Wednesday, 28 May 2014

If I had wings (posted by Elaine)

Elaine here, posting the second of our book projects after our decision to re-launch our shared blog here, just when everyone had given up on us!

I have to confess, this project is Mark 2 for me. I started off well with my initial idea, but it went a bit pear shaped! That one may appear in due course on my own blog. Anyway, here is my take on the accordian book.

I recently purchased the Hardwood stamp from Stampin' Up. I love wood effect backgrounds so I knew this would be well used in my collection. The shape of the stamp guided me to a rectangular format for my book, and I stamped each page in Cobalt Blue archival ink on grey card. I added shading around the edges in Stormy Sky and Frayed Burlap Distress Inks to give an aged effect.  I knew I wanted continuity through the pages, so chose the same colour background throughout and added the same leaves - using a Dylusions stamp. I fussy cut the leaves and added colour with Distress Markers.

I love insects, (unless they are the biting kind!!!) and my stamp collection has many different variations. I have recently been index stamping my collection (it is still a work in progress), but it has made choosing and finding stamps so much easier when I have a theme in mind. My various insect stamp choices are stamped in Cobalt archival and unusually (for me) coloured with chalks. This really suited the muted colour palette I was looking for. The butterflies for my cover come from Stamp Camp and Crafty Individuals. The postmark used on the cover and throughout the book comes from the Mail Art set from Chocolate Baroque and the sentiment is from a Sam Poole set from Creative Expressions.
The first set of inside pages uses butterfly stamps from Indigo Blu (one of which was a freebie on Craft Stamper magazine). The silhouette butterfly is from a Martha Stewart set. The sentiment comes from a Lindsay Mason Doo Lally Pip set I purchased from the last Ally Pally show from AliCraft and I used the same set for the rest of the book.

The second set of pages uses the beautiful Stampotique bee stamps designed by Jo Capper Sandon. These stamps have been shamefully underinked since joining my collection and I am delighted to have given them an outing! The silhouette bees come from a Quietfire set.

The final set of pages uses dragonfly stamps from Visible Image and a clear stamp I have forgotten the brand of! The tiny dragonfly which is virtually invisible is from Crafty Individuals.

I mounted my book pages into black card for contrast. I puzzled about the construction after Lesley's experience and in the end decided to completely "internalise" my concertina, by sticking it between folded sets of pages. I made a little trial version to make sure it worked like me head told me it should!!! You can sort of see how it is put together in this pic.

It has been great to have the push of getting a project together for our shared blog again after all this time. I have really enjoyed making this book with some of my favourite subjects, images and colours. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and having a look and do be sure to pop back later to see the projects from other girls.


Friday, 16 May 2014

And We're Off!


Long time, no see on this poor neglected little blog!  First of all many thanks to anyone who drops by to see the first project post in a blooming long time but there you go, life gets in the way sometimes doesn't it.

Elaine liked a little book of Kate Crane's which you can see here and suggested it as inspiration for our return round of projects so today I have my version to show you.  Now confession time!  I started this several months ago and made some very basic mistakes and almost binned it but I kept it on one side and decided to have a faff last week to see if I could make it presentable.  Having learned from my mistakes I could do a much better job on another one but thought it only fair to show my gaffs, lol!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take step by step photos and because most of it was done a while ago I have almost forgotten what I did but I'll tell you what I can remember.

First of all I created a concertina 'spine' from black card.  I chose to have 3 pages plus front & back covers so needed a total of 5 valley folds.

I then cut 5 pieces of black card 4" x 8".  I decided to colour my backgrounds with PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paints so I put puddles of paint on my craft mat one colour at a time, spritzed quite liberally with water and then dragged my pieces of card through.  I dried with my heat gun between each colour and kept adding colour until I had an effect I liked and good coverage.  I then used various stencils and Fresco Finish Snowflake paint to create the next layer.

Next, I used a selection of PaperArtsy's JoFYstamps to stamp on each page with black Archival Ink. I also stamped the flower heads onto white card and heat embossed with clear EP before dragging out my much neglected Twinkling H2Os to colour them with.  I also added some of this colour to the stamping on the pages.

I folded each of my pages in half and stuck the blank sides together with double sided tape so that I had five 4" x 4" pages. I cut out the separate flower heads and decoupaged them onto the pages with dimensional glue.  I also decided to add a few highlights with a white Posca Pen.

Then came the assembly ...... and this was where I realised my mistake!  It's glaringly obvious now, lol, but have  you guessed it yet?  I had forgotten to allow for sticking the pages to the concertina and had stamped over the whole page and even some of the raised elements and wording ended up being slightly covered by the black 'mountain' folds. Never mind, we learn by our mistakes and I don't think I'll make that one again ;D.

I cut some strips of fairly thin black paper and used a border punch to decorate the edges before folding them in half and sticking them over each concertina fold to give a more finished appearance.  Finally I used some 7Gypsies sticky backed fabric tape to hold the spine together.

In the end my little book didn't turn out too badly I don't think.  The part I was most pleased with was the paint & stencil layers in the background.

Well, that's the end of my post for today.  I have no idea which of my lovely buddies will finish their project next or exactly when but as we all have different commitments now our posts will be as and when we can fit them in.  I do hope you'll keep an eye open for when they pop up and let us know you dropped in by leaving a comment if you have time.

Lesley Xx