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Welcome Back

There are plenty of online classes for art journalling and lots of You Tube videos about art journalling, but I couldn’t find any to help me choose a journal design. With this tutorial rather than point you at a journal design that I like, I wanted to give you the information that will help you make your own choice, based on the kind of journalling you do.

In this way you get a journal that will work for you, rather than be a chore to use and perhaps put you off journalling altogether.

What do you want to use on your page?

If you use dry media; like pencils and only limited ink, just to write your journal, then lighter cardstocks like Cartridge papers may well be suitable for your journal pages. On the other hand if you like to layer on lots of inks, paints, glues and glazes, then a heaver weight card would be best. Try out a variety of watercolour cardstocks as these will take all kinds of media.

How do I find out what card is suitable for my needs?

Theres no quick answer to this, it is a matter of experimentation. Art shops often sell individual sheets of cardstock and papers and this is an excellent way to try a good variety of surfaces, with the materials you wish to use on it. One tip though, if you are buying a selection, do make a note of what card is what on it, before your leave the store. That way if you find a favorite, you will know which one it was :)

What kind of journal to buy?

When you have decided on which surface you like, you can then choose the kind of journal you wish you use. Watercolour papers are often available as pre bound books, either sewn or ring bound. It is a matter of personal taste and what suits your style of journalling. I have experimented with bound books, spiral bound books and loose sheets. These are a good way to go if you want to start journalling right away and don’t have the tools or time to create a journal from scratch yourself.

Sewn bindings

If you like stamping on to your pages, the sewn bindings can be great as you can get right to the inside edges of the page. The disadvantage of this kind of book is that if you like lots of bulky layers or dimension to your pages, then the pages will quickly get too bulky for the spine of the book and it won’t close properly.

Sprial or ring bound books

Spiral bound books are great if you like dimension on your pages. There is a lot more scope for the pages to increase in bulk with this kind of binding. The disadvantage is that if you like stamping in your journal, then personally I found the wire binding in the way and restrictive in where on the page I could stamp, without bumping into the binding. If you aren’t needing to stamp to the inside edges of the pages, then these kinds of journals are great.

Loose pages

If you are new to journalling and want the option of ditching a page to start over if it goes wrong, then this is a great way to go. I know there are going to be purists that hate me for saying that but you know what, lifes too short. You do learn as much from a page that goes horribly wrong, than one that works, but you don’t always want it there looking at you ;)

I found using loose sheets, that I punch for binding later, a great work around for the issue of stamping to the edges of pages. I can chop and change papers during the book if I am using different media and stamp where ever I like. For me this is the way I’ll be journalling for a while, at least till my confidence improves. Its not for everyone but for newbies like me, its a great way to find your feet and have the freedom to change your cardstocks as you experiment, while finding your own style.

Making your own journal

The advantage of binding your own journal, is you can tailor it to the size, shape and binding style that suits you. It can be as simple or involved a bind as you like, depending on the tools you have to hand.

If you like your pages joined, more like that of a traditional book, I’d recommend going with a Long stitch binding style. You still have the option of pages right next to each other for double page spreads, but the bind is also good for allowing for extra bulk that layering would create.

 Spine detail showing the longstich binding

 

Inside the book
Coptic stitiching is another great binding style to use, as like longstictch, it allows the book to open completely flat. Coptic stitching won’t easily accommodate as many layers as longstitch, but if your journaling stlye isn’t heavy on bulky layers then it is ideal.
Spine detail of Coptic stitched book covers are alcohol ink onto gold mirror board

Another binding style that may be useful, is by using pre made wires. Either using binder rings or by pre punching your pages and binding them at the end. Both these style of books will give the option of single pages and allow for additional bulk as your journal grows. Binding at the end will allow you to create right up to the edges of the pages, without bumping into the binding wires ;)

BIA Calendar Tutorial BIA Calendar Tutorial

Later in the year, once the brighter weather returns, I hope to make a video tutorial of how to create your own  art journal. Until then check out different cardstocks till you find one you like so you are ready to get binding.

Bear in mind that I am still new to art journalling, but if you have questions, I’d be happy to try and help you out. Just leave me a comment :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Wanting to use some of your favorite papers or new Papercraft CDs for a quick n simple project? Didn’t get a diary for Christmas and wanting something a bit more original than the run of the mill, high street options? Read on :)

I’ve been wanting to do this tutorial for months but Microsoft have only just published this template. Did you know that Microsoft have loads of really useful templates that you can download and print? I found some great calendars on there a couple of years ago.

BIA Calendar Tutorial

BIA Calendar Tutorial

You Will Need

Tools & Materials for BIA Calendar Project

Tools & Materials for BIA Calendar Project

  • Microsoft Word 2007 or later
  • A Calendar template, I’m using 2011 Cal Blue Border 3pg
  • 3 sheets of card stock
  • A4 sheet of decorative paper
  • A5 sheet of co-ordinating paper
  • 2 pieces of  mount board 10 cm x 14.8 cm
  • Glue stick
  • Steel Ruler and Craft knife
  • Hole punch and binder rings OR Bind It All and wire.
  • Cutting Mat

Method

  • Print off the calendar template onto the three sheets of card stock.
  • Cut the printed sheets in half so that the two months next to each other stay joined.
  • Score the card in half down the short sides. If you wish you can glue the pages together but they will stay together once bound.
BIA Calendar; Inside Pages

BIA Calendar; Inside Pages

  • Place the printed cardstock into the BIA and punch holes in the blank area next to the named month.

For the Covers

BIA Calendar; Inside of Covers

BIA Calendar; Inside of Covers

  • Take your sheet of A4 decorative paper and cut it in half to A5. Cover each sheet of mat board with a piece of decoartive paper and glue in place using the glue stick. Give a wider fold in of card on one edge, where you will be punching the holes to join the book together.
  • Once the glue has thoroughly dried, punch the short side of the mat board using the BIA.
  • Cut the A5 cardstock into two pieces measuring; 12 cm x 8 cm. (End Papers)
  • Glue one piece of co-ordinating cardstock to the uncovered side of the mount board. Align to the un-punched end, leaving a 1cm gap on three sides. This will leave a 1 cm gap before the punched holes.

Assembly

BIA Users

  • Hold the two covers in your hands as if they were already on the book. Now turn the front cover around to the back (as if you were folding it back to read).
  • Place the covers onto the O wires
  • Stack you calendar pages in the order you wish to view them and place them on top of the covers, on the O wires.
  • Set your BIA machine to match the guage of O wire used, and then place your calendar o wire down into the BIA.
  • Place the open ‘feet’ of the o wire toward the bottom of the machine, and press the BIA handle to close the wires.

**New users check out this video tutorials on You Tube ;)**

New to the Bind It All? Have I confused you with the written instructions. Check out this video by mrspaturzo

Crop A Dilers

  • Your best tool for punching holes in mat board and chip board is definately the Crop A Dile.
  • Set the depth of bite to 1/4″. The size of hole you cut will depend on the thickness of your binder rings.
  • For a three hole book, mark the centre of the short side and punch your first hole there.
  • Mark the centre of the short side between the last hole and the edge of the board and punch at the top.
  • Repeat this for the lower hole.

Optional Extras

For a Ribbon Closure

BIA Calendar Tutorial

BIA Calendar Tutorial

Tie a length of ribbon around all the pages and the front cover. Glue the centre point of the ribbon underneath the co-ordinating lining paper. Once the glue has dried close your book and use the ribbon to hold the book closed.

Belly Band

Not a pretty name but it can be a pretty result.

  • Cut a piece of card stock to the desired with and long enough to wrap around your book and overlap itself.
  • Use decorative scissors or punches for pretty edges.
  • Wrap the band gently around the short edges of the book. Lightly pressing the edges, remove the band from the book and use a bone folder to reinforce the scored edges.
  • Allow a half to 1″ over lap and trim off access length of card. Place the band back on the book loosely and glue the ends of the band together. This can be slid off the calendar to open the it or put back on with the calendar set to the current month, to hold the calendar open to the right place.

Embellish the covers with images and text to suit your project. I’ve left mine plain, as I especially liked the paper and it was going to get a lot of use and I didn’t want it to get bulky. I hope you have enjoyed this project and will give it a go. It would be lovely to see your results.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back  

In today’s post, a tutorial to create a book weight. Book weights are handy for bookbinding when you want to put pages under a little weight but without using a full on press. They are also VERY useful if you have limited dexterity like me, for holding open books. They weigh down the pages so you don’t have to hold them open yourself.  

Decorated Book Weight

Decorated Book Weight

You Will Need

Items needed for Book Weight project

Items needed for Book Weight project

  • Fabric 13 x 18″, choose fabric with a pile such as velvet or suede finish
  • Pinking Shears
  • Thread to co ordinate with your fabric
  • Bag of lentils (or similar)
  • Sewing machine (optional) You can hand sew this project if you prefer.
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Pins
  • Tape Measure
  • Sewing machine (you can hand sew the project if you prefer)

Method

  • Cut your fabric to size using the pinking shears. Sew a line all around the fabric 2/8″ in, all around the fabric. This is to reduce fraying.
  • Fold the fabric in half with the right sides together, short side to short side. Pin in place.
Book Weight - Shows sewing around edges

Book Weight - Shows sewing around edges

  • Sew around one short side, one long side and 1 .1/2 ” along the remaining short side. Leave a gap (for turning the piece the right way out). Sew 1. 1/2″ after the gap to the edge of the fabric.
Inner row of stitching is through both layer of fabric. Note the gap!

Inner row of stitching is through both layer of fabric. Note the gap!

  • Trim away the corners of the fabric to reduce bulk and then iron the piece flat.
  • Turn the piece right side out
  • Fill your Book Weight using Lentils or similar.

 

Filling the Book Weight with lentils.

Filling the Book Weight with lentils.

  • Turn in the raw edges around the open gap, and then hand sew the gap closed.

Your project now looks like this  

Finished Book Weight

Finished Book Weight

If you are using your book weight for bookbinding, to hold signatures flat before binding for example. Then it is best to leave the weight un-embellished. To prevent the possibility of the embellishment leaving an indent in your pages.  

Optional Extra’s

If you wish you can embellish your finished book weight using ribbon and paper/fabric flowers. This would make a charming gift for someone with dexterity problems as it can be painful and difficult to hold books open for long periods of time.  

Decorated Book Weight

Decorated Book Weight

Modify the size of your fabric for a smaller or larger book weight. You could also use these as paper weights. Make in dark fabrics for a desk accessory for the man in your life ;)  

This project is really quick to make, it took me just under an hour and that’s with me fumbling with a new machine ;) pro’s with their machine would make this much quicker ;) Great for original gifts for friends and relatives. I’d love to see your results if you have a go with this project.  

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon  

Billie :)

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Welcome Back 

In today’s post I will be reviewing; 

Zutter Bind It All Machine v2.0

Zutter Bind It All Machine v2.0

Zutter: Bind It All v2.0 

Purpose 

It took me a long while to decide that I needed one of these. The original was never going to work for me as the gap the card goes into to punch, was too narrow. This was resolved on the second edition and I was lucky enough to get this for Christmas last year. I thought it would be handy for quick simple projects as an alternative to the hand sewn books I usually create. 

Pros/Cons 

Pro’s 

  • V2 has a wider ‘throat’ so you can now properly cover mat board or chipboard for a more professional finish to books
  • Sturdy robust design, does indeed punch through thick card, without much effort
  • It’s also handy to repair notebooks who’s wire binding has loosened over time ;)

Cons 

  • My DVD instructional guide didn’t work :( luckily the entire thing is on You Tube so I could watch on there
  • It is quite awkward to use. It’s tricky to keep your project flat and flush with the narrow base of the tool. You can do it, it just takes a while to get used to it.
  • The instructions aren’t that great. But there are many tutorials on You Tube that help you along.
  • PINK! Why do so many manufacturers think people want their craft rooms to look like kids rooms! I am not 5, I do not need my tools to be candy pink, so I’ll use them. (Personal gripe, coz I’m not a fan of pink).

Build Quality 

Good, the main body of the machine is metal, encased in plastic. This makes for a robust machine. 

Value for Money 

This depends on how much you will use it ;) Mine was in a sale and at the sale price was good value. To be honest I don’t use it enought to pay the full RRP on it. 

Would I buy it Again? 

Errr, I’d like to see the Cinch in action before I answer that one. The BIA has the advantage that it is much smaller to store, but the awkwardness in use, seems to be solved by the Cinch design. I prefer how the Cinch lets you place your project flat on the bed of the machine as you punch. But the BIA wins for crimping closed the O wires, the Cinches design may let it down a little in that  respect, but I’ve not seen one in person, in action. 

Summing up 

If you find life too short to sew bind books and like wire bindings, then this is a great little tool. It’s a good price for what it does and is as strong as the advertising suggests. If you get a chance to do a class with one first, it would be a good idea to try before you buy. It is a bit awkward but it is much faster if you want books in a hurry. Makes great little personalised projects quickly, ideal if you want to make memory books for handmade gifts for friends and family. 

Links 

Bind It All Manufacturers site. Although this product is made by Zutter the, Bind It All has a dedicated website. 

Bind It All Blog 

Zutter Zisters; Community forum and projects 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon 

Billie :)

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Welcome Back   

Last month I shared a few pictures of the Card Storage Journal, that I made using a Bind It All. Today I would like to share a tutorial of how it was made. It would make a perfect gift for friends and family.   

Card Storage Journal; Cover

Card Storage Journal; Cover

You Will Need

  • Mat Board/Chip Board etc
  • Bind It All and 1″ O wires OR Crop A Dile and Binder Rings
  • Ribbon
  • Decorative Papers
  • White cardstock; I used 160 gsm card from Rymans
  • Cream/Ivory coloured cardstock 160 gsm
  • Glue Stick
  • 12 Envelopes
  • Tim Holtz School Days stamp set
  • Dye inks; I used Distress ink but you could use Adirondack Dye ink
  • Versafine Ink in Sepia
  • Alphabet set; I used; Making Memories; Rummage
  • Calendar Stamps; I used Making Memories Calendar Set
  • Distressing Tool

Card Storage Journal; Materials   

Method

  • Cut matt board cover boards to the same HEIGHT as your envelopes, and 1/8th inch wider than the envelopes.
  • Cover the boards with the decorative paper and allow to dry. For a ribbon closure, add this before you apply the end paper (inside cover paper).
Card Storage Journal; Cover Boards

Card Storage Journal; Cover Boards

  • On the white card, stamp the lined paper design from Tim Holtz Schools Days stamp set, using the (grey) Distress ink. Repeat this until you have 12 of the little pages.
  • Use an Edge Distresser to distress or fray the edges of your pages. Use your favorite colours of ink to distress the pages further and then heat set to dry inks.
Card Storage Journal; Distress inks used on inside pages

Card Storage Journal; Distress inks used on inside pages

Card Storage Journal; month pages

Card Storage Journal; month pages

  • Use the Alphabet stamps to stamp a month onto the top of each page of the lined paper; January, February etc. Set aside to dry.

For the decorative panel 

  • Cut a strip of cream card to slightly smaller than you envelopes. Colour using Dye inks and stamp background using the Anna Griffin background stamp. Edge with dye ink for depth.
Card Storage Journal; Decorative Panel

Card Storage Journal; Decorative Panel

  • Create a set of tabs from cream coloured cardstock, fold them in half and stamp a month on each one.
Card Storage Journal; Month Tabs

Card Storage Journal; Month Tabs

  • Attach a tab to each envelope and then add the decorative panel on top to hide the join.
Card Storage Journal; Month Tabs

Card Storage Journal; Month Tabs and decorative pannel

  • Make a Binding Template [see instructions below] and punch holes into each of your envelopes and cover boards.
  • Glue a month page to each envelope, allow glue to dry before continuing.
  • Cut a length of O wire to fit your punched holes
  • Layer your book up as you would like it to appear once bound. Take the FRONT cover page and (pretend it’s already bound for a moment) and fold the front cover around to the back of the book. Insert your O wires into your punched holes and use the Bind It All to close the wire.
Card Storage Journal;

Card Storage Journal; Binding the book

This is a great way to keep cards together and not forget birthdays and special occasions. Write names and dates on the front of each envelope on the lined paper you made, to keep track of upcoming events. When you buy or make cards, just pop them into the appropriate envelope, ready to go.   

Making a Binding Template 

Measurements will vary depending upon your size of envelope, so I have kept the instructions generic so they can be used by everyone.   

  • Cut a piece of cardstock to the same size as your envelopes.
  • Place your cardstock on top of your envelope.Measure down from the top of the envelope to where the edge of the closed envelope flap comes too. Mark this distance on your card stock.
Binding Template for Card Storage Joural

Binding Template for Card Storage Journal

  

  • Draw another line at the bottom of your cardstock the same distance from the bottom, as the top line was from the top. You now punch your holes between these two marks.
  • Punch first set of holes to just below the first line on the cardstock.
  • Move the setting guide to ‘B’ continuous and punch till you reach the next line.You now have a guide to place on the top of each envelope and cover board as you punch it, this ensures everything will line up nicely at the end of the project.

  

Binding Template for Card Storage Joural

Binding Template for Card Storage Joural

If you don’t have a Bind It All machine

Make a punching guide using a Crop A Dile, again so that all your envelopes and covers will align at the end of the project. Connect your journal using Binder Rings; 

Optional Extra’s

  • Add an extra envelope to the back of the book to keep a list of addresses in.
  • Add a pocket to the inside cover to hold stamps 
Card Storage Journal; Inside Cover

Card Storage Journal; Inside Cover

  

So there you have it, it takes a while to make but I think the results are worth it. If you are making more than one, you can easily have a bit of a production line going. Do the inking and stamping parts while waiting for covers to dry etc. It would be lovely to see your results if you have a go at this project. Feel free to change the stamps and images to suit your own favourite styles.  This would make a great present for all ages and genders, hope you have a go and will share your results.  

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon   

Billie :)  

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Welcome Back  

Originally this project started out as a way to collect together memorabilia from a holiday, it then evolved into a handy storage journal for hand-made cards.  

Card Storage Journal; Cover

Card Storage Journal; Cover

This is my first major project with the Bind It All machine and after working out how to make a cutting template so I got the holes just where I wanted them I was much happier. I used mat board for the covers (the kind picture framers use for layering) and added my own stamped papers to decorate the pages.  

Card Storage Journal; Inside Cover

Card Storage Journal; Inside Cover

On the inside cover I added a pocket to hold stamps, and then each envelope pocket holds a different month’s cards. I made little tab labels to easily navigate to the month I was looking for and the Making Memories Calendar stamp set made a nice finish to them. On the note page on each envelope I’m going to write the date and name of the person who needs a card, then when I’ve made a card I just pop it in the envelope ready. No more scrabbling around at the last-minute. I was going to add a ribbon closure then forgot when I pasted on the end papers DOH, now I’m waiting as I’m saving up for one of Tim Holtz Sizzix dies and hope to make a fancy closure with it and some grunge paper.  

Card Storage Journal; Inside Pages

Card Storage Journal; Inside Pages

This would make a great present for a friend and if you would like a detailed tutorial on how to make one leave me a comment and I’ll try to get one up in good time so you can make some as holiday gifts for friends and family.  

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon  

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for July 2010 is:

G

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. Feel free to use your own ideas for the letter G.

Colours

  • Green
  • Gold
  • Grey

Products

  • Grungebord
  • Grungepaper
  • Glitter
  • Gems
  • Glaze
  • Glitter Glue
  • Gesso

Surfaces

  • Grungebord
  • Grungepaper
  • Gels i.e: Acetate
  • Glitter card/paper

Techniques

  • Glazing
  • Grunge

 

 

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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