Monday, September 4, 2017

The Asian theme- on the craft desk

Aug. 19, 2017

At the craft desk again, I've been doing on/off work through the weeks relating to Asian themed journals and accessories. I've done Asian books before, but I still had a whole bag of stuff relating to it, and have needed to get it out of the way.

After a bit of spontaneous brain storming and less thought just hand work, I clumped together a book themed around all my favorite instant noodles that I like from the Asian store.
It doesn't take much to fill a book that can only be 1'' thick, so I still had plenty of leftover things like an entire bag of noodle packaging I've been saving for collage, art bags, and whatever else that may come to mind for journal accessories to use personally or to sell.

Some extra things were worked out on the cover, but I found a cereal box as a base, and a rice bag for decoration worked well for a noodle book. I also discovered that rice bags are not only heavy duty, but rather sticky resistant. The double stick tape I used to hold it down didn't quite take on the edges, and I had to manually poke holes in them before sewing some looped stitching in black around them.
The sewing actually gave the edges an interesting touch, and did the job of holding them down.

Aside from the noodle book, I also added some other items from the Asian bag into already existing Asian books of mine. That helped pare down some of the build up in the bag and make for some interesting writing subjects in the books.
Sometimes I see funny things when sitting among my piles of junk, like an eye of a woman's face peeking at me from behind the layers of fliers (left). It's one of those moments of 'suddenly I feel watched'.

Despite the fact I reach into the piles and feel like I progress, standing back and seeing what I still have makes me feel like I haven't progressed enough. One bag gets organized and emptied during a project, but the leftovers end up in another bag, like all those Asian noodle packets in a corner (right).

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Whole Foods Mini Bag Books

Had some fun with making a mini book for your purse to write down grocery lists, keep coupons and receipts in the front and back pockets of the cover, keep labels of foods you like the most and where you found them, or the book can be used like any journal for whatever.

I made this book from a mini Whole Foods paper bag (the kind they put glass bottles in). When folded it became the cover of my book, and then I cut down a larger bag from Whole Foods for the pages.
I sewed in my single signature with green twine, and then made a cardboard button closure by stamping on some white scrap packaging, fussy cutting it, and then poking a hole. I sewed it on and made a shank with my thread, leaving excess twine to wrap around the book and button.
Extra mini booklets and items came out of the project, three mini books (left), and a type of prototype paper wallet (right).
One of the mini booklets has a harder cover because it was paper from the bottom of the bag. Scraps from cutting down the large bag were left, so I put together the ones that were the same width and then sewed them together with the same green twine.

These minis could be used for the same purpose of keeping notes and grocery lists while on the go.

Monday, July 10, 2017

222 Plate Box notebook

Awhile back I had saved these pretty boxes which once held peacock and paisley decorated plates. They were pretty, and I thought of multiple ideas on how to use them.

Several days ago I put these boxes to use, and made two of them into a book cover. Mom had a notebook that was falling apart and I kept the pages together with a clip till I was ready to work on it. The original cover was tearing away from the end papers, and it was once sewn with a coptic stitch style. I decided to replicate this, but with a new cover and a few added papers to pull things together.

I followed the instructions by Sea Lemon on Youtube to get the coptic stitch right, and in the end was pleased with the binding.

It looks interesting from the side, allows the book to lay completely flat when open, and doesn't require me to make a spine.

The stitching that holds the cover to the pages is exposed from the front and back. It kind of looks like a Japanese binding in some ways, but more flexible.
For the inner covers I used white card stock and stamped it with some of my favorite paisley styled stamps, to match the design of the box. I coated these stamped papers with Liquitex satin varnish.
I had to add some papers to loose front and back pages so I could fold them in half and add them to a signature. This only needed to be done in two spots of the book, on the front signature and the back signature.
I used some tan calligraphy paper for this, to go with the cream shade of the note pages which had slightly tan grunge patterns printed on them.

The front signature's added page came out a bit shorter than it was suppose to, but I left it. Thankfully the back signature came out properly.
Most of the signatures had been sewn together, so I yanked out the old thread that had broken in places, then used new cording to bind it through the already existing holes.

One odd thing about my experiment with the coptic stitch is that it left a slight gap between some signatures, which doesn't bug me, it's just a note to remember stitching might not tighten as much as it could.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Eat Fish Book

 (Mar. 21, 2017)
"Eat Fish", a book which was completed some time before the 21'st (the day I took the pictures). This book was made as a gift for someone who wanted to know how to shop for different kinds of fish.

I used a saved sardines box from a brand I came to really like the flavor of. They're a product of Spain, found at an Asian food store.

It turned out pretty well, as it ought to have considering I spent over a month practically slaving on it as I went through the process of assembling the pages, then chronicling them into signature sections which matched up with the index numbers. 
even more of a pain was thinking forward, back, and flip side for proper printing of double sided pages.
After all that work, I saved the print pages for future use, hopefully for when I'm ready to make a fish book of my own.

The spine of the cover is silly in the sense you can read the ingredients of the once existing sardines.
I covered the insides of the book with origami paper that matched the red of the cover, while reminding of fish scaled and ocean waves.
It had to be glued to white card stock, then sealed with liquitex varnish for stability.
I had four signatures in total, which scrunched up into a relatively small width. At first I thought I wouldn't have enough room along the spine to fit them comfortably.

One of my favorite pages in the book is where you find the mahi mahi fish. Its colors are all my favorites.
I did have to look up the names of the fishes on Google images as I worked, which took some time, but made the book that much better. This tiny booklet is a condensed collection of all the fish descriptions listed on the Chef's Resources website, including screen shots of the flavor scales.

Only thing I had someone else do since they wanted it, was to list oily or white fish next to the names of the fishes in the index.

I found it convenient to take pictures of the book on my recent water color background project which I just started the night before.
Enjoy a small video flip through.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Lime Grocery Tags and Accessories

During my crafting on the Lime Grocery journal, I challenged myself to find ways of using every part of a piece of packaging, and created many tags, along with a few accessories.

I used packaging from Trader Joe's lime sicles, Ball Lids, Culinary Circle pizza, and Whole Foods paper bags. It seemed like a good idea to make collection sheets of these accessories in case I ever wanted to print extra for one of my books.

I offer these print out sheets as fun things for personal use only (right click and 'save as' to use). I don't own the designs of the packaging used to create these tags, cards, tabs, and other accessories, I simply put work into making the accessories themselves.
Lime skinny note cards and tag decor paper strips (left). Ball and Lime cards (right)
Lime book tabs (left). Lime tags (right). Those are my favorite accessories.
Culinary pizza tags and Whole Foods large paper bag tags.

Paper bag tags with a bit of collage.

Alongside the tags, I also made flags out of bags and stamped them with various designs and colors. I then created print pages of these. To use them they simply have to be cut out, folded down the middle, and glued together over a piece of twine (example shown above).

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lime Grocery Book

Here's a fun journal made from all things recycled. The Lime Grocery Journal, named after its color and the fact its pages are made from paper grocery bags, was a fun experiment that led me to discover many different ways of using up scraps from the junk pile.

All materials used are from the recycling bin. The cover is scrap cardboard from some product packaging (a linkyo diffuser), paper bags from Whole Foods and Trader Joes, Popsicle boxes, Ball lid boxes, a bit of elastic thread, and some final touches using stamp inks and Liquitex varnish.

Enjoy a full video tour.

I added a little stamp to the back using stays on ink, and went over the letters with white jell pen. I thought it added a bit of cute interest to the book's back side (stamp is a very old sample stamp from a Stampin Up party).

I chose to do an exposed stitch on the spine, matching my thread choices with the color scheme. This is essentially hand made bakers twine, made by half successfully twisting green and white cording together. It could have been better, tighter, but I didn't have a little hand crank machine for making mini rope at the time.

The closure is made from white elastic thread which has been fed through two homemade cardboard buttons, and then knotted on the outside. The outer cardboard button kind of just hangs freely, and only has a single hole which both strands of elastic were fed through.

On the inside I used a lime green button with two holes. This one was made from part of a Lime fruit Floe's (Popsicle) box.

Like on the outside, I used sides of a Whole Food's bag to decorate the inner cover of the book. This has been sealed with Liquitex satin varnish. I really enjoy the look of the lettering in the egg shape.

From here on down you can peek at all the fun pages made entirely from paper bags with added items like tags made from small sections of packaging and paper bags. I found ways to make side tucks, corner tucks, and top loading pocket pages all throughout the book, using art aspects of the bags for interest.

The book contains three signatures in total and measures around 5.5x 5.5 in.

Find out about the process of making this book and its accessories on the post- Waste Nothing challenge- Lime Grocery Journal Process

I found fun ways to make tags from packaging like the Lime sicles box (shown right). There are three large tags in the book, two of them pull tab types and one of them a booklet like thing. Other tags were made from frozen pizza box cardboard and the tabs of a Lime sicle box.

I made lime tags, trading cards, and even Ball lid slip cards for adding notes to. I'm not quite sure what you can do with little tags and such, but it might be fun to use the book as a simple 'grocery list through the year' kind of book, with added notes on food.

Among all the fun brown paper bag tags made from scraps, I also made some print outs from a few scrap collage pieces I did, just for fun. There was also a small experiment of making little brown paper envelope bags for holding goodies that go into the book.

My adventures through crafting led to me finding ways to make little garland flags from scraps, book tabs, shakers, even the small strips leftover seemed like they could be used for decorating or adding to extra tags and writing spots. 

Also in the print outs collection I made some ATC cards from some Lime sicle box scraps and stamping, and tiny faux postal stamps created as mini collages. These just had to be scanned and printed.