Finished Sketchbooks

FS01

For the first time, I am making finished sketchbooks.

FS01_outside

Featuring a bookmarked center spread with an original watercolor sketch, there are bits and bobs peeking out, much like our own 1:1 sketchbooks. The inspiration for the bits and bobs is Keli’s clever receipt notebook.

FS01_cover.jpg

The covers have a snippet or collage of other original art, meaning that each sketchbook will be one-of-a-kind.

FS_first

Here are the first four center spreads. Each will be bound into the classic sketchbook cover, then individually bitted and bobbed.

FS_abstract01

In addition to sketches I’m doing some abstract expression-y explorations.

FS_bits

What doesn’t make the design cut to center spread will be used for the bits and bobs, and cover illustrations. The books are finished to be relatively flat, measuring 1.625 x 1.125 inches (4.13 x 2.86 cm). This is the real deal — original art made 1:12 scale — for the love of miniatures and color and drawing and watercolor markers. And bits and bobs :)

Alrighty

1done1_4x5

The first three Vintage Maps organizer kits are up over at MMS+S. There’s combinations of vertical file holders, file folders, and folios, and they all come with cream-colored rounded-corner stationery sized to fit.

VM03_mess_blog

Still to come are Vintage Maps sketchbooks, and combo kits with folios. Of the ten Cavallini & Co. maps I bought from Two Hands Paperie, these five had the scale and style I was looking for: Berlin, London, Rome, Seattle, San Francisco.

berlin

london

rome

I’m still a little iffy on Seattle. A bit too much water and legends.

seattle

SF

Also in MMS+S is an Office Essentials kit of three vertical file holders, 12 matching file folders and 12 sheets of cream-colored, round-cornered stationery. (Additional file folder sets are available separately.) The kit is available in the Warm colorway (orange, yellow and gray) and Grayscale (white, gray and black), as well as all black or all white. The white is perfect if you want to color your own surface patterns with markers or watercolor.

all3_blog.jpg

Granddaughter Madeline is about to have a new baby sister, hence my general distraction/absence from writing and commenting on all your wonderful projects. I miss you.

Remember this succulent flower stalk I posted a while back?

echeveria

This is what it looks like now, fully bloomed.

tiny_succulent_flowers2

(The background looks a little different because I cleared out a bunch of growth that had developed unsightly speckling. Sub-optimal location.)

View from the top:

tiny_succulent_flowers3

There’s a lot of stuff going on! It’s holding its own, with very little insect depredation, stable and very long-blooming. May we all be so blessed.

DeskMess

deskmess0

I have long been a fan of Cavallini & Co. paper products, especially their vintage maps and posters.

I used their map of San Francisco on the underside of the Sea House Pavilion roof.

inside_roof

sleep

And their vintage map of Italy on the back wall of Loft 1961, my first ever miniature build.

Cavallini & Co. print on beautiful cream-colored Italian paper of a substantial, but not too heavy, weight. I finally found a retail source, Two Hands Paperie, that carries *all* of their posters — at the best pricing! — and invested in a supply of lovely vintage city and country maps.

deskmess1

Because we all need vertical file holders to tidy our bookshelves, and journals, folios and file folders made from perfectly-scaled vintage maps of favorite places: London, Berlin, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Rome, Paris.

1done1_4x5

Vertical file with file folders. (London pictured.)

all3done3-4x5

The vertical files hold three sketchbooks or travel journals, as well as file folders and the new Vintage Map Journals with jaunty red bookmarks. The files are the same size as the solid-color Office Essentials vertical files, although of a different construction. The vertical files can also house the new Vintage Map Folios that hold fine cream-colored stationery or map file folders. The folios can also act as a slip case for a sketchbook or journal. It’s an elegant system designed to organize the shambles of your miniature office. Look for them real soon over at MMS+S.

 

Sensational Travel Journals

Oscar Wilde wrote, “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”

stormy_traveljournal_full

In that spirit, the OE Travel Journals kits are available over at MMS+S. There are two kit options listed, and one secret option at hand. The two listed options are for three blank journals, or one road atlas and two blank journals. I’ve made a video of the secret option:

YES. It is a secret gatefold pages option for both the sketchbooks and the travel journals. They work well with the single pages and maps, and are fun besides. Just add a note when ordering and I’ll include as many as you like with your kit/s, until I’m able to list them properly. Though they won’t be secret anymore, they’ll still be fun.

Production notes: If you like quiet page-turning fx, turn your sound on. The alarming bandage: I bashed my poor knuckle on a boulder rock emptying a cement bird bath. I tried to keep it out of the frame, but it’s like it has a mind of its own.

Maps Variation

maps_all

Like many others, I love pretty much everything about maps, for many reasons and in many ways. Soon after I finished the first round of sketchbooks, I thought about the iconic appeal of a road atlas, and built a few from an old spiral-bound Michelin North America volume I had on hand.

I experimented with covers and endpapers until arriving at this version of the classic sketchbook.

maps_cover

With a road map cover over mint green cardstock.

maps_endpapers

Graphically chosen road map endpapers bound to the blank cream pages.

maps_sketchbook_endpaper

And all those invitational blank pages, awaiting your expression.

stormy.jpg

I *wish* I had thought of this option before I listed the sketchbook kits over at MMS+S; I like it that much, and will be adding it to the shop. For those of you who have already ordered sketchbook kits — thank you! — please message me if maps appeal and I’ll send you the components to add to your kits. Then we’ll all be happy and mappy!

 

Sketchbooks Listed, Echeveria Eyecandy

sketchbook_kit_contents

The sketchbooks are kitted and listed! Each kit makes three books. The pages are cream-colored and acid-free :) You have a choice of cover colors: black, Warm (orange, yellow and gray) or kraft. I went detailed on the instructions, and introduce a good vocabulary word: bifolium (singular); bifolia (plural).

warm_sketchbooks

Here are three sketchbooks in Warm, before their bookmarks get trimmed.

I was shuffling around outside, pulling weeds between storms, and noticed this leggy echeveria on the shadier side of the yard is working on a flower display.

echeveria

Buds closeup:

echeveria_flower_closeup

Love these colors. And just before it started raining again, (wind blowing, hard to focus) this closeup of a hen-and-chicks echeveria flower:

echeveria_flowers

Yum.

Decorations, Sketchbook

stormy_ball_garland.jpg

The latest issue of the newsletter Cut, Fold+Make is out. If you missed this month, the sign up is over on the right. It’s a short curated list of ideas and links that inspire and support creative practice.

proto2

There’s a fun suggestion for a miniature paper garland, and first looks at the new sketchbook kit.

pocket

Possibly what’s most adorable is the ephemera pocket on the inside back cover. They’re  available as kits now over at MMS+S in iconic black cover, kraft, as well as the Warm colorway (orange, yellow and gray) of the Office Essentials line of organizers.

It is spring!

 

Do-overs

punches_101916

Last night after woods class, I was all excited to finish the Argo Wool Works samples wall chart. I had designed it and punched quarter-inch circles from all the wool felt colors I had earlier in the day.

too_big_101916

After gluing them on, I realized they were just too big :(

aww_wall_chart_102016

Today I re-worked the chart and punched out another batch of eighth-inch samples. I would have considered 3/16-inch, but that punch is somewhere I cannot find :/

scarlett_101916

As I mentioned, I’ve had to cover the build with a carefully folded and tucked sheet secured with binder clips, to prevent Scarlett from demolishing it. Alas, her super-burrowing powers have proven superior to my defense effort. This is her wondering why I’m using my big voice?

AWW Sample Binders

aw_binders_00_101616

A showroom needs sample binders.

aww_binders_01_101616

I have never liked using wood blanks for book pages, even for volumes that will never be taken from a case. It feels like cheating to me. So I made blank binder book blocks to fill the covers.

aww_binders_02_101616

I did not glue the accordion-style pages together. The resulting sproinginess will help expand the binder covers and hold them in the shelves.

aww_binders_03_101616

However. Making all blank pages also felt like cheating, so I made one binder meant to be opened. I drew a simple grid on the pages and punched eighth-inch (3 mm) circles from wool felt, which were then glued to a spread. So expressive and tactile!

aww_binders_04_101616

Arrayed in the cases and on the work table, with another samples binder, glued closed.

Here in Northern California, we’re having our first rainfall in seven months. The light is damp gray and moody. The cats are waiting out the storm in suspended animation, with one notable difference.

3cats_101616

Before the arrival of Scarlett, the two older boy cats never co-slept, although they are buddies. This seems to have changed, as they unite in weary affront to kittenish enthusiasms. Looks to be a cozy winter coming :)

New Project, Poppy, Magnets

cutting_080116

Work is underway on a new mixed media piece, large (for me) at 24 by 36 inches (61 x 91 cm). These letters are about 2.5 inches tall (64 mm) and being cut from foamcore.

punched01_080516.jpg

Poppy the Fairy is being kept busy with her correspondence. These are two accordion books, meant for Ava and Aria to embellish, made from watercolor paper and simple punched shapes. That’s Poppy’s new sigil.

punched02_080516

… As well as Ava’s name rendered in triangles, and another tiny sketchbook for Lynnie (at proper 1:12 scale). Her’s from last week was, um, appropriated by her associates :)

do_book_00_081316

This week, Poppy made a two-inch square book to answer some of the girls’ questions: Can you do ballet, like me? Do you eat snacks? Tucked into the reply scroll are California poppy seed pods, because one of the things fairies do is gather seeds.

do_book_01_081316

Inside the book are quick ink and watercolor illustrations with text. Here are a few of the pages, listing some of the things fairies do:

do_book_02_081316

do_book_03_081316

do_book_04_081316

I can perhaps see a series, as my understanding of the fay way grows :)

MLR_magets_080616

Maddie Lou spent the weekend with us as her parents enjoyed a night in the City to celebrate their anniversary. Here’s Maddie working on a surprising and spontaneous new deployment of her beloved magnetic blocks in the sun room.

MLR_magnets_080616

The final arrangement. Can you tell her favorite color is blue?

So awesome on so many levels :)