Wednesday, November 30, 2016

All the Places I have lived in...

it has been such a long time since I posted and I am sorry. A lot has happened
since my husband died and my health has not been great since. You know, what
they say in many cases: when one of the partners in a marriage dies, the other
one soon follows. I just hope and pray that this will not be true in my case, but
like I said, I have not done tremendously well.

Then again, I am also busy. Time soothes over many hurts and it is a blessing in
so many ways and my desire to stop the clock is still in evidence. I still hate
sleeping or wasting time.

My passion with scrapbooking and digital art and working with beautiful
papers from Lorie is still trying to get me to revert and I might (one day),
when my hands don't want to hold the pen anymore. I have carpal tunnel. Also.
Ha, the other day I had to get a cortisone shot in one of my hands and because
I was very scared (I had had a really bad experience in St. Catharines with my
family doctor, my daughter went with me. And since it was a new specialist, he asked
about the various 'conditions' I have. My youngest, who has a great sense of
British humour, started laughing and said  ''it might take less time, if you asked
my Mum what she DOES NOT have...".
Love you, baby chick! It was just too cute.
So, what have I been up to? lots of stuff, but mainly being creative and doing what I
want to do.
I just finished a journal 'All the Places I have Lived in...'. Not places that I have visited
or been on vacation, but actually moving there and living there for no less than nine
months. At the end of the journal I was actually reflecting and surprised at the many
moves, in some cases huge international moves. How on earth did I do it back then?
how did I ever find the courage or the strength? Sure, I was younger but I also had
the children. Sometimes I had just the two girls, and other times I also
had my son with us.



The journal started off as an idea to show the children mostly the
places we had lived in but then it sort of became more serious and I wanted to not
just show names or pictures, but also in many cases write about it, explain what
had motivated the move or forced us todo so. And most of all, I did not want it to be a
work of art or perfection. I wanted it to look like it had been 'through the mill':
used, abused, aged, old, imperfect, exciting at times to peek around the next corner
but constantly maintaining the idea of AGE. After all, the moving
around the world started for me over forty years ago! So to give the journal a
realistic look,
I wanted it to look OLD and battered.






























I started off with cardboard from a regular big cardboard box. Size: 8.5" x 10".
The spine was attached and fortified with duck tape. The edges bothered me because they were corrugated, so I rubbed white glue mixed with polyfiller over all the edges and let it dry.
Then I sanded the edges.

Again, after sanding, I repeated the process, glue and polyfiller to make sure the edges
were relatively smooth but not heavy.
Next, I gave the entire contraption a coat of gesso. Then I painted it an olive green.
And finally covered front and back with some music paper from my stash. ON the inside
of the cover I used papers from EVG Ephemera Vintage Garden (if anyone wants to know,
please ask and I look up the name of the papers)...

And since I am paranoid with strength and durability in my journals, I did most of the
messy finishing before adding my signatures (pages)...to the spine. I had already coffee
dyed and dried the papers in the oven, everything that I was going to use in the journal
was coffee dyed. I wanted the paper to look old and tea stains or dying was not enough
for me.

Then I applied Tim Holtz distress ink but I had used dark brown shoe polish and I used
that on top. I find shoe polish easier to manage and like the look of it, especially over
the edges. So much easier to apply with my finger too.

The holes for my signatures were drilled with a tiny drill but I could have done the
same no doubt with an awl. I have 55 pages with  5 signatures for a spine the width
of 2 1/2". As you can see, the pages turned out relatively straight but I forgot to
mention that after drying them in the oven, I ironed them all with a hot iron. Lol.

A lot of my papers are ripped, I wanted them to look rough or used. Also I antiqued
them a little more with distress ink. I used very few embellishments, because I felt it was not supposed to look 'pretty'...

After finishing with all the signatures and writing on the paper, I learned one big lesson:
journaling in a bulky journal is next to impossible. That is, if you want your handwriting
to remain neat.
So when I finally finished, I did not like the way the spine looked on the outside. The
stitches were uneven and messy (because it was my first 'stitched' spine. I re-enforced
it once more with more duct tape and then covered the whole mess with some coffee
stained  unbleached cotton again with a torn effect along the sides. And last but not
least, I stitched some beads and a key to it.

The entire process took six weeks and  would be basically finished now but I am
entertaining another move (probably my very last one) and I want to wait until I
can actually take a picture of the new place. Until then, the last finishing pages will
have to wait.

Thank you all for following my long epistle, most likely the longest so far on my blog.






1 comment:

Balinda (RebelChick) said...

I think of you quite often my dear friend and am glad you posted an update. I never would have thought to repurpose shoe polish like you did.
I just adore how your book turned out!!!
Much love and sending many prayers for you a beautiful and healthy New Year❤️