The Art of Book Design: Space Cat

Ruthven Todd. Space Cat. Illustrated by Paul Galdone. Charles Scribners Sons, 1952. Photo from Amazon.com

Space cat is a series of 4 books written in the 1950’s by Scottish novelist Ruthven Todd about Flyball the cat and his adventures in outer space. The books are filled with charming illustrations by Paul Galdone who also designed the set of 4 covers that have made the books highly collectible and hard to find. The Book isn’t in the public domain so I can’t send you to read them, but in 2018 the set was re-issued and is available for purchase at a reasonable price. Here’s the link to Amazon, but the books can be found at most major book stores. Click through if you’d like to see the other 3 book covers – they are fun!

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Holidays: Sagrada Familia 3

I’m sorry. I’m a bad blog host and a worse friend, so I’ve been neglecting y’all again, but life’s been busy again, both at work and at home. No, no catastrophes, just lots to do. But here are some more glass windows to make up for it.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

I know, the purpose of these windows and designs was to remind people of the greatness of god, but all I see is the greatness of humans who set their minds to something.

My first Commission – Part 10 – Starting the Sheath

First I must say that my writing will continue to be very, very sparse for about two weeks (again). I think I finally found out what is wrong with my hands. I had a pain in my metacarpal bones and joints ever since I worked a bit too much in a too short time. Sometimes it almost went away, but then it came back with a vengeance whenever I did some work. The orthopedist has made an x-ray and has ruled out arthritis, and I have not visited a doctor since because it got multiple times better to the point I thought I am OK.

I think I know what is wrong – I think I have started to develop stress fractures. Those are not visible on x-ray until they develop in a full-blown fracture.

And whenever they almost healed, I did something to aggravate them again. There is only one cure for that – several weeks of no-strain. And due to the nature of the injury, that also means no-excessive writing on PC, no grinding knives, no cutting or splitting wood, etc. I have tried consistently this last week to do that and today and yesterday I was again almost pain-free. But I think I need to keep it up for at least two more weeks for the bones to recover completely. If that does not help, then I am going to the doctor again to try and find out what the hell it is.

What I could safely do was to coat the knife handle with boat lacquer. And this weekend I started, carefully, working on the sheath.

First I have cut the two slabs for the sides and then two strips for the belly and the back. To get the strips to conform with the blade geometry I did not cut them curved but I formed them from a wet leather strip. When it dries, it holds form nicely and it saves material.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

The next step was to glue everything together with wood glue. In case you ever do this, beware. Wood glue on dry tanned leather works really, really fast. Not superglue-fast, but fast enough for you to want to be sure that when you press the parts together, they are in the correct position straight away. Wetting the leather beforehand might give me some time, but I did not want to do that because the clamps would leave impressions in it.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

I have let it dry for a few minutes, then I took off the clamps and I inscribed a line with a knife-tip for stitching and cut the opening for a belt. In case you are wondering why there are round punched holes at the end of the cuts – those are there to avoid stress concentration and thus to prevent the leather from tearing further when used.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Now I leave it to completely dry until tomorrow evening. In the meantime, I am trying to figure out a way for making my maker’s mark on the leather. I could cut it, but that seems a bit inelegant.

The Art of Book Design: The Green Forest Fairy Book

 

Loretta Ellen Brady. The Green Forest Fairy Book. Illustrations by Alice B. Preston. Boston, Little Brown & Co., 1920.

I’ve included all the colour plates in this book below the fold. The drawings are done in a limited palate in the Art Nouveau style and I think the artwork is charming.

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Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I decided to spend some time in the garden this morning. I did a few minutes worth of weeding and Jack helpfully surveyed the damage done to my hibiscus by hungry little caterpillars – the bastards! No matter, it’s near the end of garden season and Jack and I are both looking forward to the arrival of fall next week. The boy loves the cooler temps and all the new smells that come with the season of decay. My pitiful human nose can’t appreciate most of the smells, but I do have excellent eyes to appreciate all the colours.

We both hope you get outdoors to enjoy this last weekend of summer. We’ll be back on Monday so we’ll see you in the fall!

The Art of Book Design: Who Killed Cock Robin

Our book today was sent in by Anne, Cranky Cat Lady. I am greatly amused that our resident Cat Lady is sharing a book about the killing of a bird.

Who Killed Cock Robin & Other Stories. New York, A.L. Burt Co., 1916. Photo courtesy of ©Anne, Cranky Cat Lady

Who Killed Cock Robin & Other Stories. New York, A.L. Burt Co., 1916. Photo Courtesy of ©Anne, Cranky Cat Lady

 

Fungi Friday

This week Opus has sent us an interesting fungus that he found growing on his property.

   Finally had a little time for photography so started with some fungus from the property.  I have no idea what this is, or why it grows in square segments, but it is striking.

©Opus, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

I’ve always thought of hibiscus as a tropical flower, but over the past few years I’ve noticed several of my neighbours plant the bush successfully right here in not-even-remotely-tropical Ontario. I love the big, bright, showy flowers that hibiscus put out so I thought I’d take a chance and plant one in my own garden. That was in the spring of 2018 and I took great care to give the plant the best start possible. I chose a nice sunny spot, amended the soil with horse manure and peat before planting and then hand watered it twice a day for weeks. By early July when we left for the east coast the plant had settled in and was growing well so I was expecting to see flowers when we got home.

Then our return home was delayed and delayed again and then delayed some more after that. By the time we got home it was the end of September and the flowers were finished and gone. The big, beautiful flowers were bountiful – so I was told – but I never got to see them. I had lots of people describe them to me and every single person made a circle with their hands to show me their size, but no-one had a picture to share. I’ve had to wait all the way until today to see what my big, red hibiscus flowers look like. I won’t describe them to you. I took a photo instead.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

©voyager, all rights reserved

©voyager, all rights reserved

This pretty pink sedum plant lives along one of our regular walking routes and I’ve been waiting for the colours to emerge. I haven’t seen it in a week or so and was happily surprised today with its progress. Just look at all those delicate pinks jumbled together like a bag of confetti. This plant is throwing its own garden party!