Good morning from a grey and drizzly Tunbridge Wells - that's the weather, not me!
Yesterday I was back at my local craft shop in Tunbridge Wells - Pantiles Crafts, Coffee, Tea & Books run by the lovely Marshall family - Val runs the craft, games and gifts side of the business, Steve her husband runs the secondhand books side of the business and there son Matt runs the Daily Grind Coffee & Tea Emporium - if you are ever in the Tunbridge Wells area, it is worth a visit, you can spend hours just looking around, plus it is based in The Pantiles
The Pantiles is a Georgian colonnade in the town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent,England. Formerly known as The Walks and the (Royal) Parade, it leads from the well that gave the town its name. The area was created following the discovery of achalybeate spring in the early 17th century and is now a popular tourist attraction.
The Pantiles today includes a variety of specialist shops, art galleries, cafés, restaurants and bars. The iconic tourist information centre in the main square was closed at the end of 2013 and replaced, in January 2014, by a seafood restaurant. It is now located in the Corn Exchange building in the Pantiles.
Anyway, a few months or so ago I noticed a few pics popping up on Facebook of Book Art and I thought how different and interesting it looked, so I did some surfing in the big world wide web and saw that it was really popular so I thought to myself "I want to give that a go" I know books are really special, especially older books and some are real collectors pieces, but lots and lots and lots of book are just sitting in peoples home collecting dust, thrown out in the rubbish or donated to charity shops so I think it is a great idea to actual do something with them - more commonly known as upcycling. So, I purchased a pattern from Etsy and tried it out on a paperback (works best with hard back books) the pattern was for a heart shape - nice and easy to start. When I got the patter, it was just a list of page numbers and measurements - it had instructions, but you had to use a ruler to measure 2.25cm and 2.2cm etc which to me was a bit of a pain. I did it and was quite happy with the result, but thought all the measuring was a bit of a pain. Then a few days later I saw that there Sarah Hallam of Peerless Designs was bring a CD of patterns to Create & Craft, so I set record on my Sky box as I was going to be at work. When I got home from work the day it was broadcast, I watched it - to say that I was blown away was an understatement - the CD was flying out the door. The technique that Sarah was showing with her designs was so so so so so so much easier and clearer - no measuring!!!!!! So I posted on the Peerless Designs Facebook page how amazed I was at how easy it looked to do. I have known Sarah for a number of years and have some of her amazing designs of stamps and CD's so I contacted Sarah about selling her CD's in some of my regular shops where I demo do workshops and I am pleased to say that she said yes! Sarah was also kind enough to create a new heart pattern that would allow me to teach the technique at workshops, which meant that when people bought the CD they would still get the benefit of the full content. Here is a small You Tube video of some of the finished designs on the CD
So, taking you back to yesterday, when the lovely crafty ladies arrived for the demo in the morning, I was playing with some of the new designs from Honeydoo Crafts and they automatically thought that we would be using them in the workshop - wrong!!!!!!! When I showed them the 3 samples I had made from the CD and said that they were going to be creating the heart, a look of horror swept across there faces!!!!!! I did chuckle to myself inside as I knew I would get that reaction! So, I had a great mornings demo with the stamps and also the Book Folding and whilst the ladies went off to lunch, I went to set up the workshop. Now being in the shop that I was in, finding books to use was not a problem - Steve had kindly sorted out some books for us to use and they were all the same - they were all stories by Charles Dickens and it was part of an incomplete set that was going to be thrown away.
So the ladies returned from lunch and I let them choose which story/book they wanted - although I did warn them that they were not going to be reading them!!!! Once I ran through the very easy and simple instructions, they were off - the workshop room went quiet as the concentration kicked in so I popped back up the shop to get some bits and when I returned, the room was full of laughter - they were reading bits from the books! As soon as I walked back in, it was like a room full of naughty school children had been caught messy around and it went back to silence! The silence did not last for long, as the concentration faded as it became easy to do!