The symbols on this page are runes. There are various runic alphabets with differing numbers of characters. One version with 24 characters dates from 150 AD. A later Viking Age version has 16 characters. They were carved on wood and stone memorials and everyday objects as marks of ownership and were used as charms and curses, and for sending messages. I think these come from the earlier version.
I took my alphabet and information from Jan Messent's book 'Celtic, Viking and Anglo-Saxon Embroidery.
I worked it on fine needlepoint canvas painted gold with a sheer fabric over the top. I used blue Danish Flower Thread for the small characters and my own random dyed thread for the larger ones. Three narrow strips of metal cut from a tomato puree tube break up the rows of symbols - the central one is decorated with a row of automatic machine stitch worked with no thread in the needle or bobbin then stitched in place on the canvas. The other two slightly narrower strips are held in place each with a row of cross stitch.
A piece of torn medieval script is on the right and painted heat distressed torn nappy liner on the left. I finished it off with a metal button at each corner.
The pages are now stitched back to back in the right order and ready to be bound. I think I have even worked out how to make the cover and assemble the book. I just hope it works!