Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cardboard Shamrock Journal Tutorial

Hello everyone!  Here where I live, the snow is FINALLY starting to melt.  It is beginning to feel like spring.  Hallelujah!

I hope you've enjoyed my St. Patrick's Day bead embroidery projects.  If you haven't seen them, you can see them here and here.  When I posted the first project, I mentioned that I had started a project last year that simply did not inspire me to complete.  I think the bones of the project are great, but I just haven't been able to get into decorating it.  It is still worthwhile, and someone might be inspired to try their own book, so I'll share it with you today.  Just a note:  I was inspired by Michelle Ward's Debris Journal.

I've shared different pictures of it and some other ideas over on the Altered Arts magazine blog

Here is a tutorial you can use to recreate my shamrock book:

Supplies Needed:

Cardboard (mine was recycled from boxes on-hand)
Paper and writing template to create a template
Pre-gummed Kraft Packing Tape
Water (a paint brush to brush on the water is helpful)
Utility knife or box cutter
Cutting Mat
Cork-backed metal ruler

To start, I drew a large shamrock pattern and cut it in half.  I then used that to cut pages for the inside of the book.  I used corrugated cardboard from recycled boxes.

After getting the number of pages that I wanted for the book (You will need sets of two.), I measured the thickness of the stack. I put the stack aside.  I then traced my shamrock (facing left) onto a larger sheet of cardboard, measured over the amount I calculated for my thickness, and then flipped the pattern over (facing right) and traced it again. I cut out the large shape, leaving a mark for where the "thickness" part started and ended.  I then scored the cardboard along the "thickness" marks, using a metal ruler and utility knife.

The scored cover with pages inside. The spine is the thickness of the stacked pages.

After your cover and inside pages are cut, begin adhering the pages together using the gummed packing tape. Push the two sides of the shamrock together, as shown, and adhere down the middle.  I found it easiest to do all my sets of two and THEN start joining each set together. So, after all your sets are joined, fold over the first set so that the tape is on the inside; fold a second set the same way.  Now, with one set folded to the left, and the other to the right, push them together to form your shamrock.  The center will be unjoined; you will now join it with the packing tape.  This will form two sets of two pages that can be easily turned.

Adhere all of your inside pages as I described above.  After you do, your stack will look like this when folded:

I did not adhere my inside pages to my cover.  I decided to use it more as a storage sleeve.  However, you could add the page stack to the back cover (and front cover, if desired).  When I was working with the book, I decided that adhering it to the front cover, too, would make it so the pages would not open flat, just fyi. You can fiddle around with it and see what you like best.

I hope you enjoyed my shamrock journal.  Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Earrings to Match

In my last post, I told you about the process I used to create my St. Patrick's Day bead embroidery cuff bracelet...about its therapeutic effects, and how it became a sort of memorial and tribute to my mom.

As I mentioned in that post, and in others, the process itself of making bead embroidered items is so incredibly soothing; I think it is my new favorite medium.

I love my shamrock bracelet, but I felt it needed earrings to match. So, this past Sunday I set out to create a pair of bead embroidered earrings. I stopped tracking the time it took to make them when I hit the three hour mark. It was a day well spent. 

I will have to say, though, that it is a good thing I created them for myself, as they were intended to be post earrings when I started.  After they were completely finished, I decided I did not like the way they sat on my ears.  So, I snipped off the posts and added fish hook wires.

At first my ears were kind of sore from all the messing around I did with the posts, and I was afraid that the earrings would be too heavy.  After giving my ears a few days rest, when I wore them again I realized they were not too heavy at all.  I really like them.

I hope you enjoy my St. Patrick's Day bead embroidered earrings.  Keep an eye out for an upcoming post about my cardboard shamrock book.