Mary Ann Moss is teaching this bookbinding class. I've never met her in person but I already love her. In one of her videos she actually glued her book block into the covers upside down. In all her coolness she didn't edit that part out but showed what she did then fixed it. Ya gotta love that.
Plus I like her voice. It's not really anything special but there's something unique about the way the words come out of her mouth. There's something about her....I don't know what you call it....diction? Anyway, she's my new best friend even though she has no idea who I am.
She's teaching 3 journals in this class but 2 of them have the same binding it's just that one is exposed and the over is covered. I've finished the first journal and I'm happy with the way it turned out even though I didn't have the same kind of materials she used in hers.
Mary Ann seems to have an abundance of lovely vintage celluloid photo albums lying around that she obviously didn't pay too much for because she has no problem cutting them up. She often refers to things she "picked up in a Paris flea market" and she somehow manages to say that without any pretentiousness at all. Most of the celluloid albums I found on eBay start at around $50 and go up from there. That's just too pricey for this Goodwill Girl.
Speaking of Goodwill...check out this duvet I found at a thrift store down the street.
It's so shabby chicy vintagey delicious! It will go on the antique 4-poster bed in my art room as soon as I get all the art off the bed. It gets a little messy in there from time to time. The best part about this little jewel is that it cost a whole $3.00.
Back to vintage celluloid albums. I actually do have one lying around my house but it's a family heirloom that if I dared to cut up I'm relatively certain it would anger the Three Dead People on The Wall.
|Would you want them mad at you? Me either|
This one belonged to someone in my paternal grandmother's family. It's quite substantial. It's sitting on top of a full size suitcase which is only slightly larger than the album.
Both of the clasps are broken and missing pieces. The fabric on the spine and back is threadbare but was probably velvet at one time.
It's full of old cabinet cards of people I'm sure I'm related to but I have no idea who most of them are. My favorite is on the top left of the right hand page. It's a picture of a large puppy and underneath someone has written "Don Boyd 4 weeks old". Who names their dog Don?! If we ever get another dog I swear I will name him Don Boyd.
Obviously, cannibalizing this album was out of the question but luckily I have a stash of book covers from other previously cannibalized books. I picked out a set, cut off the spine then started collaging stuff all over them.
Another component we needed for this journal was some heavy fabric strips that would be sewn into the book block then used to attach it to the covers. I have a sewing machine but I don't really sew. But since I have a sewing machine I have some fabric and patterns and all the stuff that goes with it for those time when I try to sew then am reminded that I don't sew. I couldn't find any fabric that I thought was heavy enough (even though my covers are not nearly as substantial as a celluloid album) so I used a couple of fairly lightweight strips of upholstery fabric and sewed a layer of interfacing in between.
This did not go well. I wanted to do random free motion sewing all over the strips but I thought I had to have a special foot for that and I couldn't figure out how to lower the feed dogs anyway. So my plan was to sort of fudge the free motion as best I could.
In the end it worked out fine but we got off to a rough start as you can see by the wads of thread along the seam.
My sewing machine has a couple of repairs that need to be made so I borrowed one from a friend. It's just a basic machine that only does a couple of stitches so you would think there wouldn't be anything difficult about it, right? Wrong. Loading the bobbin correctly must take some kind of engineering degree or a brain surgeon or something. It took me 3 times to get thing in there correctly and of course I didn't realize it was wrong until I had sewn 6" and the whole machine locked up because the thread was all wadded inside. By the time I get through with it, my friend's sewing machine will also be in need of a couple of repairs.
I do most of my projects on my dining room table because it's big and what else could I possibly use it for? I call my art room the "art room" but there's actually very little art that goes on in there. It's more of a guest room with art supply storage. I already have one project spread out all over the bed so this one leaked into the dining room which now looks much worse than this:
I know what you're thinking: I wonder if she's ever accidentally dipped her paint brush into her coffee instead of the glue? How dare you even consider such a thing. Of course I have.
Since I also didn't have any lovely pieces of ephemera that I picked up at a Paris flea market, I just scrounged around the house for any kind of filler paper I could find. I used scrapbook paper, maps, calendars, note pads, ledger sheets, magazine pages, envelopes, and there's even a potato chip bag in there. Don't worry, it's clean.
These are my signatures all carefully arranged just the way I wanted them then punched precisely with the holes needed for stitching, then punched precisely again with the correct holes needed for stitching. It's not that I did it wrong the first time, it's that I changed my mind about the overall size of the book right after I had punched the holes. Resizing the signatures made all the hole a little "off" therefore some repunching was required. This was perfectly fine since this book is sort of a junk journal and doesn't require precision. Thank God.
Shortly after I took this picture of my perfectly arranged signatures, I carried them into the kitchen so I could watch the demo video on my computer while I sewed. I sewed 2 stitches, turned into all thumbs then dropped the whole thing and watched my perfectly arranged and "precisely" punched pages fly all over the room. I failed to notice that part of the video where she told us to use paper clips to hold the pages inside the signatures while we sew.
Anyone who has ever done a stitched binding like this before is feeling my pain. The pages are all different sizes and positioned differently along the spine so it's not like I could just gather them up again and start sewing. I had to put them back into the signatures (and naturally I couldn't remember which papers which inside which one) then realign the holes. Remember I had punched 2 (okay 3) sets of holes in each sheet so I wasn't really sure which set was the right one. I figured I could just do what I always do and punch new ones while I sew if needed.
Here is the finished journal:
I will work on the inside off and on indefinitely. My journals rarely have a theme or a purpose, I just work on them when I feel like it. I haven't felt like it in a long time so I'm anxious to get back into journaling. I don't write a lot in my journals because my own handwriting irritates me. It looks like a serial killer's handwriting. A serial killer with multiple personalities who writes all fat and loopy one minute then skinny and pointy the next. That manages to look cool in other people's journals but in mine it just looks stupid. I'll stick to gluing in stuff that other people have written.
I'm ready to start the next journal and in fact I'm already building signatures for 2 more. Since this is a 3-journal class I will probably overdo it by at least 4 journals, maybe 5. Any job worth doing is worth overdoing. If you're undermedicated.