Friday, July 6, 2018

Turmeric Flip Journal

A lot of artists are hoarders--not the kind on television that need intervention--but we are savers of bits and pieces of pretty things. Sometimes we save ugly things because they are just so very interesting. We save pieces of pretty paper, yarn, fabric, metal, rocks, sticks and weird stuff from garage sales.

One of the many things I save is teabags--used, dried, and emptied of their contents. They add a nice vintage look to a page. (You can see some of my past creations here and here.) My husband recently switched to turmeric tea, and I loved the golden color of the bags, so he started saving them for me. (Is he a good husband or what?!)

Like many, I have boxes and drawers full of unfinished artworks. It turned out that a lot of them were 6"x6"...probably because that is the size of my geli plate. I decided to use the scraps up and put them in a journal.
These are some of the leftover hoarded and unfinished artwork that became book pages.
The center pages were part of a card I received from artist Jeanne Draachreider.
Recently an artist posted a journal she made that had a simple ring closure. So simple. So efficient. I loved it. I ran out to my local office supply store and snagged a package.

One of the problems with most bound journals is that once you start adding layers to a page, it gets fatter and fatter and eventually won't close. Often some of the back pages go unused because the journal just can't hold any more. Some people remove every other page, but that seems tedious and wasteful. A ring-bound flip journal seemed like a perfect solution to the "fat journal" problem.

First, I tried out the ring on my Index Card of the Day collection. I loved it. The cards flipped easily, and I could add and subtract pages without a problem. The cover was made of leftovers from a mermaid doll project.

I used some of Gwen's stencils in shades of blue and green as the base for the fins, and also used some of the embellishments from silk sari scraps plus a seahorse and starfish from the downloadable Stupendous Sea Life collection and a few Turkmen jewelry parts.

The dolls I made for my art doll trade group came out great too. Below are a few of them.
I wanted the turmeric journal to be a little more elegant than the Index Card of the Day flip book, so I decided to make the cover one continuous piece, with an inch or two for a spine, and have two rings. I got to work, cutting watercolor paper, smearing (with the side of an old credit card) matte medium on the paper, and layering the teabags. I was in my zone, working madly and happily like an elf at Christmas.

I especially liked the imperfections of the tea stains and the unevenness of the shapes where the teabags overlapped. I also liked the little snippets that were cut off so that the tea could be removed from the bag.

I criss-crossed the small strips on the book spine to enhance the rustic effect.
The wet spine of the book, with tea bag end strips forming loose crosses.
I left some of the pages with only the teabags. For others, I covered them with the geliplate prints and other small, unfinished artwork.

On some, I had to experiment with a new mandala stencil of Gwen's from the Boho Collection, and tried it several ways.
When everything was dry, I punched holes in the pages. For the holes on the front and back cover, I added some grommets for strength.

I tried out a some of Gwen's Fabulous Floral Embellished Trim on the cover as well as some of the German Dresden Trim, but they were too fancy with the utilitarian ring closure.
The sea-green and gold trim was pretty with the cover, but didn't work with the ring closure.
The Dresden Trim accent was gorgeous with the turmeric teabags, but the rings looked clunky next to it.
I loved the new mandala stencil so much I used it on the book cover with some of Seth Apter's Emerald Creek Radiant Rust embossing powder.

When I put all the pages together and attached the rings, it looked great. The circular design complimented the ring closure and the little grommets, and the warm rust effect went nicely with the turmeric's golden color.
So far, so good--but there was a problem. The journal didn't flip very well. The spine of the cover prevented the pages from laying flat, and the curve of the ring also inhibited the page-turning.
This page has a StencilGirl design by Andrea Matus DeMeng done in Deep Sea Baked Texture Embossing Powder.
This page has a StencilGirl design called Lacy Lotus, by Jessica Sporn.
The left page has a Damask design by Michelle Ward  printed on deli paper.
I tried some substitutes for the rings. A fiber closure was a fail. I tried some jewelry pins with wire twisted through both ends...also a fail. I tried taking apart a D-ring but the metal was too difficult to bend and even if I had been able to get the pages on the straight part of the ring, I wouldn't be able to open and close it.
I decided to go with function over beauty, and cut all my pages, as well as the cover and spine, apart. Now the pages flipped perfectly and the book would open completely and lay flat.

To finish, I dangled some of my favorite Turkmen jewelry parts on the rings. They go nicely with the rustic look of the turmeric teabags, and add a sweet, soothing tinkling sound. This just may be my new favorite journal!
The new journal, open flat, showing the back (left) and front (right)
A side view of the Turmeric Flip Journal
The finished Turmeric Flip Journal, with Turkmen jewelry parts dangling from the ring closures.


Renee said...

Love the Tumeric color, genius! I really enjoyed the tribal look of the stencil

Gwen Lafleur said...

This is such a fabulous journal Linda! I always enjoy seeing the decision making process as you create, and the finished product is beautiful - I can see why it might be your new favorite!

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

I really love how those imperfections of the dyed paper peep through, it makes it all so unique. The stencil looks fabulous as a focal on the front. So uplifting when each new creation is our favourite favourite. Beautiful Journal, Thank you for sharing Linda.
Wishing you much creativity this weekend Tracey x

Kate Yetter said...

Your little journal is amazing. Again, I love the turmeric tea bags. The Sari trim and the medallion stencil is beautiful together.

Jackie PN said...

Bravo! I adore the finished results! The turmeric is such a gorgeous color-so rich! How does your hubby like the tea?My son drinks it as well!

Anyway, You really put everything together showing their finest features, again- Bravo Linda!
Jackie xx