Wake Up Your Creativity with Art Before Breakfast.

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Do you wish you could carve out a little creativity in your day, but are convinced there are not enough hours in the day?

We know the feeling.

But despair no longer! Artist Danny Gregory, creativity guru to thousands across the globe, is here to help with this unique guide. Serving up a hearty helping of inspiration, Gregory offers 5 to 10 minute exercises for every skill level that fit into any schedule – whether on a plane, in a meeting, or at the breakfast table – along with practical instruction on techniques and materials, plus strategies for making work that’s exciting, unintimidating and fulfilling.

So why should you make art part of your everyday? We will let Danny take the lead here…

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But not only that, art can fulfill so much more…

BE-HERE-NOW Art stops time. When you draw or paint what’s around you, you see it for what it is. Instead of living in a virtual world, as we do most of the time these days, you will be present in the real one. Instead of focusing on all the things whirring in your head, you will be able to stop, clear your mind, take a deep breath, and just be. You don’t need a mantra or a guru. Or an app. Just a pen.

TELL-YOUR-STORYLife is just a long succession of small epiphanies. You need to stop and seize them. By making art, you will be recording what you are living through and what you are learning about it. A drawing and a sentence or two in a sketchbook turns those everyday moments into something significant. Your art will set a frame around it and give you perspective on what really matters. Over time you will build up a book of memories—a true record of what’s important in your life.

WELCOME-TO-THE-WORLD It’s not perfect, but it’s beautiful. And the most beautiful things have character and walnutsexperience built into them. There’s a lot to learn and appreciate in a chipped mug, a half-eaten apple, the tiny lines in the leather of your dashboard. Making art will show you how much you already have. Your real treasures. A brand-new Maserati is a lot less beautiful to draw than a rusty old pickup.

SUDOKU You will never be bored or waste time again. Every day is full of those moments between activities. Waiting in the doctor’s office, watching mindless TV. Instead of reading tweets on your phone, you’ll make a piece of art. Every minute of your day counts. Make it worthwhile.

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We all live in chaos. It’s the natural state of things. Physicists call it entropy—everything is always changing and unraveling and ultimately turning into cosmic mush. That’s why your desk gets cluttered and your calendar gets filled. It’s physics.

Creativity is the act of shaping the mush of the world around us into something—of creating your own order. I’m not talking about going crazy and compulsive with a label maker and color-coded files. I’m talking about having a vision of what you want things to be like and moving toward it.

I assume that, deep down, you want to have more creativity in your life—that’s why you have this book in your hands. But you just don’t know how to fit it into the chaos of your day. There are always too many things to do, too many obligations and chores that take precedence over you. Maybe you think to yourself, “Sure, I’d love to make art, but I don’t have the time to indulge myself right now. Maybe on the weekend, on vacation, when I retire, etc.”

But creativity isn’t a luxury. It’s the essence of life. It’s what distinguishes us from the mush. And it’s why our ancestors survived while other less adaptive critters perished. They responded to change by being creative in some way, by inventing a new answer to the chaos.

And that’s what you need to do to make the most of your life, every day of it. To be inventive, open, flexible, in touch. To have perspective on what matters to you. To deal with change without being overwhelmed. And that’s what creativity offers you.

Creativity can become a habit that fits into your life, like Pilates or flossing, only a lot more fulfilling. You just need to shift your perspective on what it is to be creative. It doesn’t mean you have to be a full-time artist. It doesn’t mean you need lots of training or supplies. Or time. It doesn’t mean you need to be a so-called expert.

You just have to be you—and express what that means.

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Art Before Breakfast is out now,find out more about here.

Want to find out more about Danny Gregory? You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and on his Blog

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#BookstoreoftheWeek – Winstone’s of Sherborne and Sidmouth

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Three year old Winstone’s has already made it’s mark as a must visit for all booklovers in Dorset, Devon and beyond. Owner Wayne Winstone and Helen Stickland, supported by family, bring a wealth of experience in making their bookshops as welcoming and enjoyable as the books inside.

The first Winstone’s bookshop opened in Sherborne and is home to over 9,000 titles covering all the popular genres with a particular strength in children’s books.

Wayne Winstone says, “As a bookseller there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a child engrossed in a book……we want to develop in children a life long love of books and reading.”

We hear you, Wayne!

In two years, Winstone’s has been twice named the South-West Independent Bookseller of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards. Last summer, the lucky town of Sidmouth got a Winstone’s to call their own. Both shops enjoy Winstone’s continuous effort to engage with the community through a strong local events programme, support for schools and events with writers and artists. Just this month, the Sherborne shop is hosting an event with the Antiques Roadshow’s, Marc Allum!

Winstone’s is also a venue for book clubs and societies or those who just want to curl up with a good book, a locally-sourced cake and a great cup of coffee.

“Our coffee is a blend of South American Arabica beans from carefully selected farms in Costa Rica and Brazil (which gives the coffee a hint of hazelnut). To these we add some Arabica from Ethiopia which helps give your coffee a fully rounded taste. We also blend in a small amount of the best Robusta beans from Uganda. This gives the coffee a great “crema” as well as an earthy red wine type of flavour.”

We need some now!

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The staff of both stores have a background in book-selling, coming from Waterstones, Blackwells, Booklore and Ottakar. They know a good book when they see one and will be happy to recommend if you find yourself a bit overwhelmed with their wonderful selection! Make sure to take a look at their We Are Currently Loving… on their website. If you have something in mind, you’re sure to find it but if not, they will order it and usually have it to store for you within 24 hours.

Winstone’s – bringing together communities and their favourite books since 2012.

Winstone’s Sherborne

8 Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT93PX

01935 816128

winstonebooks1@gmail.com

Winstone’s Sidmouth

10 High Street, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 8EL

01395 579969

winstonebooks2@gmail.com

Twitter @winstoneSid

Opening Times

9.00-5.30 – Monday to Saturday

Recipe for the Weekend – Adventure Bread from Josey Baker Bread

Time to put your bread baking skills to the test with this delicious gluten-free Adventure Loaf from Josey Baker Bread!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

FOODSTUFF TOOLS
rolled oats measuring cups or scale
sunflower seeds measuring spoons
pumpkin seeds big mixing bowl
almonds oil or nonstick spray
flax seeds loaf pan (about 8 by 4 in/20 by 10 cm)
psyllium seed husk mixing spoons (optional)
chia seeds cooling rack (optional)
sea salt, fine grind
maple syrup
olive oil
water

Sometimes you need a bread that is so dense, so hearty, so jam-packed full of seeds and grains (and devoid of air) that it will sustain you on your mightiest of adventures. That’s what this bread is for. But that’s not all it is for . . . it’s also gluten-free! That will either entice you or turn you off, but either way I really hope that you give it a shot because it is incredible, and it is suuuper healthy. It’s unlike any other bread in this book, in that there isn’t even any flour in it, and it isn’t fermented—it’s basically just a bunch of seeds held together with a little bit of psyllium seed husk and chia seeds. I started making it in the bakery because we kept having folks come in and ask us for gluten-free bread, and I got tired of saying no. Up until we made this bread, I had mostly been turned off by gluten-free breads, because it seemed like they were all just trying to imitate wheat breads, and failing miserably. But this bread stands on its own—it is gluten-free and proud of it. Special thanks goes out to Sarah Britton, blogger at My New Roots; her recipe inspired this bread.

Adventure Bread

Gather your foodstuff and tools.

Toast the seeds. Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C. Spread the sunflower and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and toast until they start to brown, about 15 minutes, stirring halfway between baking.

Measure ingredients. Dump this stuff into a big bowl.

1 LOAF 2 LOAVES 4 LOAVES
rolled oats 2 ¼ cups/235 g 4 ½ cups/470 g 9 cups/940 g
sunflower seeds 1 cup/160 g 2 cups/320 g 4 cups/640 g
pumpkin seeds ½ cup/65 g 1 cups/130 g 2 cups/260 g
almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped ¾ cup/90 g 1 ½ cups/180 g 3 cups/360 g
flax seeds ¾ cup/120 g 1 ½ cups/240 g 3 cups/480 g
psyllium seed husk 1/3 cup/25 g 2/3 cup/50 g 1 1/3 cups/100 g
chia seeds 3 Tbsp/25 g 6 Tbsp/50 g ¾ cup/100 g
Sea salt, fine grind 2 tsp/12 g 4 tsp/24 g 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp/48 g

Then pour in all the wet stuff:

1 LOAF 2 LOAVES 4 LOAVES
maple syrup 2 Tbsp/40 g ¼ cup/80 g ½ cup/160 g
olive oil ¼ cup/55 g ½ cup/110 g 1 cup/220 g
water 2 ½ cups/600 g 5 cups/1,200 g 10 cups/2,400 g

Mix it all up, scoop into pan. Oil your loaf pan, and then mush up your “dough” real good with your strong hands or a big spoon. Take pride in your mush-job, this is all of the handling you’re going to do with this “dough.” Once it’s mixed real good, scoop it into your oiled pan and smooth out the top so it looks nice. Then stick that guy in the fridge and leave it alone for at least a few hours, up to a whole day.

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Bake it. Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F/200°C. Bake for about an hour or so, then take it out and gently remove the loaf from the pan. Let it cool on a cooling rack for at least 2 hours (YES, two whole hours). Don’t rush it here folks, this bread is D*E*N*S*E, and if you don’t wait for it to cool, it really won’t be as yummy.

Toast and eat. This bread is definitely best sliced nice and thin (around ½ inch/12 mm) and then toasted up and spread with whatever your heart desires. And don’t worry, if you’re adventuring somewhere without toaster access (like a gorgeous river in the middle of nowhere), it will still be scrumptious, I promise.

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Find out more about Josey Baker & his book on our website; Josey Baker Bread and check him out on Twitter.

Text copyright © 2014 by Josey Baker
Photographs copyright © 2014 by Erin Kunkel

Bookstore of the Week – Salts Mill Gallery & Bookshop

Happy New Year ladies and Gentlemen!

We would like to introduce you to our first Bookstore of the Week of 2015…

*Drum roll Please* 

Salts Mill Gallery & Bookshop in West Yorkshire.

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Salts Mill Gallery & Bookshop is set in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saltaire, in a Grade II Listed historic mill building built in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt. Home to four galleries (the Mill is home to a permanent exhibition on David Hockney’s work), a selection of places to eat and drink, and spaces to rent Salts Mill creates a hive of culture truly underpinned by history.

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The main bookshop is upstairs and has an eclectic mix of books on all subjects. Housed in a beautiful and spacious stone hall, it retains clear traces of its industrial past; the stone floor, cast iron columns, metal pulley and huge windows.

Little history trivia for you, the quality of light was important to the cloth-manufacturing processes in the mill.

Occupying half of one of the huge galleries on the second floor of the West Mill, the bookstore has the luxury of displaying a significant number of titles on tables rather than shelves. Exposing the eye to a rainbow of covers and encouraging even the most prudent to pick-up a book (or two).

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It can be quite a busy place, especially at weekends, so there is a satisfying buzz about it, but it’s also a space made for quiet browsing. The shop is enhanced by all the artwork on the walls; many are Hockney prints but some are the work of other artists.

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Salts Mill Bookshop is the kind of shop you could linger in all day, the placement of everything is designed so that book covers and spines sit in intriguing harmony. We couldn’t recommend visiting more highly, but we do suggest taking someone with you, party to share the love, partly to make sure you don’t buy one of everything…

Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Planning a Visit?

Salts Mill,
Shipley,
Saltaire,
West Yorkshire
BD18 3LA,
UK

Tel: 01274 531163 (General Enquiries, Galleries, Cafe in to the Opera, Salts Diner)

Fax: 01274 531184


Email : post@saltsmill.org.uk

Find out more at http://www.saltsmill.org.uk/

Merry Christmas from Abrams and Chronicle Books

We hope your day is filled with festive fun and charm.

We wanted to share our own festive cheer with a glance at the 1914 Christmas Truce, that started on Christmas Eve 100 years ago, through John Hendrix’s book Shooting At The Stars.

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Shooting at the Stars is the moving story of a young British soldier on the front lines during World War I in 1914, writing a letter home to his mother describing his unforgettable Christmas Eve.

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Despite fierce fighting from both sides, both German and Allied soldiers ceased firing and came together on the battle field to celebrate the holiday. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged gifts and played football. But as the sun began to rise, they returned to their separate trenches and waited for the battle to begin again.

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Interweaving beautiful illustrations with hand-lettered text, author and illustrator John Hendrix tells a story that celebrates the humanity and kindness that can persist even during the darkest periods of our history.

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Very Merry Christmas one and all.

Five Questions Monday

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With the countdown to Ensnared leaving us impatient for all things Splintered we asked the amazing A.G Howard to take our Five Questions Monday Quiz…

1.How do you like your eggs in the morning?

I’m not picky, as long as the egg doesn’t sit on a brick wall where he can easily fall off. I don’t have any king’s men or horses around to help me put him together again.

2.What’s your favourite joke?

Q: What did one eye say to the other eye?

A: Don’t look now, but something between us smells.

3.What film character are you most like?

Well, a really awesome blogger that I know once did a post on authors who were secretly animated characters. I was Astrid from How to Train Your Dragon, so let’s go with that.

4.What is the first book you ever read?

The first book I ever read by myself as a child was Dr. Suess’s The Cat in the Hat.

5.Would you rather live in Wonderland or in the Human Realm?

Both.

I’m a Gemini, and although I’m not a close follower of astrology, since I unofficially have a twin side, I will choose the human realm, and she can choose Wonderland. 😉

Ensnared is out in January, pre-order your copy now!

#BookstoreoftheWeek – X Marks the Bökship

Our #BookstoreoftheWeek is, in their own words, ‘like a bookshop, but not’, it’s X Marks the Bökship!

X Marks the Bökship is a bookshop and project space for independent publishers in London. Born and raised sharing a space with Donlon Books, X Marks the Bökship grew up and moved to Cambridge Heath Road from 2008 – 2014 before finding it’s current home at Matt’s Gallery in Mile End.

They specialise in works by indie publishers,works and projects by artists and designers, journals and discourse. They promote contemporary publishing activity through book launches, events and production resources that bring together individual practitioners to create a local publishing community. A treasure trove for the rare, the beautiful and the ‘I don’t know how I ever lived without this book’ book. All of which you can buy on their online shop.

The bookshop host I’VE NEVER READ HER, an amazing bookshop focusing on short fiction & essays by women, every second Wednesday of the month. Everybody welcome, just bring a bottle (or not) and your thoughts. This incredible club also host screenings and events around the texts that they read.

Interesting alternative bookshop, with a lot on offer. Give them a visit!

X Marks the Bökship

^ Matt’s Gallery

42 – 44 Copperfield Road
Mile End
London E3 4RR

https://twitter.com/MattsGallery

https://twitter.com/Bokship

Bookstore of the Week – London Review Bookshop

This week we are celebrating a gem in the heart of London; the London Review Bookshop.

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Nestled in Bloomsbury, a (Rosetta) stones throw from The British Museum it is a peaceful place for book lovers to meet, browse a multitude of titles and snack on delicious tea and cake. Oh, the cakes! When you visit make sure you leave time for a cup of tea and room for a slice of their Flourless Chocolate Cake.

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This store may be but a baby by London standards, opening it’s doors in 2003, but it’s all the better for not fitting the Dickensian mould. London Review Bookshop was included in the Independent’s Ten Best Bookshops in the world for providing endless nourishment for London’s minds and waistlines. Founded by the magazine of the same name, the London Review Bookshop fills its two floors with fiction, non-fiction and rare edition books; a treasure trove for book lovers. The lovely staff can not be faulted and will help you find your way around characters, clothbounds, criticism and cake. The London Review Bookshop is your best bet for books that can’t be found elsewhere, their sections are comprehensive and crammed with diverse and interesting subjects and titles. It really is all about the books and you’ll feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast as you can grab a stepladder to reach something wonderful from the top shelves. The café and bookshop atmosphere is great for studying, catching up on emails or writing the next great British novel. Although, if you write it in the London Review Bookshop, the next great British novel will be about carrot cake.

Whether they come for the books and stay for the cake, or come for the cake and stay for the books, the London Review Bookshop have built up a loyal customer base, who can tell you why it is more than worthy to be our #BookstoreoftheWeek much better than we can:

Now that you are convinced, take a look for yourself, find them at:

And on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

Show Us Your Shelves!

A life lived orderly is something we dream of here at A&CB, with our shelves bowing with books. So, we are taking steps forward with inspiration from Fritz Karch and Rebecca Robertson; experts in the world of styling, collecting and decorating. Their new book Collected: Living with the Things You Love in chock full of thoughtful style demonstrating both the beauty and the whimsy at the heart of collecting.

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Pg. 91 Image credit: © Vivian Pickles

Collected runs through 15 styles; THE Modest-ist, THE Exceptionalist, THE Minimalist, THE Maximalist, THE Miniaturist, THE Colourist, THE Neutralist, THE Machinist, THE Zooloogist, THE Containerist, THE Artificialist, THE Naturalist, THE Seasonalist, THE Pragmatist and THE Fantasist. Separated into chapters, Karch & Robertson delve into the psyche of these categories and illustrate each with beautiful photographs of prized collections. We, of course, were drawn to the gratifying displays of books.

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Pg. 90 Image credit: © Dana Gallagher

We are pretty sure our shelves are erring on the MAXIMALIST end of the spectrum, they are definitely full of books of all shapes, sizes and genres. So we took inspiration from Karch & Robertson and found new beauty on our shelves. What do you think?

Collected shelves (2)

Got your own beautiful collection of books? Share your #shelfies with us on Twitter & Instagram.

Five Questions Monday

Kamran Siddiqi

The VERY talented Kamran Siddiqui of Hand Made Baking fame took some time out of baking to answer our little Five Questions Monday Quiz!

1.How do you like your eggs in the morning?
It varies quite a lot… Often times, however, it’s soft boiled eggs and dippy bread soldiers. There’s just something so classically beautiful and comforting about soft boiled eggs.

2.What’s your favourite joke?
I’ll admit, I do love a good dirty joke… A boy fell in mud.

3. What film character are you most like?
With the exception of being a guy, I’m most like Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Prejudice

4. What is the first book you ever read?
Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs & Ham.

5. Would you rather bake a one giant cake or 50 miniature ones?
Though it’d require a wee bit more effort, I’d rather bake 50 miniature ones. It’d be neater; and to not have to futz over doling out slices of cake is important to me, especially when I want to focus on the company around me. Cupcakes are easy— they come in their own plate (the wrapper), they’re delicious, and indulging in a cupcake brings out everyone’s inner-child. I adore sharing food, and if I can positively alter at least one person’s mood with a cake— be it a slice or a cupcake— I know something is being done right.

Thank you Kamran Siddiqui! We are eagerly anticipating those 50 cupcakes, we are big chocolate eaters here…

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