Gelli print book from those sewn scraps

Argh!  I spent all day yesterday doing a whole host of Admin things and in between I played with the japanese stab binding patterns I posted about a while back.  I wanted to finally finish up the book from Gelli prints with the sewn paper scraps “fabric” I also showed.  I tried out so many of the patterns, with the focus of working out, if possible, a two-colour version.  None of them I was happy with in the end, and after looking at the cover on my desk for most of the day, I decided a simpler traditional pattern would actually compliment the cover better than a super decorative one, which might distract.  I have to say I still love ALL of the patterns and want to use them ALL.  And her instructions are superb – I had to research the pattern I decided on and write it up in the Enter/Exit style for myself so I was sure I would get it right the first time. See my screens?




Bad enough, the little area in front of my monitors, not to mention the chaos on the screen, but OMG my proper desk….



You can see all (no, really only SOME) of my practice pieces and printed instructions.

And the book:



I rather like it, but it was really more about DOING it than having a plan for what to do WITH it IYKWIM.  I’m sure I’ll find a use for it.  Full of lovely colourful prints



and I love how the eyelets that echo the stitch holes let the contrasting first page show thru to the cover.

Now, having shown the shame of my desk, I hope to get it all tidy for WOYWW.  As my parents have had same pretty bad weather there in Northern Virginia (lots of ice and snow) and lost power, I’ve been without email for a day (our email server resides in their basement) so much of what I should be doing I can’t so till their power come back on.  So cleaning is the order of the day!

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Just the beginnings of an idea…

I did as I said and sewed the torn paper fabric piece together with a reasonable Gelli print, and am working on an idea for the pages.   So far I have a stack of black Deli paper prints, and the beginnings of a clear gel skin – just the white paint at this point as it needs a while to really dry before adding the gloss medium to unify it into one solid and cutable piece.


And a stack of basic background style prints – nothing special, nothing much going on in them except the first layer of texture.  I have a crop and Christmas party tomorrow so I am trying to get some stuff sorted so I’m not just sitting there chatting and eating!



It’ll be interesting to see if anything I like comes out of it.

I know I owe a few WOYWW visits.  I may have to stop posting for a short time as I am really struggling to do even my return visits at the moment.  I am creating a lot of gifts this year and it’s the busy time on UKScrappers, with a lot of behind-the-scene stuff needing doing, so unless I can get to a reasonable number of desks on Sunday I may end up going AWOL for a bit as it’s simply too guilt-inducing to keep trying to clear a block of time and failing.

Now at least 4 things to do before leaving to pick up DD from college, so this one will stay short (well, short for ME…)



Couple of quick things – Gelli stuff

Just a flying visit from me – a lot going on so not much time, but I have a plan….

Interweave had a sale – it’s still on for the next couple of days.  $5.99 for standard download of many of their online workshops.  I grabbed about 4 or 5 of them.  Most clock in near the 2 hours mark.  One left me a bit cold, although I did learn a couple of new bookbinding techniques from it, but one,  Add to, Undo & ReDo filled me with inspiration.  I would highly recommend it.  One of the techniques was for making paper “fabric” from scraps.  I had a go:



While she used a selection of different sorts of papers, I limited myself to scraps of Gelli prints, lots of them samples of techniques I shared, or other experiments.  I also kept to a limited colour palette.  I love how it turned out.



All the stitching holds everything in place with no adhesive at all:



She used different colour threads and black a lot, but I picked white.  My plan is to decide on the size for a journal/book cover then stitch a full-sized print to the back of this paper fabric – perhaps with black thread, then bind the book with that as the cover.  I am thinking this print from my stash will work well colourwise.



She also has a technique for covering a shape with tiny scraps (a bit like the old serendipity squares) then stitching over them to make very dimensional objects for collage or canvases.  It was so stinkin’ cute done with cut outs of  cat’s eye glasses and cutlery!

I seem to be drifting ever closer to actual collage work.  Oh dear.  I also enjoyed Paint, Print, Layer, Collage a LOT. Some of her images were fab and the focus is on creating “personal” imagery, i.e. stuff that is unique to you so your work is more YOU than just using standard commercial products like stencils and stamps.  Clearly that appeals to me, as previous posts will show.  I especially like the digital manipulation sections and scan-to-reuse tips.  There are a handful more workshops I could easily grab and watch and at that price, why not?  It’s about what? £3.50? Less than the cost of a magazine. And I have 300GB of free space on my disk so…..

I also had a play with making a paper rose from some other stray prints – I like it but it is BIG



No real plan for it, although I suppose I could always use one of the flower-template dies and make a much smaller version for a layout or a card or a book cover….

Now, a friend for lunch, sorting DH for ANOTHER chili cook-off, a bit of accounting and UKS work, and so much more. But I have to share  this:  Wordpress has added a little box of Recommended tags.  Something in this post triggered a recommendation of Desperate Housewives!  Was it me whingeing about being busy? all the other ones make sense, but THAT one doesn’t.  Still, it did make me smile….


Stab Binding pattern

Well, no joy from the Dr. I’m afraid.  Just stay warn, drink lots and you’ll get over it.  {sigh} Maybe, but at this time of year being weak as a kitten and alternating fever and chills is not helping me get to my to-do list.

While sitting in the waiting room I worked out the instructions.  I made them a PDF.  I also included a template that is sized for an 8 inch tall book.  I’m sure you can resize it, or add more motifs.

Again, fair warning, the front and the back are NOT the same.  So if that is a distinct feature of stab-binding patterns I’ve failed miserably.  But if you don’t care about that, have a go – it’s pretty simple. This is the front – look back to the last post to see it sewn, and what the back looks like. NOTE:  I should mention that (like the original) in the instructions ENTER means come up from the back and EXIT mean go down from the front. I’ve added that info to the PDF.

lookslke and some better shots of the book where the colours are more true and you can get a better sense of the French Fold construction:

Now I need to lie down for a bit….

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Stab Binding – doh!

As I mentioned I am loving the Japanese stab binding tutorials.  Although I’ve missed my window of opportunity for our Japanese visitor, I’ve no doubt the will be back and as I am laid up on the sofa trying to hold out till I can go to the Dr. tomorrow, I figured I’d have a go at another one.  The one I decided to use is the Stars one.  Yeah, well, whether it’s the fever or me being my usual stupid self, I mounted the template I printed upside down.  What I mean by that is I mounted it so the line of holes that should be along the outer edge were in fact along the inner edge of the spine.  That meant that the wraps around which should fall on the outside edge had no place to wrap. DOH!

Not willing to abandon the book I just decided to wing it.  I worked out my own pattern using the holes I had already punched.  It’s not too bad, although nothing at ALL like the stars!



Sorry it’s late in the day and my lights are rubbish.  I quite like the pattern I achieved.  I might have a go at writing it up but to be honest I have no idea if this s some common pattern for a stab binding that I just stumbled on – I’ve no idea how to research it so if I add it it’ll just be a case of putting it out there, not of claiming its some fab new discovery.

The pages are 8 x 10 Gelli prints, folded n half.  Each one sandwiches a strip of black cardstock and those strips form the spine edge of the book.  It’s a bit like a French Fold book, without sacrificing too much of the print to accomplish that. It measure 8 x about 6.25  and the pages have about 8 x 4.5 inches of usable space.

Here you can see the folded edges:

2jsbbookSo bad – not much better but ….

3jsbbookI like both the front and the back pattern of the stitching.

5jsbbookI’m not actually sure if it is meant to look exactly the same on the front and the back.  Mine doesn’t so it my not be “traditional” but I still like it.



Bear with me till the morning.  Dr. is first and foremost, but when the light is better I’ll try to get a more accurate shot of the true colours. It was more of a learning exercise at this point than anything else, and for THAT, I’m pleased with it.

I did wind up doing the stars tutorial on just a scrap of foam core.  It was dead easy and looked great.  I would suggest it over the kissing fish for a first go.  Just remember to orient the template the right way!





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Gelli + mists + japanese stab bindings

I was really hoping to manage to finish something for our visitor, but got struck down with strep throat.  Ugh.  I hoped to give him one thing but hope I haven’t given him the other!  Oh dear.

So not much one this.  Going back to an old Gelli Arts tutorial on using mists  I tarted up a handful of prints.



The mists do soak thru a bit but I think maybe I didn’t saturate them quite as much as I should have to get the full  effect.  Still, I do like them quite a bit



This one is a particular favourite



But the real focus is the brilliant Japanese Stab Binding tutorials from this site.  Fab.  I picked perhaps not the easiest one to begin with, one she calls Kissing Fish.  I grabbed her template and printed the pattern.  As suggested, I stuck it to a bit of foam core so I could practice.



The bottom edge gets trimmed too. Then, following the three pages (!) of instructions I managed to accomplish it while laying on the sofa and watch a movie with DD. Imagine the bottom edge is the spine of the book….



I love it.  I would say yarn isn’t the best choice of sewing material (I tended to split a strand and that distorted the stitches slightly) and I am not sure I would want to try it without the numbers.  I’m thinking I can print on to tissue paper or something that will tear away easily – this tore OK but I used too much adhesive for it to be a clean removal. Maybe for the next one.  All her patterns are stunning and so decorative, I just want to try them all…but not till I’m better. and then I hope the two things will come together with a third thing to produce a final project.  Right now I’m off for some more paracetamol then back to the sofa for a bit more rest.


Gormenghast book

Nearly done, and just a few shots.

The cover, as I mentioned yesterday, is meant to mimic the cover of the edition of the book I have:



The B&W print in the back is an image I found of Gormenghast castle.

Inside, there are those Ma Vinci stamps with the title (sort of) of the song/poem that provides the text:

2GormbookAll the pages are, obviously, Gelli prints. Here’s one of the spreads:

3GormbookI find it interesting that cutting up the prints gives them a whole different look and feel.  I like the way the yellow circle on the left and the black circle on the right almost intersect.  It reminds me of a quilt I saw that I loved, made in a particular way, with freehand cutting of circles from a stack of fabric squares then interchanging the surrounds and the cut circles.  I’m not explaining it well but it was kinda cool and it stuck with me.

Using the current obsession, turtle wrap covers and slip-in spines, this one has the accordion stuck together on the underside so the back is flat and the folds radiate out like sunrays.  The pages get stuck back to back, sandwiching each little flap.  That keeps the book a solid unit rather than one that pulls to expand, like the flag books.  It should accompany (or perhaps arrive in advance of) a gift with a related theme.  Just need to get it in the mail soonish so it can get there by Xmas.  Now, still a few more things to sort out.

It is totally unfair that I have to scrub the kitchen floor on my birthday…..




The teardrop flag book and some thoughts on symbolism

I did warn you ….

While I was making this, I was thinking about choices.  At first, it may seem that using the colourful Gelli prints for a book that was perhaps more about sadness than joy might be a bit of a disconnect.  But delve deeper into why I made the choices I did.

The cover print:  First, to clarify, I cut the stencil, yes, but it was from a dingbat of Banksy-works, not my design.  The original post showing it is here. That print is muted and a bit sad, I suppose, and the image of the girl letting her balloon heart go can be seen different ways, much like tears. So it fits – is it perhaps  a study in sadness, or faith, maybe?  or optimism?  Letting go? Trust?


The quotes: Two aspects to this.  First that tears can be of sadness OR of joy and love.  That allows the happy, colourful prints to work a bit better. And second the quotes inform the choice of the shape.


The shapes: well, teardrops, obviously, if not perfectly shaped, as they were from a die set called LEAVES.  In context alongside the quotes, they work together


The placement: The second quote is about tears coming from a “secret place” so the placement of the sad stamped images, hard to see within the surrounds as it stands, on the teardrops, makes them more “secret,” reinforces the quote.


I had a bash at the panorama option in my camera – not totally perfect but you can get a better sense of the look of it:


The point is that I know I look at art sometimes and wonder Well, why did the artist choose that?  Makes no sense to me…. but if I knew the artist, knew what the piece was about, it might be more of an AHA! moment when I GOT it.

Going back, OMG so many years…scrappers may recall there was once a flurry of pages called 100 Things I Love.  Like many people I made one:


Bear in mind that was made in 2002, and scanned and stitched together I think, so forgive the dodgy image.

What’s the point?  Well, I shared in on an online forum, and I was surprised that only ONE person commented on what I thought was the most significant symbolic bit, that the up and down lines of text were meant to look like a heart monitor read-out (heart=love, get it?)  If I recall a few people didn’t like it cause it wasn’t very “scrappy”  but I still love it.  And it is interesting to see what I “loved” in 2002 LOL!  Outside the obvious family, my list included Peter Greenaway films, duplicate prints (as in photos developed – when was the last time I did THAT? years), heart rocks (from DS and my habit of looking for rocks shaped like hearts), Vegemite on toast (still have it every morning for breakfast), OZ (the HBO prison drama, not as in The Wizard Of… LOL!) and Crops at Scraptastic (sadly closed now, but it was the first scrapbooking crop I went to in the UK.) And of course I still love the centre quote of What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

I wonder, too, if I’m weird this way.  I am always second-guessing my choices, because I look at something and think What am I saying with this image, that colour? what else could it be saying and am I OK with that?  It is sometimes about the visual (I like how that looks) but that is never where it ends for me.  And sometimes the symbolism may be SO obscure that no one would ever GET it unless they were inside my head, but I’m ok with that too.  ‘Cause I get it, and that is enough.


Alternative book tie – the cover exposed

Frustrated.  You know me by now – I can never seem to make just ONE of anything. I had mentioned I thought the shaped flags would be a nice place to add photos or stamped images, so I decided to have a bit of a play with that.  I managed to get pretty much all the photos I needed to explain the alternative ribbon tie arrangement that was to be the technique portion of todays post, then my camera died.  Apparently it dies before it actually saved at least 2 photos, which would have given you a glimpse into the body of the book.  They are recharging as I type but they take HOURS, and could I find four working batteries in the house anyplace to snap the last few shots?  Could I HECK!


This was born from my annoyance with ribbon ties.  Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE ribbon ties.  What I HATE is the way the ribbon crosses the cover.  You have to either think long and hard about how to incorporate it into the design or place it carefully so it doesn’t block anything important.

I had a print I wanted to use:


It’s a grungy looking clean-up Gelli print with one of my stencils – the stencil image is actually Alcohol Ink smudged thru, not paint of stamping ink, just FYI.

I think you see the problem.  There is nowhere to place the ribbon where it’s not going to compromise the design.  With a normal sort of cover (ie sticking the paper to the cover, sandwiching the ribbon between the board and the print) it wouldn’t be that much of a big deal. But with a turtle wrapped cover (which is needed to allow the flag book to slot in and expand once opened) you can’t do that as easily.  The side flaps of the wrap prevent me from just sticking the ribbon to the back of the cover.  What I opted to do was add a couple more eyelets – that also adds a decorative note but one that is subtle.

I added one on the right, near the opening edge


then threaded the ribbon to the back.


I added a 2nd eyelet to the left edge and threaded the ribbon across the back and out to the front.


The spine eyelets still get added. but the ribbon just lays along the back of the book.



I also used different shapes for the flags.  With the Nesties, because the gradation in size between the dies in a set required both the circle dies, I wanted something that could use just one set.  People complain about the Xcut dies being too  far apart, not “nesting” like cardmakers want.  But for me the wide space between them was perfect. This one is called Leaves, but to be it’s a teardrop.



And I think you have seen this collection of sad stamps before:

7wholecoverAnd these quotes:

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. (Washington Irving)

It is such a secret place, the land of tears. (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

They worked perfectly  but (and I really and truly don’t mean to tease!) it’ll have to wait for the batteries to share.  Which actually works out well because I wanted to bore you with a little discussion about symbolism.  Be warned LOL!




Circular Flags Flag book instructions

OK, I’m going to have a bash at this – I’ll try to be concise but you know I struggle with that  LOL!

For a 5 1/2 square book you will need:

  • 8 6×6 Gelli prints
  • nesting dies – I used the Spellbinders circles and needed the 3 1/4 (the circles), 3 1/2 (the circles mats) and 4 inch (the holes in the frames) ones.  More on how I used them in a bit
  • 2 sheets of A4 or US letter card, or 2 6x 12 cardstock strips.  This needs to be HEAVY WEIGHT card
  • also a score-board, bone folder and adhesive

1. Make your Gelli prints.  The 6 x 6 inch plate is fine, but you can pull 4 prints on the 8 x 10 one and cut them in half. I chose to make all my prints using the SAME texture of pebbles but feel free to use all different ones.




Cut them down to 5 x 5 inches.

2. Make a template.  This is helpful to ensure that the hole in the prints is in exactly the same place for every one.  I simply cut a piece of thin card to 5 x 5. Line up your largest and your smallest circles and tape them in place.  Run them thru the die cut machine then carefully remove the cut outs while leaving the dies taped in place.


3. Using the template, carefully line up the template with the Gelli print and die cut each one.  Save the centre circle and the doughnut (see them there to the right?) – you can use it to decorate the cover as I did or use it on another project.



I chose to shuffle the middles and the surrounds, rather than matching them so the same circle fell within its surround.  But you can match them, sort of.  You’ll see what I mean when you put it all together.

NOTE:  I chose to back each of the surrounds with black card, both the make them sturdier and to make the backs more visually appealing.  I did NOT back them before I cut them. I’m of two minds one this.  Backing them first makes the cutting out of the centre circle a whole lot easier, but you then lose the thinner doughnuts AND you lose the ability to cut the middle-sized circle from the black to use it to mat the printed circles.  BUT planning on backing them AFTER you’ve cut out the centre circle is tricky – if the die slips at all you can’t get a perfect match when cutting out JUST the SAME circle, IYKWIM. Up to you.  Overall, wasting a little bit of card is not the ed of the world.  You could try sticking the black to the back of the Gelli prints just around the edges and plan on sneaking some adhesive like a glue stick between them to fully stick the black card AFTER you cut out the circles, then you will still have the thinner doughnuts AND can use the larger centre circles to cut the mid-size mats if you want but it might be tricky.  Just something to consider!


4. Cut your cardstock down to 5 1/2 inches wide x whatever the long length is.  Whether you are using A4, US letter or 12 x 12, the length doesn’t matter much.


Score one piece at 3 inches then every 1 inch all across the long side.  For my A4 sheet I get 8 scorelines, with the last section being smaller than 1 inch. This is fine.  Score the other piece every inch for 8 inches.  Leave the rest unscored.

5. Accordion fold both pieces, starting with a VALLEY fold at the 3 inch score and ending with a VALLEY fold before the unscored bit of the second piece.


6. Overlap the first fold of piece 2 with the last smaller section of piece 1 and stick them together. What you now have is a 3 inch section, 8 peaks of the accordion, and something between 3 and 4 inches at the end, depending on the size paper you started with.


7. Stick the surrounds leaning one way (in mine they lean left) to each accordion.  Stick the circles leaning the opposite way.  They really need to match up perfectly.   It’s all about the action when you extend the book!  You need the circles to move freely within the surround.



The easiest way to do this is to stick the first one. Once the first one is in place, sort of collapse the accordion with the next sticking point flat.   Add the adhesive to the bottom edge only, and lay  the next surround (or circle) perfectly on top of the first.  Press the next accordion back and down on top of it.  Does that make sense?



That shows attaching a circle.  Hope it’s clear but I think when you start to actually DO IT it will make sense!

8.  Add the text strips. Or not.  I added the longer quote on the surrounds, then the short one across the circles.  That one long word wasn’t as readable across the middle side-to-side so I turned the last two words top to bottom so they were easier to read.


I think it would be cute with photos or stamped images on the circles as an alternative.


Phew.  If you made it this far, now we will deal with the covers and the spine. Let’s begin again …

You will need:

  • 4 Gelli prints – 6 x 6 is fine but they need to be in the middle of a larger sheet.
  • 1 Gelli print and one piece of card, each at least 4 x 6
  • 2 cover boards 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches
  • 1  1 x 4 inch strip of matboard
  • 24 inches of ribbon or twine
  • 4 large eyelets and 2 small ones

1. Cut the Gelli prints for a TURTLE WRAP, 2 for each cover.  Reminder – that means at least 9 1/2 x 5, but it can be . This shot shows the BACK of the prints.  The printed area on the front must fall between the creases you see, that wrap around the covers.


2. Now, I didn’t actually take MORE photos of the Turtle wrapping (you can see the instructions here, although the size of the book is different, the idea is the same) but I did have a go at creating a diagram.


Wrap the BACK cover as well.

3.  Slip the 3 inch bit at the beginning of the accordion fold into the front cover. Lay the wrapped cover face down, and slip the accordion into the gap between the print on the inside of the front cover and the board.  Do the same for the end of the accordion and the BACK cover.

4. Set large eyelets.  These will hold the accordion inside the wrapped covers.  Set two eyelets on the front cover and two on the back . They need to fall  no more than 1/2 inch from the edge at the top and bottom as there needs to be 4 1/2 inches between them


5.  Create the removable spine.

Lay the 4 x 1 inch piece of cover board in the middle of the card. Cover with the Gelli print and crease along the board, folding the spine into a flat-bottomed U. Set the two small eyelets  across the middle slightly apart.


The spine will now slip into the two free gaps, one in the front cover and one in the back. Imagine the eyelets – you can see them in the next photo! This is just to check the fit.



Remove the spine. Thread the ribbon thru the eyelets. With the spine in place, these will wrap around the cover to close the book.


The spine will hold the book closed when in place, but can be pulled out from either the front or the back cover to allow the book to expand.



I added beads to the ends of the ribbon and placed the cover decoration over the ribbon.

Mercy Maud!  That is L O N G.  But I hope it’s clear! As ever if you have any questions, comment and I’ll try to answer.  Once I post this I’ll try to convert the post to a PDF and will add that for you if it works.  This is one of those projects where having a working video camera would be nice.  Perhaps I’ll have to experiment with my phone and see how taking video works on it.  Of course then I have to edit it and I have zero experience with that….