A good week

Well, it has been a good week.  Fun, creative, and productive.  I am proud of myself for doing what I said I would do–got “in the studio” by 8:30 a.m., which also stopped me from going back to bed and wasting the day.  I also managed to avoid floundering about what I wanted to do, thanks to all the thinking I did in the last couple of weeks about what I hope to achieve this year.  I’ve got goals!  🙂  
These first pics are of the little book I cut pages for last week, mentioned in my last blog post.  I made covers for it from white presentation board.  So far I have decorated only the front of the front cover, but I was pleased with it.  The tree is from a KaiserCraft wood piece (used as a mask), and the rest of the materials used include Adirondack Color Washes, thin Prismacolor markers,  Distress Ink pads, and Sharpie poster paint markers.

I love trees, with or without leaves

Last night while occupying myself in the lobby of the Brushy Creek Community Center during the kids’ taekwondo classes, I put myself to work using some of the doodle ideas from Traci’s Strathmore workshop on one of the inside pages.  It was fun!  I mainly used a Micron pen, but there are a few bits of a blue Sharpie poster paint marker as well.  Adding the border transformed the page, and also I noticed again how extremely useful Zentangling has been for helping me doodle.  I do remember that I used to *love* to doodle when I was in high school and would draw loads and loads of different sizes of circles on pages . . . need to get back to that.

Doodle close-up
Another thing I am really quite pleased with is that I did something new this week:  carved my own stamp!  Traci Bautista’s Strathmore workshop had me thinking about this yet again, as I have many times before, and then when I was wandering around Jerry’s Artarama early last week I noticed that they had a new kit by Speedball for stamp carving.  Clearly a sign that I was meant to get it and do it!  It is one more way for me to make my art my own.  The kit came with a small piece of pink rubber block, a knife handle and two tips, and tracing paper.  I searched my drawers of stuff for a suitable image and ended up using the top of the palm tree from the Mexican loteria cards (#51).  Traced, transferred, and carved.  It was so much easier than I expected it would be!  I added the lines within the design myself.  It may not look like much to anyone else, but I love it.

On Friday I finally made a decision about what kind of book to make. One of my goals this year is to become much more familiar and practiced with different book structures. Often I get bogged down in aspects of that which I think I “should” do . . . so this time I decided that my goal was simply to practice the book form, and thus I wasn’t going to add pressure to myself to embellish or create the perfect cover at the same time.   Voila–unblocked.

I measured and cut boards, sanded the edges, and cut paper from a beautiful sheet I’d gotten from Hollander’s a couple of years ago.  I have found that I have an unsettling & probably unhealthy urge to hoard supplies for the “perfect” use, but I am coming to realize there is no such thing.  So with nary a qualm I pulled out the paper and cut it up for this project.  (With some of the scraps I even made a smaller book.)  I did not yet get to the point of punching holes in the signatures or the covers; that will come this week.

Small boards (3-1/2″ square) covered
with scrap from the big notebook

My plan is to do my first caterpillar stitch.  It’s not exactly clear to me how one attaches the signatures, since normally one works up from the back cover and this caterpillar appears to go the opposite way, but it did occur to me yesterday that I can do the cover stitching, and when I get to the signatures, I can just turn the whole thing 180 degrees so that I feel I am adding signatures from the back cover to the front.  Hopefully that will work.

The little book came out quite cute.  As the covers are 3-1/2″ square, I cut the pages to be 3-1/4″ square.  I used many different shades of Archiver’s card stock that I thought would look good with the book cover:  kraft, cabernet, pomegranate splash, pastel yellow, carob cream, neutral tan, pear crush, natural, cream white, sugar cream, and fudge cover.  The point was for this to be quick and easy (and not lay around half-finished for weeks or months), so I used my new Cinch 2 that I got in a great post-Thanksgiving Day sale.  Worked great!

Finally, at the weekend I came across the site of Marilyn Scott-Waters, and from it I did the following little cover for a 5×8″ ruled pad.  It was easy and took all of about 10 minutes to do, and it gave me some great ideas for making my own.  Plus it is something my daughter will like and also something she can help me do.

Front cover, added to a 5×8″
lined notepad from Office Depot
The inside has a pocket;
I covered up the Office Depot logo
as best I could with lace tape

So upcoming this week I seem to have lots of social engagements and not that many days of uninterrupted creative time.  Thus I am setting goals that I think I can accomplish without pressurizing myself:  do the last week of Traci Bautista’s workshop, and complete the caterpillar book.  Ought to be able to get my head around that!

About Elizabeth Ann's Studio

Artist. Musician. Mother. Wife. Me.
This entry was posted in books, journaling, likes, mixed media. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A good week

  1. Risi says:

    Attaching signatures with the caterpillar stitch is really straightforward, actually. You just keep going like the holes in the signatures are more holes in the board and it all goes rather well. The signatures will alternate heights because the tension runs in different directions, but I think if you just make another to counteract the tension it would be fine. (That was probably confusing but I don't know how to explain it any better.)Also: hey I like your blog!

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