Monday, 20 September 2010

Journal Keeping: Another small tool

I'm sure I've said it before in one of my monthly posts, that I'm not a great painter, not even a particularly good one, but I do like my little travel watercolor set and enjoy using it in my journals. For me, it's more about taking the time to sit down and spend some time with a particular view, than painting something I'll want hanging on the wall. This isn't easy for me. In general, I tend to be a more detailed oriented person, so when faced with a gorgeous landscape, I have a hard time trying to focus on where to start, or what to include.
Someone along the way gave me a slide, with the center film popped out, and suggested I hold this up to a view, move it around, until I see the view in a pleasing composition and one that's easier to translate onto my page.
I find myself doing this for bigger vistas, as well as smaller details. I helps me keep things in better proportion to each other, as well as focus on what it is that I'm drawn to in a particular scene.
This little empty slide has become a fixture in my small set of supplies and I find I'm constantly pulling it out. You can also just use your hands in the same way, which will help you change the size too.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Book Swap #12: SweetBuddha

This hand bound book is made for journaling or for storing photographs. Made with paper bags, it has pockets for storing precious memories (such as ticket stubs, etc.) and has hand cut tabs. It's a dual purpose book, made by The Craftaholic. --Sweet Buddha
Find Sweet Buddha Designs here:

This is the last of this round of swap books. We'll be back with our last swap of the year in December. Happy Autumn!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Book Swap #12: IntrinsicArt

This swap journal is made from recycled photo mat board, fabric, and one of my art prints. The pages are cold pressed watercolor paper. I experimented with the binding technique. Each folded page is stitched to a folded piece of fabric that is then stitched to the next page. Tedious, but strong! -- Rhoda
See Rhoda's books and art for sale in her shop:

Book Swap #12: UsefulBooks

If you've visited my shop, you know that recycling old items into books is my favorite thing, so I was especially excited about this swap! Not only do I appreciate the "green" aspect of this type of recycling, I love the character that using these old items lends to our new creations. For this journal, I cut an old 45 rpm record down into two petite 2-3/4 x 4 inch covers. I filled it with a wide variety of paper scraps left over from larger projects and pages from a vintage German children's book that a customer sent me to make a journal for her. For the closure, I drilled through the cover and attached an African trade bead to the front and a length of waxed Irish linen thread to the back. --Cindy

Visit Cindy's shop here:

Monday, 13 September 2010

Book Swap #12: KarleighJae

The book structure is a hardbound book with an accordion spine and sewn pages. The book is made from scraps that I saved. The front features an envelope sent to me when I purchased a bunch of old stamps from someone on Etsy. The envelope is from 1929, and I love it! My favorite things are the way it's addressed "Special Delivery" as well as the fact that someone wrote measurements on the left side of it. (Who doesn't use envelopes for random jottings?) And I also love that someone wrote in red ink "Very old, 1929" right on it. The inside paper is leftover from cutting down large sheets for custom orders. The paper was damaged and wrinkled so I added to the look and tea stained it so I could save and use it. The back cover has a bunch of old used stamps from everywhere. The book features two buttons, which were pulled off of an old shirt.The buttons hold the book closed with the help of a knotted waxed linen thread tie. --Karleigh Jae

Visit Karleigh's shop to see her other books for sale:

Book Swap #12: SeaLemon

To go along with the recycle theme, this book is filled with unique and fun left over paper pieces I chose to recycle in this special book. The covers are made of chipboard recycled from cereal boxes. The recycle symbol on the front is hand-cut by me. It is coptic stitched bound with eyelets and waxed cotton thread. -- SeaLemon

SeaLemon's books can be found for sale in her shop:

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Book Swap #12: Surfbunny

Everyone knows you can't buy beer, you can only rent it. So I guess the corollary is that all beer is recyclable! The least recycled piece is probably the wonderful packaging used by some of the smaller brands. This book is made from a Blue Moon cardboard sixpack. The endpapers and section covers are a recycled Thai silk paper and the bond pages are made from 100% sugar cane waste, called baggase.

I love the sugar cane paper because I live where sugarcane is grown and harvested and the amount of remaining material is incredible. To be used in such an elegant way is marvelous. And the paper is great too!

Most of the books created by Surfbunny are either recycled materials or handmade natural fiber papers. --Surfbunny

Surbunny's shop is here:

Book Swap #12: KristinCrane

When I noticed that I'd be mailing this book to Brooklyn, I decided to use a map I had from 1950. I love this map because it has a message on it that reads "Paper is precious, Please do not throw this map away." (I blogged about it here.) I thought that message fit well with our recycled theme for this book swap. I also was determined not to buy any supplies for this, or use any "new" supplies. I have piles of board and paper cut down from other projects and gave myself the limitation of only using supplies from those resources. The end result was a book that is an interesting 3" x 5.5" and oriented horizontally. It's a fun size actually. Small enough to fit into a purse or pocket, yet big enough to serve as a journal. I aimed to include Brooklyn on the front of the journal, since that's where I was mailing it. -- Kristin
See Kristin's journals and more in her shop:

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Book Swap #12: MinusPlusMinus

This coptic stitch binding uses variety of recycled materials. Text block is made from recycled yellow envelopes. Covers are bookboard with pencil marks and drawings covered with linocut proof prints on mulberry paper, bicycle reflector found on the road and some old transfers. End pages are lined with scraps of felt. --Katya

Visit Katya's shop to see her other work:

Book Swap #12: Askida

For the book swap, I created this spicy, Japanese stab binding book. The cover is recycled from a woven bamboo mat. I used 265gr. Canson Edition engraving paper for the 28 page text block. The binding is sewn with black organza ribbon. For the closure, I used a cinnamon stick and nutmeg end ribbon. The book measures 15cm x 15 cm. I made a envelope out of khaki linen to hold the book. --Askida

Visit Askida here:

Friday, 10 September 2010

Book Swap #12: ConduitPress

For this BEST swap I created 2 books made completely of recycled material: board, paper, and thread.

1) HollyWood is the first of the set. It is a hard cover coptic stitched journal made from 200 pgs of text paper from a discarded college library book entitled "Lesbians in Hollywood Film". The covers of the discarded book were used in the making of a different coil bound notebook and the pages were left. I figured, what better way to use them! The book measures 4 1/2 x 5 1/4. The book board is left-over matte board from a photography project that serves well as blank black covers for the book. The thread that was used to coptic stitch the book is also left over from a previous project.

2) German (!) is the second of the set of recycled coptic stitched journals I made for this swap. It too has 200 pages only this time from a vintage German college textbook with all the notes and scribbles intact from the previous owner! Like HollyWood, the original covers of the German text were used in another project therefore left-over matte board from a photography project was also used to cover this book. German (!) measures 4 x 5 1/4 and also has left-over book binding thread binding the coptic stitched book together.

What a joy to make! I sure hope their new owner enjoys them as well! I think they will make a great conversation starter, or even great journalling starts if you're ever stumped. Who likes to start with a blank page anyway;) --ConduitPress

Visit ConduitPress here:

Book Swap #12: MyHandboundBooks

This hardcover journal is made using old envelopes and other materials saved from the mail. Security patterns found on the inside of business envelopes come in a great variety of desgins and colours and I have used two different green patterns here: one pattern for the covers and another for the endpapers. All of the pages are from mailing materials, mostly envelopes. There are various colours, lots of security patterns, and even the plastic windows typical of standard business envelopes. Japanese stamps embellish the covers along with some other items clipped from a shipping envelope. Dark green book cloth is used on the spine. Book size is 6" X 3¾" (or 15.5cm x 9.5cm). --Rhonda

MyHandboundBooks shop is here:

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Book Swap #12: Tortagialla

I made a simple chain stitched book with recycled cardboard and a shopping paper bag for the covers, plus a piece of scrap leather for the closure. I primarily create leather journals, so have lots of scraps that I need to find ways to use up. This was a totally new idea, and I'm glad it worked out! --Linda

See Linda's work for sale in her shop:

Book Swap #12: PrairiePeasant

I've made a travel/map journal for Rhonda with all recycled materials except for the thread. The book board is recycled from a discarded book. The map on the cover is a vintage National Geographic map of Canada, and I've centered Rhonda`s home province of Nova Scotia on the front. Inside the covers, I've used pages from a vintage Canadian School Atlas that show economic resources and airline flight paths across Canada, highlighting the maritime provinces in this journal. The paper for the pages is obsolete computer paper with tractor feed perforations on the sides. I make quite a few of these journals and sell them in my shop, and frequently have requests for custom orders with specific maps. --PrairiePeasant
Take a look at the books for sale in PrairiePeasant's shop here:

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Book Swap #12: BackDoorBooks

I had a lot of fun with this theme. I thought about what types of materials I currently have that I could make a book out of. I had a few rolls of this seat belting material that I saved from the trash. Weaving it was easy; finishing the edges took a bit of experimenting. I also used a clasp left over from a cannibalized purse and a button from a coat from Goodwill. The book is sewn with a modified longstich using waxed hemp thread. --Eric

Eric's shop can be found here:

Book Swap #12: Buechertiger

I wanted to create something for this themed swap which is visibly reused and still shows the traces of its previous life. I believe this is called direct recycling. The boards are covered with parts of a pair of old jeans. The back pocket sits on the front cover and can still be used as such. The binding style is a sewing on tapes with a chain stitch in between for increased stability. For tapes, I chose seams of the same jeans. The boards themselves are laminated from card stock that comes in the paper I usually buy. The pages inside are all cut from brown paper bags, most of them plain but some with an interesting pattern or even content printed on them. One bag that I got in a comic shop even features a comic strip. In total the book has 96 pages. I hope my swap partner Özlem of askida will have fun writing in it! --Hilke

Visit Buechertiger at her shop here:

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Book Swap #12: LinenLaidFelt

I made an Italian Longstitch book with a leather cover and recycled papers inside. The leather used for the cover comes from a pair of red suede pants I found in an Athens, Georgia, thrift store while I was in college at UGA. You can see some pictures of the pants on my blog. The red leather strap that holds the book shut was part of a zig-zag pattern on the pants. The colored papers used for the guards are from a Neenah paper swatch book of their recycled papers, and the interior papers are recycled as well. --LinenLaidFelt

Visit LinenLaidFelt here:

Book Swap #12: Scorcha

I created a stab bound album for the book swap using the following materials I found around my house:
  • A New Holland "The Poet" beer carton (very tasty beer)
  • Green gift bag (previously used)
  • Light green lined paper (liberated from a old ledger)
  • green striped paper (part of a pack bought for another project)
  • velvet thread (supplies from another project)
  • metal eyelet (rattling around the bottom of a box)
  • tiny library pocket (made from cutter I've never used before)
The carton and striped paper were pasted together for the front and back covers, while the lined paper and gift bag formed the text block. I reinforced all of the holes with the tiny eyelets, and both the binding and closure are made of the velvet thread. A little note to the new owner is included in the tiny library pocket attached to the inside of the front cover. I was able to use some new techniques for this book, such as the corner caps and punching holes with a Dremel tool, and I really enjoyed looking for the materials to make it from. I've never made a recycled book before, but now I find myself thinking through possible book binding applications before throwing anything out. --Sarah
See Sarah's offerings for sale in her shop here:

Monday, 6 September 2010

Book Swap #12: notuboc

there are two things that i never have a shortage of in my house: paper and candy boxes, so i thought i might as well combine them. the cover is all that remains of my first taste of Boston Baked Beans, and the guts are papers that almost didn't make it; they'd been sitting in my pile to be cut up and made into other, newer paper. for the binding, i decided to keep things simple and did an easy longstitich variation in bright red cotton pearle. i hope the new owner has fun scribbling all over these almost ex-pages. especially that one labeled "Graduation To Do Checklist." (^_^) --Notuboc

Visit notuboc's shop here:

Book Swap #12: CamilleRiner

When I heard that the swap was recycled I knew it was a great opportunity for me to go my old handmade paper print pile. It was fun to dig around and find prints and papers that worked together. I used a piece of an old handmade string paper relief print for the cover. The abaca in the cover sheet makes it strong and supple. I also liked the way the strings from the handmade string paper hung out the bottom of the paper so I left them. For the double pamphlet section interior I used more scrap prints, some white paper and some end scraps from prints that I had torn down and never found a purpose for. Eureka! Now I have! It was great fun to bring new life into some of these old images. --Camille

Visit Camille's shop Etsy shop here:

Sunday, 5 September 2010

BEST Goes Green: Book Swap #12 Preview

"Recycling" is the theme of our fall swap this year, and it yielded some truly unique books made from a variety of reclaimed items. Participants went out of their way to make extraordinary offerings using things you might never consider "book arts" material. Close up looks over the next two weeks will illustrate how we used not only scraps and ephemera, but empty boxes, bamboo mats, thrift store pants and even a seat belt to create this round of amazing books to share with each other and you.