Book and Paper Arts (page 1 of 9)

Handmade Ink & Journal

Two bottles of small batch, artisan-made ink from acorns and walnuts I harvested in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Wild Acorn is a charcoal colour that works as a wash, or similar to a watercolour. Walnut is a dark brown, which can used straight or diluted for more sepia tones.

They are sold as a set of two – one each, for £24. U.K. shipping is £3 and worldwide shipping is £6.

Add a handmade journal. This blank book has 30 tea-dyed pages (for a total of 60 sides). Paper is by Derwent and is 165 gsm and acid free. The wraparound cover is an authentic, one-of-a-kind eco print. (Click on image for larger view.)

Journal plus two bottles of ink is £50. U.K. shipping is £4. Worldwide shipping is £9.

To order, please email me at kellyboler79@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram [read more]

What is the Best Way to Keep a Journal?

 

Okay, now that you’re here, I might as well tell you this is a trick. Oh, we are going to talk about ways to keep journals; in the weeks and months to come, we are going to talk about it a lot: about paper and laying out a page and formatting and lettering and you name it, but today, there is no so-called best way. What matters is that you clicked on this link because you want to keep a journal or diary – maybe just with words but maybe also with drawings or doodling or gluing or something. And you don’t know how to start.

It is possible you are an experienced journal keeper and do not need outside help. I think it is more likely that you are new at this or that you began and are now stuck. Maybe you bought a blank book and have never made a mark in it because it’s too good to write in. Maybe you have a plain-old, lined notebook that cost $1.29 and you think it’s not good enough.

Whichever it is, you are mistaken. What you need to start your journal is this: something to write on (handmade [read more]

Using Ink in Your Journal Work

So, let’s talk about ink. It is one of the bedrock materials for use in an illustrated journal, sketchbook, art journal, junk journal, or an array of mixed-media projects. There is fountain pen ink, plant based inks, pigments, dyes, acrylic ink, and tinctures and they can all be used to create backgrounds or highlights or washes or shadows in your sketches. Here are ten ways that you can use ink in your journal work. (Go all the way down to see the video!)

– Blots. Doesn’t get simpler than this. Dribble a bit of ink on a page then blot with another sheet then allow to dry. Depending on how much ink you use, you will either have a substantial, abstract background to draw or work on top of, or a smaller blotch. The shapes created by these smaller puddles of colour often suggest a drawing with this as its base. You can also make a blot by spraying liberally with a mister than allowing to dry or by folding the pages on top of each other for a dramatic smudge.

– Asemic writing is an abstract calligraphy, scribbled lines that suggest letters and in turn, words. (To see [read more]

La Mode Illustrée 1880

Last May I bought several volumes of French fashion magazine La Mode Illustrée. This was the fashion magazine of its day. A woman would buy her weekly edition that might include engravings of hairstyles, dresses, embroidery patterns, home decorating, and hats – lots of hats. When she had a year’s worth, she would have them bound in a hardcovered volume that she could then use for inspiration or to share with friends over tea.

To see a larger version, click on the photo in the gallery.

So here’s the deal. Sadly, most of the bindings of the hardbound volumes was in too poor of shape to salvage but that just gave me permission to take out the individual signatures/editions without feeling guilty. (Whew.) I am selling them like this: three (four pages – eight sides) editions per shipment. While all of the editions of this magazine are good, some are very good and I have gone through them one at a time, making packages of three numbers that include two very good ones and one okay, still pretty darn good one. The way I see it is you can cut that one up (permission!) and either cut up and/or [read more]

Illustrated Journal Pages: France

These are some pages that I made while in Burgundy last April. (Ha. Just finished editing and photographing them.) You can see that while I enjoy sketching and painting, I am not great at it. I sketch and draw anyway. I also rely heavily on found items from brochures, menus, maps, and whatnot. My point is, if you are hesitating to work in a journal because you think you can’t draw – NO EXCUSES. (Ahem.) Now here we [read more]

Altered Book: The Psalter

Hiya. This is a new altered book. As always, it is a mixture of original vintage papers and photographs and some carefully chosen reproductions. There are pages with pockets. One has an 1880s carte de visite while another has a hand-embroidered postcard from around 1905, and yet another has an altered postcard and a tag with a handwritten quote from Mary Oliver. To see a larger version of a photo, just click on the image.

It measures 23cm x 15cm (9″ x 6″). Cost is £135 with free shipping worldwide. Please let me know if you have any [read more]

French Book Arts Boxes

(These are currently sold out. Please contact me if you would like to be on the waiting list for the next batch, which will be available in October 2019.)

Just in time for Bastille Day, French book arts boxes: a hand-curated selection of antique ephemera from my finds across France. Ideal for a variety of crafts, including art journals, altered books, mixed media, assemblage, and collage. All of the pieces are original and once they are gone, they are gone. Each box contains:

  • One vintage rosary;
  • Ten yards French linen thread (unwaxed);
  • One spool French linen thread/twine;
  • Vintage tin (distressed);
  • Six buttons for gendarme uniforms (some distressed);
  • Twenty celluloid buttons circa 1920s;
  • Edition of La Mode Illlustrée, a womans fashion magazine. Each will date from the 1870s to the 1880s and comes in a signature with four pages;
  • Edition of Paris Qui Chante, a theatre magazine from 1903, 8 pages;
  • Handwritten legal document with embossed stamping, dates varies from 1840s to 1870s. One signature of two pages;
  • French dictionary pages, 1846, two pages;
  • Signature from French prayer book, 1822, eight pages;
  • Handwritten ledger pages, circa 1902, two pages;
  • selection of invoices and/or letters, 1860s to 1940s;
  • Three cartes de visites (photographs), circa 1880s;
  • One handwritten invoice folded in wrapper style ;
  • Three playing cards, 1890;
  • Four [read more]

Book Arts Boxes

When I sell a handmade journal, I always send it with lots of extras, and over and over I got the same lovely compliment from happy paper fans: “This was better than Christmas!” So, yeah, I am shamelessly going to call these Better Than Christmas Book Arts Boxes.

Inside each one are over 50 pieces of paper and textile ephemera for making your own book or journal arts, including:

  • Two yards tea-dyed sari silk
  • Two yard onion-skin-dyed sari silk
  • Length of tea-dyed gauze
  • Length of onion skin gauze
  • One yard vintage French lace
  • 25 mini mother of pearl buttons in a vintage tin
  • Sample size (10ml) handmade walnut ink
  • Sample size (10ml) handmade acorn cap ink
  • Four oversize cigarette cards (flowers)
  • Four regular cigarette cards (butterflies)
  • Four cartes de visite circa 1880s
  • Four assorted vintage French prayer cards
  • Two vintage, handwritten postcards
  • Signature from guide to plants, 1902
  • Handwritten letter, English, 1867
  • Handwritten letter, French, 1902
  • Assorted vintage invoices/receipts
  • Welsh bible pages, 1843
  • Dictionary pages, 1878
  • Ledger page, 1896
  • Saturday Magazine, 1838 (four pages)
  • Scrap pack of tea and plant dyed papers
  • UHU glue stick (large size)
  • A mini, handmade journal with wraparound cover (each one will vary. The one in the photo is 4/5″ x 3.

    Click on individual photo for larger view.

Now it really matters to me that you get something [read more]

Altered Book With Encaustic

This altered book uses encaustic techniques to fix tea dyed gauze and a variety of vintage ephemera to an old book. (Vintage envelope, handwritten postcard 1911, fragment of dictionary 1895, tintype 1860s, and antique skeleton key.) Please note that this book does not open but is meant to be decorative. It is wired for hanging and could also be displayed on a table or book holder. (Click on photos for a larger view.)

It measures approximately 7″ x 5. Cost is £65 GBP. Worldwide shipping is £6. Please let me know if you have any [read more]

Free Bird and Insect Downloads, Oliver Goldsmith, 1876

I recently acquired an amazing volume of Oliver Goldsmith’s A History of the Earth and Animated Nature series. There are six volunes and they tend to be crazy pricey but I have my mind made up and managed to get two of them in my budget. The most recent was volume two and it is full of coloured engravings of birds! With an occasional insect. So without further ado, please feel free to use these images. Click on an image in the gallery to enlarge then right click, copy, then paste it into Paint or Word or whatever program you use to print [read more]

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