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September 1, 2017

My Newest Watercolor Sketchbook

Just a quick photo today of my newest handbound watercolor sketchbook.  I dyed the fabric and made it into bookcloth, fusing it to mulberry paper for strength.  There are 48 pages of Fabriano Artistico made from 2 sheets of 140 lb Soft Press paper, which is my favorite watercolor  paper.  I made the pen/pencil holder from another piece of dyed fabric, and love having it attached so I can easily carry it with me and have a pencil, eraser, and 3 pens.  I now have 5 of these pen/pencil holders and so far I can find one that blends with each of my newest sketchbooks.

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May 12, 2017

2012 Venice Travel Preparation

We love Venice and celebrate some wedding anniversaries there.  This month we are going again and I decided to post my previous Venice sketchbook "anticipation pages." Artist Laure Ferlita describes them here in her blog.

http://paintedthoughtsblog.blogspot.com/2017/04/training-to-overcome-fear-of-sketching.html 

I wasn't sketching or keeping a visual journal during my earliest Venice visits, so before our visit in 2012 I slowly painted from my earlier photos to "practice" and then made myself a book from the finished paintings.  This blog post details my process- binding previously painted folios into a hard cover book:

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/07/making_a_second_venice_sketchb.php

And here are a few of the pages from that book. 

 

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May 9, 2017

Making a New Sketchbook for Venice 2017

I love to make watercolor sketchbooks and I frequently recycle an old book for travel sketchbooks - usually one that costs only $2 on the outside carts at The Strand bookstore in NYC.

I made a travel sketchbook that I loved for our 2012 Venice trip.  The entire process is explained in photographs at this link. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/01/making_a_watercolor_sketchbook.php

I searched for 6 months for another book to recycle for an upcoming Venice visit and finally settled on this one.  It is a Kate Spade book on "Occasions" and I was able to save two folios about celebrating Anniversaries to incorporate into my new book.  I finally chose it because of the price ($2), size, the condition of the cover, and my approaching vacation deadline.  I think I will always love my "Italian Dreams" Venice sketchbook more, but look forward to using this one too!

The Cover: 

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The End Papers - which make me think of Venice's Carnivale: 

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There are 36 140lb Fabriano Artistico Soft Press pages inside.  This is a Maurice Sendak Illustration I painted from Mickey in the Night Kitchen which I like to have on the title page with my name, address, and contact information in case my sketchbook gets lost.

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I also try to include a few of the folios from the original book I'm recycling.  Here is one part of each of the original Folios that I incorporated into the sketchbook: 

Anniversary Gifts: We've been married so long that our anniversary gift is on the bottom of the other half of this page!

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Wine is Devine:  In anticipation of many lovely afternoons sitting on a canal or in a campo in Venice.

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May 2, 2017

2017 Remains of the Day Book

I took Mary Ann Moss' "Remains of the Day" online class many years ago to learn another technique for making books.  She has an online class that is self-paced and you really can make your own book after all of the videos. 

http://rod.dispatchfromla.com/ 

The books have a fabric cover, and random types of paper - including pages from brochures, calendars etc.  I use fabric pieces for the cover (cotton and silk) that I've dyed in surface design workshops, or at home, and usually select one piece of fabric and then build the colors from there. 

This is my 2017 book - closed and open to show the cover.

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I decided to use my first book to record NYC art adventures with friends, and I'm shocked that I now have 6 finished volumes.  This year I actually debated whether I wanted to continue this series, and finally decided that I love making the book, and enjoy reliving our many museum exhibits and gallery visits at the end of the year. 

Here are two early pages from the 2017 book.  I have photos of my friends, from the art at exhibits, and even copies of our artwork. 

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There are flaps on many of the pages, covering additional photos, and pockets attached to other pages to hold photos and random ephemera.

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These are the 6 previous books - all full and now fat! 

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November 14, 2016

Kraft-Tex for Mixed Media

Kraft-Tex is a combination paper/fabric product and like Ultrasuede, it doesn't ravel.  I took a half-day class with Australian Quilt Artist Cecile Whatman and had an opportunity to try it with many media.  Cecile brought a book she made, using Kaft-Tex as the cover.  It is a sturdy product and she said the book cover was simple to make decorate, and machine sew.  It is currently available in natural, white, black, gray, and brown and is distributed by C & T.

She used a tree stencil and dilate acrylic spray for the overall design.  The purple/blue square is painted and embossed Kraft-Tex, and the black images and text were transferred with TAP (see previous blog post). 

 

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When Kraft-Tex is washed it becomes more like a leather, and it is softer and can be used more like fabric.  This is a piece that I washed by hand and dried twice and you can see the difference in the texture.  Cecile once washed a piece with 20 of her regular washes.

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I spent our "playtime" trying many media on sample size pieces of Kraft Tex. 

 

1.  Blue acrylic stencil images, then gold Lumiere Acrylic painted over a Gelli plate and combed before printing.

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2.  Stencils sprayed with dilute acrylic paint (2).

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3.  Gold Lumiere acrylic paint on a Gelli plate - then lifted with a rubbing plate before printing. 

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4.  Stamped, then Inktense pencils - leaf painted with water mixed with textile or matte medium diluted 1:5 to make the color permanent.

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5.  Center image made with Shiva oil paintstick.   Then the piece was foiled using the following adhesives:  Adhesive thread, Misty Fuse pulled apart slightly, and Bonash adhesive granules.

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6.  My watercolor paints - painted on and then dripped. 

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The Kraft-Tex comes in rolls that are 1.5 yds long and 18" wide. 

 

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