Saturday, 7 April 2012

Book Binding adventures on The Summer Isles

(from a book by Rachel Hazell)
I have just returned from a very special weekend workshop with the wonderful book binder Rachel Hazell on a tiny Highland island in the big blue sea. What an adventure we have had, travelling with my friend Natalie (from Galley 339) we set out early for a flight over mountains and lochs to Inverness and then a coach winding through stunning scenery to Ullapool where we met up with other course participants at the lovely Ceilidh Place. Once we were all revived with tea and cake we all piled in a big taxi and wound around even more mountains and lochs to meet with our sweet little boat,

who was called Patricia,

(just discovered lots of gorgeous paintings of Patricia by Hazel Velacott)
and she took us over the sea to Tanera Mor

 The island is small and has no roads (no ROADS...amazing) so Lizzie and Richard (lovely lovely people who gave up their desk jobs three years ago for a more adventurous and wholesome life looking after the island)  had to transport our bags by rowing boat 

while we made our way along mossy paths to Fuchsia Cottge.

And it was here that the papery fun took place. The workshop was called 'Maps, Charts and Other discoveries' and Rachel showed us how to make our own hand bound book inspired by this theme. 
How wonderful to have three whole days totally engrossed in...

colouring in,
and collaging poetry whilst sharing stories and belly laughs with five amazing women. Lizzie is a remarkable cook and made us gorgeous soups and stews and fish pies. It seemed that no sooner had we sat down after lunch we'd see Lizzie coming along the path with our supper. We were very well fed!

The island was so beautiful. I was very happy to see an otter one evening at dusk and I was mystified by a strange noise I heard outside the same evening. It turned out to be Snipe rubbing their tail feathers together. It wasn't the giant prehistoric dragonfly that the noise conjured up!

I took a walk one early morning loving the huge mountains in the distance

and the tiny lichens,


and mosses underfoot.

We were sad to have to leave but excited by another beautiful journey.

We waved goodbye to our little cottage 

and discovered that the whole of Scotland (except the weird) was covered in snow. STUNNING...and a little hairy at times on those winding roads..

I made a book (that's a WHOLE other blog post to come) and I also made some friends. 

I miss my new bookbinding family and I hope we will meet again soon. 

Rachel  (they don't call her the Travelling Bookbinder for nothing) does book binding workshops all over the world at beautiful venues for the adventurous. This year - Shetland, Stockholm, Cornwall, Edinburgh, Tuscany, Venice, Skye and Paris. Have a look at her website to find out how to have to have a book binding adventure of your own and be sure to watch this gorgeous video to inspire you.

Part two will follow soon!


Natalie said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! Lovely stuff Nunn! xx

rachel.hazell said...

My sentiments entirely Natalie! Gorgeous photographs XXX
Thank you Hannah xxx

Houdini said...

HI Hannah - fellow twitterer, blogger and W. Yorks resider here ;-)

I too did one of the truly magical Rachel Hazell book-binding workshops (in Hebden) and enjoyed every milli-second of it! You can see my short blogging entry about it here:

We were very lucky to be hosted by the gorgeous Fiona here in Hebden - although I wish I could have come along to the Highlands too because a) it looks so beautiful and I've always wanted to go there and b) looks and sounds like you had tremendous fun!!!

Looking forward to your next instalment! ;-)


Zebra Photography said...

What a magical few days you've had, and such an inspiring backdrop. I can hear the sea and smell the island! Looking forward to Part II........ xx

Jill M Hodgson said...

Wow!!! What an incredible experience, really enjoyed your description and photos

ersi marina said...

This is a fantastic blog entry! I felt as if I were right there with you. I'll follow all your links and certainly keep up with Rachel's activities. I make handmade books myself and I so envy your lovely experience!

Juliette Crane said...

looks AMAZING! love seeing all of those gorgeous photos! excited to see part 2 :)

best wishes!

Helen (Dixon Hill Girl) said...

Sounds idyllic! And your pics are gorgeous!

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