Monday, December 18, 2017

Mini Christmas Books and Boxes

On Dec. 12 I had found these holiday craft tapes at the Lidl's store. It was my first visit to the store, and I discovered many interesting things in the 'stuff ' section. The main thing that interested me were of course the scrap book items.

I had been wanting some holiday tapes for my Christmas books that I've been working in, so a pack of 8 tapes for two dollars was a great find.

My first craft project using the tapes started on Dec. 13, 2017.

I had a bit of fun tonight with a small project. The craft tape  had these little cardboard ends in them to hold the tape in place. I took those ends and turned them into mini boxes, then decorated them with some of the tapes.

They could serve well for any miniature dessert or gift in the doll world. I love the classy look of the gold trees, and the red Polish country look of those funny reindeer with fur trees.

The gold box came out better than the red because I did the red one first.

On Dec. 18, 2017, I had some fun with making these mini Christmas books. They only measure 4.5x4.5 cm. and are made from the box tabs of some festive Crelando craft tapes.

I used some folding and gluing techniques to makes the pages for these mini books, each only needing one sheet of basic printer paper and a bit of card stock for each book.

It was super simple making these, the spine was formed by gluing two parts of the box tabs together.

On the insides I wanted a bit of interest, so I used the tapes that came from the box to decorate.
There's the starry gold album, and the red reindeer album.

I added closures of ribbon and gold elastic. When open the little books kind of like to splay out.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Blue Bubble Book

Started Dec. 3, 2017- completed Dec. 5, 2017. Measures: 12.5 x 11 cm.

The Blue Bubble Book was one of those randomly started mini books made from square tissue boxes.

I had started it with two window pages that were going to be added as free floating pockets in a different island themed journal (the first island themed book I had started in a teal colored binder to be precise). 
I had several other tissue box tops and sides which I had saved and not used. This seemed like a good opportunity to turn them into something, and the whole bubble theme sort of just came together on its own.

I made a few additional pages from white card stock for the book, decorated with scrap book paper strips and security envelopes, added mats and tags here and there including in the front pockets of the cover itself, and did a bit of detail work with a Tim Holtz stamp and stencil.

I inked up my fins, pages, and tags with light blue and also black ink, used Tim Holtz broken china ink for my stamping on the inside, colored on a stencil with a Le-Plume marker, and even had to use a bit of potato starch on the project.

I made a bit of mistake when making the covers. The tape I had added to the fins of the spine overlapped on the edge of the fin, which was still exposed inside the pocket. That little sticky strip still exposed cause my mats to tack slightly. In order to fix this I sprinkled potato starch in the pockets and dusted it around before shaking out the excess. This prevented the sticky from sticking for the most part.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Reed's Ginger Ale Junk Journal

Started: Nov. 27, 2017. Completed: Nov. 29, 2017. Measures: 12.5 x 13 cm.
Reed's ginger ale and ginger candy products have always been eye catching with their bright colors and geometric designs.

This is one of the reasons I've kept multiple boxes of this brand in my stash for using as tuck spots, journal cards, and in this case a book cover.

This is the all recycled edition. I plan on making a second version with one of the boxes using pretty scrapbook papers on the pages.

For this version I used the fin binding, and made my base pages from black card stock. Additional flips, tucks, and pockets were made from recycled items like sardine and oyster boxes, along with security envelopes. Any additional tags and miniature collages were made using scraps leftover, with a bit of stamping here and there.

The front covers have an internal flip out for more writing space, and a closure of double tied teal ribbon.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Seaside Apothecary Book

Started Oct. 30, 2017. Completed: Nov 7, 2017. Measures:13.5 x 14 cm.

I enjoyed making this journal just because the colors of it are relaxing to look at. Continuing practice with a fin binding technique, I found a way to use up certain specific elements that were still lying around in my island junk journal supply bag.

This book has to be my favorite as far as the cover is concerned. The internal pages on the other hand weren't planned, they were technically just leftovers from larger island themed journals I had been making. those leftovers somehow complimented each other rather well.

You can see the stages of my work on the cover above. Its spine is around 4.5 cm. wide. To make it I chose some thin board for my base, left a gap between the spine and covers on either side, then held it together using a pretty teal blue colored paper with little white flowers on it, along with a woven basket looking paper.

I chose the teal paper because it reminded me of the ocean with small traces of sea foam. The choice of using a paper that looked woven reminded me of a basket made from ocean grass that you carry seashells in. Both these papers were from a stack found at a yard sale, so I don't know what brand they are.

The decorative square base I adhered my shell pictures to was from a small dollar paper pack by Studio 112. Another element from that pack also made it into the book as a journal spot. The shell images and ocean wave boarders were dye cuts and vellum boarders from the K and Company-Tim Coffey travel collection.

I used my new Tim Holtz distress tool to add some interest to the spine cover and decorative square, then inked the edges with Tim Holtz vintage photo ink. I wanted to give it that rough seashell basket appearance.
I glued down most of my elements including the vellum boarders using fabri-tac, which works surprisingly well on transparent mediums with slick surfaces.

Other parts in making the cover were experimental. When creating my fins for adding pages to, I hid the white cardstock using strips of the same paper I decorated the inside with. This made it blend in, and I inked the creases a bit to further hide the white color.
Everything was sealed and protected using Liquitex varnish, all except the vellum pieces.Vellum resists thin varnish. 

After the cover was finished, I simply added my assembled pages to the fins, and got a cute mini book made mostly from recycled materials.

I used white, glossy cardboard, ink, a Smash book rub on of an anchor, scrapbook paper, parts of a bubble patterned tissue box which has been in my stash for ages, a sand and sea tissue box top with window, paint sample sheets, washi tape, a hand sewn plastic bag with stamping done in Staz-on ink, and finally half a ginger ale box with a whale on it.

About the book's name: Two of the paint sample cards I added in the front of the book as inserts have little labels on them that inspired the name. One says dried mint, another is labeled Apothecary Jar. Among these are blue cards with names like Fountain Foam and Niagara Blue. This inspired me to name the book Seaside (or Sea Foam) Apothecary.

There was another reason I liked this name, and the name itself inspired me to add a couple of experimental mason jar shaker cards (shown left). Seaside Apothecary as a theme is based off of a setting from one of my stories (the MN- I role play). In the beach region with a sea town, there's an Apothecary owned by a character named Dorian. He's friends with the local medic and renowned chowder house owner, Irna, who visits his apothecary for herbs and spices relating to both her healing job and her restaurant.
The mason jar shakers were something I added specifically to represent these two characters. One jar has herbs in it, the other has chowder.

I viewed the jars as exchanged gifts between the two characters. Unfortunately my chowder (which isn't actually a shaker) ended up looking kind of like barf in a jar. I'm sure it tastes great....just looks odd. This was a result of making a collage with green pasta and shrimp, then painting on it with a cream colored acrylic, an attempt to make it look like chowder. 

The herb collage in a jar is a partial shaker in the sense I used a small hole punch to create free floating peppercorns which can kind of move around. The jars were stamped on plastic, then glued to white card stock using fabri-tac glue.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Key Lime Pie Book

Started: Oct. 24, 2017. Completed: Oct. 29, 2017. Measures: 8 x 8 in.

The Key Lime Pie journal. This is the first book I've ever made using the fin binding technique.
I guess browsing through so many Youtube journal videos has helped me explore new possibilities.

I've included two pictures of what my first fin binding looked like (far left in the panel above). It was simple enough to attach against the spine with my new 1'' wide double sided tape.

I've had this key lime pie box in my stash for years. I've always liked the colors and artistic set up of it, so much so that I didn't want to do anything with it if it meant covering up or cutting down some of the box's design.
The best way around that was to use it as a book cover instead of a journal insert as originally planned. 

I picked out some papers that fit the mood and colors of the book, including its chosen contents. The colors and style all seemed to lean towards a tropical theme, so I aimed to add beach based and tropical items to my pages.

My pages were constructed from white card stock, then inked with blue around the edges. I assembled my pages and all the flips first before adding them to the fins.

Recycled items I chose to use include aquatic themed candy and dried coconut bags, tropical colored Popsicle boxes, a lemon bag,and part of a Jone's soda box. Added accessories were made using things like storage jar paper decorated with taffy images, paint sample cards, and other recycled items. 

Decorating the pages and inner cover was a fun experience for me. I don't normally use a lot of scrapbook papers combined with my junk journals, but for this one I did, and I love the results.
Like the usual, I sealed my inner cover with varnish, and then for the rest I inked the edges of my cards and papers black before matting them together.

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 27, 2017

Marketside Baseball Book

Marketside Baseball Book- Measures: 7 1/4 x 12''. Started: Nov. 15, 2017. Completed: Jul. 27, 2017.

This journal was an interesting one to make. I spent several days working on it and only just finished it a day ago before photographing the results.

I had to make adjustments along the way, and cover up a few mistakes. The internal cover which I sewed my three signatures to was cut a bit short, so I had to disguise the edges with some washi tape. The mustache washi seemed fitting enough for a baseball book.

The full cover is made from a Marketside pizza box which had come with some baseball cards inside. To fill in the space which was once a window to show the product, I created my own baseball paper texture using a circle stencil, felt pens, and red gel pen.

Both signatures are plain white sketch paper cut to size from a very large paper pad. The thickness of the paper is a nice quality, and blank books are of course friendly for decorating however one pleases.

I started the project back on Nov. 15, 2016, mentioned about the beginning of it here. I didn't actually get to working on it till nearly a year later.
It all started from a pizza box.