Growlygracepress's Blog

this is the 500th post for this blog apprently.
August 21, 2014, 9:36 am
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This blog is about the various things I feel passionate about principally the hand made book, the communicating about making books, embracing the suck that is failure, just how fucked up the craft market is and not giving a damm.

Also running in the background is my experimenting in an allotment garden, my playing with a printing press, the border collie I live with, dealing with people’s reaction to my poor baldy head and really thinking hard about what really is taking place in the transaction of the “commission” and what is regarded as sucess.

I am going to continue writing about my day to day how it starts with standing at my bench and trying to make a book that will sell in a craft shop with out comprising my values whilst perusing the holy grail of private practice “the commission” this translates in to ” will bind books for money”
I refuse to repair books and that’s a good thing.

I don’t do craft markets because they suck big style besides every one in the room hates me. They hated me before I lost my hair but now they hate me with a passion. That is not paranoia it’s an accurate assesement.

I do like teaching workshops and I over deliver because bookbinding is great and people need simple tools and materials. I give tons away in my workshops.

I know I have a different experience of success and at my greatest heights of my powers I know I am at my most successful at getting my husband’s breakfast, lunch, ironed shirts, trousers and ensuring he has money to park and that when he comes home I am there, the dog has been walked and I have made dinner.
In between him going out and returning is my responsiblity. I chose to make books, garden, go to the market, go to the lit and phil a couple of times a year I meet some one for a cup of coffee and a chat.

It’s a good life.

On the allotment and at the bookbinding bench.
August 20, 2014, 8:34 am
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I get up at 5.15 in the morning, I read the internet, drink coffee and we then take the monster for a walk. Then I go down to the allotment and look closely at the plot and I decide what work I am going to do later on that day.
The other day the African security guard at Tesco’s said to me “Miss do you have a farm?” I said “No I have an allotment in Heaton.

I have been dressing more and more in green, tweeds, country checks and I wear big boots and sometimes I have dirt on my face. I do look a bit farmy and I might have a rifle to kill the vermin I certainly have a border collie.

My latest thing I have worked out with the allotment is that I have failed to regularly feed it. I started well but I stopped and I think that’s the problem with the vegtables. So I am drenching it with miracle grow once a week now. I am preparing a bed for winter vegetables and I am going to lavish it with straw, chicken manure, blood fish and bone and hoof and horn because this is not an allotment it’s urban voodoo.

The other thing about the allotment is that it’s not just the growing the stuff you have to dig it up and eat it. Some times you get stuck in the groove of tending and caring and you don’t “see” that the Savoy cabbage should be out of the bed and on to plate.

With the bookbinding the problem I face is similar. I need to find an outlet for the books I want to bind as opposed to the making of books I think will appeal to people in a craft shop.


Onward with the little books
August 20, 2014, 7:34 am
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So I have glued the first and last and I have pasted down the made endpapers. I am absolutely in love with tyvex and use it in lots of situations in bookbinding and letterpress printing. This is full on tyvex for wrapping up buildings and is a massive sheet I cut up to what ever size I need. In these books I use it as a guard between the pasted up end paper where it’s joined to the first page. I gave the books a press overnight.


The books now have to have their spines glued up and then I cut the fore edge and I can then round the backs.

Books and pudding
August 19, 2014, 10:07 am
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If I have an open jar of jam I need to use it up as soon as possible so jam sponge and thick cream. Does it get any better?

All sewn up.
August 19, 2014, 9:44 am
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It’s taken just over two hours to sew up the ten books. The next stage is to glue the first and last sections, then make stiff leaves and then have a good press. But first I want some pudding or maybe some toast and peanut butter and jam. The sun has come out and I think the allotment is calling.

The sewing of ten books
August 19, 2014, 7:29 am
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This morning I am going to sew up the ten little books which have been abandoned at the top left of my bench for ages. The sewing stations have been saw cut including the endpapers now this is interesting because I have issues with what I call “heavy handed” but I have some how managed to have the lightest touch with a saw and a book block.
So it’s close to 8.30 and I have ten little books, wax, thread and tyvex slips to sew on to. I’ll be back when they are finished.

I will not suffer a rinky dink computer.
August 19, 2014, 7:05 am
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On the day when WordPress will take £14 of me for extra storage of images I remain locked out my desk top which is broken but has a gazillions of photos. I am using this fisher price toy of a computer to try and work on.


Hopefully a random picture of my bench from happier days has appeared.
I have some photos on this iPad but I can’t get photos in to it because it hates the knock off card reader I have. I may be forced to take the phoney baloney iPad down to the allotment and use it as a camera to get images. The very thought of “this” as a camera fills me with depression.

Hopefully when I press “publish” the magic will happen.