Monday, October 26, 2015

Beware Poison Journal

The poison themed book, inspired off an old cover idea that's been in the box for years.With new stamps and embossing powders in the collection, the creation of this book was even more enjoyable. The panel above is an overview of all book details.
This journal idea has always been a toxic theme idea, something deadly like a diary with words of warning not to open the book, charm ideas and color scheme becoming more interesting as I worked on it.

We get our skeleton in the closet effect on the back page with our sickly green dead guy and sparkly webbing. The first page displays an eek as you dare to look past the warning, beware sign on the front cover. This book is a toxic adventure, fun for adding spooky pictures to.

My charms were added last, I felt the book needed some emphasis on its poison theme, so I used some cardboard, scrapbook paper, embossing, Mod Podge dimensional magic, and laminate sheet to create my basic charms. Those charms consist of a toxic green scull and cross bone with a bubble in his eyes that watches you, and a toxic green spider on the back (venom being part of poison). Then comes the basic domino charm with a flip side of danger and beware, both charm sets accented with green beads that can serve as worms or poison drops.
Nothing is quite as fun though as the poison bottles. They were an experiment I'm happy with. I wanted the book to have a few bottles hanging from a chain, since poison and bottles go together...but I had no mini bottles with corks to use, so I sought an alternative. I saved some old mechanical pencils, the one being green, and I felt the outer tube of it was perfect to create some vials.

I simply took it apart, cut it carefully with a saw in three sections, then created bottoms and corks with baking clay. I mixed glow in the dark paint and glue into the bottle once the bottom was glued in, then gave the one a label to cover up the company name of the pencil (above). I applied my label with double stick tape and some laminate. 

One thing I find amusing are the anonymous letters on the scrapbook paper that appear to say "verpoo". To me that sounds like a fancy term for vapor poo, as in fart in a bottle, in other words toxic waste. :P

 As you can see to the left, I mixed glow in the dark paint and glue into the bottles so they would glow in the dark, a fun idea for something poisonous.

A final detail, the hand assembled pocket to the right with the vines holding it is what this project originated from.
 As you can see above, this is the vine design for that pocket which I created. I had folded a piece of green paper in half so I would get symmetry when I cut out my design, this resulted in leftover negative space from the cut out, which I saved and later glued to black paper, thus resulting in the concept of a poison book now created years later.

And yes, I have a fun video for you, enjoy watching. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Christmas Wishes Journal

Christmas Wishes, my first major Christmas themed book to be made. Made from a few cereal boxes, different wrapping paper saved through the years (excluding the Elf pages, that paper is new), some candy bags and envelopes from cards, and Christmas cards too. Measures about 7.5 x 9'', is accented with washi tape, glazed with Liquitex satin varnish, and sewn with gold metallic thread. front cover title is a pretty Christmas card I liked.

The thing I like about the gold thread is how it sparkles in the light on my sewn spine (left). And to the right you can see it's a nice roomy journal, made that way so I'd have room to add bulk and not worry about busting the book with bulge. 

I found for a brief moment I was slightly discouraged when once more I was questioned as to why I put so much effort into making a book out of garbage. And though it may seem puzzling to some, the answer is simple, quirky as it is. I know that any project takes effort and dedication, some less than others, so why use materials that can rot? The way I see it, when I create a project out of recycled material or considered to be junk, I'm using these odd objects because I like them. Scrapbook paper isn't decorated like wrapping paper, envelopes from Christmas cards become writing spots while reminding you of names and addresses from different people who still acknowledge your existence. Christmas cards are fun to look at, little pieces of art in themselves for tucking away and looking back on. Candy bags with metallic are too cool to set aside, who doesn't like something shiny? 

Yes, it may seem odd to put effort into something that's truly made of recycled materials, but when I do it, I do it with the open mind of a challenge and am adding materials I saved because I liked them, and want to look at them now and then. Creating a book with recycled material is no different than other art forms like collage, which can consist of flier images and odd bits and pieces of whatever. These materials are no different than what the book is made of, and effort is required for even a basic illustration, but it's an art form none the less, degradable or acid free.

 I plan to use this book for keeping record of small memories while incorporating some art into the mix, a bit of collage and writing here and there.

Here's a video  flip through as always.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Birt's Bees Balm Book

 A mini project now finished. Birt's Bees lip balm journal, measures about 3x4'', has four signatures, made from some cereal box, a Birt's Bees lip balm box, scrapbook paper, sketchbook paper, black satin ribbon, and a charm.

I started this project many many years ago, and at the time was discourage seeing this was in fact the very first book I ever tried to make with sewn signatures. I got stuck on the cover once I had my pages cut, you can see below, the cover when it first sat on my old desk.
Covering rounded corners isn't easy, I found that out pretty quickly. I was further discouraged when my mom felt the corners looked bad and I found I couldn't get any help with my first steps of making the book, soon to tuck it away in a small box for many years after that.

I'm glad I never fully gave up on it, having planned on finishing it one day when I was ready for it, and now I found I was. In only about an hour I finished what I started, the sewing simple and fun.
With just some ribbon scraps, a silly charm, and a flower gem, I gave the book its final touches, yay! :)

Of course I made a small video, not long, but simple and cute.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fairy Fantasy Journals

 For the past month I've been doing on off work on a fairy, butterfly, nature themed journal. I set out to use things from my stash, and a fairy themed book seemed perfect for the multiple things I've been saving. 

Complications did of course come along, including the fact that once again my journal ended up being so chunky as a single book that I had to split it and make two books instead of one. I'll admit, despite having to make a second cover, I rather enjoyed the process of splitting my 2.5'' book into something more manageable. This split allowed me to experiment with two different cover styles, and for fun I named them. 

The first book above already has it's name on the cover, "Fairy Dust". The cover of the first book was originally meant for the second half of the journal, but I decided it fit the first part of the book more.
 My second book I named "Honey Blossom" because this journal contains bumble bees and lots of flowers. The cover of this book was the first one I did before I had to split the journal. The insides are covered in a green packaging paper that I crinkled and inked with brown and green stamp pads for a marbled look (the paper became darker and richer in color after I glazed it).

For both journals I used Nouveau scrapbook paper found at the dollar store a long time ago, and wallpaper flower fairies which have been in my stash for even longer. I also used some old wrapping paper to frame the fairy in on the Honey Blossom book, then accented the cover with small stickers (also from the dollar store). Both journals were then glazed with Liquitex satin varnish.
The thing I love about the Nouveau paper is the way it perfectly encompasses my carefully placed fairies, the patterns so geometric that it seems the fairies were already part of the paper to begin with.

Originally both journals were meant to have charms, but I made different decisions as I went, and settled with just one book having the right charms. For the Honey Blossom journal, I added a few charms that have been in my stash forever. The metal bumble bee charm was from a Burt's Bees health kit, came with the ball chain, and I added the extra charm to that which was a bead that broke from my flower candle holder. I got some help with wire wrapping it and topping it with a bead, then I had my charm. Cool thing is, you can take it off the ball chain and wear it as a necklace if you wanted to. :)

Of course you wouldn't want to miss seeing the full journals, so here's a video. :D

 As a side note, this project took me awhile because I had a lot of decisions to make. Originally I wanted to try a technique I saw online where you use a paper towel roll to make a curved spine. I thought it would be nice to try as a technique in covering up the wires of this style binding. I wanted to settle with doing this technique so I could create that fairy tale book style, but even after finding the perfect material for creating a faux leather spine, I started seeing it might be more complicated than I was willing to put up with for this project.

at first I wanted the spine to cover up some mistakes, like improperly punched holes and glazing accidents, but found once the books were bound, you didn't notice those mistakes so much. This led to the decision of saving the curved spine and fake leather fabric for some other project, possibly a different book, maybe more.

 Originally I was going to add a few extra charms to the Fairy Dust journal, those charms being a bell, an old earring that reminds me of a dragon egg or fantasy light, and some fairies in a bottle. I decided not to because I had other ideas in mind for these objects. I figured it would be better to tackle these charms as separate projects, and I want to make them detachable elements so they can be used in photography with figurines or dangling from a key chain. 

The fairies in a bottle remains the most complicated project on the charm list. I still lack the proper supplies to pull off what I have in mind, but I hope to tackle this idea sometime soon.
I'll also note that I excluded using the ribbon and twine shown in the photo above. After splitting my book, I was happy to find they didn't need a closure to keep them shut.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Reese's Heart Book

Reese's Heart Book. A nice big display of the fun insides above.

Years ago I kept a box and bag from Valentine's Day goodies, my plans were to create a book with them because I loved the heart window in the box so much. The theme was to be for chocolate lovers, even without a date, chocolate is always a friend. :P

My base pages were made from cereal boxes that I painted with white gesso. Originally I was going to paint the surface directly, but changed my mind later and used scrapbook paper. I also added in brown paper later on, collecting materials for the book in time.
Left is the spine which is what some would call a hidden spine I think...I made a base spine, sewed my signatures to it, then glued yellow paper over it to hide the stitches. I had to extend the spine size from my original idea since cereal box pages do create their own bulk. I also added pretty gold ribbon to match, glued under parts of the cover.
The charms were a fun experiment. I used some beads and gold chain on hand, hung red and silver gold beads from it, made a paper locket charm and wax seal from red paper that I glazed then embossed on with black and transparent powder. I added some dimensional magic to my heart charm for some shine. The chocolate bar was really fun, made from wall protector pads you stick on picture frames, backed with part of a brown cereal box, wrapped with gold ribbon and completed with my paper heart seal. The final domino charm (as I call it) was made by glazing black paper, embossing on a picture of chocolates in a heart box with the words "sweet" and "love". The sparkly red side was my first attempt, the powder was a bit harder to deal with. After I made my paper pieces, I laminated them, added them to four layers of cereal box tabs, inked black on the edges, then drilled a hole for the jump ring. All objects were added with jump rings, and I poked a hole at the top of the spine to attach the full dangle.
The inside, I really love that black paper with gold metallic. The chocolate page is from the sweets stack.
Used some scrapbook paper, stenciled on some words and inked it with jell pen.
Made tags with scrap pieces of paper and ribbon, and hand stenciled, then embossed my sparkly heart paper. Speaking of which, it's true you can use materials on hand. Don't have papers that match your theme? Try making some of  your own with what you have (it just takes a tone of work to hand stamp and emboss everything like I did).
A hidden heart.
Simple love note, made from scraps of cut out when I made the cover.
I loved making these tuck spots that look like giant peanut butter cup halves. All I did was take sparkly silver paper and textured brown paper, used a compass to make a circle, one size smaller than the other, cut out the silver wrapper with deckled edge craft scissors, glued my pieces together, cut them in half, then stuck the edges of them to my pages with double stick tape.
One of my middle pockets made of printer paper and elements from the box.
Some hidden bag tags from the second pocket.
A peanut butter tuck spot with mini tags and more hand stenciled/embossed paper.

One of the scrap tags (left) with it's simple diamond shape.
And finally the back of the book with more of that oh so pretty metallic paper.
 Of course there's always more to see in the video. ^.~

Monday, July 20, 2015

Reese's Heart Book-sneak peek

 Diving back into a started project from many years ago. This is a sneak peek of what's to come.
 Some elements are scrapbook paper and assembled elements like peanut butter cups in a silver wrapper.
 And the rest was a pain, hand stenciling, stamping, and embossing pages to create my own color matching textures for the book.
 I did so much embossing today that I was tired of it. But I'll admit with chosen plain colors and a little embossing, I'm challenging myself to use what I have on hand to make papers of matching theme and not go off to the store to find another paper stack.
 Though the embossing is a bit messy, I guess it adds character.
I also have some plain stamped paper. Stay tuned for the finished project.

Reed's Candy Box Book

Been working on this for half the week. Making journals in a relaxed fashion, not worrying about what I'm going to use it for and just making it has helped me move along.
This Reed's candy box for ginger chews has been sitting on the top of my paper drawers forever, collecting dust. I always considered using it for something and finally got tired of it just sitting there, so I made it my next book project, a true mini.

This project also helped me find ways of using a few things in my stash, like the flip flop ribbon. I finally got to use a bit of it on the book to match that warm, tropical label.
The book measures approximately 2 1/4'' x 3'' with a total of 4 signatures. Made from a Reed's ginger candy box, yellow parchment paper, green graph paper, tracing graph paper, security envelopes, ribbon, and brads. Contains 21 pockets and tuck spots, plus tags.
I only had to use one sheet of each paper to make all my signatures with only a few security envelope halves for interest.

I used different kinds of ribbons from the craft drawers for my tags, and am super glad I had a stencil to make all those tags (excluding the three mini tags). I had to make a stencil for those.

Here's a thing I learned and made mistakes three times before getting it right. While sewing your signatures into the paper backing that glues to the cover along the spine, make sure all your signatures are sewn in the right direction. I felt like a dingbat when I realized I sewed by first signature in upside down, which means the pockets were on the top of the page. I had to go back and resew my pages in. Second mistake, always remember your signatures are facing the right direction before gluing everything down.....I glued mine to the cover and found my pages were upside down and backwards in the book. Thankfully my cheap letter opener helped pry under the partially wet glued papers again so I could correct my mistake. Once all was glued in properly, I added my inner cover papers and some washi tape.

As usual, here's a flip through of the book.

Blue Tech Junk Journal

 Journal making has been so much fun. I've been waiting forever to be part of the Junk Journal Junkies group on Facebook and finally my request was accepted, this being several weeks ago. Later I might write an article about my experience so far, but in short terms being part of the community has made me more motivated in making my journals and sharing them with other artists who do the same stuff.
As all of it goes, I'm determined to use up what I have in my stash. The material has piled up severely for such a tiny corner, and I strive to pile books where materials now sit.

There's been a lot in my stash which I've been saving for the right book, never able to settle on what kind of book I wanted, but noticed I have lots of tech based material, and interesting headphone packaging which didn't fit the size of my Juke Box book's dimensions. With this noted, I settled on making a tech book for holding all things tech based that I use and like. I sort of just rummaged and threw in materials that seemed appropriate with the theme.
My materials range from headphone packaging, to laptop and electrical device packaging, with extra things like scrap math paper sheets, junk mail envelopes, a few plain papers with decorative accents made with pattern scissors or punches, and a number of other materials were used to match the theme. I did use quite a few scraps for this project, hence a chunky book that hasn't even been filled with journaling and ephemera yet.
I thought of multiple ways to use up more scraps sitting around to match the theme, and part of the chunkiness in the book comes from having a mini book tucked inside one of the pockets. I loved making the inner covers and using the cloth material from laptop packaging for the outside.

My first idea for the black cloth with recycle symbols on it was to make it into a pocket for the large book, but then I thought about how well cloth works for other things, and realized how it could serve better as a book cover. This is when I decided to make a smaller book to stick inside the larger one, and still match the tech theme.

I think I enjoyed the process of sewing this mini book almost more than binding the main book with O wires. I especially enjoyed stamping and embossing the inner covers displayed above. Because I didn't have paper long enough to fit the cloth as I wanted it to, I used creative methods of using two 8.5 x 11'' sheets of paper, one serving as the center of the book. The other I cut down the center and glued to either side at desired extension, gluing them on to form pockets. After my signature was sewn to the base cover, I applied double sided tape and stuck the fabric outside down, covering up my stitches and making a fun little book.

 Here's the video flip through of the project. In the future I might add charms and dangles on the wire spine, and fill the book with fun tech subjects. Till then, enjoy.