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More Nepalese Mountain Paper

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Nepalese Mountain paper is one of the most popular papers in my paper supplies store on etsy;  Probably down to the colour variety, and the fact that it's reasonably priced, which means it's 'safe' to buy as a gift for other people.

Delicious colours of Nepalese Mountain Paper
currently available~ Deep Saffron, Fuschia, Turquoise, Lime

Nepalese mountain paper is made from the bark fibre of lokta, a plant which grows above 3000 metres in the Himalayan foothills. This is a renewable resource and the fibre collection and paper manufacture create valuable employment in the hill areas. The dyeing is done in the Kathmandu valley using dyes which meet current EU standards on effluence and toxicology.

 The paper has a lovely soft feel & although it feels delicate, it really is quite a robust paper... 
it gives a crisp fold & the natural plant fibres show up gorgeously along the torn edges! 

Also available in Natural!

These papers are not absorbent and can be used with pen and ink for calligraphy, for collage or for wrapping.... if your ink should bleed, a fixative can be used but most are fine.

One of the questions that is quite regularly asked is, "Can I print on Nepalese Mountain Paper?".
Well, I have written in a variety of inks & paint but I've not printed on it. 
I was really pleased when one of my customers reported back to say that it prints beautifully and shared a photograph to prove it!

"Death Spell" by Natalie Ricciardi
part of a series called "Harmonic Decomposition"
More of Natalie's work can be seen at

I make no apologies for showing more torn edges... it's not hard to guess why I chose the name Torn Edge Paper... I can't get enough of them! 


A French Proposal...

Monday, 25 August 2014

I'll write in any language…. just tell me the words!


Drawing boards are like buses...

Thursday, 21 August 2014

I've thought since we moved into this house in March that I'd like one. Then as I got the studio sorted I decided, yes, it'd definitely on my shopping list and started to look around for a second hand one, but never spotted one locally. Then one day I opened the paper & saw a classified ad for an A1 size drawing board less than 10 minutes away from me…. needless to say I was on the phone straight away & got myself there as soon as possible!

Had a lovely chat with a little old fella who's just retired from being an architectural technician… he must be about 80 & had still been doing the odd job, but was losing out to computer drawn plans "with no soul" (his words). So we had a little moan together, I paid him the money then brought this home with me.

Of course I put it straight to work! A couple of layers of wall-lining-paper taped to the board for a bit of 'give' when I write… i don't like a rock hard surface to write on, plus I can jot little notes to myself on the board now :-)

The cardboard tube is to stop me creasing larger sheets of paper over the edge of the drawing board by leaning too close. Even if I'm being very careful, it's almost impossible not to get at least one line in that spoils a piece of work. This way, the paper just curls over the tube with no creases.

The strip of paper at the bottom helps to stop paper sliding off, but also acts as a guard sheet to prevent oils from my hands transferring onto the paper. Non-artists/calligraphers may not realise it, but touching the surface can leave a residue that acts as a barrier to paint and ink. I usually use another sheet of paper as well, and by making sure it's level, that is often sufficient to keep me straight without ruling lines.

All nicely set up then my son phoned… there's a drawing board in an abandoned office on the site he's working at if I want it…. larger, A0 size. Dunno where its going, but I said yes!


Who lives in a nest like this?

Monday, 18 August 2014


Horsehair, moss, plant stalks & thistledown.

Cast adrift.

I fancied it would look good in black & white.

But also like this antique effect.

About 4 inches / 10 cm at the very widest point.

Fiona has been printing & ponders on the collective noun for nests over here. Any suggestions?


Let your spirit dance...

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Let your spirit dance

Allow your soul to sing


in the power within

{ 10 x 14 inch canvas / 25 x 35 cm }


Favourite Baby Quotes

Monday, 11 August 2014

Personalised gifts for when a baby is born form a large part of my work… and Christenings too. Over the years I've built up a fair collection of quotations, but the same few tend to get used again & again.
At some point I transferred all my handwritten quotes onto computer. Well, not all, but the ones that fitted themes I write out frequently for people…. It's far easier to give people a list of themed quotations to choose from when they don't know what to say.

Then suddenly my "baby" list vanished! Into thin air. No amount of searching or turning of stones made any difference, the baby quotes have gone. And then I remembered doing a bit of 'sorting out', *sigh*… they were supposed to be with "children"… except they're not….*another sigh*

I don't photograph every single bit of work, especially when the style & layout is similar in many cases.
It's a good job too…. i've just looked & I have 4,842 pictures in my calligraphy file! Admittedly there's more than a few that could be deleted, but there's so much I don't have records of either.

~Babies are angels whose wings get shorter as their legs get longer~

I needed to make some suggestions for a recent customer, so started to trawl the internet & compile another list. I found some that were in my original collection;

~Babies are special people just waiting to grow

~A parent holds their child’s hand for a while, and their heart forever

~A baby fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty.

~Babies fill the world with love

And a few more that I might use;

~A baby makes love stronger, the days shorter, the nights longer, savings smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and a future worth living for

~A new baby is like the beginning of all things, hope, a dream of possibilities - Anonymous

~To be in your child's memories tomorrow, be in his life today - Anonymous

~A child has a special way of adding joy to every day.

~A baby is born with a need to be loved and never grows out of it~
This one is, without a doubt, the most frequently chosen baby quote!

A couple more favourites I tracked down:

WHERE did you come from, baby dear ?

Out of the everywhere into here.

Where did you get those eyes so blue ?

Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin ?

Some of the starry twinkles left in.

~ George MacDonald

When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy. So there ought to be one fairy for every boy or girl. ~James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan

The first sentence of the last one by JM Barrie, was in the very first concertina book that I ever sold!

~Babies are little bits of stardust sprinkled from heaven~

This, and variations such as, 'Babies are little bits of stardust scattered from the hand of God', are popular for Christenings. Whilst looking for more quotes I came across 
'Babies are bits of stardust blown from the hand of God', attributed to Baretto

I loved this bit of lore that I found;

The old Irish, when immersing a babe at baptism, left out the right arm so that it would remain pagan for good fighting.

Nothing like hedging your bets eh?!

If anyone has anymore baby or child quotations, I'd love to hear them if you'd like to leave a comment!


Greek Manuscripts

Saturday, 9 August 2014

The British Library have 24 more Greek manuscripts online…
You can keep up to date via their Medieval Manuscripts Blog

Decorated headpiece from a Lectionary of the Acts and the Epistles, Add MS 29714, f. 4r 

Decorated headpiece and text from a New Testament, Acts and Epistles, Add MS 39599, f. 2r 

Opening of the Psalter with parallel Latin text, Add MS 47674, f. 2r 

I can spend ages just looking at the textures of work like these.


Long concertina book with printed pages

Monday, 4 August 2014

When you have too many words for me to write without spending a fortune, one way to accommodate them is to print some onto pages that can be stitched in place.

Vicki came to me with the idea of producing a concertina book with a "This Is Your Life" style commentary for her Mum's 60th birthday. 

"This Is Your Life" was a favourite tv show in our house when I was younger. I've just looked it up... I never knew it started out as a way of honouring & helping servicemen returning home after war!

Having set out to write a 'few' words for me to add to a small book, Vicki got a bit carried away… to the tune of nearly 900 words! That would have taken a lo-oo-oo-ong time & taken up loads of space, not to mention blowing the budget before we got to the 2nd or 3rd paragraph!

She wrote such a great story, I couldn't just say "sorry, no chance" could I?!
Even when I suggested using printed text, I wasn't really sure how… but she agreed anyway.

I wanted to keep it pretty much along similar lines to the card she like originally, with Khadi Cotton Rag Bougainvillea petal paper… it is so gorgeous. As usual, ideas grew & Vicki asked for some blank pages to stick photographs in.

I decided to print extra pages onto plain white cotton rag paper & stitch them into the folds of the concertina… it took a bit of fiddling around with text & layout, but it was soon obvious that the book needed to be longer than normal…. double the length, about 41 inches / 104 cm…. as I only wanted a single sheet of text per fold. Photographs could be glued onto the petal paper, or even on the reverse, depending how many she wanted to use.


It folded down into a book about 3/4 inch / 2 cm deep. I kept the same folded cover as the cards, but gave it a spine… I was really pleased with how this 60th birthday "card" worked out & Vicki was happy too!


The moment he opens his card...

Sunday, 3 August 2014

… captured on camera!

Thank you Lindsay & Jason for sharing x

This isn't something I normally see…. I did once see a girl receiving a concertina card & a few other little goodies I had written. She & her friends were quite amazed & so appreciative. They were unaware that I was watching or even that I had made them…. it was pure coincidence that I was in the same place at the same time. I sort of felt that I shouldn't be watching, like I was eavesdropping a conversation, but I couldn't stop looking either! It was quite a strange experience, but very satisfying to witness the reaction. It's really lovely to see this moment too,


Deep Peace ~ Personalised Remembrance Calligraphy Canvas

Friday, 1 August 2014

The symbolism of the tree & water are popular elements on the remembrance canvasses I write…. the tree… the tree of life… a winter tree for when life comes to a close….  roots in earth and branches in air… the body, left behind on earth and the spirit moving on. Water…. cleansing…. A vast ocean with hidden depths…. a river…. flowing… life flows… continuity yet continually changing….

They have different meanings for different people, and never ever look quite the same…. colours, photographs, words & arrangements change, but this combination of creams & browns with blue & silver is without doubt the most popular. They're calming colours… respectful but not sombre… neutral but not dull…. colours that whisper words of comfort. Biblical quotations are always popular & many people find comfort in them, but any words can be used.

There's a gentleness about this one… a tenderness… and it actually took several attempts to ensure that the name was the best shade & size to harmonise with whole piece. That one word took as long to sit comfortably as all the rest put together… from too big, to too small, to too bold, to too pale…. but I couldn't let it go until it was just right for this particular young man. It often feels that they are there with me, nudging me to make small changes because it 'feels' necessary, that at another time may seem ok.

It feels a privilege to create something that can bring some comfort to those suffering a bereavement & it can take a good few emails to get the sense of what to do for a particular person. That conversation is often as much a part of the grieving process for a client as it is for me to decide on what to do…. but very necessary & welcome.

If this is something you may like, I can be contacted at


Lunamoth by Diane Etherton-Watt

Monday, 28 July 2014

I do like to see how people use the paper they buy from me. 
Diane made a lovely 'Luna' series of collages…

~ Luna Moth ~

~ Moon Flower ~
images copyright of Diane Etherton-Watt

Although she is having a bit of a break from blogging & selling, 
Diane blogs at Naturally Through My Eyes & her Etsy shop is Inspire to Inspire

The paper she used was Nepalese Mountain paper (available here). It's made from the bark fibre of lokta, which grows above 3000 metres in the Himalayan foothills. It's a renewable source & the collection & paper making provides valuable employment in the hill areas.


Hot summer weather….

Thursday, 24 July 2014

…brings hot summer flowers

…. & calls for a hot summer canvas!

The sun is definitely here & has been for a while...

a few thunderstorms, but….
it's alright!

Some lovely gold powder dropped into wet lettering & down the side

Here Comes The Sun ~ Lyrics on canvas

And a couple more, just waiting for words…

could go either way

bright yellow, red & orange canvas

inspired by summer flowers


The Collective Noun for Concertina Cards?

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Would that be a "fold of concertina's"? I'm still on a wedding theme, and wondering if a group of concertina or accordion cards might be called a fold… what do you think, any other suggestions?

This Bride began with Thank you's for her Bridesmaids, and then came back with special messages written for all her closest family members.

We made the family ones smaller…. 3 inches square when folded, 
to fit into favour boxes with other little goodies...

 all wrapped in gorgeous sanwaa tissue, with tags.

Not forgetting a card for the Groom, of course. 
I know she dropped hints, quite blatant ones, but he never asked me to write one for her
so I hope this groom found something equally romantic for his bride!



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I am based in North Yorkshire, UK.
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