Tuesday, 12 June 2012

From Book Lover to Bookbinder

It is official I am now a Bookbinder.....and recognised by others as such....

Bookbinding Definition - the art of  securing the pages and cover of a book

Bookbinder Definition - Someone whose job it is to fasten the pages of a book together and put a cover on

                                                            My First Attempt

I have always had a passion for books and as a child in the Early 60's I learned to read with the help of Ladybird Books, I then progressed on to Enid Blyton and eventually Jane Austen, The Brontes and Thomas Hardy. I have very happy memories of visiting the Library with my Father on a Saturday morning and eventually being allowed to go on my own......

It will not surprise you to learn that I was a school Librarian

However,  I never considered becoming one when I left school......If you have read my earlier blogs you will know that I trained to be a Childrens' Nurse, but this was not to be my Destiny..... I loved working with children and when I had my own I taught them to read before they went to school, it just seemed the natural thing to do. I then trained to be a Montessori Teacher and was able to teach other children to read and love books. Then followed a few years working in and eventually running a Playgroup, Happy Days!

Then came a point in my life when the children went to school and I began to crave more adult company. I worked one Christmas and New Year for Marks and Spencer and loved it but it was only a temporary job. I remember looking at the jobs vacant coloumn in the local paper one day and seeing an advert for a job in our local Library. I always thought you had to have a degree but this was not the case and I was delighted when I was offered a job. I had many happy years there.

When we moved to Northamptonshire I was delighted to find not only a library but also an Independent Bookshop in the town. I secured a job in the Library once again when almost immediately a vacancy came about in the Bookshop so I applied and was successful, I decided to leave the Library.

I spent seven very happy years working in the Bookshop and met many interesting people including authors and Bookbinders. There was a couple who did this and I always thought what a fascinating craft this must be....you see we sold secondhand and rare books. As staff we were allowed to care for the old books and polish them which I loved. it was such a thrill to be able to handle some rare and vey expensive old books.

I then went to work in the Tourist Information Centre which I loved, but then came the move to Scotland. This time I had my heart set on working in a Garden Centre and once again Luck was on my side and I now work 3 days a week in a local Independent family run Garden Centre and Nursery.

In an earlier blog I explained how I set up my page on Facebook, how I had Sewing Lessons and started selling.....then last Christmas I was given an envelope template that I had seen advertised

A new memeber of staff came to work at the Garden Centre and she persuaded the owner to sell craft stuff, that is where I first came accross the beautiful paper that I used to make my envelopes and matching cards

These ones were made using a smaller template.
A lovely lady called Jackie saw my cards and asked if she could buy some to sell on Not on the High St, I was absolutely thrilled, to me this was a true recognition of my talent.I then started looking for other things to make with this paper and produced some paper hearts and fishes bunting. I recently had an order from a lady in the US who wanted 9 lots of my Bunting, again I was thrilled and was now a Transatlantic Seller, to me this was Huge!

I saw a photo of a journal and thought that was something I would like to make and suddenly became drawn into the World of Bookbinding, I looked for ideas on the Internet but I really did not know where to start. So......I bought a BOOK on the subject! I decided to start with the most basic pamphlets and a lovely lady called Samantha introduced me to Tilda paper and that is what I used for the covers.

                                                        The tools of my trade

I found a website called Luulla through Facebook and decided to sell my notebooks on there. Within a matter of hours I had received an order for 9, that seems to be my lucky number!.....

                                           My latest Regency Brighton Style Notebook

Also within a few hours of joining Luulla I was welcomed into the Community by another Bookbinder , and others, who was willing to share her knowledge with me.....So lovely,  and now I truly feel like a fully fledged Bookbinder with a whole new path to follow, this is just the start of a whole new journey and hopefully you will join me.....

You can find me at www.facebook.com/BlueAnchorBay

and my Luulla shop www.luulla.com/store/BlueAnchorBay

I am also on Twitter, Pinterest, Etsy and Folksy!

I would like to thank Samantha, Lizzie, Karen and Elaine for their part in this!


  1. Congratulations on your success, your notebooks are beautiful - love the Tilda paper! Jenny x

    1. Aw thanks Jenny, so nice of you to say so :) xxx

  2. I love what you have made.....you are so clever!xxx

  3. Aw thanks Mel, you are too kind :) xxx

  4. What an incredibly varied career and such a talented lady! Hope it all goes from strength to strength - you deserve it!
    Jules from Juju & Bubba

  5. Aw thanks so much Jules, that is so kind of you xxx