Growlygracepress's Blog

The story of a fierce and bad bookbinder.
June 20, 2014, 8:49 am
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That is going to be my new business card.

This is what I am working on at the moment a series of books with flowers on them, all the time I wonder if I should get Kevin to cut me a tool with ‘florilegium’ on it.

I am ruled by the rule ‘if there is doubt, there is no doubt” it was probably said by Mr Miyagi.

Sometimes an exception happens and I should put my money where my mouth is and go for it. Even though my husband is saying don’t do it. He hates all the ‘florilegium’ stuff.
I on the other hand love it. My latest idea on is to create a botanic label for a book. Books are always catalogued. It’s their manifest destiny.


This is the bunch of sweet peas that Alan picked for me yesterday he added the delphinium for height. He started the sweet peas in November and he’s selecting them for stem length.

I have a workshop coming up.
June 16, 2014, 8:32 am
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Sometimes I see photographs of other peoples bookbinding workshops and I am so envious of the tidy tables, the beautiful handouts and the lovely papers. My classes are not like that.
I gather up lots of tools, materials, glues, pastes, prints, cloths, threads and we turn them in to books.
I teach pamphlet sewing in three hole stitch them five hole stitch as a warm up and then we turn to the main event with is sewing signatures on to tapes and making a case.

Now chances are that we are not going to get every thing covered that day but I ensure that every one has enough materials to take home to practice with and to continue to explore bookbinding with. I make little clamps for them to glue up spines.


I make blocks of wax for thread I even have a new ‘star wars’ mould for my next class.

It’s going to be great.

My bench on a Monday morning.
June 16, 2014, 8:14 am
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This is what I am working on at the moment.
There is books with flowers on them which is part of the series called ‘florilegium’


This is one of the ‘truthful books’


This is some tools that are close to my right hand.


The decorated papers of John and Jane Jeffery.
June 4, 2014, 1:39 pm
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Growlygracepress's Blog

Listen up this is important stuff. In Edinburgh there is a couple of people called John and Jane Jeffery and they hand decorate paper, actually that does not even begin to explain what they do, they recreate decorative book paper from the 18th century. I fell across a photo of a book that used the papers and I hunted them down. I phoned them up and got a small set of samples and I just said send me a selection of paper I think I sent £50 or more several times. I ended up with a drawer full of it. I used it in books.


Leaving aside the blessed Marthe Armitage I reckon that John and Jane Jeffery are the most impressive workers in craft in the UK at the moment. I love them so much that I am not going to give you their phone number, because they are…

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Old Ma Thompson’s Bookbinding Academy.
June 3, 2014, 12:58 pm
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I had utterly forgotten that I was going to do some more bookbinding workshops in my “learn you a bookbinding for great good” mission.

I shall give it some thought as to where it can take place.

sewing up multiple books
June 3, 2014, 12:46 pm
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I can stand at my bench all morning and sew books together. The day before I cut, fold and press the book block, I make the endpapers and press them. I then saw cut the sewing stations in the blocks and I sew like the wind.

It’s great if I can sew the whole book with out rethreading the needle so I wax and thread ten needles ready to go.


It took just over two hours to sew these beauties.


I have just bought the most beautiful gold tool and very thin black leather. It’s going to be great.