Sunday, September 09, 2007

Cedar Wood Journal
Yesterday I went to a class at the Huntington Gardens to make this journal. This is my first experience with any kind of bookmaking and it was an absolute delight! The teacher, Wendy Poma, did a fantastic job of teaching. About half of the class were ladies who had taken some of Wendy's other classes and the other half of us were newbies! Wendy is phenomenal. . . she had prepared the materials ahead of time and each work station had every single thing we needed to make our journals. She even cut all the paper, the cardboard pieces, the faux suede - and we had a pile of cedar tiles from which to custom choose our very own. She laid out beautiful papers for us to cut for our cover sheet -- lovely colors and designs, as well as decorative paper punches and embellishments. It would take PAGES to describe step-by-step how we did these journals, so I'll just put it in a nutshell. The heavy cardboard front and back were covered with faux suede CONTACT PAPER - can you believe such a thing exists? It is amazing to work with and really feels and looks like suede. It comes in a roll - just like regular contact paper. Wendy got hers at The Container Store in Pasadena, but she said she'd heard that Lowe's carries it. Then we covered the cardboard spine and then using 1/4 inch super sticking double stick craft tape (NOT scotch tape) we attached the spine to the covers. Using the same double sticky tape, we laid five rows of strips down on the front cover and placed our cedar tiles - VERY carefully and then pressed firmly into place. We used water based varnish to finish the cedar tiles. Wendy had cut all the paper and each of us had enough to make two "pads" for our journals. We got our stacks of paper (with a light cardboard on the back and our decorative cover paper on the front) into nice, neat stacks and then held them together with large binder clips. Then we painted on a nice substantial layer of "Padding Compound" onto what would become the spine -- and this is really cool. . . we moved the binder clips to the padding compound painted side and then set our stacks upside down using the grippers of the clips as legs -- how cool is that? The padding compound is thick and doesn't run easily, but setting it upside down assures that it won't run too far into the pad. The next step was to use strips of the faux suede and wrap the "pad" of paper and then decorate the cover sheet however we wanted. One pad was glued (with strong glue stick called UHO) onto the inside back cover. When the pad is filled, you just grip it and pull it off of the back cover and then you can glue in the refill.
I did a google on "padding compound" because I really want to use it for making watercolor journals and found it on Amazon as well as several other places.
If anyone lives in southern CA and would like to take a class from this incredible teacher, she has classes on Sept 22 to learn Embellishment Techniques and More at Mimio in Pasadena (phone number 626-685-9090) and on Sept 29th is a class on Double Slide Closure Journals at Stampin' From the Heart (phone number 310-391-0466). Then on Oct 6th at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena (phone number is 626-449-5320) is another class on the Double Slide Closure Journal, on Oct 13th at Descanso Gardens a class to make an Organizer Journal, (phone number is 818-949-7981). She also has an all day Embellishments Class on Oct 27th at Stampin' From the Heart (phone number 310-391-0466). In November, on the 3rd is a Pleated Spine Journal at the Univ. of CA, Riverside (phone number 951-827-1637) and on the 10th of Nov a class to make Three Gift Books at Glendale Community Collegee (phone number 818-240-1000 ext 5015).

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Kate Johnson's online watercolor 2 class - week 4 is on Weathered Wood, Lichen and Moss. This is my "moss" exercise done on Cotman 8 x 5 watercolor pad using WN paints. Some of this is wet-in-wet and some is dry brush. The slim portion of background (on the right) is darker in real life, don't know why it didn't scan true--the rest of it scanned just fine. I guess some pigments are more reflective? I've done trees and tree trunks before, but this is my first "moss." I am pleased with the result, but we'll see if Kate suggests any improvements. It's always amazing how she can find things that can be improved upon--usually just a little bit here or a little less there.