reading sketchbook |eleanor.

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I read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman about a month and a half back–I actually listened to it and the reader’s voices were incredible. The Scottish brogues really brought this story to life in ways I wouldn’t have experienced if I simply read the book.

I’m featuring this entry in my Reading Sketchbook because, for the first time in a good while, this was a read I just simply didn’t want to end.

What are you reading? What should I put on my To Be Read list?

More from my reading sketchbook here.

sketchbook | reading journal.

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Here’s another entry in my Reading Sketchbook. I love that I’ve kept up with this little project of tracking my reads. Here’s what I record:

Page length, completion date, how long to complete, whether it is an owned book, a library book, a kindle book, an audio book, or something completed in the serial reader app, whether I loved it or hated it (often “liked”), whether it fulfills a reading challenge selection, was it a recommendation, and my thoughts/musings on the experience and story.

It has kept my reading grounded and moving forward. I love to look back and reads and recall certain details about the book and to remember when I finished it and how long it took.

Here’s, also, a peak inside my books completed shelf in my tracking journal. I’ve kind of become obsessed with tracking what I make, when I knit, when I read, how long I read for, and what books I’ve finished. I’m hoping, when I feel like I’m not finding creative space or down time, I can look back on this and realize when and where I was able to fit it in.

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What should I add to my to be read list?

See more of my tracking journal here. And my reading journal here. Oh, and of course, there’s a knitting journal, too.

inspiration | notes.

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I have a lot of sketchbooks. Ones that are half filled, ones that are entirely filled, ones never touched. I start them, I stop them, sometimes, I finish them, whatever that means.

But, nothing is more special to me than the way I conceive of my music podcast, available at my other love, P+C. It’s a labor–and a form of art–to pick the list of potential tracks, to draw out what I think the artwork should look like, and to eliminate and create the final track list.

Occasionally, that book also turns into a sketchbook or a space to dabble–with new, small scale block prints, or quick little drawings.

What kinds of lists and sketches do you keep?

fabric | block printing.

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I recently took a block printing class, and despite my obsessive compulsive tendencies getting in the way of carving a perfect block, I learned a lot about the process and my work habits, too.

One of the most important things I learned about my own making adventures has to do with how much I have changed perspective throughout the years about what I’m creating, why I’m creating it, and how I’m creating it. When I was a teenager and in my early twenties, I desired to make certain things. The end product was what I coveted and I would learn whatever skills were needed to create that thing. And while I learned a whole bunch during the process, I didn’t focus on process.

This fabric block printing class showed me how much I’ve changed. While most in the class had a concrete idea of what they wanted to make and why they were taking the class (“I want to make hand printed napkins for my Thanksgiving table”, for instance), when it came time for me to share I hadn’t a plan in mind–I just wanted to gain the skills and come up with the ideas later.

I think I spent as much time in my sketchbook coming up with ideas as I did carving and printing on muslin.

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This type of printing is pretty meditative. As a child, I loved stamping and took a number of classes, became and embossing expert, and developed a pretty robust set of stamps. Now, I can make those stamps.

And while my initial block featured a really small pattern that was hard to execute on the first go around, I learned a lot about manipulating the materials to do what you want and need. It’s challenging. But I think I’m going to do more of this.

Have you ever tried fabric block printing? What have you created?

succulents + gouache.

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Sean and I have been messing more and more with gouache painting. Last Saturday, we decided to pain some succulents + cacti. Sean was really deepening his color palettes by layering and I was working the opposite by totally washing everything out since I want to be better with the water side of paints and water colors somewhat frighten me.

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I’m pretty happy with my finished product, but I can’t decide if I should have done a light background on the entire piece. It’s a first stab at the prickly pear and it will probably sit in my sketchbook forever, but it was fun to get painting again.

merry cards.

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Sean and I are sending out hand drawn Christmas cards to our friends this year. This set of Pendleton stockings will be scanned and printed on card stock.

Final result pictures forthcoming.

Merry, merry.

 

favorites.

These are some of the things I’m obsessing over in my maker world, right now. From top left to right: local wool roving about to become thrums for some mittens like these ; mini sketchbooks in bright colors by clairefontaine ; cheeky rubber stamps for letters, stickers, and homemade wrapping papers ; paper thin stitch markers ; wax paper treat bags in geometric prints ; fat quarters for small sewing projects ; my new windsor and newton travel watercolor kit, gifted to me by my guy for Christmas; and tiny skeins of cotton in various colors for wrapping and odds and ends.

What supplies are you obsessing over? As if I need anymore drool worthy maker bits…

perspective.

Trying to get back to my sketchbook. On and off, throughout the years, I have been faithful to my sketchbook. Other times, not so much. But the sketchbook is the opportunity to practice art, doodle, think, write, be inspired. A lot of crazy weird things have come out of it.

So here’s a recent entry, in which I was practicing the art of perspective through a poppies exercise. I kind of like how sloppy it came out; it feels easy.

More from my sketchbook trails here. And drawings, here.

festival mixtapes.

My guy and I attend a lot of music festivals together. So, in honor of our summer trips (Bonnaroo and Pitchfork), I made him a usb-mixtape. They look like those old cassettes we used to spend hours recording for potential boyfriends, crushes, or best friends. But, these have a nice little usb pop out, making listening in the 21st century a zip.

This cassette cover is hand drawn, inspiration in geometrics from my sketchbook.