedom may happen.

Stay safe and well all,       Marilyn

Back in Oz and now in two weeks lock down. We was well looked after by the police,Army Airforce,Nurses and Hotel staff. Our room is very spacious.
No worries
Eric and Jackie

Monday, 15 February 2021

2021 First Workshop Magellan Projeft

Notes from February meeting

It was good to see so many of you joining us to make a book inspired by Mike Clements of Marches Book Arts Group. It’s a form which has many uses so we hope you enjoy it. As we now have a Zoom licence we can work without interruption and that means longer demonstrations if necessary.

We had a long chat about our Magellan project, and welcome Sally to join us. Jac will send out pieces of the cotton cloth on request so that we can continue making in lockdown when inspiration strikes. 

Our video for BABE has been accepted-thanks to all who took part. 

Also within the blog is a sheet showing material Jane has on offer if needed.
Lots of interesting work going on, amongst which is a family recipe book, embroidery of working hands, hare textile pictures and print books.


We next meet on March 6th, 10.30 am as usual. Marilyn will send invites to Zoom 10 minutes before the meeting is due to start to try and get over scheduling problems.Jane Will lead us in an activity.

Stay warm, stay well everyone, and thanks for your friendship.... M x

Magellan Project

Here are the items still needing ownership-please let me know if you’d like to tackle one or more. If needed I can photograph the paragraph in the Magellan Journey book so you can see the context, and Jac will give you the right size to work to, and of course will send you the cloth pieces.

A large black bird the size of a crow Pigs
Elephants (I do have a textile stamp so no panic on this)
Birds of paradise
Sea elephants

Fish-tropical, unspecified
Teredos (ship’s worms)
Clove trees
Coconut palms
Orange blossom
Barrels heaped with betel nuts
A poisoned arrow (killed Magellan)
Asian junk ships
Blowpipes (unless Jac is using the image she showed us on Saturday)
Small weighing scales
Fish hooks
A large proa with gilded prow and stern, flying a blue and white banner with peacock feathers
Smaller proas-ie outrigger canoes
Egg cup sized cups
Rice being eaten with gold spoons
Money pierced in the middle for hanging on twine
Active volcanoes
A banner of parrot feathers, red, white and yellow
Sails with an elaborate cross and the wording “this is the sign of our good fortune”
Candles-at the 1” end of the scroll
Constellation of Nebecula major and minor
An eclipse of the sun
St Elmo’s Fire
Native people with pierced cheeks and lips-bones and stones used

I’m feeling quite energised with the project after making the video, so look forward to your responses!

Stay well,