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How to make a sketchbook

After searching many years for the perfect sketchbook, I finally gave up on the commercial brands and decided to make my own. For weeks I stayed up all night tearing paper, threading needles, poking holes in mat boards, and utilizing all kinds of gadgets, until finally I created the sketchbook I had been searching for. Here are the steps I used to make my favorite sketchbook.

1) Measure out and tear (using the side of a ruler) a full sheet (22" x 30") of Arches watercolor paper into eight, 7.5" x 11" sheets (a full sheet is actually 22.5 inches wide so the individual pieces will be 11.25" long including the deckle edge). Make sure the paper’s front side is up (watermark is readable on front side). Repeat until 4 full sheets have been torn into a total of 32, 7.5" x 11" sheets.

2) Organize torn sheets so all the deckled edges are together on the right side.

3) Cut two mat boards 7.75" x 11.75".

4) Wrap 2" wide, book binding cloth tape lengthwise around the left side of each cut mat board, with approximately 1" on top and 1" on the bottom. This will give the binding more support.

5) Sandwich the stack of paper in between the two mat boards with the deckled edges facing away from the taped ends. Take the book to FedEx Office (or any other office supply store that has binding), and have it spiral bound along the taped side. I had FedEx Office spiral bind my sketchbooks but it’s also possible to buy a spiral binding machine. Zutter’s Bind-It-all and We R Memory Keeper’s The Cinch*** are two products I’ve heard good things about and both have YouTube video demonstrations.

6) Once your book is bound, use an awl to punch two holes into the back side of the mat board. (It’s a good idea to put a couple of layers of cardboard behind the mat before making the holds so as not to poke a hole through anything else.) Using approximately 21" of elastic, push each end up through the holes and pull tight until the elastic is snug around the sketchbook. Overlap the two elastic ends and stitch them together with sturdy thread.

7) Finished!

***UPDATE***
I recently purchased "the Cinch" for binding books. The tool works quite well and easily punches through mat board. I purchased the 1" plastic spirals (it’s the only size they make) and found them too large. So I ordered the metal binders sizes (3/4" and 1") and they seem to work pretty well (I prefer the 3/4"). Ultimately, I like the binding better from FedEx Office but it’s not worth the hassle for me to drive and wait hours for my order to be completed. I think the Cinch will be my sketchbook binder of choice!

By The Artist on the Road

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Kaiser Alexander Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.1 / Schwertschlucker

Divided reverse. No correspondence.

"An anatomical miracle that appeared for 15 days in Berlin theaters and for 1 month in Circus Schumann – With x-ray and photograph."

A talented member of Kaiser Alexander Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.1 demonstrates his gift for sword swallowing by downing a Hirschfänger – a long, double-edged hunting knife used to kill deer and boar.

_____________________________________________________________________
Notes:

http://j.mp/1BoSJJ9

By ✠ drakegoodman ✠

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The dance of death: the fight is over and death is seen

V0042040 The dance of death: the fight is over and death is seen seat
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
images@wellcome.ac.uk
wellcomeimages.org
The dance of death: the fight is over and death is seen seated, enthroned on ruins composed of rubble and the dead. Drawing.
Published: –

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://j.mp/1wOAe1u

By wellcome images

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The dance of death: the masquerade. Coloured aquatint b

V0041985 The dance of death: the masquerade. Coloured aquatint by T.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
images@wellcome.ac.uk
wellcomeimages.org
The dance of death: the masquerade. Coloured aquatint by T. Rowlandson, 1816.
1816 By: Thomas RowlandsonPublished: –

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://j.mp/1wOAe1u

By wellcome images

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December 12, 1930

Artistic display of meat products from Irish Co-operative Meat Ltd., Waterford to tempt the palate in the run up to Christmas 1930. So we have sausages, black and white pudding (or maybe brawn?), and lard. The packaging on the lard proudly declares that it is "guaranteed perfectly pure" and "untouched by human hand". It cost 1/6.

(Virtual) 1lb. of sausages to anyone who can tell me the address for the meat factory in the 1930s, so I can add it to our Flickr map!

Date: 12 December 1930

NLI Ref.: P_WP_3770

By National Library of Ireland on The Commons

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Kaiser Alexander Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.1 / Schwertschlucker

Divided reverse. No correspondence.

"An anatomical miracle that appeared for 15 days in Berlin theaters and for 1 month in Circus Schumann – With x-ray and photograph."

A talented member of Kaiser Alexander Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.1 demonstrates his gift for sword swallowing by downing a Hirschfänger – a long, double-edged hunting knife used to kill deer and boar.

_____________________________________________________________________
Notes:

www.circopedia.org/Circus_Schumann_%28Frankfurt%29

By ✠ drakegoodman ✠

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The Simple Spaceship Chart

A while ago I ran into a box of old spaceships of mine in our cellar, I photographed a few of them and thought it would be nice to document them all while at it. I found a total of 11 spaceships (not including the numerous LEGO ships) in our house, most are my oldies, a couple of them belong to the kid. I shot all of them straight from the bow to capture their character.

After I had photographed them all I thought they’d look great in a poster, I added some trendy graphic noise to go with it. I think it turned out allright.

There’s an Avanaut Facebook page for those who like liking such things.

UPDATE (August 18): There’s a typo on the poster (Calactica instead of Galactica, bummer!), but I’m not going to fix it, as replacing the image would sever link between this and some of the pages it has been posted to. Maybe later. Also, I’m aware that the snowspeeder is not a "spaceship", but I thought it would pass just this once. And yes, the relative size of the ships varies, they’re not in the same scale, in my mind it just looked better this way. :)

By Avanaut

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