A little book and a bit about home printing…

I have purchased a TON of digital images and int he past I always stressed about them smearing in an art journal, or the colours being quite dull when printed. Not any more. I have had a couple of packs of this paper, in a couple of weights, and I have to say it is fab for printing things and having them come out quite bright and lovely, even in normal (rather than the ink-greedy HIGH quality) mode.

I hope you can see how bright and detailed that colour is. The paper is from PPD and it comes in 120, 170 and 210 gsm. I love the double-sided coating version cause then it doesn’t matter how I load it into my printer!

They have a Buy 100, Get 100 free offer on at the moment. I’m stocking up!

It isn’t just colour – black & white pop on it too. I made this little booklet, based on a kind of a running family joke around our disdain for the font Comic Sans. I know. We are weird. The booklet is made on mixed media paper, torn at an angle, to create a stairstep effect when folded.

and the background is warm neon colours on one side and cool on the other so you see glimpses of both when it is folded closed

I added some spatters and some stenciling, using many of the plastic lettering stencils I have hanging about in black and white to add more interest

The focal images are these odd birds, from a digital kit. I just like them a lot – I can’t say the tie between birds and fonts is super strong but the images are striking. The cover it tied and when you open it you see the warm side first. Flipping it over reveals the cool side and the final “joke” is in, of course, Comic Sans.

Just a bit of playfulness – at least it got me using my gel plate, which was fun. It’s been quite neglected now for a while. I am also working on some odd ATCs, using these same images but with a more surreal feel to them. I even have the perfect name for the series: Absurd Birds! It’s coming along.

School is back in session so my days will be a lot freer, I hope. More crafting! Yay!

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LifeBook class – the accompanying mini-journal

So, the little “no-sew mini art journal” from the class is actually one of the one sheet zine style books. I found the istructions a little hard to follow, but maybe because I have made so many of this style booklet, some with way more pages, and I have in my head the way to make them. I looked thru that stash of rubbish and found another over-spray sheet that was A3 and decided that would be what I made my booklet out of. I used the 16 square option, to make a booklet with 16 pages/faces to decorate. I wish I could recall where I found this image, but basically, it’s this. If you recognize it, do let me know.

Again, my sheet was A3, and I have made these from many different shaped and sized rectangles

this final book is about 3 x 4 -ish.

And here is where the text, and a few other quotes from Kurt, came in to play. I messed up a page and some of the text is edited or re-arranged, but the sentiment is still there. and I love how it turned out. All the stamps are by Teesha Moore.

I spied a little bit of a clear sleeve on my desk, and fashioned that into a holder for the book – and the book will sit happily at the back of the bowl piece as a little surprise.

The quote bears repeating:

Creativity flows from deep within, a raging torrent so powerful it will destroy if kept in check, or restrained in any way.

And while I am at it, the little image on the bowl also has a good quote but it is tiny and hard to read. It says:

Sailing on the edge of creativity.

So, there you go. I learned a lot from this whole process and I found it quite useful. I made art that I love, and is uniquely my own, with only the barest influence of the original class (and the words of the letter, and the stamps – what part of using them made it mine, in putting them together in the exact way I did, is a discussion for another day LOL!) and that class was one I was dead set against even attempting. Lesson learned. I can take SOMETHING from every class, even it is is not at all what the teacher intended. And I am OK with that.

It took a long time to make this book. and my desk is littered with little stamps and all sorts of other stuff I used to make it. Time for a pre-WOYWW tidy up. Then on to the next class. I may need to do a jar, and pull the classes at random…

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A lovely little ATCoin booklet

So often, it all comes down to math. Which is a pain for the “math challenged” like me. I made a little folded book for the Mixed Media Emporium challenge and then, cause it was fun, I made a little blizzard book as well. Same idea, a B&W masterboard was the beginning, then the book sprang from that. I haven’t added anything to the pages yet, but it looks like this:

The pages are a very long (pieced) accordion that snakes thru the folds, but I found my very long roll of black paper and I will possibly redo that at some point. But the thing is, it gave me the idea to make a blizzard book that doubled as a coin holder. I folded a few and was struggling to get the dimensions right. So I had a good look at the structure and all at once logic kicked in. It’s all about the ratios. I need my squares to be about 2.75 inches to fit a 2.5 inch coin so I need my paper to be 8 1/4 inches tall (or 3 x the finished dimensions) and I need 8 pages so the width has to be 22 inches (or 8 x the finished dimensions.) So I need 8.25 x 22 inches.

This is actually a really handy size, in the UK! To accomplish it all you need to do is take an A4 size sheet of paper and cut the long side to 11 inches. Then, watch this video and stick them together into an 8.25 x 22 inch strip using washi tape! Again, I could show you all the photos of me doing the process but honestly her video is really good and she shows the trick I don’t have a name for, for folding an 8-panel accordion accurately, better than scoring lines. The blizzard book instructions begin at about the 24:40 mark, but you will get a lot of good info by watching the whole thing.

As the first fold you are making is at the halfway point your fold is actually at the washi join. You can cover that at the end with a little more washi.

Joining like this means you don’t have any point where you are folding a double thickness and that works way better, trust me.

I also had the cool belt-buckle fold in my mind, and a random strip of black light card on my desk, so I fashioned a far easier closure using it. The width doesn’t matter a lot, but the length should be about 4 x with width of whatever you are wrapping – so 1bout 12 inches in this case. The fold in step two should be about as far away from the edge of the book as the strip is wide. You can simply trim the long tail in step 3 so it matches the width of the band.

You can reverse it so the tuck is at the front, if you want it to show. It isn’t super secure, more slightly decorative but you could add a daub of glue or adhesive and stick it to create a cute belly band closure – with double-sided paper it would be even more decorative. In my travels I also stumbled on a video that said you can size a blizzard book easily to fit any item by using the following formula:

height of the paper = the height of the item + 2 x the width of the item (plus 1/4 to 1/2 inch wiggle room)

width of the paper = 8 x the width (plus 1/4 to 1/2 inch wiggle room)

It more or less works. Were you run in to trouble is with standard paper sizes. So a 3 x 4 inch ATC CARD would require:

portrait: 4 + 1.5 + 1.5 = 7 (+ 1/4 to 1/2 inch so let’s say 7.5 inches tall and 3 x 8 = 24 + 1/2 or

7.5 x 24.5 inches for portrait orientation of the ATC

landscape: 3 + 2 + 2 = 7 (+ 1/4 to 1/2 inch so let’s say 7.5 inches tall and 4 x 8 = 32 + 1/2 or

7.5 x 32.5 inches for landscape orientation of the ATC

A4 paper doubled is too small. Even A2 sized paper is too small widthwise for either of them. Even 12 x 12 doubled is not big enough, unless you ignore the extra wiggle room – I’m planning to try to fold an ATC card sized book using two 12×12 sheets and will report back on how well an ATC card will fit it I omit the wiggle room Watch this space. WOYWW tomorrow and darling daughter has a hospital appointment. Why are Wednesday so troublesome lately??

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A Black & White book

Many moons ago I made a book that was kind see-thru, with a bit of solid card added behind, to block the light and add another dimension to the project. It was one of my favourite books ever and I decided te revisit the idea for a B&W challenge on the Mixed Media Emporium. I began with an A2 sheet of tracing paper (like vellum, sort of( and made a masterboard with black and white paint, using mostly my own handmade stamps.

A couple of close-ups for you:

I folded and cut the pages, zine-like, but added a canvas-tape spine and a 3-hole pamphlet stitch binding because the tracing paper was a bit more fragile then actual vellum would have been. I wanted the size, so the pages would turn out about 4 x 6 inches. I printed some quotes, white text on a black swirl and black text on white circles, then put it all together. Here is a selection of the pages:

And the cover:

The pages really come to life when you look at them in front of a bright window, where the solid elements block the light and create interesting shadows, mixed with the different levels of opaqueness of the paint:

The whole thing was a bit of fun – I really enjoyed making the masterboard and working just in B&W was interesting.

Still dithering over the junk journal. I was trying to make it work out in some way to cover the 1/2 year remaining (so like 26 weeks or 6 months maybe) but the page count just was not working out. So I am a bit stumped. Might just have to take the plunge and see where it takes me. But not yet – the weekend is for cards!

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Finally done with that double accordion book

I finished it and I am really happy with it! It was a hard fought battle, getting it where I wanted it, and it took me about three days to get from this:

To this:

And a little closer on the covers – that lady with the binoculars stamp is one I made with a stamp-making kit, 10+ years ago and it still works beautifully. All the rest of them, save the text circles, are Teesha Moore stamps.

Interesting to note that the cover quote is NOT by Gandhi, as is often claimed. He did say

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

which The Quote Investigator says in thematically similar – it has an interesting bit of info of where the quote might have come from, if you are interested.

Phew. Day 80 is in sight. This is day 78:

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A book project

One of my favourite books is Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden. There is this double accordion that I have always admired and planned to make, but it uses a really large sheet of very specific paper and I wanted to use something I had. I’ve tried makig it with cobbled together pieces but it never really worked out like I wanted it to. FINALLY, over a very fractured few days where there was just too much going on to spend long hours at my desk, I think I cracked it so I can make a version using A3 paper. OK so it is thin, yes, and maybe not as precise, but it works. I’ll try to step you thru it.

Beginning with an A3 sheet of paper, accordion fold it into eight pages by fokding in half, then folding ach half in half, then folding each quarter in half. As my A3 cardstock is heavy, scoring and folding was not giving me even enough pages. This divide-and-conquer method works very well. Just make sure you use your bone folder to get a sharp crease.

Next, skipping the first and last pages, which will become the covers, mark a “window” in each page two thru six. You have some flexibility here – mine started 2″ from the top and 3″ from the bottom, and 1/2″ in from each fold. I only marked out page two – using my pokey tool I collapsed all the inner pages (folding the covers out of the way) and poked thru to mark the corners of the windows. This made sure they were placed properly, exactly in line.

The other advantage is that the hole works a bit like a stop for your blade when you cut the windows. You are NOT cutting all the windows out. You will fully cut the windows on pages three , five and seven but on pages two, four and six you will cut ONLY the top, bottom and right sides. The left side must stay intact! Like so:

Rather than cutting the left edge, score and crease it.

You will cut two small triangles, top and bottom, from these pieces

These will act as a support for the decorative second accordion. I trimmed mine to 1/2″ as well, where the book says leave them full size. With the pages this thin they need to be thin as well. Fold them to the back (and sorry this photo is upside down – it looks too weird when I rotate it, but this angle shows the folded back flaps

I was really loving the look of the catch-the-overspray from my Bull’s head gloss spray coverage

so I decided to use that as the colourful accordion. Here is where the trouble began. The original uses two pieces, at very precise measurements, both scored evenly. My sizes were not like the original and the reason it worked was more about proportions than measurements – i.e. one size in relation to the the other not just smaller. So I had to work out the proper scoring of the second piece to fit the first – math has NEVER been my strong suit. Thus began far too much trial and error to get the same score lines and folds to work. Yeah. Na.

In the end I worked it out but the scores are different and there is a slight fiddle with the last placement.

I won’t make you read my scribbly notes LOL!

Cut a sheet of decorative paper, not heavy weight, to 13 1/2 inches x 6 inches. Score it along the long side at 1″, 3″, 5″, 7″ 9″, 11″ and 12 1/2″. Accordion fold this piece starting with a valley fold at the 1″ scoreline. Weave this thru the windows like so

Going back to both my scribbly notes and the photo above it, stick the first fold to the first wing, the third fold to the second wing and the seventh fold to the third wing. I found the small paper clips helped with this, clipping all the points in place then removing the clips and sticking them one by one.

I used strong 1/2inch double sided tape for this. This leaves the smaller 1″ page at the beginning loose. You now need th stick the last page to the inside of the back cover. This is the fiddle. The photos don’t help really, it’s all a sea of confusing lines and angles. First add your strip of double sided tape to the last edge of the centre accordion. Do NOT peel off the backing yet.

CAREFULLY collapse the book. Fold each page as it lies. Pinch it in one hand, leaving the back cover free. Peel off the backing and close the book, letting the tape stick the last page where it needs to be. Visually this is more or less centered in the middle of the back cover, but doing it this way will account for any slightly wonky folds.


So the decorating is complex – maybe not complex, just a lot of stamping and cutting and sticking, and working out the placement for the quote. That will consume my Bank Holiday day. I’ll hope to share the finished book tomorrow. Then a tidy up for WOYWW!

But here is my 100 Days page, lest you think I am slacking off on that with the finish line in sight!

Another one I am quite fond of, not sure why!


A colourful mini-book

Mini-books are my favourite things to make. I love finding, or creating, unique structures and I love composing all the pages and I love being able to use a longer quote. This quote one is one I have had in my back pocket for ages – possibly since my college history class. I love how it turned out!

The basic structure is very much like a couple of scrapbook-style minis I made many years ago. This one is still one of my all time favourites and the post has instructions for the basic structure. Then I made another one with slightly different dimensions. For this one I wanted the pages to be bigger so I changed it again. I began with an A3 sheet of carstock and sprayed it, as best I could, half and half, warm colours and cool.

Cutting it across the length into two and trimming the raggedy edges …

I backed each piece with black card. This did make for quite a thick piece for accordion folding but on the plus side it made a VERY sturdy structure to stand upright when opened!

From there it was just adding the images and the covers. I love how it turned out! Click the photos for a bit of a closer look if you like!

And the cover:

So only the 100 Days page to add:

I really like this one! Been a while since I have said that wholeheartedly! I will be at day 75 soon and that is really going to be an accomplishment! I am hopeful I will make it to 100 for sure, and will begin considering my next 50 days project – that should be a breeze after doing the 100 days one!


Finally! My Dina-debris tag book is DONE.

I always struggle to get things finished during the school holidays. I usually only manage a coupe of hours each morning to do everything crafty I want to do, then chores and family take over. So on a usually week I would have managed to get this done in maybe three days, it’s taken me a lot longer than that to be able to share the final piece. Here is a gallery view of all the pages in order:

To avoid the final massive, zoomed-in, blurry photo here is the last page:

So there has been a slight re-arrangement of pages and a slight edit to make the words flow a bit better. All of the words are from stamps or from the packaging. You will recognize the small text and the large MEs if you have any Dina stuff, I’m sure. The few changes are swapping pages three and four – I felt the flow of Be willing to be me. Be the best kind of me, me, me flowed into Be willing to play better than the other way around. Do you agree?

The other change is more subtle. Pair seven is:

All well and good. But there was a disconnect, for me, with the text on the next page. The original pair eight is on the left.

Annoying that as I was flipping thru the pages were not laying perfectly flat for photography so one side is slightly angled. Any way, I removed the Stop Wishing line because the flow of Never Stop Trying then Never Stop, flowing immediately into Stop Wishing was too much of a contradiction to suit me! Start Doing as the next line made more sense.

Overall, this was a lot of fun. It was a great using-your-trash project (and I am still thinking a 100 Days of Trash Transformed project would be a lot of fun) and it was challenging to make something I love from really limited supplies. Other than those two flowers that have been hanging around looking for a home for MONTHS, it is 100% Dina supplies. And that was fun too. It confirmed the annoyance I have with that lumpy stamp, but otherwise yeah, all good. I thought I might manage to use the alpha stamps that finally arrived on this project but I was too far into it to manage that. Next time…

Day 56 – sorry for the slightly off centre shot, I took it in a bit of a rush :


Tag book assembly – love this construction!

I’ve mentioned that I watch YouTube art videos on the treadmill often. I would say my walking time is split evenly between political commentary, art videos and cooking/recipes! I didn’t mention that I often watch them on anything from 1.25 to 2x speed. I just want the meat of the project, not the waffle, IYKWIM. So I can watch a couple of long videos and a few short ones every day. Last week I saw this one by Birgit Koopsen. I thought the construction was super interesting for a few reasons.

I have done bindings like this with tape, but the problem is it obscures the pages. This method does not. As she mentions, and it is well worth watching the video to see (from about the 25 minute mark for just the binding) the key is getting the bottom edge flush, for a neat book. The quick look is just a bunch of scored and folded strips of paper, the height of just the edge of the tag, up to the angle, no further, and the tags adhere INSIDE the folded piece.

Once you have them all paired you can join each pair in sequence easily.

I love the look of the little tab tops on the tags, but at the assembly point I realized that waiting till the tags were adhered back-to-back would mean a single tab could cover two tags. Of course then I would have more scraps leftover, so….

The spine then goes over the tags. Mine was sprayed with gloss spray, then a bit of spatter and stenciling and doodles too.

I used the same colours as inside. This is the kind of strapping you would use to cover a hockey stick or tennis racket – sticky one side, fabric the other. I added a ribbon tie as a closure.

Then the spine over that.

Just the covers to complete and add. But now, page 54!

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My tag book progress, using Dina-debris

I am very nearly done. Usually I hate splitting up a project over multiple blog posts, but when there are so many photos to deal with, and it take me many days to finish, there really isn’t any choice!

If you look back a post or two, you will see the beginnings, and a bit about the technique for the base of the tags, gloss gel medium thru a stencil, with gloss sprays over the top. Then it was all about adding a focal image using stamps, collage tissue, and other bits

Another thing I did was make a block out of the side strips from the packaging. I ended up stamping and cutting some bits and using some bits as strips, as you can see above and below.

For the text I used word bits from stamp sets and collage tissue – and you can just see one of the pages made from the strips above here in this shot:

As I cut the tags from the packaging sheets, they didn’t have the usual holes in the top. I considered punching them but decided to make tabs from some of the strips instead.

They were definitely the thing I had the most of, as they appear on all the packaging! So much so they will form the basis of the covers. I had all this left over after I made all the tags

and only this much actual debris!

Although I am still refining my choices for pairings and placements, here is an overview of the tags so far! I’ll be making final choices on pairings and the order they will appear before the final assembly. Very excited!

Here are some close-ups, still subject to change! Because there is an odd number of items, I’ll add the first page pair on it’s own, or I get a massive, zoomed-in image that is out of focus – darn you, WordPress!

I can already see some changes I need to make, so I will probably do another page-pair gallery when I am finally done. But overall I am pretty happy with it. Not bad for trash, transformed. Hey, I can add that to my long list of 100 Days projects – 100 Days of Trash Transformed LOL!

And now, Day 53- I think I used the fishes on Day 1 so about time for them to make an appearance again: