Friday, August 12, 2011

Practice FTB Journal #2

Over the 4th of July weekend (yes, well over a month ago!), I got a lot of creative things done. One thing not planned was setting up an Etsy shop...but I did! Currently, I have small blank notebook listed, but will add larger journals soon. I’ve been thinking about this step for years.

A lot of motivation was from my friend Lyn and the attitude of the online class, Full Tilt Boogie. There’s a “Just Do It” spirit that is so infectious from both Mary Ann Moss and her students. It’s very catching.

So, I was a bit behind in the class and felt like catching up. Not using the vintage photo album nor a vintage book, as instructed, I created several roadblocks. Deciding this was just a practice book, I went too far off-road, too, selecting a small, modern, falling apart, 50 cent mark-down square hardback book with a thick spine.

Original Book used

Inside book with text block removed



After cutting away the book block, I knew the cover needed help. When I tested a FedEx-type envelope I had already painted and it fit perfectly, I had a match. Not using my “good” Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper, I cut up some student grade paper in 11” x 15” tablet size. But folding folios with the grain, these papers were so thick and bulky I could only use two folios in each signature for a total of five. I wanted more papers and pockets but it would have been too thick. Adding any collage would have been unworkable. Didn’t have book cloth tape for the spine, so I used silver duck tape.

Note the wonky 1st signature (on left)

My troubles began with gluing in. I struggled with that hard and thick spine; it was impossible to either close the book or open it flat. Even pulling up the glued end papers didn’t help. If the spine had been thin or made of fabric, it probably would have laid down nicely and not pulled so much. Ah, well! Decided to do the Mary Ann Moss thing and go with the imperfections.

Now for the finishing step. Couldn’t use the button and ribbon closure but needed to keep this yawning journal cinched down when not in use. Auditioning a lot of hopefuls, I finally settled on this combination leather strap and turquoise doughnut.

You can learn from anything but especially from your mistakes. So, I learned a lot! Really love this class and fellow classmates—everyone is making such beautiful and unique journals.


  1. I LOVE your book! Especially the cover and the closure! I'm still working on my FTB book 2. I put it aside to do other things, but will get back to it soon. The beauty of MAM's workshops is that they're always open! LOVE what you've done with your book!!

  2. so very beautiful, and inspiring!!

  3. I too have had a very crazy summer. Started to cover a small old diary back in JUNE and was also worried too small. But seeing yours I am inspired - it is beautiful.

  4. Thanks for reminding me that the FTB classes and bindings are for experimenting with, Barbara. Glad you liked the way this one turned out.

    You are so sweet and encouraging, Jess.

    Corliss, sometimes the best things are in small packages. It takes less work to get the materials and papers together, too.