As I stand here cutting paper and sewing books for KUKI I’m reminded of the last time I was preparing for the KUKI festival which was three years ago I think. I cannot believe the change in just a few years in my approach to making these notebooks. Looking at some of the books I made back then, frankly I’m embarrassed. My slap-dash way of measuring and cutting was shocking! In fact I’ll go as far as to say it wasn’t in my nature to quibble over the millimetres. I would even suggest to the participants at my workshops to ‘wing it’ most of the time and I’d mock anyone who spent longer than a couple of seconds calculating exactly how many millimetres to measure with their sharp HB pencil. After making accordion books and discovering the need to have deadly accuracy if you want the pages to look perfect and the covers to open properly, I find myself measuring twice before cutting just to make sure and testing paper grain. All alien concepts in my past life.
I’ve even marked on my cutter the mm difference because I’ve discovered not all rulers are the same.
I can tell you right here and now that my HB pencil is sharp, my cutting blade is regularly changed and my metal ruler is always on the table. There’ll be no slacking with these books.
I’ll crack on sewing until I have a nice little stack.
Have a good weekend and I’ll see you here next week.
After the dark, wet days of winter we need a little pick me up and the sight of some new shoots and the first small flowers appearing in the garden is most welcome indeed.
With Spring on its way attention turns to all things brighter, greener and altogether more uplifting. The weather might be stormy but I’ve been tucked up in the studio creating my own sunshine.
As part of the big KUKI art and craft fair happening later in the Spring, I’m making watercolour sketchbooks. For a while now I’ve been desparate to try out a concertina fold making a couple to test. I love this style. It’s so different from using a regular sketchbook and really encourages a consistant theme to run throughout. I think the smaller size would be ideal as a travel sketchbook or field sketchbook.
I’ve made both a large and small one to try them out and so far I’m pleased with the results. The smaller one has been covered with some vintage wallpaper which I’ve had for ages and is perfect with its wipeable surface. The inside pages are made from watercolour paper and stand up very well to my mixed media materials. I’ve tried acrylic inks, watercolour paint and collage inside with no bleeding through or hardly any page buckling. I might see if I can get some more of these wallpaper samples to cover a few more, they’re so retro and funky and the wipe clean surface makes them ideal as covers.
I’m definitely going to make a few more with the wallpaper I have left.
I’m trying to develop my abstract painting style during 2022 with the idea that before the end of this year I’ll have created something on an actual canvas instead of a sketchbook. It’s a daunting thought and there are still lots of things I’m learning hence the sketchbooks. So far I’m loving watercolour, acrylic ink and collage and I seem to prefer to leave white space rather than fill an entire page. Most of my lines are horizontal so whether that means I’m trying to absent mindedly paint landscapes I don’t know. I also love to use script on the pages either directly with a dip pen or from collage paper. I’ll keep developing this style and I’ll return to this theme here in the future.
In the shop there are a few Spring-like cards too to brighten anyone’s day. Just follow this link to find them. I’ll be adding the sketchbooks too as soon as I have them all finished.
It’s a real treat to be able to create outside, I relocate to a shady spot at the bottom of the garden as often as possible. Inspiration is all around me and when it’s too hot to stay indoors, the shade of a tree is the perfect place to be.
On this occasion I put a few bits and pieces in a tray along with some pre-cut gel printed papers so I could put together this little gel print micro journal.
I say little, it actually turned out to be quite chunky by the time I’d added all my pages. Once I’d sewn it all together I thought it was so cute I didn’t want to cover the binding or bright print up, so left it as it was simply adding a little collaged embellishment on the front. The quote on an old book page jumped out at me and begged to be added to the front. After all it did sum up the afternoon quite nicely!
On another occasion I took out my sketching supplies and sat under the tree. I used the flowers in front of me as inspiration for this page in my watercolour journal adding doodles and paint.
I hope you have a little outside space to sit and reflect or use as an inspiration spot. It’s great for recharging the batteries.