Handmade accordian books

Making an accordian book

I’ve found a new interest – handmade books. In particular, for the moment, accordian books. Along side this discovery I’ve also discovered handcarved stamps and heavily layered work (something I’ve admired a lot recently, but haven’t really tried much myself).

So I knew I wanted to try and make an accordian book, but what would be my topic? Of course, being a mother of two young children, pick a baby ::grin:: Since my eldest has a scrapbook of her first three months of life, I thought I’d better come up with something for my youngest (second child, there is never as much time to do stuff as you did with your first, poor kid).

I didn’t want to cramp my creativity, so I just played and didn’t put too much value on the result – if it stuffed up, everything was replaceable and redoable, so no need to be precious about it all. This is exploration, that is all.

I cut up some  30cm/12′ square scrapbooking card into three strips and folded it accordianly before double-sided stickytaping it into one seven paned strip (the seventh pane is what you glue the cover onto, so essentially you have a six paged, double sided book). I needed a theme, and since I had been planning on playing with some easy-carve rubber I had bought, I did just that and created my first stamp.

Hand-carved stamps

My first one is the big one on the left.

For the covers I had some 10cm/4′ canvas boards I had bought to play on with my acrylics (totally cheap, only $1.50 for five). I still played with them, but now they became my book covers.

I experimented with my new Golden Fluid Acrylics and a couple of media, mostly glazing medium, and layered to create texture. I also used a single stamp impression for a focus.

Izzy's accorian book coverVery different for me, but a great deal of fun.

I used the stamp inside the book on the card also, and created a second smaller stamp of the same theme, which I used on the paper I stuck into the book.

Inside of Izzy's accordian book side 1

Here is side one completed and below is side two.

Inside of Izzy's accordian book side 2

The paper is watercolour paper, the pen is gel pen, and the photos are  of my Izzy between 13 days and twelve months. I hand wrote the lullaby rather than calligraphied it as I felt my handwriting would be more personal (if harder to read :D).

And now I’m starting one for KJ before I’ve even put Izzy’s fully together yet (I’m umming and ahhing about whether the coat of gloss gel on Izzy’s cover is enough or I should wait for the varnish I’ve ordered that will get here in about ten days time).

Here is KJ’s cover still work-in-progress.

KJs accordian book cover

This time I experimented with gloss gel and reliefing the stamp into it. I’m still layering this.

I think one of my next projects will be to get a bigger canvas panel or stretched canvas and try a painting in this technique. It is fun and adaptable around family and work.

(as always, trying to fit art into an already overflowing life)

PS: Although I’m running very late, I think I’ll submit this to Paint Party Friday, since for a change, it was friday and I was painting 😀 Make sure you go and check out all the other great artists at the party.