Saturday, April 13, 2013

A new type of recycled journal using old Christmas cards: Part 1

I confess I've worked on this project off and on for over two weeks.  It became a nightmare, especially after I found what looked like a fun, quick, and easy project on YouTube.  This artist, Jennibelli, is the ultimate recycler.  I learned how to make this project from her video on making an art journal using greeting cards.  The link I show is for part 1 and I'm breaking my project into two days, also.  Since it took me over two weeks to make it, I deserve a little slack.

Let's begin and I'll show you my trials and tribulations through this project.

I spent most of the first day finding the supplies I would use for this project.  I went through my Christmas cards, some new, some gifted, to which I added two empty saltine cracker containers.  I also included masks and stencils, as well as some tape, my old scruffy brush, and a toothbrush for splattering ink. My gesso and ink sponges were also within reach.  I felt I was ready.

 Next, I gessoed the blank side of the two pieces I cut from the saltine cracker box.

After I applied gesso to the insides and backs of the cards, I had a real mess.  This took another day, and I had no place to stand while these were drying.

Words showed through the ones I didn't gesso, and the India ink ran.  Now I had a REAL mess.

It was at this time, I went back to the original tutorial, and have NO idea where I got the idea I needed the cardboard (from the crackers).  I also couldn't figure out how her paint came out so much better than mine, when she also used craft paint.  I had spent all that time waiting, drying, painting, waiting, drying, painting, and was no further than I had been before.  In fact, I now had bigger messes than before I started.

That's when I decided to take matters into my own hands, and do the only thing I really know how to do.  I used some of my spray mists I made on Day 1, as well as some purchased spray mists. 

I also stamped some of the styrofoam hearts I made on Day 11.

Then I cut the scrap paper into sizes that would cover any words or images the gesso didn't, and began to sew.  I also used old book pages, including one I tea dyed on Day 9.  I now felt, after countless failures, I was back on track, and it was on my terms.

I went back once again to the tutorial and saw I needed a tall, skinny card to mark off the places that needed to be cut.  I didn't have one of those cards, since I had already used the only skinny ones I had in my project.  So, I folded one of those blank scrapbook pages my friend Kathy gave me, in thirds and used it as the center.  Not sure you can see the marks I've made in the first one, but they are there in red pencil.

Next, I cut all the cards the same distance.  I got a bit carried away with removing the excess cardstock, but I hoped that would be to my advantage.

Now it was time to cut the rest of the signatures.  I used two cards per signature, for 32 pages in the book.

Tomorrow I will show how I put this book together.  Today is Day 13 and I saved eight (8) greeting cards from the trash, scraps from my "scraps-too-big-to pitch" pile, as well as an offcut of scrapbook paper.

9 thoughtful remarks:

Dawn Paoletta said...

Wow. Impressive. Always better once we are on our own terms, right?

Marilyn Rock said...

Really terrific Elizabeth! xxoo

Halle said...

Getting off course sometimes lends itself to a really wonderful result. Glad you persevered.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I like how you are using what you already created/recycled! The journal is looking good so far!

Katy said...

I can't wait to see the finished project! And kudos for keeping at it. I'm afraid it would have gone in my "look at this later" pile after everything had dried. LOL :)

~*~Patty S said...

You have me imagining you with no where to stand ;)
I like your determination to make a project work and with your experience and talent good things always result!
I just happen to have old Christmas cards (somewhere!)
Happy Weekend to ya

sandee said...

I had to smile at you doing it on your own terms, so Elizabeth! ( That's what Bluebeard told me anyway, he said there was much talking and muttering going on behind the closed door and was happy he wasn't in there!! ) lol waving hi from the hills of North Carolina ♥

Dianne said...

oh yes, that gesso can get mighty messy and takes a while to dry. especially when I slather it on too thick! I confess, my hair dryer is multi-purpose and I resort to using it often! looking forward to your second installment to see how this turns out. I don't use gesso nearly as much as I used to--just generally figure out how to collage over stuff, just like you!...say, what type of needle do you use in your machine when you sew paper or card stock? just wondering...

Dawn said...

Go girl, you got it back in the end tee hee! Thank-you so much for sharing the rough and the smooth sweetie. Lol I have to admit to not being a huge gesso fan anymore after a few mishaps of my own with a cheap one!! I now tend to use cheap white acrylic as a base coat, it dries much quicker. Will be back tomorrow, am more than intrigued to see the rest of your fab project.
Huge hugs x x x x