Sometimes I have 400 photos that I want to tell a story about. Sometimes I find THE COOLEST WORDS in a magazine and I want to keep them. Sometimes Paul is studying and I am bored and I want to make something, but I have no photos. So I will make a small book.
I have a few RULES:
It helps me to decide on the theme before I start the book. A repeating color will work. Or a single event. Or similar photos. Or an idea (like mantras). Or probably anything. A theme helps me narrow down what will be included. It helps me focus on a beginning and an end.
Most of the "idea" small books I make happen within one sitting. I get out a bunch of product and "fill" up a set number of pages. It is done when I run out of room.
Book ring albums allow for the most variety. I can add in little pieces. I can mix media. I can go back and take stuff out, or rearrange pages.
I think my favorite size is the 4x6. The first 4x6 album I saw in real life was Jamaica's Christmas book. I was blown away. I loved that it fit photos perfectly. I loved that it incorporated pieces of beautiful papers. I have been using and reusing this size all year.
Most recently, is my mixed media self portrait. It is an on-going project that I will do until I get bored. It is a collection of different things that I believe are me. Quotes, photos, patterns. Everything. Because of the mismatch - this book is all about the crop.
Every time you take a photo, you crop out stuff. You focus on one thing. A person. Or a monument. Or a sign. You make a decision to cut out something to capture something else. I think about this when cropping magazine pages and "stuff" for my 4x6 albums. For instance, in the above left image, I cropped the quote out of a magazine. You can barely tell in the background is a famous actress. And you definitely cannot tell that the actress is Mary-Kate Olsen. On the right side, I cropped a van Gogh print. I chose to center his signature. His mark on this fantastic painting. The focus then became the color, and the artist, not the vase of flowers. I like it that way.
I made the cover of my little book out of a Hammerpress Christmas card. I love the design and I love how thick the cardstock is. I first cut the card on the fold line. Then I cropped both the front and the back down to 4x6. These would be the cover and the back cover. Next, I punched two holes along the left side of the cover. I suppose it would be a good idea to measure. But, I am impatient. More of a "Cut First, Never Measure and Start Over If It Is Wrong" kind of girl. These first two holes are the only important ones. They become the template for keeping all the other holes in the right position. For the pages, I crop two different papers and glue them (with the highly unpopular gluestick) back to back. To punch the holes, I line up the page with the cover and be sure to punch through in the same spots. SIMPLE, SIMPLE. Even a caveman could do it.
Putting the pieces together is where it becomes fun to me. I get to play with other people's ideas and masterpieces. I am inspired by so many things and I enjoy tying them all together.
I hope that something within this post inspires you to try a small marvel of a minibook. I hope at least, it reaffirmed your faith in the gluestick.
And if you read ALL THIS WAY, leave a comment. Today, Christmas Day, is the second anniversary of this blog. And to thank you for reading, I want to do some sort of give away. I will think of a good prize.
Maybe hole punch clippings.
(I will draw a winner on Friday.)
Merry Christmas + Happy Birthday to my note to self.