|10" x 7", ink & watercolor in Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook|
The filigree border was inspired by a drawing I saw in an old cookbook. I adapted it to fit my theme by adding grapes, leaves, and birds.
The landscape is a composite of elements from photos I took while over there.
A few doodads from Michaels' scrapbooking and jewelry departments fancied things up a bit.
|Metal brads were hot-glued on grosgrain ribbon|
|The heart was from a make-your-own-bracelet display|
The end papers were painted on 140-lb watercolor paper, then cut and fitted in place on the inside of the covers.
I took two Stillman and Birn Beta series sketchbooks with me to Italy. After I filled the first one, I went on to use eleven pages in the second, giving me a total of thirty-seven sheets. When I began to finish up the sketches at home, I realized it would be much easier if I disassembled the two sketchbooks and pulled out the pages, so I could work on several of them at once. That way, I could paint one while another dried.
There was just one problem...if I put all thirty-seven pages back together as one finished sketchbook, the original binding was not going to fit. I thought I could just go to an office supply store and get a larger diameter binding, but I soon found out that they're not available in that style of wire binding. Hmmm...what to do now?
I came up with a pretty neat solution - I reassembled everything so that the binding opened on the outside spine of the sketchbook instead of inside the back cover. I bent it apart as much as I needed to allow for the extra pages I had added. Now I just needed something to connect the binding to itself and hold my pages in place.
I had some dark brown satin rattail cord left over from a craft project, so I threaded it through the wire binding and began tying a series of square knots down along the spine. It worked!
It encased the pages securely and added a pretty decorative finish to my sketchbook. Isn't it cool how problems can force us to be more creative?
My Italy sketchbook is finally complete - I love it!
Now on to the next project...and the next trip. :)