Beatrix Potter notebooks now back in stock. This includes a few Peter Rabbit ones, which are usually the first to sell out so grab them while you can! Click here to visit my shop.
Posted in bookbinding, tagged beatrix potter, bookbinding, coptic binding, etsy, handmade, notebook, notebooks, recycled, repurpose, stationery, tale of jemima puddleduck, tale of peter rabbit, tale of tom kitten, tale of two bad mice, the tale of benjamin bunny, the tale of mrs tiggy-winkle, the tale of mrs tittlemouse, the tale of pigling bland, the tale of squirrel nutkin, the tale of the flopsy bunnies, upcycled on March 18, 2017| Leave a Comment »
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.
I’m clearly not quite back in the swing of the CPSH, running a few days late, but once again it’s been busy here at the Shed. If you’re taking part then please post a comment below to let me know, and I’ll link to your blog. At the moment I know that Serotiny and Ruth are also back in the CPSH game, so please do visit their blogs and check out their photos!
Edited to add: Rachel at The Awesome Lady is also back in the CPSH mood! Click here to view her photos.
In June I treated myself to lots of new art supplies, including a table easel and lot of pretty pencils…
Something I made
These were made on a wet day in mid-June… still haven’t added them to my Etsy shop though, must remedy that!
It’s been one of those years when every seed sown came up, and as such I’m drowning in tomato plants. Ran out of pots, so had to repurpose some old tins…
Had a wonderful visit to Kew Gardens at the start of June, and my current favourite thing there is the Rose Garden Tea Party (part of their IncrEdibles summer festival)
My studio and garden have been a constant source of happiness this past month. The garden looks incredible at the moment: filled with a profusion of roses, and the scent wafts into the studio (together with the odd bumble bee, which has to be gently shooed out).
What’s happening next month with the Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt? Sara over at Cinders & Rain is our host for July, so please pop along to her blog and see what topics she’s chosen.
That there, in the photo above, is my usual sketch kit. Sketchbook, watercolours, water brushes, and pens. All of those things are pretty much essential (I do have a small pencil case which usually houses the water brushes and pens, but it’s gone walkabouts…), but overall do take up quite a bit of space in my handbag.
What to do? Well I could downsize my sketchbook, which is something I’m considering for the next incarnation, but as I’ve just started this book it’s not really practical to change it right now. So that leaves the watercolours.
The set I’ve been using for the past few years is the Cotman Sketchers’ Pocket Box, and it’s been a good little servant. The selection of colours is fine, although I have added my own colours (Winsor Newton artists’ water colour, from tubes) in the little area that originally held a brush. It is a bit bulky though and the Cotman water colours aren’t as richly pigmented as the artists’ water colours, something which I’ve been wanting to remedy for a while. I’ve toyed with the idea of buying a bijou box, but they cost around £50 and that’s quite an investment.
Downsizing my watercolours has therefore been on my mind for a while, and when I was away in Norfolk last week I spotted a lovely little vintage tin in a secondhand shop and snapped it up at once as it was the perfect size for what I had in mind.
Doesn’t look very inspiring at the moment, but bear with me. The transformation was an easy process – I bought some Fimo clay and fitted it into the inside of the tin, then made some wells in it. This required a bit of trial and error as I knew how many wells I needed, but finding the right sized thing to make the wells proved challenging – in the end it was the round knob at the top of a wooden knitting needle that did the trick! Once I’d made wells in the Fimo I stuck the tin in the oven and baked it as per the Fimo instructions. After it had come out of the oven and cooled down I coated the inside of the lid with white enamel paint to create a mixing palette.
See, that looks much better! The last stage was the easiest, squeezing my tube paints into the wells and letting them dry. I did invest in some new tube paints for this (and invest is the right word, artists’ water colours aren’t cheap) and it would have been cheaper to just buy a bijou box… but it doesn’t take much paint to fill the wells, and I reckon I could fill each of them three times from the tubes I’ve got, so in the long term it does work out cheaper.
For those who are interested, these are the colours I’ve got in there (left to right)
And did the downsizing work? Well…
…size-wise, yes it did. BUT (and it’s a big but) the new tin weighs a surprising amount for its size; I didn’t expect the Fimo to weigh quite as much as it actually does. That’s a bit of a down side and I’m now keeping a look out for something else to turn into a watercolour set instead (I’m thinking perhaps an eyeshadow compact, so I can clean it out and use the existing palette). I do like this little tin though, and will be using it from now on as, weight aside, it does take up less space in my bag (and even fits into most of my pockets) which is a good thing. I might also, once the paints have been used up, remove the Fimo (I checked and it can be eased out!) and replace it with a more lightweight something or other. We shall see. For now I’ll leave you with a photo of my sketch kit as it will look for the foreseeable future.