Tiny Beetle and the Purple Day

Today was the last day in which all three of my children scheduled to be simultaneously out of the house for the next ten weeks, so I made myself a focussed list of work project tasks to complete. And then promptly ignored it in favour of a day of creative play! One thing lead to another and a rather aimless beginning developed into a project idea in such a textbook way that I thought I’d write about it here.

The first element of the project happened whilst I was making breakfast in the kitchen; I met a tiny green bug climbing purposefully up the side of the box of cereal. He had such a comical face that I did some quick sketches of him before he jumped off to who-knows-where.

Hasty sketches of a tiny green jumpy insect of unknown name.

Do you ever have times when you want to do something creative but aren’t sure where to start? Today I wanted to make a little book (I love both books and little things!), so I rummaged around on Skillshare.com and found a class on making books by folding and cutting a single sheet of paper, by Daniela Mellen.

This is a lovely, clearly explained and fun class and I quickly made three different little books from papers I had in my stash.

What to do with them now?

One was made from a mustard-coloured sugar paper so I thought it would be arty to make that book all about purples and yellows colour exploration. Lots pencil crayon and bits of fabric and paper later, I had filled the whole book with colour and textures. It’s very peaceful to just cut and stick, arrange and colour without trying to produce anything more than a pleasing layout on the page.

I think I was most pleased with my idea of stitching a long purple thread across the pages and right through the book from front to back, which then doubled as a means of holding the book shut.

But there was no story here. Just colour. How to make it into a setting? To add an element of narrative? I remembered the tiny green insect from breakfast time…

… and made a tiny beetle on a wire.

And there it was. The beginnings of a new story. ‘Tiny Beetle and the Purple Day’. I don’t know entirely what it’s about yet, but it involves a beetle and a lot of purple. Tiny Beetle can wander about and explore the differently-textured landscapes of collage and thread, inspiring all sorts of exciting scenarios in my head.

I even made a little pocket between the pages for Tiny Beetle to live in. Although I say so myself, it’s a really cute little book. I haven’t quite got videos sorted out here on my blog page yet, but if you’d like a quick look through the book I have a reel here showing it on Instagram.

Thankyou very much Daniela Mellen for the starting point to a fun and productive day of play. I should definitely mess around aimlessly more often!

Published by Hannah Sanguinetti

I am a author/illustrator of children's books and a dollmaker living and working in Trieste, Italy.

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