Filed Under (Fibre and textile crafts, Journalling) by jennyk on 01-01-2011

I had good intentions for today. I always have good intentions for New Year’s Day. They rarely work out. Last year ended as badly as it started, so instead of having spent the past 2 weeks getting this place organised enough that I could start journalling today (or this coming week, even) and start catching up on overdue craft projects, we have both spent the past 2 weeks hacking our lungs up, and we are still coughing. So, this is more about aims than achievements. Never mind, it was always supposed to be about the year, not just one day.

Other than catching up stuff, my main plan for this year is to make a serious attempt at journalling, so I’ve signed up for a series of Visual Journalling online workshops. Fortunately, they don’t have to be done at particular times, so I can pace myself. One of the tutors is Roz of Roz Wound Up, and as she is my biggest single inspiration for doing this, that makes me happy. Her blog and website have a huge amount of information on so many art-related topics – materials, methods and more.

I also read today on a friend’s blog about the Sketchbook Challenge, which seems like another good idea.  Again, there is no pressure involved, just a theme a month and a chance to look at other people’s work (and upload your own if you want).  I recognise the names of a lot of the people who will be setting the themes – in particular, Diana Trout.  Her book Journal Spilling is one I have been planning to use to help guide me through this journalling experiment.

Well, those are my intentions/aims/goals, but whether anything much will come from them remains to be seen.  Watch this space …

[PS.  just because I want to try journalling, that doesn't mean I won't also be doing other art/crafts during the year, so watch for some of those too!]

I hadn’t realised it has been so long since I last posted here. My mother is out of hospital again, but things are not going smoothly, so I still don’t have the mental or physical energy to craft much. I did finish that pair of socks from the yarn I dyed, though I haven’t got around to photographing them yet, and I’ve nearly finished the first one of the yellow and orange pair, but I’m hungry to do a wider variety of crafting again. First I need to finish some things I owe other people, then I want to finish a shawl for myself which I started … um … I’m not going to admit how long ago. Most of all, though, I want to make more books and start journalling, which brings me to the new button which just appeared on my right sidebar …

For quite a while I’ve been following Roz Wound Up – a wonderful blog about book-binding, art journalling and art in general. I have learnt so much from that blog, and it has helped keep my urge to journal alive over the past few months, even though I know my journal(s) will only include my first baby steps at art, nothing like Roz’s sketches. I can still aspire to reaching something near to that level one day, though, with enough practice, and meantime it will, I hope, at least chart my progress.

Roz has embarked on a project to get herself sketched in as many other artist’s journals as possible. To that end, she has started a contest with her handmade books as prizes, which will run for over a year. You can read about it by clicking here or on that new sidebar button. For Phase 1, entrants have to sketch her from life, which rules out those of us who don’t expect to be in Minneapolis or any other place she might visit over the next year, so she has kindly created a secondary contest for us. Also, Phase 2 will give anyone who wants it an opportunity to sketch her from photographs she will post online. Check it out – even if you don’t enter the contests, you could probably learn a lot by browsing her archives and her pages.

I have done very little crafting since my mother came out of hospital, as she has been taking up a lot of my time and energy, though I did make a few books which I will post about soon. I still haven’t finished the second sock using the hand-dyed yarn which I posted about in May, but she is back in hospital again, so I expect my sock knitting to speed up again as I’ll be knitting while travelling and sitting with her. I already have my next pair planned, in a subtle (cough) sunshine yellow/orange space-dyed yarn. They are for my DH and it was his choice of yarn and colour. I’m not too happy about it, as 100% merino is not my first choice for socks, particularly for someone who is tough on socks.

I also want to get back to paper crafts and a friend pointed out an amazing giveaway on The Stamping Boutique blog, which includes 36 Copics. I love Copics! I don’t have enough of them, though. :-(


Another small journal, for a friend this time. I think I am on a black & white & bright kick after using that colour scheme for quilt blocks for a swap. This one is 3″ x 4.2″ x 0.5″. It is coptic-stitched, with 7 5-sheet signatures of 5.6″ by 3.9″ 90 gsm printer paper (well, 3 sheets are red paper of similar weight). The cover is stamped Tyvek again, and the thread is Anchor #20 crochet cotton.

Filed Under (Bookbinding, Fibre and textile crafts) by jennyk on 10-02-2010

I’ve made the smaller mini-journal which I mentioned yesterday. It’s 1″ by 1″ (the minimum size for the swap), with 5 2-sheet signatures.

Filed Under (Bookbinding, Fibre and textile crafts) by jennyk on 10-02-2010

Another small journal, this time for the swap-bot “The Coptic Stitch” group “Size Challenge #1″ swap.  The journals must be no bigger than 3″ in either direction.  This one is 3″ by 2.3″.  I’m going to make a much smaller one for my partner, but that will be too small to be usable, so I thought it would be nice to make her one that is only just inside the size limit too.

This book has 5 signatures, each 5 sheets of 90gsm paper.  The cover is a Japanese paper called Ukigumo, which is waterproof and can be heat-fused to the background surface.  The spine is Tyvek lined with mull fabric.  The sewing thread is Gutermanns Sulky Cotton 12.  The inside papers for the covers were cut from a Rococo chocolate bar wrapper.


Filed Under (Bookbinding, Fibre and textile crafts) by jennyk on 05-02-2010

Well, I did almost finish this yesterday, but the last stage was the Coptic binding, and I decided I needed to wait for the glue smell from the covers to go away before I tackled that.

This journal is for a Colour Challenge swap in the swap-bot Coptic Stitch group (which covers all handbinding of books, not just Coptic stitch).  This time, the colour is red, so this journal has my favourite red ginburi momigami paper on the cover (very textured, with flecks of gold and silver foil), red lokta paper for the inner cover and red 18/3 linen for sewing.

The cover boards are covered with white Tyvek, which gives slight texture and sheen as well as being durable, with 3 colours of the ginburi momigami paper.  The  journal has 9 signatures, each with 4 sheets of 130gsm A4 short-grain book paper, and the whole book is 6″ by 8.5″ by about 0.8″.

It will be up to the new owner to decide which is the front and which is the back, but I prefer it as in the first picture.  You can click on the pictures for bigger images which show the textures better.




Filed Under (Bookbinding, Fibre and textile crafts) by jennyk on 25-08-2009

Before I get on to what I am doing today, I want to mention that a friend from Swap-bot, lisajhoney, is doing a blog giveaway. She makes wonderful felt food and other felt items.  The giveaway runs till September 2nd, but if you are reading this too late, please visit her blog and Etsy shop anyway.

So, back to me … today I am making mini-book charms for a series of charm swaps on Swap-bot.  I made the first one a few weeks ago using traditional sewn signatures (groups of folded pages), but cutting the pages accurately enough for such a small book is a slow process, so now I am experimenting with mini accordion books.  If this works out, I’ll post pictures soon.

Filed Under (Paper crafts/ATCs/"Art") by jennyk on 30-05-2007

I had planned to spend part of today trying out paint effects on paper, but I decided to try using rubber stamps (commercial and improvised) first and I had so much fun I didn’t get around to the paint at all.  Here are the results.  As usual, click for a larger version.

 Paper 1

The lines in the bottom section of the lefthand paper were meant to represent grass.  I am not sure that worked.  The top section of the right-hand one has extra shapes (actually capital Ss) but I wasn’t sure whether that was an improvement or not, so I left the lower part as it was.

Paper 1

Paper 1

The paler pink papers are sponged rather than stamped, as was the ground for the green paper in the first picture.

All the pieces of paper are about half A4/US letter size.