"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fall Journal/Other Mini-books: what I do...

I have gotten a lot of great feedback on the fall journals I do each year and other minibooks I make. I want to thank you all for your kind comments and emails!

I love creating minibooks and journals, scrapbooks, collages...basically anything that involves paper, ink and paint! Many of the emails I have gotten have all asked "how do you do that?" So I figured I would do a quick post of what I do when creating a new book.

I think the first and most important thing I can share with you is there are no rules. At least not in my world anyway! I do what I want, whatever suits the mood I am in while I am creating. So on that note, what I can share with you is some common things I tend to do while creating my books.

I always use or make books that have binder rings. So whether I am altering a ready made album or creating the whole book from scratch, I prefer books with rings. I like the freedom to add to my books (or rearrange or take things out) as I please.

I never worry about the products I am using. I am not anal about things being acid-free. I am not creating my books to still be around in 100 years. If they are, great. If not, whatever. Because I am not all in to the "safety" aspect I always have multiple copies of my photos. When I get photos printed I always print at least two copies of each. One set goes into photo-safe, archival boxes or albums, unadorned, as is. The other set is for me to play with. Because I always have a "good set" I don't have to worry about what I do in my books! I can just have good old, creative, messy fun!

I love to alter things..."junk them up" if you will. I pretty much ink the edges of almost every piece of paper I use. And I love to use paint. I think both ink and paint give dimension to the finished project. Ranger Distress Inks are my favorites, and I also love Colorbox inks as well. For paint, I use any I have in my stash: Ranger, Making Memories, Golden, Liquitex, and good old acrylic paint from the craft store.

I love to use a variety of papers and other materials for my pages: cardstock, heavier pattened paper, transparencies, envelopes, tags, gift bags, canvas, chipboard...I have even filled plain old Ziploc bags with ephemera and other found objects, punched holes in them and made those a page! Anything goes. I love a mix of sizes and textures.

When I making my fall journals I do five sections: September, October, Halloween, November, and Thanksgiving. I never plan out how many pages each section will have. As the season goes on I inevitably add more pages to some sections or take out some or rearrange some. Again, that is the beauty of ring books! I do a little bit of embellishing when I am making the book but leave lots of spaces for words and photos and more embellishment. I usually make the section dividers out of those typical manila office file folders just cut down to the size of my book. I have also used tabbed grungeboard pieces as well.

When I make my December/Christmas book, in the past I have set up a page for each day of the month and two pages each for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This year I plan on just putting together a book with about 25 or so pages. If I need more I will add more later, and I don't plan on numbering them like I have in the past.

For other books I have made, they are usually about one subject or one event. I add the number of pages I think I will need and work from there. Usually when I am making a book about something we have done or someplace we have gone, the event or trip or whatever has already taken place. I can add my words and photos and embellishments as I build the book.

The most important thing I try to have remember is to enjoy the process. Have fun with it! Do NOT stress about it. There are NO rules. Just let your creative muse guide you and you will end up with a handmade treasure that you love!

I hope this helped to give you some insight in to my own creative process. I would love to hear about your's, too! And if I can answer any other questions please feel free to ask anytime. :-)


Terri said...

Have you ever given any thought of doing something like an Etsy shop? For us girls who don't have the time to make beautiful things like this??

Cheryl said...

Thank you for this post. I am totally going to bug you if - no, WHEN - I start doing this. :) And I would like to echo Terri's sentiment: you could totally start an Etsy shop with your beautiful work!