Sunday, August 21, 2011

Purple Polka Dot Book

For Christmas last year, my husband's grandparents sent money and told me to go shopping. Going shopping with someone else's money is a fun thing to do! I hit JoAnn Fabric, and nothing really grabbed me until I saw an odd bundle. It was a bundle of eight fat eighths (say that five times fast!) that had a theme of basic purple patterns. I had to have it, although I thought it might be difficult to even get one book out of each piece.

The bundle sat on my shelf as I pursued other projects until I got stuck on a book for my sister-in-law. We had just moved, and it was my first book that I would be making without Heather's help. We were about to figure out Coptic stitching for another book when my husband's orders came through sooner than we expected and I had to get us moved in three weeks. So here I sat, with a fantastic book ready to be Coptic stitched, and I had no clue how to do it. I knew that I could teach myself how to do it, thanks to the wonder of the internet, but I wasn't sure I wanted to mess up my nephews' quote book.

"Why don't you make a practice book?" said my husband. (This is why I married him.) So I dug out the purple eighths bundle and grabbed the first fabric on the roll, which happened to be polka dotted. To my surprise, there was enough fabric to make two books. Maybe someday I'll get around to it again. Maybe.

It took two online Coptic stitching tutorials, but I finally learned how to do it. However, once I was done with the book, I had a problem. After we'd moved, I'd gone to Michael's to stock up on bookmaking supplies. But the thread I'd gotten was too thin, which I discovered after I'd made the book. So I took my scissors, carefully cut all the stitching, and started over after buying thicker thread. I was much happier with the end result.

Here it is, my "practice" book:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Guy Books Series: Silver Swirls on Blue

A few months ago, I was contacted to do a book for someone's boyfriend. That deal fell through, but the idea stuck with me. More journals are woman-centered than man-centered. Shouldn't guys have as many options as we do when it comes to chronicling their thoughts?

While shopping at JoAnn's with my husband's cousin, I started keeping an eye out for "guy" fabrics. These proved more elusive than I thought they would be! Fabric that I originally thought would be a good fit because of its color would often have to much "froo-froo" on it and I'd have to start over again. I finally settled on a green batik, a blue with silver swirls, and a faded brown with red overtones.

I decided to start with the blue fabric first. I managed to get five covers out of that fat quarter. Then I had to rethink my strategy for paper. Unlined, colorful paper appeals more to women than it does to men for journaling. But artists love unlined paper, too, so I decided to keep one unlined. I did something new for two of the books and put in lined paper (harder to do than I originally thought!). I consulted with my husband, and he said a good idea would be to try graph paper. It was a pretty normal getting-in-over-my-head moment when I started that part of the project. I finally settled on carefully pulling pages from a graph paper pad and cutting them by hand. I also goofed in gluing the graph paper into one of my covers and had to scrap the book entirely (which made me sad).

But four of the books turned out great, so enjoy all the variety of pictures!