This journal may appear to be full of blank pages, but those blank pages cover up the blood, sweat, and tears poured into it over the past months. It sounds embarrassing that I struggled that much in making it.
I found a plan for a handmade journal that I liked, and I thought it would be a hop, skip, and a jump to create what I had swimming around in my head. Challenge number one was what to use for the cover. I liked the idea of linen or other cloth, but couldn’t figure out how to keep the glue from seeping through the weave. So, I tried brown craft paper, but that was ho-hum. Time dragged on; I researched and researched and could not find a solution. One day out of the blue, I swear I googled the same topic name I had done before, but this time I stumbled upon the solution. Thank heavens. I needed to make it into bookcloth by adhering tissue paper to the back of the linen. Eureka; it worked!
To create the design on the cover I have had a number of ideas percolating in my mind. This is the first one. It’s a filigree design made of eggshell chips set on top of old lace. I designed the filigree pattern and traced it onto a piece of transparency with a sharpie. To transfer the design to the cover I held it down and lifted up a portion and drew a ¼ inch of the curve on the lace. I could only glue three eggshell chips at a time or they would fall out of line and make a mess, so the progress was slow at best.
These eggshells were made with the regular egg dye I use, and then I put some variations of alcohol ink on top to add interest. A coat of varnish was put on the egg, then I broke it up into chunks and peeled the membrane from the inside of the shells. I continued to break the shells down into small pieces using a chenille needle. The best shapes I found to work with were the trapezoidal shapes. Thankfully, I have been able to pick up my speed in working with the shells, but this first design took me quite some time to finish.
While working with the eggshells I decided I wanted to make a pendant piece to accompany the journal as a bookmark. I had a bronze colored frame, so I took a small oval piece of linen, put lace on it, and then made a small circle with eggshells. I filled it with epoxy. It added a neat touch to the journal, and it sparked some new ideas which I can’t wait to work on!
Now it was time to finish it up with fancy paper on the inside cover and add the hand torn pages. The filler paper I used is sketchpad weight so it can handle various types of media. Holes were punched, grommets placed, and the whole thing bound together. What a happy relief to be done!
The whole idea of using eggshells to create designs on these journals is really resonating with me. Seeing beauty being built up from inconsequential eggshell crumbs is wonderful, and ties me back to the days of a girl growing up on a chicken farm.