Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ribbon-Bound Journals

The end of the semester is steadily approaching, and I would be lying if I said that I was for once not dreading its arrival! While the end means, papers turned in and finals done and also summer (well actually summer school), it also means I have to endure a few all-nighters, many late night cram sessions, and stress! ARGH! I am NOT ready!
At this time, I have already said goodbye to my Jane Austen decal class as our last day was this past Tuesday. It was such a chill class and I am sad to have said goodbye. I have become quite the Janeite. I am even contemplating joining the Jane Austen Society of North America, how devout is that?
I know, there is no need to answer!
Well for our last day everyone submitted a final creative project. Now, for Christmas my mom bought me a book on bookbinding (this reads so funny!) called Adventures in Bookbinding and I have been itching to implement my newfound knowledge. I did tweak the method a bit as I do own the more intricate tools of the trade. 
Our teachers were pretty flexible from the beginning, telling our class that we could pretty much do anything that involved the readings. I knew I wanted to make something, and when I decided to create a journal, I thought it would be fun to write this journal with the voice of 15 year old Jane. Practicing a little creative writing, something I have not done since my early teenage years when I was obsessed with writing horror stories (there really should be a genre entitled "spaghetti horrors" because these stories definitely fit into that category), I based the premise of my journal around what would have been Jane's 15th birthday--December 16, 1790. From here, I embodied what I felt to be the 15 year old intellectual/satirical voice of Jane Austen. The journal recounts fictionalized excerpts of her everyday encounters, encounters that are based loosely on the story and themes surrounding Pride and Prejudice, so as to suggest that her inspiration for the novel came from her own life experience, Elizabeth's relationship with Mr. Darcy included. 

 Making the Ribbon Bound Journal

Since I was attempting to create a journal from the 1790s, I tried to stay with muted, natural colors and a simple design. 
Using two cardboard rectangles 9" x 5 3/4" that I cut from an old box and wrapped in brown parchment paper, two pieces of burgundy ribbon 1 1/2" thick, burgundy embroidery thread, and several sheets of fine unlined paper folded and placed within one another, I created a simple, eco-friendly journal. 

1. Place all sheets together and make sure edges are even. Place a piece of ribbon on top of the creased edge, making sure the ribbon rests evenly divided. 
2. Thread embroidery through ribbon and pages and loop back, pulling thread back through to ribbon-side. 
3. Tie in knot and then tie in decorative bow. Repeat for top or bottom. Feel free to get creative and use thinner ribbon to make three of four bindings. 
4. Place parchment paper-wrapped cardboard on top of now bound journal pages (Make sure taped edge of wrapping is inside as it will be covered by inner page. Place ribbon binding on top of cover. Adhere ribbon to cover using glue dots or hot glue gun. Make sure to adhere ribbon right along the edge as well or the cover will flop away from binding when opened. Repeat. 

5. Inside, adhere first page of journal to inside cover. I placed my glue on inside cover and closed journal to see where the page naturally rested when closed.
Note: To decorate my cover, I used a dandelion stamp paired with a clear ink. After stamping my clear design (it shows up on the brown paper just as a watermark would), I sprinkled white embossing powder over my stamped work. After dusting off the excess powder, I heated the design using an electric heat tool (it dries the powder giving the design a three-dimensional, glossy finish).

Enjoy Your Lovely Little Works of Art and Happy Journaling!

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