Thursday 2 July 2009

Wow isn't it warm, muggy,sweaty and generally uncomfortable.The only good thing about summer is Wimbledon....anyway onto art type stuff, not really done a lot. A few cards, the start of another hanging mobile, a good clean and tidy in my craft room (mind that was about 10 days ago and now it looks just as bad as before) hmm what else...I started an art journal, finished off a Kaiser album and bought lots of buttons.

Art Journal.

I have been meaning to do one of these for a few years, I kept putting it off for a number of reasons. I couldn't decide on a book to use, I always feel daunted by empty pages and I felt that an art journal needed to be A.Arty, and B, quite personal. I don't think I am all that arty and I wasn't sure that I wanted to put a lot of personal feelings into a book...I still feel like that, so I have no idea how this is going to turn out. More recently I have been inspired by a few journals around the net, one such site being I was then pointed in the direction of which I am hoping is going to help me get over the fear of baring my soul. So there you have it decision back to what book am i going to use....still couldn't find one I liked so I decided to be cheap and cheerful(not like me at all, I do like a bit of extravagance) and make my own.

Here is what I did do, in case you feel the need to have a go.

Step 1, Grab some sheets of newspaper, approx 6, glue them together with PVA glue, leave to dry. Put them under books, to flatten, but really a few wrinkles adds to the charm and texture, so don't stress over it.

Step 2, Tear the newspapers into squares/rectangles of different sizes...tear don't cut, you want the edges to be rough....When you have the sizes you want, cut one edge to straighten it.

Step 3,paint both sides with gesso, be generous, cover most of the print, but allow some to show through.

 Make as many pages as you like, I did 22.

Step 4,Arrange the pages so that smaller ones are on top of larger ones, this way you constantly have a sneak preview of pages yet to come.

Step 5, Take some paper or very thin card in a colour of your choice, I chose black. Cut strips about 2 inches wide. I used A4 sized sheets, so the length of the strips is the width of the original A4 sheet. Fold each strip in half lengthways, and stick each page into a strip. Don't stick them right up to the fold, leave a 1/4 inch gap.

Step 6, fold over the edging strips and stick down.

Step 7, Take some wooden skewers, sand them lightly and ink or paint, leave to dry. I used distress inks and handled them far to early and now have 'antique photo' coloured fingers.

Step 8. Take each page, and fold over part of the edging strip, using the 1/4 inch gap. Snip a tiny sliver out every 3cms or so. Bend every other tab up, and the others down.

Step 9, You now need to thread all the pages together, using the skewers and the edging tabs. This is called the 'piano hinge method' If you google 'Piano Hinge Book' you will find a ton of detailed instructions, it is very easy to do.

Step 10. The final thing to do is snip the ends off the skewers to shorten them, and then you need to wrap some thread around and inbetween the skewers to hold them all tightly together and secure. Again details of how to do this are already on the net and not hard to find.

As you can see, without doing this final step the hinge is very lose and stretchy and opens up quite wide.

I am leaving my book like this for the time being, I want to be able to open up the pages easily so that I can work on them and fill them up. Once the spine is tightened up this might be more difficult. When I have filled all the pages and the book is complete i will go back to the spine to finish it off, pulling in the skewers tightly and binding them together.

Book all ready to paint,decorate and fill......look at all those empty ,white pages....bit worried now, no idea what to do next...Check back for next installment(when I have worked out what that is)


  1. Oh my gosh, that is amazing! How clever! I'd love to have a go at that - can't wait to see what you fill it with...


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hey girlie thats really neat....Dont be frightened of the white pages. Slap some ink and some papers on. Dont even start journaling yet. Just get some pages "unwhite". Dont worry about colours you can always change it later. The important thing is to lose the fear of the newness, lol...I,ll be checking on you..!!! ha ha Dyan

  4. I'll be keeping an eye on your Art journal project as it looks very interesting!!!

  5. just popped over from Dy's blog - love your journal although would prob have my eye out on those spikes!! - agree with Dy, just dont think too much about it - enjoy, think (hope) you'll love it once you get going ;o)

  6. wrote:

    Jul. 2nd, 2009 10:05 am (local)
    Look forward to seeing the end result

  7. Wow this is fabulous, I'm soo going to look up the instructions on piano hinges, they look fab.

    Claireliz (UKS)