Waxed paper weave

Strange DIY from old prints

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I have these extremely old risograph prints from 2012 that have been sitting in a portfolio...so I decided to make abstract art out of it haha.

I cut the prints up in 1" x 17" stripes, then taped one end and wove them together.

Photo collage of making weaved paper (in yellow and red colour) out of interlaced strips of paper

After that I sacrificed this peeler to the craft spirts and shaved some candle wax onto the surface, and ironed the wax to melt it and have it penetrate the paper. I flipped it over to do the back-side as well. I ended up using a hair blow dryer as well to flatten down the uneven wax parts as much as I could.

Photo collage of melting wax onto weaved paper (in yellow and red colour)

I'm not sure what I'm going to do it this, but I do like it more than the original drawing...

Today's music post: Jumping Dance by Mario Mathy (1987). This is one of those times where the video is a must watch for the strange but extremely passionate and energetic vibe this person has for their keyboard playing. It's REALLY 80s...

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After my previous fail at exposed spine binding a notebook I decided to try again.

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I watched SeaLemon's tutorial on kettlestitch binding more closely this time. I still messed up the tautness of some of the thread/stitches, but it's OK for now. I regretted not waxing my thread because it was knot-central.

The paper was given to me by a friend, salvaged from a mostly unused pack. Since it was for calligraphy I expected it to hold up pretty well to fountain pen, but I found it to feather and bleed a bit. Might not work as well for double-sided work.

Also tore up some old extra risograph comic pages from Martial Spirit and gluestick-ed them onto the extra HWA comic covers for the cover, haha...

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What will this notebook be used for? I have no idea...

Today's music post: BabopbyeYa by Janelle Monáe. The song gives me Bond-esque vibes and showcases her vocal range wonderfully.

Paper marbling with pigmented fountain pen ink

Happy accidents with ink marbling

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My barrier to trying out paper marbling has always been the materials/set-up required. I don't have a studio with a dedicated craft space to get messy. My rental is carpeted. My work desk is where my papers and computer live. I can't afford to get nail polish or oil-based inks all over the place!

I saw this tutorial for suminagashi (Japanese marbling) from Rokolee. It looked like it could be simple to do at a smaller scale and I wondered if it would work with fountain pen ink, specifically pigmented ones. I sacrificed a small amount of Platinum Carbon Black ink in a vial and used that as a tester. It does work!! Like the video, I used very few items:

  • Platinum carbon black (pigmented) fountain pen ink, in a vial
  • 2 brushes
  • Cup of water with 1 drop of dishsoap
  • 1 styrofoam tray I had from grocery shopping
  • A bunch of extra letter-sized HWA covers cut down to quarters (100lb coverstock)
  • Some place to dry the papers; honestly I just laid them on top of the boxes piling up in my apartment haha (some of them were laying on papers inside my recycling bin)

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Because of the weight of the cover stock, the dried papers weren't super curly, at least not in a ripply way. I did end up ironing them a little bit to flatten them down, but they were completely usable even without.

I don't have other pigmented inks to try this with, but I imagine that it would work with other colours. So much fun potential! Marble pattern feels timeless, elegant, and an interesting way to decorate otherwise plain things. I also have an itch to DIY my own paper so I can reused all these...papers (overprints, cut-offs, etc.) I have...but same thing re: no studio space, haha.

Today's music post: Wadada Lasts by Mama Odé, from their Tales and Patterns of the Maroons album. The album is described as "At its core this is a classic “hip hop” format LP - but have you ever heard Creole Sega Rap Roots music before?"

I'm trying to link to music in way that directly leads to a way to hear and support/pay for artists' music at the same time. Bandcamp has been doing Bandcamp Friday on the first Friday of every month until the end of the year. It's where Bandcamp waives revenue sharing that day and more $ by fans go directly to the artists. Bandcamp fridays coming up are:

  • November 6 2020
  • December 4 2020

I've been hearing abysmal things about little musical artists make very little revenue from streaming sites like Spotify, for example, "£12.34 (about $15.67) for five to six million streams" as cited in the article. I haven't done extensive research into what platforms get the artist the best cut.

Commonplace book + DIY cover

Midori MD A5 grid commonplace book and DIY cardstock notebook cover for the notebook.

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I mentioned previously that I have way too much cardstock leftover from some printer shenanigans from HWA. I started another Midori MD Notebook to make a commonplace book to write down knowledge that I would want to refer back to in the future, e.g., notes from books, courses, articles, etc. Kind of like a school notebook but broader. Since this book mainly sits on my desk, I wondered if it was possible to make a book cover for the notebook out of the cardstock. Luckily letter-sized paper is slightly taller than A5, so the overhang made it possible!

Here is the book cover, made out of 2 pieces of cardstock. The white cardstock was a regular letter-sized one, cut in half, and then glued + folded around the length of the A5 notebook. Also scored down the middle of the brown cardstock piece. I wasn't confident I could glue such a narrow sliver of cardstock for the sleeve/pocket (where you slip in the notebook covers), so I put in some small stitches instead.

Fits!!

After that I felt like it was looking plain for a commonplace book, so I took some leftover Daler-Rowney FW acrylic ink (green) and painted it on in a weird mottled-like texture (dabbing with the brush, but not smoothing it out)

The string tension tore through the now wet paper, so I yanked them out and had to glue the pockets down later on. That actually resulted in a more snug-fit and less "wiggle room" of covers sliding up/down, which was not a bad thing!

Not long after, it still felt plain, so I took a leftover gold STA metallic pen and free-handed the cover.

It was a mindless, 'go with the flow', relaxing art thing to do! Some of the lighting in the photos make it look more teal, while in real life it's more green in the sunlight. Make this book feel fancier than it really is!

Also made an A6-sized one (left) to use up the green paint. On that one I used copper acrylic paint streaks, and also rubbed on candle wax + melted it to the cover for stability/some water resistance (IDK if it'll work, but it was fun to do).

With regards to the notebook itself, it's a Midori MD Notebook A5 with grid ruling. I hand numbered all the pages, and then made an index at the beginning (page 3) + left a few more pages after blank, to allow for the indexlist to increase as I filled the book. I officially started jotting down contents on page 7!

Today's music post: Open My Heart by Jay Diggs. I am a total glutton for this retro-style of music cheese. Is 90s considered retro now? AHHHHHHHHHHHH...

Fortune linocut

DIY linocut print of 福, printed in red ink.

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If you ordered a print copy of Here We Are 1, you may have had the experience of a piece of white paper (with red print) tumbling out of the back of your book.

The character itself is 福, which sounds like Fu in Mandarin or Fook in Cantonese. In essence it means something like good fortune or good luck. More history on the character can be found here.

An upside-down 福 is pasted on Jake's front door (it's barely seen in chapter 7). The upside-down version represents good fortune/luck arrives, which is like a blessing upon a place/space when it's pasted up. It's fairly common to see in Chinese spaces, especially during lunar new year. It doesn't really match Jake's home aesthetic, but I imagine it was something his mom gave to him when he moved out, and thus, he obliged.

The print itself was hand carved out of linoleum.

Then printed on layout bond with red block printing ink. I hadn't used my ink in a few years so the paint was separating, thus leading to a few failures. I had to re-mix the paint!

I like the imperfect/faded/aged look of some of the prints, so a wide variety were included in orders.

The reason for its inclusion in the HWA book package is 2-fold:

  1. 2020 is a rough year for many of us and I wanted to wish readers the best. If you have one, you can paste it upside down in your own dwellings!
  2. As I thought about where HWA book 1 ended, I wanted to leave it off with some good vibes for J+A as their lives continue beyond the book.

Thanks to everyone who ordered a copy of the book. Although the process for making all this stuff is labourious, I'm happy to spend the effort to make the reading experience special for the handful of you who are engaged and who value the DIY-ness of it all! The book is made to order (limited to 50 copies) if you don't have your own.

Wishing you all 福 x infinity!

Today's music post: HK 80s disco hit from superstar Roman Tam 羅文's Lasers 激光中. The video is really fabulous in that 80s disco way. I enjoyed reading this article about him. I feel like he is HK's equivalent of David Bowie in terms of influence and versatility (not that Roman or David are really comparable people; this is simply a point of reference for western readers).