Accordion or Concertina?

So what do you call it? Just wondering, but in my limited experience I believe the term most commonly used is accordion in the states and concertina in the UK. (An accordion to me is a musical instrument even though I’m in the states.)

I’ve been fascinated by concertina books for years, first with this book by Suzanne Hughes, and then with books like this one created by Lynne Chapman. (be sure to click on the full panorama at the end of her post.)

Then a friend turned me on to Ed Mostly’s blog, Mostly Drawing. Not only does he post beautiful artwork but he’s experimenting with book arts. Ed created a concertina book with overlapping covers for drawing support. I urge you to read this post as I could never explain his methodology as clearly as he does.

I was so intrigued I created two models with remnants from previous efforts.

Yeah, my books have issues. The folds don’t line up, the hinges could be wider, but all in all I’m quite pleased.


Ooops! Forgive the cat hair.

AND………. I kept the one with orange end sheets and sent the blue and green flowered one to my friend. Together we’ll see if they’ll work for us!

 

No, no… thank YOU!

Sketchbookery Sketchbook and a Fix!

Tuesday is new lesson day in Sketchbookery… and I spent the afternoon watching class videos. ( … and Germany slaughter Brazil in the World Cup semi-final.)

I also made a certified Mary Ann Moss sketchbook!

The covers were salvaged from an old copy of A Manual of Style selected for its gorgeous orange color… that and the fact that it only cost 50 cents! No bookbinding tape so I needed to get creative when it came to making the spine.

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I’ve done some bookbinding and have made homemade book cloth by bonding a length of fabric to tissue paper using fusible web… something like Wonder-Under or Heat n’ Bond Lite.  That I had!  I cut a 2 inch strip and bound it to the covers using PVA glue just like Mary Ann showed. Want to do this but don’t think you have PVA? Well, that’s what Elmer’s glue is! Yeah, maybe it’s not “archival” but I’m making this for me… not for eternity!

After it dried it was time to pouch the holes. Nope, no fancy Japanese Hole Punch thingie either.  Just used my thickest awl, a sharp needle (ouch) and standard 4-ply bookbinders thread.  Love the look… but it doesn’t stay completely closed!

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Maybe I have too many papers or they’re too thick or I didn’t bone them down enough to get a good crease but at an inch it’s just a titch too tight at the spine. But I can fix that too!

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I made an elastic band to go around the journal! Actually, I make them for all my journals. I schlep them around in my purse and the band keeps the papers from getting dinged up. If you’re interested in making one for your sketchbook, it’s just a 2 inch band of elastic I got at my local Joann’s, stitched together with the raw edges sealed with a zig-zag stitch. Nothing fancy.

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Now for the unexpected benefit of the elastic band… It keeps my pen with my sketchbook and I never have to hunt for the pen in the black hole that is the bottom of my bag!

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You can see it’s fairly low profile, protected as it fits in the space between the pages and the edges of the cover. My Lamy shown here is a thick pen; if you carry something thinner like a Micron, it’ll nestle right in there.

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Can’t wait to use it but I guess sketchbooks are like potato chips… can’t make just one. Sketchbook #2 is drying right now!

Sketchbookery and Me!

I didn’t really need another online class… but that’s never stopped me! I’m taking Sketchbookery with Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch From LA fame!

I’ve long been a fan of her unfailing upbeat art and humor and never had a chance to take one of her classes ’till now.  I’m just under a week into it and I’m loving it!

We’ll soon be making our own sketchbook but Mary Ann wanted to get us working on our drawing and watercolors right away. First up:  make watercolor reference cards for our palette… or, as in my case… palettes!

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I know… I know!!! …….but I need them!  ok, ok, I admit, I’m addicted. I’ve actually used them all but you can see the current favorites by their messiness.

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Practice, practice, practice!

Class is filled at the moment but you can give yourself a Christmas… Hanukkah… Kwanzaa… or New Year’s gift.  Next session begins December 26th!

New Sketchbooks… Finally!

Five months, that’s how long it took me to finally finish my new books!

Way back in September I tore down a dozen sheets of Strathmore 500 Mixed Media paper, one of my favorites for visual journaling. Folded into folios and collated they formed 36 signatures… 72 folios, 2 folios per signature. Using 9 signatures each I was able to make four book blocks.

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As I bound them I included sewn-in endsheets of a single folio of Canson Mi-Teintes. Clockwise from upper left:  South Seas, Parma, Green and Plum.

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And then they sat, taunting me from the carry-case where I put them, safe ’till I could glue up the spines and case them in. There was plenty of time to finish them but every day brought more procrastination.  As I was working on my TO DO list I realized I could accomplish a lot by just finishing those d*#n books!

I set to work collecting my tools and supplies… pencil, ruler, X-acto knife, PVA, mull, book cloth, and cover paper.  Cover paper! … but I don’t have any!

I decided to paint my own cover paper using another Strathmore paper, this time their Aquarius II. Luckily I had some in my stash. It’s a cotton/synthetic blend which resists buckling when painted, even with very wet media. I’ve been experimenting with acrylic inks and decided to color coordinate them with each journal’s end sheet.  Monday afternoon I splashed water and inks, mostly playing wet in wet but also testing drawing with black ink and filling the shapes with color. The pomegranate paper came from that trial… I love it!

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If you look closely at the dots in the uppermost turquoise book you can see I also used a little pearlescent ink for shimmer. Acrylic inks don’t change the hand of the paper and aren’t sticky as acrylic paint often feels, especially if the paint is layered on too thickly. I noticed on my previous journals my handmade book cloth didn’t hold up very well. The corners wore down to the boards, most likely due to the use and abuse my journals get knocking about in my purse. I always have one with me.  This time I used commercially made navy book cloth for both blue papers and black for the others.

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Ta Da!!! Four NEW approximately 8 inch square sketchbook-journals!

Hmmmm… I love them all… which one is your favorite?