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? 


  1. Lynda, these are magnificent pages -- each adding to the whole. I am so very impressed. And good for you, going back to it with such sad setbacks to take you in a different direction for a bit.

    I've been trying hard to learn to paint better. Learning watercolor, not my "natural" medium. And loving every second.

    1. Thank you, Jeanie, for your lovely comments. I am having fun with these books. It seems like the time is ripe to take them in new directions.

      I admire your painting goals. So glad you are enjoying the process.

  2. Hi Lynda - so great to see you creating again. So sorry to hear about your loss - what a terribly challenging time you have had. Love to see the progress on your book and the joy that comes with it. I especially love your analogy of the smooth rock - I think we are creative sisters :-)

    1. Lynette, thank you for your comments. It makes me happy to see what you are up to on your blog and happy to have you come for a visit to my post. I agree - creative sisters we are! You have just confirmed my thoughts. Looking forward to keeping up with you by going back and seeing what you've done.


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