I received a few freelance projects this week, so have been pretty busy with web and graphic design work.  However, I did carve out an afternoon to work on a few different crafty projects I’ve been meaning to finish for the past…oh, few months!  While listening to Radio Lab podcasts, I decided to some mini sketchbooks using leather for the covers.  I’ve actually learned a bit of proper bookbinding in the past, but I figured I’d go for something simple first.  I followed along a video tutorial on Youtube and ended up with these beauties after a few hours.

20091210workspace1

After stabbing myself multiple times, I’ll realized the lack of good tools certainly makes the process a lot harder.  First, I don’t have good scissors to cut thick leather, so the edges are pretty roughed up.  Second, sewing into leather is pretty difficult even though I used my awl to pre-punch holes.  I first tried sewing with some twine, but realized it had a metal wire in it that made the stitching very uneven and bumpy – that’s the regular stitched sketchbook you see in the photo.  Then I tried with regular embroidery floss in bright yellow, using the blanket stitch that created a very nice edge.  Finally, with the leftover leather I made another smaller notebook and I’ve shown the back cover below, where I stamped my tortagialla logo and signed.  Cute, eh?  I suppose the only good tool I have is a heavy duty hole puncher – 6 sizes – that worked nicely for the paper and leather.  My tool is similar to the Crop-A-Dile but only hole punches for 10 Euros at the hardware store here in Italy.

20091210workspace2

A happy surprise today was receiving a bunch of snail mail.  Our postal service is pretty sketchy here because sometimes things don’t arrive at all or it takes a long time due to small town services – mail is not necessarily delivered daily.  I participated in a few art exchanges, so I was very happy to receive lovely mail art from Leah Virsik, Margie Woods Brown and a mystery sender from Australia that is a package sitting in the post office…ooo, I wonder what it is!?

20091210workspace320091210workspace4

I also received my printed fabric from Spoonflower – my lovely singing boy and girl!  My original idea is to cut them out and sew up little plush/pillow dolls.  Of course, in my haste I forgot to include space for the backside…erf!  I think I’ll have to order more fabric with just the snowflake design or perhaps choose a different fabric?  I think it would be sort of spooky if both sides had the face…or not?  Oif!

20091210workspace5

Finally, I am trying to finish off this watercolor piece of a little snow queen. I am just starting to outline the piece, see where I did the crown?  I’m hoping to send it in to Art Trader Magazine as they have a snow queen or snow king themed contest now…except it’s due today!  Eeek!

20091210workspace6

This website uses cookies and other tracking technologies. By using this website, you are accepting the terms and conditions of use, cookie policy and privacy policy.