30 May 2014

new sketchbooks to be sewn

Just before moving, I folded and tore down my stash of watercolor paper. It was for binding into art journals anyway and it would be easier to move this way. And it has remained tucked away all these months. I will soon finish the sketchbook I am currently using, so I pulled the stack out to get ready to sew them together.

With the addition of some toned Stonehenge paper recently bought in Austin, I think there will be 5 journals total. Two larger, almost squarish, made of Kilimanjaro paper from Cheap Joe's, and three portrait-oriented journals of mostly Fabriano Artistico soft press with some Stonehenge thrown in.

Normally I fold and tear down full sheets into 8 pieces, ending up with a book roughly 6 x 8". Not sure when I will get covers made --- I need to find some heavy cardboard for that. I may put it off a bit and use a Stillman & Birn sketchbook next.


  1. Love that you sketched the paper and things to put it together with. Would love to see how this is done. I missed a lot of your sketches so went back to see them all. Some fun sketches. Sometimes life gets so busy around here to check blogs so I have to catch up...but then it's like coming for a visit and perusing your sketch book. :))

    1. When I sketch the process of projects in a sketchbook, the details are there to refer back to at a later date -- in case I forget what paper I used, etc.

      I first wanted to try binding my own sketchbooks after seeing some of Cathy "Kate" Johnson's sketchbooks in person. I follow the coptic stitch instructions found at Trumpetvine Travels, on reloading a Moleskine with better paper:
      My first attempts were reusing old book covers in the way Martha shows. Now I've slowly learned how to make covers, both with open-spine and covered spine. Lots of YouTube tutorials out there!

      These might not get covers right away; I still need to find some book board.

  2. Wow! You inspire me to make my own sketchbook---except I have a whole stash of already made and commercial sketchbook. What I need to do is SKETCH, and you inspire me to do that, too, so I should turn this computer off and go outside!!

    1. LOL -- I've also struggled with walking away from the computer to spend more time sketching!

      Making your own sketchbooks can be easy or hard, depending on who's teaching it. Check out the link I gave in the above response to Cris --- Martha's diagrams and instructions were easy to learn from. You can find used hard-bound books from library sales, etc. --- some have pretty cool titles that sort of fit a journal's purpose. Or use nice leather-like covers from purchased write-in diaries; you can cut the book block out to use as scratch paper, replacing it with good watercolor paper.

      I still have some commercial sketchbooks on my shelf too. I LOVE those made by Stillman & Birn especially, and will probably grab one of those to use next.


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