Making the Journal…BIGGER

So as I said in my post yesterday, one way I want to make this journal different is by making it bigger. This is the standard journal size that I like to make. It’s big enough to have lots of room to play, but not overwhelmingly large.

Visual Journalism at the Speed of Life pcarriker

Original Journal from my book Creating Art at the speed of Life

 

 

 

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The journal size I usually make

I used 90lb Fabriano Hot Press Watercolor paper. This is still my favorite for journal making because it’s not too heavy but the pages hold up very well to all sorts of media. It’s also easy to fold, tear and punch through. I get asked about this choice often and I’d like to insert that any paper that you like to use for mixed media art can be substituted. Your journal is a personal place for you to make art and the substrate you choose to work on is a personal choice. I just share what my favorite is:-)

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To make the 7 1/2″ x 11″ journal that I made, tear four 22″ x 30″ sheets of paper into fourths, you’ll use 15 of these torn down pieces of paper. I used a tear bar but you can fold and score with a bone folder tool, wet the fold with a sponge and tear. Remember that this journal can be made in any size you want so if you already have a pad of paper you like you may just want to tear out pages and fold them in half.

 

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Fold each piece of torn paper in half and score fold with the bone folder tool to create 15 folios. Nest three folios inside of each other to create 5 signatures of three sheets each.

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Punch a center hole and one hole from each end for three holes total in the spine. (You can find complete instructions on stitching this in my book. Use waxed linen thread to bind each signature with a pamphlet stitch, tying the not on the inside of the signatures.

I like to store my awl and binding needle in a cork to keep them together and myself safe from being poked.

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I get my waxed linen thread from the jewelry section of Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

 

Because this is a larger journal and the stitches on the outside are a bit larger than my 2″ cloth tape, I’m going to use two pieces of tape in each stitch for a total of 4 pieces.

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I find it helpful to use a piece of 2″ by 8″ piece of chipboard to act as a threader for the tape. Simply stick the edge of the tape to the chipboard and thread it through the stitches on the outside of the stack of signatures. Remove the tape from the chipboard and stick one side to the outside of the signature on one side of the stack. Then compress the stack of signatures and stick the rest of the tape to the other side of the stack. If needed use a second piece of tape beside the first one. Repeat for second outside stitch.

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For the covers I like to use mat board or the heavy boards from the back of drawing pads. Just cut to the size of your journal. For the larger journals like this I like to have a nice sturdy cover so I wouldn’t recommend using just canvas as in the smaller journal in my book.

 

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Use Yes glue or other good strong paper glue to attach the cardboard covers to the front and back of the signature stack.

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To cover the spine I like to use Gaffers tape but any cloth tape including the one you used for the binding will work. Duct tape will even work. Just cut two pieces the length of your journal. Place one piece sticky side up on your worktable and then tear about a 1″ strip from the second piece of tape. Place this sticky side down, down the center of the piece on your worktable.

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Set your journal, bound side down on top of the tape, it should be resting on the non sticky middle strip. Carefully stick the tape to the front and back of the journal.

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Sometimes there’s a bit of a gap between the signatures when you ope your book.

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To fix this I just add a strip of the cloth tape I used for the binding.

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Let the glue set up overnight if possible, I like to weigh the journal down with a book or two on top of it. Then you’re good to go!

You can decorate your cover or leave it plain. For complete journal making instructions remember to check out my book Creating Art at the Speed of Life 

 

AWOL-Time To Get Back In the Habit of Art Journaling!!!

What a crazy busy summer! We moved, into an apartment waiting for our house to be finished, then moved my mom in Washington and then moved ourselves again into our new home! And in the midst of all of that I did the photo shoot for my next book, finished my manuscript, edited my manuscript, taught several workshops around the US and very nearly went crazy lol!

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Now school is finally back in session, and we are feeling pretty settled in our new home and I am looking forward to actually making some art of my own. I have 3 more teaching gigs before the end of this season (you can find them listed on my ‘Teaching’ page) and I’m really looking forward to spending time at home with my family for the holidays. 

I must admit that I feel in a bit of an art slump. I love teaching and writing books but I really am feeling the need to explore where my own art is going to go from here. I have a beautiful new studio space in our home that is as yet untouched where making art is concerned. 

I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to get back in the swing of things so to speak and while unpacking my journals I looked at the journal that I made for my book Creating Art at the Speed of Life. I’m thinking that it would be fun to make a new journal and create pages inspired by the techniques and exercises from my own book. It’s been a couple of years since I actually made that journal and it’s always great to revisit things and see how much your work has evolved. 

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To set myself up for success so to speak, I’m going to keep my book out on my work table with my new journal. I want it right there so each day I can try to work in it but I’m going to allow that some days will just be too busy to do so but I want to see it every day.

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I also thought I’d change the size up and make a larger journal to work in. If you want to join in I’d love it if you’d share a link to pages you’re making in the comment section so we can all go and see your progress too! It’ll be a sort of a blog hop where we can all share with no fear of commitment!

I always get in the mood to do something new at the beginning of the school year so I think it’s a perfect time to revisit the lessons in my book and expand on them! I hope you’ll decide to join in and please feel free to join the Creating Art at the Speed of Life Facebook group where you can always share your work and ask questions.

Share Art Through Teaching

This week registration will open for my new 2010 online workshop!

Journal 365
with Pam Carriker

A year-long event in visual journaling, this workshop is the perfect way to make art an every day occurrence. Not just a class but a way of living creatively all year long! Every month a new class will be posted with techniques and journal prompts to use for that month. We’ll share, encourage, and inspire each other as we make our own journals along the way, adding a signature of favorite paper to them each month. Watching our journals grow, sharing our passion for journaling with each other, through class participation together we’ll explore different types of journaling as we grow into our individual styles, revealing the true artist that lies within each of us. Every lesson will be complete, so the class can be joined at the beginning of any month, with the participant picking up at that point and adding the missing lessons on at the end. Revolving lessons, like a Ferris Wheel; it doesn’t matter when you get on, you’ll still get the full ride! All 365 days.

Class fee $120/12 lessons
Begins April 1st 2010

Resolutions

By now we’ve pretty much rung the New Year in. Waking up late, relaxing and just enjoying the last holiday of the season is all that this day requires, except for those pesky New Years Resolutions.

Everyone has different feelings on whether to make them or not. I myself have made them or not at various times in my life. As I get older I value the extra push they give me that helps drive me towards accomplishing my goals and towards becoming a better person.

It’s also a great time to look back on the resolutions made last year. Seeing things you’ve accomplished and those you’re still working on, motivates and inspires you to continue your journey.

It’s been a busy, family filled holiday season and tomorrow the Christmas decorations will be coming down, getting carefully packed away for next year and the house will get a shiny New Year cleaning. Come Monday my kids will either be in their own home, or back in school and I will be buried in my studio working on finishing my goal for last year, getting a book published. Some goals (dreams) take more than one year to accomplish but that shouldn’t stop us from going after them! Dream BIG in 2010.

You asked for it, you got it!


Some of you asked for some BIGGER pics of the journal pages in the previous post, so here you go!

These pages were created quickly, with text found from some newsletters I was throwing out.

I ripped out the things that spoke to me at that moment and glued them down randomly on several pages.

Paint, paint, and a bit more paint followed.

Texture tools(rag, sponge, veggie wrapper, etc) were used to lift off paint here and there.

My favorite hand carved diamond stamp with a little gesso made it’s way to this page.

Some other stamps were used here and there.

I really just used whatever was handy, working rapidly without much planning ahead.

What a release of my pent up energy!

Another New Journal


I think I have a problem. I have 5 journals that I’m working in at this moment and I just added a 6th! This one is a 7 x 10 Strathmore Black Field Drawing Notebook. It has lovely heavy black pages. I got it to play with my Caran d’ache crayons in. I find it a good thing to mix up the size of book you are working in. It helps you to stretch your creative muscle. This little portrait was done with the water soluble crayons and fluid matte medium. Layer after layer of crayon was built up over the black. After working on white, this is a refreshing twist. I am looking forward to playing some more tonight.

Developing Your Own Voice

I thought I would share this journal page with you today. I did this little exercise in my journal while traveling to CA for the ConvenZioNE. Journals are a great place to actually ‘do’ some of the little exercises artists sometimes publish with their articles. I wish I remembered where I read this, but I don’t. Sometimes I just jot the exercise down for future reference. I do know it was written by Gina Arnfield. In my journaling workshop I tell people to use things they love, things they are drawn to, colors that speak to them and their pages will turn out to reflect them. That is what this little exercise will help you find out. What are you drawn to? What are your favorite colors? I challenge you to answer the questions listed on my journal page for yourself.