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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Messing About In The Sudio

My studio is a shambles - and generally I like it that way. One day I will include a photo. I haven't been getting out there enough, what with making everything from scratch, sax practice and life in general, so yesterday I just decided to get out there and muck around.
Derek had brought home this big coffee tin - which turned out to be cardboard, to see if I could upcycle it, so here is my take on that.

Packaging awaiting upcycling

The coffee tin, with some vintage wallpaper and an old shank button (shank removed)

The other bits of packaging I'm turning into (hopefully) something more interesting too.

Art Journals
I love my collection of art journals, into which anything goes; snippets I collect from anywhere, watercolours of places I visit, quotes, websites, my list of books I've read.They would be one of the first things I'd grab if the house was burning, and they live right next to my bed.
Apart from the first one, they are all upcycled books. I work on them in no particular order, just finding a space and jumping in, so they are not in chronological order. When I first start a new book I don't like how it feels - until I start adding layers and it becomes thick and well handled.
 An important part for me is the cover. I have just done the cover of my latest book, which I picked up in a junk shop. It was an album of handmade paper with an ugly cover which I paid $1 for.

Front cover -snippet says "there are no hard and fast rules"

I have painted it black and collaged it with images that reflect a bit of myself in some way, then finished it with a coat of artists varnish. Funny thing, after adding a spanner picture, today I found one on the road - in the middle of nowhere- when I was out on my bike this morning. What are the chances of that?


Back cover -"Dance like no  every one's watching
  The back cover image is a photo I took of some belly dancers years ago. It wasn't a great photo, but by scratching out the background with a blade it brings the main element into focus. "Dance like no everyone is watching" means give the performance of your life.

Being a journal lover, I have to admit to loving glue sticks. Unfortunately they come with a little bit of glue and a lot of plastic. I have googled how to make your own glue stick, and come up with a couple of (dubious looking) recipes I might try. Then I thought - hey, we didn't have glue sticks when I was young, my Mum used to make up a bit of wallpaper paste in a pot - and we always had one around.
Recycled jar and hair colouring brush that was waiting to be reused.

 So, I still had a half used pack of wallpaper glue powder, and used approx 1 teaspoon per 100mls...and there we have it, cheaper, and only a little plastic bag that will make up 2.5 litres of glue.
Now I just have to convince Derek and Katie that it's a good swap, and that's not going to be easy, they are both glue stick devotees.

I learned a new word today - thought I would share it.


  1. I like your journals and had never thought of reusing old books and pasting things over the pages until I started reading your blog. Thanks for the idea! I've never had much success with glue sticks. It seems that after awhile,the things become unstuck and I have to stick them down again.
    Interesting new word!

    1. Glad to have been of inspiration. My mum was the original book alterer - she was doing this kind of thing when I was a kid, funny how now she would be fashionable.


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