It's just a cheap sketchbook that I got from Target on clearance last year. I didn't want anything too fancy or else I would be too scared to mess it up. As my confidence improves, I dream of making beautiful Moleskine sketchbooks, but for now, it can't be "too precious". I have set a goal to sketch something in it everyday and I have actually been doing that for the last week or so (just to get myself ready for 2011). Now, in order to pack this around, as well as my pens, pencils, and little watercolor box, I wanted a messenger bag. I looked around and couldn't find anything too inspiring, so when I saw Lisa Engelbrecht's pattern for one in this magazine...I decided to make my own. I started with Lisa's pattern, and using raw canvas and a few alterations, I made my bag.Once the bag was made, I painted the entire thing with a wash of Golden Fluid acrylics in blues and greens.I painted 4 flowers, a flower center and 2 leaves on another piece of gessoed canvas and used my sewing machine to "doodle" the details. I also used my sewing machine to free stitch the swirls. Then I tacked everything together in the center so it is sorta dimensional.I added glass beads to the center, just cause I like things sparkly! And, it turns out, I like sparkly enough to have pulled a needle and thread through 6 layers of canvas and paint. My fingers are a little sore today.Then I added the word "create" by using my computer to print a font I liked onto a piece of paper and cutting out the letters to make a pattern. I measured a strip of paper and laid it along the straight edge of the bag to use as a guide (I knew I wouldn't be able to live with it if it weren't straight) and traced the letters. I then filled them in and lined them with acrylics AND here's a lesson I learned about trying to paint detail on raw canvas: I don't EVER want to do it again. I will kick down the extra $$$ for the medium (I don't remember what it's called off the top of my head) that makes painting detail on fabric easier.
So this afternoon, I decided to take my new bag, loaded with my sketchbook and supplies and head out to the bookstore on an artist date. I have been not so patiently waiting for the new ART_JOURNALING to hit the shelves around here and I was determined to pick it up TODAY! I eventually found it (and it is great) after some hunting, but I met an awesome lady named Lisa while I worked on a sketch. Lisa makes jewelry from antiques and things and we had a lovely conversation about our love of old doors, windows, and just plain anything old. We both enjoy turning old stuff into art. She is selling her jewelry at a shop not too far from my home, so I am going to be checking it out this week. I can't wait to see it and it was fun to hang out with her. I really do run into the BEST people at the bookstore.