ideas & suggestions

DIY Diary

I remember as a little girl keeping a diary of what I remember of totally random things, which if I looked back on now, would be quite cringe worthy!

There’s all sorts of diaries available on the market, however a diary is a personal thing and Bookleteer can most defiantly relate to this. Bookleteer allows customisation, meaning a diary can personalised. There’s the freedom to have as many pages and whichever days wanted and put whatever they like into the diary. Additionally making the diary by hand will make it feel more ‘their own’ and special.

Take a look at the example I created below of a front page and the inside.

Encourage your younger relatives to get on Bookleteer to unleash their creativity! A great activity to do over Easter and Summer!


Diffusion Archive Highlight: Graffito Scrapbook

In August last year, I lent a hand to the Graffito crew whilst they were running an installation at the Vintage at Goodwood festival. Whilst festival-goers doodled on the iPhone app, their drawings were displayed on a huge L.E.D screen, along with everyone else using it. Giles prepared a blank eBook with the Graffito emblem, and lent us a portable pogo printer, so that we could instantly print screenshots onto stickers and place them in the scrapbook. It was later scanned and published on Diffusion, so anyone who played with Graffito at Vintage can therefore own a tangible souvenir of the event. Something so digital and temporary is saved from dissipating, and recorded somewhere other than the imagination.

Download and make it here.


Outside The Box – Prototype

Here at Proboscis, we’ve just recently finished a prototype of “Outside The Box”, created by Many Tang.  The project was conceived back in September, spurred by the Love Outdoor Play campaign, and we’ve been constructing and tinkering with it since. Last week blazed past in a frenzy of activity, with everyone pitching in to get a working set finished. On Saturday, Alice took a set to “Re-Thinking Space”, a day-long discussion in Nottingham organised by Learning Space, to play around with.

A set of  27 Storycubes to inspire children’s play, indoors or out, alone or with others, this cube of cubes has 3 layers of games which can be used in endless variations. We’re currently thinking about different ways to play, and producing an eBook of game suggestions, so we’ll soon be having fun testing them on ourselves and with kids. See more photos here.


Diffusion Archive Highlight: New Worker’s Songbook

Continuing the theme of songs and music, I’m looking at the “New Worker’s Songbook – Song Writing Work Book for New Songs” (phew). In collaboration with the Worker’s Arts and Heritage centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Dodolab and Tiny Bill Cody (Tor Lukasik-Foss) created this eBook to inspire songs that reflect the current realities for workers in Hamilton. It asks the reader about their working experiences, both positive and negative, as well as their identity and responsibilities, to form verse and chorus for their own personal chant. The songbook also provides techniques to memorise lyrics, and how to sing with emotion and purpose, complete with iconic stick figure illustrations.


City As Material: Skyline

Last Friday we held our third Pitch In & Publish: City As Material event; the topic -“Skyline”. Taking part was our special guest, Simon Pope, as well as Giles Lane, Martin Fidler, Katharine Willis, plus our new addition to the Proboscis team, Radhika Patel, and myself. Meeting at Leadenhall Market, we listened as Simon explained his interest in the topic, whilst introducing the photo essay he created for the Skyline notebook, before starting our journey through the heart of the city.

Gazing upwards, we strolled towards the Gherkin and then Tower 42, before breaking off from our path to explore some secluded passages and elevated walkways, spotting little wonders you would never notice during everyday travels. Walking right past office worker’s windows, we got some unusual glances as we peered inside and discussed the relationship between the buildings in the City and its dwellers, taking heed of the abundance of CCTV camera’s recording our steps. These, plus the unusual nature of some of the areas we visited, almost make you feel as if you are trespassing, even though we were on public land; a hidden garden we wandered upon seemed to be a haven of exclusivity, with little seating alcoves that resembled guard posts.

Back in the main streets, we made our way to the Monument, our aim to ascend it’s 311 steps and be rewarded with an elevated view of the city. Traveling up the narrow, winding staircase was a hefty task, but once at the top the panorama was breathtaking. The sense of detachment from the lived in, street level, as the strong wind whipped across the tiny viewing platform, was poignant and surreal. 160 feet high, looking down at rooftops and across to spires, we saw London as a bird might, the human element below seeming very far away.

Thoroughly deserving of lunch, we had a rest, ate and further explored Simon’s photo essay, starting to pick up on themes and possible idea’s for the eBook we would produce back at the studio. Once there, we discussed the day and compared photos, as well as a GPS account of the route we took, from Katharine’s phone, and some amazing drawings by Martin, from a previous trip to the Monument. The concept of looking up, and down, rather than purely across at a skyline, really interested us, and inspired the format of the eBook we are currently creating as a result of the event. Look out for it soon on Diffusion, and keep track of the discussion online with the #cityasmaterial hash tag on Twitter. You can also view all our photos from the event on the City As Material Flickr page.

The next Pitch In & Publish: City As Material event, “Underside”, will be on the 26th of November, and will include Alexanda Deschamps-Sonsino as our special guest. Book a place here.

examples inspiration making

Tangled Threads eBook

Proboscis have been invited to make a film that will be presented as part of a Leonardo/MIT mobile digital exhibition curated by Jeremy Hight. The film will provide an abstracted overview of Proboscis’ themes and projects over the past few years and will be made and illustrated by Alice. However, the process of making the film was begun by Mandy who drew up the storyboard which has now been converted into the Tangled Threads eBook.

Mandy’s starting point was a piece of text I wrote which aimed to invoke the imagery and metaphors often used by Proboscis to describe their projects. The text also provided points for jumping into more detailed overview of Proboscis’ work from the past few years. Mandy took this text and transformed it into an intricate and beautiful mix of words and illustrations.

Storyboard panel sketches for Tangled Threads

Mandy moved quickly to produce her initial sketches, discarding ideas and developing a single artistic strand. After creating the storyboard panels you can see above she worked on individual frames drawing them up in detail before digitally painted the images to produce a full-colour illustrated eBook.

At the back of the eBook are a number of illustrations for you to cut out and stick them into the allocated spaces throughout the pages. Instructions for doing this are provided on pages 1 and 2. Making Tangled Threads the very first pop-up eBook!

And this is the result..

Download the eBook and make it up for yourself on and read more about Mandy’s storyboarding process on the Proboscis blog here..