My sketchbooks are usually full of writing with some drawings (more like doodles) or very loose sketches. They are not impressive books full of fabulous drawings and paintings to be proudly shown off.  I often end up using ring binders with plastic wallets in to keep lots of random stuff in as I tend to vary the size and materials I work with all the time.

I recently took part in a fantastic one day sketchbook workshop held by Dionne Swift, at ‘Stiched up and Fleeced’ studios in Hangingwater, Sheffield. I hoped it would get me back into being creative and making again, after a long winter and a very busy time project managing an extension of my kitchen, loads of re-plastering and a bathroom overhaul.

It was a really fun, busy day! I met lots of lovely people and one of the most interesting things I came away with was the idea of preparing sketchbook pages for your sketchbook by removing them first. You need to have a spiral bound sketchbook to do this and you snip between the spirals of each sheet before pulling the page from the book.

Once the pages are removed, you can apply any media or materials you want to each page which will then become the surface you work onto. You can also cut out other papers or fabrics to the same size as the original pages (or not if you prefer!) and punch holes into these. Snipping each hole, in order to be able to reattach pages into the sketchbook later.

The great thing about this is your sketchbook becomes much more flexible. You can look at all the pages at once if you like, you can rearrange the order, you can take away pages you don’t like or have some stuck on the wall for a while as inspiration, before putting them back in the sketchbook again.

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