Behind the pages {Exacompta: The next journal}

Scanned Image 100040000I started a new journal for 2010.  Which also means that I finally broke into a box that I received weeks ago from Karen at Exaclair.  I was delighted to find an Exacompta Basic Sketchbook in the more than generous box full of goodies.  {I was expecting one journal and ended up with several notebooks!}

At first glance, the gold edge on the pages and the yummy paper made me think of a traditional sketchbook, but then I remembered this review from Biffybeans over at Spiritual Evolution of the Bean and thought I’d use the notebook for my Life-catcher/ARt Journal of 2010.

I’m a few pages in and am thinking that I may end up tearing out every 10th page or so to make room for my fat, curling pages.  {Usually the pages that need to come out reveal themselves in the way the book falls.}  I knew from The Bean Blog that the pages would take more water-based media than appearance indicated so I pushed a little further.  I used several of my favorite techniques to see how far I could go with the pages.  Here’s what I found:

DSC_3531-3* Tube Acrylics applied with a heavy hand and a palette knife:  Beautiful texture after scraping with knife {especially on the side of the page where the laid texture is more evident}  Page curled immediately, but once dry was easy to flatten with a heavy book overnight.  Could easily add a couple more layers of paint

DSC_3499-1* Mod Podge:  Using lots of glue or mod podge is definitely at the end of the amount of wet the pages can handle.  I added some tissue paper layers and put a hole in the page when I went back to sand some bubbles & bumps.  {Moleskine sketchbook pages are still at the top of my list for handling this type of treatment.}  The hole was easy to cover up with another piece of tissue, so I don’t anticipate that those types of accidents will keep me from continuing to experiment & glue things in the book.

Scanned Image 100040002* Embossing:  Paper initially curled under heat gun and did start to show a little bit of burn when I held the gun in one place for too long, but the page responded well to being under a dictionary overnight.  Also, heat passes through to the other side pretty quickly so I did have to reattach some melted adhesive.

Scanned Image 100040001

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* Inking:  I like to use ink pads around the border of my pages and to stamp shapes that I can go back in and write text in.  Some of the stamped ink from a new, wet inkpad showed through the page. But it was easy to cover with subsequent page design.

I’m currently carrying fewer notebooks.  Which means reconciling the Chaotic Artist with the Sort-and-classify Scientist.  So far this notebook has beautifully handled my moving back & forth between art pages and life pages.  {are they really all that different?}  In addition to gluing and painting, I can easily see myself writing a list or making a diary entry in pen & then moving on to a pencil sketch.

Incidentally,  this notebook came with beautiful green leather cover which I took off to manipulate the book.  The cardboard cover would easily lend itself to an altered cover, but since I plan on carrying it around I’m going to stick with the plain cover for now.  I’ll probably alter it at the end or start some Sharpie doodling… we’ll see.

For comparison, here’s a side shot of partially used 3.5″x5.5″ Picadilly {had to glue 2 or 3 pages together to create art pages}, the Exacompta & a partially used Moleskine sketchbook.

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I know that some people are jazzed by new beginnings.  I am actually a bit intimidated by them.  New notebooks {especially beautiful and/or expensive ones} can be tough for me to start. {Yes, I was that kid that stood by the side of the pool dipping her toe in, trying to decide…} But my inner child, like the real 9 year old me, has jumped in {going in slowly via the steps is just torture!} I’m splashing around with this elegant sketch book and can’t wait to create in it further.

An idea that is developed...

** This blog post is included in The Sixth Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper.  Cynthia over at Journaling Arts is this month’s host and has gathered links to beautiful journals, pens & inks and articles for those who love them.

By | 2016-10-19T14:20:40+00:00 January 4th, 2010|Behind the Pages, Journals|5 Comments

About the Author:

I create containers for words and paint and I fill them. I craft safe, sacred spaces for people to wrestle, create, heal and shout from the mountain tops.   And I teach people to do all of these things for themselves.
  • You know that photo on the embossed page is hanging in my house.

    • That was one wet, cold morning!! I had an extra copy and thought it matched this page. {I bet I didn’t sand the print I gave you! ;-)}

  • Pingback: The Sixth Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper « Journaling Arts()

  • Zom

    I love your combination of review and inspiration in this post. Beauty and science, is that you Betsy?

    • Zom, Thank you for the lovely comment. Yes, I am part scientist & part artist. Analyze. Sort. Classify. Envision. Fly. All great verbs!