Tag Archives: handmade books

Christmas Art Abandonment 2015 – Rockingham

Jack and I took the dogs to Rockingham foreshore this morning for a walk. Yesterday I’d decided it was high time we did another Art Abandonment exercise, it being the Christmas season and all that jazz. That, and the fact a nice lady named Rachel actually recognised and remembered me from months ago when I abandoned some Gelli®-printed handmade bookmarks at the same foreshore. I was chuffed that someone should actually be touched by my Art Abandonment, that my humble little gift had made an impact on someone’s life.

So this morning, we abandoned 4 of my handmade “Juicy Journals”, books that I’d created by hand using pieces of art paper that I’d printed on using Gelli® Arts‘ “Gelli® Plate”.

I had my hands full holding onto Shelagh with 2 leads (one attached to her collar to control her head, the other to her harness), so Jack was tasked with not only leaving the “Juicy Journals” on benches and tables in the public park, but also with taking photos of the deed afterwards.

I hope whoever finds and keeps the Abandoned Art appreciates it, and that it makes their day.

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Juicy Journals with Word Bands

I snagged myself a set of 12 Ranger Tim Holtz Word Bands on eBay recently. They cost me around AUD$20 in total, and that’s invlcluding postage. When the word bands arrived in the post, I knew they would be perfect for my next Juicy Journal project. (For the unitiated, my Juicy Journals are Gelli Plate printed and inked pages torn into segments and bundled together into booklets, to be either enjoyed as they are, as artist books, or they can be scribbled/doodled/painted/collaged on as you like. Both sides of the paper are printed. No 2 pages are ever the same i.e they are monoprints).

This is what the Tim Holtz Word Bands look like:
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They’ve words of inspiration etched on them, like “possibility begins with imagination”, “dream as if you’ll live forever”, “life is about creating yourself” etc. There’s a handy loop on each end of the 2-inch tags, perfect for securing and binding to my Juicy Journals.

I used a modified Ledger binding for this project. I’ve written about that project previously here. This time, I didn’t tie the loose ends together, as that would’ve created a tented look where the threads joined, and would’ve partially obscured the word tags and detracted from the overall look. Instead, I simply tied up each loose end with a double shoelace knot.

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I used 8 A3-sized art papers, Gelliprinted on both sides using children’s texture mats and various other stamps made from household items. Out of the 8 A3 sized sheets of 190gsm weight paper I was able to make 4 Juicy Journals.

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Sweet, aren’t they? I’m considering putting up some of my Juicy Journals for sale on my Etsy store. Currently, all I have on offer there are Lenormand divination cards that I designed myself. Do visit my Etsy store! :-)

Child’s Play

Gather your Ingredients:

1 crazy Gelli Plate addict (moi!)
1 Gelli Plate
3 double-sided children’s texture plates
Your choice of acrylic paint colours (I use them All!)
Some glitter paint (if you have them)
Brayer
8 sheets of A4 art paper (I use 190 gsm, but anything from 120gsm upwards is ok)
Sheets of Deli Paper (or Greaseproof paper for those who can’t get hold of Deli Paper)

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One side of the 3 children’s texture plates I used.
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The reverse side of the same texture plates.

Method:
1. Load up your Gelli Plate with several dots of different coloured acrylic paints at the same time.

2. Use brayer to spread paint over the Gelli Plate. Do this quickly and try not to smear the colours too much, or go over the same areas more than once or twice. Otherwise you will get mud.

3. Use the kiddy texture plates to stamp patterns onto the painted Gelli Plate. Take the painted texture plate and stamp it at random places on some of the A3 sheets of paper.

4. Place a sheet of Deli Paper/Greaseproof Paper over the Gelli Plate to absorb excess paint. Pull a print. Remove and put the printed Deli Paper aside for other projects.

5. Place a sheet of the A3 art paper over the Gelli Plate and pull a print. If there’s any paint still left on the Gelli Plate, pull another print.

6. Repeat steps 1 to 5 above with different colour combinations, until both sides of all 8 A3 sheets are filled. Leave some white spaces, for contrast.

7. Frame your favourite prints. Or, I would tear the A3 sheets into smaller pieces to bind later into my Juicy Journals.

Some of the results:

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And some close-ups:

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You can’t really make it out in the photos, but there is a glittery shimmer to the papers, as I’d mixed some glitter paint into some of the Gelli prints. I love the effect! It’s quite sophisticated, instead of being childish.

Now, go play! :-)

T for Taylor, T for Thoughts

I recently had an Art Exchange of sorts, with a photographer friend, Taylor Jorjorian. I follow Taylor’s blog, and when he posted up a photo of one of his newest works, “Forma 50”, I felt I just had to have a print of it. So, I contacted Taylor and he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Taylor sent me “Forma 50” and a gorgeous matte black & white photo of another work “The Middle Of A Rhyme”. Money aside, I also sent Taylor one of my Juicy Journals.

When Taylor’s prints arrived, the package was so professionally put together, including certificates of authenticity and edition number, and not to mention the gorgeous lusciousness of the actual prints themselves…so much so that I felt our exchange was somewhat uneven. So I’m sending him another one of my Juicy Journals.

I haven’t found the perfect frames for my prints yet, they’ll have to be good ones to do justice to the superb quality of Taylor’s photography. But here are a couple of photos of “Forma 50” and “The Middle Of A Rhyme”, taken from Taylor’s website, just to tempt you, and so you know what all the fuss is about.

image “Forma 50” by Taylor Jorjorian

image “The Middle Of A Rhyme” by Taylpr Jorjorian

And here is the Juicy Journal I’ll be posting to Taylor. I used a simple pamphlet stitch, and when I cast about looking for a bead to add to the journal, I remembered that I had some Tim Holtz Idea-Ology thingamajigs that I could use. In the Muse Tokens packet I found a “T” that was just perfect for my purposes. It says “Thoughts” on the token.

And so here is my Juicy Journal “T for Taylor, T for Thoughts”.

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Inside one of the pages.

(Yes, that IS a black shoelace I’ve used to bind the journal. I came across a whole bunch of new waxed shoelaces for only 50 cents each at a sale. They looked perfect for binding my journals, so I bought several).

Art Quotes

Last week I posted on Facebook’s “Art Abandonment” Group Wall about my handmade Juicy Journals that I was abandoning. I thought I might get a dozen or so people commenting on it. Imagine my surprise when I received over 400 “likes”, and several dozen compliments about my Juicy Journals. That’s way more than my usual Facebook Wall posts ever get. Really chuffed and greatly encouraged by my fellow Art Abandoneers, thank you folks! :-)

I had several enquiries about whether I would be selling any of my Juicy Journals. I haven’t made enough to warrant selling them on my Etsy store yet…but you never know. Money is not my motivation for creating Art…but it does come in handy to buy more paints, inks and paper.

In addition to the 10 Juicy Journals that I abandoned in my town, I posted off a further 5 Juicy Journals to people who had expressed an interest in getting one. One of the 5 is a teacher in America, who intends to use my Juicy Journal as an end-of-term Art project for her class. Honoured, I am!

All this got me to thinking: “What does Art mean to me?” And so I did my usual modus operandi and looked up Art quotes on Google Images. I found several that resonated with me, so I’ll share them with you here:

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I also found one that describes me. I realise I am an Artist who also creates handmade/handbound books, marrying my passion for Gelli Plate printing with the same for making one-off Juicy Journals.
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Handbound Juicy Journal Tutorial

A la AlyZen Moonshadow. This is a handbinding technique that I invented by accident, while experimenting with different bookbinding techniques. I’m not an expert on making books, but here are some books I can recommend:

Making Handmade Books

The Little Book of Bookmaking

At Home With Handmade Books

Making Mini Books

These are some of the books on the subject that I have personally read. Of these, Alisa Golden’s “Making Handmade Books” is the closest to a bookmaking bible I’ve come across, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a book to get you started on creating your own books.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I’d used 6 A3 sheets of paper, Gelli printed on both sides, to create 3 separate booklets with 4 pages each, as seen below (aren’t the colours just gorgeous?):

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Now, each of these booklets will be stitched together to form what’s called in bookmaking circles a “signature”. And I will then be binding each individual signature to each other using my newly invented technique. The 3 booklets will then effectively become 1 book.

Here are my tools laid out for ease of reference. Notice my very high-tech tools for creating the holes for sewing my books…yes, I do mean the drawing pin and knitting needles. The knitting needles have more than one function, as you will soon see. image

So, to begin, I measure and mark off 4 evenly spaced points on the spines of each signature. These will be where my black twine ($3 for 32m from the discount store) will go through.
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And now to make those holes…I use the drawing pin like an awl to make the initial pilot hole, then drive a knitting needle in to enlarge the hole. Here in the picture you can see the drawing pin in the bottom hole, and the knitting needles in the two top holes.
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Ok, one signature down, two more to go. Lather, rinse and repeat the hole (sorry, couldn’t help it, I love puns) exercise. Until you’ve got 4 holes made in each of the 3 signatures, like so:
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Now comes the fun part. For this technique to work, the thing to remember is to always have an even number of holes per signature, and always have an odd number of signatures.

I’m sure there’s a technical term for the sewing method I’ll talk about next, such as sewing in the “valleys” or “mountains” (similar to Origami or the art of paper folding)…but my mind wants me to remember the order of sewing thus: In Out In Out (Shake It All About) :-) As in the needle goes In the first hole, Out the second, In again at the third, and Out the last. This way, your needle and thread will be coming Out of the signature, so you can then bind it to the next signature. Think about it: if you started with Out instead of In, by the time you reach the 4th hole, your needle and thread would be on the inside of the signature, with nowhere to go next.

Ok, so here we go. Here I’ve stood up the 3 signatures in the order they will be bound together. Starting from the right of the one closest to me, push the end of the black twine into the first hole, then out, in and out again at the other end. This is the IN OUT IN OUT movement, which will be replicated on the other 2 signatures.
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To continue, simply thread the twine that’s come out of the last hole on the left of the 1st signature, into the 1st hole on the left of the 2nd signature. When you get to the other end, do the same with the 3rd signature. Try to pull the twine tight very gently, so as not to buckle the paper or worse, tear it.

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Now all 3 signatures are linked. Notice that the start of the 1st signature and the end of the last signature are not linked to the others. There should be around 1 foot of twine on either end of the bound signatures.

To tie in the loose ends, literally, slip the end of the twine through the loop on the signature that’s already bound to its neighbour, and then slip it out through the loop that’s just created. It’s hard to explain, so here’s a photo showing the move.

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Do the same for the other loose end. The ends of the twine will now be on the spine of the middle signature.
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Next, hook the end of the twine through the top of the middle long stitch. And start weaving! There are 3 signatures, so there are 3 long stitches. Weave across these in an Over-Under-Over motion, alternating from one side to another.

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Here’s where the knitting needle comes in handy. I just slide it under the stitch I want to weave my twine through.

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Continue weaving the twine ends through the 3 stitches, until they meet in the middle. Then, all you need do is tie the ends into a knot, pull tight, and et voila! All done!

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I hope you like it! :-) I think, with my next Juicy Journal, I might make the long stitches even longer, so as to show off the weaving even more. I like the rustic woven effect a lot.

Juicy Journals

I’ve heard the term “Juicy Backgrounds” used by several mixed media artists. What they mean are journal pages that are ready prepped, either by printing or painting or the addition of ephemera, as opposed to a pristine blank journal page. This helps jumpstart the creative juices, and goes a long way towards overcoming fear of the blank page, or Artist Block, if you will.

Which makes a lot of sense to me, as I would love to start an art journal, however I’ve never been able to find something worthy to throw onto a page and go on from there. Until now, that is. When my stash of Gelli Plate monoprints started overflowing, I decided it was time to do something with them. And I hit upon the idea of creating mini art journals with those pages. I love books, both to read and as an art form, and making my own art journals using papers that I’d printed seemed an ideal way of marrying the 2 art forms – Monoprinting and Handmade Books.

I’m calling my Art Journals “Juicy Journals” because they are already filled with colour splashes, abstract shapes, glitter and shimmer, stamped alphabets and numbers, so in a sense they are very “juicy” indeed. They’re meant to be enjoyed on their own, or, if you like, you can draw/stamp/paint/etc over them to your heart’s content. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy them.

Here are some photos of the books I’ve made thus far. I started out with simply tying the pages together so more pages can be added if needed. Then I ventured into pamphlet stitching, hard and soft covers, and even created a few bookbinding stitches of my own. Two of these “Juicy Journals” are winging their way to friends in the UK and USA as I write this, and I hope to sell/give away/Abandon the others.

Enjoy!

20150419_113532Two horizontal Juicy Journals.

20150419_113825Top: 2 vertical, 3 Alphabetica pocket pages, 2 horizontal, 1 soft cover hand bound, 1 square ring bound.

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My 8 original minis, rebound with coloured hemp cord.

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Inside one of my “Alphabetica” pocket pages. The 3 little insert cards go into the button-n-string envelope.

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My 3 “Alphabetica” pocket pages. I love those little button-n-string envelopes.

 20150419_113100Detail of one of the pages of my ring-bound Juicy Journal.

20150419_113425Detail of the inside of 2 of my horizontal Juicy Journals.

Gelli Printing Experiments using Homeware Finds

Yesterday I wrote about finding new sources of textures-making tools for Gelli Plate printing, from the homewares departments of my local stores.

I have put my newly acquired treasures to the test. And am very pleased to report that they have all performed superbly. I printed several A3 sheets on both sides, in preparation for making handbound art journals out of them. But I like some of them so much that I’ll be keeping them as part of my growing portfolio of Gelli prints.

Re: the art journals idea. I initially thought the pages could be used for doodling on, adding ephemera to, painting, gessoing etc…but now it’s evolving to mean that the Gelli printed pages themselves are “juicy backgrounds” for my handbound art journals, and the sum of the parts, Prints + Book = ART. The pages can be enjoyed just as they are, as part of a Juicy Journal. Yes, I’ve decided that’s what I’ll call these art journals.
Here are some of the prints I made. Enjoy! I hope you like them as much as I did printing them.

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20150419_095927  20150419_095737

20150419_094939 20150419_094643  20150419_094648 20150419_094621 20150419_094506  20150419_094658

Mini Art Journals from Gelli Prints

So, I’m awash with all these Gelli plate monoprints. I’ve kept the best and my favourites (not necessarily exclusive to each other) for myself, but still there are dozens of prints that did not quite make the cut, but are too pretty to just throw away.

What’s a girl to do?

I know, make some mini art journals. I can then write in them, sell them on eBay and Etsy, give them away, or Abandon them. Hmmm…sounds good to me. Reuse, recycle.

Here we go!

I used my A3 prints. Folded them in half lengthways, tore them rather than used scissors. I like the ragged deckled edge look. Some further folding and tearing later, and et voila! I had enough to make four 10-page mini journals. I used some twine that I’d saved up from parcels received in the post (always one for recycling), and secured the pages together…if I need to add to the pages or change their order, I can simply untie the twine.

Some of the pages had empty spaces near the edges. Others looked a little drab. So I dragged out my stash of Tim Holtz Ranger Distressed Ink Pads and Ranger Dylusions Ink Sprays, and had a field day playing with colour.

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Some photos of individual pages:

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You like? I like!! :-)