Wednesday, July 22, 2009

it's that time of year again.... make thank you cards for Connor's teachers

I hope they liked 'em :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Buried Treasure - originally posted August 2007

Seth over at the Altered Page has had, as is his wont, a genius idea:

Let's get everyone to re-post one of their favourite blog entries, so that we can flit from blog to blog and wallow in all the amazingly creative wondrousness that we might just have missed the first time around.

So here's my contribution.....

This altered book spread was first posted on my blog in August 2007, and it's not even on here any more (well, until today :)), as I pruned my blog a while ago and removed everything prior to 2008.

So I'm glad of this opportunity to re-showcase this Day of the Dead piece, as I had so much fun making it :)


I have always liked the look of altered books, but have never quite gotten around to trying one.

So I was chuffed to bits when the latest CJ turned up in the Take One Stamp circle, and it was exactly that - a fab old hardback book, with a really nice, versatile shrine stamp from Lost Coast. So nice in fact that I already own it myself.

This CJ belongs to my pal Julie, and I know she used to be a bit of a goth girlie, so I thought I could crack out my skeletons and skulls and have some real fun with a Day of the Dead spread. And that's exactly what I did. And fun, indeed, it was.

I started off with the Misfits stamp I made ages ago on the Imagepac, for my son - as I thought he'd look pretty cool inside the shrine. I stamped him in Starlite Black and then "coloured in" all the white bits with liquid pearls.

I cut a niche for him in a block of pages, and also cut an arch shaped niche above, to showcase the lovely design at the start of the next chapter. Why did they stop putting these in books? They looked great.

The bit I cut out of the top niche seemed too nice to waste, so I glued that at the bottom of the page, upside down.

Next I gave the whole thing a coat of gesso - with my fingers - I like getting messy :) and a swiping over with yellow and orange distress inks.

I wanted to mask the lettering for the title, but none of my Heidi Swapp mask alphas were "spooky" looking enough, so I cut some letters with my Cricut and ran them through a repo cartridge on the Xyron to make masks. The first letters I cut were way too small and in the wrong font, because I am spatially challenged and incapable of operating simple machinery - but they didn't go to waste because I used them on my sign in tag :)

I stuck the masked letters down, covered up my skull with a bit of tin foil to make sure he didn't get splashed, and then washed over the whole spread with watered down paint in crimson and violet.

Once the paint was dry I lifted the masks - with difficulty - that repositionable Xyron isn't as repositionable as you'd think :) - and the lettering looked like this <------------

I especially like the way the purple paint pooled around the letters in "Dia" to make a defined outline. A happy accident :)

I added various stamped images - some direct to the pages such as the ravens, the crosses beneath the shrine, and the "de los" - and some Third Coast dancing skeletons on yellow tissue paper adhered with mod podge, and bones stamped on ivory card. Then embellished with a stamped fabric trim and a jewel above the shrine and rays of dimensional paint below.

The shrine itself I stamped in royal purple Stazon onto glossy card that I had alcohol inked in yellow, orange and gold (Pinata inks and Ranger mixative), and I cut off the cupids at the top as they didn't really suit my theme.

I really wanted some authentic Mexican milagros to finish the piece off, but I couldn't find any to buy in this country (ebay let me down, horror of horrors), and didn't have time to wait for them to get here from the US. So I made my own freehand with embossing tin. I made two burning hearts and an eye, and I'm really pleased with how they turned out. Must admit I had to make about 9 to get three usable ones, but I got there in the end :) I aged them a bit with a light swipe of brown acrylic paint, and adhered them with foam pads behind the raised parts which will hopefully stop them getting too squashed.

All in all a REALLY enjoyable project. It has certainly whetted my appetite for altered books, I can't wait to work in another, or even start my own.


You'll be glad to hear, I have since started my own :)

Monday, July 06, 2009


My 10th entry in the fabric round robin...only 2 more to go - sob - have really enjoyed it

This particular person's CJ (not really a "J" as it's not really a book) has evolved a nature theme on its travels, so I wanted to stay on topic...and mushrooms were the first subject that came to mind.

I used some fabric from a pair of kiddies trousers I got in the Matalan clearance store, and the same reverse applique technique that I used before on the jellyfish entry.

PS sorry for neglecting the blog...I only really post here when I've made something, and life has been way too busy lately for making stuff, I'm afraid.