Tuesday 20 January 2015

Adding words to your pages. Part 7 of the collage adventure 'Fortune & Geese Favour the Bold'

Hello hello.

It seems like [and quite possibly is] an eon since I began this altered book + collage adventure but let's keep moving forward towards our final destination: the finished book!

There's one more optional extra I plan to share later but, as it's not a vital part of making and completing an altered book or a collage, today's post really will round-off the main content of the series.

I'd like to think that, while it may have taken me a few months to share everything I wanted to share, this can now become a self-contained series of posts for anyone to dip back into either as a full series, a free creative workshop from start to finish or as one-off bite-size inspiration hit at any time in the future. And here's how the full journey unfolds:
  • Part 1: Prep notes and supplies list
  • Part 2: Introducing a themed focus into your altered book / journal
  • Part 3: Turning an old book into a new home for your collage
  • Part 4: 101 alternative crafty supplies ... and where to find them
  • Part 5: Using figures to create a narrative in your collage
  • Part 6: Experimenting with Abstract collage (while playing with your favourite papers)
  • Part 7: [you are here!] Adding words to your pages.

  • And if you've been occasionally joining in the adventure - picking up tips and ideas from along the way - do let me know, it'll be great to see your interpretations. [For example, here's how Alexa at Trimming the Sails recently used the altered book she created to house her December 2014 journal].

    Now let's venture on to the final leg of our journey ...

    Today's examples and ponderings relate to adding words to a collage. Some people might refer to this as adding 'journaling' but if that all feels too grand or too personal ... then 'words' does the job just as well!

    Of course, there's absolutely no reason you need to add words on your pages at all; collage can be, and often is, purely about the images and colours involved. But, for the purposes of this particular project, [my 'Fortune and Geese Favour the Bold' / Learn Something New Everyday journal] I added wording using two different methods:
    1. Longer-form handwritten journaling hidden away in envelopes. And
    2. A shorter typed summary / title.
    Let's take look at both of those first before moving on to various other examples of methods I've used in the past:

    1. Longer-form handwritten journaling hidden away in envelopes.
    After reflecting on what 'lesson' I'd learned each day, jotting down notes and ideas throughout the week, I then wrote out longer explanations detailing the story behind them to put things into context. These I wrote out, by hand, into a notebook then tore out the pages and popped them inside the envelopes I'd added to each double-spread page of my book.

    I chose to hide my journaling away more for aesthetic reasons than ones of privacy ... although privacy was a consideration when I knew I'd be sharing my pages online. But really I chose to keep the wording separate mainly as it meant I wouldn't have to write all over the collage I created.

    Writing across the page seems to work better on art-journal pages, where you might have intentionally left room to add in your journaling later, but I wanted the main focus of these pages to remain fairly abstract and more about colour and form rather than spelling out things literally. However ...

    ... as I'm a dyed-in-the-wool word lover I haven't yet weaned myself from using at least a few words on a page! Which is where the next method comes in ...

    2. A shorter typed summary / title.
    The short, pithy, lessons you're encouraged to recognise and document through the 'Learn something New Everyday' project [hosted at shimelle.com] can be nicely presented in this typed format.

    Day 12: It's nice to be reminded that there are people who 'get' me:
    The size of the typed font keeps the phrase small and compact meaning it doesn't take over your entire page; it can easily be slotted in amongst the other collage elements:

    And yet these few lines can remain detailed enough to give a distinct flavour of both the day in which you experienced it and also the theme of the elements on the page. Plus, if you're using an altered book - where you've painted over some, but not all of the text - adding in some additional typing can really reflect the original nature of the book pages.

    Also ... you can't beat the look of typing for adding a nostalgic, slightly edgy, arty kind of style to your altered book especially if your keyboard / typewriter ribbon is as unreliable, imperfect and eccentric as mine! [What's that they say about bad workmen? ... ]:
    You could also use typing to add:
    • a title
    • a list
    • a quotation
    • lyrics

    If you don't have a typewriter you can, of course, write your journaling in a typewriter style of font and print it out but I prefer my typewriter for 2 main reasons:
    1. The first is that it's more immediate, I can have the whole phrase typed out before my laptop's even warmed up ...
    2. and secondly, I can easily type directly on to scraps of old paper, which I love to do:
    In fact, I like it so much ... whenever I cut up an old book [which is fairly often for my shop products!] to use its images or text I save up the blank inside pages and off-cuts to type on later!
    Oh yes I do ...
    Who just said 'can't she throw anything away?' ... [BTW: the answer to that - when it comes to papery goodness - is 'No!']
    If you're debating with yourself over whether or not to buy a typewriter then this post I wrote last year might help ... I say *might* ... 
    5 things laptop user should take into account when thinking about buying a *typewriter*. [All the stuff you won't (a) find in a manual and (b) to be honest, might not really need to know ...]
    3. Using snippets of words:
    I've written lots more about using snippets of words, cut from old book pages here [complete with examples of my 'Snipped Tales'], and also here.

    However ... this is a page before I added any additional typed journaling but, while I was putting it together a few key words leapt out at me:
    The 'lesson' I was documenting that day related to watching Game of Thrones and the phrases I came across in amongst my collagey bits just seemed to fit! ["The Old Gods and the New"?? Get it?? ...]

    So remember to keep your eyes, and your mind, open when sifting through old book pages etc as a few, well chosen words, can say plenty! You certainly don't need to write out any particular full sentence to take advantage of some nice old fonts on your page.

    For more examples of how to add wording/meaning/context to your projects allow me to take you on a minor detour away from my 'Fortune and Geese Favour the Bold' altered book and on to some alternative routes ...

    Examples from other projects:

    4. Typing in a junk journal:
    All of the journaling in my May 2014 junk journal was typed:
    Again, it's a really useful method of getting lots of details down in a small space, plus ... you can write it all out directly on to various interesting layers [eg. tags, envelopes, tickets, old paper etc].

    Or how about another method that lets you add wording wherever you want it?

    5. Stamping:
    Small alphabet stamps are one of the most useful things you can have in your basic crafty stash! While pre-made commercial sentiment stamps are all well and good ... you can't always expect to find the exact phrase you want! ;-)

    Case in point:
    So yes ... small alpha stamps are a great way to add your own words quickly wherever you want them.

    For these examples, for my 'Learn Something New Everyday' project 2013 I used a roller style of alphabet stamp and a black ink-pad. It's not always a perfect method [although that could be just me! There I go blaming my tools again!] but personally I don't mind the imperfections ... they seem to fit in just fine with my messy, disjointed scrappy collage style:
    [There are lots more links to examples of  my previous collage work on my Pinterest board].
    And finally ... how about a mix of styles on one page?
    Back in 2012 my 'Learn Something New Everyday' pages featured a combination of: handwriting, stamped words - using different fonts - and snippets of words cut from books which supported the overall theme:
    Well ... with those wordy options we seem to have reached the end of our collage adventure which is appropriate for me really as I still can't consider a page 'finished' until it displays at least one or two words!
    I hope it's offered you some alternatives and inspiration to try next time you want to add any kind of journaling, detail, title to your creative journal pages, collage, scrapbook layouts and even tags and cards.
    As I've said, I have an extra post still to share but that's just some sparkly eye-candy to enjoy while you catch your breath after the journey! 
    Here, again, are all the previous posts for easy access: 
  • Part 1: Prep notes and supplies list
  • Part 2: Introducing a themed focus into your altered book / journal
  • Part 3: Turning an old book into a new home for your collage
  • Part 4: 101 alternative crafty supplies ... and where to find them
  • Part 5: Using figures to create a narrative in your collage
  • Part 6: Experimenting with Abstract collage (while playing with your favourite papers)
  • Part 7: [you are here!] Adding words to your pages.

  • Better still ... why not Pin this page to one of your Pinterest boards for future reference?

    I do hope you've picked up a few ideas. or even a little pocket of collage confidence, somewhere along the path of our 'Fortune & Geese Favour the Bold' journey; it's really what the series was intended for. [Well, that and having an opportunity to share and chat about lovely paper!]
    Don't forget to get in touch with any of your projects whenever you begin your own altered book and collage journey, and feel free to share any of your steps along the way.
    As always ... thanks for keeping me company on our creative trip ... now I'll have to have a think about where we go to next!
    And, if you fancy some collage-supply inspiration then look no further than:
    ... the packs of 'Collage Scraps' you can grab from my shop:
    They're absolutely the kind of supplies I use in my own work [naturally ... as they some from my personal book collection and my work desk!] so if the style I've been sharing during this series is something you currently work in, or would like to try out, then these are perfect bundles of fresh scrappy intrigue for you!

    Likewise the good old 'Serendipity Packs' which contain all kinds of snippets and images form old books.

    Or there's the new[ish] 'Fabulous Figures':
    Which are ideal if you like to incorporate people / bodies / characters into your work.


    1. Ooh, love your pages! So lovely. 'Still turn to crafts after work even though my work is crafts': love it! [I, too, save the offcuts from book pages: you never know when they might come in handy!]...totally unrelated note, but your pages made me think of this (don't know why)...have you read 'The signature of all things' (Elizabeth Gilbert)....I'm just reading it now (hooked) and think you may enjoy it too....

    2. I am very late in catching up (and thank-you for the mention!), and I love these ideas for adding text and type. I do write longhand and tuck it into my little envelopes already, but am kicking myself for not holding onto all those blank front pages - what was I thinking! Well, clearly, I wasn't. Anther brilliant series, Julie. Every time I visit your blog, I just want to rush off and find some glue and scissors ...


    Thanks for leaving me a comment, asking me a question, sharing your own story or just randomly saying hello.