Thursday, January 12, 2017

Art journal in an altered book

I've had some questions about my art journal this year and thought I would share about my lovely book. At the beginning of 2016 I decided that rather than buy a journal, I would repurpose a second-hand book. I purchased this one at a library book sale some time earlier and it had been waiting for the perfect project (I would not have spent more than $5 on it)
The top of the spine needed a little repair, but it's only the outer covering, and easily fixed by some wide tape. This has stood up fine so far.
The covers are nicely blank for future creative inspiration. I usually leave decorating covers til the end of a project, although my recent experience with preparing my daily journal cover has been inspiring and I may do this one soon. I am pretty much at the middle page in the book. 
There were a few criteria I wanted for the journal which made this the perfect candidate
1. The paper had to be thick enough to withstand wet mixed media treatment. There were a couple of fold-out pages in the book, so I was able to tear one out to experiment with dylusions sprays - they turned out a lovely colour with no treatment on the page, and no bleeding through.
Since then I have had no problem with bleeding with ANY media!
2. The pages need to be stitched into their binding - this will help with the journal staying together as I use it without pages falling out (wet media can weaken glued bindings), but also I can tear pages out if the journal gets too thick - based on how it looks so far I think I'll be okay since I am not adding heaps of dimension to my pages.
3. I love text, but didn't want the distraction of too many illustrations - this book had coloured plates that were attached with a thin line of glue which made them easy to remove.
4. I thought I would like to work larger - these pages measure 13 1/4" (34cm) x 9 1/2" (24cm) - that makes a spread of 13 1/4" x 19". 
I used this journal for everything in 2016 - see my Flickr folder of all the spreads HERE. One of the joys is the discovery of appropriate words in your background. These are a couple of examples from last year : prompts from OLW 2016
and a BOD 2016 lesson that I did in September 
- this was so serendipitous I didn't even notice "grace and beauty" until after I'd done the pencil drawing ♥
So now I head into 2017 art - this was my first page in this journal for the year alongside the next in the spread (I am daily journaling in a different journal this year)
Love that you can still see the text behind the completed letters. Click on any photo to better see those kind of details. Looking forward to sharing what happens in the rest of this altered art journal. I've already started a new Flickr album for that HERE.


  1. I guess some of those questions came from me! Thanks for the tips. Your book looks great from the side view, and will look even greater when full! I like looking at completed, chunky art journals! And don't you just love that old book smell!

  2. Thanks Zsuzsa - yep some from you but also quite a bit of interest from BOD group where they keep seeing text peeking through my art and commenting on how lovely it looks 😊
    We got back from a lovely week away yesterday so I am slowly catching up on all my emails and FB notifications. Happy week

  3. I've ordered the vintage set too - just couldn't resist it! ;)


Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I will always respond to you so check back here in a couple of days.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...