Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The finished book

Here is my finished book with a floating style stone in the cover:

Window book with shell

I really enjoy putting beads on my spine.  One of the threads is left over from sewing the binding.  The other pair of threads are created by tying a long piece of linen thread around the kettle stitch at the top.

Binding of window book

I think I seriously dreamt up this project, and I am so happy to see it completed.  It really matches what was in my head when I started, which feels great.  This project was very complicated.  If you missed any of the steps, this is what I did:

  1. Decorated the style stone
  2. Created the covers
  3. Added the floating element to the cover
  4. Assembled the book
All of the papers and most of the beads were from Club Scrap.  The ribbon is a grosgrain ribbon from Stampin' Up!

I actually made one before this to test my technique out.  I'll share that when I have a chance to finish the beading, take more pictures, and finish working on some Easter projects!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Assembling the book

I made the text block for the book by cutting sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper into 5.5 x 8.5 pieces.  Each piece was folded in half, and stitched together using the same technique as this journal from Club Scrap.

I gathered my back cover, text block, ribbon (I like grosgrain ribbon from Stampin' Up!), a foam brush, and my bookbinding glue.

Apply the glue to the back page of the book.

Spread the glue around using the brush, making sure that there aren't any parts without glue, or globs of glue anywhere.

Lay the book on the back cover, and burnish into place with a bone folder.  I usually lay a piece of clean paper on top so that my bone folder doesn't leave any marks on the book.  If you have used the right amount of glue, very little (or no) glue will ooze out the sides.

I then wrap the book in waxed paper and put it in my book press to cure overnight.  Sometimes I do both covers at once, but in this case, I decided to do one cover at a time.  It's a bit easier to handle when one cover is stable.

Check back later this week, and I'll show you the final embellishments and final book!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Finishing the book covers

After I left everything dry overnight, I'm ready to finish assembling the covers.  I want the style stone to float in the window, but not fly out of the window, so I need sturdy wire (I used 20 gauge), four beads, two bone folders, and a strong (but flexible) glue (E600 was my choice).

First, I flattened the wire by rolling it between a piece of mat board and my cutting mat.  Tricia Morris demonstrates this technique in the wired book project (right about minute 6:30).  The straight wire is threaded into the style stone, and beads are placed on all four ends.  This makes the stone stay in place better too.

Next, I put a pretty big dollop of glue on each wire end.  I used the two bone folders to hold the wires in place for a few minutes while the glue cured a bit.

Now I get out the bottom front cover, my bookbinding glue, and a foam brush.

Apply glue to the bottom piece of bookboard, and then spread it around.  You don't need a lot.

Set the bottom front cover on the top of the front cover. Because there are wires in between, this is where you need a book press, or some heavy weights to set on your cover.  I put this in my book press, and let it dry for a few hours.

After the covers had dried, it was time to finish wrapping the front cover.  First, the corners of the paper need to be cut off.  If you cut too close to the book board, you'll see some of the book board.  If you cut too far, you'll have a huge lump of cardstock at each corner.  To get it just right, I use two pieces of scrap book board that are the same thickness as my cover to draw a cut line.

Cut the corners with a scissors.  Nobody will see them, so the cuts don't need to be perfectly straight.

Score along each edge of the board, and wrap the sides around the board before applying glue.  This will make the covering process easier and neater.

Apply glue and spread glue along a flap.

After two flaps are folded over, tuck the edge in a bit using a bone folder. This will create a super-neat corner that looks so nice when it's done.

Repeat with the other two sides until the cover is neatly wrapped.  I burnish all edges with a bone folder to make this super neat and crisp.

The process was similar for the back cover, except that this one didn't have a window.  To complete the back cover:

  • Glue the two pieces of book board together.
  • Glue the cardstock to the flat side of the book board.
  • Trim the corners of the cardstock.
  • Score along the edges of the book board, and pre-wrap all four flaps around the cover.
  • Glue two flaps to the cover.
  • Tuck the corners in using the bone folder.
  • Wrap the remaining two flaps.
After the back and front cover were wrapped, I pressed these in my book press overnight to make sure they were cured well.  Come back tomorrow to see how I assemble the book!  If you'd like to see a video on the technique of wrapping the book covers, check out my Getting Started page for some basic tutorials on book binding, and where I get my supplies.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Creating the book covers - and a giveaway!

The style stone I made earlier will end up in the cover of  book.  Ultimately, it will "float" in a little window on the front cover.  This is a multi-day process, so check back tomorrow to see more of the process!

First, I cut the book board into appropriately sized pieces.  I use a clear grid ruler (this is one that quilters might find familiar) and a utility knife.

I cut two pieces for the front and two pieces for the back, since I want both covers to be roughly the same thickness.  Each cover is 1/8 inch wider, and 1/4 inch taller than the book I will be placing between the covers.

The thickness of two front covers is larger than the thickness of the style stone so that the stone will float in the window I create.  To create the window, I put the stone on one of the front covers, and used a pencil to trace some lines.  The "x" was drawn so I can measure from the center as needed.

Once I had the width established, I drew a line for the top and bottom.

After cutting the window, I used the window in the top cover to trace the window in the bottom cover.  By using the top cover as a template, I minimize the amount of measuring I need to do!

I want the bottom cover to have a slightly larger window than the top cover.  This will cover up any rough edges, since you won't be able to see them!  A grid ruler with 1/8" markings makes this very easy.  I like the one Club Scrap sells - it has a centering line, and clear 1/8" markings.

After cutting the windows out of both front covers, I painted the corners of the top cover, and all of the exposed edges of the bottom cover with black acrylic paint.  I'm not too fussy about my paint for this kind of project - any black paint you like will work well.

The top front cover needs paper on the top to make it pretty!  I like using the bookbinding glue from Club Scrap as my adhesive, and bone folder to burnish the paper onto the cover.  It is important to use a glue made for bookbinding here - a PVA glue with a strong bond is a must.

Next, I cut an "X" in the window, and wrapped the paper around to the back to create the window.  The X does not need to be perfect since this will be hidden in the final book, so I just free-hand cut this with my craft knife.  Notice that just a bit of the raw edge of the bookboard will show - the black paint gives this a finished look.

The bottom cover needs paper on the back of the board to create a finished look.  Before doing this, test out which side up will give you the best centering of the window and bookboard - since the window is traced from the top cover, one orientation will generally work a little better.

After glueing this far, I wanted to make sure everything was well adhered for the long term, so I put this in my book press overnight.  If you don't have a book press, a few heavy books or weights will also work.  Make sure any sides that might "ooze" glue have a piece of wax paper on them.  As a funny side note, my husband bought me my book press for Christmas.  He was tired of me "borrowing" his chemistry books - especially since he needed them to prepare for class!

A word of caution.  The only bookboard I had on hand to make a thick enough cover to act as a sandwich for the style stone was 0.097" thick Davey Binders Board  (try Hollander's or Talas to order).  This is extremely dense and hard to cut.  My hand is still sore about a week later from cutting this by hand!  I recommend using the less dense regular bookboard (try Hollander's or Twinrocker to order) and/or using a thinner item to be in the window.  I used the less dense board on the back cover, because I didn't mind if the cover weight and thickness varied a bit.

That's it for today - whew!  I am loving how this is turning out so far, and hope you like it, too.


Ann Martin on the "All Things Paper" blog has a great giveaway of a new origami paper book by Klutz Press.  This book shows you how to turn paper into little paper outfits!  These are really popular in the UK, and I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make a shirt.  Shirts are great embellishments for Father's Day cards.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Decorating a style stone

I have had a set of style stones for quite a while, and I recently had a brainstorm about what to finally do with them. I love it when I find a use for something that I've had in my stash for a long time. First, I need to decorate them.

This is a blank style stone with a natural finish. It has an etched shell on it, but you can also buy stones that are smooth. This particular stone was from a Club Scrap kit. It's no longer available, but there are similar ones available from Clearsnap.

First, I rubbed a gold metallic ink into the surface. I used the dropper to add ink to the etched areas, and used a q-tip and cloth to rub the ink around and off. My goal was to completely coat the etched areas, but not necessarily get any ink on the surface of the stone. I used Club Scrap's metallic reinkers for this. After this step, I used my heat gun to dry the ink.

Next, I used a small pigment ink pad from Stampin' Up to tap and rub ink on the surface. I also heat embossed after this step. As long as you don't pound the ink pad into the surface, you won't disturb the gold in the etched portion. I really like these cube pads that Stampin' Up sells. It's an affordable way to get a nice wide range of pigment inks.

I inked the top with a green ink, and the sides with a burgundy. I liked the colors, but thought it needed a little more texture. I took a script stamp from Club Scrap and a brown ink to stamp on top. Here is the finished stone!
I'll continue this story as I work on the next steps in the project. Thanks for taking a look!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Spring!

I can hardly believe that it's spring, and that I can see (at least some) of the grass in my yard. It isn't typical at all to be able to see my yard in March. I had a great time teaching a class at the scrapbooking store today for eleven lovely ladies. The card above is the third of four cards I taught in a class today. I was really inspired to look forward to spring, and chose some bright colors and a fun floral image from Club Scrap. By the way, if you don't have this image, you need it, and it's on sale at over 50% off! I don't work for Club Scrap, but even if I did, I would take advantage of this sale!

The technique on this card is very simple. Just stamp any image on cardstock with versamark ink. After stamping, use a cotton ball or q-tip to pick up some pastels. I really like Stampin' Ups pastels - they have a great color palette and are easy to use, but any will work. Pounce or rub your cotton ball with pastels over the image, and voila! The chalk will stick a bit more to the versamark, and create this really lovely "halo" of softer color around the image.

There are many more ways to use versamark than the few I've shared in these samples. Many of the stamping message boards have topics dedicated to over 50 uses. Check out Split Coast Stampers (scroll to post #10 for a long list) or Two Peas in a Bucket for some discussion on these ideas.

Versamark ink is very sticky. In order to clean my stamps throughly, I use StazOn cleaner, and then wipe it on my regular stamp cleaner (damp cloth or scrubber). I don't always clean my stamps, but I always clean them before and after using versamark ink. I clean the stamps before (only if they're dirty) so that the old ink on the stamp doesn't transfer to the pad. Your pad will still work well if it's a bit dirty, but it might transfer some unwanted ink to your project.

I can't resist sharing another card I made with the tulip stamp. Actually, when I first got this stamp, I wasn't sure what I would do with it - it is very large. But, you don't have to use the whole image of this (or any) stamp. Just ink the portion you want to use, and stamp that. Or, stamp the whole image and cut out the part you want. This card shows me using the three tulips on the left. I stamped this with blank ink, and colored it with pastels. A totally different look with the same stamp. That's why I love this stamp so much.

Hope these images remind you of spring if you live somewhere colder than me, or that you're enjoying the scenes of spring where you live!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


This is another one of the samples I worked up for my upcoming Versamark class (March 20th if you're local to the Keweenaw). I like teaching classes because it challenges me to think of new ways to use my supplies, and to really think about the techniques that are interesting and give great effects. If I try it and it doesn't work well, I don't teach it! This is a no-fail technique, and a different way to do a resist.

This technique is probably even simpler than the last one, but does require some special supplies to really achieve the best effect. Stamp images of your choice on glossy paper using Versamark ink. I really like the Stampin' Up! paper - it's a good price, and great quality. Then, ink up a brayer with dye ink (pigment ink or any ink that doesn't dry on glossy paper isn't a great choice). I have a speedball brayer with different heads that can be popped in and out. I use the hard rubber one for this technique. Roll the brayer back and forth over the paper to get a nice even layer of ink. Just have fun - there is no need to worry about technique! If you have a kaleidocolor ink pad, you can get interesting stripes of color, too.

I embossed the greeting using Versamark ink and black embossing powder. Stamp your image with Versamark ink, sprinkle the embossing powder over the image, shake off the excess powder, and then heat the powder with an embossing gun until it melts. I also really like the Stampin' Up! embossing powders. They melt really well, and have a great gloss to them. I think this makes a great impact with a greeting.

Hope you are enjoying the longer days and finding more time to craft because of them!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Playing with Versamark

I'm getting ready for a class I'm teaching at our local scrapbook store (March 20th for those of you in the Keweenaw), and came up with this for one of my sample cards. I was trying to do something that would be different (in an interesting way!), so I chose to do a gatefold card. At the class, I'll show some different techniques using Versamark ink. I've embossed the scroll image, and then inked over it with a sponge. The embossed image resists the ink, so you get a nice effect with the background paper showing through the image. The background scroll image is from Club Scrap, and the foreground saying with the bird is from Stampin' Up!

By the way, if anyone has seen my crafting mojo, could they send it back here? It seems to have left me for a while! I'm still crafting, but can't quite seem to get motivated to do much. It might have something to do with the weather brightening up - it seems that I want to be outside, but it's not quite warm enough to do that yet.

I'm looking forward to some crafting time this weekend, though. I'm taking a few days off of work, and hopefully a new environment and no work will help to kick start some creativity!


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