Maps Variation

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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.

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With a road map cover over mint green cardstock.

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

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And all those invitational blank pages, awaiting your expression.

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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

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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).

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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.

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Buds closeup:

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

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Yum.

Decorations, Sketchbook

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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

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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 :/

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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

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A showroom needs sample binders.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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… 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 :)

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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.

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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:

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

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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.

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

So awesome on so many levels :)

Sea House Warming Hut: Interior This & That

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Working on a wee Gotland sheep using, you guessed it: Gotland fleece and dyed black wool roving. The fleece is from Big Sky Fiber Arts in Montana; check out their wonderful selection of fibers, silk and prefelts. The wee (1.5 inches/38 mm) sheep will be an ambassador for Argo Wool Works :)

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It’s overcast, foggy and damp here in Nancyland today and the light is low. I wanted to used vintage photography as wall art in the hut, and have found some good imagery that sets the historical background of the area (real and imagined).

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This undated shot from before 1950 shows some of the headlands and other parts of the Sea House Pleasure Pier empire (now demolished).

I found this postcard of an old view south of the Warming Hut

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and decided to tint it

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but didn’t like how it looked on the wall. I’m showing it here anyway because I like the handwritten greeting from George to Tom.

And of course there will be this map from Cavallini & Company.

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It’s the same one that is on the ceiling of the Sea House Pavilion (2013), and the source of the color palette. The green, anyway.

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Merrily, merrily, merrily…
and with love to all.

 

 

 

Sea House Warming Hut: Guest Books, A Sunset… and A Big Butt

Remember this photo? Barbara W. had sent a marvelous gift box of thoughtful miniature wonder, and I was inspired by the open butterfly book ( by Jennifer Hatt of lookingglassminiature.com) to make a guest book for the Warming Hut.

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The page spread is set in 1.5 point type :)

I logged myself in twice, in blue and black ink.

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I call these cheater books, because the pages don’t open or turn, but I did glue the signatures.

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I was going for a Moleskine notebook sort of look with black covers. I also made an open sketchbook with pages being ruffled by the wind, as well as a closed volume. There are no more photos of the process, though, as my husband called me outside to view the rather spectacular sunset. Here is a photo of him taking photos of the sky :)

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That’s the Pacific Ocean, looking pink as bubblegum :)

Anyway, there are the three books I made. I used a thin silk cord to make the page markers. And doesn’t the Peacock rug look splendid with the poppy-colored furniture?

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Instead of making a stand for the guest book, I made this today:

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A big cigarette butt. It’s 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) in diameter and about 24 inches (61 cm) long (unstubbed). I am especially happy with the “tobacco” — dried up leaves from my tomato plants, preserved moss, black tea (Yorkshire Gold) and paint, and a lot of glue.

(I volunteer with Pacifica Beach Coalition. This butt will be part of a display to build awareness that cigarette butts are *not* biodegradable. Did you know that cigarette butts discarded in parking lots, along sidewalks and in street gutters miles from the coast inevitably make their way through storm drains, creeks and rivers to the beach and the ocean, where they continue to leach toxic chemicals? Yuck.)

Blue + Green

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Next volume in the miniature color book series: Blue + Green.

Like Pink + Green, it’s ten pages perfect bound, and measures five picas square (.833 in/21 mm).

This one shows found beach glass on a watercolor background, the view from Rattlesnake Ledge in West Greenwich, Rhode Island, afternoon surf off West Cliff in Santa Cruz, California, pool noodles on a wooden bench, and a self-portrait with found fishing lure, Pacifica, California.

Because color is endlessly interesting.

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Designed a modern miniature book about color, the first in a series, called Pink + Green. It’s ten pages perfect bound, and measures five picas square (.833 in/21 mm). I made all the photographs; my daughter drew the cat when she was like three or four.

(Actually, she drew the front. I made the back view when I had it printed on fabric at Spoonflower to make stuffed loveys :)

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These are the flat pages and covers, ready to be scored and trimmed.

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Text blocks folded and glued, waiting to dry.

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First cover on. After they’re really dry, I’ll clamp them in a press and square up the spines. And when they’re all crisp, I’ll brush a light coat of varnish on the cover. They’ll be lovely on the shelves with other books about local history and… rocks. Waves. Tides. Fossils? Bee-keeping? Native plants? Marine mammals, fish and invertebrates? Cookbooks? Plate tectonics?

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My two-year-old granddaughter was here last weekend, and she is of course very interested in the Sea House Warming Hut. I had moved all the really delicate things out so she can explore and interact with it (supervised). She made sure to close all the windows “so the raccoons don’t come in”. She is a tremendous appreciator of my work :)

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We did painting together. This one turned out to be the base for a trail map of the area I’m working on.

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I’m drawing over it with fine tip markers and water color pencils. The little folded jaws-thing is a scaled mockup of the pop-up map it will become (sans cover). I learned this technique from Map Art Lab by Jill K. Berry and Linden McNeilly. It’s a great book; I especially appreciate their List of Resources for Arty Cartographers. Recommend!

I’ll finish the map art in Illustrator, adding names and legends and neat lines.

Realistically, I expect I’ll use a combination of hand-drawn things and copyright-free stuff I glean from the internet and other sources to fill the bookshelves. Because, you know, time.

Finally, and thank you for reading (or skimming) this far, check out my About page. I’ve actually sort of worked on it a teensil, and have added a PO Box to my contact information. Progress!