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It’s been an interesting March so far.  Firstly there was Hattie on YouTube, which as I write has had over 1300 visits (and certainly not all by me!!) 

Secondly I have been writing a booklet to accompany a workshop I give on Texture in Textiles.  It’s the first in a series of three called The Pocket Workshop Series.  The other two are going to be on colour and design.  These three workshops I deliver to textiles groups and are not exclusively about weaving, but include felting, knitting, sewing and embroidery, and a little printing.  These workshops are very popular, and I had been asked so many times for a booklet to accompany them, so I decided to get down and do it. 

New challenges are always huge until you’ve completed it, and then they seem so much easier, don’t you find?!  This is not an in-depth book, but a booklet introducing ideas and making connections between the different textile disciplines that anyone can use to incorporate different ways of working into their artwork.  It’s 38 pages long, and has a useful bibliography to encourage further in-depth research for those interested in learning further. 

I gave a texture workshop at the Derby Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers (a very friendly group!), and got 15 orders for the booklets which hadn’t even arrived at my home yet!  So that was a great start! 

The actual writing was mostly developed from my course notes.  The most intimidating aspect was trying to save it as a pdf which would be accepted by Lulu when I uploaded it.  Lulu is a website for printing your own books.  A number of craft workers are going down this route rather than having to surrender their editorial rights and preferences for laying out their book to a mainstream publisher.  A few frustrating days followed until I eradicated the pdf writer already on my computer, and two more were downloaded, and suddenly I found the format that worked for Lulu!  I designed my front cover myself, and suddenly my first booklet was in print! 

What a wonderful feeling!  My only complaint is the huge amount of postage paid for a small package that came in the mail! It virtually doubled what I paid for the first few copies! That’s the way they can keep the publishing costs down and increase their profits, I guess!!  Lulu has a marketplace where you can buy books they’ve published, and I know Alice Schlein has at least one of her books in the marketplace.  However, I have decided to keep mine purely on my website for now, at least until I have published the other two in the series, so you can only get it by ordering directly from me.  (As an introductory offer, they are £5 (cover price £7.50).  Further details on my website. )

So now I am in print.  Not a big deal by many people’s standards, I know, but for me a major milestone.  Now I feel confident that I can write something more in-depth and meaty and know that I can publish it on my own.  That confidence is tremendous.  Now all I’ve got to do is get cracking!