Thursday, August 27, 2020

Make Beautiful Memories - Little Book of Happy Thoughts

Hello everyone,

Today I have this little heart shaped book to share with you.

Getting Started

I will be using this little heart shaped chipboard called Book of Love Heart Mini Album (D117K) and a lot of recycled/saved papers from my stash.

The first steps are very simple and are shown above.  I taped each pair of half hearts together to make one heart shape, using masking tape.  Then used the same technique to tape each pair of hearts to the other pairs of hearts to make the little book.  I was going to cover my book with watercolour paper so so before going any further I measured a piece of watercolour paper that was slightly larger than my heart covers, leaving a gap in the middle where my pages would be.  This is important to allow the book to open flat.  Next, I painted all the visible sides with white gesso to give me a white base from which to start.  No need to gesso to any parts that will not be seen in the finished book.

The next step is to look through your stash and select some papers you want to use for collage.  I keep mine in this basket because I can see them and because I can see them, I end up using them more than I would if they were hidden away in a box or a drawer.  I will also be using this soft matte gel for all the collage.

For my little heart shaped pages, I decided to make each page spread a different colour working vaguely in rainbow order.  So as you can see below, the first page is yellow, the second is orange, and then the third is red.  For some reason I forgot to take a red page photo but I do have a photo of the red/pink papers I used for the collage and you can see a little bit of the red page peeking out below in the bottom right of the photo.  Don't worry, I did at least remember to take photos of each finished page!

For each page, I chose papers from my stash, all recycled, and including book pages, magazine pages, gift wrap, tissue paper and some gelli prints I made last year.  Since I had some little bits of book paper, I decided to use them on all of the pages, to bring in some neutral tones and for continuity.

Following on from the red page, I have a green page then a blue page and finally two purple pages.  These two pages form the front and back covers of the book by using the back side of the end pages and the two covers.

Making the cover

Remember the watercolour paper we cut at the start?  Now it's time to use it and put our little book together.  I pulled out more potential collage papers for the outside cover and narrowed it down to just these few.  :)

Place your outside cover pieces on top of the watercolour paper and then put the stack of internal pages in the middle like a book.  This will give you a gap in the middle to leave room for the spine of the book.  There is a bit of adjusting at this point to get it just right, so take your time to get it just how you want it.

Check the size of the cover pieces against the watercolour paper.

Decorate the outside of the cover using the same technique.

As I did with all the inside pages, I also rubbed white gesso into some of the areas in the cover, to make it more cohesive.

There are several ways to attach the cover pieces to the rest of the album, but because of the way I created my book, I am attaching them with washi tape.  Both the front and back pages and cover pieces are purple, so I used purple washi tape.  This is the back page and cover.

Here is the front page and cover.

Make final adjustments on your watercolour paper by fitting the book inside and closing it up, making sure there is enough room allowed for the spine, so the book can open flat.

Additional Decoration

I rubbed some fluid acrylic paint in and around the white gessoed areas on each page and on the cover.  The colour I used was Quin Gold but you can use whatever colour suits your project and colour scheme.

When everything was dry, I also stamped some butterflies and text on the pages and cover. There are no photos of this step but it can be seen in the finished photos. This is really just adding more depth to the background and can be skipped if you don't want to do it. I did my stamping in black Staz-on ink.

Once everything was dry, it was finally time to attach the watercolour paper cover to the book.  Here's a quick look at the cover before I added the additional stamping but after the final measurements and adjustments - you can see I have cut straight across the bottom of the heart and also at the top in the centre.  I folded the watercolour shape in half, then measured the width of the page block, marked the edges and then folded them again, to make it easier to open the book.

Apply glue to the back cover (chipboard) and then line it up with the watercolour paper and press it firmly in place.  Place something heavy on it like I have done here.

When it's dry, repeat with the front cover (chipboard), lining it up again using the lines you made on the watercolour paper.  Trim any excess.

The Finished Book

Now that the book is "finished" what to do with it?   Well for me, I wanted to turn it into a little book of happy thoughts, so I used some word stickers to add happy, positive thoughts to each page and also the front cover.

The book is small enough that it could easily be popped into a handbag and pulled out at times when you might need some positivity in your day.  :)

As for those inside pages, here's a look inside my Little Book of Happy Thoughts.

That's it till next time.  Let me know what you think in the comments and I would love to see your own little book of happy thoughts when you make one, so please share in the Facebook group.

Empire of the Cat

Project Recipe:

Book of Love Heart Mini Album (D117K)  available to purchase from both shops
Collage materials from my stash
Watercolour paper
Masking tape
White gesso
Soft Matte Gel
Black Staz-on ink
Rubber stamps
Word stickers (Tim Holtz and Finnabair)
Washit tape
Black Stabilo-All pencil
Fluid Acrylic paint

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Country Fairs Can be a Circus-A Peek-a-Boo Project

Growing up in the Country we were excited when summer came and it was time for the Lycoming County Fair, as a youth I’d spend the week there walking the circuit and seeing who I could see, strange to think of now as I am a shy introverted individual. Back in the day there was a tent that was of the main pathway, hidden off to one corner behind the rides, it was the Sideshow or the Freak Show tent. It promised two headed chickens, five legged calves, alligator boy, conjoined twins, bearded ladies, and world’s strongest man. I was never brave enough to go inside nor willing to pay the fee with my hard-earned money. Now I’m intrigued by all such things and this is the inspiration for this installment.
1.           I like mixing the sizes on my Triptychs for this I used Two  of the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Arch Top Triptych 8 Inch,  and one of the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Triptych-Arch Top.
2.           Use the back inside portion to trace and cut out paper you would like to use as the background.
3.           Cut Out and use Weldbond to Glue to GSLC Arch Top Frames.
4.           For the Top Frame Portion use a small plastic spatula to randomly apply Ferro Metal Effect Paint in Steel, Gold, and Copper.
5.           Once dry fill in the empty spaced with TH Distress Stains of Crushed Olives and Bundled Sage.
6.           Glue to frame to bottom securing with Weldbond.
7.           Hold securely into place using metal clips.
8.           While they are drying work on other components. I used Embossing ink in a Roller Applicator to apply Allure Mercury Rising Embossing Powder to the 1, 2, and 3 of the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Number Cards.
9.           Cure with a heating tool.
10.      Add TH Distress Stain of Mermaid Lagoon to fill in any empty spaces.

11.      Choose Scraps of paper to add a background to prepared numbers. Cut and Glue to back of Numbers with Weldbond.
12.      Choose Scraps of paper to add backgrounds to the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Artist Trading Coins. Trace with Pencil and Cut with Scissors.
13.      Secure into place using Weldbond.
14.      Use Embossing Ink in Roller Applicator and Embossing Powders like Wendy Vecchi Tree Branch, Ice Resin Garnet and Barnished Bronze, Mixed Media Funky Cold Patina to the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Trading Coin Covers Circus.
15.      Cure with a Heating tool.
16.      I wanted the Wendy Vecchi Tree Branch to be more dramatic and added Mixed Media Satin Sunset Embossing Powder and cured with a heating tool.
17.      Glue the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Trading Coin Covers Circus to the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Artist Trading Coins with Weldbond. Secure into place with Metal Clips.
18.      Use Scraps of papers to add layers and details to back of GSLC Arch Frames and GSLC Number Cards.
19.      Once backs of Arch Frames are layered as you like use the same technique described in Step 4 and 5 above to unify the two sides.
20.      Seal quickly with a Matte Varnish and a paintbrush.
21.      Assemble Pieces layering with Weldbond to hold all securely into place.
22.      Allow to dry while completely flat and weighted down with something like kitty litter in Ziploc bags.
23.      Once fully dry add small metal hinges using an awl, screwdriver and miniature screws.

Some Final Thoughts
“Life is a circus ring, with some moments more spectacular than others.” Janusz Korczak
“Just cause you got the monkeys off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left the town.” George Carlin
“So many freaks and not enough circuses!” Rachel Renee Russell
“We are all freaks. Yes! Alone in our rooms at night, we are weirdos and outcasts and losers. That is what ‘life’ is all about! Whether you admit or not, you are all worried that the others won’t accept you, that if they knew the real you, they would recoil in horror. Each of us carries with us a secret shame that we think is somehow unique…and if we are, each of us, freaks—then can’t we accept what’s different in each of us and move on?” James St. James
“We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.” The Breakfast Club
“Just because everyone is behaving like a clown, it doesn’t mean you have to join the circus.” Matshona Dhliwayo
"If you ever start to feel like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because in five minutes at the fair, you will be going, 'You know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty.'" Jeff Foxworthy
Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Arch Top Triptych 8 Inch, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Triptych-Arch Top, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Artist Trading Coins, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Trading Coin Covers Circus, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Number Cards, Circus Themed Papers- I Used Ciao Bella Greatest Show Collection, Pencil, Scissors, Weldbond, Ferro Metal Effect Paint-Copper, Gold, Steel, Plastic Spatula, TH Distress Stain-Crushed Olive, Bundled Sage, Mermaid Lagoon, Metal Clamps, Embossing Ink in Roller Applicator, Embossing Powders-I used Allure Mercury Rising, Wendy Vecchi Tree Branch, Ice Resin Garnet and Barnished Bronze, Mixed Media Funky Cold Patina and Satin Sunset, Heating Tool, Matte Varnish, Paintbrush,  Small Metal Hinges, Screwdriver, Awl, Miniature Screws, Weighted Bags-I Used Kitty Litter in Ziploc Bags
I cannot wait to see your interpretation of this project. Share it on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Craft Group Page on Facebook. I would love to see what new creations you are working on!