Wandering Camera – Magician’s Bookshelf

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Hi Everyone!  Welcome to Wandering Camera.  I am really excited to share photos of this painted bookshelf with you this month.  I love the romantics of magic and decided to embark on a journey of painting a magic alphabet series.  I chose B for bookshelf. Specifically, a magician’s bookshelf.   I love to and tend to do a lot of research for my work.   I had a fantastic time looking into alchemy and magic.

 

 

 

York Cathedral | Whims And Fancies

 

York Cathedral, England, 2016

 

 

I looked into my vault of travel photos for stonework depicting vines and leaves.

 

 

St. Clement's Church, Isle Of Harris, Scotland | Whims And Fancies

 

St. Clement’s Church, Scotland, 2018

 

Nothing says magic to me more than stone.  These are two of the photos I used for reference.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Before I started inking the drawing, I practised on a separate piece of paper with a dip pen.  Unfortunately, the rough surface of the cold press paper that I used kept catching the pen too much, causing very uneven lines instead of the smooth and controlled lines that I wanted.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I switched to a very small brush which glided easily on the paper.  I was able to create controlled and tiny strokes for the cross hatching using waterproof Speedball Super Black india ink.

However, inks are very harsh on brushes.  I learned that the hard way after almost destroying the first one.  Brushes need to be cleaned quite often with a good brush soap.  Also, instead of my gentle watercolour brushes, I will be using a little stiffer acrylic ones for inking.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

It took me awhile to draw those tiny cross hatch marks.  It was quite meditative.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Then, early December, I started painting.  I wanted the stone bookshelf to be illuminated by candlelight.  Using warm yellows and warm browns, gently and slowly, I finished painting the bookshelf.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I thought of painting all the books in one colour, but that seemed very boring.   Magic should be exciting!  So I decided to match the colours of the books with their titles.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I would love to paint this bookshelf larger one day and add more details to the book spines.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The ancient and wise raven watches over both the books and the magician.  Even though she is candlelit,  she also glows from within.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

Quoting my friend Dixie – a bibliotheque filled with books on practical magic, spells, and alchemy.  I would so love to take a peek at these books.  If only I was also made of ink and paper!

 

Thank you for sharing your photos and stories too.  I love reading them!   All photography and creative themed posts are welcome.

 

 

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

You can add any number of links to your posts, or write a new post to link up.

Please link back by either adding the badge or a text link back to this site on each post that you link up. You can also add the badge to your blog.

Wandering Camera is a monthly event that runs on the last Thursday of every month.  If you follow me via email, you will get a reminder.

Have fun!!



 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them. 

 

 

Bits And Pieces

Derwent Watercolour Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

 

With the approach of October, one of my favourite months, I find myself in the flightiest of moods.   Sitting with anything for long is a chore and the thought of finishing anything seems an impossible task.  My otherwise tidy desk is now a mirror image of my brain.  This is true except for one thing- books!  A book is the only thing that can still pin me down for hours on end.

 

 

Freedom and Read Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Freadom pattern on Etsy

 

This week is Banned Books Week, an event sponsored by the American Library Association.  I am lucky enough to celebrate my freedom to read and think independently every day.  This FREADOM quilt I made last year is possibly my most favourite piece!  You can read about the story behind this mini here.

 

 

Dryburgh Abbey With Derwent Watercolour Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Other than travelling in the pages of my books, I also travel by means of painting places I have visited before.  I love Derwent pencils.  I already have a set of their Inktense pencils and recently I was gifted a set of the Derwent Watercolour pencils.   I am trying them out on this sketch of Dryburgh Abbey.

 

 

Hexagon Quilt | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I pulled out my Hexagon quilt again.  After having made a little over 2000 hexagons, sadly, I have lost interest in this project.  I will probably sew a few more rows and then come up with a design sans hexagons to finish this quilt.  Any ideas, anyone?

 

 

Fall And Halloween Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

 

October of course means Autumn and Halloween.  I have been selling quite a few Fall/Halloween quilt patterns from my shops.  That means very soon I will be able to make a sizeable donation to my favourite charity.

Here is a collage of all the Autumn / Halloween blocks I made until today.  I have two orange kitties in real life, and they are both here of course!

 

 

  1. Wizard Tabby Cat – Etsy
  2. Halloween Witch Hat – Etsy
  3. Cat Eyes – Etsy
  4. Jack-O-Lantern and Cat-O-Lantern – (two patterns in one) – Etsy
  5. Fall Maple Leaf – Etsy
  6. Striped Tabby Cat – Etsy

 

I always get asked about pattern links right after I publish a post, so I am including the links here should you like to purchase any.

 

 

Halloween Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

Charlie’s Adventure

 

There won’t be any new fall or Halloween projects this year, but I have pulled out the Charlie’s Adventure quilt and its backing fabric.  I made this one for the Black Cat Crossing blog hop alongside writing a short story that goes with this quilt.  You can read the story here.  It’s high time I quilt this one.

 

Whims And Fancies

 

 

Janine from Rainbow Hare wrote a wonderful post called Leap In Colour.  I myself have been thinking about taking a leap for a while now, and her post gave me that much-needed push.  Many thanks to all of my online friends as well for their constant encouraging comments.  I started taking the first steps toward the next phase of Whims And Fancies.  Following on Janine’s footsteps, I am also letting my byline be my inspiration.

 

On the note of taking a leap, I just created a Twitter account – https://twitter.com/whims_n_fancies

If you are on Twitter, I would love for you to follow me there!

 

 

Handmade Halloween

Joining Handmade Halloween at Needle And Foot

 

Thank you for listening,
-Soma

 

I am also linking up on Photo Friday, Life Thru The Lens, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World Tuesday and Friday Photo Journal along with with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

 

Books And Bookmarks

Easy Book And Bookmarks Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

If you didn’t know this already, I love playing with paper and art supplies.  That obsession started at a very early age.

As a child I learned how to make little booklets in which I saved magazine and newspaper cuttings containing short stories, comic strips and trivia.  I drew and painted in them too.  Making those little art booklets was one of my favourite hobbies as a child.  They were a reflection of how I saw the world around me.

I will show you how to make very simple booklets with two kinds of bindings, and a few bookmarks with very easy watercolour techniques.  Kids can make these easily, with a little help.

You already have most of the things that you need for these projects at home.  You can also use up some of your fabric scraps.

 

Making a Signature

 

Books are made of signatures.  These books are going to be made of one signature.  We are going to make the signature first, then bind it.

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

You will need one piece of card stock for the cover.

Other than that you can use any paper.  Printer paper will be more than fine.  If you wish to paint in your booklet however, you will want thicker stock than printer paper.

Just one thing to remember:  The thicker your paper, less the number of papers you are going to be able to fit into a signature.  I made a multi-purpose book where I want to draw, paint and write.  So I used 1 sheet of watercolour paper, 1 sheet of card stock and 5 sheets of sketchbook paper.  Watercolour and sketchbook papers are larger than card stock paper.  So I trimmed them all to 8.5″ x 11″ to match the card stock.

Fold each paper in the middle. Run the side of a ruler along the fold for a crisp fold.

Insert the folded sheets into each other.

Place one sheet of folded card stock as the outermost sheet to create the cover.

Depending on the size of your signature, you may need to trim the side.

Now that we have a signature made, we are ready to bind.

 

 Ribbon Binding

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

Fold a new sheet of card stock to make a template first.   On the folded side, Measure 1.5″ from the top and bottom.  Mark those two points and the centre with a pencil.  Using a hole puncher, punch a semicircular hole on those marks.  If you insert the hole puncher too far past the fold and punch a circular hole, you will end up with two separate holes when you unfold the sheet.

When you open up the page, you should see three circular holes along the fold.  It’s fine if they are not perfect.  They will be folded anyway.

Now place the folded template on top of the folded sheets of the signature so that the folded edges are all facing the same way.  Using the template as a guide, punch holes in the sheets.  Remember to make the holes semicircular.  Depending on the thickness and number of sheets, you may have to do this in a couple of stages.

Tip – Use a paper clip to keep the papers and the template together.

Once the sheets are all punched, and you are happy with the arrangement of the signature, cut a yard of 3/8″ wide ribbon.  Feed the ribbon through the two outer holes toward the inside.

Then grasp the two endings together from the inside and feed them through the middle hole toward the outside.  After that, place one ribbon end on each side of the centre hole.  If you have any twists in the ribbon, fix those at this time as well.

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

Tie a pretty knot.  Trim if necessary.  You may also want to trim the tips of the ribbon to a V shape to avoid fraying.

That’s it!  The first book is made and ready to be used.

Your kids can start with decorating the cover now.  Doodle, draw, paint, add stickers.  Anything goes!

You can take out some of your fabric scraps too and press Heat-N-Bond on the back.  Let your kid draw his/her own designs on the backing.  Cut them out, arrange them on the cover.  Place another piece of card-stock on top and iron on the cut-outs using a low setting.

That’s how I added the leaves on my book above.  I might go back and add something else to it later on.  Great way to use up those scraps of fabric, don’t you think?!

 

Stitched Binding

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

Cut a 9.5″ x 12″ piece of decorative paper.  Use an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of card stock as cover paper.  Apply generous amount of glue all over one side of the cover paper.  Place it in the middle of the decorative paper, positioning it so that there is approximately 0.5″ of decorative paper overhang on all sides.  Press it down.  Then add glue to the overhang on the decorative paper and fold it over the cover page.

Now cut another 8″ x 10.5″ piece of decorative paper and apply glue to its reverse side.  Place that paper in the middle of the cover page, making sure there is a 0.25″ gap to the edge on each side.  Press it down.

Tip – A good quality glue stick works really well for me.  No mess this way.

Fold the cover page back again along the centre.

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

Use another piece of card stock to make a template for the sewing holes.  Mark 1.25″ from the top, then continue to mark 1.0″ after that until you reach the bottom 1.25″.  Push a push-pin through each of those marks and you have the template.

Now unfold the papers of your signature and place them underneath the template piece.  You may want to hold them together with paper clips.  Then push the pin through each of the holes in your template. You may have to do this in couple of stages, depending on the thickness of the stock you have chosen.

Once you have made holes in all of your sheets, put the signature together again.  Now it’s ready for sewing.

Take a piece of thread that is a little longer than twice the length of your book.  A little thicker thread like DMC Pearl Cotton works best.  Using this thread and a needle, sew through every other hole starting at the top hole, on the inside.  Make sure to leave a few inches of thread behind as a tail.

Once you have reached the bottom, come back up again, sewing through every other hole.  You should now have filled the gaps you left when you sewed your first pass.  Once you reach the second hole from the top, tie a knot with the tail-end of the thread from the first hole.

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

This is how the book looks, on the inside and outside.  Decorate the cover more or start using it as-is.

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

They took hardly any time to make.  You and the kids can make a bunch of them together.  Fill them up with artwork or give blank books as Christmas presents.

 

Watercolour Bookmarks

 

Now I will show you how to make a few bookmarks using simple watercolour techniques.

 

Watercolour bookmarks with kids | Whims And Fancies

 

All you need for the bookmarks are strips of watercolour paper, paint, a flat brush and a round brush.  Don’t worry if you can’t find a cheap flat brush, a bigger round brush will work well enough.

I used 7″ x 2″ strips of watercolour paper for my bookmarks.  I used leftover scraps from bookmaking.

 

Watercolour bookmarks with kids | Whims And Fancies

 

Using the flat brush, apply water all over the paper.  Then dab paint on the wet paper, letting the difference paints flow into each other.

Then sprinkle salt on the wet paint.  The salt starts absorbing the paint and creates a fun texture. I used a little too much on the top one and you can see how it lifted a lot more paint than I intended.  I left it as-is to show you the difference.  I will use it as background and paint on top of it later on.

Let the salt dry completely; this takes a while.  Once completely dry, brush the salt off and you’re done!  Use the bookmark as-is, draw on it with markers, stamp a favourite quote, anything you want.

 

Watercolour bookmarks with kids | Whims And Fancies

 

For these two, I used the flat brush again to apply water all over the paper.  I went back and forth on them with paint and let the different paints blend into each other.

For the left one, I dipped my brush in clean water.  On the wet paint, I drew a couple of lines with the brush and then splattered a few drops of water by tapping on the brush.  Let this dry and you will see the effect water has on paint.  I will go back and paint on it.

For the right one, I used a cotton swab to lift off paint to create those fuzzy white dots.  I cut a tree out of a scrap of silver fabric and ironed it on to the bookmark using Heat-N-Bond, just like the way I ironed on the leaves on the first book.

 

Watercolour bookmarks with kids | Whims And Fancies

 

I love making bookmarks.  They are fast, fun and easy to make.  You can make a whole bunch all together.  Sometimes I even make bookmarks to match the book I am reading.

 

Easy Book And Bookmarks Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

I hope this inspired you and your kids to make a few of these as gifts.  Personalize them for the recipient.  Make a few for yourselves.   Fill the books with wonderful art.  Spend time together playing in the book and then swap them with each other at Christmas!

Happy Crafting,
-Soma

 

 

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Bobcat In The Woods

Bobcat quilt pattern, Big cat quilt pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Bobcat pattern on Etsy

 

I love cats and that includes big cats too.  In March I got a request for a bobcat quilt pattern for a school mascot and accepted it right away.  I wanted to give my block a stylized feel, so instead of using fabrics that would resemble fur, I focused mostly on just the colours.

The pattern is for a 16″ block.  It has only a few seam alignment points, which makes the block easy to sew regardless of how complicated it looks.

 

 

Bobcat Big Cat Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Bobcat pattern on Etsy

 

The pattern also includes alternate sections without the stripes.  That eliminates a lot of piecing and, in turn, a lot of sections.  It is an intermediate-advanced pattern because of all the details.  This large cat quilt pattern is available on my Etsy shop.

 

I really love how it turned out.  I am not sure yet if I am going to incorporate the block as part of a quilt or make a wall hanging with it.  Since I can easily imagine those markings on a kitty-cat, this block will always represent a cat to me.

 

 

Perylene Green Daniel Smith | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I have been playing with the colour green this month.  We are always in need of bookmarks.  I found a scrap of watercolour paper in the perfect shape of a bookmark on my shelf.  After an exhausting Saturday, I painted these trees using Daniel Smith’s beautiful Perylene Green.  I have been using the bookmark ever since.

 

 

Wildflower Expo Skyline Park Napa, CA | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Last weekend was the wildflower expo.  Unfortunately, for various reasons we couldn’t make it there on Saturday when they would have had more plants.  We went there on the cool and drizzly Sunday morning after breakfast.  They still had a wide variety of local plants for sale.  Although most of the plants were too young to have blooming flowers, there was a lot of information available and a group of very knowledgeable hosts to help educate us.

 

   

Wildflower Expo Skyline Park, Napa, CA | Whims And Fancies

 

 

These are the plants that came home with us.

 

 

Deep Purple Douglas Iris | Whims And Fancies

 

 

One of them is a Douglas Iris.  I spotted this flower on one of the plants and that was immediately followed by the plant being in my little cart.

Other than sewing, painting and planning the garden, I have been updating my website a little.  I added “Free To Imagine” as a tag line.  I also created a new template for my pattern files so they have a better look and feel.  It was a busy week, but the stolen moments of art gave me much-needed balance.

 

Happy Crafting,
-Soma