To see instructions on how to create paste paper pages, go to the Workshops page at
Skomer is an island off the coast of Wales which serves as a wildlife refuge with millions of pairs of breeding birds. An overnight stay is often cold, wet, and indescribably satisfying.
To read more posts about my visits to Skomer, go to:
A mess of illustrated journal pages mainly from the last third of 2015. I got behind! That is the dilemma with sketchbook journals: if you are doing it right you don’t have time for eating what you’re drawing, let alone posting it.
These are illustrated journal pages from the last quarter of 2015. From Zurich and Madrid. I sit in churches a lot. Also, cafes.
One of the most beautiful and accessible techniques for decorating pages is with paste paper. For centuries it has been used for endpapers, bookbinding, wallpaper, and other crafts. In the 17th century it was widely used by unmarried Moravian women as a way of supporting themselves at home; their work made its way all over Europe.
Recipes vary, but this is one I have used for years. The alum is a mordant, which helps the color “grab” the paper. (For my U.K. friends, alum can be bought online.)
Basically you are creating a homemade paste. Mix flour, corn starch, and alum thoroughly. Add one cup cold water and whisk. Add four cups boiling water and keep stirring with whisk. Place over high heat on stovetop and keep stirring. As mixture thickens, turn the temperature down and let it simmer. It is important to keep [read more]