Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Nature Notes (posted by Elaine)

Well here I am, last, but not least hopefully with the last of our June quartet projects!! Well we have had a busy time lately, plus I had a disaster with my first set of flags that I recounted recently on my own blog here! I was delighted to choose the flag book project and I think we have all really enjoyed working on this one. The other girls have produced stunning and colourful projects.

Once again I chose a nature theme for my project book. An amazing number of stamps is needed for the flags unless you want to repeat pictures, so nature themed stamps was my safest bet as I have a sizeable collection! The basic design of my book is based around the idea of a notebook with handwritten notes and sketches of plants and insects observed in the field. I used Adirondack dye inks in Willow, Citrus and Lettuce to ink my flags and cover backgrounds. The twist to the way I did this was to use my leafy background technique. Before much longer I am planning to post a tutorial of how I do this on my own blog as a few people have asked me how it's done. Basically, the Willow and Citrus are applied as the background with Cut 'n Dry foam, and the Lettuce is put on stippled using a cheap shaving brush, using a real maple leaf as a mask. The leaf effect shows most clearly on the covers.

I mounted my covers and flags on a Forest Green Core'dinations background. My cover is decorated with a Prima Frame, an Inkadinkado words stamp I recently found in the bargain bin at the Newbury Art Stamps Show and a Crafty Individuals butterfly. The letters are Basic Grey Wassail, painted with olive green Viva precious metal paint and I have added decorative metal corners.

Here are quite a lot of pictures of the inside to show the different stamps I used to stamp on the flags. All the script is stamped in Olive Green Ranger archival ink using the very useful Prima Notary stamp, the other images are stamped in Jet Black Ranger archival ink.

The first set of flags use Darkroom Door stamps, I think they are called Friendship Flowers, plus Crafty Individuals butterflies and a bee, I think this is a Beeswax stamp. As in Willy's instructions I used bleach to highlight certain parts of the design. This is the first time I had tried this technique and I was really pleased with how easy it was, provided you are really careful not to overdo it!!

My second view has stamps from Elusive Images, Wild Meadow, Eastern Grasses and Iris plates, as well as Lavinia, Beeswax, Crafty Individuals stamps and a set of ferns I bought second hand that are from an unidentified company.

The next set uses more Elusive Images stamps from the Wild Meadow and Spring plates, Lavinia stamps. Armerio and Crafty Individuals.

The final set uses more Elusive Images stamps, and others from Lavinia and Crafty Individuals.

The back cover uses an Inkadinakdo stamp from the Utopiary set, another bargain Inkadinkado stamp bought at the Newbury show and a Paper Artsy flourish circle. I have added punched leaves in black card using the McGill pine bough punch.

This picture shows the flags as they alternate in the way the book opens. I managed to get myself muddled about how they would all work as I was stamping, so had to stick them on back to front to the instructions, but it worked thankfully!!

So that's my project for this time.

Last but not least, some of you may have noticed I didn't post last month's canvas project. I just wanted to show you that I did try - a number of times, but I am not at all happy with any of my results, so I am admitting defeat, giving in gracefully, letting the side down and moving on, so we can announce our next project! 

Thanks for popping by!



Jo said...

Elaine, I can't imagine a more fitting project for your leafy backgrounds. This has all come together so beautifully with some of our favourite stamps. The Notary stamp is new to me and I think I need to add that to my collection. Love the words on your cover too. You use those Basic Grey letters so well. Altogether a very cool and shady feel in this current heatwave.

As for your canvases...well, they look too good to leave in a corner. Make sure you use them as the basis of another project. I suspect you are hiding some real gems in there.

Sue's Crafty Corner said...


I love the backgrounds that you have used and what you have made with them. I have looked at them, and how you made them on you own blog. I must have a go at making some (if I can find an interesting leaf to use).

Your canvases also look good from what I can see, and I would love to see them face on not just in a pile. Very often what we ourselves do not like, other people do.

Can't wait to see what you all make next month.


Unknown said...

That is beautiful ... great job!

judith@poppy cottage said...

What a lovely finale to our flag books Elaine.The leafy green colour scheme is perfect for the natural theme. You have used some of my absolute favourite Lavinia stamps in there, and I really love the notebook idea.
I have had lots of people ask when you are going to do a tutorial, so it will be well received.
Some of your canvases look really lovely, maybe as Jo said, you could revisit them for another project.
It has been a lovely project to work on, and a treat to see everyone else's so thank you Elaine! Judith xx

Val said...

This is so beautiful - I love your nature theme and the colours used, and the notebook idea is brilliant.

Well done on this project - I think it is amazing!

It was really nice to meet you at Newbury, and hopefully we will meet up again sometime in the future.


craftimamma said...

Oooh, I'm not used to this laptop (Jenna's) so keep making loads of typos, Lol!

Elaine, your flag book is superb - very you! Lovely idea to turn it into a botanist's notebook. It reminds me of the books the ladies of another era used to make.

Your leafy backgrounds are perfect for this project and you've used many of my favourite stamps too. A very fitting finale to your choice of project for us.

I too think those canvases deserve to be shown the light of day. I should have shown you my three horrors before I gessoed over tham - then you would have seen true failures.

Lesley Xx

veronica said...

really beautiful Elaine, great idea. Am so glad you are doing a tutorial on the backgrounds, as they look fantastic

Cath Wilson said...

Looks wonderful - great shades of green. LOVE that leafy background and I have a bit of a leaf fetish, so may just have to try that one out, it looks so WOW! Glad you enjoyed your Flag book. I remember how excited I was when I made my first one and how proud I was to do a class on it, lol. It really does look wonderful. Cath x

Anneke said...

Your flag book is really beautiful!! I love every "page", the colors are great!! You can be proud of it!!

Anonymous said...

Bum...Im a little behind with my blog hopping...cant believe I'd missed the reveal for this little beauty - your all so wonderful at inking and stamping.

Pat said...

This is lovely Elaine. I fell in love with those Darkroom Door stamps when you showed them to us at Newbury but altogether the mix of stamps and such vibrant but fresh colours all fit so well.
Pat X

Paper Paradise said...

Love your blog ladies, so many ideas and variations from you all. Looking forward to following. x