Friday, February 22, 2013

Gratitude 365: Book-In-A-Day Wk8

Title: Gratitude 365
Structure: File Folder Book

Video of the process. 

This week was a shift for me because I created the book on a Wednesday instead of my usual Thursday and for some reason, it felt great to do it early.

On the other hand, I woke on Thursday wanting to make another book!! But I was traveling so I didn't give in to the urge. I'm finding that all I want to do these days is make books. Blank books. Poetry books. Books about Oakland. Books about my family. Books about California. Books about any and everything. Books. Books Books.

So it's a good thing that I've decided to make at least one book each week, right?

Gratitude 365 was inspired by the books of Karin Winter and Heidi Sekovski in the January/February issue of Cloth•Paper•Scissors Magazine

Alright, so I realized several things in making this blank file folder book:
    1. I LOVE THIS STRUCTURE. It's simple to make and it gave me something to do with some of the scrapbooking papers I've collected over the years.
      2. UPCYCLING makes me feel like my carbon footprint is a little bit smaller. The file folder I used for this book was an unused folder, but I'll be making others like it with folders that I had planned to trash. 
        3. I LOVE SEWING ON PAPER. This was my first time sewing anything. I mean, literally, my first time operating a sewing machine. It was fun to get a tutorial from my mother and to watch her in her element. She's a natural teacher!! You'll see lots more sewing on paper from me as this series unfolds. 

          4. TIME FOR A NEW CAMERA: I had to film this segment while in between cameras, so I used my iPad and that turned out to be an interesting end result. So I'm on the hunt for a new camcorder. It's also the reason there isn't a lot of filming of me actually making the book. 
            Things to keep in mind when making this structure:
            • MEASURING
              • file folders come in different sizes, so be mindful and measure multiple times before you fold or cut
              • scoring is helpful but makes a really strong (and permanent) crease in the folder, so again, measure multiple times before you score
              • the patterned papers next to the color of the folder really makes it obvious if your paper is wonky, so be mindful of how you cut them. 
            • COLOR SCHEME
              • Start with what moves you. Gather lots of options. Pick the ones that speak to you most and go with it. Allow this part to be organic and intuitive. Even the choices that seem unlikely can make the best side-by-side patterns. 
              • I used a sewing machine for this book, but you don't have to. The sewing served two functions: it acted as a reinforcement and as a decorative element. You can use what you have to make the book feel like your own. 
            I talk about this a little in the video, but it's worth repeating. As I prepared to make this book, I kept coming across papers with fall colors and I felt like it was Thanksgiving/fall/harvest time. That made me think about being thankful, which made me think about abundance, and I'm always grateful for abundance. And so I created a gratitude journal.

            This process reminded me that I can (and should) be grateful everyday of the year. Hence the title, Gratitude 365. I'm looking forward to journaling in this book throughout the year.

            And of course this process inspired me to create a free class over at the ning site. It will be available in the middle of March. Gratitude 3-6-5 will be a combination of bookbinding, art journaling, and mixed media, and it will be completely FREE.

            I hope you'll join me and make your own gratitude journal for recording all the moments, big and small, that remind you how precious life is.

            To see a list of materials I used for this project and more photos, please join the free community at
            I'm looking forward to what next week brings. If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please post them to the flickr group or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site.
            See you next week!!

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