Greatly enjoyed two of the series of Christmas Crafts Workshops at Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth. The first was Lino Prints and Stamps with Julia De Klerk. This was brilliant fun, and quite outside of my comfort zone. Below is the stamp I made in just 2 hours. We had time for practice, making and stamping! I used the stamp to decorate recycled brown paper bags to put Christmas gifts in. Rushed to the shop to invest in some printing inks, and more lino and then spent a few evenings making a much smaller stamp to print gift tags. Mustn’t let it be a one hit wonder. Need to try printing on to fabric in the new year. Second of the two workshops was Bookbinding with Catherine McGinniss. We spent just under an hour decorating our notebooks. I decided to use collage. Then we learnt how to make the binding with the Japanese stab technique, basically sewing the binding using linen thread. Very satisfying and a useful technique for binding together loose doodles into a sketchbook. Can’t wait to try it out with fabric too. For an interesting twist on the technique, visit this page by Abigail Bainbridge at West Dean.