13 posts categorized "Books"


Welcome to Flow - an exhilarating paper playground



l was introduced to the creative charms of Flow by artist friend Sandra Ondraschek, who on a trip to Edinburgh wrote, "I thought of you as I picked up a copy of 'Flow' (magazine) and wondered if we had talked about it?". lt was early morning when l read her e-mail, yet l felt immediately compelled to discover this sparkling jewel for myself...

Pure delight swept over me as l set out on my journey and explored my first port of call - the Flow app. Smiling to myself, l read the editors note to the tapping sound of the typewriter - just lovely! The attention to each (imaginative) detail was a wonderful start to my design day!

Founded by Creative Directors, Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst, Dutch-based Flow magazine celebrates its fifth anniversary and l have a feeling it will continue to flow for many more years to come. 

Published eight times a year and with a recent international launch, (English copy being published twice a year) Flow is a visual feast, offering inspiration, insights and solutions for paper lovers. A paper playground which brings enjoyment to me on a daily basis, especially since purchasing the Flow Weekly Notebook, and the delightful 'Book for Paper Lovers'It's pure joy to plan my agenda, write letters and cards utilizing these two gems as a source of visual creativity. 

Welcome to Flow, a gloriously vibrant hub of paper innovation, a positive energy field which lights up the path of inspirational creativity!

* Photographs: 'Flow Book for Paper Lovers' by Elizabeth Hitchman


Force of Nature

A few months ago, l had the immense pleasure to work in collaboration with artist Sandra Ondraschek-Norris on a book project, drawing together a collection of her landscape paintings. And over the years, l've been fortunate to observe Sandra's work during the different stages. Sandra's studio is an inspirational sight for the creative eye - a glimpse of a painting in progress (propped up against an easel), has left me on many an occasion with a sense of eager anticipation on being able to view the finished piece.

Growing up on a farm, against the rugged coastal backdrop of County Donegal, Ireland, memories of this changeable seascape proves to be a well of inspiration, inviting Sandra to capture nature's ebb & flow with her signature style of brushstroke.

Ever reflecting her environment, Sandra's conversations with nature continues not only with her homeland, but also with the vivid landscape of the Zürichsee (on the doorstep of where she resides), along with the dramatic shape of the nearby mountains.

The design concept for the book itself was to give a sense of "looking through a window "- drawing the reader into the rich, indepth textures of nature. For the biography pages, tonal greens were chosen to give a sense of earthy warmth to the pages. Inside, a solid black background template was created to frame each piece of artwork, allowing the eye to focus on the rich colours of the paintings.

Looking at Sandra's paintings, leaves me with one final thought ...tis a beautiful "Force of Nature".

*The book can be purchased via the Blurb bookstore.


Safari reflections

It's astonishing how quickly time passes by, as it feels like only yesterday that l took flight and explored the vast wilderness grasslands of Kenya. You may recall a previous posting that acted as a prelude to my travels - The perfect journal .

It certainly proved to be the model pocket companion...a blank canvas wrapped in leather, waiting to be filled with colourful visual stories recreated by gaslight...

This page taken from my journal, reflects the area that l was most fortunate to experience - the breathtaking Tsavo National Park.

On the right-hand page, is a winding path, which leads to a circular campfire place. It was here, that we were told African stories late into the night. And by day, the majestic beauty of Mount Kilimanjaro could be admired in all its glory!

Following the campfire evening, our local guide graciously gave me a hand-crafted gift, which in English is known as the Toothbrush Tree. Karithca kindly wrote down the different names directly onto the dental tool. The Maasi name is Oremit, in Swahli it means Mswaki, and the botantical name is Salvadora perscia.  l've placed this heart-warming gift in the middle of my journal montage, as a symbol of the culture embraced, and the friendships made throughout my travel. 

Observing wildlife in their natural habitat was simply a dream come true - generating treasured memories that remain close to my heart and have become part of my Safari reflections.

* l warmly invite you to explore (in more detail) my Safari montage by 'double-clicking' on the image.


Midnight magic

The-Rekindled-PageUpon recently discovering these exceptional lightboxes, l was immediately struck by their fairytale charm - radiating a glow that is original in concept and structure. Created by Deidra, owner of The Rekindled Page, these night lights celebrate all that is beautiful, within the repurposed, upcycled ethos, which is the creative basis of this inspiring platform of work.

Merging imagery and text from vintage dictionary prints, in-conjuction with exploration of re-purposing, the traditional lightbox has been perfectly transformed into a visually vibrant night light object with a twist, allowing the imagination to take flight, upon the silent arrival of the midnight hour...

Magical starry nights surely await...


Creativity easily flows on rainy days


It was a wintry December morning, when l discovered this gem - A History of Graphic Design for Rainy Days. A smile beamed across my face, as l took a peek at the book online. How utterly gorgeous to find such a book that takes the reader on a illustrative journey of Graphic Design! Overflowing with bright graphics and fun activities, this entertaining book demonstrates the humour and creativity that can be found in the world  graphic design.

The graphic design agency behind this masterpiece is Studio 3. An in-school agency that is held at the Graphic Design Department of Westerdals School of Communication in Oslo. l believe Studio 3 exists on the steadfast foundation of raw talent - hand picked 3rd year graphic design students - truly inspirational to all graphic designers!

They say lightening only strikes once, and yet Studio 3 keeps on giving... in the form of another book - Hyperactivitypography from A to Z. A vintage styled journey celebrating the beauty of typography. Glorious in form and activity structure.



Let's Make Some Great Art

Copyright 2011 Marion Deuchars 

In creative collaboration with Laurence King Publishing, talented illustrator Marion Deuchars has designed a book which fills my sketchbook heart with pure joy!

Let's Make Some Great Art  ( Kritzeln Zeichen Kunst ) is a drawing playground for children and adults, which in my mind enables us to keep young at heart. This book allows the imagination to run wild - inviting the inner artist to simply have fun making art.

From playful fingerprints, to exploring the technique of artists like Jackson Pollock, l believe realising one's own artistic expression can open up a whole new world - this book offers such a journey in creative abundance.

l warmly invite you to sharpen your pencil and make your mark!


Hokey Stokes!


My love for the printed book has been enhanced with these intricate book carvings by Hokey Stokes! artist and scientist - Julia Strand. With sharp blades, tweezers at the ready, and a steady hand, Julia carefully disects and re-constructs to give a once-valued piece of literature a brand new meaning, inspiring the reader to look at the book with a fresh perspective.

As a book-lover, Julia takes great care selecting the books for her art. "I only use books that are no longer valued for their content, and never carve rare or new books". l feel this train of thought, beautifully reflects the ethos of giving "out-of-date", or discarded books a creative make-over!

l'm delighted to add, that these creative book carvings can be purchased via Julia's online shop at Etsy.com, or you can personally commission a book carving, utilising a book from your very own bookshelf, via the Hokey Stokes! blog.

Creative re-cycling which is ever so revitalising and awe inspiring!


The perfect journal


l've just returned from a breathtaking Safari trip to Kenya, and to document my journey, l took with me what can only be described as the perfect journal.

Shortly before my travels, l was thrilled to come across the work of East Minnesota artist Nicole Aufderhar - founder of Wayfaring Art, as her hand-stitched leather creations truly brought to life my vision of the perfect journal.

Largely influenced by the rustic beauty of northern Minnesota, and the shores of Lake Superior, Nicole's art reflects a raw essence of authencity, clearly demonstrating her passion for this craft.

Elegantly finished with a tree-embossed brass button, this chosen leather journal proved to be a charming, and inspirational companion, whilst exploring the enriched wildlife grass plains of Kenya.

I warmly invite you to keep a look-out for a follow-up to this posting, showing this classic Wayfaring Art journal in creative use...


Falling in love again...

l LOVE to travel, and so when l came across Love Travel Guides by Fiona Caulfield, my heart skipped a beat. Her ethos of embracing a city's true essence by emerging oneself into the culture is a true reflection of how l also like to travel.

The first book 'Love Bangolore' was published on Valentines Day in 2007. Since then Fiona has added to the series with, Love Mumbai, Love Delhi, Love Bengaluru and, Love Jaipur, Rajasthan.

lt gives me great pleasure to announce the up and coming publication for Love Goa, planned for September 2011. l'm honoured to be able to share some "sneek peek" illustrations with you on Looking Glass !

The authencity in which Fiona writes, magically entices me into another culture, and the hand-drawn illustrations, emphatically enrich the reading experience. l feel inspired and enraptured as l explore the hidden treasures of India.

With it's luxurious design, and cloth packaging, these charming Love Travel Guides are truly created for the luxury vagabond, who wishes to fall in love ...

*Note to Zürich readers - Love Travel Guides can be purchased at the Museum Rietberg.


Storytelling reflected in embroidery


l came across this enchanting "labour of love" project rather recently, and was immediately bowled over by the intricate detail captured on canvas. Jillian Tamaki has spent the first two months of this year, busily working away on these dustjackets. Described as her "dream project", the Penguin Threads Delux Classics project certainly pays homage to the beauty of embroidery, and in my mind takes book illustration to a raised level of creativity!

The exquisite attention to detail woven into the fabric creates a vivid impression. With it's black and orange contrasting threads, along with construction and texture of the mane, the dustjacket for 'Black Beauty' by Anna Sewell is strikingly strong in character.

Jane Austen's 'Emma', is charmingly depicted in soft colours, with brightly coloured woven braids of hair, and 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodges Burnett whimsically flows across the cover in tones of cerise pink and purples.

From a typography angle, one can clearly see that the embroidery of the book title, authors name, and pull-out quote from each book has also been taking into careful consideration. Each book cover perfectly reflects a style of typographic flair, allowing each woven thread to tell its own captivating story.

As a person who enjoys reading,  l'm rather looking forward to the launch of the sculptural- embossed versions of these richly woven books in October 2011!