Sunday, May 23, 2010


This is another example of how to put a book together simply by sticking your own images/text in an existing book.
I really like the way this one turned out - as I put together images from my puppet show.
In all honesty I'm not a big fan of this technique as sticking things in - never works perfectly - I'm by no means a perfectionist but there always seems to me at least one bit sticking out. It doesn't like too much handling. But it can certainly work - may be some people are better adhesive wranglers then I. I think its a lovely projects with or for kids.


This is a little sample concertina book I made for the workshop to show the participants how easily a book can be made- many have seen one of course but then some thought they had to make something more complicated-
THE CONTENT simple it reads CONCERTINA in a mixture of fonts .

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I know the launch was in Oct 09 so its really a very very post post but I just got a little side tracked with other projects.
The launch was in Yarraville, Melbourne and it was one day after I actually finished all the books - I think I NEED a deadline! And it was the day most of my little hand made babies found a new home. It's really quite special to know that not only my daughter Maya has this story in her life but also a lot of her little friends too.
It really captures that immediacy of producing a hand made book.
I feel very greatful that people actually wanted to buy it, take it home and share it will their children.


The woman who spent hours and hours cutting out my pictures , one by one ....she actually trimmed all 1000 illustrations . What can I say ?!!!!! She loves her daughterand grand daughter .Then she turns up with flowers to my book launch. I should be giving her a bunch everyday of her life.
My whole family was horrified at the thought there might be another book coming up- I'm taking the hint and will TRY very very hard not to make them do all the work!!!


I don't know why I was so nervous- it all went so well , thanks to my family and friends who were there to hold my wobbly knees- the kids had fun- and loved the face painting by the ever so bright Izabella.


My fabulous assistant - the magical girl child who has knowledge of story telling, books and all things creative. She is a remarkable person- as strong as she is subtle- a perfect assistant as she knows both my world and the world of younger people- she helped me with details and ideas, she had the final say about the story itself - if it made sense to her it was ready for the world.
Gemma was brought to me as a gift from the heavens -well actually from Spain.
My very old friend Kaye the fabulous Kaye ( a never ending help ) had appeared back in our lives - after a rather long sojourn in the rest of the world and she brought with her a daughter I had never met. Gemma quickly became a great source of inspiration for me as she is a well read and knowledgeable 10 year old - a force to be reckoned with. I think I need her on my side as she will one day do things more amazing then I can even imagine. I like to bask in her glow.

It really helps to have multitalented friends- like Leonie Kervin - ( the one in the middle ) not only can she play but she also did all the sewing of the book covers - wow!!! And her teenage daugher was my sales girl and her son was keeping my little monster busy. I am a lucky girl!!!
Also in the band- Christine and Bruce- Thank you to all those beautiful people who helped and supported me through this strange strange day dream of mine which suddenly became a reality!


The lovely Linda Long and Loz Lowry - the fabulous musicians who helped keep us in a great mood . That woman can certainly sing !!!!!

The crowds, the speeches...all very wirlwindy.......

Its really hard to believe that the silly little pictures I worked on quietly in my studio- now have their own life and were actually a part of a complete book.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The wounded swan- a puppet show

I have been teaching children Buddhism at my local Temple and we are planning a puppet play about a wounded swan
- The swan gets shot by Prince Devaddatta - the cousin of Prince Siddartha ( who later becomes the Buddha )- one wants to hunt and eat the bird- the other to look after it and let it live. A rathersimple plot but there are many ways of presenting it. The students are very excited to make their own puppets- they have been drawing all the characters.
I like to use creative ways of teaching as its a good way to actually retain the knowledge. Also the students are so busy through out the week, they rush from one thing to another - this gives them time to enjoy, play and create something which has only personal benefits. They are a real pleasure to teach!!!

Wounded swan cont.

The mysterious old man who shares his wisdom. My absolute favourite- drawn by the 6 year old who will be playing that part. She was adamant that he needs a walking stick as he really can't walk very well

puppet show -

For some reason all the students wanted to be the narrator- but we picked roles out of a hat - and it turned out the oldest girl got the job- which was actually a great outcome as she doesn't take herself so seriously- she decided that the narrator should be a nerd- and so our class artist - drew a perfect nerd!!!
Now we're in the process of cutting their limbs off in order to make them into flat paper puppets. All the students were a bit perplexed at first why they had to do this but it soon started making sense and they got very excited.

We will have a week off as we're all busy at the Buddha's Day festival at Federation Square this weekend. Come join us if you are in Melbourne

Thursday, May 6, 2010

the Williamstown Lit Fest

Let me set the scene- a cold and rainy Sunday- who would come to a lit fest when they could be in bed- snugly reading the Sunday papers. But no, the troupers came out and made a spectacular effort to come and see us strange writer people.
I have to say I was so happy to be there...
I could tell you stories about sharing tea with a very popular children's writer ( not as exiting as it seems)- in the green room - ( well, as green room a room can get at the Town Hall ) .
I will tell you how hard the amazing organizers worked - you can tell its their baby- all dedicated to the cause of books and writing...
but really I just want to tell you about the wonderful people who came to my workshop.
I was planning to be quite nervous but somehow the topic of making hand made books and such a open audience made it all go away.
I was so happy to hear that many of the people already had an idea for a book. Mostly it proves my theory that its a very popular day dream. And I really, really hope that I can be the person who helps it become a reality.
Lovely ideas abound - all involving wanting to make a book to share a thought or a story or an idea with family and friends.
One lady was planning a family recipe book for her daughters wedding , another a crochet- er wanting o display her work in a book form, another wanting to use her lithographs and Julie Noonan- a very generous supporter who has been wanting to make a book with her little son. i just love all those ideas and thoughts and am so glad people are driven to make them into real, hand made books.
The one who stole the show for me was a grandfather who has made a book for his grandchildren out of SAIL CLOTH. that is - he has a boat and a ripped sail and a little voice said to him- hm...what should we do with this, shame to waste it...I know ...lets make a hand made book for the littlies...i is really amazing!!!

A paper folding exercise

As one of the workshop participants ( and now also a follower of this blog ) pointed out- and she got it exactly- my aim was to dimistify the idea of making a book.

show and tell

I loved showing my treasures to the lovely people at the workshop . It really felt like kindred spirits gathering together to explore some creative possibilities. I have collected a number of hand made books some of which are priceless. My absolute favourite is by a Ayano Takeuchi. Her work is breathtaking.
I first came across her work at THE STICKY INSTITUTE - I was just doing some photocopying there when she came in asking if they would stock her little book. I think everyone gasped when they saw it- and it really deserves a gasp. I will ask her permission to display an example of her work.
Her work is currently displayed at HAND HELD- more on that later.
It's really almost time to think about a hand made book festival...soon...