Wednesday, 25 November 2009


This week we have been working on some linocut illustrations for the first Lapwing Printworks book - 12 poems by Andrew Bailey with six linocuts by us, and letterpressed text. It seems like a big project at the moment, but we're very excited about it!

Jon has also started work on a new engraving, using three seperate blocks. The first colour will be this lovely sagey green...

Today has been a beautiful sunny day, so we headed down to Dunwich Heath for a nice walk along the coast and across the heath.

Not a cloud in the sky! The wind was whipping in across the open heath, but down in the more wooded bits it was still and warm in the sunshine, and it was lovely to get out of the office for an afternoon and walk our cares away.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Notebook obsession

My name is Sarah and I have a problem with buying lovely notebooks and sketchbooks... Above is just a couple of my favourites. Next to my computer is a pile of exactly twenty notebooks of various sizes (not including those pictured or my other stashes around the house). Now, there's nothing wrong with buying so many as long as they actually get used. But, here's my confession - the ones pictured above, and the pile by my computer are all blank and completely unused.

I keep telling myself that one day I'll get around to using them, but the pile keeping getting bigger and I still can't bring myself to put pen to paper.

Sometimes I feel guilty about my habit and I suspect that my scrupulous recycling of waste paper might be undone by my collection of pristine, empty pages.

So, when Folksy announced their Upcycle Christmas competition, I sat eyeing up my pile of notebooks on the desk and decided that I should try and make a notebook with upcycled paper.

Here's the random selection of books that I got in our local Sue Ryder shop (although the Printing Processes book didn't make it as far as the cutting mat...)

Another find in Sue Ryder was this rather grim black bag, which I took great pleasure in cutting to pieces...

Underneath the lining fabric was this horrible foamy stuff, which disintegrated and got everywhere!Once I'd unpicked the stitches, the bag material gave me quite a big bit to work with.

Then I cut the music sheets, the Dover book and some of the road atlas to make pages. The Dover book of stencils was made up of lovely, thick creamy paper, and each page was blank on one side, so I used these for the bulk of the new pages, intermixed with the odd page of music and road atlas.

I covered the back of the bag material with some of the sheet music to make the covering, and then sewed the whole thing together.

I incorporated the zipped outside pocket of the bag into the cover of the notebook, making a pocket perfect for pens, or other little bits and bobs.

About half of the pages are completely blank, and the stencil patterns in the Dover book mean that other pages have bits of floral designs on them with plenty of room to write around them.

At 24cm by 19cm, and 3cm wide, it's a nice chunky book, with 160 pages.

You can see the book on Folksy here, as well as all the other competition entries too.