Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beautiful journals

It has been a Scrap Journal factory in the studio lately. I thought you might be interested in seeing the process of making the covers.

bookbinding tools
Above are some of the basic tools. From left to right: Micro-spatula, brass rule, Teflon folder, brayer, damp rag, baby wipes, apron.

Book boards
Book boards, upper right.

glue brushes
Glue brushes

I almost forgot the most important thing! The glue!
PVA glue

Here are the covers, endpapers and "doodads" before gluing. Doodads is what we started calling the pieces that get decoupaged
on the covers:
Scrap Journal covers

Scrap Journal cover in progress
Here is a cover that has had the glue applied. The book board has been placed on top. The next step in turning in the, well, the turn-ins.

Lifting the cover
This is where the micro-spatula comes in handy. You can use it to carefully lift the wet cover out of the excess glue on the waste paper without getting glue all over your hands, the cover and a myriad of other places it shouldn't be. For me, keeping the glue from getting all over is the hardest part of bookbinding. That's why these are essential:
I always keep baby wipes and a damp rag handy, and wear an apron to wipe glue off my hands. The apron is really more about protecting your work than protecting your clothes.

Burnishing the turn-ins.

Gluing down the endpaper
Gluing down the endpapers. The cover is lying sideways in this picture.

Gluing down the doodad
Tamping the doodad
Decoupaging the "doodad." Again, the challenge here is to not get glue all over the cover. To quote Run-DMC, "It's Tricky."

Book press
Once the covers are glued, they need to be pressed. A book press is a wonderful thing, but if you don't have one, a stack of heavy volumes will do the trick.

The finished covers:
Finished Scrap Journal covers

Black Spot butterfly
Consolation No. 5
Egyptian locust
Gran Centone nell' Opera
Magnificent moth
Ouverture Burlesque

(Some of) the finished journals:
Burlesque 72dpi

Egyptian locust 72dpi

Red Top 72dpi

Standard Oratorios 72dpi
These can be purchased at Hollander's.



Maggie said...

I love that moth and the dragonfly, especially - fun combinations! FYI, the link at the end sends you to Hollanders which, while fabulous, isn't your sales page! ;)

Secret Leaves said...

Hi Maggie. This is actually part of a wholesale order which just shipped to Hollander's. So these particular Scrap Journals are actually available AT Hollander's. Perhaps I should make that more clear!


Donnalda Does Art said...

Sharon, I love your process. That is great that Hollander's is selling your journals. Beautiful pieces by the way.

Secret Leaves said...

Thank you Donnalda!


The Feathered Nest said...

So, so lovely Sharon...your work speaks volumes!!!! The care, the choice of images, everything ~ xxoo, Dawn

Second Hand Chicks said...

I love this project! Where do you get book boards? I've never seen them in the stores around here (Utah).

Secret Leaves said...

Hi Second Hand Chicks. I order them from Hollander's. They can custom cut them to size for you, which is really handy. I get my PVA glue there too, as you can see from the picture of the glue jug with the Hollander's label. : )


Anonymous said...

I loved reading this! Your journals are is your blog. Could I ask how you punch the holes in the covers?

Secret Leaves said...

Anonymous - Do you see the machine in the background of the pic with the caption 'Finished covers'? That is my electric paper drill. I LOVE IT. It is a $1200 drill that my former partner and I waited patiently for and eventually found on eBay for $250. Before that, I used a hand paper drill like this one:

Good luck and happy drilling!


Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon. Thanks for sharing the imformation about the paper was really generous of you. I think I might treat myself to the hand one - I don't think my piggy bank will stretch to the other one haha. From Dora (anonymous).

Secret Leaves said...

Dora - The hand one works well. Just slower and a lot more labor! I recommend the one-hole rather than the 3-hole. It accommodates any size book you might be working on.


lotta said...

Hi Sharon - thank you for sharing your process. These are amazing. I have tried bookbinding with fabric covers before - never very successfully. This makes me want to try again - and I would like to get my hands on one of those journals...

Secret Leaves said...

Hi Lotta. Thanks for your kind words, as always. Yes, fabric is a little trickier than paper. I have made one book with a fabric cover. I used book cloth, which is already backed with a thin, strong paper. If you use regular fabric, you have to back it like that to keep glue from seeping through and to keep the fabric from stretching too much. I haven't attempted backing my own.


tyler said...

agreed, your process is lovely to see. and the finished products are simply gorgeous. i feel honored that i've gotten to touch and watch all things magical in your studio. the subtle texture to these journals is delicious.

Wendy said...

This is fascinating, Sharon. Thank sharing.


Oh said...

what a great way to start my morning, seeing this entry! Now I have something creative to think about while doing the corporate thing all day and will give some covers a try this evening since I have (almost) all the stuff. Thanks for this!

Secret Leaves said...

Oh - Good luck and happy gluing!


Robin said...

oh my goodness - your work leaves me with my chin hanging open - it's all so lovely!!! thank you for stopping by and lovin' those yellow peep toes i got at anthropologie. i know, they are wonderful... and get this: they're comfortable. like, walk nearly all day comfortable. thanks again for visiting my world! now i'm going to immerse myself in all of the fantabulous scrap journals i see here. OMG!!! they are obviously for sale? must investigate further. ;)

String Buzz said...

Love! Love! Love the snake one!

icandy... said...

these are just fantastic scrap journals!