I signed up to work in a book for The Sketchbook Project for 2012. If you haven't heard of it you basically buy a book from the organizers, work in it and then send it back to the group organizers. Once your book is checked in they are all send on a 12 city tour for the public to view. I've known about this project for a few years and signed up for a book 2 years ago but it was near the end of the sign up right before the holidays and my sketching skills were not up a level I wanted to present to the world. Luckily I know about it in the beginning of the sign up phase so I can take my time and get it done. The best thing about a small book is that it is easy to carry around and I can't wait to start on it next week. The pages are made with 20lbs drawing paper which is comparable to copy paper and I'm debating gluing pages together or painting them with some sort of ground so I don't have to worry about bleed through. Daniel Smith makes a new watercolor ground that I wasn't sure how I could use but it's rather tempting for a project like this.
I like to re-use packaging so I decorated the envelope and covered it with tape and contact paper to use as a storage case for the book. Plus the tape keeps it a bit protected from the elements. If it's still in good shape when I finish the book I'll use it again to mail the book back. I love brown paper but it has a way of attracting dirt. You really have to wipe your hands before you touch it or you get greasy(sunblock, moisturizer or lotion) fingerprint stains that will never come out.
I picked up a set of atyouSpica pens (and yes that is the name of the pens) and I am in Love with them. I have been stalking them for six months at the art shop around the corner and I finally had a 40% off coupon to use them on because full price they run $30 (YIKES). The pens come in two color combinations and I chose set B. They are glitter pens and the ink has a transparent quality (4 of the colors are opaque) to it and work well over other media.You can see a little bit of the glitter in the shot below. Magical.
The Sketchbook Project Website