Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Book Log Tutorial

The kids both have this book to keep track of what they are reading this year, so I decided to make one for myself, too. I have several old blank books lying around, so I decided to alter one instead of buying a pre-made log. I also wanted to have a book organized by subject, since I primarily read nonfiction. Lastly, I have lots of supplies I'd like to use up to make room for baby stuff.
I started with this blank book. I sanded the cover since it had a glossy finish. (Sorry, I had to take the pictures at night)
I crumpled up an old map, then applied Distress Ink (brick and burlap) stamp pads directly to the paper.
Spray the paper with water, then crumple again.
You can let the paper air dry, or if you are impatient like me, you can use a heat gun. When it is dry, rub a Distress Ink pad over the paper to highlight the texture. I used Marigold for contrast.
I wrapped the book with the paper, using matte medium as an adhesive. I ran a gray stamp pad over the edges for contrast. The title block is made from scrapbook paper, brad, and a cut out from my sketchbook.
I covered the inside end papers with scrapbook paper, and used extra supplies for the date.
I punched category tabs from scrapbook paper to divide the log by topic. Now let's see who reads more this year, me or the kids...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Museum Scavenger Hunt Book

We have several museum trips coming up, thanks to free and reduced homeschool days, and I love using scavenger hunts to help focus the kids' energy when we are there. However, I do not love carrying a clipboard around, or trying to write against a wall or knee, or searching through the backpack for a pen. My solution? A book! I printed pre-made scavenger hunts from the Monterey Bay Aquarium website (many museums have them listed under the teacher resources, or you could make them yourself from pictures from the website) and bound them in a sturdy chipboard book, sort of following Angry Chicken's directions here. Instead of stapling the pages together, I folded each page in half and glued them back to back. Then I glued the first and last pages to the covers which made end pages and at the same time, secures all of the pages to the book.
This allowed the whole page to fold down for viewing, and the floating spine enables you to fold the whole book backwards. The hard chipboard covers (I took mine from the back of a sketchpad) provide a perfect surface for writing.
To keep track of the elusive pen, I added an elastic loop between the back page and the cover. To add extra hold insurance, I glued it down and then covered the edge with gaffer's tape.
That's all there is to it! Now I have a pint sized book of fun to focus our attention and our energy, and maybe discover something we hadn't noticed before. Now if I could only make our lunch bags and water bottles pint sized...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Snack Bag Art and this and that

Yes, this is the extent of my illustration time each day - drawing on snack bags. I guess that explains why it  has been so quiet around here lately! I plan on refashioning Max's duvet cover this weekend, so I hope to have a tutorial up for Made By You Monday. I also have 4 pairs of fleece pants, 5 pajama pants and a nightgown cut and waiting for the machine to come out of the closet! I wish the forecast had rain instead of 75 degree weather this weekend - it makes for much better sewing conditions!

I have a whole new stack of books from the library, Amazon and Bookswim on the table. Here are a few new reads and other links I've been enjoying lately:
Hold On to Your Kids, a fascinating look at our peer centered culture. I think every parent should read this one.
Love Soup - I love Anna Thomas' cookbooks, and this one is perfect for the season!
Felt Wee Folk - even Matt thumbed through this adorable how-to book. They would make great Christmas presents!
Wax Leaves - on the schedule for today. A great excuse to use my wax pot.
Herbal How-To Videos - I just placed big orders from Mountain Rose Herbs and The Bulk Herb store to gear up for winter. I think I will need to clear out at least one more shelf in the pantry! These videos from Shoshanna, the owner of the Bulk Herb Store are informative and entertaining.
This post from SouleMama, which inspired a reading nook in Madeline's room
These leaves from Made, which are also on the sewing list for this weekend

Much has been created for our homeschooling around here, but my art table feels lonely and abandoned. Please, share what you've been working on, or discoveries you've made, or what you're reading! I'd love to see!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Charlie Brown's black little cloud is still following us around here, with the littlest one still recovering from bronchitis.  Hence, I've spent A LOT of time at home, reorganizing this and re-purposing that. One of my daily frustrations is the kitchen table. It's a very buy place - the kids eat most of their snacks and meals there, do homework, art projects, sometimes the laptop ends up there, or a pile of current reading material... you get the idea. We always keep a jar of pencils/colored pencils on the table, but since Easter, more art supplies and sketchbooks have decided to roost here as well. However, I love having that stuff out for the kids, because several times a day they drift over to draw a picture or write a card. I think I've finally come up with a solution - the portable art basket. I actually have four of these baskets in the kid's craft supply cabinet, filled to the top with paper, crayons, markers, glitter glue and such. Inside the tabletop basket is a curated selection of those supplies, organized by recycled jars, and space left over for sketch books and journals. It has become the permanent centerpiece, and when it's time to eat, I can just set the basket on the counter. No rocket science, I know, but I think I've finally found a solution for us that encourages creativity while keeping the table tidy.

The book you see is Amanda Soule's Handmade Home. Soule Mama, her blog, is my daily moment of Zen. I truly love it. I'm half way through the book and really enjoying it. To be honest, none of the projects are earth shattering or complicated, but they are not meant to be. Like her blog and her life, they are simple, and filled with meaning. One of the projects we will make for the summer is Meg's Art Tray. Yes, it's just a decoupaged tray, nothing new in that, but the twist is, she uses her kids' artwork to decorate it, and then they are used as portable drawing tables. I love the idea of using child's artwork, and having trays to take outside in the summer while we draw in our nature journals, well, that's just perfect.

And speaking of drawing, here a two from the sketchbook. I haven't had much time for it lately, but it's back to bugs again, one of my favorite subjects. I can't say I'm as fond of them face to face, but I do love to draw them. They are almost like aliens in appearance, so odd when you inspect them up close. How I do love odd things.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Junk Mail Art Journal Tutorial

Junk mail. Even if you are on the blocker lists, you still receive it. What to do with it? Make art. of course! You'll need:
           *Two envelopes, one unused (the kind that come inside your credit card offers and such)
           *Letters (the size of your book depends on how many you use)
           *Cover Paper (I used scrapbooking cardstock, but you could use any heavier weight paper)
           *Scrapbook or other paper for end papers
           *Tape (masking, and I also used gaffer's tape for the spine)
           *Gesso (found in the art section, this semi-transparent white medium prepares your paper        for painting)
           *Paint, papers, and other art supplies to fill your journal with!

Step One:

Slip the flap of the unused envelope inside the other envelope.

Tape the intersection on both sides to create the spine.

The book is constructed pamphlet style, so keep those letters folded. Turn the letter horizontally, and glue one end to the inside of one envelope. Fold the rest of the letter over it (it should do this naturally, from the fold lines that already exist).
Continue to add pages by taking one end of a folded letter and gluing it to the end of the previous letter. You can add as many as you wish, but be aware that the pages are not bound to the spine, so too many pages will cause the pages to pop out a bit.

I used four letters for this book.

To reinforce the spine (and make it look pretty) I used gaffer tape along the outside. Gaffer tape is a flexible, cloth tape that can be found in scrapbook stores and where book binding supplies are sold.
Glue cardstock on the front and back of the envelopes, but not over the spine. Tie ribbons around the outside as a closure, then add a second piece of gaffer's tape over the first, encasing the ribbon and the edges of the cardstock.
Glue decorative papers over the inside covers to create end papers. I used clips while it was drying to ensure the edges stayed down.

Gesso the pages to prepare them for your fabulous artwork! Some junk mail is brightly colored, so you may need a few coats, or you could cover the page with tape, paper scraps, recycled paper bags... use your imagination! 

Above are a few pages from my book. You can see a simpler book using just envelopes on this post. That's all there is to it! If you make your own journal, be sure to post a link in the comments. I'd love to see it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

small things

I went the unconventional route for Valentine's Day this year, and instead of music with  custom CD cover art, I wrote a book for Matt instead. It's a little workbook, of sorts, to encourage creativity through noticing the small things around you. As you know by now, encouraging creativity is one of my passions in life, and I had a really marvelous time creating the pages in the wee hours after everyone was asleep. It's been so well received that I decided I will sell them in my Esty shop (yes, it's coming, but no promises on an opening day yet). Here's a little peek:

Friday, March 19, 2010

ADD Reader

I have a great attention span, really. My college notes consisted of a few key words and lots of doodles, because I could remember almost the entire lecture, just from listening.  But when it comes to reading, well, that's a different story. I am an ADD reader. I typically have at least three books going at one time. I read a few chapters from this, a few from that. Quite honestly, it just depends on what room I'm in. I keep them scattered across the house, and when I have a moment, I grab the closest one (I'm sure many mom's out there can identify with the five minute reading breaks). Right now, however, it's particularly bad. Here's a list of the books I'm currently reading:
I'm listening to this one from an Audible download:
 and I have these two coming from Bookswim:
What are you reading?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ADD Reader

I have an attention deficit problem. I can pay attention in class. I can pay attention at home. But I can't pay attention to only one book. I have been this way since my teenage years. I usually have at least three books on my nightstand. Here's what I'm reading right now:

Twinkie, Deconstructed
I'm about two thirds of the way through this one, and it made me realize that pretty much everything we eat comes from petroleum or corn. The author, a food science writer, investigates how each ingredient in a Twinkie is produced. It was quite an eye opener about modern food production. Yikes!

Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing
I just finished this one, although I haven't made any of the projects yet. They are definitely simple projects - the only one you'd really need a pattern for is the garden tote. The real inspiration from this book comes from her fabric patterns and appliques.

The Miracle of Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh
I've been meaning to read this one for a long, long time. Mindfulness is something I try to practice, and this is a simple, beautiful book. I'm about a third of the way through this one.

Alabama Stitch Book, Natalie Chanin
Just started this one, but i am blown away by her beautiful clothes that are all HAND STITCHED, by local women. Amazing clothes, and inspiringly ethical business practices.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
This is my go-to book right now. Barbara Kingsolver documents her family's experience in eating only local, seasonal food for one year. It's chock full of information about modern food issues, the environmental impact of shipping food, and nutrition. Since the information is woven into the story of her family, it is informative yet reads like a story. I'm a hair short of a hundred pages into it, but I'm already checking each item in he produce section for where it comes from, and planning my menu on seasonal produce. It convinced me to plunk down double the price for organic, local asparagus the other day, and it was soooo worth it. Max actually ate his whole plate plus one of mine. I think many of us who enjoy cooking know that seasonal produce is always better, but how many times have we been seduced by those out of season berries or corn, only to regret the purchase after the first bite? You need to read this book, then give it to your best friend to read. I'm hoping to get caught up with the book club on, where I first heard about this book. If you have not checked out Tsh's site yet, you should. Lots of good info there!

So there you have it. Five books and counting. Yes, I have an attention problem.