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November 3, 2018

International Quilt Festival in Texas

I am going to the International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas this weekend for 5 days.  This is my 33rd annual Festival - and it has grown from several large spaces at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel, when I first attended, to the Convention Center in Houston, occupying 3 floors in this HUGE space.  There are hundreds of Vendors, Quilt, Doll, Clothing exhibits, and lots of classes and lectures - to name just a few activities.  They report 50-60,000 visitors each year from most parts of the world. 

This is where I take classes and keep my textile passion alive.  For many years my classes were devoted to "surface design" which means taking white fabric and converting it into colored decorated fabric using a variety of techniques. 

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I use my hand-dyed fabric for many projects, and even make book cloth with it for my handmade watercolor sketchbooks.  I just finished making this book and a matching pen pocket which I now use with every sketchbook when I'm sketching out of my apartment..  

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These are the end papers and the back side of the pen pocket. 

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Here are Sketchbooks numbered 29-50, and the new one is #62. I need to do another shelf photo.   I enjoy using these colorful sketchbooks, all with 140 lb watercolor paper that I love.

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I'll be back blogging next Friday, unless I can figure out how to do it easily from my phone.  I'd love to show you the art quilts that can compete with the best of the art we see on paper and canvas. 

September 7, 2018

Recycling a Used Book as a London Watercolor Sketchbook

We are going to London this Fall and I just recycled a London 1960s Photography book to use as my watercolor travel sketchbook.  My daughter and her family lived there for 14 months a decade ago, and I'm finally ready to go back.  But we will miss living in their house with our very young grandchildren on multiple visits. 

I bought a half-price photography book at the Strand Book Store in NYC, removed the original page block, and made a new page block with 140 lb Fabriano Artistico Soft Press paper.  Interspersed with watercolor pages, are photo folios from the original book.  

Front Cover

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I posted a 4 part Tutorial about recycling a book to use as a watercolor travel sketchbook in 2012.  This is the link to the process and the book I recycled for a 2012 Venice vacation. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/02/watercolor_sketchbook_tutorial.php 

 

Front End Paper: I was able to use two of the original folios as end papers, and just glued a decorative strip over the original fold to strength it.

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Title Page:  This will be my title page, with a Big Ben collage I made previously using a photo of Henry the VIII.  I will add a title for the sketchbook and my contact information.  I once received a phone call from a museum hours after I left my sketchbook by mistake.

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There are 4 signatures each with two folios of watercolor paper and one folio of the original photographs.  Two of the signatures had one folio that is narrower than full size and I will use these for 2X2 square daily drawings, and grid of my daily notes.  

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This is the example of the short sheets, I didn't want to use only a portion of another full sheet of watercolor paper and actually like having these random narrower pages.   You are seeing the narrower page on the right with part of a London bus photo behind it.

There are 24 full pages and 8 narrower ones for a 10 day vacation. 

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I made similar books for trips to Paris, Berlin/Prague/Budapest, Madrid/Seville/Barcelona, Barcelona, and a second one for Venice 2017.   

July 27, 2018

Flowers and a New Handmade Sketchbook

I sketched flowers at Wagner Park last week, but didn't finish painting them until this week.  Every week the blooming flowers change, and I try to capture them in my sketchbook.

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I love having a sketchbook with the paper I like, in a size that I prefer, and started making case-bound sketchbooks 10 years ago. I made a new daily sketchbook this week, using the same method I've used for several years.  It was made with 2 sheets of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb Soft Press paper.  The cover was made using bookcloth from dyed cotton fabric.  On the front of the book is a new Pen Pocket made just for this book. 

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This is the full cover:

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The inside of the book, showing the end papers and the back of the pen pocket. 

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May 22, 2018

A New Sketchbook for Summer Vacation

For the last 10 years I recycled an old book to use as a summer sketchbook.  They are all different sizes, and have original titles that may or may not suggest a summer theme.  But I like the variety, and they are easier to make because I use the original book cover.    This year it was a strain on my wrist, because I'm still in PT after my fracture, but I DID IT!.  This book was purchased on the $2  carts outside the Strand Bookstore in NYC.  It is 9.5" tall and 7.5" wide, and has 24 pages of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb soft press watercolor paper - enough for daily paintings while we vacation.

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I have a tutorial for "Recycling an old book as a sketchbook" - a 4 part series - at this link.

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/02/watercolor_sketchbook_tutorial.php 

I make pen/pencil holders for the front cover of each book making it easier to carry,  draw on location, and paint when I'm back at the house.  Mine are made with Velcro, but a simple one can be made from a tube of fabric and elastic.

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I usually save one or more of the original folios to add to my book, to honor this old book that will be discarded if not purchased from the carts.  This book was called BE, and it has a quote on one side of the cover ("Life is here and it is now"), and one interesting page that I made the title page of my sketchbook.

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February 2, 2018

Two New Books - Happy Days Making Both

Not long after I retired and began to keep a pen-ink-watercolor sketchbook, I began making my own sketchbooks with 140 lb watercolor paper.  At first I used commercial bookcloth, and then I realized that fabric I dyed for quilting, could also be used as bookcloth.  The red book on the left was made with fabric that was folded and clamped before dying-which is a form of itajime shibori.  The pen pocket was made with a small amount of fabric made with the same dyes.  The book on the right is called a "Remains of the Day" book, and it is the 8th annual one I made after taking an online class from Mary Ann Moss.  I make these with scraps of fabric I've dyed, and random paper from magazines and books as pages.   

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This red book has 6 signatures, each with two folios of watercolor paper, which gives 48 pages.  The pen pocket, which is closed inside the front cover with Velcro, makes it very easy to just grab it and go drawing.  

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The wraparound cover of this blue book is made by creating a fabric bag, with scraps on one side, and a lining on the other.  A piece of poster board is slipped inside and then the end stitched closed.  These fabrics are scraps dyed with either procion MX dye or native indigo, and the white areas on the bottom section are actually designed by stitching the designs before dying the fabric with indigo. 

It has 2 signatures, each with 11 folios, that are stitched onto the spine with a 5 hole pamphlet stitch.  During the year I use it as a scrapbook for all of my art adventures here in NYC.  I am recycling paper and I usually cover up most of each page with ephemera, photos, and drawings.

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This photo shows the lining and the front of the first signature.  I will use this as a title page and add contact information etc in case it gets lost.  By the end of the year the pages will also include envelopes, flaps, and overlapping photos. 

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