Thursday, September 1, 2011

even if my life isn't interesting, at least my journal is!

do you keep a journal? i've tried off and on over the years, but i can never keep up with them. for a long while as a teenager i had sketchbook journals, but i can't keep up with them either. i can't even keep up with a daily symptom log, much less actual personal writing!

my great grandfather kept a daily journal for years and years and it's fun to read them - though truthfully, a lot of it's very dry and routine. there's only so much you can read about the weather and crops 75 years ago before it gets a bit dull! but they're still very interesting to read.

as much as i never write in journals, i do really like to make journals. when i went to manitoba in july, i collected papers of all sorts along the way and made a journal one day when i was up at the cabin. this week's Iron Craft theme was "Done Reading", that is, we were challenged to make something using a book as our main material. this was the perfect excuse to make a few more journals, since my favourite journals are the ones made of recycled book covers.

since i haven't gotten around to posting the book i made while i was away, i'm going to post it along with my two new ones, since it's the same technique anyway.



i start out with an old book that still has a nice sturdy cover. i carefully cut the pages out of the book, leaving me with just the cover.

hawthorne cover

i measure the book to determine how big my new pages should be, and go through my stash of recycled and thrifted paper, pulling out lined paper, ledger sheets, sheet music, paper bags, envelopes, graph paper, tracing paper, etc. anything goes!

i cut the pages as needed, and fold them into signatures. i punch holes in them, then i stitch them together using the coptic binding technique. if you're unfamiliar with coptic binding, this tutorial is very good, and as is this Youtube video.

coptic binding

i make sure that the front and back signatures have a heavier weight paper on the outside of the signature, so that it can be used to adhere the book into the cover. for the little green book and the book i made in manitoba, i used thick ledger paper for the endpapers, but for the yellow book, i dug out some neat scrapbooking paper.

hawthorne pages

i use rubber cement to glue the end papers onto the hardcover, let it dry, and ta-da! a new journal, full of interesting papers to write on, draw on, and glue things into!

here's a peak into the pages of each journal -

hawthorne pages
the Hawthorne book was the book i did while i was away. it's pages are full of thrifted sheet music, ledger paper, graph paper, etc, maps i collected along the way, paper bags, wallpaper that i thrifted, thrifted onion skin paper, brown paper towels and more.

the green and yellow journals have much of the same pages as the hawthorne book, but i had a lot more selection to chose from with my stash, and i didn't use maps, paper bags or paper towels.

green pages1
graph paper, a glassine envelope, and coloured copy paper

green pages2
a different graph paper, ledger paper

green pages3
printed copy paper, onion skin paper, and the ledger used as an end paper

green book
i couldn't resist this cover!

yellow pages
stripey scrapbooking paper end paper in the yellow book

yellow pages5
the back endpaper is a bright paisley

yellow pages4
graph paper, tracing paper, ledger sheet, sheet music

yellow pages3
more sheet music, coloured copy paper

yellow pages2
the yellow book is larger, so it has more selection of papers, such as this impractical but pretty pink tissue paper.

yellow pages1

of course, now i feel like the journals are too pretty to write in!


krissy said...

I love those! Do you ever sell any? I have about 100 journals and I could totally have more. I use them for so many things.

Cynthia F said...

LOVE these! And your coptic stitching- amazing! I tried it once- tried being the optimal word- lol!

Pussy Liquor said...

I love these! I *do* keep up a regular journal and I would love to have something like this to keep my (rather unconventional) life experienced tracked down in! Just lovely! :D

Poppyprint said...

I'm hopeless at journaling. I was intrigued with the concept of 'morning pages' when I first heard about them, but let's face it. Who wants to wake up 30 minutes EVEN EARLIER? Not me.

Your journals are incredible. I love the surprise of the pink tissue paper in there. I've never tried sewing papers together, or anything like this. Now I totally want to try it! When you say 'thrifted pages' where do they come from? And ledgers - where should I start looking? I foresee some interesting Christmas gifts!!

What Comes Next? said...

I'm with Krista on this one, too - just can't get the hang of journalling, and morning pages were a complete bust! These journals look fabulous, though! I love the huge variety of pages you've got, but there's no way I could do anything more than admire them

kat said...

I'm not a journaler at all since the one time I did someone found it who shouldn't have & it got me in a spot of trouble. Anyway, I love all the different papers you use for the pages.

bronwen said...

These are so amazing, amy!! I'm jealous now, I want one ;)

Berene said...

I love your journal, Amy. And I know what you mean about not wanting to ruin it by writing in it. I got a similar one at a silent auction a while ago and still love it too much to write in it. I think you just have to make the first mark and then you;re away to the races.

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