hand-made,

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Music Trivia Contest!  This is one of my favorite cold worked dichroic jeweled necklaces,  pictured with one of my favorite ceramic pieces I’ve collected.  The pot is a music fan art piece with the entire lyrics of song written descending the vessel.  

The Prize:  One of my Cold worked dichroic jewels with stainless steel curb chain for FREE!  Sorry, it will not be the one pictured here,  (this one is mine).   

To enter and The rules:  Re-blog (a heart does not count) this post.  Send me a ask or note with the name of the song and artist.  Do not label the re-blog with the name of the song or artist in any way or you will be disqualified. I will cover the shipping up to $10. The winner will be picked randomly from the entries. The contest ends next Wednesday at 12 o'clock, midnight. (6/3/2015).          Check out my necklaces on  Etsy    Good luck!   Richard Elvis

Pictured it Perfectly

Just a Warning, this one is quite pic heavy.

So mothers day was coming up a while ago and I was like, “what does my mother like?” It was a pretty hard question really, because who really knows what their mothers REALLY want? They say they want something hand made and from the heart but we really know they don’t need more junk cluttering up their houses. There is only so much hand made and from the heart they can take.

But yeah, kinda taking it as a failsafe that she still loves her kids, so I got something to remind her of that every time she decides to draw something.

What did I need first then? Paper! Some stupidly large sheets. I kinda did want to get stuff done “properly” so in order to get the grain in the right direction AND have a large paper size to do drawing on, I needed to get some A1 sheets. I found some Canson 110gsm in my research and, surprisingly enough, they were only 60c a sheet at art-to-art. Also the staff were super nice. 

Naturally I purchased too many sheets and ended up with enough paper to make 2 books. That stack above is the result of 20 pieces of A1 paper cut into thirds and then folded.

Luckily they fit in my sewing press and I sewed them up good and proper! That paper is going NOWHERE! NOWHERE YOU HEAR ME?!

Crap, they broke their bonds and fled the sewing frame. I tried to tame them by trimming their edges but that only made them more attractive to the opposite sex!

So I slathered the back of their spines with tacky craft glue in an attempt to slow down their progress.

And bent them…

And, keeping the underside curved, rotated my hand back while pulling with my thumb to make the top page taught.

With my other hand I pressed on the spine to make it sit on an angle (the glue was dry at this point, in case you’re wondering)

The end result is a slanted spine

if you flip it over and repeat, you get a curved spine. When I eventually build a laying press I’ll start mushrooming the spines, until then this is when I stop.

With the rounded spines attack failing to subdue the book guts, I cut some cloth to line their spines and make hinges. This is Indian cotton this time. Nice bit of variety.

with the spines lined, the hinges were a little “floppy” so I needed to stiffen them so I could entrap the book guts in covers of, uh… coveringness.

a little bit of paper covered in glue and placed on the underside of the cloth suffices to stiffen up the cloth sufficiently.

Is this really humane - trapping reticent book guts in between cardboard? Will I be able to live with myself knowing that those poor slabs of paper will never again know the freedom known to their kind? Pfft, what am I? High? PREPARE FOR YOUR PRISON BOOK GUTS!

This sketch book for my dear, maternal parental unit is to have a photo set in the front. But not just some poor image of the past permanently bonded to the cover. No, this photo must have the chance to leave if it wants to. A section in the middle of the front cover was roped off (slightly larger than the photo itself) and cut out.

I then glued the covers on.

Time to decide on the headband colours. I had a hard time deciding what with the THOUSAND DIFFERENT COLOURS AND HUES THEREOF. First world problems. Chose red and dark red for one and blue and green for the other.

Glued on a hollow for shitsngiggles after I did the headbands.

Needed to keep myself occupied while glue dried so I started cutting strips of cardboard…

Good thing I did because I needed to start making borders and the like on the covers.

I needed a frame of sorts for the picture so I cut out a rectangle that would cover the hole in the main cover by a few mm all round.

Next were the corner pentagons of doom. They were fun to work out the angles. Hindsight tells me that I should have tried to make them point at each other. Hindsight can shut it’s big mouth.

I took my kiridashi and chamfered the leading edge of the corner pieces.

Next I cut out some rectangles and pared away at one edge of them to make wedges. I then glued them on so it looked like they were holding the photo frame down.

Okay, the following is how I build up my spines:

Slather glue on the hollow and ONLY on the hollow!

Place a sheet of paper on the hollow, lining up the edge of the paper with the edge of the hollow. You’ll need to make sure the grain of your paper is running head to tail (parallel) for this or it wont work properly.

Put a line of glue along the entire length of the paper over the spine. 

and fold it over. Smooth off GENTLY with a concave shaped folder. Don’t press too hard or you’ll tear or wrinkle the paper. It is wet after all. Just keep repeating until your spine is as thick as you desire. If you overshoot the width of the spine by half a mm each time you’ll also end up with a wider spine than you started if that’s what you’re after.

To finish you simply crease the paper back and tear downwards. A finishing smooth over with a folder completes the spine. You just need to wait for the glue to dry and then you can trim it to length.

False raised bands are still a thing apparently.

This was actually where I realised I was pretty much out of glue so I mixed together what I had and hoped for the best. I started with the spine - moistening the leather so it moulded to my will (manic evil laugh).

Before moving onto the exhausting process of covering the covers. For some reason I didn’t put it in the press between some sheets of craft foam. I slaved away pushing the leather into all the nooks and crannies. It worked but I could have worked it a little faster… I think I was really tired at this point.

Stuffing the leather into the hollow was an absolute nightmare this time around. I ended up getting it done but I really didn’t enjoy the process. I was still tired.

For the picture frame bit I simply cut in on 45′s, cut out a rectangle, glued and folded in the leather before trimming off the excess.

Enter in the experimental part of my project - 3 x 1 mm neodymium magnets.

I made some messy holes in the covers and glued the magnets in, making sure the polarities were all the same. Next time I’ll be making the holes and gluing them in BEFORE I glue on the leather. And there will be a next time because I ran out of glue and couldn’t complete the second book.

For the end pages I got some red cardstock and spray painted half of it black. It was a simple thing to do and I may have further applications for it in the future.

I cleaned up the leather on the inside of the books

And glued in the end pages. I made sure I pressed in the edges of the photo frame part so I’d know where to cut. Since I was getting really close to the end of the project I was getting REALLY tired. I kept feeling like I was making little minor mistakes all over the place but I didn’t really care. I just wanted to get this project done.

I even feel tired writing this, remembering the grind it took to get finished. When I started playing with bookbinding I didn’t realise how exhausting it could be.

I needed a backboard for the photo frame.

I put 4 magnets on the top of the board so I’d know where to place the holes for them.

Some of the holes were too close to the edge…

But I got all the magnets glued in and the covering card would hold them in. I feel kinda bad about how shoddily I covered this piece of cardboard.

A final ribbon on the photo frame back so it could be removed and I was done…

I’ll have some more photos of the finished product up in the future.

Really I’m happy that I did something like this. I had no idea how much of a job it’d be to get something that seemed to simple to work. There were times when I ran out of glue, that I had nothing to use as end pages. That I didn’t have enough leftover card to cover the back of the photo fame. Heaps of little things delayed this book but it all kinda came together in the end. 

I may be able to do better in the future, but this one is special because I spent so much time getting it to work and I know mum will appreciate that. The first one to work will always be more special than the 100th to roll of the production line.

Thanks for reading and sorry for such a long post. If you have any suggestions, tips, corrections, advice or even criticism I’d love to hear it. I am striving to keep improving.