Friday, January 25, 2013

B- Book of Shadows Parts

Draftsman's tape is my best friend.
The Table of Contents of my BOS will not be compete until I have written on the last page. I add to it each time I have added a section and put the page number beside it.  I number the pages about 10 at a time (front only) and as I fill them I try to leave room for later additions. I will have places where I put the same category of information in two parts of the book, or in two books, no doubt. Spells will keep happening and I will record the most basic and the more elaborate along with the results.
Each entry goes in nice and straight
 thanks to the movable draftsman's tape
across the bottom.
 I record the basic ones because I look at this book as a record to succeed me for the next generation and the most elaborate because I have often not tried them before and I want to make a record and notes later.

To keep my writing nice and straight on pages where I think it is important, like this one, I use a guide of draftsman's tape along the bottom as a guide. It is white in the picture. I also took a piece of tape and marked it with writing guidelines and stuck it down the side of the page. I moved it over to the far left in the picture above, but it usually is at the margin of the contents page. Just keeping your eye on the spacing makes a big difference in how neatly you write.
Sneaky little post-it behind a page with pressed field flowers.
The flowers are awaiting a love spell worthy of them.

One other trick for writing neatly is to put VERY bold lines on a post it and stick it behind the page. You can barely see the lines but in a good light it is enough to guide me to neatnes. I like the post it because you can tilt it any way you like so you have angled lines, but not ones that look drunk. Although the curvy drunken lines have design possibilities too- I save them for my regular Art Journal.

Two little tabs at the back of this heart make the hinges. When its down, you can't see the intent statement, just the charm.
When I record a spell working or a charm I often put a little flap of something beautiful on top of part of the information. So, the picture shows you the record of the charm and spell parts, but the actual spell was cast long ago and the amulet and charm were made of materials I could deliver. It is on one of the pages in the LOVE section, so the title of the section is right above them. This page just inspires me with love and I often open to it when I am working with love and commitment.

For more flaps, look back to the top of the page opposite the contents table for the watercolor leaf flap and this little darling made of vellum leaf shapes. It is tricky to get the picture, but you can see that the vellum layer has bold writing and is attached with leaf hinges cut out of the same paper. Underneath, there is a drawn  leaf shape and intent statement in fine pen.  It's it the Plants section, which is different from the Herbs section in my book.

Napping with scissors.

Probably one of my favorite sections is the Crystals section and it is one of the simplest! I put a handful of my smaller working crystals onto a digital copier and spent a day of self pampering ( at the end of a cold) drinking tea in bed and cutting them out and writing a little correspondence info for each one. I glued them with the nifty glue pen and had a great time.
Can't you picture me in pajamas, balancing tea, with a bed full of  scissors, paper snips and sharp stones? Comfy!
I originally planned to color them, but I know the colors and I love the look of the graphic black, white & gray page.

The material I use to attach things with bulk or things that can't be stuck with glue is simple paper! I just make some very snug carriers, glue them down and slide the item in. Have you tried to glue a feather and still have it look good? It can't be done, they shed everything (which is why, I'm guessing, birds are not flying around with crumbs and suet and dust and leaves stuck all over them).

The glue, tape and other tools I use are not very exotic, except for the special PVA bookmaking glue from Paper Source. It is very dry and quick- so the page doesn't buckle as its painted on and you can glue it from one edge completely to the other. Rubber cement is the same way if you use it sparingly. I love the Scotch glue pen (probably from the scrapbook section although I don't keep a scrapbook of the family record kind) because it has a sponge at one end and a little tip at the other. Precise.

The tapes are drafting tape and double sided tape. I seldom use regular desk tape in my BOS.

I try to keep my paper stash small. I am only partly successful.
 I fear what would happen if I went into the scrapbook aisle.
I saved the bast for last- PAPER!  Any paper is fair game for a decoration in an Art Journal but the papers for my BOS run to two groups: functional and dull or unusual and limited. Below are both: a little envelope for carrying a poppet, charm or sigil and paper strips offcut from some flash cards I made this week for a student. They can become terrific things or be used to patch, hinge or tie down something more interesting. The brown handmade journal on the bottom is really one text block of a larger journal I made, but this one was damaged so it has been demoted to the paper box to be cut up.

Since some of my studies and work are of the local Pennsylvania German folk magic I have manuscript sized pages copied from a local 19th C German language newspaper which I have distressed with all manner of things. Some of it I use for book covers and some has been cut up for borders, sigils and other work. Lots of the ads on the back are for herbal cures of the time, dowsers and other services done with energy. (I interview people which is easier to do than you would think- ("aunts and parents"- they will seldom admit to using folk magic themselves even though they report activities and traditions to me that clearly ARE folk work. I find that many of the traditions of people I meet have not changed that much from what I read in the few 19th C texts published around here in German and translated).

The rare papers are personal to me- paper from Nepal that my Dad brought me after he returned from living in an orphanage in Nepal run by Curry without Worry. He was teaching higher math there. The blue vellum paper is probably the only commercial scrapbook paper- also from a family member and I am a sucker for see through layers!

The plain journals from Moleskine come with a pocket in the back. In there I keep vellum envelopes (I crinkled one to see how it would look and I think It will look great holding something dark!). I can glue them into the book or use them to hold something I will later burn. A business card for a really good Occult shop I visited and some notes to add to the journal later. Last, there is a little strip of paper from the same journal paper just to cut up and make a patch when my ink goes blob or my head can't spell. Which is pretty regularly.


  1. Thank you for sharing your BOS! I wrote about my book last week. I love seeing what people decide to include in their books and all the creative ways to decorate them.

    1. I liked your post last week. I am always curious about other people's methods too.

  2. You have given me some great ideas about how to get something more comprehensive together of my own. Awesome. The care you have taken really shows. I love the handwriting! It speaks so clearly of a voice. This was a useful post and a pretty one too!

    1. Yikes! Comprehensive! Such a big idea.
      I did have a little list of things gleaned form all the random BOS records I had before. I kept this list in the back pocket for a few months to make sure I would have a good foundation of topics near the front where I could look them up easily.
      It helped me to work on it steadily when I began to think of the BOS work as magical working and not just record keeping.
      Thank you so much for commenting. It's making me glow.

  3. WOW - Wondering how you add a journaling aspect to this - this is one of the reasons mine is not comprehensive.

    1. I think the main difference would be leaving room to include your own personal experience or observation in addition to facts like correspondences and history. For example, a recipe for moon cakes is good, but a comment about how you used them for _________ ritual with _________ visitors and you asked the goddess for help with __________ would include a journal component.
      OR: A comment that I always keep a split garnet and double terminated Tibetan quartz in my prayer necklace since the time I was separated from my love and REALLY missed him, which didn't used to happen when we were first together.

  4. Your BOS is quite lovely! I like what you've included, very creative!

  5. this is very beautiful. i love how personal and creative you've mad your BOS mine seems so plain now.

  6. Thank you all so much for the compliments!
    Oh no DON'T be discouraged by something pretty! First, you can be sure I took the pictures of the least plain things! Second- pick up a pencil a draw a spiral in the margin of a page and begin to make your own book a little fancier if that appeals to you!
    I often flip through in the evening and add little dodads to plain pages long after I have written on them!
    More important is that you made it and look through it! That is the real point of a BOS!

  7. I love love your BOS! it is one of the best I have seen. it doesn't look like one that is made to never be used. know what I mean? I love it! thanks for sharing!

  8. we should hang out and work on our BOS :) I love working on mine in Pj's surrounded by random papers and dried herbs that should go in it :)

    1. We should totally hang out! Do we even live near one another? Maybe one of us can get one of those Great Glass Elevators!
      What if we come up with some kind of back and forth challenge?


Of course I want to hear what you think!