4.4.12 ... handmade recycled paper art books


i have mentioned these before, but, as a refresher, i have something i have named my good things books. they are small. in them, i have a daily entry with three good things that happened that day. it is not a diary, but more of an art happy book. i include sketches and the entries are always in different colors and styles. so each day is individual. the entries are short and sweet. some days it is hard to come up with three good things, like on the day you had to say good bye to your beloved pet. but you can always find three small acts of happiness and when you look back over these little books, you will see your life in a nutshell, but with a positive spin. it is truly something and i cannot recommend this habit too highly. the idea for these books came to me because i had saved a newspaper article from the 1980s and the gist of it was: what would you do if you could do anything you wanted if you knew you had three days to live? and then it posed the question: what are you waiting for? you should spend each day as if you only have three days to live and you will live a life better suited to you and your happiness. 

life is shorter than you think.

anyway --- i used to hunt down small, pretty journal style books with unlined paper. and these are ridiculously vanquished all of a sudden over the past few years. plus, the handful i manage to find are overpriced and made in china which defies the purpose of my books as they are good thing themed and i do not find china produced paper products in my life to be a good thing. so i started making my own. at first i made groovy covers with plain white paper (recycled, naturally) inside. but then i started mixing up the papers and adding touches from discarded library books and whatever. and when i write in them i write around the images and type. it is a lot of fun. very inspirational. and, of course, the feeling you get from creating your very own book makes it more of a good things book than it already is. here is my latest along with scout's version - a personal sketch book. i hope these will bring you some inspiration and you will join the daily good things habit along with me. 

life is hard. it helps. a lot.


my miniature abe helps prop open my book for you.


a sample page with three days of my good things.


i have a vintage map of los angeles. i found it years ago and i love it. it is tattered and worn and i sometimes use it as background in my etsy shop photos. since we are new here, i decided to make a copy of the section where we live and use it as a cover. i used my textured card stock and love the effect. by the way, whenever you see new paper in my creations - which is rare - it is because i found it in a thrift store or fine paper wholesale store in the ridiculously marked down bin because it is the last ream they have type of thing. hence, the rarity. but i do love those finds. this beautiful white paper is one of them.


sometimes i use pretty magazine clippings.


i often use discarded library book images.


scout has this thrift found music notation book with awesome quotes. i added the 'button' - an image from a french magazine i have had for over 15 years.


the last page and inside back cover.


now we start to spy scout's book.


here is her cover. 
she used a piece of artwork i had saved. she was 3 years old. inside the cover is another watercolor. she laminated these together. the pigeons are from a magazine. i clipped this years ago. she LOVES pigeons. so she had to add that. isn't this a brilliant cover design?


scout is now designing and producing one-of-a-kind art journal books based on this one. she will be offering them in her etsy shop, seventeenagain.etsy.com so be sure to throw an eye.


this is the back cover. you can see that her pages are eclectic also.


and there you have it. a little bit of life from our world to yours.


thanks for stopping by. until next time. happiness to you. from me. with heart. 

ox joon