Creating a Mixed Media Book of Letters

This summer has been a busy one!  I’m so excited to share my latest project with you.  It’s taken me months to complete this mixed media book!  But it has turned out so beautifully that I can’t help but share some of my excitement and talk about my process a bit.

Completely DIY Mixed Media Book

This book is a gift for my husband, so I wanted to make it more masculine.  But, I also knew it was going to be a long process to finish it, and I had a tight deadline.  Originally I was going to alter a book and I began creating pages, but I fell into the trap of trying to make each page unique and very different from the next.  It was taking way too long and wasn’t coming together the way I hoped, so I scrapped the entire thing and started fresh.

This time I began with kraft colored cardstock.  I decided I was going to use fabric and stitch on each page to create the backgrounds.  I ripped white muslin into different sizes of squares and rectangles, and used Tim Holtz’ distress stain to color the fabric.  Once I glued the fabric down, I ran each page through my sewing machine several times.  I used several different types of stitches to add interest.

Does this book look cool enough for an online workshop?  Click here for a one question survey that will help me as I develop my online courses.  I need your help to make great content!

After the first round of stitching, each page got several strips of neutral colored washi tape.   Of course, then I realized they also needed another round of stitching to secure the tape in place.

These steps sound pretty simple, but they took a looooong time to complete.  Mostly because the bobbin threader on my sewing machine is broken and I had to thread my bobbins by hand every time they ran out of thread.  Man, that got old fast, let me tell ya.  But, the end result was worth the headache.

Once each of my pages was sewn the way I wanted, I glued two pages at a time together back to back.  This created one page, with stitching on both sides.  That’s when I began creating paper collages as beds for my notes (written on vellum).  The notes were attached to the paper groups with more stitching.

Japanese Book Binding

Next up, the binding!  I knew from the beginning I was going to use Japanese binding because of the single pages I was creating.  I used this tutorial to create the covers, and then cut strips of chipboard to place between each page in the spine.  This was important because each page needed extra space because of all the paper and embellishments I had added to each side.  I used a glue stick to glue the pages and chipboard strips together, bound the covers to the pages with binder clips, then drilled holes for the thread.  If you look closely in the video, you’ll see how crooked the holes are on the back.  Drilling holes straight through 1 1/2 inches of paper is pretty tough.  Oh well… it’s still holding together, and as long as you don’t look at the back, it looks perfect!

So, that’s my book!  My first one completely finished and created by me, cover to cover.  Yay!

Don’t forget to respond to my question about making this project an online workshop.  I really need your feedback!

Scrapbook Pages on Canvas

So, I’m kind of a noob.  I realized that I made these canvases over a month ago, and I have yet to share them with you here!  I’m so proud of them, too.  I really pushed myself and my ideas to create these scrapbook pages on canvas.  I think they turned out really well, and so different from each other.

scrapbook pages on canvas with paper flowers

This one is obviously more a shabby chic/heavily embellished page.  There are so many elements on this page- chipboard, paper flowers, texture paste, cheesecloth, stamping, ink, paint, gesso, and more.  It’s so fun to build the layers of texture in pieces like this, though it is a struggle sometimes because inevitably I end up covering up some element I really love with something else.  You can never get too attached to any one layer in this line of work… 🙂

side view of one of my scrapbook pages on canvas

Scrapbook Pages on Canvas

close up of one of my scrapbook pages on canvas

This canvas is a completely different style from the one above.  Simplified, more modern, and very clean, this piece has some texture paste, ink, and a chipboard piece with the photo on top.  That’s it!

I used a compass to sketch these circles out in pencil, then drew over them with my calligraphy pen and different colors of india ink.  A spritz of water, and you get that awesome splattered/feathery quality that makes the surface so yummy looking.  🙂

modern scrapbook pages on canvas scrapbook pages on canvas using different styles

Thanks for checking these out!!  Have you made any scrapbook pages on canvas?  Leave a link to your blog- I would love to see them!

 

A fun Disney layout with a little magic

I have a fun layout for you today!!  I’ve been organizing some of my old photos recently, and I found this gem from a trip my mom and sisters and I took a few years ago.  The Christmas lights on Cinderella’s castle are simply amazing; perfect for a fun Disney layout.

Disney layout with stamping, texture paste and india ink

Now, I do have a confession to make.  I was disappointed with how the colors turned out.  I used white texture paste through a stencil, and splashed colored inks onto those areas while the paste was still wet.  I did not take into account how the inks would absorb together as things dried, and what the splashes looked like at first was very different to what they looked like after everything had dried.

I needed to do 2 things differently- first, I needed to be a lot lighter with my ink splashes.  It doesn’t take a whole lot, but I have a hard time knowing when to stop.  Second, I needed to let the ink and paste dry between each color I added so they wouldn’t blend together like they did.  If too many colors blend together, they start to look brownish and dirty.

I am pleased with the white stamps and splashes, though, and the crystal gems add a nice sparkly touch.  🙂

disney layout showcasing cinderella's castle disney layout with texture paste disney layout with white stamping

All in all, though, it’s not too bad for a Disney layout.  🙂  What do you guys think?  Do you have any more suggestions for how I could have done better with the colors and composition?  I would love to hear your ideas and know-how.

Thanks for visiting today!!

Supply list

Ranger white texture paste

liquitex white acrylic paint

Ph Martin’s Bombay India Inks

DCWV patterned paper

Tim Holtz tissue wrap

Umwow Studio Harlequin stencil and dream flair

Adhesive Crystal Gems and Pearls

 

DIY Christmas party favors

Christmas!  I’ve been going crazy with decorating this year, so much so that I decided to do even more and throw a Christmas party.  I have to say, since it’s been awhile since I’ve had a party- they are hard work!!  It was so worth it though.  We decorated Gingerbread houses, sang Christmas carols, chatted and ate lots of food.  And when every one left for the night, I handed out these super cute little Christmas party favors I made.

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I found the idea for these in an old Somerset magazine which, despite searching for the past hour, I can’t find.  I’m worried my husband may have thrown it away… sigh… If I find it I’ll update the info., but in the meantime here are the steps I took.

  • The outside of these is paper, the inside muslin.  I cut squares of heat n’ bond lite and muslin to fit the 12*12 squares of Christmas paper I had picked out.
  • The heat n’ bond lite is used to adhere the fabric to the paper.  Iron the squares of paper to the to heat n bond, then iron the fabric to the paper.
  • I drew a basic stocking shape on a piece of cardstock, and used that for my template.  I was able to cut out 3 of these stockings from one piece of the fabric backed paper.
  • Be careful that you cut fronts and backs for the stockings- if you don’t flip the template, you’ll end up with lots of one-sided stockings.
  • Before I sewed the two sides together, I added some washi tape to the top edge.
  • After sewing the stocking, I used my distress tool to rough up the edges.  The fabric inside made the distressing look even better!
  • Now, it just needs a wire handle and some jingle bells.
  • Add some candy and a Christmas poem, and you’re all set!

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I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!  May your parties be awesome, your  Christmas party favors be a hit, and your spirit be bright and happy this wonderful week!

Scrapbook Layout with Stitching for Prima BAP Challenge

prima bap challenge page

Good morning!  I don’t usually participate in challenges, usually because I’m so caught up in whatever I’m doing that I don’t even think about doing anything until I find out the challenges are over.  This time, I caught the early train for the  Prima BAP challenge.  It’s fun sometimes to create something from a particular set of guidelines, and challenging in a different way from how I normally create.  I’ve uploaded a video of the process- check it out below!

I actually rotated the sketch for my layout, and based everything around the stitching I added.   I thought it would be fun and different to stitch the top and bottom of the layout with lots of messy lines and chunks, then use the tail ends of all the threads and tie them together all over to form a kind of web.   It was rather labor intensive, but so fun, and I love the way it turned out!

I used Prima’s Archivist line of paper for most everything you see- I just love the steampunk/vintage look to that line, and all the maps and text on every page. Since the stitching is the star here, I didn’t really add much else besides the paper- just some texture paste and a few tiny metal charms.

prima bap challenge layout with stitching prima bap challenge scrapbook page layout for prima bap challenge prima bap challenge layout

This layout is rather simple at first glance, and I really like that the simplicity of the layout itself allows the complexity of the stitching to be the shining star.  I even love how I ended up with a few lines of threads on top of my photos.  Like I’m caught in the web that is Los Angeles.  🙂  My husband should be happy!  It is a pretty cool city.  So big!!

Does anyone else use their sewing machine when they create layouts?  Are you participating in the Prima BAP challenge this month?  I can’t wait to see what you create if you are!

Don’t forget to check out the video of my process!  I’d love your feedback on what you think of this layout and the techniques I used.

Let’s Scrap Sketches Design Team layout 8-15-15

Let's scrap sketches design team page

It’s so hard to think that the summer is winding down… pretty soon the sun will be setting at 5 o’clock and everyone will be putting out their Halloween decorations. But before we say goodbye to the summer completely, come play with the Let’s Scrap Sketches team and show us your interpretations of this latest sketch by linking them to the homepage.

I used the left layout in this 2 page sketch as my inspiration.  Instead of squares, I drew some lines in india ink, highlighted a few them in red and blue, and added some lines of scriptures and white stars.

The pictures in this layout are from the WWII memorial in Washington D.C.  I loved this plaque and the remembrance of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their families and their country.  I’ve been learning a lot about WWII recently, and when I found these pictures I couldn’t resist using them in my layout.

Let's Scrap Sketches side view Let's Scrap Sketches layout Let's Scrap Sketches

The prize for this round is 3 Digi Stamps from Fresh Brewed Designs.  They offer digital and rubber stamps, and add new products every month.  The rest of the design team has created some fantastic layouts, as well, So what are you waiting for?  We can’t wait to see your pages!!