It’s been a loooooong time since I did a Coptic stitch binding. I’d almost forgotten how to do it but I guess it’s like riding a bike, once you get on and get going it comes naturally. This is what I spent most of last week doing – no not riding a bike, coptic stitch binding. I’m very proud of myself for keeping the stitching so neat. I think the secret to that success is using a waxed thread. I used to use plain embroidery thread which looked pretty but was such a pain as it kept getting tangled. It goes to show it’s worth using the right tools.
I’ve used sketchbook paper once again for the pages and pretty paper to cover. They’re A6 in size so nice to carry around whether that’s on holiday or in the garden.
I think this image of the signatures inside the covers looks like an ice-cream sandwich. It made me smile.
The coptic bindings make them look so pretty as well as being very tactile to hold. While I was in the groove I made a few more.
They’re all listed in my shop now and I’ll be making a few to go to KUKI later on this Spring.
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.
Since we’ve had the dog at home, Jess the basement cat has become a bit of a recluse mostly favouring the upstairs bedrooms to the basement studio. I thought I might have to change her name to bedroom kitty but then this week she decided to help me like she used to by sitting on my table with her bottom firmly sat on something sharp and pokey. I’ve missed the fluffball and her questioning stare on my work table.
I imagine she was curious to know what I was doing especially with that cotton thread sitting there.
I was making these four travelers notebook sized mini scrapbooks using kraft file folders as my covers. I love the look of the kraft and patterned papers together, the brown card shows off the little embellishments beautifully. The tape down the spine is to add a bit of extra strength as I sewed through the layers.
Also last week I finished my latest sketchbook. I went back to a coptic stitch binding leaving it on show which isn’t always the best idea unless you’re super accurate and neat. Just don’t look too closely at the wonky stitches. The spine of the book was in such bad condition I had to discard it anyway so cutting the book apart didn’t make me wince. I see it as rescue anyway not vandalism.
I found the book in the recycling centre and fell in love with the cover. Of course I’ve kept and am using the inside pages too but the cover was crying out to be repurposed into a new book.
I think there might be a recycling trip tomorrow on the hunt for more treasure. See you on Friday and have a good week.