I finished the Real Journal last June, that is to say I finished the insides. On the outside it was still an ordinary black sketchbook. I had been working on a cover for it for a while already, but after I filled it, it was like the incentive to work on it was gone. This is a good lesson for the future: make sure the journal is completely finished on the outside before you start working in it!;-)
Anyway, all I still had to do was add some beads to the cover piece of cloth, so last weekend I kicked myself in the butt, got my little bowl of supplies together and set up shop on the couch.
These plastic bowls that I once bought and used for painting small pieces of fabric and paper towels are actually also quite handy to transport some supplies for a small fabric project!
In the end it didn't even take all that long to attach the beads to the surface. It was just a matter of finally doing it. When the piece was ready it looked like this:
The fabric already has that patchwork/quilty print, so I didn't do that, but I did add the yarn stiches to the squares and then attached the leather circles with more yarn. The leather was a gift from a friend and this was a nice way to use some of it. The beads are simple plastic children's beads that I got at a discount store, nothing fancy there.
Now it was time to put the whole cover together under the sewing machine. The outside fabric has a pink backing which you can't really see, but it does make the whole cover look nicer (no open edges). And on the inside cover I used a matching flower fabric:
And here's how the Real Journal looks now:
I'm very happy with how it turned out! What I like most about things like this is how I work out an idea in theory in a sketchbook and then sort of make it a reality by putting it together. Most of my art is more of the let's see what happens kind, but with this I really have to think ahead. I like how I actually designed this and then made it happen. :-)
Oh...and one more thing: Am I crazy or is the backside of the outside cover kind of cool all by itself?
I just had to take a picture of it, before it was covered by the backing fabric. I like how you can see the work that went into this piece.
I will definitely be making more handstitched covers or maybe just separate fabric pieces. I'm just having way too much fun with them.