Re-Use, Recycle, Rejoice

Note: Congratulations to Janice (aka Rubber Rabbit) who wins Gina’s book No Excuses Art Journaling! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Drop me an email (under “Contact” on the right side of the header) with your mailing address and the book will be under way!

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Long before recycling had a name, my family was doing it. Every family whose parents went through either the Depression or a war in the country they emigrated from learned how to recycle out of habit. My mother cut down usable pieces of  my brothers’ shirts and jeans to make clothes for me.  When I wore through them, the shirts became dishtowels, dust rags, and doll clothes. We darned socks and sweaters and when they had too many holes, the sweater was cut, the yarn re-wound and re-knit.

It is part of my inheritance and certainly part of my DNA that I became a collage artist. Those pieces of paper don’t get tossed, they get made into art.

tag4No surprise then, when I added another journal to my collection, I began to hunt through my papers for a way to hold it closed.

My journals get tossed into my purse, and if I want to pull them out in one piece, there needs to be a way  to keep the pages held together.

This journal is made in India out of cotton rags. I adore cotton paper, and this one had unlined pages heavy enough for watercolor markers. I purchased it with a smile, as the 5-inch by 7-inch size is perfect to take along in a purse.

How to hold it together? It didn’t take long to find a tag from another purchase. The tag was glossy light-weight cardboard with a thin elastic band through the hole in the top.

tag1I cut open the elastic, put another hole in the bottom, and discovered the elastic was long enough not to warp the tag.

tag2Next step, gesso the tag–both sides. Then brayer paint over it, making sure to add a bit of gold. Let each side dry thoroughly–about a minute here in Phoenix. Then restring the elastic and it’s ready to go.

tag3The book is held shut comfortably. When the journal gets tossed into my purse, the tag gets moved over to the open edge to protect the pages from bending back. It also works nicely as a bookmark to hold the pages while I’m writing.

Quinn McDonald had a lot of fun at her book signing Thursday night. She is trying to ignore the idea for the third book that keeps floating up. [Quinn at lectern,  Rosaland Hanibal (seated) and Traci Paxton Johnson (standing), both book contributors, helping the audience find their Inner Heroes.