Friday, September 25, 2009

A birthday book for a friend

For several days I worked on a birthday book for a special friend whose birthday is this month. I'm actually delighted that I was able to finish it before her birthday, something I haven't been able to say for other gifts I've made recently.

Here is the completed book from the top. Including the two inside and outside covers, there are 18 spreads, each of which I attempted a different technique. The book measures 6" X 6".

The pages were cut from some that my friend Kathy gave me about three weeks ago. When she asked if I wanted them, I was delighted because they were the perfect thickness for the book I had planned. Each spread was created separately, then glued to its opposing page using two UHU permanent glue rollers.

I hope I've teased you enough to want to read further. Without further ado, here are the pages in order.

The outside cover was covered with metal air conditioning repair tape, as were three of the slide mounts. The cover was decorated with Staz-on. The images are from Paper Whimsey and I only have two tiny images left on the sheet. From the top left the slide mounts/tape was decorated with:
alcohol ink, Staz-on
fluid acrylic, shoe polish

The inside of the front cover tells who the book was made for, but I erased her name in the scan because she doesn't have the book yet and I also respect her privacy. This and the following pages were scanned, so clicking on them should take you to a screen where you can see the details.

The background of this page was created using various pigment inks and blended with a cotton ball. The house was made from vintage sheet music, the roof from some hand painted paper. The "H" was cut from a plastic faux credit card using a stencil. The door knob is a small circle of bling I got at Michael's. The tree was made from a die cut oval tag (thanks to Kathy) and a strip of ribbon. "Home" was written with a dymo label maker, and the fortune also came from Kathy.

I swear this apron took longer to make than if I had made the real thing. I struggled and struggled with it and finally got it finished. The easy part was the tiny pocket. The background is bright yellow acrylic paint that I hoped would set off the apron. "Apron" was stencilled onto the page.

Kathy loaned me this stamp to practice on for our card making this month. Instead of making cards, I used watercolor markers and used it for a "P" word. Then I sewed around it twice: once with plain stitching, once with zig-zag.

Plastic poker playing cards. How many more "Ps" did I need for this spread? I originally planned to use three cards, but they hid the red hat, so I opted for two and the really old playing card box. I used an old dictionary for the words and phrases. The P at the top is brass.

This piece was hard to scan because I used so much yarn it didn't want to scan properly. I began with the yellow background made from Twinkling H20s, then added the yarn "material" I created. I began with a piece of cotton and ironed Wonder Under on top. Next I laid down yarns of various thickness, length, and color. Another piece of Wonder Under was ironed on top of the yarn, the backing removed, and more yarn laid on top. I repeated the process three more times, so the piece was really thick and full when I finished.

I needed a space to separate the words, so I used one of my gelatin monoprints, to which I added a feather and a piece of silk flower I colored with the same glaze as the monoprint. I also colored the head of the brad with the glaze and clipped it with a clothes pin until it dried.

Bling began as an experiment in collage. I laid down several disparate papers and an acrylic "skin". I brought them all together with the green Pearl Ex powder I added to Elmers glue. The B is brass, the "bling" is from the same package as the door knob in "Home." The little girl is Paper Whimsey and I have two that size left. That crown just fits the image perfectly!

I was talking to my neighbor and couldn't come up with an "I" word. She suggested Iris and I looked and looked in my cancelled postage stamps and these were all I could find, but none of the real cancelled ones. The background is two colors of acrylic paint I put on in swirls, then added spots of gold. I cut the stickers to look like postage using decorative scissors.

These images were from an ad I got in the mail. I saved them for Dana's AB when I thought her theme was "circles." When she changed her theme, I nearly threw the images away. I was sure glad I didn't because they were the perfect thing for the "R." I began by masking the piece with my cardboard circle, then painted the rest of the page using red ink and mica powders. I like to cut close around images, but these were a bit too fussy, so I tried a technique I had seen Dana use where she cut around images in straight lines. I had a hard time with it because I wanted to follow the curves rather than thinking straight lines. I'm not sure I ever got the complete hang of it.

For the journal wording in the center, I started by penciling in a round guide, then gave up when I thought I could do just as well without any lines.
The "T" features a small thermometer on textile. Dictionary words were laid over fabric. I attached the thermometer using Velcro so it can be removed for interaction.

I'm not much of a rubber stamper, but that is all that I did on this page after I used three different colors of Twinkling H20's. It's been a long time since I used them, so it was good to get them out and play with them again.

I have to thank Kathy for this page. Without her, this page would never have happened. She gave me the tags, the scroll, and the background paper. I added a rubber stamped image, the word Declaration, the Scrabble tile I scuffed up with sandpaper and black ink, and the tiny black dots made from texture paint. I used silver glitter pen to write "It's your day" on the tags.

While looking through my cancelled stamps for irises, I came across a book that told about the air mail service and the idea for the other "A" spread was born. I used stamps and images that represented the Air Mail service and Air Mail stamps, along with some very old Air Mail stickers. So that everything would match, I painted a beige glaze over the finished spread.

The final page was actually the first one I created. I showed the background in a previous post. When dry, I added the "Y" and rest of the word using stencils. I found the chair in a book and was happy that its color complimented the page and it had a yellow cushion.

This is the back inside page or "key" to the message. I added a metal key and crown. The key was a gift and the price tag was still on it. I painted the tiny tag using purple fluid acrylic and left it on the key. I'm really drawn to those tiny tags.

The back outside cover uses the same metal tape as the front.
Plastic slide mounts are decorated beginning upper left:
Fluid acrylic, shoe polish
Staz-on, metal tape and alcohol ink
The stamps are all from Mrs. O"Leary's and stamped in lavender pigment ink.
I bound the pages together using plastic clips I got at Home Depot in their paint department by the paint chips. Yes, they were free!! When all the pages were finished, but before I bound the pages, I sealed them using an acrylic sealer.

I was surprised how much fun I had getting out materials I hadn't used for a long time, such as the Pearl Ex, dymo label maker, Twinkling H20s, rubber stamps I've never used before, decorative scissors, yarn, stencils, postage stamps, slide mounts, metal tape, glitter pens, and so on. My studio is so small, though, I had to make one page (or the elements for it), then put everything away afterward. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have made it into the room by the third day.

My only regret? Not being able to see my friend's face when she unwraps it!

3 thoughtful remarks:

Dianne said...

what an outstanding project! the green 'Bling" page and the 'airmail' page are my favorites. what a lucky girl your friend is...

jackie said...

Wow! Your friend is very lucky!! You've really put lots of thought and creativity into this wonderful project! Lots of variety and textures and interest all the way through! Great job!!

Seth said...

This is such an incredible book. What a generous and amazing gift!