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One Week in the Life: assembled handmade book

Tue July 26 2011

I have already assembled my book / journal / album / container for my Week in the Life photos and stories. As i mentioned, i have figured out that if i don’t *DO* it this way, it just doesn’t get done. So my preparations included making my actual book and prepping my pages with a background wash or just a drawn detail that i can layer over.

I used pre-primed artist canvas for my cover. I wanted some kind of fabric, but something that was more stiff than floppy, and we just happened to have a giant roll of this canvas in the closet. Serendipity. So i hacked a rectangle off and trimmed it down to a daily scrapbooking manageable size (whose dimensions I do not recall).

Then i messed around with the dregs of my cheapy bottle of gesso and covered the front with a thick and uneven layer of it. When that was dry, I messed around with some colours of gouache and a paper towel to blot the wet paint off. then i had a go at ink splatters, which was good until i smudged them so had to do some gesso again in parts… i recommend skipping the accidental smudging part, but it did wind up adding some depth with the additional layers of gesso and paint.

i made the title spot by tracing the shape i wanted onto kraft paper (which was really grocery store paper bag paper), cutting it out and outlining the shape with some markers. i stamped the words with a stamp set i found at a thrift store one day (what a great find!), i filled one of the words in with my white gel pen. I sewed that to the cover with some golden thread that I bet was not meant to sew paper to canvas with, but looks pretty cool anyway.

I wanted the interior pages to be all mixed papers, mixed sizes, and they are mostly from my collection of vintage/thrifted papers. I did not purchase anything new to make this book or get started on this project (whoops, i did buy a roll of masking tape), which I think is really fun. I really like to see what I can make with what I have. The result becomes much more “me” than if I approach it otherwise.

So I cut and trimmed and experimented with a pile of papers and narrowed it down to this stack – i suspect i may have too many pages in the book that won’t get filled, but that’s okay. i’ll think of something. i arranged them inside the canvas cover and then sewed them all together with my sewing machine (which truthfully did not appreciate the workout, but I should have used a larger, stronger needle) with whatever thread i could find that already had a bobbin wound. that’s how i wound up with pink stitching.

Inside, I stuck to my really fancy pants strategy. I made polka dots by stamping craft paint with the top of a glue stick. I doodled with sharpies. I made circles out of craft paint glaze/sealer stuff with a paper towel tube, and made a grid using the edge of an itunes gift card. I messily painted and let the mess stay where it landed. I dripped. It will all just become my background “patterned paper” to whatever I decide to lay down on each page.

i have a collection of gathered ‘ephemera’ to use as embellishments. most of these items are also thrifted and are being given new life as embellishements – i have cheeky and fun cards from board games, words chosen from flash card sets, library card catalogue cards, trimmed pages of ledger paper and encyclopedia pages, tickets, buttons, punched shapes from random papers, a sewing notion flower, and some handmade embellishments (the heart and the felt/paper circle). Elsewhere i have a small stack of washi tape that will get a lot of use too. As each day progresses, I will be looking for bits and pieces from that day that i can “smash” in there too, that will add more to the story of each day.

I can’t wait to make time each day to play and write!

Week in the Life is inspired by Ali Edwards:

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2 Comments leave one →
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