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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ah, I heart my Vagabond!

Today I am getting ready to teach a class in Dreamweaver stencils. Find them at . Now, those of you who know about stencils, know that trying to deboss some of them by hand is tedious and gets your hand very tired. But if you have a Vagabond (an electric die-cutting machine you can see in action here: ), it's breeze! All you need to do is make a stack of stencil, paper, and soft pad between the cutting plates on your platform, and push a button to run it through.

How easy is that?

Gotta run--almost time to go to class!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

It Never Rains But It Pours

Things were getting pretty slow in the way of projects and classes to teach, but business has really picked up lately! Got three classes at Bellevue Art and Frame, one at Art Works, and if they all go I will be a hard-working Art Bee. And I have been asked to be on the creative team at Urban Scrapbooker (thanks, Brooke!) and that will be fun too.

Have been languishing with an allergy attack, so I won't be saying much about the book I am posting today. It was made for one of Brooke's contests, and though it didn't win, it was a lot of fun to make. I started with a kit from LYB with acrylic covers, and made extra pages. Most of the regular pages I added were gessoed on both sides before I worked on them.

Outside Cover
The contest kit was made up from Little Yellow Bicycle's Twig collection from last year, papers and embellishments. I carved a couple of stamps for it, and added lots of ribbons.

First Page. The Leaf Ribbon is Hand Dyed to go with the Book Colors
Next Page: It Was Under an Acetate Page
The Rosette Was Made With a Tim Holtz Die; the Birds are Hand Carved Stamps
Love That Translucent Paper
What's Underneath
On the Left It Says "Once You've paid for it, it's free" and on the  Right, "Don't Abandon the Good In Search of the Perfect."
Lots Of Inspirational Words On the Left; "Create" on the Right
There is a Small Notebook on the Left Page; The Right Says "Make a Mark Every Day."
A Tag on the Left; On the Right, "It is the Property of True Genius to Disturb All Settled Ideas," a Quote From Corita
Another Notebook, Left, and a Pocket, Right
When The Green Envelope Is Flipped, the Hands Sort of Hold It
Like This. The Right Page Says :Fear No Art."
The Left Says "Good Stuff," and Has a Pocket; the Right Says "Let Your Ideas Fly Free;" the Bird and Cage are Made With a Tim Holtz Die.
The Page Under the Acrylic Cover
And the Book is Closed
That's all for now! Nan