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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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December 26, 2017

Easy To Make Double Pamphlet Art Journals

Today my friend Eunice came to my apartment to learn how to make a Double Pamphlet Book.  This is a good "first book" to make because you learn about paper grain, scoring and tearing paper, making folios and signatures, creating a simple paper cover, and putting the two signatures and cover together with a single 3 hole pamphlet stitch. 

In 2012 I posted a tutorial on my blog for this book, with photos.   

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2014/06/making_a_simple_sketchbook_the.php

One CORRECTION to the Tutorial:  I said that the Mi Tientes cover paper I used is Grain Short, and now I think it is Grain Long.  However, grain is not very important in this simple book structure.

 

Eunice made a 32 page small watercolor book (5.5W by 7.5H) from one sheet of Arches 140 lb cold press paper, and I made a 32 page toned gray paper book (7.75W and 10.5H) from 2 sheets of Canford toned grey paper. 

Here is Eunice with her book.  She still needs to "decorate" the cover. 

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Here is my book, which I will use for figure drawing practice on toned paper.

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Here is the Canford Dreadnought Grey toned paper. 

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November 10, 2017

Bookbinding at International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas

Last week I took 3 days of classes at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  Imagine my surprise when I saw a sophisticated bookbinding class in the festival catalogue.  Lisa Louise Adams, a quilter and bookbinder from Hawaii, brought many beautiful, different types of her books to show us, and provided each of us with a pre-cut kit so we could finish the book in one day.  Coptic books open flat, making them good sketchbooks.  I taught myself to make two, from books and videos in 2013, but never mastered the two needle stitching pattern.  So this was the perfect class for me. 

I'll post information and photos on the 2 days of surface-dying in the next month.  Both were classes on "shibori" one using real indigo dye and the other using an indigo color Procion MX dye.

Finished Book:  We each chose our favorite batik fabric, paper strips for an accordion, signatures, button, and thread color.  This is my finished book. 

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Full Cover:  The book opens completely flat. 

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The spine to show the Coptic book chain stitch which binds the concertina, signatures, and covers in place.

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Unlike my traditional Coptic books, this one has a concertina (accordion folded Mi Tientes paper), into which each 4 folio signature was stitched.  And the cover was a fabric-covered, folded piece of binders board that made it unnecessary to punch holes on the outside of the covers.  You can see an example of the folded cover on the left - I still need to glue it shut now that I added a ribbon for closure.

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The paper will be good for sketching and the small size will be easy to carry. 

 

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