Growlygracepress's Blog

on being judged by my appearance.
May 7, 2015, 11:55 am
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Sometimes I am acutely aware that the people around me have drawn their conclusion about my appearance and will proceed to action. At a recent workshop I taught at when I walked in to the room a student burst out laughing and then tried to recover from his embarrassment. I have been in coffee shops and restaurants and have been given the ‘evil eye’ that I ‘knew’ instinctively that my appearance was upsetting and disturbing people. Last week as I crossed the path of a woman in the street she asked if I needed help with my shopping and it totally threw me as I was just approaching my house and I was saying a breezy ‘no thanks I just live here’ and I know she means well.
It’s just a constant have to deal with.

saying yes to ‘help’
October 2, 2014, 8:43 am
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I bought a new sofa and I had to take the old one out the front door and get it around the street to the back yard. I was on my own and just wanted to get it over with so I set about pushing and shoving and it was an absolute beast and it was going to be a truly wretched affair.

Everyone who passed me offered to help. I was turning them down because the experience of moving this thing was so awful that I didn’t want them to suffer. It was only a short distance and I knew I could make it. A car stopped and a child got out and refused to let me do it with out him helping. So I said yes to his help and together we pushed the sofa around to my yard gate.

Ages ago some one I knew stated to me ‘I will help you’ and it made a difference to me. A clear and unambiguous offer of help sometimes is all that is needed.
I resolve to offer more ‘help’ and I also reserve the right to turn it down.

That allotment thing I do.
July 14, 2014, 8:51 am
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Is looking like this at the moment. I have decided that before I go and do great bookbinding I am going to do some gardening. I’ve been skip diving again and have a mass of materials to take down. Thankfully I managed to get all the swag away in my wheel barrow with out any of the embracing scenes that happened a few months ago when I was captured in the middle of a misunderstanding in the back yard of a C.I.U. with some decking.

The lady steward is still dining out on that story. Seemingly I looked like a dangerous psychopath because I had a big saw in my hands. That and I am bald.

middle aged bald woman goes in to a skateboard shop.
March 27, 2014, 11:04 am
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This is my new hat isn’t it great. I seen it in the window of the skateboard shop and I immediately wanted it. But it was £30 and I am still a poor cat. I left it and went to the leather merchants and kicked off about the performance of some calf they sold me and rejected a lot of leather then I went to the art shop were I bought 100 sheets of paper and cut all of them in half so I could cary it home.


I debated in both shops about buying the hat and staff were encouraging pointing out that as it was reversible I get two hats for the price of one. Good point well presented. So I went back to the skateboard shop and bought it. I am well pleased.


I have aways like botanic prints with a black back ground. I have introduced my hat to every one I meet and I am well happy with it. I wear it at the allotment with pride.

Good hat.

shy bairns get nowt.
February 19, 2014, 12:34 pm
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I don’t think I talked about this beauty, apologies if you have seen it before. I was thinking about it this morning and it occurred to me that needs leopard skin patterned paper for it’s end papers. It would be so perfect. Or a faux fur lined slip case.

Shy bairns get nowt ‘works’ for big strong women and for quiet thinking women.

I on the other hand am not shy, I literally do have nowt and I am bald. Winner.

Jack Common meet Joseph Crawhall. Joe this is Jack.
January 26, 2014, 10:05 am
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I am going to promote the bookbinding with little bits of paper that I have printed with the blocks I have.

Then I am going to pretend I am either Bob Gill or David Ogilvy and make shit up about how fantastic my books are and how owning one will make you irresistible.

Then I am going to leave the little bits of paper around where the likely customers are. I have not ruled out standing out side places like the Baltic and handing them out.
Perhaps get a sandwich board although that might be a bit too scary.

The breakfast of champions
January 7, 2014, 9:28 am
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So this poor art student is stuck on the train with a deranged bald woman desperately trying to articulate a mission statement about bookbinding, paper, drawing, the state of art education and how to get on with it.

I laboured the point about the bookbinding for some time and when it’s boiled down it’s this. If you make your own sketch books you can reverse engineer them and make them in the order you want or need.

I’ll try it this way. Create the sketch book you think that your tutor wants to see. Maybe this way. Create the pages that you are happy with. Make them in to ‘signatures’ and sew them up in to a block. Maybe this way. Recreate your ideas in to a book.

Take control of the flow. You know that horror of the rubbish drawing in a book well recreating the book cure that particular problem.

Obviously the punch line is a little bit of bookbinding impress the socks of professional art teachers.

Ultimately it gets down to this “take control of the elements of the page and learn page layout. The ‘rules’ apply even to the hand drawn page. Generate your own rules”