October 13, 2015

Building a Journal ... relearning ...

Hello my lovelies.  A brand new day.  Hope all is well with each and every one of you.  I've been having fun today 'relearning' how to build a journal.  It's surprising how much I have forgotten since making the last lot.

An excellent exercise, however.  Hopefully I won't make the same mistakes again.  Practice makes perfect as they say.  Yesterday, you will recall I finished five signatures with five pages each.  The paper is quite heavy.  The next time, I think I will use a mix of weights.  I'm out of practice, of course, but today when I punched the holes with my Japanese screw punch, they were not even, as you will see in the photo below.  Not bad for the first go round.  Not perfect either, which puts everything a little off.

First step was to glue all the signatures together.  I had to dig for glue, and found a bottle of "Collage Pauge" by Traci Bautista, which worked beautifully and dried in no time.  Once the signatures were done, I chose the binding I wanted to use.  I had a few pieces to choose from, so it took me a minute or two.

Tried a few different colour combinations and ended up with one which blended with the cover.  

 As I didn't feel like getting out my sewing machine, thought I would try glue.  Used Arlene's Tacky glue.

Once again, it worked perfectly and dried quickly.

Next came the task of punching the holes, which is always tricky for me.  I cut a piece of paper, about five inches wide.  Folded it in half.  Then folded it in half length ways, and in half once more.  This gave me an idea of where the binding would go.  I then marked the template with dots using a sharpie, giving me a definite pattern with which to make the holes.  Be sure to mark the top and bottom.  It's so easy to get it turned around, then the holes don't match for sure.  (Been there, done that once ... not pretty!)

Another thing to be aware of ... mark the 'top' of each signature so you don't get those turned around by accident.

I used a sticky note on each signature.
Did the best I could to punch the holes, holding the pages up to form a V and inserting the punch over the dots on the template and punching.  

As you can see they didn't exactly come out 'perfect'!  I charged ahead ....

Next step was to stitch the signatures together with red waxed linen thread.  If any of you have taken MAM's class "Full Tilt Boogie", you will already know all about this kind of binding.  

After sewing the signatures together, it was time to glue the covers on.  That's when I realized ... NEVER cover the inside of the album with beautiful paper, becuase, of course, the first page of the signature will cover it up!!  Thus, my beautiful Italian paper is hidden.  I might try to look for something else to beautify the front and back inside covers.

You can just see the outline of the Italian paper.  Boo Hoo!

All in all, my first attempt, after such a long lapse, has turned out quite well.  I know the more I build, the better they will turn out.  I found some small 7Gypsies covers today, so will try and play with those as well.

Think I'll try a combo of different paper weights in this little one and see how that works.  Will also probably use some patterned paper which will be fun.

Final outcome of the antique journal covers looks like this.




Relearned a lot today.  Hopefully, the next one will be better and easier.  Thank you all for dropping by.  Remember ... enjoy the moment.

“Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.”
~ Walt Whitman


  1. I like it very much Donn, and am amazed that you got so much done in one day. I love how you did the stitching, is that a Coptic binding? And I don't think it matters if the holes are a tiny bit 'off' - this is the difference to machine work. You will soon be back in practice, and I am looking forward to seeing more of your gorgeous works. Have to go to the doc's here, so hope she tells me that the pneumonia is now all gone. Have a great day Sweetie, hugs, Valerie

  2. It is delicious, as I knew it would be! Re-learning- yes, that's the thing when we are away from a craft for a time. I'm so impressed with how quickly your journal came together. Mine poke along to the finish line like the tortoise I'm afraid. Just choosing which fabric to use for the spine was a challenge. You chose well. Keep going- just love your journals!

  3. This brought back a lot of memories of taking Mary Ann Moss' class where we made this book. Your journal turned out great. Can't wait to see more of the journals you do.

  4. Looks fantastic to me Donna -- But you have to be happy with it too! One of the joys of having something hand made is that it is not perfect!
    Sandy xx