Thursday, 13 December 2018

Folded pocket book update

The pink and green booklet in my previous post has been transformed into a teeny, tiny album for a new great granddaughter.  A band of toning paper covers the spine and one of my paper flowers has been added to the front.  A couple of photos of mother and baby have been popped into the pockets to start it off.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Folded pocket book

A friend sent me a link to this book structure and suggested I try it out.

I must admit I was a bit confused by photograph no. 7 in the instructions and my first attempt was a bit sloppy.  However, I was using A4 paper so altered the top fold measurement (see Item 4) to 30 mm instead of 1.5".  Also, photos 7 and 8 show fairly widely cut out triangles, so I reduced the width of mine to make for a neater fit when the pages are slotted together.

Centre slot to be cut out of half the pages

Triangles at head and tail to be cut out of the other half of the pages
Thick paper would be difficult to manipulate and I only used three pages - 2 with triangles cut from top and bottom, one with the centre slot.  This made a book measuring 3" x 3.5", with 12 triangular pockets and 6 hidden pockets,

This was my second attempt, just using plain paper so I could check out my revised measurements.  As a cover I wrapped a bit of coloured paper round the whole structure, slotting it into the front and back pockets, finishing off by sticking a band of paper along the bottom edge.

For my third attempt, I sponged colour on both sides of the paper, but haven't worried about a cover as yet.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Urban Sketchers - December meeting

Last Saturday's meeting was held in Swindon's Railway Village Museum.  This is a Great Western Railway worker's terraced cottage, one of 300 built in the 1840's for the employees of Brunel's railway works.  All the cottages were taken over by the local council and renovation started in 1966, but this particular building was retained intact as a "living museum".

Records show that early residents included a couple with 8 children in 1851, and a family with 5 children 10 years later.  It must have been quite crowded and it is believed cooking at that time would have been done over an open fire in the living room - the lean-to kitchen was a later addition (probably around 1890) in what was the back yard.  Currently, the house interior has been furnished to represent the 1900s.

I am not sure how many of us turned up, possibly 10 or 12 - we were squeezed into odd corners around the house, together with 3 or 4 museum volunteers who were preparing for next weekend's seasonally decorated opening.  It was just as well some of our members were otherwise engaged with Christmas markets, etc., I don't think there would have been space for any more.

I was perched on my 3-legged sketching stool in the doorway of this bedroom.

Pen and watercolour
The child's cast iron cot was definitely a Health and Safety nightmare!
If you are in the area this coming weekend, the cottage is open and will be decorated for a Victorian Christmas.  It is well worth a visit.  34 Faringdon Road, Swindon, Wiltshire - Saturday and Sunday, 8th and 9th December, from 10 am to 3 pm - entrance is free.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Re-worked ink resist painting

Earlier this year I attempted a gouache and ink resist painting using one of my urban sketches as reference.

Radnor Street Chapel - approx. 10" x 7"
- gouache, Indian ink, watercolour
It was relegated to the unresolved pile as the trees looked stilted and the background messy.  A couple of months later I decided to use my limited supply of pastels to see if I could make any improvement.

The sky, trees and the background were the main areas altered, with some final flicks of pastel in the foreground.  It still doesn't make the grade, but it gave me a chance to try out my neglected pastels without being too worried about the final outcome.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Another pop-up booklet

A friend, who is a keen gardener, has a birthday coming up and I wanted to send her a booklet similar to the one I made back in May.  I had saved my original design on the computer, both as just the line drawing and the final colour version.  I used 120 gsm computer paper - anything thicker might be difficult to cut and fold neatly.  As it was, I didn't manage to get all the edges to line up very well, but once I had attached the cover these were less obvious and I was able to trim the bottom edge to tidy it all up.

The cover is painted and stamped on 120 gsm paper, with a paper band closure

If you fancy having a go at something similar, this is my cutting and folding guide -
it's very easy to lose track if I don't have this in front of me.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Urban Sketchers - November meeting

Lately, I seem to have been spending far too much time "doing stuff" on the computer, in addition to trying to sort out my Christmas card for this year.  My original plans for the card didn't turn out quite as hoped and there have been one or two amendments along the way, but all will be revealed later in December.

Anyway, on 3rd November our sketch group met at The Bakers Cafe in the Old Swindon Railway Village, built 170 odd years ago for the workers of Brunel's Great Western Railway Works. Until recent years there were three public houses in the village, The Bakers Arms, The Cricketers and The Glue Pot.  Only The Glue Pot remains as a pub, but the Bakers Arms building has recently been taken over by the community and is trying to establish itself as a meeting place and cafe.  Once again, we had a very good crowd, with 20 sketchers turning up.

I hadn't intended to take a panorama, so it is a bit disjointed

My minimal effort for the day -
A very old organ in one corner and
a mosaic teapot on the mantlepiece

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Inktober 29th to 31st

Walking through the centre of Henley on Thames we passed a group of six houses, all with beautifully decorated frontages.  The designs were all the same, but each had a different colour scheme. I was fascinated by these and took three or four photos for reference; although my tiny sketch only hints at the complicated patterns, I might use them as inspiration for a linocut at some stage.