Little Owl handmade journal book by Soma @

Little Stories – After Hours


Little Owl handmade journal book by Soma @



Hi Everyone!  Little Stories are posts I write every now and then where I share odds and ends that I work on or things that happen around me.  This time I want to share a few finishes consisting of knitting, sewing and this impromptu little owl book I made.  I love to keep my hands busy by working on projects like these, mostly after dinner.



Knitted mitts and hats by Soma @



Previously I wrote about an exchange that Mary and I did.  She made me an amazing artist apron ( you can see it here ) and I knitted her a couple of sets of hats and mitts.  Since Mary and I both love autumn colours, I had fun shopping as if I was buying the yarns for myself.

I used the patterns Westward Hat and Westward Mitts by Rebecca Woelber for this set.  The cable part of this design required my full attention.  I mostly worked on this one while my husband was playing a video game and I was “helping”.



Knitted mitts and hats by Soma @



For this set, I paired Prim hat by Andrea Mowry with Staghorn Mitts by Pamala Jane Patterns.  Both were quick knits and easy cables too.  They are not beginner patterns, but very well written.  If you are a generally a confident knitter, and want to try cable knitting, both of these are very good patterns.  Once you get used to the cable patterns, they don’t require so much attention either.

It was so wonderful to make them for a friend, and I am happy to hear that she got to use them a lot during the colder months.



Autumn Leaves Line art clip art @ by Soma Acharya



During the time I was knitting for Mary, I decided to donate my serger.   The lady who was fostering our kitten was delighted to hear that I would donate the serger to the Rescue.  She lives an hour away, and halfway along the way is a JoAnn fabric store.  I wanted to remake this blanket for our kitty Charlie ( You can read about it and download the leaves file for free here ), so my husband and I made a quick pit stop to pick up some fleece.



Double layer fleece kitty blankets by Soma @



I had to pick up some extra fleece for a few more kitty blankets, of course.  I cut the pieces in half to make them double-layered.  I like both the slow process of binding by hand, and also the look of hand binding.  Instead of matching bindings, I decided to use contrasting colours and designs.  They had to have an autumn and winter theme to them as those are my favourite seasons.  I specially love the wispy and wintry tree branches of the binding on the top blanket.


Please click on the image thumbnails to see the photos –



Now they are all ready for my little kitties when the weather turns cold around here.  These would make cosy and quick baby blankets too.




One of the original Fairy Lantern flower prints is going to a new home soon, as are a few of the everyday journals, which is always exciting!  They are available in the shop.



Little Owl handmade journal book by Soma @



Most of my work is thought through and planned ahead.   This little owl book, however, was a complete exception to that and was certainly not on the list.   At the end of one day, I was so mentally exhausted that I needed a feel-good project.  I had a little 2″ x 3″ book made from before that needed a cover.  I pulled out washi tape,  some scrap pieces of book binding boards, paper, micron pen, glue and scissors, and set to work.



Little Owl handmade journal book by Soma @



I didn’t even feel like drawing anything new.  I have always had a soft spot for owls.  I traced the owl from one of my old marker paintings, copied it on the cover and inked it with micron pen.  I love designs by Morris Brown, and I got this washi tape from Jet Pens recently.  After affixing the front and back covers to the book,  I attached the spine board with a strip of the wide washi tape.  I added some scrap washi tape triangles to the corners and the book was done.  It took me a total of around 30 minutes and it certainly uplifted my spirit quite a lot.  Paper, pen, glue and tape – ingredients for utter happiness.


These after hours projects have a calming effect on me.  While I work on them, I mentally prepare for the next day too.  Do any of you do anything special to wind down?  I would love to know.



I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay them a visit.  Also linking up with Favorite Finish Linky Party @ Meadow Mist Designs.


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Polar bear watercolour painting @ by Soma


Polar Bear Svalbard watercolour painting @ by Soma


Hi Everyone!   Not being able to go outside much during March through October, my atelier becomes my playground.  Recent days have shown me that I feel most comfortable in uncharted waters, creating new things.  I have been experimenting and working my way forward. The Girl and Her Cat are also making their way through The North to the harbour for their journey onward.



Hand binding my sketchbooks



Hand bound sketchbook @ by Soma



One of the recent finishes was me rebinding six of my sketchbooks.   I don’t care for ring-bound or vinyl-covered books.   Since I am a book binder, I got to work.




Hand bound sketchbook @ by Soma



You know my weakness toward this moss-green colour.   That sketchbook is still mostly new, but the blue-grey one is completely full.




Hand bound sketchbook @ by Soma



It has my sketches, notes, and  paint recipes, just to name a few.  Some of the drawings, like this one of my beloved kitty, are very personal to me.




Hand bound sketchbook @ by Soma



I absolutely LOVE these two colours.   A lot of my paintings have a mix of them, often as backgrounds.   The green sketchbook is new, the blue is a playground.




Hand bound sketchbook @ by Soma



I try out new colours and techniques in the blue one.  Seeing this painting reminds me of that wonderful December evening when I was painting it surrounded by my loved ones.  




Hand bound sketchbook @ by Soma



The original book came with a vinyl cover, which is not my favourite.  It was also really hard to keep flat, making it difficult to draw or paint in it.  The book was from a well-known company,  but I was disappointed with the binding.

I started systematically disassembling the book with a pair of scissors and a knife.   I find cloth-bound books to be very special.  I bound this one with black cloth.




Hand bound sketchbook @ by Soma



I took all the original stitches out and restitched the book. It stays completely flat now, while I draw or paint in it.  My dear husband also loved the newly bound book.  As the original book was a gift from him, it was good to see that smile on his face.  I did talk to him before ripping the book apart!




Hand bound sketchbook @ by Soma



At 9in x 12in, this is the largest book I have bound until today.   Fabric used for book covers is specially lined.  I made this book cloth at home using one of my favourite  fabrics.  I am actually looking forward to making more custom ones.

Pocket-sized cloth-bound books made by me are available in my shop




Hand bound sketchbook @ by Soma



I use this sketchook for architecture drawings.   I thought a book cover with clocks would be perfect, as stories often live on though architecture, making them timeless.  This is a drawing that I couldn’t bring myself to touch for a while, but I think it’s time to continue the journey of this painting again.



My sketchbooks have been there for me through the happiest and saddest of my days.  So, it’s no wonder that I want to wrap my ink-and-paper friends in lovely covers.  My sketchbooks always seem to take me where I need to go instead of where I want to go.  That is how The Girl and Her Cat came into my life.



Distant Pages


The two of them are now collecting a few more stories from the distant and enigmatic lands of The North before they head off on a new adventure.  This particular blue book is one of my big favourites.  I mixed mythology and my own travels to create brand-new stories.


Please click on the image thumbnails to see the pictures and read about their wanderings –




Angel of The Night



Hel the angel of the night watercolour painting @ by Soma



I was inspired to paint her from the story of mythological Hel.  However, I always love a little twist.  The Girl and Her Cat met this much-misunderstood gentle angel.  They also learned that she is the one who sets the souls as stars in the sky.  That way no one is ever truly forgotten.


The Benevolent One





This mighty dragon likes to help lost seamen.  I think most dragons are quite benevolent.   Not at all how the books describe them.  How about you? 



The Solitary Sentinel



Polar Bear Svalbard watercolour painting @ by Soma



Of all the paintings in this book, this one best embodies my short time in Svalbard.  I love how they are amicably curious and not threatened by each others’ presence.

I love to travel to new places and experience the diversity of our planet.

In the words of Lord Byron –

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar;
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.



A Page with all the paintings from the Distant Pages book



Until next time,



I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.




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