Friday, January 29, 2010

Making Decorative Tapes

There's been talk among the people taking Mary Ann Moss's Remains of the Day online class about Japanese Tapes, printed tapes that are sort of like masking tape but more transluscent. I don't have the tape bug that some journal artists do but adding strips and borders to my art as well as to my art journals has become somewhat of a signature so anything that will make the process easier certainly catches my interest.  But I don't want to spend more money on art supplies... remember me saying "Buy no art supplies; use what I have. Be creative". So...

Thanks to a reminder from Susie LaFond I got out my Xyron and an adhesive cartridge (supplies that I haven't touched in probably five years) and started experimenting. For my purposes I found that patterned tissue paper was the best choice. I ran 2 different black and white prints (and a piece of turquoise cotton fabric) through the Xyron which adds adhesive and a teflon-like paper to the back, making whatever you put through the machine into a peel & stick.  I used the checkerboard because the black and white tape will echo the black and white text and ink already in the book and add much needed continuity to the ROD travel journal that I'll use later in the spring when we head south and east on a road trip.

You can see how I used the homemade checkerboard tap on the first page of the travel journal (above), along with bits cut from an old AAA TourBook and map.

And here on page two I adhered a piece of my tape across the bottom to form a border, and added a tiny snippet on page three, bottom right.

This cost me nothing except a bit of time and I now have my very own "washi" tape in the pattern and color I want.

This photo shows jow I set up to cut one of the black and white tissues (with adhesive on the back).
I use an Omnigrid ruler left from my quilting days and an Olfa rotary cutter. I keep two Olfas, putting the new blad in one reserved for fabric and move the used one with a dulled blade to a rotary cutter reserved for paper. It's still sharp, just now sharp enough for fabric.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sewing Wild Oats Video

My scrappy journal isn't complete without lots of writing and photos but the sewing is done and it's been sewn into it's cover. I took advantage of a long sun break to set up a video station and shoot my first video. There's no music, no voice over, and only the sound of the pages but I did it with my little point and shoot camera's movie setting. Now that I know how I'll add more to my blog in the future. I hope you enjoy seeing the journal.

Sewing Wild Oats from Jo Reimer on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Please Keep A Journal

This is for my own children and grandchildren as well as for all of you who read my blog from time to time... Please keep a journal.

What an inspiring man and an easy to do project for all of us, writing our personal history one day at a time. A journal doesn't need to be fancy or  artistic or even very involved; it just needs to have its author pay a few minutes of daily attention to recording the details of one's life. I'm sure Mr. ----------'s children get bored about half way through each journal and they each probably won't ever read every volume, but some of it will pique the interest of an offspring, ... and there's usually a history buff in every coulple of generation.

I've never been able to be totally committed to daily journal keeping. I kept a diary in high scholl, until my Mother found and read it, and that was the end of that! I have diary/journal entries in lots of different volumes, but rarely have I filled a book. I'm in the process of collecting the disparate pages (3 from one book, 5 from another) and tossing them into a drawer. One of these days I'll try to figure out the sequence and assemble all these pages into one volume. Some are prayers, some rants, some praise, some family history; they'll all go into one book.

In the mid 1990s I started making artists journals, books full of art and ideas and creativity, painting and drawing and collage and lots of notes. I made sure, as I still do, that the cover of the book was inviting so that I'd see it and want to pick it up and work in it. Still, I don't work in these books every day though its frequent enough that the books get filled every year or so. I love to pull out a journals and page through it in order to jumpstart a new project or process. And I notice that friends also love looking through my art journals, stopping to read an entry here and there, so I'm careful that the private thoughts that I don't want to share with the world are hidden from plain sight.

I've been quiet lately here in blogland and part of the reason for that is that I'm taking time for closer introspection than is normal for me. We're into a new decade and I'm giving lots of thought to determining how I want to live it. I don't want to continue to squander precious TIME; I want to use my days wisely. I'm heeding Mother's advice to "Waste Not, Want Not".... a wise clique that falls all too easily on deaf ears in recent generations.

I was born to parents who faced hard times in the Great Depression. Their first home burned to the ground  when they were away at work and they had to pull up stakes and move out of the state and rely on her brother for work and shelter, right in the middle of the depression when there was little work to be found anywhere. They learned to make do, to use things until they were beyond function, and then do without until they could earn enough to buy what they needed.  Mother made clothes; Dad made furniture. They had a big garden and helped on their parents' farms. They managed. I was born to that and I learned to pinch pennies early on, to think before I bought anything. Better times came but now I'm back where I started, making an effort not to waste neither time nor money. It's not as bad as it was in the 30's and 40's, in depression and wartime, though we grouse about unemployment and increasing costs for everything. We don't have to deal with rationing or no new cars or refrigerators because all the metal is being used for ships and munitions.

As I think about this I find myself wishing that my mother or father had kept a journal, that they had written something, anything, and how they existed. They're dead and it's too late to ask the questions that would inform me about how they managed, but it's not too late for me to rachet up my journaling skills and leave a written and artistic record for those who come after me. I'll write down what I consider to be important about my days and my thoughts and opinions. This is a good thing.
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