Poetry and bookmarks

I’ve been doing a bit of crafting this week, as I haven’t had a lot of teaching appointments.

The first thing was a 18th birthday card for my niece in Canada. I’m afraid I forgot to take a photo of it.

Next week I am going on a workshopp-y conference-y thing in Munich – the publicity has described it thus: “Come and Grow: Say “Yes” to God’s Call to Service will enable lay persons to gain a fuller understanding of their personality style and God given gifts to empower them to creatively serve God’s people”

I remember  that Myers-Briggs personality profiling was quite the “thing” when I was just starting work, and I remember having a very interesting book about worship and your Myers-Briggs profile. I lent it to someone and never got it back, but I do recall it being very helpful and reassuring. I am hoping that this course, or whatever, will be equally helpful.

I decided that I wanted to take a small gift for everyone, so I have spent some time making 42 bookmarks…


Here are four of them! I drew 5 different designs, which I then printed onto glossy photo paper (which is why there’s the flash glare in the photo) Then I wrote different Bible verses – encouraging, challenging, helpful…I will ask the facilitator to hand them out randomly, trusting that the right verse will be given to the right person who needs that verse (or will need it in the future)

I have been asked to facilitate a calligraphy course (hah!) in May. It is a L-O-N-G time since I did any “proper” calligraphy, and I don’t really feel qualified to teach it, but have rather been steamrolled into it. I am hoping that people will have low expectations!

In preparation I thought I’d root out some examples of calligraphy that I’d done in the past, and I found this book:


Covered in beautiful marbled pâper, I think it was a gift from a friend when I was at College.

This is the title page:


and inside I have calligraphed various of my favourite poems. This is the first that I wrote inside:


“Love” by George Herbert

And this was the last…


“Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti

I remember doing this at my first lodgings during my first year’s teaching in Maidstone, sitting at my landlady’s big oak table. That was 34 years ago! However, inspired by the need to practise a little, and by a tutorial on “The Postman’s Knock” blog, I played about with some watercolour paints and some ink yesterday and came up with this:

IMG_2622I’m kind of pleased with it. I’m not much of an artist, so was genuinely happy with certain parts (like the rose, and the feathers) Other bits less so – the branches are a bit “meh” – but it’s quite a good thing to have tried.

Have you ever come across something that you created long ago? And have you been tempted to try your hand at it again?


12 thoughts on “Poetry and bookmarks

  1. These are utterly beautiful – and your bookmarks will be a wonderful gift for those at the conference. Whilst digging out my spare tapestry wools for a friend, I found a piece I stitched 40 years ago – and it has NEVER been stretched and framed. Now contemplating a creative way of using it. And now I want to do some tapestry again…

    1. Thank you, Ang. Of course, I can see all the faults, as so often we are our own worst critics! I used to do tapestry/embroidery work too – another of my “fads” that I did for a while and then stopped doing. I think the cats put pay to the tapestry though as they will insist on chasing the wool. I look forward to seeing your piece when you’ve decided what to do with it (a cushion cover? the front of a bag? ) I’m sure you will think of something wonderfully creative!

  2. Your calligraphy is GREAT! Our son has started doing it. He’s obsessed with nibs and ink.
    I hope the course you are taking excites you about your inner journey. I bet it will!

    1. Thank you PomPom….I feel now that the first examples of calligraphy are a bit “fussy” and I prefer the last example. But like I said, aren’t we always our own worst critics?!

    1. Yers I did draw it myself – I suspect I may have copied from another design that I found somewhere, as I’m not that artistic, but it certainly came out better than I anticipated!

  3. Beautiful – they’ll make lovely gifts! Do carry on with the calligraphy, it’s a lovely outlet. I try this myself periodically as one of my long-term ambitions has been to create a page that looks like an illuminated manuscript. I never get very far, but do enjoy trying!

    1. I’m lucky enough to have quite calligraphic handwriting – the bookmarks were really just my handwriting using a calligraphy felt tip pen – but I should practise more. I have been following some YouTube videos to draw some Celtic/Viking designs too – that’s been fun but challenging! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV2zlEBe_5Y for example) It might be helpful for your manuscript! I’m working on a TARDIS zentangle at the moment.

  4. These bookmarks are wonderful, and your writing is really lovely! I used to have a calligraphy pen and set of nibs, but haven’t done it for ***** years!! I do love handwriting, (I did win 1st prize in a national competition when I was young!) but over the years, have got out of the habit….maybe you have inspired me to try my hand at it again!! 🙂 x

  5. Thank you Debs! Yes, definitely try handwriting again. I am enjoying sending letters to people – I’m hoping they enjoy receiving them too! I think a handwritten note or letter is SO much nicer than an email, or Moonpigged card.

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