Archive | handmade books

Next journal….


I didn’t make last week’s journal in Sue’s journal making course because it was a wire bound one and I have a Bind it All machine which I thought would do the job adequately.  But I did make this accordian fold one the week before, with envelopes as signatures.   I decided to make it from the remaining house fabric.

journal with house fabric

I had previous gocco printed some brown envelopes which I bought in Machynllech on holiday.  Some of them I got upside down but because they were put in vertically in this journal it didn’t matter!

house journal

The gocco prints are of buildings too, so they fitted in nicely with the theme.  I didn’t have quite enough so I also put this white envelope with a lovely bee stamp which someone sent me a while ago.  I kept it because it looked so nice and I’m glad I did because I’ve finally found a use for it.


We made little journals to go inside the envelopes and, being short of time, I decided to use some of the scraps from the previous house journal to make triangular ones, instead of the larger rectangular ones in Sue’s instructions.

little triangular books

Here they are sitting in their little pockets:

little journals peeking out of envelope signature

triangular journal from above 

I even got an ATC sized piece out of the scraps and I think it looks great with this altered leaf on top of it!


Journal week 2

Groan.  Where do the days fly to?   I finished last week’s journal on Thursday but have only just got round to downloading the pics from my camera.  I went to Bristol on Saturday and saw a cool Gocco exhibition in the Here Gallery – called Even Dwarves Started Small.  The weather was glorious.  I had tea in a fantastic cafe called the Boston Tea Party and was sitting out in the garden at the back.

This week’s journal was a coptic bound one, and I decided to cover the outside boards with some sticky foil stuff which I have.  I then decorated it with various layers to knock back the shine – some black gesso, stamping, 3D painty stuff, more 3D metallic painty stuff and more 3D painty stuff on top of that!!    Very precise today, aren’t I?!

Here is the top ready to be bound:

coptic bound journal

And the spine all done:

coptic journal binding

Outside each signature I have used this vellum with flowers on it that I got from Lakeland Limited.  (The journal, by the way, is very small – only about 3″ by 4″).

inside back cover

And this is inside the front cover:

inside front cover

Here it is standing up on my ironing board!


It is quite a different style for me but I enjoyed playing around with the various layers.

House journal

As I said in yesterday’s blog post, the first journal was made in preparation for making a house journal in the same style.  I didn’t have any suitable fabric for this, so I decided to print some.  I had a number of gocco screens based on bricks and houses – it seems to be a particular theme of mine at the moment.

I used some rust dyed fabric again (silk dupion) and overprinted the bottom part of this fabric with a gocco screen made from a photo of Beaumaris Prison in Anglesey and the top from a screen of a close up of the bricks on a building.

house fabric

As usual, I couldn’t just stop there, could I?  I also printed these fabrics:

brick fabric

gocco printed brick fabric

I also printed some paper (previously decorated with paints and other screens) to go inside the journal.    This is A4 size, by the way, although the pink fabric above is about a metre long – this illustrates the problems of showing the scale of photos on blogs!

paper overprinted with brick design

Here is the journal cover before the signatures were added:

house journal cover 


And with the pages inside:

house journal front

More Journalmaking

Remember I did an online course in making journals with Sue Bleiweiss a few months ago?  Well, I’m now doing her follow on course.  And it is great fun.  I’m finding that it is inspiring me to use my screenprinted fabric rather than feeling it is too precious to cut into it.    And it is making me want to get on and screenprint more! 

This week we made a zigzag book folded in three – well, we made one to practise getting the technique right and another in the shape of a house. 

I decided to use this fabric which I gocco printed a few months ago, mainly because it was the right length for the project!

gocco printed fabric with image of a girl on

The only problem was, for it to be long enough, I had to do something with that splodge at the left hand side where I dropped some paint on the fabric!  So I got the same screen and printed it over the splodge in black.  I thought it came out quite well…

printed fabric

That’s the back page of the journal.  I actually printed it after making the cover, which was a bit rash!  But it worked okay.  I thought it made it look a bit mysterious.

Trouble was, once I started printing I had to keep going and use up all the paint, didn’t I?!

printed rust dyed fabric

This is some rust dyed fabric which I overprinted.  I also printed on this watercolour paper on which I’d previously printed Rouen Cathedral!

person plus rouen cathedral

Here is the book cover finished:

book cover          inside of book cover

And here it is with the signatures sewn in.  I haven’t put any fancy pockets, tags or closures yet.  I probably will, but today the second lesson comes out!! 



I made the house journal too – more pics to come in the next post!

A little printing (on fabric this time!)

I put away the Gocco machine on Friday and did some printing on fabric for a change. 

First of all, inspired by Rayna Gillman’s book, Create Your own Hand Printed Cloth, which by the way is gorgeous, I did some printing with the base of some of those plastic meat trays which supermarkets feel it is necessary to send with any meat (don’t get me started on overpackaging, but now I’ve found a way to recycle it I don’t feel so guilty!).  I then overprinted this with a couple of gocco screens. 

I space dyed this fabric in a cat litter tray last year.

printed fabric 

The fabric is not quite so vivid as it seems and the colours are mixed together a bit more but you get the idea.  The background printing was done in red fabric paint from Trapsuutjies.  The gocco print of the people was based on a photo taken at the chateau de Blois last year in France and the other is of a brick wall.

I also overprinted this fabric which I discharged earlier this year:

people printed on fabric

And this blue fabric with the ‘bricks’ screen:

bricks fabric 

I’m also going to join in Maggie Grey’s Grand Catalogue Distressing Ritual.  For the mystified, Maggie has a new book out soon and she is offering free online classes for anyone who buys the book.    To prepare for one of the classes, she asks us to take an Argos catalogue or telephone directory or similar, slash the cover deeply and put it out in the garden to await its fate by any passing wildlife or weather.  Like several other people, I decided to help it along by soaking it first:

Argos catalogue soaking

And ever since Maggie told us to do that, the summer has started!  No rain in sight…. long may it continue.

Another journal

When DS1 saw my journal (the last one I made, out of the brown paper), he asked if I could make him one.  I finished it today.  For this one, I used a brown grocery bag from the farmer’s market – it produces a coarser surface than the brown wrapping paper.

Anselm's journal

The leather tie is a shoelace!  I couldn’t bear it as a shoelace; it kept coming undone.  But as a journal tie, it is brilliant!  The button is one I have had for ages: I think it was in my Nan’s button box.  It was the one DS1 chose as a fastening and I think it looks really good.

inside pocket of journal

It has an inside pocket made of the same painted paper.

pocket on signature

And another pocket on the inside signature.

signatures inside journal

He wanted plain paper inside the journal.

He is on study leave at the moment because his GCSEs start next week, and DS2 has gone to France on a school trip so I have been all at sixes and sevens this week and this is the only thing I’ve got done.  No printing for me:(  Or stitching – apart from mending…..

Journal 4

I just finished Journal 4 of Sue’s course last night.

The cover is made of brown wrapping paper painted with acrylic paint!  It is similar to the first journal that we made in that there are sewn signatures inside.   I stitched them all in, and stitched on the button, which is an old wooden vintage button and some twisted cord made from Colinette Point 5 yarn – and discovered that the cover was inside out and I had sewn the signatures to the outside instead of the inside!

So… hmm… what to do?  Do I undo it all and start again?  Hmmm… not me!  build on mistakes, incorporate them into the general scheme of things, that’s my philosophy…. 

When I was painting the brown paper, I painted everything in sight, including some Japanese newspaper which came with the Gocco machines.  Here is a pic of it all drying by the way…

brown paper painted

Here is the brown paper ready to be made into the journal:

brown paper painted for journal

This is the finished journal.  I cut strips of the Japanese newspaper and stuck them around the joins.  Luckily the inside of the cover was the same as the outside apart from the joins.  I like the vintage look it gives it.

Journal 4 with button closure

There is a pocket on the inside – I made mine with textured brown paper – this just came as packaging with something and I painted it.  I love how it picks up the fold patterns.

inside journal with pocket

I put a mixture of cardstock, handmade paper, lokta paper specially cut for the inkjet printer and ordinary paper inside.

Inside journal with lokta paper and pocket

This is the lokta paper.  It is very strong and can be stitched.  Here I have stitched a pocket made of painted and stamped lutradur.


This is handmade paper which I stamped into when it was drying.  After it was dry I painted the stamped bits with Aquawax (a sort of resist wax which can be used on paper – I actually bought it by mistake, meaning to get acrylic wax…) and paint.

lokta paper printed with tree photo

This is some more of the lokta paper, which I printed in my inkjet printer.  It is a photo which I took on a walk near some waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons.  I love the mossy trees and rocks. 

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