Posts Tagged ‘recycling’


Finally got some decent light for photography, so these two books are now available in my Etsy shop.

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Wednesday WIP


This is actually work from Tuesday, but one of the vagaries of winter is the lack of decent light for photography.  It doesn’t affect all the things I make, but some colours or textures need really good light in order to show them off to their best.  Dark green book cloth happens to be one of those things, which means that although the books are finished and ready to go into my shop they are having to sit on my desk until I can get decent photos of them.  I’m hoping I’ll have better luck tomorrow!


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So I was out walking my dog in the park last month when I was given a bag full of matchboxes.  This isn’t a normal thing, I don’t habitually receive random bags of matches while I’m playing fetch!  It was excellent timing though as I’d been musing on making some matchbox sized books.  As it turns out these weren’t the size of matchbox I’d had in mind: Swan Vestas come in skinnier-than-usual boxes, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get used.  My first project was a little secret set of drawers.  The card and paper I used to make the covers was leftover from other projects so this was a nice way to use them up (the only new things are the little handles).  I’m happy to say that this box has already gone to a new home but I’m sure I’ll make some more in due course.





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I do have a habit of hoarding paper bags.  Mostly I use them for taking out my recycling (unimaginative, but practical) but occasionally they’re just too pretty to throw away.  I’ve made books from paper bags before but haven’t done any for ages, so I thought it was about time I reduced my stash a little.  These are now available in my Etsy shop.


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Ok, all bar one of these have already been sold but there’s still one left in my Etsy shop, so snap it up quickly!

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I had LOTS of fun in my studio on Tuesday…

WIP 16-12-2015_01

…although it turns out that making interesting words is quite difficult when you’ve run out of K, S, and H tiles.  The first book was soon underway and ended up being fairly hefty as it needed a double thickness of board to make the tiles sit flush in the cover.

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I then used green bookcloth to give the cover a simple finish.

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I’ll be adding this to my Etsy shop later this week, and there will be more NSFW books coming in the new year.

WIP 16-12-2015_05

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Once upon a time I made all my own sketchbooks.  I’d use the same vintage covers for the book while it was in use, and when the book was full I’d rebind it with permanent, prettier, covers.  You can take a peek back into the mists of time here.  Then I decided to downsize my sketchbook to make it easier to carry around, so I switched to Moleskine pocket sized sketchbooks.  My first was one of their regular sketchbooks with cartridge paper pages that didn’t take watercolour, I filled that with drawings done in ballpoint pen and then tried their watercolour notebook.  The paper was great, but I struggled with the format: Moleskine watercolour notebooks are landscape instead of portrait when they open, and it makes the book difficult to hold/balance when you’re not sat at a table.  I persevered, because of the convenient size, and bought a second one that I started in March 2014.

I’ve only just finished it.  I came to hate drawing in it as it was just so damn uncomfortable.  I’m hugely relieved that it’s finally full, and so we come to my next sketchbook.


Years ago I stumbled across Trumpetvine Travels, and that website inspired me to take up sketching.  The artist (who I believe is called Martha McEvoy) makes her own sketchbooks by adapting Moleskine ones.  Click here to read her tutorial on how to do this.

I’m normally quite lazy at following tutorials as I tend to adapt them to whatever I happen to have to hand.  However, as I’d had such a dreadful time with my last choice of sketchbook I thought I would stick with the recommended materials.  I ordered some Fabriano Artistico paper, found a Moleskine daily planner on eBay (from 2015, so much cheaper than a new one), and set to work…








…it went really well!  The finished book does feel lovely, the cover makes me smile, it’s going to be nice and durable (which is a strong feature of Moleskine books), and the paper is perfect.  Here’s a breakdown of cost:

  • Old Moleskine planner – picked up for £7.80 (£3.95 + £3.85 postage)
  • Fabriano Artistico 90lb hot press – £7.20 (approximately 90 per sheet, I bought 16 sheets in total)

So that’s a total cost of £15 for one sketchbook, excluding the time taken to make it (call it an hour).  Which seems pretty pricey given that you can get a Moleskine watercolour notebook for £7-£10 depending on where you shop.  However, and this is important, a Moleskine watercolour book contains 30 pages, and my rebound planner version contains 60.  So the rebound version really is more economical as you get double the pages.  I’m going to order some more 2015 planners so I can save money on combined postage, which will make my next few sketchbooks even cheaper to produce.

Many thanks to Trumpetvine Travels for the excellent tutorial, and for being an inspiration to me for all these years.

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