Wednesday, 24 February 2016

221. Window Decoration

Staedtler Fineliner 0.05 pen, W&N waterolours
in Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook, 8.5" x 5.5"

My friend and I had a pot of tea each a couple of weeks ago and, as we always have some art materials with us whenever we meet - and this tiny little window decoration was looking its best - we got the paints out!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

220. Vegan Yumminess

Staedtler Fineliner (0.8, I think) and
Faber Castell markers on photocopier paper
Short version:
After I'd written out the ingredients in the dish, I found myself absent-mindedly sketching it so decided to get out my markers and add some colour.

We're currently in the middle of another Alpha course and each week we give the participants a hot two-course meal so they can come straight from work without worrying about what to eat.

We discovered in week 3 that we have two other vegetarians on board - one had simply written "no pork/beef" under 'dietary requirements' on the registration form but the other had put nothing at all. Consequently, we noticed they were just eating the veg!

We have a great catering team who will turn their hands to anything but guess who forgot to pass on the information?! My excuse is that I was told on my way to do something else. Anyway, I remembered on the morning of Week 4 - in the shower!!! I had a little panic and told my husband (who, unusually, happened to be at home that day) and, in his own inimitable way calmly said "I can cook something if you want…!" He regularly cooks for me - an almost total vegan these days, although he'll eat almost anything (except eggs and black pudding - yuk!) - so we went shopping for fresh ingredients and put this dish together, which he then named "Courgette and Mandarin Cassoulet". We served it with rice.

Our friends adore and regularly request his food (he has a PhD in Biochemistry so has experimented over the years with food and flavours - look at the ingredients!) and this was totally yummy!

Monday, 22 February 2016

219. USK - Sketching the Wallace Collection 2 of 2

Pilot G-Tec C4 pen, W&N watercolours and Tombow brushpen
in Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook, 8.5" x 5.5" (x2).

This sketch was done in the Wallace Collection Restaurant with USK London on Saturday. As usual, Katherine made us sketch the fare before consuming it. I don't like strawberries, cream, etc, so just had a pot of (lovely) tea and sketched someone else's cream tea.

The restaurant staff were really encouraging, walking around and commenting on our sketches and we were so pleased they allowed us to paint at the tables (not inside the galleries though!).
One newbie and two regulars - I always love the international flavour of Urban Sketchers London! In our little group of four (above), the only continent not represented was Australasia but I bet further down the table (below), there was at least one. (Almost 20 of the 30+ sketching on Saturday stayed for cream teas.)

Sunday, 21 February 2016

218. USK - Sketching the Wallace Collection 1 of 2

Pilot G-Tec C4 pen, Unipen 0.05 and 0.5 pens and Tombow brushpen
in Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook, 8.5" x 5.5"

With Urban Sketchers London at the Wallace Collection yesterday.  Can't believe I only did two sketches all day but I must admit I enjoyed doing this immensely. The more I sketched, the more I saw to sketch, like the reflections in the mirror and all the intricacies in the  gold ornamentation - everything is like that there! As you can see from the photos below, the bottom half of the sketch should should have been longer to prevent the hearth bit looking so stretched widthways but hey… we were 'sketching'!

Monday, 8 February 2016

217. Gift Sketchbook and WIP Pics - LR

Hardbound Sketchbook Gift, 5.5" x 5.5"
(more photos of the finished result are at the bottom of this post)

(There is only one rule in bookbinding:
The grain in the paper, cloth and board must run from head to tail.
City & Guilds)

I'm actually working on five books at the same time and might do a sixth. This is a birthday present and I spent a lot of time wondering what colour to use for the ribbon tie, bookmark and endpapers as there are a few colours in the design that would do. I'm really happy with this green. Below, as usual, are work-in-progress images; to see some other books that I've made, click the 'bookbinding' label to the right.

What's going on here? Making templates for the stitching
One book must suffer so others might live!
The poor Yellow Pages has at least one use in our house -
it saves the furniture (and me) from being stabbed by the awl.

Three of the five text blocks, ready for the stitch holes to be punched.
My handmade Fabriano sketchbook in the background. I'm keeping that one.
Do you recognise the fabric?

You can see the templates for the 'square' and the A5 text blocks.

All the signatures in the text blocks have now been stabbed.
Stitching can commence. (I use waxed thread for added strength.)

Signatures stitched around two pieces of sewing tape and green endpapers added.
Spine glued with archival EVA and bulldogs hold it together for now.
(To see my stitching, see some of the other 'bookbinding' posts.)

When the glue is almost dry, the bookmark is added.

Headbanding added; I may sew my own one of these days!

Mull added for further reinforcement then a green lining strip added on top.

Making the 'case'. Greyboard for the front, back and spine is
measured out then adhered to the book covering with EVA.

Corners trimmed so they fold and tuck in neatly.

Folding before pasting.

Case made and spine creases added for a nice shape.

Slits made in the case, ribbon ties fed through then
the slits hammered closed to lock in the ties.
Archival glue added to ensure the ribbons cannot break free over time.

Magazine paper is as good as glassine paper to ensure 
the endpapers don't stick together in the pressing process.

Boards added on top to protect the book covering and
to keep it all flat during the 12-hour press.

My usual 'stamp' hand-drawn/written.

Close up.

All done - top view.

Finito! Off to bed!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

216. Pizza and Paint at LCF

Pilot C4 G-Tec pen and Winsor & Newton watercolours in
Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook, 8.5" x 5.5" (x2)

Happy February everyone.