The sun is going down behind the Malvern Hills and has gone off the crocuses which were open all afternoon. Now they are closed for the night. Originally they were planted in the soil at the foot of the tree (Sorbus Joseph Rock) but they like it here and have seeded into the lawn and into other beds. The magnolia is showing colour and so is the peach tree. So that got its last anti-peachleaf curl spray of the year this morning.
Lots of things are poking up. Not least one of my caladium corms from last year and sitting on the scullery window sill. Am I pleased? Yes. But I inspect the other two several times a day. Why aren't they doing anything?
Yesterday I went bookbinding and the book on the left was the result. The cover comes from the same piece of fabric as a book in a previous blog of 18th February. You can see the nice pale yellow end paper which is a handmade paper with grasses and leaves included. The paper in the body of the book is watercolour paper.
I am still trying to glue laser-jet graphics to a backing paper to use as end-papers in Omar Khayyam. I am approaching something acceptable but am not there yet. So to fill the time while papers are drying, I have started on a Coptic binding. The covers have been made and are in the press until next Wednesday. The paper was something I had by me and has been folded ready for use. The sewing for a Coptic book reads like something very complicated but we will see.
I find this business of paper very difficult. My sister gave me a present of 10 sheets of A1 some years ago which was wonderful stuff and nothing has been up to scratch since. So I buy samples every time I see some. I do not think that NEC Exhibitions or Hobbycraft or other craft retailers are the right source. I could send for some on-line from a specialist like Griffin Mills but I would rather see it first. I have wondered about making my own and bought a second-hand book on the topic at the last Guild meeting but it looks too difficult to get right first time. Perhaps I need a course at West Dean. The problem is that I cannot define what makes a 'good' handmade paper/ I just know it when I feel it and write on it.