So, partially inspired by the price of a good 8.5x5.5 journaling journal, and partially by TMLee's amazing thread and seeing how his journals went from where they started to what they are now...and since I've got a TON of paper my work gave me for free...I've decided to start a thread of my own cataloging my journal making adventures! Don't expect anything as epic or as helpful as the thread TMLee has going, I don't know how long this will even hold my interest. I have a bad habit of obsessing over new hobbies for short stints and them dropping them when a new one catches my interest. I'm also new to fountainpens, and journaling, so this is a big one for me since there are soooo many aspects to master and explore. It might hold me for a long time to come.
So far I've been assessing my materials at hand, and figuring out what I need. The paper I have in a massive quantity is 23x35 inches, 148gsm Matte Reply Card. Its light for cardstock, heavy for regular journal pages. It takes FP inking well, no bleed or feathering, pretty nearly opaque. If I had a complaint it would be that it tends toward a fatter line than on some papers I've used. (I'm finding that line thickness has much to do with paper used as it does the nib.) Also, there are sometimes "spots" on the paper that seem kinda waxy. I know its treated to resist humidity, so that's probably got something to do with it.
My lady has a ton of fabric, I've only ever seen her sew like 3 or 4 things since we've been together (5.5 years) but she's long resisted getting rid of it all. In fact she got a brand new sewing machine and a surger for her birthday 2 years ago and has never used either one. Anyway, I'm glad she was hoarding it all now, cause I raided it for stuff that might make suitable journal cover materials and I found a nice stack of stuff I think would look nice. Most of them I had myself in mind, but I might make some as gifts for various ladies in my life too, so I grabbed a few out I thought they'd like.
She has some ribbons too but they're all too fru-fru for anything I'd want, and most are too wide. I thought she had a rotary cutter too, but I can't find it. Our kids have raided our craft supplies a lot over the years and stuff is a jumbled mess. I did find some thick crocheting thread in "natural", and some really thick crocheting thread in orange. I am not sure if the latter is too thick, and the former too thin but I'll experiment.
I ran to the store and got some needles, to attempt to do the 2-needle coptic stitch, with all 6 needles since TMLee said it creates a tighter bind, and I'm definitely looking for that. I also grabbed an awl to punch my pages, and some white elmers glue (which IS PVA glue, in case you didn't know)
I cut down 3 or 4 sheets of the 23/35 paper (man what a pain that is) by folding it a few times and trimming off the excess using a wooden ruler with a metal edge, and hobby knife. I have no type of "square" to check, or bone folder so I folded them all by hand, compressed with some heavy stuff for a bit and then marked and punched the holes.
Once I had heavy stuff piled on that to squash it flat, I took an extra signature I had and cut the plastic hobby board down to size. Trying to eyeball for squareness via the lines on the self healing matt.
I've identified some challenges I'm having. My craft area is cluttered and dusty. Causing me to get the paper pretty dirty. I'm sweating and leaning on the paper, causing my skin oils to get on it, which will suck when writing on it later. I don't have a bone folder so have been using my thumbnail to crease, which will exacerbate the skin oils issue. Also, sweat plus dust = dirty paper. Can't find the rotary cutter anywhere and not sure I'll ever find it, so might have to put that on a shopping list with bone folder and more appropriate stitching chord.
I tried making a pocket flyleaf and glueing that together was nearly a disaster. Not sure how TMLee does that, but I definitely need to iron out that process. I'd like an elastic, but I'm nowhere near ready for that level of complexity, not to mention I don't actually have any and my "project" budget is still needing to recover from the "I'm gonna repaint my bicycle flat black" endeavors. Still haven't figured out how to get those cables back on right...
I'm pretty much dead in the water until I find the rotary cutter.