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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sketchbook Project....The beginning

I first heard about the Sketchbook Project
back in October from a friend and fellow blogger, Quiltin' Mama.  What fun, I thought! I signed up immediately.  The sketchbook showed up very timely with instructions that said it's a good idea to make the sketchbook sturdy as it will be looked at often. The sketchbook also contains the same type of paper that's in my only Moleskine journal that I really don't care for.... very thin and see through.

So, these are my excuses for not starting this project sooner... How to fortify the cover and shore up the thin weight of the paper pages, and I'm sticking to them :)

Given that I live in the lowcountry of SC and alligators love it here, and pink is the color used to celebrate breast cancer awareness, survivors and those that have passed ..... Well, what better material to use than faux pink alligator vinyl??  I'm multi-purposing an Estee Lauder zipper tote that would have otherwise gone into the trash.
Click all images to enlarge

I finished making the cover but have not attached it to the sketchbook. I was about to, got delayed, and am so grateful for the delay as I realized the book pages will be much easier to scan.

I decided sewing a few pages together would make them sturdier.  There are two benefits to this. Thicker pages and...... less pages to fill :) Good thing too, as I've just under 2 weeks to get it finished and postmarked by January 15th!  Nothing like a deadline :)
I love the design the zig-zag stitches made on the edges of the pages.

Outside of the cover and end pages, I now have 12 spreads to fill.

Another reason I'm happy I sewed the pages is that the back half of the book has perforated sheets!  It made for a bit of a challenge when sewing, as the pages started to tear out. I ended up using clear archival tape to secure the pages in the book. Okay.... ready to start filling this baby!

The theme is 'Down Your Street' - which I decided meant my street. I thought it would be fun to share the sights I see on my daily dog walks. Here's the start....

The thin paper has a slick finish that, to me, is difficult to use watercolor on. I do love how my Micron pen glides across the surface, though.

Given that I've waited until the last minute to complete this project, I made the executive decision to live dangerously free and sketch with the Micron pen. No time for careful planning.... just have at it!

That decision helped me choose the type of calligraphic marks to use for titles, etc..  By the by, I didn't plan for my maiden name to have such a downward twist - that's compliments of writing with pen and running out of room :)  See what fun you can have when your marks are committed? I don't know if I could have thought of making my name so fun if I tried to design it this way. Serendipity!  Love that word!

Eleven more spreads to go........ See ya!


  1. Go, Pam, Go!! Just LOVE the spontaneous feel this has from the get go!

  2. WOW, this is terrific, Pam! Thank you so much for posting...

  3. Thanks, Laure! I need cheering on & if you could put in a good word for some extra hours in the day :)

    You're sooo very welcome, Kate! Thanks for the forum :)

  4. Pam, your creativity is simply amazing...and so much fun to look at! Every aspect of your "alterations" of the journal are brilliant, and the lettering is very engaging. Push on--you can do it!

  5. You're welcome, Pam! And I second Maria's comment...

  6. Pam, A couple friends here are participating in this project and they have removed the original paper and put in their own. (A strategy I confess I would have to follow, because I don't like that paper at all.) But, I love that you sewed those pages together! (Both strengthening them and limiting your page count—genius!) It's going to be a fabulous book, already innovative.

  7. Maria, wow! Thank you for your thoughts - I'm blushing - and encouragement!

    Thanks, Roz. I toyed with the idea of changing paper but, on the frugal side, $20 for the book, then using my own paper didn't sit well with me... which could end up in the penny wise, pound foolish column given the labor and such :) Ah... despite the time challenges I'm having fun :)

  8. This book is totally amazing! I love how you tackled the poor quality paper and made the whole thing your own. I would have had a terrible time parting with it though.

  9. A another great idea of yours.


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