Friday, June 7, 2013

Getting Ready to Hit The Field

Not baseball, but field as in field journal.  Along with some of my usual art journal peeps, I'm getting ready to begin yet another one of our collaborative efforts.  We're calling this one Journey of Dreams, and it will be in the form of the sort of journal a scientist or adventurer would carry around to take notes, do sketches, maybe attach a bit of ephemera to the pages.  We'll each establish a character embarking on some sort of a journey....maybe to far away places; maybe all over one city; maybe even all in the mind.  As our books travel from artist to artist, the journey will continue.  I'm so excited about this concept I already constructed my journal!

It started with this box of watercolor paper, creased down the center to form a card.  Who says it has to be a card?

I've used these papers before to construct journals, and they make one of a decent size, about 6x8".
But I wanted this one to be smaller, really pocket sized, so I just sliced the folded pages in half;  I now have a book that is about 6x4".
The construction couldn't be easier; the folded pages are glued together, carefully lining them up at the spine.  This results in double thick pages, sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of the journey.  The two end papers, which are single thickness, are glued to the covers (I just used heavy cardboard for those).
I found a decorative napkin in my stash that had a travel theme, tore it up and used it to cover the cardboard, keeping the journal nice and simple.  No bulky embellishments in this project!  I used fluid matte medium, over and under the pieces of napkin.  The shine you see comes from a bronze glaze I used over the whole thing to give it a little extra color and protection.

The same bronze glaze was used on the end papers, just to give the book a more finished look.

I used a very strong glue (Ailene's Super Thick Tacky Glue) to attach the pages to one another, and weighted the book down until it dried.  The bond is really strong, but what I like best about this method (besides that I don't have to struggle with sewing signatures), is that the pages lay pretty flat when the book is opened, making it easy to work in.

Then I decided to make a removable cover with some sort of closure, like a journal sweater to keep it safe as it travels.  Again, very easy to do.  I started with a rectangle of felt (not craft felt, but a good quality wool felt), about 2 1/2 times the length of the book.  I did not measure anything; the size was estimated.  It's very much like those paper book covers we used to have to cover our text books with in school.  At this point I did open my sewing machine, though the stitching is very basic.
Here is the front; I added a little decoration in the form of another piece of felt and some ultra suede.
I'll get to that ribbon on the side in a moment.  Here is what the cover looks like opened flat.  You can see that I just folded over a bit on each size before sewing all around, creating slots that the journal covers slide right into.
The closure is a long length of tattered silk ribbon.  My friend Pat gave me a beautiful button that I attached to the end.
All you have to do is wrap the ribbon around the book a couple of times.
Then slide the end with the button under the wrapped ribbon, and voila!
I don't think this project will launch for a month or so; in the meantime I've been scouring Pinterest for images of field and travel journals.  I created a board; if you'd like to see what I've found so far: 



teri flemal said...

Looks fabulous!!!! I have to start thinking about this...

Patzee said...

Wow! What a perfect use of my button, "EMBRACE THE UNEXPECTED" (or is it "THE UNEXPECTED EMBRACE"?). This will be a fabulous journal--and yours is off to a great start!

Elena said...

Take a picture of the spine! This is awesome!

craftyM said...

I like this and the idea behind it. It will be a fun RR!

Lori said...

Wow, cool! Love the "journal sweater". LOL....thanks for sharing the construction, all great ideas and tips!

sally said...

Sounds like you Re all going to have a lot of fun :-)


Lee Hynes said...

I am always in awe of people who make their own books! This one looks like it might even be do-able! Thanks for the how to and such splendid results !

Caatje said...

Wow! That is just amazingly beautiful! Great job!

Bearcrazyman said...

I love the group pieces and know this one will be spectacular too. Great Job as always.