Handmade faux leather book

I’ve previously made a ‘book’, to hold various ephemera, as a leaving present for the minister of my previous church. So when it came to putting together another bespoke binder for prayer flags, a photo book and collected digital photos, I built on my previous project and created a faux leather effect ‘book’.

The ‘book’ is just about the size of a sheet of A4 and about 1½” deep. Constructed from 2mm greyboard and 5mm foamcore board, the canvas cover is painted with a mix of rose madder and burnt sienna acrylic paints to resemble worn leather. The spine text is pressed in with an embossing tool to give an impression of embossed foiling, whilst the frontplate uses careful shading to achieve the same effect.
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Tangle Pattern: Why-O-Why

It seems that my brain has tuned into tangle patterns again since I created the three patterns while I was in USA over Christmas. This pattern has been rearranging itself in my head for the last week or so, and this morning I had the opportunity to get it onto paper, step-by-step.

If you’re brave, try missing out step 2 (which I added as a guide) and going straight to the tramlines in step 3. It’s another of those patterns which ‘pops’ with a bit of shading. It’s also one of those patterns, given the resemblance to celtic knots, that may be out there already – but I can tell you I didn’t reference anything when making the instructions, and my brain is very relieved now it’s not juggling all the Os and interconnecting Ys! And there’s always the chance you’ll be going ‘why, oh why did I start this one?’…

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Bas Relief Deco Rose

For February’s Studio workshop, we’re going to be playing with adding dimension by using paperclay to create bas relief centrepieces for your cards/scrapbook pages and mixed media projects. Here’s an example I’ve just finished:

Not sure if I have got the balance right between the vase and the roses, and may be an ivory card for the sentiment might have worked better too. But that, after all, is what playing is all about…

If you’d like to come to the workshop on 4th February, there are spaces available. For more details, see my workshops page, or email me to book your space.

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Tangle Pattern: Fairmont CP

My final tangle pattern inspired on a recent trip to the USA is based on upholstery fabric on one of the chairs in the Gold Floor Lounge in the rather fantastic Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel in Boston. We were so glad to have upgraded our room as I came down with a stinking cold while we were there. It was lovely to be able to feel grotty in an executive lounge with refreshments on tap rather than a small bedroom!

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Tangle Pattern: Deco Sidewalk

Walking around the Rockefeller Center in New York, it’s easy to be distracted, especially at Christmas, by things like the enormous Christmas tree, the musical light show on the front of Saks Fifth Avenue and the large skyscraper. But take a moment to look down, and you’ll find brass tree surrounds set into the sidewalk. Here’s a tangle pattern based on just one of those. Next week: Fairmont CP.
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BTS: Post-creativity Clean Up

I’ve been prepping samples ready for my next TV shows (Hochanda, Mon 16th Jan, 10am/1pm/5pm), and as normal the studio looks like a creative media bomb has gone off in it. I tend not to put things away as I go when getting projects ready as I usually have two or three different samples at different stages, so everything that is to be featured on the show is out on the table to remind me what to use. It’s all at hand, and relatively organised. Consequently, and despite all the space I have, I still end up working in areas barely bigger than a sheet of A3 paper.

But, with studio guests due for my annual Come & Craft Christmas Party tomorrow, it all had to get tidied up. Just for fun, I thought I’d film it as a time lapse – 40 minutes in 40 seconds. Not too bad, particularly with Esther wanting to come in and out of the door and Charlie supervising the vacuuming at the end…

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Quilt No. 018: ‘Great Expectations’

It has been 18 months in the making. Well, may be a couple of weeks in the actual making, but with lots of gaps! This is my first (and possibly last) double wedding ring quilt, made as a wedding gift to good friends. I missed the wedding deadline, and their first anniversary, but managed to get it finished for Christmas.

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