Saturday 1 June 2024

2024 Topic 4 : Books & Journals {on the PaperArtsy Blog} Topic Introduction

Hi everyone, Dounia here

Already three topics have flown by this year on the PaperArtsy Blog! Time to change things a bit and introduce a new theme. 

The next topics will now have an added touch of mystery, incorporating the theme of HIDDEN. Secrets and surprises to explore! Perhaps covering part of project and revealing it later… or not!  It can be as subtle as secret journaling or as interactive as moveable parts. The interpretation is vast and we left it to our amazing blogging team and their muses to channel this in a way that resonates with their creative style!

The next topic of the year is BOOKS & JOURNALS. This topic is regularly requested by our blogging team and this month, they get to indulge! We tried to keep the topic as open and fresh as possible by including not only book making but also using books as substrates and even projects about books. Hopeful, you will also find something to spark your inspiration in this exploration!

Book and journal making is certainly have been around forever and are favourites of the paper crafting and mixed media communities! No better to way to get the perfect journal than to make your own! I must admit I am often more interest in the creation of the book than it's filling... I have so many beautiful and empty journals waiting in my selves! 

Book binding is one of the older crafts, offering so many clever and decorative possibilities. Nowadays, so many other book construction techniques are available, with innovative dies and tools to make it easy! I personally like Sea Lemon's YouTube channel for techniques and ideas.

To add another dimension, an interesting avenue to explore are interactive books, like pop-ups, tunnels or carrousels, like this striking example by Etsuko Noguchi. To get started, be sure to check our 2022 Topic #4: Interactive.

Covers are a prime way to customized a book. Materials possibilities are limitless, from classic pretty papers to surprising objects like cassette tapes or sea shells or even packaging saved from the bin: take containers and egg cartons will perfectly protect your pages!

Of course, the whole book can be made of something else than paper! Many materials can be written, drawn or printed on for a variety of textures and aspects. 

The Invisible Book by Bea Garrido

Textile books in particular are becoming more and more popular, contrasting the softness and strength of fabric and the versatility and practicality of paper. Why not take it further and build a book with a completely different technique?

Pairs II, Knitted Books by Aimée Lee

Even staying with paper, books are so versatile in size and shape. They can represent anything anywhere! In Darcy's amazing project, each niche contains a book, be it a tag book, a folded book or a sewn one. Hence the name House of Books!

Darcy Wilkinson on the PaperArtsy Blog

Books are beautiful art pieces by themselves, and should be celebrated as such! Mini book jewellery is not new to book lovers but I like this fashionable interpretation by book binder Debra Frances. Be sure to check her website for many unusual and imaginative books!

A breath between Head ans Heart by Debra Frances

To see for yourself the love of our blogging team for books, stroll 2017 Topic #11: Books on this blog. So many ideas and eye-candy!

After making books, let's talk about un-making them! Or at least them as a inspiring material, a starting point for further art! Personalised, altered and transformed books have existed for as long as book have and are now an art form themselves. Here is a little exploration of transformation techniques.

Let's start with altered pages, using the printed pages as the base for a new creation. There are as many techniques and styles as crafters! You can get a idea of the scope in this Altered book pages collection by Yvonne Ruth. I have chosen this spread by Hogret because I love the play between printing and images and I felt interactive flap chimed well with the theme 'HIDDEN'. Do not hesitate to explore their other works for more innovative and poetic ideas.

The Lady Clare by Hogret

Of course, books often contains words and they can be the focus of the transformation. Creating new meaning from somebody else writings, welcome to altered book poetry! I love how it mixes graphism, colour and words, making them dialog and work together.

Now, instead of 'just' a page, the full book can be used as a material to be reshaped and transformed.  A classic example is the wonderful world of book folding. Through patience and precision, the book becomes a delicate 3D work of art, taking on a new life.

Sine and Cosine by Schaduwlichtje

When the pages are rolled, is this still book folding? Book Quilling maybe? Any it is wonderous and impressive! Enjoy many more examples in this Book Folding collection by Terri Carr.

Tales to Digest by Pam Langdon

Instead of folding, some do not hesitate to cut book! Extracting and revealing the best parts, or using the texture of pages as base. Explore the possibilities in this Fully Altered Books collections by Jessa. I have chosen this cut book by Barbara Wildenboer for its intricasy and whimsy. Her work is so creative and precise, be sure to check it, she has mesmerising animations of some of her pieces.

History of the World's Art by Barbara Wildenboer

Lastly, I could not pass on the infamous book niche! It might hide a pistol in noir films, but it can also be the base for great projects! Open or closed, it is an amazing way to build dimension and hide little treasure!

Euro Book by Finnabair

Your niche also does not have to be rectangular. in the example below Helen has seamlessly included it in her forest scene, making the paper back into a tree!

If you do not know how to get started altering books, or want to find new ideas, you can explore this archive of Altered Books Examples, Tips and Techniques by Go Make Something.

We are continuing our book deconstruction, now look at ways to use only book parts, not the objects. There are a million ways to use book paper! You can see a few of them in 2021 Topic #13: Tiny (news) print on this blog. For now I will zoom in on ways to use book covers. Hard back covers are very  sturdy and can be elaborate and beautiful, a perfect substrate!

We have seen books hidden as something else. Time for something else hidden as a  book...  Secret boxes made of book covers are the next step after book niches! They seem even simpler, no need to cut all the pages perfectly. For video instruction, also try this Tutorial to Turn a Vintage Book into a Box by Creativity & Coffee.

We already know that books contains whole words. Why not make that literal instead of literary? These book boxes are completely empty, just walls and flooring, ready to received new denizens and their belongings. Shannon Moore is a specialist of this craft, do not hesitate to visit her whole portfolio of book proprieties.

Bookbox by Shannon Moore

Why not take your favourite book everywhere? Lately, book purses have become quite popular, as shown in this Book Purses collection by Linda K. Sienkiewicz. Our own Liesbeth Fidder-de Vos made her version with Lynne Perrella stamps.

If a literary clutch is more your style, do not hesitate to check this tutorial for a paper and fabric version.

Book Clutch on Lareine's Blog  (with tutorial)

From paper back to flora... What about a planter? Yes those are real succulents!  One book is perfect for plants that do not need a lot of soil.

A book's spine is often our first impression of it, so they are generally striking and expressive, making them a particularly interesting base for crafting. Starting simple, we can kindly let them go back to their beginnings by making them into book marks.

Proving the appeal of 'books as houses' concept, Angela Holmes also explore the idea in this very creative layout. I love how the titles become shop signs and advertisements.

Book Spine Halloween Cityscape by Angela Holmes

Finally, Lisa Kobin explores the diversity, colourfulness and sturdiness of the spines by cutting shapes out of them to rearrange them into new pieces of art. Does the subject of the books transfer to the final project? She has quite a few for you to explore, but I particularly like this one. The result is so far from the starting material!

Instant Improvement by Lisa Kobin

A topic about books does not have to only have projects that are books or made of books! Book loving seeps into all parts of life, and crafting! Let present a few other ways you can celebrate books!

What better place to profess our love of books than on bookmarks! Of course, you can send your reader friends cards  but a bookmark is better: Topical and practical! 

Reader Giftset by Sankari

An art journal also seem the perfect place to capture the feeling of a good book, a nice cuppa and a cosy blanket on a quiet day.

Art journal page about books by Vicky Papaioannou

Now, a cosy interior never has enough books, wouldn't you agree? If your book buying budget is perpetually maxed out, and you cannot bear to dismember some innocent books just for decor, here are a few idea for lookalikes. Yes, it is another 'box shaped like a book', but those are drawers! You can even follow this video Stacked Book Drawers Tutorial by Jenn Cascell to make your own. No books are harmed in the making of this drawers.

To go with the drawers, how about a desk organizer? Who doesn't need more organisation on their craft table? Not me, for sure...

Now, let's go small for another popular type of project: the mini library! Dark academy or clean & simple, they are a beautiful and intricate way to decorate your book shelves. They also can be a crafty way to keep track of the dent you have made into your to be read list!

Little Box Library by Books by Britton

If you want to see your progress at the end of the year, what about an ornament version? Everybody in the family could have their own!

Finally, I love this project by Raquel Walsh, trying to explain what a kindle is to people of the previous centuries... Something that look like a book but actually contains a multitude of books, themselves containing so many stories, ideas and worlds. In our little way, I think this blog follow the same concept: a big 'book' containing many projects by many people, each with their own story, knowledge and hopes.

Describing a Kindle to Charles Dickens by Rachel Walsh

I hope this got you ready for all things books and journals, and inspired to get a try! Be sure to check all the great projects from our blogging team in this topic.

If you want to create along with us we would love to see what you get up to! 

You could tag us on Facebook, Instagram @paperartsy , Twitter, or post in PaperArtsy People Group on Facebook. We really love to hear about how the blog topics have inspired you, so don't be shy!!

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