Monday, October 22, 2012

River Song Journal

My River Song journal is almost done - right now the cover is finishing drying, then I will reattach it to the pages, and then I can scribble in it as I see fit. After some thought and some help from this great link on Tardis Builders, I came up with a good concept for how to make my own River Song journal.

I started with a trip to Hobby Lobby where I found this plain journal for $8. I removed the ribbon marker and the elastic strap in preparation for aging the pages. 

In case you don't know, tea is a great way of antiquing book pages. I made a bowl of strong tea and carefully dipped the pages into it, making sure not to get tea on the cover.

In the process, the glue binding the pages to the cover weakened and I ended up removing the cover. In retrospect, I should have loosened the cover first because it would have made it much easier to soak the pages. As it was, I had a difficult juggling process getting the pages wet and keeping the cover dry.

When the pages were wet, I did some distressing along the edges to wear them. I also took a wet teabag and daubed different pages to emphasize stains and discolorations due to long use.

When it was done, I propped the book up like this so that the pages would warp as they dry. Periodically I ruffled through the pages to separate them out and speed up the drying process. I wet the pages Saturday and by Monday the book was mainly dry, but it still needs a little more drying.

At this point, I removed the cover of River Song's journal so that I could prepare it. To make the embellishing, I bought a sheet of 88 cent foam board that was sticky on one side.

Using a ruler and my imagination, I created a template for my Tardis box and drew it on a sheet of white paper (the link to Tardis Builders has a printable template, but I created my own). I carefully cut out the template, and then glued it to the backside of the Silly Winks foam board.

Then I took a ruler and a sharp box cutter and cut all the pieces out. A ruler is advisable because you can slide the box cutter along it and make clean corners - the Tardis box is all angles and edges, so you don't need to worry about circles or curves. 

When the pieces were cut out, I carefully attached them to the journal, sticky side down, to create the outside cover details. 

Painting was next! The Winton Oil Colour Prussian Blue I had originally picked was too dark, so I blended it with a soft white until I had the Tardis color I wanted. I gave the cover one coat of paint. After letting it sit for several hours, I gave it two coats of Krylon Crystal Clear acrylic coating last night. 

Checking this morning, I saw that my River Song journal was still a bit tacky: I recommend waiting a full 24 hour period after painting to let the paint fully dry before adding the acrylic, but hopefully by tomorrow morning, both the cover and pages will be done. Then I can glue the pages back to the cover, and my River Song journal will be ready for writing! My plan is to have people at different steampunk conventions write in the journal so I can keep a creative log of the steampunk cons I have attended. 

On the writing front, Steam on the Horizon is plugging away - I last left the Horizon flying overland with the aether flyer Horus through a war zone to deliver a passel of Enfield Pattern 1853 rifle-muskets to the British ground troops. These particular weapons were used during the Crimean War and marked a change from the old smoothbore rifles to a rifling weapon that had much better range and accuracy. 

So, do you want a free copy of Steam on the Horizon? I now have a new fundraising campaign underway at Indiegogo that has even better rewards than my Kickstarter campaign. You can win some great prizes on Indiegogo, so please check out my link and contribute to the writing of my Airship Trilogy. 

I'll post a final image of my River Song journal once it is completed. More River Song fun to come!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Whenever I cosplay River Song, I have people write random things inside the journal. So far I have a nice collection of ramblings to read.