Decorative edges were covered in my previous class, but I called on a professional, Ingrid Dijkers, who actually teaches workshops (you know, the kind you PAY for) in which she holds classes in this very subject. Maybe some of you have seen her work. Maybe some of you have taken her workshops. If not, you are in for a treat when you visit her blog and web site.
Using Ingrid's instructions, this is the very first decorated edge I made. Here is what I wrote about the whole experience:
I really tried when I recreated this technique. I spent most of the night making it and it was a disaster from the first stitch. I began by painting both sides of a three-page block with brown antiquing ink and gold acrylic fluid. When dry, I punched holes according to Ingrid's instructions. From there everything went downhill.
Since I don't hand sew, I didn't know how to start the wire and how to keep it attached. After fiddling with that problem and eventually cutting the wire and starting over, I promptly tied the wire too tight and broke through the very first hole. After patching that, I started again, this time being more careful. As I worked, I wasn't sure how to attach the buttons, even though I looked and looked at Ingrid's photos. I seemed to have worked outward rather than down the page, and I would have run out of buttons and made the page floppy if I'd continued in that vein. Also, my buttons never laid flat. It might be because I wasn't working outside the book and didn't have a good surface to lay the pages and buttons assembly on. Finally my wire kept twisting, even though I was very careful each time I threaded a button, so I was never able to tighten the wire like it needed.
This is a detail of my first decorative edges. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I got much better the second time around because I simply never understood what Ingrid did or how she did it.
It was now time to make one of these pages in my Houses techniques book. I did this page a bit differently, though, I began by placing 8.5 X 11 inch white scrapbook paper on the back of page 1. I used gesso to apply the paper, and started to apply the front, when I realized I needed to add a piece of cardboard to strengthen the holes I was about to punch.
Ingrid suggested cereal or cracker boxes, but since I have neither (having used everything I had in my button tutorial), I had to go with two USPS flat rate envelopes. I realize these are only available in the US, but I'm sure most of you probably eat more food products that come in cardboard than I. What made these extra special was I could glue these two pieces together using the adhesive strips provided on the envelopes.
I had to work quickly because I had already applied gesso to the page. Somehow I got the cardboard down and the scrapbook paper on before the gesso dried on the page. Of course, I didn't realize how wrinkled the end result would be until later, after I had completely dried the pages by closing the book and placing the heavy gesso jar on top. In the meantime, I gathered all the supplies I though I might need to create this page.
I have lots of wire wrapping tools, but the only ones I use are my needlenose pliers and my crop-a-dile. Not sure what I would do without it, since hole punches are just too stressful on my hands. You, on the other hand, are free to use whatever wire wrapping and hole punching tools you own.
I also auditioned two different colored wires. I forgot that Ingrid suggested using paddle wire, so I chose gold 24 Ga. craft wire.
It was now time to choose 30-40 buttons.
I decided to use white buttons and add a few green buttons for accent. Now that I had my buttons and wire chosen, it was time to check on my AB pages.
Once the pages were dry, I could see the cardboard insert on the back.
Ingrid said to punch a 1/16" hole every 1/4", but I forgot to check her instructions when I started. She also said to position the hole 1/4" in from the edge. Of course, I didn't bother checking and began punching holes about every 1 inch.
I used the smallest hole in my crop-a-dile. I believe it is 1/8". At least I set the depth right at 1/4".
Next I measured out
a length of wire that was about five times longer than the book page.
I picked out a few buttons I felt I could use. Be aware I could not use the one just to the right of my hand because it is a shank button. The buttons you choose should have holes and not shanks.
Before you decorate your edges, you should create your background because you will have no way to do that, at least not around the holes, after you attach buttons, beads, washers, or other embellishments. Ingrid suggested to work on both the buttons and the background as you go, but I used paint and color mists for my background and felt I needed to make the entire background first. But remember, this is YOUR book and YOUR rules, so feel free to create your background at any time and any way.
Also remember that whatever you see from the front, you will also see from the back, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Here is the front of this spread after I added more holes. And here are Ingrid's instructions:
Using a manageable size piece of wire (I use about 18" at a time), start wiring buttons on. Make sure they are securely wired so they lie flat. You may have to go in and out of the holes of the page and the buttons several times.Ingrid Dijkers, May, 2009
I never did understand how to start the first hole, and still don't. After running the first button through the wire, I tied it off by twisting the wire on the back, and when I did, I caused slack in the wire. I was never able to take the slack up, no matter how much I pulled on the wire. I also had the same problem as the first time I created this technique, in that the wire twisted with every hole I placed it through, even though I was very careful and tried to straighten and flatten as I added each button.
I believe even the 24 GA wire is too thick for this technique. I have to agree with Ingrid that paddle wire is probably the best. In case you are not familiar with paddle wire, it is the thin wire you use when working with flowers. I think it gets its name because it is on what looks like a paddle. And there is LOTS on that paddle, too. Unfortunately, the colors are limited to green and silver, at least that's all I've ever found.
This is an example of what you probably should NOT do (grin). However, the buttons seem to lay flatter from the back side than the front.
You can see I didn't finish my buttons because I ran out of wire and got lazy. I will finish this as soon as I find my paddle wire, which I hope is in the basement along with my flower arranging materials and supplies. I know changing the wire color and size will affect the page, but I think it will be best to use the right wire for the last of the buttons.
I do like the house I made, though. I call it the Hugs and Kisses house. I used some textural scrapbook paper, a piece of cloth that I attached a "Kisses" tag to, a pink and white heart, three heart buttons, sheet music, two pink and white bows, a part of a page from an old Quality Assurance manual, and a couple of left-over hearts I cut from the next project.
Speaking of next projects, I decided if you don't want to go the button route, you might like to make something a bit different, but decorative. I started by applying gesso and black paint to the front and back of a single page, then auditioned tape, ribbon, and a cardboard roller to make the decorations.
Then I created some decorations. Since I don't have a die cutting machine, I had to cut each of these triangles by hand. I cut pieces in pairs, trying to keep the pairs together so they would hopefully fit better. If you have die cuts or punches, you can use whatever you have that will work for you. OR, you can cut everything by hand like I did.
The page in my book was so large, I couldn't get it all on my scanner. But I think you can see most of the house that became a castle with the leftover triangles. I also decided not to use the decorative ribbon, which didn't match anything, replacing it instead with green grosgrain ribbon. I had to use two strips of that wimpy tape, but it turned out great.
Be aware, these triangles are glued together except at the bottom, where the the edges are attached on both sides of the page. Thus the need for the ribbon. They are the same colors on both sides of the page. I just haven't decorated the back of the page yet, so have nothing to show. If you are a scrapbooker and have double sided paper, that would be a much smarter and more efficient way to go. Unfortunately, I don't have any double sided paper, so opted for coloring, decorating, and cutting the triangles by hand. You also might not want your decorative edges to stick so far away from the edge of your page. Remember, it's YOUR book and YOUR rules.
Here are a few more ideas, some of which I mentioned earlier: flat washers, beads (purchased, made from polymer clay, hand made), die cuts, flowers (either paper or silk), screws, or other bits that will lay relatively flat against the page.
Now it's time for you to create a decorative edge in your AB. If you don't have enough pages in your book, you can practice on a tag, OR return to a page that could use a bit of decorating around the edges.
Also, at least one of you is a professional beader (I promise not to mention any names, Debbie), so possibly she could document how she made her edge and can show the rest of us how it SHOULD be made.
Before I suggest the homework (never mandatory, always optional), please vote for what you would like for Lesson 18. This is the Student's Choice lesson, as stated in the syllabus. Please state your preference in the comment section. The lesson with the most votes wins.
Create at least one spread in which you decorate an edge. Remember, you can use any page, even ones that have been previously decorated. Just be aware, you will design this for the FRONT of a right side and the FRONT of a left REVERSE side. Alternately, if you have no pages, feel free to decorate a tag using one of the techniques I suggested.
What you will need for Lesson 16:
Once again your instructor is changing the order of the lessons. According to the syllabus, this should be the order in which these next two lessons are taught:
Lesson 16However, after reviewing the class I taught before, I realized I included both fabric and polymer clay in one lesson. I began with polymer clay and finished by using the clay as examples when I created my fabric pages. Therefore, I am reversing the order in which these lessons will be taught. You will still get the same lessons, they will just be reversed.
Beyond the Basics: fabric
Lesson 17Beyond the Basics: polymer clay
I realize some of you work with polymer clay a LOT, while some of you have never worked with polymer clay in your life. Those of you who own polymer clay making equipment are certainly welcome to use them. This is what you will need:
Toaster oven designated for baking polymer clay
Craft or X-acto knife
At least ONE package of clay (color of your choice)
Alternately, you may want to use Translucent Liquid Sculpey to make image transfers
For those of you who don't have the above tools, here is what you will need if you decide to play along:
2 or more paint stirrer sticks or a deck of playing cards
A length of PVC pipe (from the hardware store), or a round, straight bottle
2 pie tins, the same size, or a shallow metal decorative tin with a lid
Binder clips, at least two
Straight edge razor blades or an X-acto knife
At least one package of polymer clay
Most of you will have these items, except the clay. You might also want to include these optional items:
Latex gloves (because certain polymer clay colors your hands, and because the gloves keep fingerprint marks to a minimum)
Any mica powder (does not need a resin binder)
Old paint brush
Cookie cutters no longer used to cut cookies
Candy molds no longer used to make candy
It's share time!
Now is the time to share your Lesson 14 homework (windows and doors). This seemed to be a popular lesson, so I hope we get a good response. I know some of you are probably anxious to show what you have made. Remember, if you have homework from any lesson other than Lesson 14 (windows and doors), you may enter it here, along with the lesson number. Thanks again for your continued support. It is always appreciated.