Friday, March 11, 2011

Brought To You In Part By Patrick Swayze's Ghost:

Today, as I thought about posting on my latest bookbinding triumph, I suddenly realized that my blogging might follow a similar pattern to my journal writing.  I'll think lots about doing it, but in the end the entries are few and far between and will usually begin with some lame half-hearted apology for my long absence...except that, whereas in my journal I'm always like, "oh, you'll never believe what NEW boy I'm totally in love with," or "you'll NEVER guess what old boyfriend I decided I still like," or, "I'm so shocked I like 8 boys at the same time," in the case of my blog it will be like, "oh, look at what kind of books I'm into binding these days!"  If, one day, my great-grandchildren were to stumble upon my old journals or see what kinds of things I posted online, they would likely assume that my life was dominated by gluing paper together and chasing boys.  Which I guess probably accurately describes about half of my life that's not taken up by sleeping and eating...

Anyhow, since I usually do spend half my day holed up in my room gluing and sewing while I listen to This American Life and Radiolab podcasts, it is certainly my hope that I would have at least something to show for it.  And I do.

My sister Lynsey asked me to bind a book for her friend, Mehgan.  Mehgan's birthday is later this month and Lynsey wanted to give her a customized journal.  Lynsey knows how to bind books, but seeing as how she actually contributes to society (i.e. she has a job) and I am on a self-assigned sabbatical from responsibility, she thought maybe I wouldn't mind tackling the project.  The only requirement was that I include a specific emoticon,  >:c  into the design (the emoticon was thought up by a few of Mehgan's friends after finding out that she has colon cancer; it means "greater than colon cancer").

At first, I was thinking of carving out the emoticon into the binders board so that when I glued the cover paper on the board it would show the emoticon as a depression in the cover.  I've inlaid things into my coverboards before, but I'd never done text, and that seemed like it might be too tedious of work.  But then, when I was in Utah at the end of February, I saw a picture of Patrick Swayze hanging on the wall at my friend Danica's house and it gave me a new idea.

my first practice transfer
practice transfer and front cover design

Danica had done an ink transfer of a picture of Patrick Swayze onto a canvas with matte medium and then painted with acrylics and matte medium on top of it.  It was amazing...and the best part is that there is totally a ghost face in the painting.  Danica told me that it was the ghost of Patrick Swayze; that he had come into her room at night after she painted it and kissed it, leaving his face on the canvas as a sign of his approval (she subsequently moved the painting up to the family room, because it was kind of creeping her out at night as it had been previously hanging above her bed).  I had never known how to do an ink transfer before, but once she told me how to do it, I knew that's how I was going to put the >:c onto Mehgan's book cover.

So...I put the text "mehgan>:c" on top of a design I liked and then flipped the picture on my computer so the text was backwards.  Then I printed it out on my computer printer and used matte medium to transfer the image onto a piece of Arches paper.  After that, I used watercolors to accent different parts of the design then I ran the front cover paper through my sewing machine.  When I was done, I just brushed a layer of gloss gel on top of it all to protect the paper from getting beat up.

For being my 3rd flat back binding ever, I'd say it's not too shabby...there are a few things here and there that I would have changed if I were to do it over again, but all in all it turned out.  I might put up some instructions for a few things like the ink transfer and the headband sewing; if I do, I'll link them here later.  Anyway, this has totally given me some new ideas for other books.  We'll see what transpires...