Wednesday 2 November 2022

2022 Topic 15: Paper, Seeds & Twigs {by Ellie Knol} with Tracy Scott Stamps

Hi everyone, it's Ellie Knol (PAPER-STAMPS-COLOR) with you today, and I'm here to share with you a way of bookbinding with twigs using a selection of stamps and stencils designed by Tracy Scott. In the process I also chose to re-bind a butterfly illustrated book, and create a book with blank papers to draw/play in.

I've always wanted to bind a book using twigs as the base to sew the signatures. I finally tried it making two books.
The smaller book has two signatures; therefore the spine of the book has two twigs to which the signatures are attached with thread (book number 35 in my series of binding books).The second book has twigs (from an apple tree) on its spine too, but they are not used to attach the signatures; they are for decoration only.

Before binding, I needed to make the book covers. This is the gel print that started the project...

It is a clean up print onto some recycled paper. This type of paper is from an overhead projector I use at university. After teaching, I take it home and reuse the parts that have not been written on... I love the big squares!
The paper is quite thin. To make it sturdier I glued it to a piece of thick cotton and then onto a piece of cardboard (cut to size!) using with bookbinding glue, making sure I had no air bubbles between the layers. I left it to dry properly before adding two coats of 
PaperArtsy Fresco Finish - Satin Glaze on top of the print. This adds a nice layer of protection!
I then glued all the edges of the cotton inward over the cardboard and went outside to find some twigs. These are from my apple tree and will do the job I hope! At least they are long enough.
I made a copy of this gel print, by scanning the original and printing it with my laser printer.  This version was glued only on the cotton fabric: I now have a background completely coordinated with my covers.

Time to face a difficult but necessary decision: cut the board in two to create a front and back cover for my book.

I then found some lace that would be very handy to put the twigs through and act as a spine... But how to attach it?

With my sewing machine and some very nice rusty color thread I sew around all the edges, also sewing an extra layer of cotton to the inside. I won't bore you with all the details of this stage; I think the pictures speak for themselves.

At this point, my project spontaneously sprouted two whole new parts! Considering the current topic, I knew I wanted to incorporate some book paper and I suddenly thought of a book I was going to restore for a friend. I also decided to make a second book to go with it: this one with only blank pages for my friend to be able to draw the beautiful butterflies... Inspiration takes so many many twists and turns! Does that also happens to you?

I took the book apart and decided to use the THICK boards again. They were in a rough shape, and I could easily separate then in thinner layers to be used again. PaperArtsy Fresco Finish - Satin Glaze came to the rescue again, now to protect the top layer of the cut-to-size boards. 

As this is a side project, I will not make this part too long by explaining the making of these covers but I still wanted to show you the gorgeous texture they revealed when covered in PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Snowflake with a palette knife!

Back to the covers of my initial books! It was now time to get everything in one place, the covers and background, the stamps and stencils and my notes and ideas.

I chose as my main focal, the gorgeous steampunk butterfly from Tracy Scott stamp set 74 (TS074) and stamped it directly on the covers.

I Coloured the images with watered down PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Copper,
Autumn Fire and Southern Skies to bring them to life.

For them to fit in the ribbon, I split the twig lengthwise. I also whitewashed them with a thin layer of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Snowflake to match the cover. For extra protection, at this stage I also added another layer of the PaperArtsy Fresco Finish - Satin Glaze, especially over the stamped areas.

The front cover... 

.. and the back cover so far.

At the same time, I worked on the covers for my friend's books. I used Grunge Paste through the PaperArtsy Stencil by Tracy Scott (PS338) on the first cover...

...and I chose the twig and berries from the PaperArtsy Stencil by Tracy Scott (PS268) for the second cover.

While the paste was still wet I stamped into it with the butterfly (inked up with black ink)... I cleaned the stamp right away of course!

Here are the covers, all in a row!

I initially intended to keep the covers white but then had the urge to color them (oh well), which I sort of regret although they turned out quite good. I again used the same colors, watered down to reveal the texture.

I went back with white paint though the stencil to soften the main images.

I stamped the element from Tracy Scott stamp set 75 (TS075) onto the second laser copy of the print that was adhered to cotton, and fussy cut these pieces.  They will be used for the closure of the cover.

I took advantage of the leftovers to also stamp the cogs and screws from TS074 to be used as embellishments for the final touches. More fussy cutting!

I used one of them to add a faux-screw to 'hold' the twigs...

At this point I still had a big leftover piece of background left, so why not use it?! I decided to go for my original plan at this very late stage: a bookbinding incorporating twigs to attach the signatures to.

As I had two signatures I needed two twigs to hold them. If I had chosen to make a book with five signatures I would have used five twigs.  The signatures are a mix of bookpaper included and blank pages.

Twine was added as closure of the cover for the two books. I added a few metal elements, rusted with PaperArtsy's Rusting Powder, to tie the look together. I LOVE the corners!

For the smaller book, I made a 'button' from one the clog as the closure...

Please enjoy all the following pictures...


As I have hinted in this post, I think I should've stopped adding and adding to the projects but I do love how they turned out. I learned a lot too, like using the Satin Glaze on top of the papers: it makes them almost like plastic surfaces.. I used this product for the first time; I will use it again I am sure! It's not glossy at all, and makes for a beautiful surface for a book cover for instance.  
In the end I like the smaller book most, as I like to explore bookbinding and this is really a lovely way to add interest to a spine very easily. 
I hope you learned along with me and got inspired to try one of the ideas in this post!

Happy day! Ellie Knol




Helen said...

I love these, Ellie! they are fantastic!!

Ellie Knol said...

Thank Helen!

Peley Renata said...

Such an amazing, inspirational blog post. I loved your idea and your colors. Definitely something I'm gonna try to make too. :)