Slip knot binding and the covers of my collage book

The final bits!

First, let me share again the slip-know binding video that prompted this

Really, there is no need to re-invent the wheel here. Lisbeth did a great job explaining, visually. I did what she did. Well, a few tiny alterations. I used some very thick baker’s twine to bind and you can see how chunky it makes the slip knots. I wrapped the two ends with some tape to make threading thru the small binding holes easier.

From there it was just following the video, easy peasy

The other variation is I began at the front, ending at the back. This left me with the hanging fibers at the back of the book. I prefer that. OK so I didn’t watch the video again, but I am pretty sure Lisbeth ended with the binding fiber ends at the top. Doesn’t matter. Begin where you like and leave the ends top or bottom as you prefer. Here is the cover – I decided to make use of that perfectly placed C on the cover to add COLLAGE and the year.

Funny, in neither picture is it clear the binding ends at the back. I say again, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is I am really really happy with it. And I can move one, hopefully retaining what I learned. If not, I can look back and remind myself of those elements I liked. One more little task before the manic week begins…

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Collage book all done!

Well that was fun, challenging, and very much a learning experience. There are many photos of the side-by-side pages here so I hope you will be OK with it split. I’ll do all the page pairs today then finish up with the bound book and the cover decor tomorrow.

In the end I managed 22 pages and the covers. so not bad. Front cover (undecorated) and back cover:

Now just all the page pairs:

Phew! I am sure you will notice a few things that seem like they developed into my “signature style” over the length of the process. The text ripped from magazines, peeking thru the layers. The (mostly) vertical lines of the papers. The open circles, waste from punched out circles. The black letters and the waste from die cutting the letters. The gold foil circles. Most of those things appear on many of the pages, I like all of those things and feel sure I will use them often. But looking at the whole set I realize that in fact I do prefer the pages that use fewer different papers, and that have large areas of a single paper. Maybe it is the small size. Maybe it is just the struggle to make a load of bitty pieces work. No idea. But I know what I like.

The cover tomorrow, and the binding! Then I can move on with my learning programs for digital designing.

Well ONE more thing…

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Final pages, decisions made

So I did decide to make “covers” for my little collage book. Love them both. I should explain. This is the front cover.

And this is the inside of the BACK cover:

But rather than make a collage on the BACK of the back cover, I decided to just cover it with mop-up paper that was just the right size.

And my stack of pages – not quite the 14 to 16 I planned, more like 12, but it makes a nice chunky little book and that suits me.

I think I have settled on the order of the pages but I may have a final shuffle before I bind it.

I will probably add the year numbers on there and I am thinking I might also add a little label maybe with a sentence about the project. Not a lot, just a few words so when I eventually go senile, there is an explanation of what the heck this little book is! So the kids can at least read that as they flip thru it before pitching it in the bin…

I did say I was self-aware, didn’t I? Not always, not perfectly, but I have zero illusions about the art I make standing the test of time. Keeps me sane, but it isn’t ever going to hang in a collection somewhere.

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Collage pages almost done!

Well. I have made much progress, despite a crazy busy weekend. Good thing too cause this week and next are even worse. Let’s see. First I will share a few more pages completed. Sorry I am not doing a lot of step-by-step shots for these but I was finding that taking the time out to grab the camera was interrupting the flow. First I have just a couple of pages, with one of them using a scrap of a gel print that came with my PMAS order a while back.

Nice, hummm? And the page:

Then I have the another page, front and back – or maybe it’s the back of one and the front of another? Doesn’t really matter, as they are all unrelated and made in no set order!

Now I have to assess the pages maybe put them in a stack in order, decide if I want to make covers that are different in some way, add any text to it, yada yada, yada. I am kinda expecting I will be ready to bind this in the next couple of days, we’ll see. I need to go back and re-watch the slip knot binding video and pick my binding cord/thread/? and will do a final flip-thru when I am done.

It’s been an interesting process and while I don’t feel I am an expert collage artist, I do feel a bit more confident and feel like I have gained some skills. I expect I might split up my week between paper-crafty things, digital play, and journaling but I do fear I will get a bit distracted by one or the other and focus on that. WHY is my brain so unfocused!? But I will finish this project for sure then assess. Best laid plans and all…

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Flip flopping again. Back to collage!

Life has gotten super hectic and I am trying to schedule some stuff ahead so when I have hospital appointments I don’t have to then also try to squeeze in blogging on top of perhaps feeling not great. I have been hyper focused on my collage bit and am determined to finish them up fro binding next week.

As I am using scraps and bits from gel printing sessions, the quality of the paper is a real mixed bag. Lots of it is on very heavy weight paper, and as I am building these little mini collages on heavy watercolour paper, adding more thick paper is not ideal. One interesting thing I learned is that I can split the paper in layers. The momigmi paper sometimes split all by itself, but if it doesn’t I can encourage it to.

Maybe you can see how flexible it becomes after peeling away the bulk.

I was also able to get a second piece that was usable in some cases! Almost like a ghost print, when ink seeped thru the surface layer deep into the depths.

So here are two pages I made with split papers. I like both.

They are not two sides of the same page but I have not completed both of the backside! That is a job or the weekend. The a clean up (hopefully for WOYWW) and making the next month in my 2023 daily journalling traveller’s notebooks. I need to keep ahead or I will get to the end of a month and find I have to make the book before I can journal. That way lies disaster. I can almost guarantee in that situation that I would likely just give up. At least I am self-aware enough to recognize that LOL! I have March ready, so April is next up. Now, what papers…?

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Two more collages done.

What to do, what to do? Collaged a bit, but it’s been busy and I’ve been sidetracked. Happy with them, mostly, but mostly happy I have learned so much in making them. Am I a master? Heck no, not even close. But I am a bit more comfortable dealing with scraps and feeling ready to move on to larger and maybe more considered pieces.

I did another double-sided piece this weekend.

Yikes. Lousy photos. I think, looking at them, they need a re-do. Better?

Maybe. Darn the lack of light late in the day!

So the issue is I had already sorted the blue one, adding the H there. IDK, it just felt like it needed something, and the H was on hand so…still not sure.

I now have about eight double-sided collage pages done. Missed one out, sorry, but it’s still an OK overview.

Looking at the sample that I saw that tempted me to slip-knot-bind, she had 16 pages. Yikes. That means I am only half-way done! And not only do I have quite a busy couple of weeks coming up, I also have been slightly sidetracked with the digital designing, which has eaten up a bit of time.

So I will have to decide if it is going to be full steam ahead on one or the other (collage or sidetrack) or an even split.

Hummm. What will it be?

WOYWW tomorrow. Hopefully nothing to get in the way this week. It’s been diabolical for months but I remain resolved to get to all each week, no matter how late my visit is. I’ve only totally missed the odd week in all the years, when I commented to join and then didn’t manage any visits. When I don’t manage to link up I def. have the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out) and have to spend more time on each blog looking back to see what I missed! Best clear the decks now, as best I can and get ready ….

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Collage re-imagined?

I was looking at the original larger collage that I tore out of the journal when I decided I would only do work on one side of each page.

I really didn’t want it to go to waste, so I cut a 4×4 inch window to preview possible cuts. While I was sad to lose the large open circle area in the end the cuts I did make gave me two pages I could work on that had a bunch of good stuff on them.

These were the better two and only needed a bit added for me to be happy with them.

And this one worked for a challenge, using: something red, a piece of a map, a favourite word. a postal item handwriting and bonus, an art scrap. So maybe HA is not a favourite word, but it is certainly something I say often, in a HA – as if sort of way. Note the most basic and limited handwriting. Just two numbers. HA. The tiny map circle shows Almeida street, where we once lived in Islington.

The reverse pages required more effort to get them to where I was happy.

Really like the left one, OK with the right one. I’ll hide it at the end LOL!

I have five pages finished, front and back, and one page front done, back blank. I have maybe 6 more pages cut to size (I ended up cutting more) and if I finish all of them they will make a nice little book. I had hoped to finish by today , ready to bind, but doubling the pages sets me back, obviously. I’ll work on over the weekend and with luck finish up next week – if I don’t keep getting sidetracked.

Ha. as if.


WOYWW 714 – annoyed and messy

Happy WOYWW!

Yikes. Collage is one of those things that just produces a mess. Or at least for me it does!

Just lots and lots of scraps all over my desk. I am well on my way to having the pages done for my little book of small collages. I am beginning now to consider the whole. You will see I have added little numbers to pages, so I can keep them in the order I want. I may still shuffle them about, but at this moment they are in the order I want them to be and I will forget if I don’t mark that. I will probably have a final edit right before I bind, but at the moment, this is page ONE.

Thanks to all who wished me luck on my Drs. appointment. Yeah. Well, that appointment was cancelled. By email and by text as well. Then just after the time of that appointment, I got a weird phone call from a Dr. I have never seen babbling on about if I didn’t want to be seen there I could just be seen at the “regional centre of excellence” (2 hours away) instead. Kinds snarky. Kinda implying I had missed my appointment with no notification. As if. Not happy, not happy at all. Nuff said about that.

Cat. Sleeps with me every night lately. Has a habit of climbing on top of me, kneading me with her paws to plump up the location, then settling down on top of me. In the middle of the night. If not that, she will thump me with her paw, Making sure I am there? letting me know she is there? No idea. Snapped this to send to Dear Son in the middle of the night. Doesn’t she look comfy?

Silly moo.

Doing well with my WOYWW visits. Well, last week anyway, so aiming to keep it up. Highlight of my week, the hop. See you soon!

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More collage progress.

I am trying to get at least one a day done, but life tends to get in the way some days.

I like both of these quite a lot, and I feel like they reflect the musings from yesterday pretty well. I feel like I am really beginning to identify my “style” and using the same sort of elements again and again.

I think that while they share elements, like the black die cut letters, the open circles, and a mostly vertical lines orientation, those things appear differently in each piece. I mean I don’t see them as copies of the same design, just variations. And they share a similar vibe with this previous piece.

One of the hardest things I think, is to identify your style. And I often seem to do things that go against the grain, my grain, I should say. I place something and I think to myself Well, that open circle is something I have used a lot. Maybe I should use something else… instead of thinking Open circles are my thing. Is there a place for one in this piece? There is no need for constant innovation. Was it Picasso that had his blue period? Maybe this is my open circle period. Maybe I just happen to have a ton of the waste bits from previously punched circles in my scrap stash! Who knows? What I do know is I rather like the small pieces, and when I flip thru the pages I’ve done, the first few, the ones that are more bitty, and don’t share those elements, make me less happy and maybe even seem like they don’t belong!

But then these two DO feel like they work with the others, or at least they work better. No idea why.

It is all very interesting. One thing is the one that feels very out of place, above? That is the one on the slightly smaller block, turned the wrong way so it is very out of place on MANY levels. I might just ditch it and carry on with the style I think I’ve identified and see where it leads….

Hoping I was going to have all of them done for binding on Thursday, but we will see if I manage that. Got sidetracked by a custom project that had a deadline. Now that is completed I can focus my energy a bit better.

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Collage progress with a deviation.

As you saw end of last week, I made a larger collage in my journal, as planned, then flipped over and began making one on the back.

Then I realized a couple of things. Firstly, I am not great at this technique. I mean I have made collages before that I really loved. Like these:

But those were using a coordinated set of papers that were created with the collages in mind, rather than a completely random set of scraps from creative play that could be years (decades?) old. I considered. And I decided smaller was better to begin with. So in addition to the few I shared, I made more of the smaller pages.

I have thoughts. For me, working on the smaller size is doing two things. They feel a bit like warm-ups so there is little pressure. The amount of space is smaller, so fewer pieces can be used. THAT has revealed that for me, lots of bitty pieces appeal less that mostly large chunks but with some smaller overlapping layers to focus the eye. Lastly, leaving “white space” or background has more impact when the overall space is small. I think these are helping me focus on the decisions I am making maybe because I have to make fewer of them to fill the space?

Anyway, I have a pile of the mall pages cut and punched and once I complete them all I will be able to try that slip knot binding. So that will be fun. I would like to mention I was able to use one of my image transfer with white paint experiments from a while ago. Can you see it?

I like it a lot.

So yeah, I will be playing with these little ones then at come point I will move on to a bigger canvas. That’ll be…interesting.