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Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

I was asked recently to create a book for a bach, a beach house in New Zealand pronounced as 'batch'. In the South Island they're known as cribs.


It was ages since I'd created a commissioned book for a client. I won't pretend it was easy to sink back into the mindset of a commissioned book. When I first began Book Art Studios a huge portion of my time was taken up with commissioned work. In more recent years it's been teaching.


Once I gave myself the time to create freely, it was a treat to fall back into it. The bach is in the Kaipara Harbour which is a large enclosed harbour estuary complex on the north western side of the North Island of New Zealand (yes, I did copy and paste that!). I had to look it up as I wasn't sure either.

The first thing I did was to print off an old map (copyright free)

to use on the cover and as wrapping paper to present the book.

The brief was off white paper. AHHH.

Yes, you read that correctly, NOT dyed paper.

This was my first challenge.

By cutting the paper with a metal ruler I created a 'wave like' effect.

I added the smallest amount of detail to the book

that's going to be used as a guest book for visitors and family to write in.

The circles made me think of portholes in a boat.

The dyed paper scraps were also a lovely way to bring in

a sense of the ocean into the book.

Once I got over the shock of dealing with papers that weren't dyed, I actually really enjoyed working with the off white paper. Don't worry, I'm back dyeing paper now!!

Here's the finished book at the bach! It's got an old map of the area on the cover (gesso transferred on). Scraps of a shipping chart also from the same area were added to the cover which is calico (and dyed using my dyed and gone to heaven technique).

The straight stitch binding was kept simple

as it often is for my books and the little hole in the spine a porthole type feature.

I wanted the cover to represent the colours in the ocean.

I was really honoured to make a keepsake for this family

to record their gatherings in this beautiful part of New Zealand.


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Liz Constable
Liz Constable
2022년 4월 20일

Thanks so much! It was lovely to revisit my days of commissions with this lovely book. Liz :-)


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Lisa Bearsley
Lisa Bearsley
2022년 4월 19일

I thought you might like a picture of the beautiful book Liz. I just love your back cover astrological mandala. If Mum could have seen it she would love it too. Your attention to detail is superb.

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Lisa Bearsley
Lisa Bearsley
2022년 4월 19일

This is gorgeous Liz! I am still totally in love with the beautiful book I commissioned almost 10 years ago. It's definitely an investment and we'll worth the money. Mine has so much sentimental value now that I've filled it with memories.

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Such a beautiful book! Simple and elegant. I love the touches of dyed paper throughout, and the cover is a masterpiece. Lucky people who had the sense to commission it from you!

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