Cloth Books: Ex Libris Handmade

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I love these handmade cloth books by Victoria van der Laan. Victoria has been making things since 1976 and has an etsy shop selling her charming custom-made books for babies, kids and adults. I'm very impressed with her range of topics - there are books on science, dinosaurs, woodland creatures, musical instruments, fruit, mammals and transport to name just a few! Each book features interesting and non-traditional applique images as well as having a stylish typographic front cover. If you want a personalised book, Victoria can also embroider a child's (or adult's) name on the front, making a wonderful and very unique gift.

Inspiration: Cold Press Gallery

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I confess that I have never actually been to Norfolk but it has long been on my list of places that I would like to visit. I particularly want to go to Holt, home of Old Town, Byfords and now the Cold Press Gallery. The gallery is housed in an old Methodist meeting hall and sells an expertly curated range of paintings, ceramics, sculpture and furniture, all selected by Kate and Ben Lawrence. The couple founded the gallery after working in the London art world and now living in the depths of North Norfolk, they admit that several of their relationships with the artists, including American Kai Samuels-Davis, have been conducted almost entirely through email. A situation they describe as being "like having an old fashioned correspondence". The gallery's signature style of tactile, natural materials, rural craftsmanship and faded neutrals reflect the local landscape, making that trip up to Norfolk seem even more tempting.

Inspiration: Susanna Bauer

These delicate crocheted leaves are by German artist Susanna Bauer, whose work combines stones, leaves and wood with traditional craft techniques. Her work is painstakingly intricate and encourages the viewer to study the natural forms just as much as her embellishment. Sometimes when an artist manipulates a natural object as the basis of their work, I can't help but think it would have been better left in its original state. In this case though, the complementary forms of the leaves and the sinuous thread combine to make something which truly exceeds the sum of its parts.

Inspiration: Helen Simmonds

Helen Simmonds' paintings are a masterclass in restrained simplicity. Her minimal compositions feature a variety of ordinary and unassuming kitchen objects, such as enamel jugs, glass bottles and ceramic vessels in meticulous arrangements. I particularly like her sparse palette of muted oils and the sense of peace and calm evoked in each painting. The pieces seem to recall Dutch still lives and offer a modern take on this timeless tradition. Helen's work can be seen at the Jonathan Cooper Gallery, London and the Alexander Gallery, Bristol.

Book: New Gypsies

Iain McKell's photographic portraits of travellers exude a sense of family, community and freedom. These new Gypsies are here by choice, not heritage. Unrelated to the Roma, the movement began in 1986 when a group of Post-Punk, Anti-Thatcher protesters headed out of London into the English countryside. McKell followed these New Age Travellers to the West Country and over the years, watched them become a hybrid tribe - the new gypsies - present-day rural anarchists, living their subversive lifestyle in elaborately decorated horse-drawn caravans. Known as 'Horse-drawn', these new gypsies share a desire for sustainability, a love of self-reliance and a disdain for the trappings of contemporary life. To see more of McKell's romantic, strange and beautiful photographs, check out his book The New Gypsies.

Woven Branches

The new issue of 3191 Quarterly is out next week and features a branch weaving project. I haven't seen anything quite like this before, but I love it! I'd definitely like to have a go and think a small collection of different branch weaves pinned to a wall would look amazing. The journal, created by MAV + SCB who share a love of "art and craft, simple things and a well-lived domestic life" also features cooking with seeds, collecting leaves and a day trip in the Columbia River Gorge - sounds like my kind of magazine. It comes in a beautifully photographed, printed and bound limited edition of 1000. You can pre-order your copy now...