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Hi, I'm Cyndi, and I've been writing and updating  Mixed Media Artist since 2005.  If you're a new visitor, welcome! Come tr...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Book arts techniques

We're crazy about books here...we love everything from altered books to handmade journals. We love making them, decorating them, filling them, and even reading them! I have gathered up a load of links from our archives that cover every aspect of books that we've examined over the years. And I'll be adding more to this list as we go on...in fact, you'll always be able to find this post easily by looking in the sidebar under The Basics :-)

Altered books: waiting for the lightning to strike!



How do I get started?


Who can I talk with about altered books?


Other book arts groups


Books on collage, altered and handmade books, and mixed media


Mixed media arts magazines


Paper and string: the stuff you'll need for book arts


Some fabulous book artists


Assemblage and sculptural books


Sorted books project


Brian Sawyer's bookbinding links


Design ideas for page layouts


Online publishers for your artist books


More book arts resources for your surfing pleasure



Making a crocheted book


How to make a scrapbook wrap


A few tips for making altered book cover frames


A found poem altered book page


Stab-bound scrapbook or journal



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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Making a crochet-bound book


I decided that I wanted to make a little accordian-style books with some of my background papers. In particular, I wanted to use what was left from the pink and fushia monoprint paper. My first experiment didn't work out too well, as you'll see. I used a 1/2 inch paper punch and crocheted the pages together with an oversized hook. The crocheting went fine, but the holes were way too big!


My second attempt resorted to a standard office-style paper punch and a smaller hook. Much better! I trimmed the rectangles to get rid of the large holes, and cut two more pages out of another piece of background paper.


Here's how you assemble a book with crocheted joins:


1. Punch matched holes all along the edges of your papers that you want to join. Put the wrong sides together with the holes matched for two (or more) pairs of papers.


2. Leave a 3 to 4 inch tail which youll cover as you work. Pull the yarn through the first pair of holes with your hook, and single crochet over the top edge. Continue down the line to hook first through the holes and then over the top edge. Let the tail lie along the seam as you work, and it will be covered by your stitches.


3. Match the 2 center papers with right sides together and punch holes along the edge. I chose to double crochet this edge instead of single crochet, so that the row of stitching would stick out a bit more than that on the other edges.


4. Flip to the back of the book (the plain sides of the paper) and write in any quotes or story that you want.


Copyright 2009 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Making a collage with monotype papers: The Prodigal


Once I've got a great big stack of background papers to work with, I like to take a few days or weeks (however long they last!) and do some collage projects with them. Before cutting the papers up, I usually scan them so that later on they'll be available for mixed media digital collages too.

The Prodigal is a piece that came to me all in one flash. It's not very complicated, but the concept of the prodigal had been rolling around in my mind for a few weeks, and all at once I knew how I wanted to visualize it.

I used two monotype background papers that I made a few weeks earlier. Here's how Prodigal was constructed. How about using the basic methods to make a piece that represents a theme you are thinking about?

Materials & Tools
Decorative papers (heavy watercolor paper)
Clear ruler
Exacto knife
Gold leaf marker
Double-sided tape
Beads, nylon thread, needle


1. Choose your papers and cut to size. I made the small squares 2 inches, but you should vary this for your own project. I cut one square larger, and one square from a different color.


2. Edge each square with the leafing marker.


3. Use the clear ruler to line them up properly, and stick each one down with a bit of double-sided tape.

4. Stitch a small stack of beads to the corner of each square. I used a size 8/0 topped with an 11/0 bead on each corner.

5. I didn't add any text this time, but I often do, using a black micron or Pitt pen.


Copyright 2009 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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