Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Journal Ring begins

Dear Shayne,

I've signed up for a Journal ring on craftster -- basically, 6 of us pass around a journal and doodle inside of it, then send it on. It's inspired by the book Alphabetica so I think we're all doing a "Letters and Numbers" theme (although someone else might have picked another -- I won't know until I get their journal) (Oh, and then I'll be screwed, because I'm pretty much only prepared for letters and numbers... watch someone pick Stringed Instruments of Indonesia -- I'll be crying then.)

At any rate, I won't be able to post the rest of my pages until the ring is over (in May) so as not to spoil the surprise for the journal owners, but I can post what I've done on my own book (although I'll probably still be surprised when it comes back to me -- "I made this? Oh, yeah...")

I knew from the start that I wanted to use torn out pages of an old book to decoupage the front (Get it? Letters?) so I went to the thrift store (couldn't destroy any of my own books, now could I?) looking for just the right title. And I found... The Scarlet Letter! Tee hee! Letter! Get it? (Oh, yeah... of course you do...)
Journal cover

(The finished book actually has binder rings but I put the journal in the scanner for these photos, so I wanted the pages to be flat.)

Now, Shayne, I need to tell you about the awesome product I used to install those grommets you see there. It's the dorkily named Crop-A-Dile and, if you've ever struggled to hammer or [shudder] squeeze grommets into place before, this thing is the answer for you. In a word, it rocks. Is our blog PG-13? Cause I really want to say here... it fucking rocks. Really.

You just squeeze and... presto! Grommet! Furthermore, it also punches the holes for the grommets -- what you see here is chipboard with several layers of paper decoupaged over it. And it punched through all of that like butter! I swear! And I'm a total wuss!

Okay... this is turning into an infomercial for the Crop-A-Dile. I didn't intend that. Just wanted to tell you -- this thing is cool.

All right. I'm not the biggest fan of numbers, but I do like measuring tapes n' stuff, so I used this cool paper for the first end paper:
Inside front end paper

The back end paper is something different, with a bit of the measuring tape paper. That's also where the "sign in" card goes -- for everyone to sign the thing before sending it on. (Due to scanning, the forefront is clear and the background is blurry. I apologize, but... I'm lazy):
Sign in page

On the back page, I put a little "Thank you" note to everyone working on the book. It's in this envelope:

I used "2U" to address it because of the number/letter thing, but just in case they wondered if it was to them, I put an extra note under the flap:
Open the flap -- letter!

(Hee hee -- I crack myself up!)

The back of the book is constructed like the front, but with a Z to finish it off:
Back cover

Unfortunately, I did not notice that the Z was upside down until after I painted it. Oh, well -- artistic license, right?

Then I had to kick off the thing by doing the first page myself. I was kind of burned out by the time it came to this point, but I like what I ended up with:
First page of the book
(I have a lot of letter stencils!)

How stoked was I when I realized the letters in the word BEGIN were all in alphabetical order? Answer: Totally!

I sent it off this week and should be getting someone else's journal in the next few days. Let the anxiety begin!



Shayne said...

Everything looks awesome. The Z doesn't look upside down at all. I never would have guessed. Everyone will love working in your book, I'm sure. And good idea making it a binder, that way if you get it back with something you absolutely hate (sorry, I've done lots of fat books with disappointment) you can take it out.
P.S. I've seen the crop-o-dile in action, I just can't justify buying it (yet) because I've got an enormous metal heavy-duty eyelet setter/hole punch.

kelly said...

I hadn't thought of taking anyone's stuff out of the thing when I finished -- I did a binder so that if anyone F'd up, they could take out that page and re-start. I know I'm nervous about messing up the one that came to me.

Aaand... the nice thing about the crop-a-dile is that it's hand-held. So if you don't want to deal with the enormous heavy-duty thing, you can just whip this out. Con-veeen-ient!