The Rebirth Of Some Forlorn Books
With Kindles, computers, tablets, IPhones, etc., good old paper books are getting the big heave-ho in many homes. Thrift shops are becoming so flooded with books that many are starting to give them away for free while others charge only 25-50 cents a piece. I for one still love to read actual paper books and it breaks my heart to see them devalued in society today.
As many of you know, I am an avid thrift shop junkie and yes, I always look at the books. And even though I am not interested in reading most of what I find, there are other criteria that will get them into my shopping basket. Do they have nice and interesting hard covers? Do they have fun vintage graphics? Are they vintage children’s books, especially Little Golden Books? Are they old accounting ledgers or logs of some sort?
Here are some (and I emphasize some) of the books I have purchased recently. Notice they don’t fit on the bookshelf so they are piled up on the floor!
So what do I do with all these old books? First of all, I deconstruct them and separate the pages from the covers. Then I pull out all kinds of other vintage ephemera I have such as flash cards, stationary, envelopes, playing cards, graph paper, scrapbook papers and the list goes on.
Next I sort the papers and ephemera into equal piles according to the number of book covers I have.
Lastly I bind the books together to make sweet vintage junk journals. Usually I bind them with binder rings so there is lots of room for the new owner to add their own treasures. I tie some ribbon on the book rings and each is given a charm to dangle from the top ring.
These junk journals function just as the others I have made. You can glue, staple, tape and clip your ticket stubs, cute packaging tags, greeting cards and all sorts of other collected ephemera onto the pages. This is a really fun way to keep and display all those little bits of paper and ephemera that you have collected and don’t know what to do with.
These journals will be packed up for some shows Mossy Cottage will be selling at this coming fall. I have many more books to give a new life to and plan of rescuing as many as I can in the months to come!
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…Already!
I am already making items to sell at my shows this fall. Gifts items and Christmas decorations are what I am concentrating on. Because the biggest show I am doing is a very expensive show to participate in, my theme for making items this year is, “Something out of nothing”. What this means is I am using up my stash of craft supplies and up-cycling and recycling everything I can in order to offset my expenses. I am not buying much of anything to complete my items. It does not mean, however, that I am producing anything that is not up to my standards. It just means I’m being more creative, which is actually quite fun!
Here are some pictures from one of my first show projects.
These junk journals were made only with stuff I already had on hand, so my only investment was a little time.
This is the first completed set of books I made. I will be making many more junk journal/glue books of various styles for the shows. I absolutely love making journals and can’t wait to start my next project!
Learning From Mistakes
Being a perfectionist and creating art just don’t go well together. I am a very particular person and like things neat and tidy. Mixed media art is anything but neat and tidy. Last night I was playing around with this piece. At some point I decided it needed some black stamping on it. Okay, so no it really didn’t. The stamped areas were uneven and looked terrible. I was so upset that I had ruined my pastel chalk background. Then the light bulb turned on and I decided to cover up the black stamped patterns with circles cut out of scrapbook paper. Wow! I love that the six scrapbook paper circles added a much-needed punch of color to this piece. Instead of adding a focal point graphic I just want to remind myself that mistakes are okay as long as I learn from them!
So what lesson did I learn? Don’t give up on your artwork after making a mistake, just figure out a way to redeem it!
Mixed Media Odds and Ends
Just a quickie post today as I don’t have too much to share.
I have been very busy lately with Mossy Cottage but I did manage to finish (I think) one page from my first attempt at Journaling by 5s by Shannon Green.
And here is an ATC (Artist Trading Card) I made for a challenge.
Well that’s all for this post. Hopefully I’ll have some time now to work on some more of my art journal pages. I’ll post them as I finish them. And if you haven’t tried journaling by 5s yet, what are you waiting for???
Journaling by 5s, Part 5 (This Is Just The Beginning)
I am now on the last “mandated” part of Journaling by 5s by Shannon Green. As you can recall the first 15 minute session was paint/ink for color, the second was collage/recycled stuff for texture, the third stamps/stencils for pattern, the fourth words/images for focal point and lastly pen/pencil for finishing details.
Why is it that 15 minutes is so long when we are waiting at the Doctor’s office or for a table at our favorite restaurant and so short when we are
on Pinterest trying to be creative? One would think it easy to doodle some words and scribbles on 20 pages in 15 minutes, right? Wrong! Once again the timer kicked my butt and although I worked on all 20 pages, I am nowhere near finished. Mostly what I did during this time is to outline pictures and words with my Pitt Pens and then smudged the lines to give a blended effect. You have to look really hard to see it in these pictures, but trust me I did it.
Here are some pictures of pages I have been working on. I won’t bore you all to death with all twenty pages.
Shannon says in her video that after you finish the 5 sessions you have “free time” to work on the pages as you wish. These pages are really just in their beginning stages and will take a lot more work. I am looking forward to working on them and will post some pictures here and there as I get the pages done. The thing with mixed media is that I “have to be in the mood” in order to do it well.
Now, drum roll please! Here is the status of the heinous page so far……
Journaling By 5s, Part 4 (The Session I Feared The Most)
Alright so I am moving right along with my Journaling by 5s sessions which was created by Shannon Green. This is the fourth 15-minute session and I had to add my focal graphics and words. To me this was the step I really dreaded the most because this is the area I tend to over-think.
I already have files of collage graphics and a box of words and sentences, however, I did cut some more out of some old magazines just in case.
So I got my glue stick, images, words, journal and timer ready.
I just had one preconceived idea which was to put light graphics on dark pages and dark graphics on light pages. The words and text would be whatever I grabbed. With only 15 minutes and twenty pages there really isn’t any time to think.
This step was actually the easiest for me and I did finish in the time allowed. I’m okay with the results so far even if a lot of it doesn’t make sense yet. I still have a doodling session and some “free play” time to tie everything together. Stay tuned, I may even show you how the heinous page is coming along!
Journaling by 5s, Part 3 (How hard can it be to stamp and stencil?)
tragedy project continues. Today I completed step three of Journaling by 5s by Shannon Green. This session focused on adding pattern to the journal pages using stamps and/or stencils. Pffffft. How hard could that be? Well, actually it’s wasn’t that easy.
First I had to decide which stamps and stencils to use which in itself was a 15 minute exercise. Next was choosing the colors. For some reason I thought it was a good idea to pull out almost every ink pad I had thinking I’d do some colorful stamping. Yeah, right. I did have a sane moment, though, and limited my paints for stenciling to black and pearlized white.
It wasn’t long after I started the timer that I realized there was a lot of cross-contamination of colors going on and letting my Staz-On Ink pad sit open for 15 minutes was almost making me hyperventilate. I couldn’t use a stencil with an ink pad once it was covered with paint and I didn’t have time to clean off the stamps in between every color.
So, as sadly this stage turned into black stencils and patterns made by a piece of bubble wrap which is usually one of my favorites. So much for colorful stamping and stenciling. Here is the result of today’s “play time”.
Even though Jounaling by 5s can be a little stressful, it is a lot of fun and I have been learning a lot, both about mixed media and about my own art style. Stayed tuned for tomorrow’s session when I add focal images and words!
Journaling By 5s, Part 2 (My Love Hate Relationship With Mod Podge)
Today is day two of my posts about the art journal technique called Journaling by 5s by Shannon Green. As a quick recap, yesterday I had 15 minutes to put paint and/or ink on 20 pages of my art journal.
Today I had just 15 minutes to collage and use recycled papers to add texture to the pages. Here are some pictures of this
I have to confess that I was not able to complete this session in 15 minutes. It actually took me 30 minutes because everything was sticking to everything. Even though I put wax paper between each page as I went, the wax paper stuck too. It just took me 15 extra minutes to peel the wax paper off the pages. I did not move anything though, so it stayed the way it was originally slapped down.
If I do this again, I need to reconsider my adhesive choice! Because of the sticky mess I must say this was a rather stressful session. Stay tuned for tomorrows session and another picture of the heinous page!
Journaling By 5s, Part 1 (Or How I Got My Mojo Back)
I don’t know whether it’s because we’ve had a terribly cold and long winter or what, but I seemed to have lost my creative mojo. I have been making crafts since before Christmas but have not done any mixed-media or art journaling.
Well I found a new way to get my creative inspiration back. It’s a process called Journaling by 5s and was created by Shannon Green. I have been a subscriber to her YouTube videos for quite some time, but this one really blew me away. Journaling by 5s seems to have taken the mixed-media world by storm. There are lots of people on YouTube showing their processes and finished journals.
Seeing how I am not on YouTube (yet!) I will tell you about the process and show you my results on this blog for the next five days.
In a nut shell there are a few rules you have to follow for Journaling by 5s, but thank goodness there are no rights and wrongs in what you come up with. Here are the rules:
1. You finish your journal in 5 sessions
2. There are ten media you can use in total, but only 2 per session
3. You only have 15 minutes each session
4. You have 20 pages you must work on each session.
Here is the link to Shannon’s video where she explains it better.
So in essence you are finishing a 20 page art journal in 1 hour and 15 minutes! Why would anyone want to do that? Because it frees you up from over-thinking your art and trusting yourself to create something wonderful.
So here are some pictures from my first session. In this 15 minutes I had to use paint and/or ink to put color on all 20 pages.
Tomorrow I will show you the results of putting background and recycled papers on each page. Can I redeem the heinous disaster page? Stay tuned to find out!
From Flat to Fat
Happy New Year everyone! I know it has been a long time since I last wrote a post but you know how busy the holidays are. I am betting that all of you were too busy to read blog posts anyway, right? Well, now that the holidays are over for the most part I will show you something that I made to help me remember this wonderful Christmas time. If you have read my blog for a couple of months or more you will remember seeing my December Daily in the post, “Out of the Mess”.
This is the unfinished version. The pages were all there but none of them, including the cover had been decorated. Well everyday in December I wrote down a little something I did and put aside some ephemera that corresponded with what I wrote down. Then every other day or so, I played with my December Daily and all the embellishments and ephemera I had so I could go back to it in the years to come and remember the fun times.
This is what my December Daily looks like now!
I didn’t show you all the pages but you get the idea. This is the second year I have made a December Daily and I love them. I had so much fun reading what I did at Christmas time last year I know this is a tradition I will hold on to. So now you can see how my December Daily (and my waistline) went from flat to fat over the holidays. Later this year I will post a blog when I start constructing my one for Christmas 2015 and I hope some of you will come and play along!