Pages

Friday, September 11, 2009

Squeezing in Some Me Time

Finished up a new journal last night. This is a close up of the plaster cover, the next photo shows the cover in its entirety.

I like to make the next journal when I get down to the last signature of the previous one; I write a lot so I know I'll be needing it soon. Sooooo juicy fun to hole up in my studio tearing paper, sewing, talking to myself. I'm great company.

This is the journal front and back. It has 4 signatures of 6 folded sheets; Italia and Roma papers interwoven. I reinforced the canvas spine with cardboard and the book is tighter. It tells me it loves its new, firm backbone and I do too.

Where's Waldo?

Ah, cutting grapes for the table. Cows like grapes too and they know what grows on that vine very well. They are smart when it comes to food they like. They know where the goodies are just like we do.

We grow Hopi Dye Red Amaranth in our garden so I decided to make some ink out of the flowers. I looked all over the web for a recipe but found none so I used my noggin to codge something together. First I boiled it in water.

Then I added a dried up oak gall I'd gathered on my morning walk. The old timers used to make ink out of oak gall but theirs was probably fresh while mine had dried up and fallen off the tree. I threw it in anyway.

Then I added a splash of gum arabic for body and gin for the alcohol to make it dry faster (have a belt yourself while you're at it).

It made an excellent, brilliant red ink. Not wine red (hmmmm, another idea) but more of a quinacridone shade.

So then I gathered up some Oregon Grape to make some more ink out of. In my web ramblings I came across some notations about the pioneers making ink out of these. Probably they were fresher than this batch but things are drying up around here.

I only made a tiny batch because that's all the seeds I gathered. I threw in an onion peel for good measure. I used to make Easter egg dye for the kids out of them.

Using the same approach I made an ink that turned out pinky-brown. Beautiful but I think the best will be when I mix the two together. Why do I do these things? I have no idea beyong simple curiosity. My brain goes, "hey! What color would the ink be if you boiled this down?" and then I have to know. Plus I lovvve my dip pens.


Okay, that's all my news for today. Go forth and play nicely. Inspire each other. Be curious.

35 comments:

Melanie said...

You amaze me! I would love to be a fly ... no make that butterfly on your wall one day. You have such fun ... maybe I will too one day. When my boys (age 6, 4 and 1) get older. LOL, maybe!

Lynn said...

Gosh, I hope Melanie is having fun NOW with her little kids 1, 4 and 6...I'm sure she must be even if it is a handful...are grandchildren just more fun that children???
So glad to hear you talk to yourself too. I am home alone today, in my studio, creating away...and jabbering to myself, wondering how my mind is going, contemplating memory loss, I look for it as gram/mom/aunts all had it/but figure the little things I am forgetting are normal yet. please god I hope so...I remember it's time to eat...when I have to see a client...how to be creative and have fun...yes, I'm okay still. Your heart strawberry is beautiful and your ink making devine. laughed at you tieing one on while working...but your writing is still square to the page so I think you are fine too.
continue having fun...oh your journal with the sturdy spine is absolutely awesome Judy.

Elizabeth said...

Love the new journal. Find your pages so inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

Beverly Ash Gilbert said...

Gorgeous book! And I love your natural dyes (and giggling over the gin)... I wonder how long they retain the color? Is it permanent or does it brown?

Sarah said...

What fun! They came out such lovely colours. I once grew amaranth and could not believe the weird flowers. I have done vegetable dyeing-with onions and beetroot but never tried ink. I might have a look what is in the garden tomorrow. You have inspired me!

katie said...

i just love this post judy. i'm smiling at the thought of your spankin new journal with the firm backbone, the beautiful inks you made (i especially love throwing in the oak gall and onion skins for good measure). you are the most MOST curiously fun person in the whole wild world!!!

anna maria said...

I am always amazed by your husband's beautiful garden and your creative use of it.

Your journal is lovely as is the color you got from the Amaranth.

Jacky said...

I love the plaster covers on your new journal (and so beautifully bound!). The sturdy spine looks fantastic.
How clever to make up those wonderful inks...very special to use in your journals. Love the quinadricone hue.
Inspirational post. I am wondering what I can find to make some ink now???

Jacky xox

Paula McNamee said...

Judy, your new journal is so beautiful, inspiring and thanks for sharing your process in making inks- I can see the mad scientist at work.

The Gypsy said...

LOOOVE the journal! I also love red ink (but I love green more) although I never thought to make it myself.

Lawendula said...

A beautiful book!
How interesting, making your own ink. I have to try this too.

Regina said...

Your journal is gorgeous! You have inspired me to make my own.

And I love the idea of gathering flowers, fruit to make ink. Fascinating!

Thank you for inspiring me!

jgr said...

Oh I love your journal! I am the same way when I get near the end of one, I start itching for the next one. Just made a new cover yesterday. And your ink is totally cool. Thank you for so much inspiration.

Meri said...

Oh Earth Mother, goddess of the land! I want to just snatch the strawberry off the screen and pop it in my mouth. I can imagine the sweetness.

Candace said...

Oh a new journal, and mine is almost ready to go as well.

FUN post, Judy! And that last photo, yum.

Don't forget, some of those are good on toast when you boil them down.
Thanks for sharing the making of the inks ... (but don't tell those cows, they'll be drinking and writing memoirs before you know it!)

Candace in Athens.

celeste said...

wow. gorgeous inks!

Sherry Goodloe said...

LOVE the journal cover! And those inks . . . too cool *smiles*

Anne, Bulles dorées said...

wow all is fantastic !! the inks, the journal !! stunning !!!!!!!!

Clare W said...

Gosh (English exclamation) I love your Blog so much. The inks are wonderful. I love keeping my journal and it's all down to you!!

Judy said...

Unbelievable.
You are such an inspiration.

Apple said...

Wow!! I love that journal and the way you made natural ink! Amazing!!!

Kim said...

The journal is just amazing Judy, love the texture and colours you have put into those covers. The Amaranth ink is a wonderful colour too. Nothing like experimenting and having a little fun, especially when it all works out, LOL!

sharon said...

oh judy! what a yummy new journal! and i love-love-love the idea of making my own inks! will scanning the internet for formulae...

Frivolitea said...

Fascinating to run across your ink making post. Recently my husband has been making ink from pokeberries. Supposedly, the declaration of independence was written in pokeberry ink. But don't quote me on that. That is just what I heard casually from one source.

Frivolitea said...

pokeberry post:

http://amateurcocktailguy.wordpress.com/

Studio Sylvia said...

Talented, talented, talented. Beautiful journal and what magic spells you weave to create your inks.

julie Haymaker thompson said...

Hi Judy , I do not know if you remember me. I took a class last year from you and it was wonderful . I think the stabillo pencil has been my favorite toy this last year .I tell everyone I learned to use it from you and Katie last year!! Anyway I am so excited I signed up for your journal class at Art and Soul and my HUBBY is going to take it too!!! I cannot believe it !! He is evolving !!!!But he will be a challenge as he has done NOTHING at all like this before!! I mean NOTHING , no paintng, drawing... nothing expect buildng houses!! He however was told journaling my be a good growth thing for him. So I said," Hey sweets...Judy is the best lets do this together". Oh I also am going to be teaching to at the event . Glenny was so very KIND to squeeze me in. But I only have the moola for one class and it will be yours!! We are both so excited.. So heads up beware his name is Cal. Julie h.Thompson

Lynn Fisher said...

Judy, your new book is inspirimg. I make me own books too. I have always found that if I use any wet materials on the cover...it buckles. What did you do to keep that from happening?
BeautifuL!
Gosh I love my dip pen too...but I never thought of making my own ink!

RowanDeVoe said...

ACK! WOW! that book/journal is just divine! i just love it. how gorgeous. i just all the details you put into it. i am journal crazy. i have them all over just in case i need to write down an idea-by my bed, a few in my studio, one in my purse, one in the car, it is kind of nuts but so necessary. this one is just beyond words.

and the inks! wow-love! you are so clever-they turned out so beautifully how could one not want to write in your gorgeous books with them? my printmaking prof/now best friend would go and teach italy and bring me back gorgeous inks and glass pens because she knows how much i love to write letters and add writing to my monotypes.

and, so glad you talk to yourself in your studio, whew! i do this too but forget and also do it out in public-how can you turn it off?
i will say something to myself and then grab my little journal and write it down with everyone looking at me-hehe. my twin often asks if i am talking to her or myself. does it really matter? thanks for all the wonderful inspiration.
take care,
merle

Ro Bruhn said...

Another fabulous journal ready to go. I find making them the addiction, but have difficulty filling them with words, although by the time I finish making mine there's not much room left for words.

bridgette said...

judy, love the bee and your journal! beautiful work as always.

thanks so much for the congrats you left me- i really appreciate it. xo

Rusted Wings said...

Amazing post....love the ink, and your writing, and the journal, and everything you do!!!
inspiring Judy!!
xo abigail

Melanie said...

You haven't written in a while! Anyway, I wanted to mention to you that I recently made a book out of grocery bags ... like your tutorial. I went ahead the wrinkled the pages up a LOT and then ironed them out. The texture is amazing. I am sewing the signatures together as I complete a page a day (for the month of Sept). It is just heavy and so tactile at only half done ... thank you for the tutorial on it (I know it was a while ago, but still wanted to say thanks!)

Boracay hotel accommodation said...

The plaster cover on your journal looks great. Thanks for sharing on how you made ink from the Hopi Dye Red Amaranth. I liked the color of the Hopi red ink you made.The writing you made with the Hopi red ink is inspiring.

Tina said...

Judy, Do you think the inks are lightfast? I'm wondering what they might be like mixed with encaustic medium. They'd be dreamy over a photo transfer maybe? Hmm...makes me think I've never experimented with ink and encaustic. Something to try soon.