I've been posting images from this series of journals cards for the past couple of weeks. I thought you would enjoy how I bound them all up.
I wanted to practice on Stonehenge paper because I knew I would be working on it at Paws on Grand on August 1. I purchased two 8 x 8 inch square Stonehenge pads because I didn't want to bother cutting things down, and wanted a stiff board as a backing when sketching.
I took one pad at a time out and about with me, to the zoo and to draw dogs. I quite coincidentally ended up using two full pads so there are 30 cards.
One of those cards is the title card. You can see it poking out of the inner case (blue Fabriano Tiziano). For the title page I set some type in QuarkXpress and printed it out on archival paper, ran it through the Xyron with archival adhesive, trimmed the piece, and affixed it to the card.
My regular journal didn't get much action in the month of July for a host of reasons, but these cards were stamped with page numbers, indexed, and included as volume H of this year's journal stream.
The outer case is made of 140 lb Fabriano Artistico cold press watercolor paper. I prepainted the entire sheet with Golden Fluid Acrylics. There are thumbcuts in the fore edge side of the case to make grasping the inner case simple. These were made with a circle punch, only using half of it.
Right: Photo showing how the inner sleeve fits into the outer case. At A you can see I have stamped the volume number (H10) on the spine, which will be visible when the case sits on the shelf. I used a white Brilliance stamp pad. At B you can see the thumbcut on this side of the outer case.
Actually these papers were selected because they were on hand in the studio, left over from other projects. I had an hour between a meeting and an appointment so I returned home and used the time to make this case and knock another item off the to-do list.
Having some "standard" useful items like a few colored papers on hand, and saving your scraps (the watercolor paper was used as decorative paper for covering a couple books) you'll be able to pull together a simple and easy way to organize what I call an unbound journal.
If you have more time and a different range of items in your studio you might elect to make a fabric case for your unbound journal or paint and decorate a box to hold the cards which make up an unbound journal. For my 2003 Minnesota State Fair Journal I constructed a box using birch wood from a model shop, with wooden doll heads for feet and lid handle. I painted the box to match the existing cards.
Of course an even simpler approach is to take an envelope that can contain all the cards and stamp and decorate the envelope (or file folder) and use it to contain those journal cards.
Don't let the shell become more important or more intimidating than the contents. Remember—it's about journaling. The container can be as simple as a clear plastic bag through which you can see the title card. And you might store these in a file cabinet or drawer instead of your shelf.