Sunday, 20 February 2011


Look what Peter pulled out of an old hessian sack this week! Leaving aside the fact that hessian sacks in themselves are Very Exciting, never mind what's inside them, this one really did bring about a fair bit of happy-skippy excitement.

Can you tell what they are? Old wooden printing blocks, literally hundreds of them, all different sizes and shapes and letters, all with decades-old ink still on them.

Peter's dad has been a printer all his life, and Peter worked with him for a while, and at some point rescued these blocks from being thrown away. His dad, so I'm told (and I can believe it), said "what do you want those for?? They're rubbish, we used to burn those in the stove to keep warm when we were apprentices!"

But Peter, with an eye for things-that-future-girlfriends-will-find-interesting-in-twenty-years, rescued them anyway, intending to cover an entire wall with them, but never quite getting round to it because our house is 110 years old and there isn't a straight wall in the place.

So. Here we are with an entire sack of the things, and now I have no idea what to do with them either. Apparently they're too worn out for printing professionally, but that wouldn't stop me printing on card with ink I wouldn't have thought. But I'd only want one of each, so there's still plenty left for a Project.

Did I tell you we're busy turning our house into a Palace?? Well, we are. Which mostly seems to involve Taking Things Apart, building shelves, and sawing things in the middle of the kitchen, but which is also unearthing some lovely forgotten treasures, and setting us off on all kinds of bizarre decorative adventures.

So, any suggestions for what we can do with all these?


  1. Ooooh, you lucky things. I've seen them selling these on a market stall at something like £2.50 each for small ones. What about spelling out words in glassless frames and perhaps adding an item to illustrate the word eg 'flower' with a painted or sewn flower in the frame or 'music' with some sheet music in the background. I'm sure there are loads more. I know they would be backwards but that's the fun part!

  2. Good grief Footpather, really?? Goodness me, what people will pay for!

    Your idea sounds lovely :) (and yes, I must remember the words will be backwards!) I think Peter is still holding out for a wall - or at the very least a door... But there's probably enough to cover an entire room!

  3. how neato! Maybe until you figure out what to do with some of them. Find a nice big glass jar or vase (or a few in different sizes) and fill them with the letters. You could build a room divider with three panels. Instead of fabric in the panels you could use the letters. maybe line a few words on the shelves of your bookcases - kind of like Footpather mentioned. OH what about a back-splash in the kitchen and then cover it with clear Plexiglas to protect the blocks from splatters. If there are little holes in between the letters you could fill the gaps with marbles or shells or coins. I better stop. What neat letters. So glad Peter rescued them. What fun you will have with them. Emily

  4. Ooh, thanks Emily! Our rooms are far too small to be divided in half sadly! But a kitchen splashback is a lovely idea, well done!

    What fun indeed :) :) I'll post pictures of what we end up doing - at the minute they're all dotted about the place in baskets :)

  5. I love those, just don't throw them out!