Thursday, February 23, 2012

Full Tilt Boogie Sewn-On Tape Journal

I'm doin' the Full Tilt Boogie! I just love saying that. It's the same with juxtaposition. I say that all the time, and probably incorrectly, because it makes me happy.

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.


Laurie said...

All I know is you crack me up, and I so appreciate your creativity, both in writing and in all your projects. As far as all your flea market finds, I am green with envy. GREEN. If I could, I would sneak into your house at night and steal a few, that new duvet in particular as well as some other great finds you have posted in the past. On another note, can I hire you to organize my recipes in a really cute attractive binder so that I will cook yummy things more often? I have to sift through years worth of little scraps of paper and index cards and cut out recipes from magazines and the newspaper every time I want to cook, so it takes forever to get started just to make the grocery list so I can cook. Really, I am overwhelmed with enormity of the project and just need to get started and the cute factor always motivates me to stay organized. I finally have a nice filing system on my counter because of your FB posts of yours, my cute folders were store bought, I am not as time intensive with creativity as you, but everybody in the family is impressed and I marvel every time I file stuff every day. So, in case you wandering if you were inspiring anyone at all out in cyberspace, you, Shannon Greene are changing my life one project post at a time. But, it would help if you would just come over here and offer your services so I could get these recipes in cute Shannon Greene Order. I will let you know if I achieve success on my own. Not likely anytime soon, got too much going on, maybe summer time, oh wait, that was supposed to be last summer's project, and the summer before that, and the one before that...etc. I even have your procrastination thing down, now if I could just catch the focus bug like you obviously get, you finish everything you start!!! Thanks for making my day today! Laurie Stanton

Laurie said...


Lisa Ledet said...

#1 - I like your handwriting.

#2 - Don Boyd is NOT a good name for a dog. It kinda sounds like "John Boy".

#3 - I miss you.

donnaj said...

I know what you mean about her voice~it's calming and down to earth. You feel like a dear friend is right there with you-i need to revisit those video's and make another book. You need me to give you a basic sewing lesson :) or melissa~ easier than you think
book turned out great and i love the duvet-and the photo's. and limit your ebay search by price. you will find cheap ones from time to time,but never win. trust me, i know from experience :)

Shannon Green said...

Laurie thank you so much, that makes me happy! I found a lot of cute flea market stuff in Lafayette too but it does take time to hunt it down and sift through the junk to find that one jewel.

It might seem like a good idea for me to come over and help you organize but trust me, you don't want me touching your stuff. Besides, if you do it yourself you're more likely to maintain it because of all the effort you put in to get it done.

My recipes were out of hand too and the idea of organizing them stressed me out so badly that I needed to nap. Do it in chunks. Start by gathering them all up and get them in one place...a box maybe. Then later go through and toss out any recipe that:

1. Requires more prep time than you normally give a meal (my limit is 15 minutes).
2. Requires special ingredients that are unreasonably pricey, hard to find, or not something you'd likely use in another dish. No matter how yummy the recipe looks you can surely find a similar one that doesn't call for saffron.
3. You've had for 10 years and still haven't tried it. They are the skinny jeans of your recipes. You keep thinking you'll try them some day but if you haven't by now toss them out. The exception would be heirloom recipes like Great Grandma's chess pie. I've had the recipe for as long as I can remember and I will likely never make that pie but I feel the need to pass the recipe along to my daughter so that she can never make it too.

This should make your recipe pile more manageable so that the next time you're in the mood to work on it you can divide everything up in to categories. Then from there it's just a matter of putting them into a binder or box or whatever you choose to use.

You'll be happy to know that for every project I start and finish, there are 3 that I start and abandon. I just don't talk about the unfinished projects so it gives the illusion that I get everything done. Doesn't happen!

Shannon Green said...


#1 - I like your handwriting better.

#2 - My other dog will be named John Boy.

#3 - I miss you too.

Shannon Green said...

Donna, I bid on an album the other day but naturally someone slipped in at the very last second and stole it from me. That irritates me to no end, mainly because I try to do that too but I'm rarely successful.

I desperately need sewing lessons. I did finally figure out how to load the bobbin correctly which solved the problem I had with this project. Then after it was done I ran across a video that said to do free motion sewing all you have to do is remove your presser foot. I didn't realize that but I'm going to try to figure out how to get that sucker off there so I can try it.

Justine said...

Stopping by from the Girl Creative Blog Hop!

very merry vintage style said...

This is such a beautiful project. Thanks for linking up to Share the Love Wednesday--hope you'll be back this week!

Unknown said...

I just found your post about Mary Ann's class. I was wondering if the Full Tilt Boogie class is the same as her Paris album. I tried to e-mail her but this senior citizen couldn't get it to go through. I hope you can help with that questions. Thanks.