I’d promised my daughter for her birthday (last summer) that I was going to make her her own art journal. I had the book blank. I bought special art paper years and years ago and bound it into a larger size than I usually do. It’s approximately 5″ x 7″. The paper is really special on the inside, and I meant to use it as a book to keep track of my short story submissions, but then I stopped writing short stories and I didn’t need it so much. Better to give it to my daughter, who also adores blank books and sketches quite a bit.
Sometimes it’s daunting to create art with a specific purpose in mind. If my goal is just to create something interesting, it’s not as stymieing as when I’m thinking “I will make this for X”. Then I reminded myself that my daughter steals my favorite shoes, my make-up, and uses the best coffee mugs (the ones I like the best). Her taste is so similar to mine that if I just made something I really liked, chances are good, she’d like it too.
The cloth backing is some striped batik-like patterned blue on blue that was used for an old Renaissance festival costume for one of my daughters years ago. I stamped patters all over it in interference paint, which you can’t see too well here. The rectangles of art paper came with a pack I bought at an art store’s going out of business sale, maybe years ago. (I tend to collect art supplies).
The butterfly and the spiral on the back are made of grungeboard, as is the oval tag. Grungeboard is a new product, and it has a texture halfway between chipboard and an old pair of jeans. It’s thick and has crisp edges, like chipboard, but it’s somewhat flexible and soft, like denim. it takes paint well, so I started with a purplish-red acrylic. When that dried, I stamped it with the s ame interference paint mixtures I’d created for the cloth. I painted more than I used for this project, not sure what would look good until they were assembled and reassembled. That’s pretty typical.
I touched up the oval plaquard and some of the spiral with more gold interference paint. Interference paint is cool stuff. It’s wickedly expensive, but it shows one color from one angle and another from the other. It doesn’t reproduce well on a photo, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
For the final touch, I took a strip of recycled silk sari “yarn” and threaded some of my hand-made beads on this. I don’t have many small beads left, but I wanted something hand made for this special book. (Maybe it’s time to take another lampworking class). The strip of silk has been threaded through small metal eyelets along the spine. This was done before the cover was glued to the backboards of the book, so they’re on there fairly securely.
For the endpapers, I used some other art paper I’ve collected. Sometimes it’s hard to use the bulk of something really special like this paper on one project, but I have to remind myself that that’s what it’s for. Beautiful things are meant to be used. I hope she uses this book and its beauty reminds her of my love for her.