Creative Sketchbooks Revisit

I meant to post here with news every few days but to be honest nothing much is changing for us all at the moment is it? Although restrictions are being slowly lifted we’re all still avoiding people and places and staying home as much as we can. The only positive is that I can lose myself in my sketchbook without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else! You may remember I decided to work my way through our Creative Sketchbooks Course again earlier this year. Often good intentions come to nought, however, with so much time at home during lockdown I’ve filled one book and am now onto a second! I hope you’ll enjoy a taster of my pages.

We do a fair bit of black and white work in the first module but I’ve loved introducing colour to the line drawings I’d made of my favourite vintage teacups and saucers. The colours of the paints included in  the course art kit are really intense and perfect to suggest the patterns on my china. They work well in combination with oil pastel too.

And here I printed a moth with another compressed sponge shape. Wouldn’t be my sketchbook if it didn’t have a few moths and the occasional moon in it!

This print was made from a lino block. It takes a little time to make blocks and stamps but they are so worth it – they will keep for years and can be used over and over again in so many different ways. It’s excellent to have lots of stamps and blocks at hand for when the printing frenzy strikes!

If you are working your way through the course do please checkout my blogposts to see much more detail of what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks. There are posts in all four modules now but I’m still adding to them regularly. You’ll find the blogposts below the videos at the foot of each module page. Hope you enjoy them!

Bye for now – Linda

I’ve started to go back through my book to add more bits and pieces to some of the pages. With a fresh eye it’s sometimes easier to see what would improve the page don’t you agree? The drawing above was worked on a loose sheet of one of my plant printed papers. It’s actually one of my reject prints but makes a great background and the rough texture of the paper provides a nice contrast to the smoother page of the book. I’ve attached it with a hinge so it flaps over the existing page but can be opened to reveal what’s below.

We always encourage students to use inspiration from their favourite things – one of my obsessions is feathers. I pick them from the ground wherever I find them and have quite a collection. I love their shapes and often use them in my work. Here they have been printed using the compressed sponge we include in the kit. One is collaged and two are printed direct to the page. I love the lace-like quality of the marks they make.

Printing is one of the best techniques for filling a sketchbook in no time – it’s also a very quick way to create loads of collage material. I cut the geranium leaf stamp from self adhesive funky foam and printed it onto deli paper. The paper is so thin it sits on the page without adding any bulk at all.

More to enjoy

Sketchbook to Stitch: Eye of the Beholder

Laura talks about her recent digitising project and shares a few tips on how to translate a sketchbook design into stitch using software.

Portrait Artist of the Year: The Exhibition

Take a look at some of the highlights from the Portrait Artist of the Year exhibition at Compton Verney.

Fashion and Embroidery in Art

Take a look at some paintings from the British Portraits room at Compton Verney and explore how the artists represent the garments of the sitters with a particular focus on embroidery.

Reuseable Bottle Bag

Make a smart and reusable bottle gift bag. We’re using cork fabric, but you can use anything from your stash.

Christmas Plant Pot Cover

Add a stylish touch to your Christmas gifts this year with a handmade and reusable plant pot cover. Just perfect for gifting that Poinsettia and making it look extra special!


Folded inserts such as prairie points are a fun way to add texture and embellishment to your quilt making, but they can also be much more. Join Linda for a workshop on how you an use them to create an intriguing new dimension to traditional blocks.

To access this post, you must purchase Conceal/Reveal.

Peace and Love – Free Printable

We’d like to wish peace and love to you all this Christmas with this free printable painting by Linda. See how Laura has used it to make greetings cards and gift tags.

Beautiful Festive Bows

Add to your festive decorations with these beautiful bows that will last year on year. Laura shows you step-by-step how to make them.

Quilts: Resurgence

Quilts: Resurgence, an exhibition of quilts selected from The Quilters’ Guild Collection and co-curated by Pauline Burbidge features a quilt by Laura.