Posts Tagged ‘ideas’


It came to my attention this week that I needed a new recipe book. Unfortunately, as is often the case with me I couldn’t settle on something I liked and wanted to use for it and that wasn’t going to cost me much. I toyed with the idea of getting a themed smashbook to use, I even came across a mini journal food themed smash kit bit I didn’t want to pay nearly £20 for it or order it from the US and wait god knows how long for it to arrive.


After much deliberation and several gestures that indicated I was giving up on my search for something pre-made that fit the bill I did the only thing any respectable craftswoman could do…


… I raided my recycling, scraps, embellishments and craft boxes and decided to make my own one out of old cardboard and papers I had stuffed in my numerous craft drawers along with the binder rings and dark brown bow from my old (also handmade) recipe folder which was more of a cover holding a load of punched index cards.


I really wanted something that was more of a book, with pretty papers that I could make into a unique scrapbook style recipe book that would be both practical and pretty, especially now that my eldest is getting into cooking and reading my recipes for me when we use them.


I used a selection of food and floral/vintage themed papers I had in my paper stash along with scraps of other thin cards and papers, washi tapes, some old packaging for the covers and cereal boxes for the dividers.


I also made a pocket in the back cover and a punched acetate envelope for some lined pads and memo spots.

All in all I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’ll probably have to use some stronger glue to stick the washi tape down as the particular one I decided to use isn’t all that sticky compared to some that I have. Now I just have to put my recipes in it!


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Today I scheduled myself some time to work on my novel in progress expecting to churn out some words and crack on with the story. It didn’t quite go as planned however as instead I took up papers, pastels and paints and began some character development instead, this is just a sneak peek at what I came up with, the face needing to dry before I attempt any features (and pray while I’m doing it that it doesn’t go terribly, terribly wrong).



Playing around randomly with the media not only let me get down the very general points about her that I wanted to convey but also brought up a new one as the paper tore and clumped over one side of her face and she expressed a desire to be distinguished with a rather prominent scar that runs through her eyebrow and down her cheek; a deep line fractured by the position of her eye.

Obviously she is not yet finished but I made good progress and most importantly really connected with the character which has given me a whole lot to add both to what I’ve already written and what is to come 😉

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…there was the WORD. And the WORD was BIRD…

Only kidding, but damn I do love that Family Guy episode, I think it will have to make an appearance in the art journal very early on!

Seriously though this post is an introduction to my art journal, don’t expect much, I just thought that it would be interesting to show pictures of how the book began as well as how it develops and what it becomes as I work on it.


As you can see it’s a plain, boring black sketchbook, spiral bound and with an elasticated strap around the right edge. There are several reasons for this, the first and most important being that it was cheap, a decent size and did I mention…cheap! In the future I may make some of my own hand made journals to fill but for now this was what I had available to me.


Normally I tend to steer clear of ring binder sketchbooks because I generally prefer a hardback book, I did, however, feel it would be interesting to add things to the rings and really work with them to incorporate them into the journal in their own right. I also felt the rings would make it easier to attach other pages into the book as I dislike gluing such things in over existing pages. It’s another reason why hand made journals can be so good to use, particularly if they are not bound until all of the pages are complete.


I’m uncertain whether I will leave the elastic strap on or remove or alter it in some way, it will depend on what happens to the cover as I already have some ideas for using polyfiller to create some interesting texture there…but perhaps I have said too much!

I gesso’d a double page this evening in the journal ready for another day and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the paper despite it being a cheap book. For those interested the paper is, according to the packaging, 150gsm and watercolour paper (though it does not feel like traditional watercolour paper to touch). I guess I’ll see soon enough how well it stands up to being messed with in various ways. Let the fun begin!

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