Monday, June 27, 2016

Handmade Journals and Books

For a significant piece of time the desire to make my own books has been poking at me, worrying at me, and wearing me down. One would think that by now, with all the things that tug at me in one direction or another, I would be smooth as glass like a river rock polished by the current. In May I started to act upon the whispers. (To be honest, they started as whispers, but had turned into shouting long ago.) Against all odds I decided to join the 100 day challenge and work on making books during that challenge. 

Little did I know that life would intervene. My father passed away and for a time I ceased my book making and painting. For a time other things, precious things, took my time. Not only that, but the end of the school year arrived. My creativity was harnessed in a different direction for a few weeks. 

Slowly, I am returning to the books. The contents will, no doubt, be different than if I had filled them six weeks ago. That's ok. All part of the journey. I didn't finish the 100 day project, but it did kick start me on a project that has long wished to be allowed into the light. 

The top picture shows the cover of the journal I put together immediately after sewing together. The base of this book is a JoAnn Fabrics calendar that did not find a home on the wall. The colors were lovely and the paper strong. The 2nd photo shows the cover with a layer of gesso. It is ready for some adventure. 

Inside there are some pockets made from folding over the paper. Brown paper from a purchase was added to the middle. I have always admired handmade journals featuring a variety of shapes and sizes of paper. So I tried to add it all to this journal. 

Here's a spread with three different shaped papers which have been gessoed, painted, sprayed and painted over again. 

Love the sizes, shapes and textures, but need to pull them together a bit and make them ready for what comes next. 

First step - gesso, paint, stencils, and blotting. 

Another peek at before...

... after. 

The transformation is exciting to watch. While it remains clear to me that I am the one making the transformation happen, it is still a surprise and delight to see it marinate and deepen. 

What have I waited so long for? Making books is so much fun. It is actually much easier than I imagined and the possibilities are endless. 

What have you been itching to try? What have you been putting off until the time is right, the star align and the stock market is favorable?