Saturday, January 29, 2022

Another 5-Day Book Challenge

Examples of participants' books, my signatures & spine paper

I'm pretty pleased that I've kept to some of those things I wrote on my resolution word art journal page that I was sure would increase my productivity and keep me on track to do "more". This week it was the "dive into things I've been curious about but keep procrastinating giving them a try. When I watched the videos associated with Ali Manning's 5 Day Mixed Media Journal Challenge back in November, I wanted to try some kind of surface design technique on the watercolor paper that would be used to create spacers between signatures which I'd already prepared. Using bubble wrap painted with acrylic paint to transfer dots to the paper was high on my list. I've seen it done so effectively by others, but I was disappointed in my own efforts. I think I was in too big of a hurry and didn't put enough paint on the bubble wrap, and not evenly enough either for a clear stamping. Or maybe my bubble wrap had lost some air in those bubbles. I know the first piece I tried had big bubbles that flattened down quite a bit. The second transfer was done with a piece that had smaller bubbles but I had similar problems with not enough paint on the wrap I think. But I decided it was good enough because only small portions of the paper would be seen at any one time which you will soon see.

The spine which is cut the same height as the signatures is folded accordion style into 1 inch folds. Very handy that I have this 1 x 6 inch ruler to use as I guide for marking score lines for the folding.

Then the signatures are sewn into the valleys of the accordion using a 5-hole pamphlet stitch. You can see the "mountain" of the painted spine as it creates a spacer between signatures. This space will keep the book from bulging as collage elements or other things are added to the pages.

I alternated dark blue and teal green thread when sewing in the signatures to go with the blue and green paint on the part of the spine showing in the book. Not sure if you can tell that in this photo. This went under weights so it would be more manageable for the next step with it. 

Sylvia Weir's interesting paste papers

Day 4 of directions included the cutting of bookboard followed by gluing on cover papers. There aren't many, if any, people in the book club who enjoy cutting bookboard, not even Ali! It is very tough to cut and takes multiple passes with a knife to get through.  I was rewarded with perfectly square boards which hasn't always been the case. Then I got a bit too cocky and cut and glued my cover paper without rewatching the instruction video. After all, this isn't my first, or even my second time covering boards. The paste paper, the result of Sylvia Weir's experiments and passed along to me when I asked for more details when she blogged about it (not sure if this is something I want to try myself), is a little heavier than the cover paper I've used before and I didn't leave enough on the corners when I trimmed it for the turn to the back. Oh, the dreaded miter gap! But Ali has shown us how to fix this literal shortcoming and I will know better next time. The covers are sitting on another piece of Sylvia's paste papers which I will use for end papers after having spent time under weights.

Day 4 also included instructions for gluing the folds of the spine together (and why there was no point in decorating that side as it would never show.). I have had such good results in following the other thing I journaled on my resolution page - putting work in the studio first in the day - but I had a morning appointment which threw off the entire day. By the time I got to the studio, there wasn't much time left, and covering the boards took me longer than I anticipated. While the gluing process did not take much time today, I just couldn't fit it in yesterday. It too has to go back under weights to dry so I was unable to do the final steps to complete the book today as I had planned: attaching the covers to the text block, adding straps and closure and gluing on end sheets. Still mulling what I want to use for those straps anyway. I may or may not work in the studio tomorrow to complete this little journal since I often take Sundays off, but I have to add that I am pleased that I'm sticking so far to one other resolution I mentioned, that of putting away things as I go rather than waiting to the end of the project or just shoving them to one side or onto the floor. Gaining some good habits again!


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading the step-by-step description of your process. Your bubble wrap stamp looks very underwater-y & tranquil. Thanks for sharing your experience! And, hurray for good habits! Jan in WY said...

Glad to see you using that paste paper---I haven't made any more--we just got back from a long week in Big Bend national park. I haven't done much in my sewing room except walk in and look. Maybe tomorow.
YOur book looks great---I finished mine and it went together easily. This area is so humid things take two days or more to dry---which is really frustating and then I start another project so I can continue working---but then forget where i am in the project.

I need to adopt your resolution of working in the morning first before all the fun stuff like vacuumong the floor and washing dishes.

The Inside Stori said...

Impressive…….it looks mighty complicated to me but I know one of your strengths is precision and detail…..keep up the great work!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Sylvia, I think of this book as "our" book because truly, what makes it so appealing is YOUR paste paper. I have been astounded that the number of "likes" for it in the challenge FB page has now exceeded 100! I've never gotten so many responses to any other book I've posted. And the actual comments all mention that beautiful paper and the color palette. Thanks so much!