Archive | Online courses

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!

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. 

Last Week’s Journal

I just realised that I haven’t put any photos of last week’s journal from Sue’s journal course up on my blog. 

It is a loose leaf journal which is held together with screw posts.  I bought these in November on our trip to London, meaning to use them, so I’m glad of the opportunity. 

The fabric for the cover is some of the marbled fabric which I made and blogged about a couple of years ago.  You can read about it here and here.  I hadn’t used any so far, and these pieces are just the right size for these journals so I can see that I will be making lots now.  I have cut more pieces of pelmet vilene ready but am now waiting for Joggles to send me some more Misty Fuse.

This is the front of this week’s journal:

journal using marbled fabric in red and yellow

And the back:

back of journal

I put lots of different papers inside, some painted, some exotic.  Here is the inside front of it:

inside of journal showing mulberry paper

That is either mulberry or lokta paper, can’t remember which, with leaves embedded into it.

Tonight I made a start on Journal 4, which involves painting brown paper.  As usual, I mixed up too much paint so the workroom floor is now COVERED in painted paper… I think I will have enough to make several more journals!  I am loving this course – all the journals are different and it means that my interest has been maintained so I haven’t fallen behind, which is what usually happens at this stage of an online course!   The real test will be whether I finish the very last one – thinking back, it will be a first for me in my online course history….hmmm….

Once I have finished the preparation of the papers, I will be stuck until the Misty Fuse arrives (of course, I could go out and buy some bondaweb locally but I LOVE Misty Fuse now I’ve tried it – it is really easy to work with and to stitch into.  Come on, post office, speed the MF to me ….

Oh dear, this blog entry is starting to sound like a commercial….

Journal 2!

Here is the second journal I have made on Sue’s course.  I made the outside with some yummy silk dupion which has been on my shelves for some time, too nice to use until now.

silk journal

It is a bit smaller than A4 landscape size and is meant to be a sketchbook, although I’ve got a feeling I will be a bit wary of using it because I won’t want to get any marks on it!

The button is a ceramic one which I bought in a button shop in one of the arcades in Cardiff ages ago.

ceramic button on silk sketchbook

It is covering up velcro actually, rather than being a functional button….   We put grommets along the spine to hold those rings like you have in ring binders, which will open.  I’m not very happy with mine, mainly because I had to purloin them from a photograph album I made in the 80s and they are rather stiff!  But I couldn’t find any locally.

spine of journal

We painted watercolour paper to go inside the book.  I painted this one with a mixture of walnut inks and acrylic ink and water and laid clingfilm on top to produce the texture.  I made some tags out of it too.

painted paper and tags

This one is just acrylic inks (with a bit of white acrylic paint to make the red ink pink), diluted with water and with clingfilm added.  I think this looks a bit like fireworks!  I like the way you can manipulate the clingfilm to influence the patterns you get, although it is still unpredictable. 

pink and blue watercolour paper

You can just see the pockets in the inside of the sketchbook.  These are for holding pens and other paraphernalia.  The fabric is some Australian eucalyptus leaf fabric which I received in a swap. 

If you want to have a look at lots more journals which people have been making, Sue opened a Flickr Group – you can view the photos even though you can’t join the group unless you are in the class.

By way of a change, I thought I’d post a photo of my three boys sitting opposite me on the Tube last week.  We went to London to see the First Emperor exhibition in the British Museum – the first time any of the Terracotta Army warriors have left China.    I don’t post photos of them very often but I thought this was so funny.  DS2 and 3 don’t get on and you can tell!  This was the only one I managed to get with DS2’s head in it – in all the others, he managed to avoid me by hiding behind a newspaper!

travelling on the tube

I didn’t take many photos in London, but shot this garage as it looks so old fashioned – it is in the heart of Bloomsbury and I could just see Bertie Wooster (well, Jeeves actually I suppose) filling up the car there….

Bloomsbury service station

Online Journal Making Course

On Friday I signed up for an online Journal Making Course run by Sue Bleiweiss – it was quite a spur of the moment decision as it actually started a week ago and sign ups were ending that day.  It is a 5 week course and we are making a different sort of journal/sketchbook each week.

I started making the first one on Saturday, and finished today!  Sue’s instructions are really clear and straightforward and I am so glad of the opportunity to use up all those handdyed fabrics and painted papers and other such stuff which has been building up over the past few years.  I seem to enjoy painting them so much more than actually making them into anything!

Here is the journal – I dyed the fabric about two years ago and haven’t touched it since then. 

journal 1 - outside

I satin stitched the edges with a raggedy satin stitch which is one of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine that I use a lot.   I bought some dragonfly brads on our trip to London last week and used it for the fastening cover:


This is the back:


I decided that as the fabric covered reminded me a bit of leaves and trees, I would make it into a trees theme inside.  We stitched three signatures, which are groups of paper stitched together, into the journal, and I added some decorated papers and purchased handmade paper.

paper inside journal

This is either mulberry or lokta paper with leaves embedded into it.

gocco seedhead on Japanese paper inside journal

I goccoed this seedhead on to painted Japanese paper – it is really thin but very strong.  It is a sort of chequered design.

blue decorated paper in journal

This is some blue paper I painted years ago with melted wax crayons and brusho powder paints.

I lined the journal with some screenprinted silk and added pockets – this one is from some goccoed fabric which you may recognise if you are a regular reader of this blog!

first page of journal with pocket and tag

I have also got a green fabric pocket and have stamped some trees on to the first page – I bought this stamp last week at a craft market in the grounds of St James’, Piccadilly – it is brass, and I couldn’t resist trying it out.


This is another pocket glued on to cardstock – the front of it is from a magazine picture of some trees in snow.

If you would like to see any of the other journals made by people on the course, here are a few other bloggers who are doing it:

It is amazing how different each journal is! 

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