Friday, January 4, 2013

more long stitch journals

Can I just tell you again how happy I am that I took Diana Trout's long-stitch journal class?  I feel like I've mastered the basics, and no longer need to refer to the instructions, and now I'm ready to branch out, try new things, and learn new bindings.

Here are are few of the journals I made and gave as gifts.
I decided I wanted to stitch the cover of this one after I had bound it.  Picture me feeding the book into the sewing machine and realizing the stitches won't go all the way across because the spine gets in the way.  Let's just pretend that was an artistic decision, shall we?
 The reason I wanted to stitch the cover is because the paper was extra long and I realized I could fold it over into a pocket rather than trimming it.
I love pockets.

This next one was a Christmas gift for my steampunk loving artist niece.
Half of the pages are nice drawing paper, half are water color paper.
I can't wait to see what she creates in it.
I remembered to stitch this cover before binding it, but I didn't plan the cover well enough to have pocket flaps.  It does have a cool hand charm on the spine, however.

This third one has dried ferns from my yard collaged into the paper-cloth.  It took about a billion layers of gloss medium to keep them from cracking through, but I ended up liking the shininess of the cover so much that I even rubbed on some gold paint.  It's kind of shimmery.

One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year is this table top photo studio that my sweetie gave me.  Our house is incredibly dark and it's hard to photograph things that are too big or too lumpy for my scanner.  I'm often dragging my art outside to try and photograph it in natural light.  (you can imagine how much fun that is in the snowy New England winters).
This little set up solves that problem.
 I'm still learning the most effective places to put the lamps and tips for improving my photography skills, but already I love it.  And the best part is that it folds right up into it's own little pouch so it's not taking up premium real estate in the studio.
What kinds of wonderful art gifts did you get for Christmas?


  1. Love what you're doing with bookbinding!! Isn't it so much fun?!

    No art gifts for Christmas. But I'm determined to sign up for a 6-week night class at RISD in the spring session. And we spent a night in Northampton after visiting the Eric Carle Museum and I bought yarn for two sweaters (one for me, one for my son) at WEBS. Oh, speaking of the Carle--they are having a professional development workshop on Sat Jan 26. Is this possibly anything you could justify for work, if you are interested in it? They haven't met minimum enrollment yet:

    I'd sign up for their printmaking one, but it's on a weekday. Bummer.

  2. Wonderful books!!! I'm quite envious of your photography cool is that. No art gifts for me...hubby thinks I already have too much junk.

  3. Beautiful journals - I'll be looking at that bookbinding class...was it an online one? And lucky you to get a light box...I have one that I've kind of made from a cardboard box with holes cut in it, but this is SO much nicer and I love that it folds up- my box doesn't!

    As for what artsy gift I received? My son gave me a glass blowing workshop! Unexpected and so interesting...I'll be sure and share after I've taken it...

  4. I love your journals Karen, thank-you for sharing them. You have really cracked the technique and it shows my lovely, well done you. Lol, I really fancied the course too but things were a little tight at the time it went live but I know it will be available for a while so who knows! So far I have only tried sewn signatures one way as beautifully demonstrated by Sue Roddis in one of her books but I am determined to try more styles soon, its great fun and very satisfying to be able to bind your own journals.
    Dawn x

  5. Nice, nice journals and lucky you for that table top studio. I keep thinking I will make one, saw plans for one in an old CPS I think, but haven't gotten round to it yet......good husband!!!!! xox

  6. Your journals are all great. I especially love the one with the ferns. And your new Christmas present looks like just the thing for taking pictures of all your artwork. I got some artsy gifts but my favorite gift is a folding clothesline so I can finally hang some things out in the fresh air! It doesn't take much to make me happy!!

  7. oooooOOOooo I love love love your journals! They are all just beautiful. I like fern idea and love the gold shimmer on it. Those charms are cool too on the one for your niece. Look at you! Little Miss Book Binder Pro. haha

    I'm a little jealous of your photo shoot box kit, saaaweet!

    I bought myself my own art gift this year... an ipad :D

    xx Jaime

  8. FANTASTIC!!! Oohhh we're going to get even better pictures! Love your new presents. But also love the journals. They are so cool! Now I'm REALLY going to have to try out another one. Plus with a pocket. I would never have thought about a pocket like that. SO great! THanks thanks thanks.

  9. That photo mini-studio is the most fantastic thing, and what a present! Your journals are beautiful, the covers are so inventive.

  10. Oooh, all of those are some gorgeous books....! :D

  11. Lovely books and dig that photo studio. Very clever.

  12. Wow, your books are truly amazing. You are certainly an able student. How lucky your recipients are!! That portable photo studio is an awesome idea. I've been worrying about how I am going to work photography for an Etsy shop...maybe something like this would work for me!

  13. Your journals are gorgeous! what lucky loved ones you have. that last one with the ferns is just dreamy. I'm super excited about that portable light box. Wet, grey west coast winters are no easy feat either! hmmmm....