The Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook

Yes, it IS kind of an odd title, but the idea is such fun!

May 2016

In Melbourne, in the south of Australia, lives Anne Lawson, a talented and generous artist. A while ago, Anne had the idea of making little informal sketchbooks from ends and scraps of the papers she works on, with some pages still featuring fragments of her drawings and paintings. I asked for one, and was honoured to have my wish granted. I started drawing, writing and sticking things into it. I was not alone. Others were being busily creative too.

A few months ago, Anne and I were fortunate to meet, together with Dale, another blogging friend. To say we got on like a house on fire would be an understatement. I had forgotten to bring with me the sketchbook she’d made me, which I had decided to give back to her with my contributions, to show that even her scraps could spark creativity!  So I sent it to her when I got home.

Sketchbook cover AL:WM Sketchbook binding AW:WMWe started to have conversations about the sketchbooks, and how interesting it would be to see what everyone did with theirs. And so the Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook was born. Anne put out a suggestion on her blog about what form this might take and how its travels might work, and the spark has truly caught. We are a varied and global group who will be passing the Travelling Sketchbook between ourselves, around the world.

Anne has created a small hand-bound volume of slightly different sizes, colours and weights of paper, with an emblematic ‘flying garlic’ bulb on the front cover. Into this, we shall each add our creative contribution, whether it be drawn, sewn, written, collaged or photographed. The Sketchbook will travel from Sister to Sister, growing in wisdom and beauty as it travels. Finally, after many exciting adventures around the world, it will come home to Anne, who saw it born and will now see it in all its glory. One of our members, Chas Spain, has created an interactive map to show its travels, destinations, distances, and an image of each contributor’s page. Go take a look!

Sandra (Lady Red Specs) has created a blog especially for this project, and you really should go over there and take a look; it gives a whole different perspective on the Sketchbook and the contributions.

For other images, you can also go to Alys’ Google photos gallery at

Below, I am cataloguing the contribution of each member in the order in which they are added.

My page (I was first on the list…), created in Bakers Creek, north Queensland, Australia.

Kate Sketchbook page

Sandra’s page created in Teneriffe, Queensland, Australia


Chas Spain’s page created in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Sandi’s page, created in Victoria, Australia


Alys’ page, created in the USA


Sue’s page, created in the USA


Ushasree’s page, created in the USA


Marina’s page, created in Greece


Constanze‘s page, created in Germany

 Lynn‘s page, created in France

Jan’s page, created in Wales, United Kingdom

Margaret’s page, created in Yorkshire, UK

Trish’s page, created in ACT, Australia

And then finally, back to Ann, who began it all, and created the Sketchbook itself.

We have one more addition to make. During the Sketchbook’s travels, we lost our dear Viv, a treasured member of the Sisterhood. Her contribution would have been a poem, and her daughter has kindly given us permission to use some of her previous work in tribute. The poem will be written out by hand and the paper inserted into the Sketchbook. Watch this space!

And here it is:

There is also a dedication to Viv at the beginning of the Sketchbook. We are grateful for the permission to include her poem, without which the Sketchbook would not be complete.