Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The 'Back and Forth' Book

One of the treasures I had stashed away in the box of bargains was a simple exercise book (or composition book, if you prefer!)  Not exactly an amazing bargain, but I had bought it with a specific project in mind.  I wanted to use it as a 'back and forth' book for our son Hayden, in an attempt to encourage him with his writing.  Now if you know Hayden you know he doesn't lack good topics to talk about, or the words to do it (and he can do it for a loooong time!)  When it comes to writing though he is not so keen.  Why write it when you can just say it?!  I figured anything is better than nothing though, and a book for him to write whatever he wants for us to read, and for us to write back to him, might be worth a try (and hopefully wouldn't feel too much like homework!)

We could have just used the exercise book as it was, but I think that if it looks kind of special, then he might take it more seriously, and even treasure it a bit more.  I am pleased to say the effort was worth it - he thinks it is pretty cool, and the other kids are lining up now to get their own (I might have to check what else I can find in that bargain box!)  I didn't take a before photo - I am sure you can picture it in all it's 'ready for school work' glory.  Here is the after photo - and not a hint of school to be seen:
At first I was planning to use the Baja Blue patterned papers, but when I went to get them from the box I saw this spotty paper from the Urban Oasis pack, and changed my mind. I am so glad I did.  I think the baja papers might have looked a bit too baby boy, while this combo looks much better suited to a newly turned 10 year old.

Being stingy, I wanted to use just one sheet of paper to cover the front and the back of the book.  Of course, it wasn't going to be wide enough, so I used some narrow strips of 'going gray' and a kraft spine to hide the gaps.  I added some double rectangle punching to the edge of the kraft card, to let the gray show through, and add a little interest, without getting all girly.

The 'To you, from me' bit was done using the long retired (but not forgotten!) Newsprint Alphabet stamp set, with kiwi kiss ink.  I matted it on gray and kraft, and added a few linen thread stitches to fancy it up a bit. I also added a touch of twill tape, to match the piece that attaches to the spine, that will be used to mark our place in the book.  Love those built in book marks!
I finished it up with a few circle embellishments.  The Wild West Alphabet 'H' was punched then matted on a 1 3/4" circle of kraft card that fitted perfectly in the aluminum metal edged tag.  I added a couple of circle and star designer brads next to that and three plain little silver brads at the top of the kraft spine.

Inside the book I kept it pretty simple - after all, writing is supposed to fill that bit up!  I couldn't resist adding a little bit of encouragement and inspiration though, so searched my stamp sets for appropriate stamps, cut them out and attached them to random pages throughout the book.

And there was one last embellishment added to the back cover (so not quite so obvious) - a little bit of icky 'Mum loves you' stuff!

So far, so good with the back and forth book.
Not too homework feeling at all!

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