Sunday, December 23, 2012

Some Fun Because the World Didn't End

Well, I didn't really expect it to. After all, there is still that Cliffageddon the Congress is all in a wad about, and the raising of the Debt Ceiling is coming. The New Year is going to bring a lot of interesting times with it. And we have to live in them....sigh.

So to cheer myself up, I got loose in Photoshop (my favorite toy) and played with gradients and blending modes on a piece of digital paper I found in my Rucola Designs stash, and another from Tangie Baxter, And one from Tumblefish Studios. They are similar, but I think they will be quite useful in my digital art.

Cheerfully suitable for the World Not Ending, don't you think?

Until next time--Nan

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Golly! Almost forgot!

With the End of the World coming tomorrow, I suddenly realized that I had better get my last words out FAST!

Looking back over the year, especially the political year, I find myself almost wishing the world WOULD end tomorrow. Almost...

REASON #1: I was glad the President was re-elected, but I am not happy about the possibility of making my Social Security amount  less and less as I grow older and need it more. I called my two Senators (both hard-working, progressive ladies) and told them to fight any of that nonsense--especially as Social Security is self-financed and has NOTHING to do with our debt/deficit. It took me two days to reach a quavering volunteer at the White House; I am supposing that many callers who expressed their opinions on the Social Security subject were less than polite. I was VERY polite. I didn't bother with my current Representative, as he votes in lock-step with his party, and it wouldn't matter WHAT I told him. I am really glad that after redistricting, I got a new, and more progressive Congressman.

REASON #2: I was--and am--appalled that two billion dollars was spent just on electing a President; I keep thinking of how many hungry that would feed, how many homeless that would house, and how many sick could be healed.

REASON #3: No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get organized Poltergeist still hides things, and no matter how hard or where I look, it keeps them hidden until the immediate need for the thing has passed and I have either A. Replaced It or B. Given Up and Gone On To Another Project.

Reason #4: I have been biting my tongue (well, figuratively, anyhow) about the Government (That's US, Folks! Remember, "We, the People"?) until I am blue in the face. To mix a metaphor. Don't get me started.

Oh, heck! After tomorrow, who will care?

So--I am sending y'all my Holiday Greetings, just in case we don't get to the Holidays (aside from Hannukka--those clever Jews got their winter holiday outta the way in time). And a Happy Solstice!

And I'll see you Next Year, of course!  Nan, who used images from Deviant Scrap (at ) to make this card

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Mother and Telemarketers

My Mother, Anne Hawkins, was a demon when it came to telemarketers. Here are some of my favorites.

Anne Hawkins in 1943

Mama and the Sears Card Telemarketer: or, why they have a script now

mama: Hello?
tm: Hello, may I speak to David Hawkins?
mama: I'm sorry, he isn't available. Can I help you?
tm: Are you his wife?
mama: Yes.
tm: Well, Mrs. Hawkins, we would like to offer him a Sears credit card. Perhaps you can tell us what he does, and what his income is?
mama: I'm sorry, I haven't the slightest idea.
tm: You don't know what he does or his income?
mama: No.
tm: I don't understand. You really mean that you really have no idea what your husband does or how much he earns?
mama: Not the slightest. He's been dead for four years.
tm: Oh. (after a moment of silence) Well, what do you do?
mama: I am the last of the lilies of the field; I toil not, neither do I spin. (hangs up)

Three days later the Sears card arrived in the mailbox. Made out for Mrs. David Hawkins

Mama and the Burial Plot Salesman

mama: Hello?
tm: Hello, is this Anne Hawkins?
mama: Yes.
tm: I represent XXX Cemetery. We are offering a special price on burial plots. These are prepaid plots, so that when the need arises, there will be no cost for a plot.
mama: I appreciate the offer, but I don't think so.
rm: Mrs. Hawkins, this is a great opportunity to reserve your burial plot, so your loved ones will one less thing to deal with when you pass on.
mama: Well, you see, I don't think you really want to bury me, because of my religion.
tm: Oh, we take care of all religions.
mama: Mmmhmmm...but aren't your graves six feet long and three feet wide, and three or four feet deep like all the others?
tm: yes...
mama: Well, you see, because I am a Vertical Buddhist  I should be buried standing up, in a grave that is three feet wide and six feet deep. (hangs up).

Anne Hawkins in 1985

Mama and the Carpet Salesman

mama: Hello?
tm: Good morning! I'd like to tell you about a wonderful special we have going right now. We are the ZYX Carpet Company, and we would like to offer you an unbelievable deal on wall to wall carpets for your new home.
mama: I'm sorry, but we don't have wall to wall floors. (hangs up)

Mama and the Magazine Salesman (who came to the door)

sm: Madam, I have a wonderful selection of national magazines for half the newsstand price. Would you be interested in, say, The Ladies Home Journal, or McCall"s?
mama: (gently closing door) I'm sorry, but I don't speak English.

The poor man was halfway down the drive before he realized what had just happened.

That's all until next time--Nan

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm looking forward to spending the part of the day at the home of my son Jeremy's sister- and brother-in-law, Karen and Raja Aburri. It is great fun to be with this really global extended family; if you look around, you can see so many different ethnicities--it is wonderful! And the dinner is potluck, so you can believe that the food for the traditional feast is truly awesome! I hope your Thanksgiving will be a wonderful as I know mine is going to be.

Yesterday and Monday I was taking classes at from the redoubtable Lesa Snider, an expert in Photoshop. Her web site is  The Monday class was on Bridge, Adobe's image (and other file) organizer. What a revelation that class was! And if you are not familiar with Creative Live, it is an online classroom which hosts awesome teachers in various graphic fields, and the classes are free! If, like me, your head starts to explode by the end of the first half hour, you can buy the class vids, which you can either watch on their site, or download, or either--or both, come to that! I have not regretted any of my class purchases  either!

Yesterday's class had me fascinated from the very beginning--but I was interrupted when my husband called on his cell phone for help--and he truly needed it. He was pretty well unresponsive, so over his protests I called 911. The EMTs took him off to the hospital, where he was kept overnight for observation. Turns out he was dehydrated--a thing that happens to us seniors all too often, because we apparently don't feel thirsty like we used to. So any of you seniors out there, take heed! Keep drinking that water, even if you aren't prompted by thirst! Anyhow, needless to say, my class time was cut off after the first hour! Luckily, Creative Live does a rewatch, so I was able to get some of the information on Blending Modes in Photoshop, and even played with them a bit before I went to bed.

Here are some of the results:

I used various free textures downloaded from folks like Lost and Taken, Valleys in the Vinyl, and Shadowhouse, as well as photos I took myself.

Maybe you can see how the layers changed as I tried different blend modes--most of them have a different blend mode on each layer.

For most of them, I only used blend modes; but for one or two, I did use level adjustments and some filters.

And on one or two I used Invert and some color adjustments with the Hue/Saturation slider.

All in all, there are 35 iterations so far.

Some of them are pretty similar.

And some are radically different.

An otherworldly portrait.

I did have fun! Lesa suggests accompanying this kind of experimenting with a beverage of choice--and come to think of it, that would have been a good idea! But I missed the martini truck, darn it!

I can't wait to try some of these as backgrounds for ATCs!

This one has a transparent background.

Another look for the portrait.

Fun with Blend Modes and Filters!

Well, that's probably enough for now!

Happy Thanksgiving, Nan

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! Samhain Blessings!

Yes, this is the second post tonight--but this one is to share a few ATCs with a more-or-less Halloween theme, by way of greeting.

When in Doubt, DANCE!

This one includes an original poem

Pensive Poe

The top one uses a skeleton from the Dances with Zombies kit by Beth Rimmer at Deviant scrap on a background of Chillingsworth by Echo Park. The middle one uses images from the Midnight Reverie Collaborative at Deviant Scrap. The Poe card uses images from Gothic Poe-try by Finecrafted Designs at Deviant Scrap.

And to honor El Dia de los Muertos, a card that uses images from Day of the Dead by Finecafted Designs at Deviant Scrap, the Geico Gecko and the Sock Monkey from scanned images, and images from Tangie Baxter's Day of the Dead series.

I Hate Making Outlines, Don't You?

Indeed, my friend Jeanne Matthews and I had a bit of fun with the hateful things for the Puget sound Sisters in Crime Newsletter, which I edit, and for which she writes a column. With her permission, I thought it would be fun to post it here, too. Jeanne is the author of the Dinah Pelerin mysteries, available at Amazon and your local bookstore. Her offering is first:

THE JOYS OF OUTLINING by Jeanne Matthews

I.       My husband has threatened to leave me unless I learn how to outline. 
A. He is fed up with being waked up in the middle of the night with me wailing,
“What now?”  
B.  He is tired of me whimpering that I’ve painted myself into a corner and asking him what a sane person would do in such dire circumstances.                   
II.      His answer is always the same. 
A. “It’s your own damned fault.  You should outline.” 
B.  Or sometimes, “You’re nuts to launch into a novel blind, not knowing whodunit or why or where the action will lead.” 
1.  Well, duh.  Who could disagree with that?  There is no logic to sending one’s characters onto the page without a clear notion of what lies in store for them. 
a.  They could end up stranded and clueless in chapter 2. 
b.  They could end up in literary purgatory.
c.  They could end up in the wastebasket. 
d.  It is against the rules of outlining to write complete sentences, but how else is it going to make sense?
2.  It is also a no-no to use single sub-points, but I couldn’t think of another point of equal importance to number 1, above.  Outlining is a very demanding form. 
III.     Neither threats nor logic have reformed me or inspired me to learn the skill. 
A. Maybe it’s a perverse reaction to lists and Roman numerals. 
B.  Maybe it’s some deep-seated guilt complex that makes me want to punish myself. 
C.  Maybe I can only think in complete sentences and unequal sub-points.
D.  Or maybe it’s a glitch in my anterior cingulated cortex that renders me incapable of planning ahead. 
E.  Whatever it is, I fly by the seat of my pants when writing a novel and, like Flannery O’Connor, I don’t know what I think ‘til I see what I say.
IV.     I may not know exactly what will happen when I begin one of my Dinah Pelerin mysteries, but I always know where it will happen.  Dinah’s plane always lands in the place where Jeanne wants to spend her next summer vacation and my stories evolve out of the physical and political environments of the places in which they’re set. 
A. In BONES OF CONTENTION, I plopped Dinah down in the middle of the Northern Territory of Australia for a reunion with her criminally minded family where she learned about Aboriginal art and the Aussie lingo called Strine. 
B.  In BET YOUR BONES, I sent her to the Big Island of Hawaii for the wedding of her best friend where she was forced to learn about land laws affecting the disinterment of old bones. 
C.  And in my latest book, BONEREAPERS, I dispatched Dinah to Norway, the Land of the Midnight Sun to the Svalbard “Doomsday” Seed Vault in the Norwegian Arctic.  It’s a kind of Noah’s Ark for seeds, designed to protect the planet’s agricultural diversity from
1.  Rising seas;
2.  Hurtling asteroids;
3.  Disease pandemics;
4.  Nuclear holocaust;
5.  And the degradations of Time, itself, for the next 10,000 years.  
V.      Ha!  And they said the Titanic was unsinkable.
A. Can the vault protect the seeds from human greed and mismanagement?   
B.  Are the seeds vulnerable to corporate breeders intent upon
1.  Manipulating their DNA?
2.  Patenting the hybrids as their exclusive intellectual property? 
3.  Rendering the seeds sterile so that they will not reproduce and farmers will be forced to purchase them over and over again at the start of each new planting season?
4.  Creating a “death gene” that will cross-pollinate and destroy all the earth’s agricultural crops?
VI.     With the world’s agricultural heritage at stake, the vault seemed an ideal spot for a murder.   
A. It is remote.
1.  Six hundred miles from the North Pole.
2.  Yada yada yada.
B.  It is frigid.
1.  Temperatures seldom rise above zero.
2.  Brrrr!
C.  It is bleak.
1.  Especially during the long Polar Night.
2.  There are more polar bears than people.
a.         A lot more.
b.         Really.
VII.    Hey, honey!  Are you asleep?  Wake up!  I’ve got a great idea for my next book!
A. The island of Samos.
1.  It would be a beautiful spot for a murder.
a.         It’s warm.
b.         It has over 300 days of sunshine a year.
i. It’s in Greece, you know?
ii.    I don’t know who’s going to be murdered yet.   I’ll think of something.  I’ve already got the title.  HER BOYFRIEND’S BONES.  What do you think?
VIII.   Good grief!  Why are you so grouchy?  Oh, stuff it! 
A. People who are reckless enough to marry a fiction writer assume a certain amount of risk and sleeplessness. 
Jeanne Matthews

B.  And come on admit it.  The travel benefits can’t be beat.

Dear Jeanne, 

Aside from being hilarious, your piece has reminded me of my own adventures with outlining. My thesis professor demanded one for my dissertation. Now, you and I know that
I. You don't start out knowing the end
II. Before you write the damned thing, you need to do the research

A.  You need to translate everything in a foreign language
1. You need to brush up on your French, German, Italian, Spanish and Five Kinds of Greek
2. Especially Five Kinds of Greek
B. You need to read ten million, three hundred and twenty-seven books and articles
     1. Mostly in Foreign Languages
     2. See item A2
III. In order to do the Research, you must find stuff on five floors in the Library
                    A. It’s a Plot
                    B. But very good exercise if you Use the Stairs
IV. You need to buy the latest Greek-English Dictionary
A.  Otherwise, you can’t read the material in Greek Scholarly Journals
B.  Which before the Sixties, was written in a made-up Scholarly Version of Greek
1.   Called Katherevousa
2.   Not used anywhere else except warning signs
a.   Like “Don’t Spit on the Third Rail”
b.   And “Don’t Touch the Artifacts.”
C. So the New Dictionary doesn’t help much
V. And you have to Make Something Up
          A. Without Research, this is Difficult
          B. You do it anyway
Aunt Nan Herself
          C. Even though you know it is A Waste if Time
VI. You write a Perfect Outline
A.  Which is probably totally Bogus
a.   As your research will later prove
b.   But what the Hell, you wrote Something
B.  And it was Plausible
VII. You turn it in.
VIII. And then, the Professor “Loses It”
A.  You know he had “Lost It” long ago
B.  . You give him the only carbon copy
a.  It was a mistake, because
b.   He lost that, too
IX. Which almost cost you your T.A. because you were not making “Satisfactory Progress”
          A. Luckily, the Prof had a reputation for Losing It.
          B. So you keep the T.A. and wish you could lose the Professor
X. And in the end, the Dissertation conclusion is Nothing Like the Outline
          A. But it is still Accepted
          B. And thank Heavens! No more OUTLINES!

Hugs, Nan 

Monday, August 13, 2012

For Whom Do You Cry?

For whom do you cry
When someone you loved dies?
Someone you never knew
But who touched your life
For years and years.

For whom do you cry
If you loved someone's smile
And that smile is gone, now

You cry for yourself
Because something is gone
From your life
And it can't come back.

You cry for yourself
Though the one you cry for
Would tell you not to
Would want you strong

And want you to live
The best life you can.
But you cry anyway
For her and for all

The lost things you grieve for
That you can't bring back.
At least she knew we loved her.
Kathi Geortzen; photo from KOMO-TV website

In Memory of Kathi Goertzen, News Anchor at KOMO-TV in Seattle for thirty tears, and who died today after a fourteen-year battle with
a recurring brain tumor. She fought every inch of the way, and was loved by locals for her grace and courage, as well as her wit and intelligence. Rest in Peace, Kathi; we will miss you.

Until next time, Nan

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fun Creating My Own "Washi" Tape

Washi tape is all the craft rage these days, and well it should be! It is fun stuff, with lots of applications (pun intended), and comes in a huge variety of colors and designs. I have been collecting washi tape, and my good friend Ami gave me a bag load for my birthday (she took me shopping and let me choose--an awesome present!),  And of course I have been collecting decorative tape over the years--Tim Holtz has a lot of different styles, and I think I have managed to acquire them all! And there are other brands, like 7Gypsies and Cavallini, and others I can't remember off-hand. Tons of colors and styles, and lots of fun to use.

But sometimes, three hundred and eleventy-seven rolls of tape Just Aren't Enough--and then you have to make your own. You can use any kind of tape and stamp and color on it, of course. Masking tape works well, and there are cloth tapes you can get for book binding and also for sports uses (like taping a baseball bat handle or a hockey stick). None of these, however, have the soft translucence of tape like Tim's or the traditional washi. So, can you get that effect? Yes, you can!

I discovered that Scotch Magic Tape, the removable kind in the blue plaid box, takes stamping well, and has the same soft translucent look to it that the washi has. The example above was stamped randomly with Ranger Archival Jet Black ink, and then colored with Ranger Distress inks. The Distress ink was put on directly with the pad, spritzed, allowed to dry for a minute or two, and then wiped down with a paper towel.

Another way to get that desired translucent effect uses parchment paper--the kind you cook with--as the base. I use strips about six inches by twelve inches. Again, I stamped random images in Ranger Archival black ink and also stamped some with Distress inks. I applied Distress ink directly from the pad, also, and wiped it down with a paper towel. I heat set the inks on the parchment paper, which I couldn't do on the Scotch Tape because it would shrivel.

Next, I turned the stamped paper image side down and applied Sookwang tape (packaged as Scor-Tape) to the back. I used various widths of the Sookwang tape, and burnished it down well.

When I had my parchment paper completely covered with the tape, I cut the strips apart.

When I finished doing that, I had strips of decorated tape, complete with liner, ready and waiting to go on a project! So easy!

You can also use deli paper to do the stamping on. It is thinner than the parchment, and therefore not as sturdy (before the tape is applied), but it makes great washi.. You can also get a more subtle effect by applying the tape to the stamped side. Tissue paper can also be used--either plain with your own stamping on it, or already decorated.

You can store the finished parchment paper tape in a plastic bag, and the Scotch Tape kind can be stuck to some kind of release paper and sored in a baggie as well. Or you can stick those to a page protector, and put the parchment ones inside.

This closeup has Scotch Removable Tape washi tape on the outside, and parchment paper washi tape in the middle.

Next I am thinking of trying to print on deli or parchment paper (or both) and making washi tape out of that. I'll let you know how that goes!

Until next time, Nan

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What possesses folks to use yellow?

I've just got to vent! I've just spent an hour blog hopping at Graphic 45 and their week with May Arts ribbon. (here's the link: ) I am getting inspired by the terrifically talented designers. They have great ideas, and they share these most generously and with good instructions. BUT (you knew that was coming, right?) some of them use yellow to type links and/or vital information, rendering said links and information unreadable. Yellow against white? About as little contrast as you can get! See what I mean? Isn't this better?

As long as I'm here, I might mention that, although one is encouraged to leave comments (there are swell prizes), on some of the blogs, finding the place to do this is really difficult and sometimes impossible. I've had thee days' experience with this now, and been frustrated at least four times when trying to comment. I like prizes, sure, but I also like to tell folks when I find their projects useful and ornamental, and it frustrates me when I can't do it. Now, this may be the fault of the blog host, but maybe a word from a client might fix it.

I've spent the last three days taking an awesome internet class on Photoshop from Jessica Sprague at . Although geared to scrapbooking, the class has lot to offer those of us who do digital art, and I am glad I signed up for it  Here are my class assignment results.

Day one homework: Top to bottom: Black and white version of "Best of Friends"; color version with grunge texture layer;  color without grunge layer.

Day two homework: Scrapbook page with journal text

Day three homework: Manipulating photo with textures and masks; using clipping masks

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Things My Grandmother Taught me

Well, it's been a while, hasn't it? A bout of pneumonia (brought on by allergies) and preparing for classes at Letters of Joy and Bellevue Art & Frame, and Clay Camp with the Northwest Polymer Guild kinda took up my time, and I have some catching up to do!

The grandmother of the title is, of course, Bam Bam. I know I've mentioned that I lived with Aunt Quail and Bam Bam several times while I was growing up, including my last semester of High School. So I had many opportunities to observe--and collect, if only in my memory--her wit and charm, and her wisdom.

She was fond of quoting aphorisms, lines of poetry and plays, and of making her own observations. There were three she repeated often; one was a quote from Shakepeare's King Lear, one was her own creation, and one was an old Chinese proverb.

"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child," King Lear says of his daughter Cordelia, who is the only one of his three daughters who loves him and wants him to live long and prosper. Bam Bam quoted this at me whenever she felt I was not toeing whatever line she had in mind. Often I hadn't a clue what line was not being toed. And when I did have a clue, half the time I had no idea why that particular line needed toeing. But that was Bam Bam: an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in whatever aspect of her fascinating self she chose to reveal.

"T'was greed killed the yellow snake that tried to eat the sun," Bam Bam would say, whenever she felt someone was trying to take too much of what she considered our common heritage, be it money, political clout, or property. The Chinese proverb appeared in a footnote of a book I was reading--I don't remember the book now--which I had found in the bookcase. She had apparently read the same book.

"Fear is the enemy," she would tell me, inclining her head wisely. She was writing a book about John Wesley at the time. He was the founder of Methodism. I don't know why she was writing about him, or what happened to her manuscript. It may be among her papers in the Bancroft Library at the University of California. Anyhow, Bam Bam went on to tell me that most of the baser emotions like hate, anger, and bigotry are founded in fear, and if one could be rid of fear, things would be a lot better. She was thinking of using "Fear is the Enemy" as the title of her book. I have always remembered her telling me that, and the older I get, the more obvious it becomes. In the words of FDR, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

A year or two ago I was looking through a bookcase in the downstairs "library" and came across The New English Bible New Testament published by Oxford Cambridge. I was going to refile it next to the Septuagint, thinking they might be related, and flipped it open. Inside the cover was the pencilled inscription in Bam Bam's unmistakeable handwriting, "From Anthea 1965." Further investigation revealed the book to be a "dummy," a book made to test the size and binding of the finished book, but with limited text. This dummy included everything up to the first page of the introduction, and after that the pages were blank. Bam Bam used these pages as a sort of journal of wit and wisdom, writing, beginning in 1966, some of her more observant thoughts.

"Boredom is ingratitude to God."
"All mental disturbance is caused by concentration on Self."
"Craziness is selfishness to the N-th power."
"Only the childless truly value children."
"Only the pure know passion."
"Alcohol before 60 is not needed. Afterwards it is a new life,"

Bam Bam was very moral, and a devout Episcopalian. She made some notes at the very back of the book, observations about Jesus, which she titled "Human attributes of Christ." They seem to be the distillation of much thought on the subject.

"Need of friends
'Sought after dinner guest.'
The bitter psychology of forgiving enemies, thereby disarming them of their implements of destruction and rendering them powerless to possess you.
Lilies--Love of beauty
need of necessities of life for all classes. Loaves and fishes.
appreciation of craftsmanship and quality. 'Casting lots for his garment'
Anger for righteousness--money lenders in temple"

There is also a poetic discussion of Yeats, apparently copied into the book from something she wrote in 1962; more aphorisms; and  the beginning of what appears to be a screen play pitch. And two essays on her meanness--about her behavior on two occasions, things  she felt guilty about her whole life. Some of the items were written when she first had the book, but there is an entry dated 1990. And there is no clue of the date of the last entry.

Until next time--Nan

Monday, April 30, 2012

I Confess! It's True!

I have Paper Lust. I admit it. I can't help it, and no 12-step program will cure it, I'm afraid. Not that I would ever try.

So,  you can just imagine the elation I felt when my friend Brooke, who owns The Urban Scrapbooker in Edmonds, asked me to be on her Creative Team. I mean, she has the BEST paper! Not to mention all the other good stuff!

So when I said yes, Brooke handed me a couple of projects to get started on. In spite of allergies that turned into pneumonia, I managed to finish one project, A Graphic 45 film box and book. We decided that the Graphic 45 Tropical Travelogue line would be the paper to choose, with suitable embellishments, of course.

You can see the Graphic 45 line here:

I started out by gluing a circle of paper to the top and bottom of the film box, using Golden Soft Get as the glue. I fastened a large knobby brad to the center of the top circle before sticking it down. For the bottom, I used four of the smaller knobby brads as feet. I had to think about how I was going to attach them; I could have used a chisel and made a slot, but then I would have had filing and sanding to do. So in the end I clipped the legs back, flattened the brad, and stuck them on with Soft Gel.

Top on the Left, Bottom on the Right

In case you are unfamiliar with the wonderful properties and myriad uses of Golden gels, mediums and paints, you can learn all about them here:

The book inside the tin was heavy kraft paper, and I thought about using it as is and sticking various elements and cutouts down on the pages, But I wanted to show off the paper, so I traced around a page to make a template and used that to cut out various papers to cover the kraft pages. For variety, I used the box label as a template and made a few circles with that--like the ones on the top and bottom of the box.

First Page with Attached Flap
I cut out parts of a sheet of paper to make a flap to use as journaling. I envisioned the book as a mini photo album, and so I left room for photos on the pages as I made them. The word came from the same sheet as the flap parts.

Another Page, and the Inside Cover on the Left
I made an accordion book from one of the papers that had images of animals and birds on a background that looked like old book paper. It was a natural--and I covered it with an old book cover pictured on another sheet of paper, and made a spine and back from still other paper. Once I had the little book, I had to do something with it, of course. So I attached it with ribbon. To do this, I determined how much ribbon needed to be stuck down, by tying it around the book and marking where the book edges were. I glued the ribbon down with Soft Gel, and while it was drying I cut out the two circles for the box lining. I made slots in the blue piece to pull the ribbon through, and stuck the paper down with the gel. Then I added the ring of orange paper.

Once I got going, it was just a matter of picking and sticking--that is, choosing which of my page covers to use where, and what to embellish them with. Lots of choices, but my favorite embellishments came from the sheet of faux stamps. Love those!

Another Flap for Journaling
The flaps were stuck down with tape from Scor-It. It is very strong and very thin double sticky, and it has lots of uses, like making washi tape, and receiving glitter. I also used Ranger's new glue stick for some things, especially where I didn't want the wetness of the gel.

The Little Book Open on the Left, and the Cover of the Main Book on the Right.
For the cover of the book, I glued down a circle of paper, and an inner circle on top of that. I had originally gessoed the cover, but didn't like what I did with that, so I just covered it up! Used the Soft Gel for that. I had some metal flowers and brads that I painted with Ranger's new Vintaj Patinas; you can see them here:  I cut out the woman's profile and put an orange metal flower with a yellow center in her hair, and stuck her down.

Close Up of Cover Girl
I was running out of paper, so I got out my small stack of Tropical Travelogue and made a few more circles to use inside the tin bottom.

Inside Bottom of Box, Left; Inside Top of Box, Right
If you look hard, you can see another metal flower painted with Vintaj Patina in the box bottom.

Here are the inside pages with the photos added. I downloaded pictures from the internet and sized them all to be two inches for the largest dimension. I used clear photo corners to attach them

Inside the Book, First Three Pages

Pages Three, Four, and Five

Pages Four, Five and Six

For the backs of the pages, I cut strips from scraps of the various papers in Tropical Travelogue and stuck them onto double sticky sheets I had in my stash. Then I stuck them onto the kraft pages. I trimmed everything that needed it.

Backs of Pages and Cover

All that was left to do was add some embellishments to the box lid. I cut out some tags from the papers and tied them to the knob. The orange ribbon was too thick, so I stuck it down with Scor-It tape and put a strip of the faux postage over the ends so they couldn't come loose. You can't see it in any of the pictures, but I stuck some of the orange ribbon to the outside rim of the box top with Scor-It tape; I used lime green ribbon with orange stitching around the outside of the bottom. I also have a tab of the green ribbon embedded in the cover of the book, so it can pull out easily.

Closed Box

This was so much fun to do! I hope it inspires some of Brooke's customers to try it themselves! I had thought of several things to do, like distressing the papers and other cool techniques, but I decided I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. Nothing difficult at all!

Thanks to Brooke, Graphic 45 and Jim, the Gentleman Crafter, who is an inspiration to us all!

And thanks to you, for looking! ---Nan