The MCBA Visual Journal Collective’s Box of Journal Bits Exchange

November 25, 2011

The above video shows participants and friends painting boxes at Monday Night's meeting. If the above video doesn't play, check it out on YouTube.

If you don't follow me on Twitter (I rarely tweet) and you aren't a friend on FaceBook (I'm rarely there and now they don't automatically update notices about my blog posts, grrrr) then you might not have seen the short (2 minute long) video I made of Monday's meeting when 16 artists got together to exchange "journal bits"—bits of art (prints, zines, calendars, small books, etc.) that had their origins in the creator's journal.

I recommend that you go and check out The Journal Bits Exchange now.

Today I wanted to post a little bit more about the project and so I created the second video you see in this post. We began our meeting with our short presentations about our projects. We spent about 30 minutes sharing our work, maybe longer (I am making a full length video of what everyone said to include in the library copy of our project, but I haven't added the times together yet).

The next order of business was to paint boxes to store our sets in. The group had voted to go for an inexpensive white corrugated cardboard literature box that was about 6 x 9 x 3 inches. This kept costs for the project down, and allowed people to focus on what they wanted to do for their actual edition. But not everyone likes a plain white box so I thought it would be good to have the option of painting the boxes. We did this with rubberstamp pads and acrylic inks (mostly Golden Fluid and Lumiere).

I like Lumiere acrylic paints because they dry quickly and are so sparkly. They look great on dark book cloth if you want to cover a book with paint (and sometimes you do). If you do try this yourself—painting on boxes like this or on books (which I've written about elsewhere on the blog) you want to use a dry brush, and if you rinse that brush to then add another color be sure to squeeze all the moisture out of it that you can, before you dip it into the paint. Too much moisture and the box (or book) will be ruined by seepage.

The video will show you how people all went in their own direction with decoration. Each participant was given a set of 4 labels with the project name, so that they could glue those onto the box later.

After the painting was finished we broke a new record—finishing before 9 p.m. (our stated end time). About a dozen of us stayed to chat, sitting around a table showing our recent journal work and discussing book arts. Some of us actually stayed past 9 p.m. (as usual).

Note: One More Boxed Set Remains for Sale
The group made 20 pieces for their "editions" and some artists dropped out at the last moment. One set was always earmarked for the MCBA library. Three sets remained. Just as with our zine exchange any extra copies were to be sold to raise money for MCBA.

I'm pleased to annouce that two of the sets sold that night to other Collective members in attendance (who didn't participate in the exchange). The group had voted on a price of $32.00 for the set (which is quite a deal when you consider the wondrous contents—but we also wanted the boxes to sell…)

One box of "Journal Bits" remains. It contains contributions from 16 artists. The box is unpainted but the project labels have already been attached. I thought I would offer it on the blog to give far flung journal artists a chance to purchase it, since there would be no chance that they could get to MCBA for that. You can see what the box contains by watching the Journal Bits Exchange video on YouTube.

If you would like to purchase the remaining set please write in to the blog in the comments section. I don't know how much interest there will be (sometimes such sets are most valuable to the participants) but if you are a zine or book arts collector I think you'll find there are fun things here that will make you happy. And maybe even inspire you to start your own exchange.

If there is more than one person who wants the box I'll put names in a hat and draw to see who gets to purchase it. The cost will be $32.00 (for the set; check made out to MCBA) plus a $10.40 check to cover priority post and confirmation and insurance made out to me, as I'll be the person taking it in. (Sorry I have no idea what it would cost to send it overseas, it you want to buy the set and are overseas I'll discuss it, but I think it would be prohibitive. I only know what it costs to send it in the U.S. because I sent one to an out of town participant on Tuesday.)

Not only will you be receiving some fun artwork, but you'll be helping to support an organization that does great things for a wide community every day. I'll wait until Monday, November 28, 2011 at 5 p.m. to check the emails to see if we need to have a drawing. If it doesn't sell it will go over to the shop—speaking of which, if you're local and want to buy it I can leave it at MCBA's shop for you. It won't be on display or shop worn, just waiting under the counter for you, and you'll save the postage cost. (The $32.00 includes local and state taxes because none of us could do math on Monday night.) 

Update: Karen (from the comments below) purchased the box of journal bits so all the extra boxes have been sold. Thank you to everyone who made this project a success!

    • karen
    • November 25, 2011

    Hi Roz –
    I’d like to buy one of the journal bits boxes! Sounds like it would be a blast to open it, and since I’ve been taking a class in the handmade book (almost over now), it dovetails nicely with stuff I’ve been thinking about.

    • Joyce
    • November 25, 2011

    I would like the opportunity to buy this gem of a collection too! As a fledging book artist/journaler, regular reader of your instructive entertaining blog, I would treasure receiving “good mail” from you. Indeed that would be exciting. Please put my name in the hat.

    • LizzieBo
    • November 25, 2011

    Put my name in the hat! I am still plugging away here on my own with paint and pen and paper. I would love to see some people’s work up close! Thanks so much for offering the chance, and if I don’t win, congratulations to the lucky person who does. It will be a treat for whomever gets it!

    • Kat
    • November 25, 2011

    i would like a chance to win! thank you for the opportunity!

  1. Reply

    Joyce, LizzieBo, and Kat, thank you all for asking to be in the drawing to purchase this edition of journal bits. Karen won the drawing and family events kept interrupting me, causing me to forget posting about this resolution.

    I hope that the next time we do something like this you will all consider participating long distance so that you can get a set simply for postage. Watch for the Journal Collective meeting announcements.

    I hope you all have a great 2012, filled with journaling.

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