Thursday, November 22, 2012

Rescued Journals

New Journal

So in all the craziness that's been my life lately, I failed to mention that my friends Gisele and Jessica came to visit on the long weekend, just before my husband's surgery. I met Gisele in Vivienne's photography classes and later met her sister Jessica online as well. The both live in Alberta and were coming to the coast to visit family so they decided to stop by. It was a quick 24 hour visit, but we had a great time.

Not long after they arrived, we popped down to the local thrift store to rescue some old books to transform into mixed media journals. We had a little workshop at my kitchen table where I showed them how to gut their books, recover the inside and cut and sew new signatures in. They both managed to get their books assembled in a few short hours.

I chose the little navy hymnal because I like small books that fit in the palm of my hand. It measures 5 1/4 tall x 3 1/2 wide x 1 1/4 thick. Gisele very kindly brought me a stack of old maps of Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. I adore Canadiana, so this made me really happy. I decided to cut three of the maps into pages for my journal. I love how random they are. Older maps have such great colours and these are all soft vintage shades of browns, blues and greens. There are 4 signatures of 11 sheets (44 pages) each, for a total of 176 pages in the book. 

I am still trying to decide if I am going to do anything to the cover or just leave it. I'm not religious, so I have no attachment to the words on the cover. If I could come up with the exact right thing to glue over it (like a rusty book plate or a great label) I might be tempted to alter it. For now, I'll leave it as it is.

While Gisele and Jessica were working, we were talking about journalling. Because of the damage to my spinal cord, which affects my hands, I don't hand write anymore. My journals have become places where I glue, sew or tape bits and pieces, so they are primarily visual. I kind of love them this way-I get to use all those things that are "special" in such a way that I will always be able to enjoy them. I just keep adding to them, as time goes on. I have several different journals like this on the go and I often just randomly pick one up and start working on it, so they are all works in progress.

The girls were commenting on how much I seem to love to teach. I do and I miss it in many ways. I always enjoy showing someone what I know and then watching as they take that knowledge and make it their own. It makes me happy to be able to light that spark.


halo said...

oh, it looks fabulous! I love old maps, too (as you know, haha.) I'd love to do this with one of the (many!) thrifted books I have in my studio. xo

Seth said...

These really look wonderful...and I bet you all had a lot of fun making them together.

Carol Browne said...

They are great. And as I was reading this, I thought, "She should be teaching workshops..." before I got to your comment about wanting to teach! I'd come to your classes, that's for sure!

Bettyann said...

I love old books anad was really hard to alter my first book...all thoses years of being told to take good care of books...I still remember the 2 clases you taught at the Coquitlam library...loved it taught me so much....take care..