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Category: books

Blurb photobooks

The folk at Blurb got in touch recently and asked if I’d like to try making my own custom photobook. I was already aware of their service so it was good to have a go at creating my own book.

Blub book

The process is really easy: upload your photos, choose your book format, drag and crop your pics and send to be published. But of course if you want to spend more time on it, you can also upload InDesign files for a completely custom design. A few days later you have a lovely hardback book of your photos: much smarter and easier than a regular photo album.

Blub book

I went for a mini-size square book, which I filled with photos of me and Josh for our anniversary. The print quality is great and the matte paper I picked makes the pages nice and tactile. I think this format would also be brilliant for immortalising your Instagrams: I like the idea of taking something ephemeral and sealing it in print.

Blub book

But it’s not just photos, you could also upload illustrations or text and make a recipe book, notebook or portfolio.. the possibilities are endless. Prices are surprisingly reasonable too, with my baby book clocking in at about 20 quid.

Have you tried Blurb before? What would you print?

Print workshop with Yellow Owl

Yellow owl workshop @ UO

I spent a fun Thursday lunchbreak in the local Urban Outfitters yesterday, taking a stamp-cutting workshop with Christine Schmidt of fabulous SF-based stationery and jewellery studio Yellow Owl Workshop.

Yellow owl workshop @ UO
Yellow owl workshop @ UO

Christine was on hand giving tips and advice, as well as signing copies of her new book, Print Workshop, which covers all sorts of do-at-home printing projects, from block-printing to stencils.

Yellow owl workshop @ UO
Yellow owl workshop @ UO
Yellow owl workshop @ UO

I had a quick flick through and it looks like a very comprehensive guidebook to DIY printing, with tips on materials and techniques, as well as several pages of Christine’s own designs to use for personal projects.

Yellow owl workshop @ UO
Yellow owl workshop @ UO

Lookit, I made a little hello bubble stamp to take home! A little rough, but not bad for a lunchbreaks’ work.

Yellow owl workshop @ UO
Yellow owl workshop @ UO

Buy Christine’s book here and check out the rest of Yellow Owl Workshop’s lovely work here.


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Penguin Great Food

These gorgeously ornate book covers for the Penguin Great Food series did the design-blog rounds a few months ago – and rightly so – but I actually picked a few of them up at the weekend – the buy-one-get-one-half-price display at Foyle’s was winking at me…


Designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, the slender, textural volumes are obviously beautiful items in their own right, but the subject matter of the series is also fascinating, focusing on the history of food through 400 years of civilisation, from Mrs. Beeton recipes to 18th-century pub menus. A happy combination of my two favourite reading subjects – food and history – so I’m really excited to dig in and have a read.. then hang the covers on the wall when I’m done.

Check out all the lovely covers on Coralie Bickford-Smith‘s site, and buy the books on Amazon.


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Curbly: DIY Hardware Store Decor

I discovered Curbly via Apartment Therapy – it’s a DIY community with emphasis on the homemade and vintage side of homewares of which I’m so fond. As well as an active user community and excellent blog, they produce publications which come as both physical books and handy PDF-download e-books. In the past these have included guides to Mid-century Furniture and Second-hand Chic, and the newest one is called Hardware Store Decor.

The premise is DIY projects for the home using simple items you can pick up at any hardware store. There’s 12 projects in total, ranging from a copper piping magazine rack to a modern exposed bulb chandelier. The projects are photographed beautifully and you would never guess that most of them are made from hardware store bits and bobs.

I think the first project I would tackle would be this illuminated letter sign, which makes innovative use of fairy lights and doesn’t look too tricky. I also love the sleekly industrial look of this desk, made with galvanised pipe and hardboard, and this steel-and-plywood sideboard.

Happily for a complete DIY amateur like me, the projects are not too challenging and very well explained – though there are more advanced projects that tinker in things like electrics and welding if you’re feeling brave. The book is American but most of the items have a UK counterpart, if differently named. Now where are my jigsaw and glue gun?

Hardware Store Decor is released on Monday and you can buy the PDF or physical book here.


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Books: Jeffrey Brown’s cat and Fire & Knives

Sorry for the lack of posts lately – I’ve been off work all week sick, but all better now. I’ve also been furiously working on the new blog redesign which should be ready in a week or so! It’s so pretty, I’m really excited to get it live. I’ve had this layout almost a year and I’m bored of it :)

New books

I bought two excellent books from Magma today, thought I’d share:

Fire & Kinves

Fire & Kinves

Fire & Knives is a beautiful zine-book made by these fine fellas. As you can see, the design is beautiful and it’s a lovely tactile thing to hold. It’s also well-written with interesting articles on why and how we’re inclined to photograph our food (or particular interest to me) and a nostalgic piece on the history of railway cuisine. A great read for food fans.

‘Cat Getting out of a Bag’ by Jeffey Brown caught my eye as a set of postcards in the window, then I saw the book. Yup, it’s yet another cat cartoon book but as soon as we picked it up and started to flick through it, every page we were going ‘awww Yoni does that!’ ‘he does that too!’. It made us realise our cat isn’t quite as unique as we might have thought – both reassuring and a shame! But it’s good to know someone else puts a sports sock on their hand to play bitey-games and nearly trips over their cat getting underfoot on a daily basis. A must-have for owners of crazy kitties and guaranteed to cheer me up any time.