Sunday 14 February 2021

2021 Topic 2 A Pocket Journal with LPC {by Autumn Clark}

 2021 Topic 2: A Pocket Journal with LPC {by Autumn Clark}

With some wisdom on using rejected project pieces Autumn has created a vintage vision! You might feel inspired to recreate her bleed-through technique. She has filled her gorgeous pocket journal full of vintagey elements and I'm not surprised she can't wait to journal inside it.
~ Keren.

Hi everyone, it's Autumn Clark from SewPaperPaint with you today, and I'd like to share with you an alternative take on the pocket theme: a pocket journal, this one filled to the brim with soft vintage images using PaperArtsy Lynne Perrella stamps.

This year I have set a goal to take more time with each project to allow for creative exploration.  I find that I am excited to begin when I know it will be more like playtime and less like mere assembly.  I set out to make a small book and by allowing myself to experiment here and there with different ideas, I created a handmade journal that truly sparks my desire to journal.  I hope it sparks creative energy within you too!

So where to begin?  I was tempted to do another die cut journal, but decided to rummage through my collection of old book covers, you know: the ones you buy mostly for the cool old paper inside, with a bonus if the cover itself is actually art worthy.  In this case, I found a gorgeous and unusual cover and decided to cut it in half to downsize for my pocket journal.  I recently did a batch of tea dyed paper for THIS concertina book I made for the PaperArtsy blog and had plenty leftover.  I mixed in some hymnal sheets until I had enough to fill my new book.

To create the spine, I cut a piece of paper backed canvas to size, then painted it with PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic in Taupe.  I crinkled up the piece and painted the paper side again so that the paint soaked into the cracks for added texture.  To add a green hint, I did some watercolor over the paint so it would match my covers perfectly.  Next I applied redline tape to adhere the spine and added book page liners inside the covers.

Next I began to work on the imagery.  I chose PaperArtsy Lynne Perrella Collection {LPC010} for my cover.  The image was too long, so I simply tore it into two pieces and overlapped them.  I added several thin layers of mica and stitched it all in place, with a tiny sentiment strip in between.  The trim is one of my favorite pieces of vintage haberdashery, saved for the perfect project.  I love how it contrasts the red border of the book cover...

Onto the experimentation portion of this project.  At first, I thought I would make a vintage "reddish" stamped image for my cover to tie into the red.  Below you can see how I use my stamp platform for layered stamping in Red then Brown permanent inks, followed by a trio of Oxide inks, spritzing water between the Oxide layers.  My goal was to tone down the red.  I didn't entirely cover the image with the inks, rather just tapped here and there to get variation.

The first two pics below show the front and back.  I was surprised to find that the ink bled through and the back image was actually preferred to the front! I thought if I added a little more water spritzing between stamping that maybe I could get a better bleed through.  I also did a second generation stamp of whatever combination of ink was left after my last stamping onto a new panel.  I simply spritzed it again to stamp a shadowy, ethereal image.  This is how I achieved the look on my cover.  
At this point I went nuts with excitement and stamped and stamped and stamped (this time leaving out the red and black because they didn't quite work for me).  In the second set of pics you can see the fronts and backs without the red and black and with lots more water spritzed on between layers of ink.  I blotted the rubber stamps when needed if they puddled, otherwise I left the ink on and added a new layer over the old layers.

Enter PaperArtsy Lynne Perrella Collection {LPC041}, a rather new stamp set.  I applied the same techniques to the outer page in my signature bundle.  I carefully stamped the large butterfly in the center so it would wrap to the front and back of my journal insert.  The first pic shows the reverse, where the ink bled through.  The second pic shows how the Oxide added a beautiful patina to the image.

As you can see, there was no replicating the exact way the colors pooled or bled.  Every single stamping is as unique as these beautiful stamps.  Plus, with the images in reverse, they can double up in a book, without seeming monotonous.  I stitched them to my book pages to make little tuck pockets, mixing in vintage library cards (thanks to my librarian friend Mary!), old postal envies and postcards here and there.

I used my mini Gel Press to stamp brayered PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics in: Winter Green, Toad Hall and Nougat to add slight color to some pages.  The image below shows plain stamping in brown onto glassine paper.

Here's another page where I preferred the front side stamping over the back, however the piece folds out and you can still see the bleed through inside.  

Finally, I stitched my signature with a 3-hole pamphlet stitch to my canvas spine and added some carved wooden beads on the ends of the waxed linen thread.

It's often that we start out a project with a certain idea in mind and get frustrated when it doesn't turn out just as we envisioned.  Let me encourage you to save those pieces for a new day and look at them with a fresh perspective, asking yourself, "How can I use these?"  If I hadn't started out with the red tinted stamping idea, I never would have achieved what I fancy as my "ethereal stamping technique."  I couldn't imagine this journal being bold in retrospect!  I love its softness.  Let me encourage you to give yourself room to play, room to make mistakes and the patience to just have fun along the way.  These are trying times and we need art and lightheartedness to face them.  Now go on, grab your stamps and have a play friends!

For me, I simply cannot wait to dive into this journal with my sepia fountain pen!  

Hugs, Autumn

Blog: SewPaperPaint
Facebook: Autumn Clark
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Miriam said...

Awesome project Autumn. I love the colour scheme too

craftytrog said...

Beautiful project Autumn! X

Mary in Oregon said...

I like that that you are sharing your experiments both successes and "failures (not really failures!). Question: I've read that some designers "condition" their new stamps. Do you? And, how does one do that?

Thanks for your inspiration, Autumn.

Mary in Oregon (

Words and Pictures said...

Beautiful effects with the bleed through - love the rusty decay it creates on those intricate images. The butterfly is the best!! What a wonderful journal.
Alison x

PaperArtsy said...

Absolutely love that you played around with this 'bleed through' idea! It makes for dreamy imagery!

SewPaperPaint said...

Thanks for your sweet comment Mary! To answer your question, it is important to condition clear stamps more than rubber. Rubber stamps are of a higher quality and stamp better. Clear stamps will work better if you condition them by inking them with permanent ink (archival, versafine, etc.) and letting it dry completely on the stamp. This makes them look ugly but function better... not for the stamp cleaning perfectionist. Lol! Hope this helps! PS. PaperArtsy sells top quality red rubber stamps and conditioning is not necessary. Hugs, Autumn

Stampers Grove said...

Love the project and the story telling 🤗