After finishing my 2007 journal so many years ago, I settled on using the same brand of sketch book for my next journal in 2008.
Pro Art Artists Tools & Supplies was the brand, as shown with metallic letters on the odd textured cover that reminds of reptile or elephant skin.
This book had its share of constant use and abuse, and it needed a bit of restoring.
It had lost its spine at some point, and the front cover tore off completely. The back cover still remained attached to the peeling end paper, but I've kept the book held together with a rubber band for many years.
You can see the book grew too fat for the spine, and eventually just fell apart. I took several day to think about how to give it a new spine, and on the thirteenth got to work. First I cut a new piece of chipboard for it, then gave it a a little over a centimeter of space between the spine and the covers.
The back cover was removed with a quick slice of the craft blade, then I chose some craft card stock to hold the cover and spine together.
Once that was dry, I experimented with some staining techniques to make the spine look like aged leather. I was intending to add a sticker to the cover which matched the brown, but I changed my plans as I went.
To give the spine that nice color, I used several drops of brushed corduroy distress ink from Tim Holtz. I dropped it directly on the paper, then spritz it with water, and spread it around with a paper towel. After I dried it with my heat gun, I took the soggy paper towel and ran it over the paper again in a circular motion to add extra texture and color.
I also extended the rough end of the book itself, adding paste downs to either bit of remaining binders cloth still attached to the book's internal spine (right).
After the ink on the spine dried, I cut down my chosen papers and glued it down to the cover.
After that was dry I added a single coat of satin liquitex varnish, which gave it a nice shine, and kept the distress ink from rubbing onto my fingers.
I was happy to see the cover coming together nicely. The inside papers were cut and varnished separately before I glued them down over the glued on paste downs.
I also found there was a bit of a gap in white, so I added some extra paper strips to those spots, with a note to self to cut the internal pages wider next time if I was to cover some of the paste down color.
The papers I chose are both from the stack Stella and Rose by My Minds Eye. I love the papers from the collection, but I will note it's not cradstock despite what the pack says. The paper is rather thin, around the same weight as standard printer paper, floppy, and prone to warping if the tacky glue isn't brushed down and made smooth.
I discovered that rubbing the glue around with my finger is effective in making the paper go on more smoothly. The back cover ended up having some ripples because I didn't smooth out the glue the first time.
After finishing the basic parts of my cover, I had to decide if I wanted to embellish it a little. I changed my mind about using the wall stickers I had chosen. They didn't quite fit, and covered up too much of the pretty paper color.
I went through three options, took pictures with my tablet for reference. first I thought I'd use just a chipboard element, that didn't quite fit the outside, so I played around with some K and Company dye cuts, and lastly I played with the idea of putting the chipboard sticker in there with them.
I settled on the middle version, knowing less is more in most cases, and the chipboard piece was set aside completely.
Since the embellishments were decided on after I had already varnished my cover, I went in and varnished the dye cuts separately, then glued them on the front with Fabri-tac glue by beacon.
It's the first time I've ever used fabri tac, and found that it does in fact prevent warping to the paper, but it also smells bad, is somewhat toxic no doubt, acid free though, and fast drying (a bit too fast because it has acetone in it).
I decided to try it out because I've been watching videos online, and Jen of Eve is someone who uses the glue all the time. She said it doesn't make paper warp like white glue, so I wanted to try it out.
It does work well as far as my first try goes, I'll just need to remember to wear a mask next time I use it, to avoid the smell.
Final results are rather pleasing.
Before I went and spruced up this tattered old journal, I did go through several stages of scanning, and then made a few personal video records of before and after results on the cover.
I found it was easier to scan the book while its spine was bust, and the process took me around a week to finish. I hope to select pictures and hand doodling from the scanned pages for making into my own personal doodle and border PNG files for future use in PSE projects.
I like the idea of using my own doodles for creating personalized scrapbook papers and elements, just never tried it before, so I'm working up to it.