Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Maps, charts and many other discoveries on the Summer Isles

When I went on the Do What You Love retreat last year I was really blown away by the handmade books that people had made in Rachel Hazells workshop. They were  precious, heartfelt creations constructed with such love and care that when you looked through them it felt like you were looking right into someones soul. They really moved me. During one of the morning yoga classes the idea hit me. I could go on a workshop and make a book for Ffions 18th birthday. This immediately made me cry and I knew it would be an emotional journey!

She's a pretty amazing girl you see and it really really is the biggest joy and the greatest honour to be her Mum! So I booked on Rachels Summer Isles course called 'Maps, Charts and Other Discoveries' which fell two weeks before the big day and set about collecting ideas, memories, maps and photographs.

Rachel taught us how to make an expandable spine and sew our collections of pages and pockets into the valleys and the peaks of the concertina folded book cloth. After two days of  cutting and sticking, punching holes with the Japanese screw punch and thinking about our narrative, there were many squeals of delight from the class at the end of the second day when we sewed it all together and it began to look like a book! 

It's been lovely to reflect on Ffions eighteen years and find the bits that made us smile the most

 and think about all the things I love about my girl.

 We spent the third day adding our covers and our doublures (the material pasted to the inside of the covers) and once that was done and had been nicely pressed we carried on embellishing and adding surprises ad messages into secret pockets and folds.

On the Summer Isles they print their own special stamps which will get your letters from the island to the mainland. We were going to take a trip out to the post office to get some but ran out of time, so in true island style the post office came to us and we finished our books with some pretty stamps and the Tanera Mor post mark. Perfect.

Ffion loved it. There were tears... from both of us. It was a very Happy Birthday.

Everyones books were REALLY special. Here are a few pictures from our 'Band of Bookbinders' as named only moments ago by Rhiannon who made this 30 second video

This is a page from Rhiannons,

(the following photos are by Natalie Seager)
 and Rachels.

And here is Natalies,


and Kates.


Helen (Dixon Hill Girl) said...

You've totally and utterly made me want to go on one of Rachel's courses now. Gorgeous books and a gorgeous post. No wonder there were tears! ;)

Sarah Mason Photography said...

What a beautiful and moving post Hannah. The book looks just perfect. What an amazing journey to the Summer Isles, and the one you have shared over the last 18 years. xxx

Tara@Aquamarine said...

The books that come out of Rachel's classes never fail to astound me! So beautiful! Lucky Ffion ~ the perfect gift. This post was gorgeous to read. :)

Dancing Beastie said...

Such beauty! I found this post via a link from Rachel and it is just a delight to see how each person is inspired to create a different kind of treasure from the same theme. Your daughter is a lucky girl.

Unknown said...

they look amazing, sounds like a weekend made in heaven ;) x

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