Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Journals and Journaling

Finished this little journal yesterday ~ it measures 6.25" square and features a sewn tapes binding.  The cover fabric is ecodyed linen, and I fashioned the tapes with ecodyed cotton printed with textile paint that I rolled over a rubbing plate under the fabric...then doubled with fusible webbing between, and free motion quilted.

You can see some books in process behind the journal in this photo.  I'm awaiting a real Japanese screw punch from Bonnie's Art Tools in Georgia.  It should be here later this week.  If you plan to purchase one of these hole punches for bookmaking, don't make the same mistake I did ~ I purchased one for $19 at eBay, and it turned out to be a knock off of the real thing.  The real deal costs upwards of $60 including a set of punches with different size holes, and will cut through leather, book board, numerous layers of paper or cardstock and likely a lot of other things.  The knock off required at least two dozen punches to maybe make a sufficient hole, and the tool kept falling apart as I used it. 

I punched the first two signatures in the journal above with the el cheapo model, but badly, since I had to take the four-folio signatures apart, down to one or two folios, just to get a hole.  By the time I got the sigs back together, the holes didn't line up well.  I finished the project with a T pin and heavy yarn embroidery needle as I'd done with my previous books.  So I learned that with some things, you do need to invest in the best tool available.  These tools are available elsewhere besides Bonnie's, and including Dick Blick ~ but the best deal price-wise, considering that a full set of hole sizes is included (6 or 7 punches) along with First Class shipping, is currently at Bonnie's.  So I'm glad to give them my business.

So, I'm getting quite a collection of cool handmade books and journals, but I've yet to use them.  Except for one little book I made a few weeks ago that I quickly filled with zentangles.  I'll likely take that book apart (it wasn't a great construction to begin with) and affix the drawings to pages of another journal.  I'm good for writing journals at the moment, with hard cover spiral bound grid paper journals that I bought several of a couple years ago.  And I'm still working through my first two visual or art journals -- one hard cover spiral bound with plain paper that I gessoed, the other my first altered book begun in Tammy Garcia's online art journaling class.

I'm not journal writing as much as I used to, but had for many years.  At one point a few years ago when I first began my huge life downsize, I threw away 30 hard cover journals, which dated back to 1979.  And I'm only in my second one now, since the toss out in 2009.  Prior to 1979 I hadn't journaled regularly in a few years, although it was a terrific high school English teacher who started me along the path in 1966.  Journaling got me through some really tough places in life...and still does, when I have deep things I need and want to explore on my own.


Maggi said...

I love the tapes on that journal. I agree with you about the Japanese screw punches. I bought one about a year ago from a specialist bookbinding store over here and although it was expensive I haven't regretted it as it cuts through everything so easily.

Jeannie said...

Your tapes are wonderful! Not only are they functional, but beautiful, too. I have yet to go down the serious book binding path, but I have looked at the screw punches. Thanks for the warning because I probably would have gone the cheap route and been frustrated. I also journal my way through tough spots. I don't like doing it, but it works. (I avoid painful emotions like the plague! And I pitch those journals frequently.) I am taking Melanie's Dream Journal class in the hopes that it will get me into the habit of visual journaling.

Sandy said...

Another wonderful book. The Japanese hole punch is worth it. Journaling got me through the surgery 3 years ago and though DH's medical things. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I can't zentangle with a pen to save me.

Sandra Rude said...

Love that cover and its bindings!

Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) said...

You are so going to love your real screw punch! You have to be careful wherever you buy them. I originally got mine from a bookbinding supply place I trust. But it was either defective or they got their hands on a bad counterfeit lot or something. I sent it back. Wound up buying another one elsewhere that did work. Personally, I believe good, solid tools that will last are worth the money. It's an investment in your work. I've also been discovering that getting things on the cheap often leads to spending more than if you'd just gotten what you really wanted to begin with. At any rate, enjoy! It should go through your board with a minimum of effort. If not, something is wrong. I must say, I wish I'd thought of Bonnie's or this post had been available before I just replaced one of my screw punch's bits. I paid almost twice the price!

I'm still blown away by these amazing books you're turning out, with fancy tape-sewn spines and cloth coverings. You do realize that most people have been making books for a long time before getting to this level?! They're wonderful.

jenclair said...

Wow - love the sewn-tape binding, Connie!

Jan said...

Ellen's got it right in her second paragraph--you are so amazing in what you accomplish early on in a new medium. And now you're doing mixed media AND books!


Meg in Nelson said...

I love, love, love the thing you did in the book in the first picture! Just LOVE it! And it's gray - is it for me??? :->>>>>

Glad you're enjoying this journey. I put away my journals of the last 10 years some months ago, and this winter I've been using the pages to start the fire in the evenings. Sometimes I look at some of the pages, sometimes, I just crumple and throw them in the wood burner. Very therapeutic. Sometimes I think of journaling again, but sometimes I need time to think inside, rather than write and get it out. And this is cheaper and doesn't take up much space!

Oh, did I mention I love, love, love your book in the first picture?

Michelle said...

Beautiful journals! I'm sort of reading your blog backwards so I know that you did indeed receive your new Japanese screww punch and love it...so do I! It makes a world of difference!

Lovely blog and art! I found you through the comments on Mary Ann's blog...I'm also a HumCo resident! Small world!
Cheers, Michelle