Passport to Art

This challenge blog will remain available indefinitely. The linky tool is now closed and the comments box removed.
However if you wish to share your work the Facebook group is still open.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Almost time to start out

Welcome to all those who are following the blog.

Following along
I would recommend that even if you only do it for July that you follow the blog through Google Reader, (but remember Google Reader closes on July 1st - I've moved to Feedly), an RSS feed or whatever way you choose to follow blogs.   You can also scroll to the bottom of this blog and find where you can sign up for emails.

You might also want to follow NewlyCreative through July too where I am planning to post my journal each day.

Blog linky
If you would like to put a blog linky (I'm sure it has a proper name) on your blog, please download this image by right clicking on it:

Technique Challenges
Each day has a technique to use on your page. 

Quotes and Bible Verses
Each day there is a quote or a Bible verse for you to use on your page if you wish.   If you want to be able to print them out in one go rather than each day then you can download them here:

Where possible I have found videos, blogs or websites to provide inspiration for the day's theme.  Some might be a bit silly.

Journaling prompts
There will be questions for you to think about on the day's theme.  You can answer them or just use them to get you thinking.

Technique Challenge
Each day has a technique challenge to include in your journal.  If this doesn't stretch you enough or you don't have the products to be able to try the technique then please use any other technique(s) you know already.   This will be particularly for those keeping creative journals.  Keep reading even if that's not what you want to do.

Where possible I have found videos to demonstrate the technique or I will have added photos of examples.

As your book gets chunkier you may find it useful to have a piece of thick cardboard to put behind the page you are working on.  The back board from a pad of watercolour paper or something like that would be best.

Linky Tool
At the end of each post there will be an opportunity to link your day's page to the blog to share with other readers.  This can be a link to your blog, or if you haven't got a blog please use the Flickr group.

I have set up the Flickr group and if you already have a Flickr account please ask to join.  If you don't have a Flickr account it is easy to join and it is free.  Flickr is useful to be able to link your work to this blog if you don't have a blog of your own.

The group has been set up for the photos to be public but any discussions to be for members only.

I have set up a Facebook group where you can share your work and chat.

I have set up a board on Pinterest where you can find further inspiration.

And finally
Remember the only rule is: this is your journal and you do it the way you want to. Other than that there are no rules.  Oh except to have

I am so looking forward to sharing this project with you.
See you on July 1st.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

While you're waiting

Here are some interesting things to read while you're waiting for July 1st.

Altered Books for Mixed Media Art

What is Mixed Media Art?

Removing and Gluing Pages

Creating an Altered Book Layout

And a video to watch.

And meanwhile some sneak peeks:

Next post will be on Saturday.   See you then.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Using colour

We have looked at ways of altering your book through folding and tearing, and the possibility of adding length to your pages.

Now to consider colour.

Are you going to pick up any colour that comes to hand or are you going to deliberately choose a colour scheme for your book?

If you're going to have a colour scheme then I suggest you might want to find all the media you have on the supply list that are in those colours.

You may have noticed from this blog that I really love turquoise and orange.  But, and it's a big
those two colours don't mix well - you end up with brown. 

And this will be true of other colour combinations: red + green or purple + yellow

So if you want to use those colours on the same page you need to let them dry first.  This works well with acrylics but you have a different problem with water based inks.  When you spray the second colour it reactivates the first one.  You may need to experiment first.  With Distress Inks if you heat dry the first colour you should be fine and actually the Distress Inks although reactive to water blend well so long as you like the blended colour they produce.

I've found a few pages on using colour and mixing paints here, here and here.  If you find any other good websites please share with us by putting the links in the comments below.

Dina Wakley's book Art Journal Freedom has an excellent chapter on Colour Basics.

I look forward to hearing what you decide to do.

Friday, 21 June 2013

More altered pages

The techniques I'm going to share with you today are not necessarily those suitable for the challenge blog but I thought I would show you them anyway.  You may be able to incorporate them into Passport to Art or maybe you will get caught up in the idea of altering books and these techniques will be useful.

I did these pages when I was doing the City & Guilds course Creative Sketchbooks with Design Matters.  This was way before I heard of Art Journaling.

Altering pages
This is a set of pages where I cut off part of the page once it had been painted and then found ways to sew the page back.

I painted some hand made paper and attached it to the sketchbook.  The paper was folded so that it became the same size as the sketchbook.

With the next page I remove a section of the page and used papers ahpes to glue it back together.

If you want to put openings into your pages you need to think ahead if you want the eye to focus on what can be see through the aperture.  With this series of pages there was a photo on the first left hand page and some patterned paper to view on the right.  On each page the aperture was cut smaller so that only a part of the photo could be seen as you turn the page.

The next set of pages involves put the 2nd page through the first page to look like this.

When you turn the page over you can see this.

However if you take the pages apart you get these.

I'd love to see what you come with in your altered books.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions and Answers

On Monday I invited you to come back today to see other ways of altering books.  You'll have to wait until Friday.

Instead I thought today I would answer questions that have been on my personal Facebook page and in the group.  Plus I've added some!  I think because this is the third time I've done a monthly challenge blog I haven't been as clear as I might have been.  So here goes.

How many pages are we going to need in the book we are altering?
There 31 separate topics and if you are going to take part every day then you will need at least 31 pages.  31 pages if you are doing a single page for each day.  However you may want to have a few more pages in case some days you want to do a double page spread in response to the topic. 

The topics can be found here.   You may have already downloaded this Itinerary from a previous blog post.

What happens if I can't keep up every day?
Life happens, so work on each page as you can.  Each day there is a PDF to download with all the information on it for that day.  Download it and keep it until you find the time.   The project doesn't have to be finished by July 31st.

Do you do all the folding of pages etc first before you know what or how you are going to decorate book? 
I have folded mine and not decorated it ahead of the topics. You can stick your pages down and gesso if you wish.   Each day will have a different technique challenge so I have left mine just folded as there maybe techniques that don't work well on gesso.

Do I need to fold as many pages as you in my book?
No fold as many or as few pages to suit you.  You can always fold more as we go through the project.

Do I have to fold all the pages first?
No you don't.  However if you don't then every other day you will have to decide how to fold the page.  Whereas by folding all the pages in advance, each day you just have to choose how you are going to deal with the page in front of you!

What if I can't find an old atlas or book of maps to use?
You can use any book. It just happens that I had an atlas. You can use an ordinary book and stick map paper in it.  Or use an ordinary book and not worry about the map element.

What about the cover?
I tend not to decorate the cover of my journals until the end of the project.  You can do yours whenever you feel it is appropriate.

If you have any other questions please put them in the comments below.
Thank you.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Altered pages

As you know from this post I folded all my pages in my atlas ready for Passport to Art and I promised on this post to show you some other techniques.

Here I folded the first page in half and the second page as far as the first page.

And then tore the pages.
Of course you don't have to do the pages in pairs or triplets. You could do one page on its own.

Here I tore the first page a third of the way down and then fold the torn part over and folded the corners in and stuck them down.  I stuck this page to the page behind along the bottom and side edge to make a pocket.

In the previous post I showed you a folded page like this.

Which was then folded back on itself.

Instead of folding the page the second time you could glue the side and the bottom of the first fold to look like this.

And this fold can be glued down across the middle

to make pockets like this.

Instead of tucking the flaps underneath you could have them on the outside.

Added Tags
And lastly today here is a way to add tags.  This is in a set of three because the book could take 3 tags side by side.  Your book may take 4 or 2 - however many you decide.

If the page paper is thin you will need to glue 2 pages together for each tag you intend to add.

For 3 tags, cut the 3 pages the same size about an inch from the spine.  Attach each tag to each page as in the picture.

I hope you have found these extra alterations useful.  Come back on Wednesday and I will show you some other ways of altering books.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

More preparation

On Thursday I showed you how I had folded my book.  I made a video to show you what it looks like as you turn the pages.

Folding or tearing
You will have noticed that I folded my pages.  You could tear some of the pages or cut them if you wish.  Next week I will show you some other ways of altering your book using tearing, cutting and extending pages.

Further preparation
This is optional.

Having folded all your pages you could go through the book and gesso every page ready to work on and glue down the various folds to make pockets.  However as we don't know what the technique or the prompt is for each page it might be better to leave it as it is and gesso and glue as necessary.

Even though I have devised the challenges I deliberately didn't think about them as I folded the book so that I could come to each page afresh as I work through the daily prompts.

Book recommendation
If just getting this far excites you then you might be interested in getting hold of this book: Altered Books Workshop by Bev Brazelton.

See you soon.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Preparation for the journey

Today let's look at preparing your book.  This blog post has a great many photographs.

But first ....

How to choose your book
It is considered to be best to choose a book that has been sewn together at the spine.  Sheets of paper are folded together and these are known as a signature.  A book is made up of several signatures.  Each signature is sewn to the spine and often a small amount of glue is used to fix two signatures together along the spine.

It is getting harder to find books that are sewn together - so many of them are glued.   If you can't find a sewn book don't worry.  Use a glued one but be aware that as you work into the book you may have to do some running repairs.  This could be by gluing a strip of paper along the spine edge of your page or using masking tape and putting gesso over it.

Preparing the book
Because we are going to fold pages and add gesso and paint the cover of the book will be put under strain as our finished article will be much thicker than the original book.  So we will remove some pages.  You may find as well that your book as far too many pages for the project so remove a few more pages.  I cannot tell you how many pages to remove because it depends on your book.  Carefully remove pages from the middle of each signature and keep the pages for other projects.

If your book has very thin paper for pages you should glue 2 or 3 pages together which also has the effect of reducing the number of pages in the book.   Use glue stick rather than wet glue unless you like the wrinkled look.  I recommend the Ranger gluestick as it has been designed particularly for collage.

I removed the paper cover from my book.

I took a page out from the middle of each signature.  Sometimes it's hard to see where the stitching is so pick up the pages at the bottom and you can see where it is.

When I had gone through the book once I counted the pages and there were still too many in the book so I went back through the book again.  When I had done that I had about 50% of the book left.

Sometimes the pages at the back and the front of the book don't lie flat so I glued the two pages at the front together.

Folding the pages
There are lots of different ways to alter a book but these are the alterations I have made.

Folding the page down from the top.

Folding the page up from the bottom.

Finding the middle of the edge of the next page and folding both corners to meet in the middle.

I love that when you look at the three pages together you can see the different shapes.

For the next set of three pages I folded the first in half towards the spine.

Then the next page not as far as the spine so some of the page shows behind the half page.

And then the third page is folded about a quarter of the way in.

I turned over the page behind this set of three before starting to fold another page.  This one I folded down from the top
 and then back on itself.
I turned over the next full page and repeated the folding.

When these are opened out they look like this.

I turned over the full page and on the next page folded it in half to the spine.  This could be glued top and bottom and stuck to the page behind to make a pocket.

I turned over the full page and folded the corners of the page to the middle as before and on the next page folded it in half to the spine.

I turned over the full page and folded the corner down on the next page and up on the next.

I repeated the two folds on this double page.

I decided I would cut a shape out of the next page so glued two pages together with glue stick.  I managed to rip the page as I was applying the glue so that decided where the shape would be cut out!

 I put a spare piece of paper behind the circle so you can see where it is!

The last two pages were glued together because of the way they were lying in the book.

Come back on Saturday for a short video run through of my book and some extra information.  In the meantime here's a PDF to download with photos of the different folds.  Next week we'll look at other ways of altering a book besides folding.

See you soon!