Friday, July 31, 2015

look up (two hundred & twelve) ...

xxxx two hundred and twelve xxxx

pen-tastic - aka Tales from a Pen Groupie...

righto -- so I've previously confessed that I'm a Notebook Nerd (N.N.)
and General Stationery Tragic (G.S.T.)

so let me tell you about life as a Pen Groupie
("hello my name is Ronnie and I'm a Pen Groupie, Notebook Nerd and General Stationery Tragic")

The Pen Groupie

*generally identified by ink marks on clothes,
squished ends on the fingers and thumb of their writing hand,
and the close proximity of tiny scraps of paper filled with random scribbles and doodles
(generally in a rainbow of colours....)

The Pen Groupie (P.G) ALWAYS travels with a preferred pen
(and a back up to the preferred pen... and often a back up to the back up...)

(one of my favs for knock about general stuff is the uniball ---
I have them in a rainbow of colours.... of course --- and usually have some random colour in bag --- like orange...
who can write a serious note in orange?)

The P.G. can get all O.C.D about how their pens are stored, used, or arranged
(never NEVER chew on the lid of pen borrowed from a P.G -- not if you value your life)

(don't even THINK about putting the green pen next to the purple pen...
these are my big fat bic textas -- they come in a pack of 36 different colours... and of course I need them all... )

The P.G. can discern even a minor change in manufacture of their favourite pen

(I have one word for the staedtler company "WHY????!!!!!!"
as in 'why-did-you-bugger-up-my-favourite-pen-by-messing-with-the-roller-ball-and-barrel-size" aggggghhhhh!!!!! 
I just can't like what you've done... it's evil. it's wrong.)

The Pen Groupie often uses a different writing tool
for every surface and special occasion
(and more often than not their writing style changes when they change tools...)

the PG may have a smooth flowing biro with 'just' the right barrel shape
for smooth matt surfaces perhaps....

(any family member found fondling my favourite huon pine handmade-just-for-me 'biro' will be put in the stocks
--- yes I will know if you 'borrowed' it.... don't. even. think. about. it.)

a collection of teeny tiny textas for teeny tiny writing on smooth glossy cards perhaps....

(oooo purty colours.... again)

a mechanical pencil for precise wee sketches perhaps....

 (I've had this lovely mechanical pencil since high school...
it has a familiar weight and feel between my fingers
I just seem to write or draw differently with this pencil compared to any other pencil.... )

Anyone can be a secret Notebook Nerd, Pen Groupie and General Stationery Tragic
but when the N.N, P.G. or G.S..T is also an arteest

oh boy!

(my collection of copic multiliners has grown as I've discovered just how fantastic they are --
AND you can separately replace the ink barrel or the tip - fantastic) 

do you play favourites with your pens?



Saturday, July 25, 2015

look up (two hundred & six) ...

xxxx two hundred and six xxxx

the long wait was worth it...

 Waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1995 I spied my first Keith A Smith book
and ever since then I've been meaning to get my hands on his title
"Non-adhesive binding books without paste or glue"
but it's not as easy as you'd expect....

these days to get a Keith A Smith title you've got two main choices:

purchase a second hand version (from all the usual places)

or grab a new one online directly from Keith A Smith 

as a result I've dithered and delayed
(damnation but I hate having to buy things online --- I really do!)

finally I found a wonderful local book procurer
: sue tracks down titles that my local indie bookseller can't order in
and researches how to get what you want for the best price

and it turned out that it was worth my while to grab all the Keith A Smith titles
that I had been hankering for in one job lot


four Keith A Smith titles in one hit!

For the unawares -
Smith's books are spectacular references for anyone interested in bookbinding.
Chances are if you have a query about how to bind something,
Keith has it covered in one of his many books....
things start with the basics....

but some of his diagrams are positively mind-spinning....


aaaaaand in then at the post office this week
there was a wee parcel waiting for me from john neal bookseller....

John Stevens lovely book Scribe -
containing decades of his commercial and expressive calligraphic works...

its all very inspiring!

Friday, July 10, 2015

look up (one hundred & ninety one) ...

xxxx one hundred and ninety one xxxx


Recently I waded into my mumsicle's huge wool stash - 
my fingers itchy for a simple project to occupy my hands 
while I waited beside those countless fields and tracks and ovals and pools...

My mumsy has a massive collection of part and whole balls of wool dating back to the 1960s... 

.... as of course she would
For generations all of our school, work and leisure knitwear was home knitted or crocheted.
Along with her own massive horde of wool, 
she inherited balls (and indeed partly completed projects) 
from both her mother and mother-in-law 

 Jumping into her collection of wool was like jumping into a time machine...

ahhhhhhh yes --- I remember the 1970s brown wool jumpers for the men folk 
(the men in our family only ever received dark brown or dark blue jumpers -
"to hide the oil and farm muck") 

ooo and I remember when my mumsy knitted herself a delightful 
multi-cabled, military-inspired cardigan from this wool in the early 1980s 
(it had big brass buttons --- I thought she looked fabulous!)

 OK I know this is going to come across as a bit hipsteresque (*rolls eyes*) 
but I figured crocheting some granny squares
would be the easiest and most useful thing I could do with
the various bits of left over 5 ply wools... 

I've found that it IS great fun!

Granny squares are light and easy to transport -
 all I have to remember is one simple bag of goodies and I'm set to get some work done

Given that I've raided the family wool stockpile, this project is FREE baby!
(and I get the warm fuzzy feeling of making use of leftovers)

Squares are quick and easy to pick up and put down 
(for when the on-field action gets a bit too exciting to concentrate on crochet)

There's no deadline or pressure to get the project finished

I've limited the palette of wools to just the warm half of the colour wheel:
bright red, orange, lemon, butter yellow, mandarin, rust...
with each square completed by a perimeter of delicious dark brown
this way, no matter what combination I choose to put together,
the whole rug should come together quite nicely thank you very much

and just as an extra bit of fun
I'm crocheting the combinations in multiples of 5
so that they can be arranged as interlocking crosses 
(or 'X's, if I tilt them on the side)

what do you think?

With just a few more kiddlie sporting events I'll have a rug to snuggle under
for my chilly days beside fields and tracks and ovals and pools 

yay team!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

look up (one hundred & eighty three) ...

xxxx one hundred and eighty three xxxx

all hail the halfway mark...

at almost exactly the halfway point
(182 and a half)
in my year of looking up

dark ominous clouds suddenly appeared

lighting! thunder! wind! driving rain!


a blizzard of hail!

the most hail I've ever seen drop over the house
here at the creek in my 27 years of residence

welllll myyyy! it really pays to look up!


(and I thought it was really something that last night,
at the mid point of my 'look up' year,
I looked up to capture the jupiter and venus collusion)