Projects in progress…

Firstly, I’ve had quite a few updates on the Friends & Faux project over the last week or so, which I have thus far failed to update here on the blog.  Bear with me, I will be caught up soon! In the meantime, I just wanted to share a couple of projects I’ve recently been playing with…

A couple of weeks ago, I helped out a new friend (illustrator & comic artist Sally Jane Thompson) with a comic & bookmaking event.  The event was held as part of a local ‘celebration of drawing’ called the Big Draw, which sees events held across the city, with the aim to get as many people drawing as possible.
(If you have access to A4 paper, there’s a short booklet you can print to celebrate the celebration!)

Now, I am really not much of an artist, but in the spirit of the day, I decided to doodle some doodles, while I was helping out the kids – just to show that you really don’t need to be able to draw to actually draw something.  If you see what I mean!  I had pre-printed some mini-zine templates (which I have just added to the mini-zine freebie page – enjoy!) because I thought some people may find a completely blank page slightly daunting.  I personally definitely found it easier to start drawing when I had a manageable-sized space before me!  This is what I doodled on the day:

I started with the ‘flowers’ in the lower left corner, then worked my way around anti-clockwise.  I stumbled upon zentangling about a year ago, but despite being quite enthused about it at the time, I never really got into it.  I really enjoyed my afternoon of doodling, though, and am definitely going to finish off what I began.  This morning, I discovered a nice blog, the Open Seed, which has inspired me to try my hand at a couple of new patterns, and reminded me that I really need to get going with completing the above!

The other current work in progress I wanted to mention began in a supermarket.  No, really, it did!  I fell in love with a multipack of Dorset Cereals muesli boxes, and had to have them, despite not having a clue what to use them for, at the time.  I banned Corey from opening them, so that he didn’t ruin the boxes in the meantime, of course  (I’ve since emptied the mini packets out into a single ‘lucky dip’ muesli mix).  It was soon quite self-evident that what these boxes really wanted to be was notebooks, so after a quick glance through my craft library for ideas, I was ready to play:

I chose Japanese stab stitch for the binding, then proceeded to execute a very non-thorough job of researching!  As a result of my lack of planning: you can see that the stitching is very unevenly spaced, because I didn’t stop to think about measuring etc; I couldn’t have as many pages inside as I wanted, because I only had a pushpin to hand rather than a bookbinder’s awl; and I also didn’t leave a wide enough margin on the lined pages I printed off for the inside.  But overall, I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and I definitely plan to make some more – after a little spot of fine-tuning!  Lucky I like learning by trial and error (and lucky I like alliteration). 😉

Other things I like about this project: I like the ‘hemp leaf’ stitch pattern, which I thought complemented the leaf design of the cereal packet nicely; and I like the little pocket that I made on the inside front cover, by folding in some of the box flaps (I cut most of the flaps off).  I also love that there is a recipe for making lemonade on the back cover, although I can’t take any credit for that! 😉  Once I’ve played around with the idea a little more, I’ll probably write a tutorial; but if you want to experiment in the meantime, this is a good place to get started.

3 thoughts on “Projects in progress…”

  1. way fun Su. zentangles are fun because they now have a name – even tho people were doing them long before they had that name. like you tho, i too found it a lot of fun to (for me) re-explore when it became named.

    yeah, too, – define your format! creating a line around the area you work in, that is your definition of your format. the area you intend to work. doing that, can be a great help to drawing and creating.

    when you define your format work area, even tho you are working on a sheet of paper – which is the full limit of your working area – it becomes easier to begin and create – because you know where you are working and not working. for most people it’s easier to work in the defined area than to create in the open undefined area of the entire sheet of paper. defining your working area with the format line puts you in control or your working area, rather than the paper in control of the area you are going to work.

    …and you can play with this. in your work above, you’ve defined 8 formats on your one sheet of paper. you could do one format or any number you like of course. i’d encourage anyone to play with this concept. you can actually leave a lot of space around the area you define if you want to, where as if you dont define the area you are working in, the drawing can feel like it isnt complete – or that it gets too close to the edge of the paper.

    you can make a horizontal format on paper that is vertical – and there are other shapes (and actually other ways than just by a single line too) that you can use to define your working area. it gets to be more and more fun the more ways you start defining and controlling the area you are going to draw or create in…

    and yeah, you can draw. i can see that clearly enough. most people can draw – because drawing is making line(s). if a person can write with a pen or pencil, they already know how to make lines – and that is what a drawing is made up of – mostly line. …that’s a loose definition of drawing of course. writing is just a very specified way of drawing – one that everyone recognizes and is familiar with… you simply and for most people easily draw the shapes and lines of letters. it’s easy because we’ve practiced it so much and for a long time. so if a person can make letters – or write words – they actually already know how to draw.

    i hope you dont mind me saying all of that here. if it’s too much just delete it.

    your chrysanthemum looking pattern is great, i like it a lot – they are all great tho.

    your book/notebook is way cool too. i like the loose “unplanned” look of your stitching. …yeah, i do a lot of learning by trying and error too. i like the look tho because it feels human. by that i mean it feels like it was made by a human being rather than a machine. there are good points for doing it both ways of course and planning it out works too. but i also like it this way as well. it takes on a very unique and personal quality to it that i like – yeah, i like that a lot. cool.

    1. Thanks for all the comments, Wrick! 😀 I like the chrysanthemum-ish pattern, too. I stopped on the pebbly one because I thought the definition would be lost if I continued, and it would just become a dense sea of pebbles; but I want to re-work it in a set of 3 or 4 toning colours. The pebbles are built up in an outward, circular motion, so by completing one ‘circuit’ in one colour then changing to another, I could fill the whole area, but the way the pattern is built would remain visible. A bit like aboriginal artwork (pointillism?)…

      In general, though, the kind of drawing-that-looks-like-writing comes more naturally to me. 😉

    2. I also agree about the preference for imperfection. The whole point of handmade is that it’s been made by hand, surely…

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