During each Handmade Book Club 5-Day Challenge, hundreds of crafters make beautiful, unique books like this Long Stitch Journal. Many of these journals have a special story, such as this one by Carol Tardiff! In this post, Carol explains the inspiration and process behind her version of the Long Stitch Journal 5-Day Challenge.
The Story of Carol’s Journals
Every fall when we go on our much-anticipated vacation to western Massachusetts and Vermont, I make copious notes of the entire adventure. More often than not, I find myself referring back to these notes the following year, wanting to know where that fabulous antique shop was or which farm had those great pumpkins, maple syrup, etc.
But all of my records are in various notebooks, so I wanted a dedicated travel journal to keep everything in one place. I wanted it to be special and to reflect my own style of art, similar to my jewelry, amulet bags and spirit vessels…all of which are created with meanings and symbolism that I draw from myth, legend and lore. My creations all have an ancient, magical feel to them.
I’ve spent a lifetime collecting art supplies, real or imagined (such as, hmm, what can I use this bit of moss for?), so when it came to picking out charms for the beaded dangles, I had quite a selection to choose from. But I knew I wanted each charm to represent something special pertaining to our adventures, so I took my time sifting through my supplies and that, in itself, was a delightful adventure!
Then, on to the All-Important cover. First, I wanted a stone archway to capture a feeling of mystery, age and the allure of a fairy tale. I used vintage suitcases to indicate the girl is traveling and I drew her peering in, looking as though she is about to embark upon a mysterious journey.
I chose to draw a young girl because that’s how I feel inside when I go off on an adventure. When the cover was finally completed, I knew I had achieved my long stitch journal goal when even I wanted to know what was on the other side of that intriguing stone archway.
Website: www.willowsongstudio.com (copper jewelry and wool felting, I don’t sell my books/journals)
Full List of Materials
- Canvas painted with white gesso and acrylic paint
- Stone arch photo acquired from Pixabay, ink jet photo transfer with Liquitex matte medium
- Suitcases acquired from Graphics Fairy & Old Design Shop, ink jet print, cut and collaged with Liquitex matte medium
- Girl hand drawn on copy paper, cut out, applied with matte medium and then painted with acrylic paints
Back Side of Cover
- Acrylic paints and birch tree stencil from Stencil Girl
- Magnets acquired from Amazon. Rare Earth Magnets by Eokoaiee 10mmx2mm
- One inch flaps, each with three magnets, adhered with Permatex High Strength 30 minute epoxy
- Total of nine signatures
- First and last signatures made from Park Lane Heirloom Printed Cardstock (paper pad), (no weight indicated but its lighter than 28lb copy paper and heavier than standard 20lb copy paper, despite the fact they call it card stock)
- Center signature, card stock with pocket and paste paper envelope (made from our paste paper retreat)
- The rest of the six signatures are paper from Amazon, by Best Paper Greetings, Vintage Printer Paper (and they are really cool, vintage-y looking and are printed on both sides, six assorted designs)
- Inside cover, funky pocket inspired by our mini mixed media class, vintage map paper by American Crafts, single sheet acquired at Joann’s
- Crawford Irish Waxed linen 4-Ply thread from Uber Art on Etsy
Charms & Beads
Magnifying Glass: Tim Holtz
Symbolic reminder to slow down and look more closely at things along the path of your adventure
Skeleton Key: Industrial Chic by Susan Lenart Kazmer
To unlock the mysteries and secret passageways
Treasure Box with removable lid: Industrial Chic by Susan Lenart Kazmer
For symbolically gathering little treasures along the way
Owl: Hildie & Jo
Considered a bird of magic and wisdom. An excellent companion for our explorations!
Writing Nib/quill pen with Turkey feather: Tim Holtz writing nib, found feather
For recording the journey
Turquoise bone beads: Woman Shops World, hand carved in Kathmandu, Nepal; cylinder turquoise bone bead from India and the rest are from Fire Mountain Gems
All of the bone beads I used in the dangles feel like they could be ancient tribal relics.