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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:


100 days – book two done

As you may recall, my 100 Days collage diary book was in serious danger of becoming a wedge. I made the first 3 weeks of pages just crammed full of layers, not at all mindful of the effect.

I thought I had two options – rip out all the extra pages and begin a second book for the second half, or maybe stop at 50 days. But then I figured why not dis-assemble the first book, re-bind the remaining pages and make a cover, splitting the existing book in two? Yep. Do that.

It was actually pretty easy. I only had to open the coil on the book I was using, remove the pages for Days 51-100, then make new covers

Used my old Bind-it-all and it worked a treat. I covered the front is a sympathetic style so they look good together, using similar stash:

The Day 51-100 is something I created to mimic the new (but unavailable in the UK at the moment) Dina Wakely stamps. It was easy to do and it let me have the numbers as well – I don’t think the actual alphabet set has numbers – and I will do it again, until I eventually get the stamps. Or not. I have a file full of the black squares and the alphas (pink, cause white on white is tough to see LOL!) and I can make them and print as needed

Somehow I think I printed the ones I used with a stroke outline, hence the black grunge in the white. I’ll test that later. Anyway, here is a hot of the first book, hopefully showing how the first 3 weeks is super fat, the more recent pages, where I made great effort to shift the bulk away from dead centre, are thinner:

You can see how fat the existing book is compared to the new one LOL!

And here is my next page – still on the old book – I have quite a few more days to go before moving to book two. Part of the reason I am jumping in to this well in advance of the end of book one is that I have about 100 more ideas for 100 day projects and I am worried I will be too tempted to abandon this at Day 50 so I can begin a new one!

A little heavy-handed on this page, I think…

Some of my rub-ons work better than others! I was always annoyed by the pressure-marks that show when you have to rub REALLY hard to get them to adhere. It’s pretty obvious here:

Grrr. Problem is that I think these particular rub-ons did that when I first used them. Some craft fails are MY fault for not using stuff up in a reasonable amount of time, but not this one.

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A little mini-book

I have always loved making mini-books. While having a clear up last week I came across some (crappy really) photos from my wedding. One of them was of my cousin and his wife – she was newly pregnant and the look on their faces as they danced together was just pure love. Sadly, my cousin died very suddenly last year and he was not old. I wanted to send her the original photos as well as a little booklet with my favourite poem (well top 5 anyway)

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] by ee cummings

You might recall I used this recently in a couple of small mini-books I made for my son and his girl for Christmas/Hanukkah

I used a couple of the butterfly prints from the Dine Wakely Collage Collective books, added some very subtle and light edge-inking and stamping, a few watercolour splatters, some sequins and a few punched hearts and sent it off.


I’ve masked the photos cause I have no idea how happy she might be to have them shared anywhere. The heart detail is hard to see, but the inner heart is trimmed tiny bit smaller and mounted flat – the outer heart is on dimensional tape. WordPress gives me few options for which is the big photo. It worked out so you can see the detail pretty well here!

Oh and not typos. ee cummings always structures his poems in very interesting ways. You can read it easier here, rather than squinting at my small photos……/i-carry-your-heart…

Let’s see – what day am I one today of the 100 days project?? The word is WHATEVER but it could easily be annoyed. With the new shielding advice the possibility of meeting up with my favourite knitting buddy in early March has been snatched away, delayed till April. Lonely me, a solo cuppa, and an attempt to be philosophical about it. Bah!


100 days of daily journaling, collage, and inspirational words

Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Who knows? I did finish my book and am quite happy with it!

You may recall the notebook itself had a window – the inner cover looks like this!

I have a couple of things that I plan to use on every page – the raffle tickets for the numbering and this small PaperChase notebook for the journaling spots.

I ope to begin every day with about 30 minutes spent selecting my word, building the collage for the day, and writing a short bit about the word and how it applies to where I am in my life. If nothing else it will be interesting.

As yet I am undecided if I will share the pages each day or not. It is not my intention for this to be the only project I am working on. I still want to be working in my art journal, still getting elbow deep in paint and other mixed media fun. But adding a page every day will keep me honest! 100 days. 100 pages. A Page a Day. Perhaps I will share just the page for the 100 day project and not get at all detailed as to how I got there. OK – no detail, just the page.

Phew. Relieved to have a plan



Final Tag book – all put together

I had fun making this – same sort of accordion construction I have done 100 times before, and I am sure everyone knows already. I attached the ribbon tie to the back of the book so it would wrap round.

Added the tags – I made the pages a little bigger so the tags would be framed nicely, yet the top would extend above the book so the ribbon and rik-rak would be free.

And the cover in place:

Just to save you looking back, here are al the tags in place. Some might have a few additions, like splatters, etc.

I have a really fugly art journal page that I may add. Not sure yet. I also have another box of stash coming and I may want to throw a little more onto the fugliness to see if it salvages it. Or not. I added a title that is pretty perfect for it so I may just share it as is. It is a cautionary tale…sometimes, more is crap. But is it ART?