Category Archives: Handmade books

Long tall journal


I created this journal from Gelli prints as something I could take on vacation with me–and something to use all those Gelli prints!

I cut every 9 x 12 print in four 3 x 9 pieces and used the Rubi-Coil to bind them. Not sure how the cover came about other than an excess of white spray paint that then dried and stuck the stencil I was using to the paper, requiring some tearing to remove it. I like the texture.

I'm planning to use this in both horizontal and vertical formats. If I can bring myself to do anything, that is. Some of the prints are pretty cool as they are!


Stencil print book


Finished! I think. At least I'm far enough along that I can hold it in my hands and leaf through the pages. I may string some beads on the spine cords if I can find some beads I like. There are 14 signatures and the cover is acrylic-painted anaglypta wallpaper. I wanted to make a true softcover book with just the wallpaper but decided that I'd need a little more strength so I used pieces of a cereal box. I got the idea for the spine from a YouTube video–don't remember whose–when I was looking for tape binding tutorials.

Some of the prints can stand as is and some are dying for embellishment. I imagine this as an art journal with only some pages used for journaling. I used LOTS of commercial stencils and masks and some of my own made with commercial hand-cuts and die-cuts. These are mainly Gelli plate and gelatin prints but some are spray-paint stencil prints I made last weekend. I may do some more of these if our weekend is as nice as its supposed to be.







Grungy journal pages


A couple of pages from my Coptic-bound junk journal. I thought I might be tempted to work on one page at a time in this, but I can’t seem to help working in two-page spreads. The page on the left was blank, the right has part of a monoprint made using my Gelli plate and one of the new Michelle Ward stencils (love that the masks come with the stencils!) on colored paper. I wanted to fill the pages up and I think I succeeded. πŸ˜‰ I tend to stop too soon on a lot of my pages. I gessoed the left page and scraped acrylic paint on with an old bank card. Lots of washi tape, a paint chip card, old book text, and journaling. And orange. Can’t seem to stop using orange.

Above is left, below is right


A little more bookmaking


This is my design notebook for 2012. I have an 8×10 shop pad (actually, I have several) from Lee Valley Tools that I use for ideas, doodles, designs, lists, techniques, notes, snide comments, quotes, fiendish plans, recipes, calligraphy practice, shipping confirmation numbers, reminders…it sits on the arm of my chair and I tear sheets off and save them, eventually collecting them in a spiral-bound notebook for the year. Last year’s cover aptly features stenciling with spray paints.

I suppose this is an art journal of sorts. It’s a record of what I’m working on and planning to work on, and I keep looking back and getting ideas.

A little bookmaking


My first Coptic-bound book. I got the idea for using ‘leftovers’ for book pages from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog. I have a ton of old calendars, maps, background papers, and specialty papers–way more than I needed for this book. I made a resolution a while ago to use this stuff more…in something. I put together enough for 3 eight-signature books. πŸ˜‰ I wasn’t going to show the binding because its pretty ragged, but what the hell, it’s a good first effort made more difficult by the inclusion of pages of different weights, sizes, and textures. Did I make a practice book first? No, that would require patience and I have no more than I’ve ever had, despite making multiple resolutions. Anyway, I used several different kinds of old calendar pages, a few maps, a bunch of acrylic- painted cardstock, some cool handmade papers from India, Somerset Studio Collage Clips, and some double-sided tie-dye paper from Blick.


I had to watch a YouTube video to figure out the Coptic stitching. There’s something about stitching that I usually can’t get from diagrams. It isn’t hard and it moves fairly quickly once you get going.ll definitely make at least two more of these. πŸ˜‰




Back from ‘Up North’


I’m back from two weeks in Minnesota and Iowa. Almost every summer when I was a kid, we would go ‘Up North’ from our farm in Iowa to a lake in Minnesota (or Canada) for a week of fishing and fun with my mom’s sister’s family and sometimes our grandparents and other family. We looked forward to it all year long. I haven’t been back for a fishing trip for several years, so it was great to get to spend 10 days on Wasson Lake, throwing bait around, eating and laughing. I took a Moleskine watercolor book that I had done some backgrounds in before I left. I usually don’t do much artwork on vacation. I have great intentions for making art that rarely materialize. This year was no exception. I seemed to slide almost immediately into a state of ennui brought on by oxygen-saturated September breezes and no vacation for four years.
I did manage to cut out a picture of some Northern pikes from the Minnesota fishing guide and do a little doodling on one spread. I took a lot of pictures, though, and amassed a large collection of STASH tea bag envelopes for future pages. I especially like this background. I sprayed Dylusions dyes over wet pages and the pooled dyes give the impression of the map of a coastline. Did a little gesso stenciling, too.



Over the moon


Started back in on my splash book pages. These really probably need plain black and white images, but I like my Retro Cafe/Cemerony moon man here.

I feel compelled to fill the pages of these books but if I’m honest, I just like to look at their spines all packed together in the plastic container that’s become their home. Looks like there’s room for at least one more…