{creating a place of mystery, touch, and freedom - new journal for a new year!}

{touch} journal detail

A new journal for a new year!

I was showing this journal to a crafty neighbor last night, and found myself smiling at the imperfections. I said:

“If you had told me two years ago I’d be making journals that aren’t hardcovers or with pages that didn’t sit perfectly straight, I would have laughed. Now, I love journals that have character and color and are a bit messy.”

{touch} journal detail

The cover is sticky-back canvas stuck to pieces of a Honey Nut Cherrios box I grabbed from the kitchen (and left the cereal in it’s plastic bag; I wasn’t going to wait for a box to be emptied normally!). I have to say, I LOVE sticky-back canvas! I’ve painted and played on it and it takes everything so wonderfully! I cut shapes from it with my Cuttlebug to add as accents (see the first image; the flower in the corner was die-cut!) and just keep finding new ways to play with this versatile and fun canvas.

{touch} journal detail

It’s bound with the revealed spine tape binding I first saw on Debra’s blog and learned from the book Creative Wildfire. Instead of using thicker fabric or the type of strapping used for bag straps, I used the left-over from the sticky-back, as my journal’s a bit smaller than 8.5”x11”. And where it crosses the fabric? I simply stuck some more canvas there so it isn’t sticky!

The signatures are made from two pieces of paper sewn together with fabric. This was so much fun, and gives a great jumping-off point on each page because there’s already some fabric sewn in! It also made the spine much thicker than the rest of the journal, giving room for more layers and three-dimensional objects and embellishments.

{touch} journal detail

However, the sticky wasn’t strong enough to keep the flaps attached to the covers, so I ran them through my sewing machine to give them a good, strong attachment to the covers with a messy zig-zag stitch.

I leave my free-style darning foot on my machine most of the time, since I’m now in love with imperfection and mess, and only need straight lines for smaller pieces and quilting.

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The front and back covers are both equally funky and fun. This type of binding, since I used fabric at the folds, isn’t perfect. It moves around. Pages aren’t square at times. But I really do love it!

With the thinner covers, it’s pliable. I used to thick you needed hard covers in order to have a good working surface, but have since learned that the grouping of pages plus flexible covers give you just as much stability as a hard cover made with book board. Plus, I just love how it feels in my hands — like a traveler’s journal or leather sketchbook ready to be filled and held.

{touch} journal detail

I did a bit of free-style stitching, but noticed it made the cover weaker. It still looks cool, though!

Since pages curl when you work on them, I sewed on some bright magenta elastic as a closure, sewing it to the back cover with a zig-zag stitch (I did three passes to make sure it stays!).

{touch} journal detail

And instead of trimming everything up, I left the fabrics at their original, by-eye lengths. They hang off the top and bottom in a colorful mess of pattern...

{touch} journal

This journal is so tactile. You feel the canvas on the cover, the pages inside, the fabric hanging out. It loves to be held and carried and worked in. And since I altered my messenger bag, it now has an artful place to call home.

the first page of the new year...

She sits just inside the front cover, dreaming, thinking, being.

A new journal for new dreams and thoughts and words and experiments as I continue on this new, odd, wonderful artistic painting journey I stumbled onto four months ago.