Sunday, January 08, 2006

journal cover finish frustrations!

i recently made a composition journal as a gift for my significant other and it chronicled from our first date thru our relationship. i wanted to make the book look really classy from the outside -- not just a mottled comp book cover. it also had to look attractive to a man -- so no foo-foo stuff.

i covered it w/ several layers of burgundy tissue paper (applied w/ mod podge) on the inside and outside of the front and back covers. after getting the cover dark like i wanted it, i wanted some design to it as well. couldn't find any patterned tissue that i liked when shopping, so went home and pulled out some paisley christmas tissue that was dark green, dark red, and gold in a really pretty, elegant pattern. i put a layer of that christmas tissue next, wrapping it around in one continuous sheet from inside front cover to around front to around bent spine to around back cover to across inside back cover.

then i did a layer of the burgundy tissue paper in that same fashion over the paisley. i was SO relieved b/c i thought i was almost done, but boy was i wrong!!! i did a couple coats of mod podge over the tissue to serve as the protectant, and it had a nice glossy look to it. unfortunately, it stayed tacky to the touch and stuck to other things it touched or the book pages if i closed the book. next i sprayed it w/ matte spray finish, but i didn't like the matte look on the book as it just looked dull (although it did dry instead of remaining tacky!). i tried glossy spray finish, but i wasn't happy w/ that look either.

at this point, i was getting really irritated w/ myself b/c i was afraid that i was going to ruin the book or the contents by trying to get the cover to look the perfect way that i thought it should. i tried the matte spray finish again, hoping i would like the results better this time. guess what -- i still didn't like it.

after letting it set a couple days, i remembered someone on an altered book list talking about how they used future floor wax to seal their projects b/c of the protection if offered. if it was strong enough to protect a floor that was walked on, it should be strong enough to protect a cardboard book cover. i decided to try it on the book cover and the results were amazingly beautiful -- really nice sheen that allows the deep colors and paisley pattern to show thru w/o looking "thick" like the mod podge did.

the final product ended up beautiful -- just like a deep dark cherry wood almost. i'll try and scan the cover and post to my blog today so you can see it if you want. the future floor wax has been perfect for this project as it provided a hard protectant for the "tissue" on the cardboard cover and the shine makes it looks the same today as it did when i gave it to him back in october.

my biggest concerns were that the book cover was "sealed" and protected from possible damage, the cover dried and could be handled or touching other possessions w/o worry of it getting sticky or too hot/humid, and the finish provided the look that i wanted.

after that experience, i think i'll use future floor wax to seal the covers on all my comp journals or homemade journals to protect them from damage.

***my one warning if working w/ future floor wax -- it easily gets little bubbles in the finish if i used a foam brush too quickly. i could get by w/ using the 1" foam brush if i just took my time in spreading the wax across the book cover. plus i went horizontal all the way down and then vertical all the way across and then smudged out any "brush marks" or little bubbles to make sure the final finish was glass-smooth.

it's the little things that matter -- the butterfly effect

this is taken from a motivational newsletter that i subscribe to, but i thought you might get a kick out of the math part of it --

The Butterfly Effect by Ron White (the motivational speaker -- not the comedian!)

It was 1960 and meteorologist Edward Lorenz was working in his lab. He was entering data into his computer in the hopes of modeling weather patterns when he stumbled upon a theory that is known as, 'The Butterfly Effect'. He was entering wind speed, air pressure and temperature into three separate equations that were linked in a mathematical feedback loop. This equation allowed Lorenz to predict weather patterns.

One day Lorenz was in a bit of a hurry and opted to take a shortcut when entering the data. He rounded the numbers to the nearest one thousandth rather than to the nearest one millionth (for example, .407 instead of .407349). As a scientist, he knew this would change the result – however he expected only a minor change. Lorenz was astounded to discover that this tiny change made a profound impact on the final resulting weather pattern. This discovery led Lorenz to ponder: Does the flap of a butterfly's wing in Brazil cause a tornado in Texas? – Thus you have 'The Butterfly Effect' theory.

This theory has been applied to all areas of science since Lorenz's 1960 experiment.

"But, Ron, what does this mean for my life?", I can hear you asking.

It means that every decision or action that you make - no matter how small – could potentially dramatically alter the course of your life. My life, as I am sure yours is, is a testimony to the butterfly effect. When I was 12 years old, I met a friend named Brian in P.E. class. Over two decades later, Brian is still my best friend. At the age of 12, Brian had a thirst for learning and studying (the other 12 year olds called him a nerd) and he was a fitness fanatic. He still has these qualities and because of our friendship they rubbed off on me. At the age of 18, I needed a job and he secured me a job where he worked as a telemarketer. My third day on the job, I made a telemarketing call to someone in the seminar business. He thought I was a good telemarketer and offered me a job over the phone.

Did you follow that?

You are receiving this email from me, reading my books, or hearing me speak because I was offered a job at the age of 18 from a seminar company. I would have never been offered that job – if Brian hadn't gotten me the telemarketing job and Brian would never have known me if we hadn't met at the age of 12 in P.E.! I have an insatiable desire for learning that began at age 12 and have developed into a fitness fanatic as well. Most of the major events in my life can be traced back to a conversation in a gym two decades ago – that is 'The Butterfly Effect'.


1. Realize that 'The Butterfly Effect' is very real and small decisions or actions can make a huge impact on your life.

2. Take responsibility for your decisions, actions and friends – even the tiny decisions – realizing that they can dramatically alter the course of your life.

3. Understand the importance of attention to detail. Years before 1986, the smallest flaw was overlooked in a Space Shuttle O-Ring. That flaw led to a horrific 'Butterfly Effect' and the deaths of seven Astronauts years later in January 1986.

4. Do not allow 'The Butterfly Effect' to paralyze you from inaction. Instead, use it as the spark of motivation to fan the fire of action – realizing that you control your destiny even in the tiniest of ways.

Use the 'Butterfly Effect' as a tool to make a positive, lasting impact on your life and it's direction.