Kim Lucas Designs ~ Infused Creativity

Kim Lucas Designs  ~ Infused Creativity
Mixed Media and Creative Artist & Photographer

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Altered Envelope Swap Becomes a Handmade Journal

Once upon a time in a swap group not so far away, I signed up for an altered envelope swap. This was 4-6 envelopes, depending on size, that are decorated and sent to your partner. They in return send you the same number of altered (arted, painted, collaged, changed in some way by artistic techniques) envelopes. My amazing partner Kathy Cote sent me 5 of the 5x7 manilla envelopes with the most amazing art in a vintage style of blues and coppers that I fell in LOVE with on sight.

I loved these envelopes so much, I decided I had to keep them and incorporate them into my art somehow. But how? I wanted them to be displayed where I could see them and use them and admire them. Not long after I created a signature for each of the envelopes and these beauties became a handmade journal.

First I must show off the 5 envelopes as stand alone pieces of art. In they order they appear in my journal are the following:

   Front Cover and 1st Signature                        

 2nd Signature                  
3rd Signature                                     

4th Signature

    Back Cover

Each envelope is opened so the flap closes down over the first page of manilla cardstock.  Each signature is made of one of the envelopes, one sheet of manilla cardstock, and one piece of mixed media watercolor paper in the center. Each is sewn down the center with a sewing machine straight stitch. To get the envelopes to be sewn to the signatures, the machine stitch is sewn over one long edge of the envelope making the opening 1/4 in smaller at the top, but still functional as a pocket.

Both pictures are showing the stitched signatures and the folded manilla with the envelope flap still able to open as a pocket.

Once all of the 4 signatures were sewn, I couldn't decide how to bind them. I wanted to preserve all of the details and have a book that would lay open. I hand stitched sewing thread in a zig zag pattern through all of the signatures. Following this I used a multicolored embroidery threat up the center of each signature. I used one long string on each and tied each at the top to create a fun tassel.

From there it is up to you what to put inside. I glued this galaxy 5x7 playing card art I made into the cover page inside and used the "live creatively" tag I also made on the opposite side. A fun tutorial for another day..washi tape as ribbon. 

One final touch I used a similarly colored piece of ribbon (aka the small colored scarf from the goodwill bin) as a tie around the entire journal. More texture, more color, more yum!

This couldn't have turned out any better than this. I just love it to pieces! Thanks for visiting my page and if there are any questions about making this book, comment below, and I'd be glad to help you out!


Thoughts and feedback welcome here!

Am I an Artist?

Yes. The answer is definitely YES! I have been creating artistically whether it be with a paintbrush and canvas, film and camera, or pencil ...