Paper Crafters Dictionary

Welcome to the middle of October.  I hope all your Halloween plans are beginning to come to fruition because the big day is right around the corner!

For me, this month has been lurching along and has totally deviated from how past Octobers usually go.  I feel like I’ve been knocked into an elliptical orbit and I’m struggling to find my “normal”.  Of course, now is when my creative muse decided to take a vacation as well.  Crap.

After trying (and failing) at starting a number of new projects I gave up and spent a day cleaning up my craft room.  This mundane exercise saved the day.  On a high shelf, gathering dust, I came across a partially completed project.  I rarely do this – not finish something that I started – but this piece is a book.  Actually, it’s a dictionary.

There’s two pages for each letter of the alphabet so I have 26 separate projects within this project.  Plus, there’s the front and back covers – that’s a lot of artistic ideas packed into one compilation.

It’s been so long now, (years truthfully) since I started this piece I can’t even remember where I came across the idea, but as soon as I pulled it down off the shelf I became interested in it again.


As I went through the pages looking at the letters that I had already finished, I realized how much fun I’ve had with this project.  This imaginative car picture was the first entry – ‘Imagination’ – that I made in my ‘dictionary’.


I didn’t set very many rules for this project:  each letter must have a word and it’s definition per (a) dictionary.  This one is ‘Drop’.  The definition covers one whole side and the picture is just a print of one I’d seen and liked with a few simple mats added.


While others like ‘Vision Quest’ took a lot more work.

But I kind of jumped right in here – let’s back up to the beginning construction steps.

I started with thin sheets of chipboard that were 11″ x 8½”.  Then I made two cuts per sheet which left me with four pieces at 5½” x 4¼”.  I made 28 pages – for 26 alphabet letters and two cover pages.  I then punched holes where I wanted to run a couple of ring clips to hold my book together – about an inch from each edge top and bottom.


I don’t like the look of bright metal on my work and one of my favorite ways to get around that is Rust-oleum Hammered Spray Paint.  I especially like the Hammered Bronze color.




I wrote letters on each page, two per letter, and included my covers and then I punched holes through all the pages.  Next step was adding the ring clips putting the hinge of the clips to the back or what might be considered the spine of the book.


And then I just started covering pages.  Sometimes it’s a picture that starts the project, other times it’s a word that makes my imagination spark.


When I’m ready to work on a letter, I open the rings and pull both pages for that letter out from the book.  I start on some type of decorative craft paper for each letter, once I’m finished I will glue those two pages to the ‘book’ chipboard pages.  This makes the book very sturdy and why I wasn’t concerned using only a thin chipboard to start with.


I chose a dictionary format with no other stipulations beyond that.  But you could do this as just an alphabet book or a dictionary specifically for persons, places, etc.  There’s really an unlimited possibility of formats here.


I mentioned early that I started this years ago.  Now maybe there’s folks out there who can sit down and do 26 + individual mini projects back to back – but I ain’t one of ’em.


As I recall, I covered about eight or nine pages when I first started this thing and then who knows – I got sucked into to something else or got bored.


But this piece has come out more that once when my muse moseyed.  And for me, crafting, creating is what makes a hectic, somewhat dark world find some light and order again.  You could say I need to be creating and crafting.


I’m half way through this dictionary piece.  Maybe this time I’ll make a sizable dent and knock out three or four more letters – we’ll see.

Here’s to the ‘art’ of hanging in there.

Anybody seen my muse? – Kriss


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