Tuesday, 20 April 2010

My Little Helper ..... and another Grunge page done!

I recently joined a round robin swap run by Ali Brandist, to create an altered book.  It's the first real book that I've actually had a go at altering ..... we each had to choose an old book, not too big, and it had to be stitch-bound rather than glued.  The first task was to pull out a lot of the pages (leaving about 30 double pages or so), to give enough room for adding embellishments later on.  We then had instructions for completing the first two pages in our own book, along with giving it a title/theme.  After a bit of pondering, mine is going to be "Flights of Imagination", which I hope will give everyone plenty of scope for creating their own style and ideas in my book.

Anyway, to begin with, I had to cover up some parts of the text with torn post-it notes, collage over the rest of the pages with scraps of different textured papers, then gesso over that.  I then painted over the top of the gesso, once it had dried, using some lush coloured Paint Dabbers - Pink Sherbet, Raspberry, Wild Plum, Citrus and Pool - followed by a wash of Twinkling H2O's - I absolutely adore the finished effect and as you can see, my little helper was on hand to help with the painting!

I blended some of the acrylic paints together using a baby wipe and as you can see it ended up very colourful indeed - once dried, it can be turned into a background for an ATC or card (I'm all for recycling where I can and not wasting anything that might come in useful - one day)!

The next step was to add a couple of torn strips of paper, with inked edges, one on each page, then choose two or three stamps and stamp them randomly all over.  (I chose a dragonfly, the word "imagine" and a swirly stamp).

Finally, I added an image to each page, plus a quote, all relating to the title I chose for my book (this quote is apparently one of Jane Austen's but it just seemed to fit perfectly for the theme of my book).  A few embellishments .... and my pages are complete, just waiting to be posted out to the next person in the swap next week.  We will receive more instructions from Ali after that about altering the pages in the next book we receive.

I definitely had a lot of fun making these pages - I wasn't worried about everything being perfect; I wanted everything to look a little messy and imperfect - a good lesson for me as I have a tendency to be 'picky' and want everything 'a particular way' ... so I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Then today, I got on a roll and made another Grunge page for my chunky book swap - this one is "It's Only Words" - I spritzed Mustard Seed, Broken China and Denim distress inks onto my craft sheet, then rubbed the mountboard page into the ink, front and back, then heatset it.  I stamped a Tim Holtz alphabet stamp all over, using Versamark, then embossed with an aqua embossing powder.  I also coloured some Stampbord with acrylic inks, then stamped over with the PaperArtsy 'writing hand' stamp and edged with Krylon gold pen.  I glued this over an image of a man, which I had peeled from a rather torn and tatty carte de vue that I had.  I glued a strip of text from an old book to some paper, painted it lightly with acrylic paints, gessoed, stamped, tore off bits, added more stamps, and stuck it along one side of the page.  I rubbed in some Frayed Burlap distress ink around the edges, along with a border of gold Krylon ink.  Other embellishments included pen nibs, a German scrap nib, a Rangers Muse Token and tag.  (I may add a little something more yet before it's finally finished, not sure yet).  But I'm happy to have more or less completed another page.

Now I was going to have another go with the Meltpot, but when I looked in my box of embossing powders I realised that I only had a very small amount of Clear UTEE left, not enough to have a proper go with (honest ..... it's not an excuse so I don't have to use the Meltpot! ... LOL!).  However, I am going to the craft show at Aintree Liverpool on Saturday, so I shall keep an eye out in case there's any on sale there - if not, I'll have to check out the local craft shops next week.  (I really do want to finish my mirror frame)!


  1. Love what you are creating Heather - it is all amazing but I most love your fabulous backgrounds! x

  2. Oh wow! Heather these are great, especially the chunky book page. I've just started 'it's only words', the last one for me!!! I can't believe how much your little helper has grown. xx
    X Mia

  3. I really love those pages, they are so colorful.