I am so excited!!! I am participating in a round robin art journal swap starting in January over at Creating and Sharing Mixed Media G+ community. This is my first time joining into anything that has communal art possibilities. I know it is going to be so FUN and REWARDING. After I got my first official e-mail yesterday with the parameters of the activity I was just ...I just wanted it to start already! So instead of working on the bazillion projects I have going which need to be done before Christmas.... I just decided to make my journal for the swap. It is a altered cereal box journal so is also qualified for the November challenge at Kraafters Kommunity as well :) #KSDNOV
So this is my journal and how I did it. Enjoy :)
So yes, this lovely piece started as a lowly cereal box! I cut 3 sides of the box so that it would lay flat open, The spine of the book will be one of the short sides of the box. Then I glued all the flaps down with Eileens' Tacky Glue and burnished then with a bone folder to make them smooth and flat. Then I cut some pieces of 90 pound watercolor paper to cover the 'ugly' parts of the box.
Next I wanted to give some color to the blank white pieces of watercolor paper. I decided to use my Gelli Plate. If you have never used one of these check out all the great videos over at Gelli Arts. You will be hooked! For this project I decided to use tube acrylics with some water misting on my Gelli Plate. Since my journal theme was going to be nature..I wanted sort of a sky and land type look so I dotted some blues at the top and then graduating desert colors at the bottom then misted and spread with my brayer. I liked the results. I also messed around with some stencils as well.
Once my cover bits and pieces were finished, I glued them onto the cereal box base. I started with the front, applying glue to the flat part and then burnishing. Then I folded over the flaps to the inside and glued them down and burnished again with my bone folder. Once that was dry, I flipped it over and added the inside pieces. Gluing and burnishing as before. Oh, before adding the inside flap cover...I sewed on a piece of thin plastic to make a pocket for tag I wanted to include for all the swap artists to sign their names as the journal travels.
At this point I went off to have some dinner and let everything dry. Then when I came back to the studio I used my favorite black Stabilo Aquarellable pencil to make a sketch on the front cover. When I was satisfied with the images, I used a small brush and some watered down gesso to paint over the areas I planned to add more color to.
I painted in everything using the Daler Rowney tube acrylics and a bit of gesso all thinned with water, until I was happy with the results of my covers. I also printed off some words from my computer and put them on the back cover explaining my theme for this art journal. I used Heidi Swapp color shine sprays to add some highlights and shimmer to certain areas as well.
Next it is time to add the pages. I decided to make 4 signatures (folded together sheets) of 3 pages each. I cut and folded the signatures using a combination of watercolor paper and manila paper cut from folders. Next I measured and made a template of where I wanted my holes to be in the spine for sewing in the signatures. I used a pokey tool (I think its called an awl) to make the holes. Then I folded the template so I could put it into the creases of each signature to poke corresponding holes in them. Finally I used a large needle to sew in each signature with some beading thread aka fishing line. The reason I used this thread is because its mostly transparent and I didn't want to upset the design of my spine. It worked quite well I think.
To finish off my project, I made the insert for the inside flap pocket using my computer and printing it on manila cardstock. Then decorating it with stamping.
I hope you enjoyed my project. I will be sure to do a flip through of the finished book after it gets returned to me from the swap (it will take a year or so) Thanks for visiting!