Off we go


It’s the start of September and time to begin Learning Something New Every Day.  I know, it’s the second of September today, but come on, I’ve got to live the day before I can know what I’ve learned and write it down, haven’t I?




Of course, I was champing at the bit, raring to get going because I knew that I’m working almost every day next week and getting ahead of myself is one way of keeping up.  So, yesterday afternoon, in between getting a few things ready to make a paella for friends last night, I bound those pages I painted into a concertina binding.  Exactly the same method I showed here, but the more pages there are to manage, the trickier it is to keep the whole thing straight.  But hey, I was trying not to be too neat on this one, wasn’t I?




The end result wasn’t half bad, the pages opened flat and gluing them back to back strengthened the pages too.  OK, there were one or two wobbles here and there but once the glue dried, the whole thing hung together rather better than I had dared hope.




Of course, it needed covers though.  Sticking to my principle of keeping this thing all hand made and “unplugged” I pulled out a sheet of random painting I’d done earlier in the year, following a free online class.  I know, it was exactly this kind of instructor-driven stuff I’m trying to avoid, but the painted sheets were there and this seemed a good use for them.  I glued them to stiff cardboard covers and left the thing to dry.




It wasn’t without the occasional minor disaster.  The bottle of glue I’d been using was somewhat fragile; the plastic had become brittle over time and it was already bandaged up with duct tape.  Nevertheless, when it was still half full, I couldn’t bear to throw it away so I was happily squeezing the bottle to get every bit of it out when SPLAT!  The bottom of the bottle burst open and the contents oozed everywhere.  aaagh!   Fortunately, my paint palette was on hand and I dumped the lot in there (yes, still couldn’t throw good glue away…sad, isn’t it?)  Using an old credit card I used every last drop to bind the book and even had the unexpected but very enjoyable experience of peeling all the dried up glue from my palette this morning!




The bound pages are pretty secure and now it’s all dry, it’s pulled together well.  I used a couple of pieces of Japanese linen tape to hold it together – I have a roll of wider, lime green linen tape somewhere but until I track it down, the plum check will have to do!




I used some of the denim blue acrylic paint to colour the edges of the cardboard, too.

So, what about the inside, then?  Time for the first observation and the entry for September 1, 2012.




The paella.  I have never made it before but fancied having a go when friends were coming for supper this weekend. I didn’t think our shallow pans were big enough, so had looked in a couple of shops in Gloucester Quays (Le Creuset outlet and similar) on Friday afternoon after work, but nearly fainted at the price – I was not prepared to spend £100 on a new pan just to make a paella in!  But shopping in Cirencester yesterday, the kitchen shop had a window display featuring…paella pans!!  (The real McCoy too)   One was perfectly sized and at £9.99 a rather more affordable purchase.  My hero and I got all the ingredients prepped in good time and were able to enjoy the company of our friends as I cooked Jamie Oliver’s Paella and ate a few tapas at the same time!

So, the Paella adventure prompts the first observation of the project.  Easy peasy!

Day 2 – and I’m keeping up

No safety net needed