Sunday, 12 June 2011

Spellcraft 101 - Book of Old Soulls

Its time to break out the fun stuff guys! Magick User's University is all about interesting crafts that can be useful during your travel through the world of Magick. Today, we're going to focus on a project of making the Book of Old Soulls today in Spellcraft 101.

+ So what is the Book of Old Soulls?
While the title is cute and all, it is more of a reflection as to the nature of the project itself. While I have a really nice, huge hardcover Book of Shadows, I reserve it to write down spells that have worked, to make a gorgeous copy of it and then I can pull out the book when its complete, and the spells will be in there, nice and orderly for me. However, of course I'm always trying to make new spells, and taking notes on things I learned, so I wanted something I wouldn't feel bad scribbling inside of. Of course, even though it was going to just be “scribbled inside of”, I still wanted it to look nice—but not only nice. Archaic. Ancient. Old. I don't care for “new” or “modern” looking things, and my friends always call me an old soul. So, hence the title. (And of course, the  play on my name, Soull, har har.) After scouring plenty of bookstores, new and used, for the perfect journal, I couldn't find anything. Why? The lines! I can't stand lined journals! So, I decided after some deliberation, that I would make my own.

+ Book of Old Soulls +

This is a good how-to for taking a journal you like (say you adore the cover), and making it look old and well worn. If you wonder why you'd want to do that to a new book, think about why people make rips in jeans. There are always ways to vary the end design, but though trial and error, I've put the way that seemed to work best. Lets go!

It all begins with a little ingenuity!

+ Materials +
Blank Book
Sandpaper (or) Exacto-knife
Black Tea (such as English Breakfast)
Plate (or) Towel

If you're not interested in making a sort of “scratch paper” book like me, this could also work for a diary, your own personal Book of Shadows, or even if you want it for another paper project, you can do this to separate sheets. This is pretty much just one step short of going all out and making your own book... which I considered until I realized how much I detest leather-work.

The instructions may seem a little difficult, but this is in case two different scenarios play out, depending on the book you've selected. If you're only dying sheets of paper and don't have a whole book, you can skip step one.

+ One: This is the fun part: selecting your book! Find a nice book, and make sure you're happy with the cover. I can't tell you what kind of book to get on this one; this is all about your personal tastes and originality. If you're trying to go for an “old” look, I suggest leather/faux leather, or at the very least, the colors black, brown, red, and dark green. Earthy colors work the best!

Once you've decided on your book, open it up and check out the binding. Has it been sewn into the spine of the cover? Or has it been glued? If its been sewn in, great! It won't fall out of its bindings during the dying process. If its glued, you're in for a rocky time like I was. Take the time to removed the spine. Glue isn't that tough, so you might be able to rip it out, or, of the book is bound in cloth or a paper cover like mine, you can dip the spine in hot water, and wiggle it out. Once you do that, you can continue on.

+ Two: Take your chosen book and take a glimpse at the pages. This part is optional, but I feel it gives a more used look to your book. Take some sandpaper, or an exacto-knife, and start scraping at the edges of the book, like so.

Move the sandpaper the opposite direction of the spine to the edges, going against the grain of the paper. Choose random spots on the edges of the page, sometimes rubbing longer against it than other times. Doing so will make a deeper divot into the page.

Looking good so far! Those black grains are the sandpaper I used. If you have those on your book, you can blow them off after.

+ Three: Once the egdes are done, its time to do the other pages! Open up the book, and from there, stares scraping the sandpaper in multiple directions over the page. It would be too time consuming to do every page, but go through and every few pages, mark on them in the sandpaper.

It can be one long scrape, or just scraping at the corners, the middle... have fun! Sure, at the moment you might not really see a difference, but that happens when you dye it! Keep it up until you've done all the pages you want.

+ Four: Bust out a large pot ( large enough to fit your book) and some tea, and get to boiling it! Alternatively, boiling tea and then pouring it in a large pan or dutch oven

Double, Bubble, Toil and Trouble! That about sums this project up.

Make sure the tea is brown, before plucking out the bags. If you're using loose leaf tea, make sure to keep it in one of those cute straining balls so the leaves are not all over the place!

+ Five: Time for the long part! This will take awhile so make sure you have plenty of time on your hands. Take a small section of pages and dip the book (or separated pages) into the pot, submerging slowly. Try not to dip it all the way to the top where the binding is, lest the thread and glue holding it together unravel or melt due to the hot tea!

Unfortunately, no matter how many times you dip, the middle pages will not get wet if you try and just submerge it all at once. You'll have to dip it in sections like instructed! Believe me! I tried it, and it didn't work.

+ Six: To get into the edges nearest the base, take a spoon, scoop up the tea, and gently pour it along the edge, allowing tea to slide down the page and back into the pot! If your pot is big enough, you might not have to do this, but mine didn't quite fit the book so I had to make do.

Be careful not to get it all over your cabinets!

+ Seven: During step five and six, you might want to set the book down on a plate or towel to rest for a bit. Too much water/tea will make your pages fragile and subject to tearing. Give them a few minutes or so after submerging (or when you fee they might tear), and during that time do something else, such as read a book or even surf the net. Go back and repeat until your pages are a bit darker than you want them to be; once they dry, they'll be lighter!

+ Eight: When you're all done, take it outside and lay it out to dry! Outside, fresh air does better, plus it keeps the smell of the tea out of the house while it dries. It smells a little strange, and the indoor air doesn't dry it nearly as fast.

It might take a few days, but the end result will be great! Now its free for you to use in whatever means you desire!

And there you have it! Another course in Magick User's University, Spellcraft 101. Hope you join us in class again soon!

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