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!

My Sketchbook Is Online!

WooHoo!!!

As I’ve mentioned before, I completed a book for The Sketchbook Project 2014. I’m happy to report it’s been digitized and you can see it here! (note: the reproduced images show the book much darker than it really is.)

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I love traveling and have always been fascinated with World Heritage Sites. Each site has been deemed to have either cultural or physical value by UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. There are nearly a thousand sites on the list and each one is amazing. Since visiting more than a handful is unlikely, I chose fifteen to highlight as my imagination traveled eastward around the globe.

The Sketchbook Project is kicking off its 2014 tour tonight in Brooklyn, NY before it heads out to visit over 20 cities! My sketchbook and many others will be safely packed in the mobile library and towed from city to city where the public can check out one or more to view in person. Check out the tour page to see if they’ll be in a town near you!

But don’t fret, if you go online you can look through plenty of sketchbooks as many of the artists have chosen to have their sketchbooks digitized too!  Visit the digital library and just have fun searching various criteria; I’m positive you’ll enjoy the variety of all the projects!

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?