I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Cabinet Journal

Hello all!  I'm so glad you enjoyed the Candlelit Foliage.

Today we're back on the journal trail, another creation made using Eileen Hull's fantastic Journal die.  You saw a sneak peek of this when I was joining in the announcement of the Journal Treasury e-book the other day. 

(If you missed the exciting launch do check out all the details by clicking the link.)

The cover looks innocent enough, ready to open up to reveal the pages inside.

But this one has no pages.  It's a journal with a difference... a cabinet of curiosities, lost and found over time.

One of the inspirational journals included in the Treasury comes from the fantastic Shelly Hickox a.k.a. the Stamptramp.  She used Tim Holtz Configurations boxes inside her journal cover... but, even before I'd seen that, my very first thought when I saw the journal die for the first time was, "Ooh, that looks just the right size for a Calico Craft Parts Printers Tray... and it turns out I was right!

I've played with the CCP Printers Tray a number of times (check out my Springtime Shadowbox, or the Doll Exhibition, or even, from way back when, you could do some Beachcombing), and I love that you can get it with varying internal configurations, according to what you want to do with it.

A recent new addition to the range, though, are these wonderful frames to add to the front of your finished tray to give it a really polished look.  As you can see, I haven't added it to the tray itself, but it makes for a lovely feature on the front of the journal.

This is the plain frame, which I've given a rusted look with the simple aid of a few DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics, but there are also some glorious decorative ones.  I've got a lovely bramble-covered version which I'm looking forward to playing with soon.

The word label is also by Calico Craft Parts, one of their new(ish) Word Elements.  Again, I've just used some paint to get the rusty look - some Quinacridone Gold, Paynes Grey and Raw Umber.

I layered the paint in washes, stippling it until I had the look I wanted.

Behind the Word Element is a piece of my much-loved rusty mesh, and some tiny paper roses finish the front cover.

The outside of the journal is covered with some of the Tim Holtz Memoranda papers - in fact, those are the papers in use throughout, including on the outside of the printers tray itself, which forms the edging of the "pages".

And some plain off-white cotton twill tape provides the fastening to secure it.

I've kept it relatively simple on the outside, since I expect it's going to stand open as often as it is closed...

... so that you can explore the Lost and Found objets trouvés inside...

... the gatherings and remnants of a number of lives.

The brilliant thing about the Printers Tray is that it comes in pieces, making it really easy to decorate it before you assemble it.

I've used the 6x6 papers for the interior.   (The central walls aren't stuck down yet at this point - I'm just checking how it looks.)

The 6x6 designs are smaller in scale, so they don't overwhelm the little cubbyholes.

The larger scale 12x12 Memoranda papers cover the inner boards as well as the front of the journal.

I love that it looks as though I've taken the time to gather lots of old vintage ephemera and papers and even old sellotape - no, it's all on the paper design!

I painted the inner spine, as you can see; and later I added some vintage lace to match the pieces in the cubby holes opposite.

There are lots of bits and bobs in here, some of which have been waiting around for quite a while to find a new home, each one a "found object" as the sign says.

There are some that I've altered - these wooden cubes, covered in some more Memoranda papers...

... and some that I made pretty much from scratch, like this bottle top filled with paper, mini-gears and topped up with Glossy Accents.  I made it ages ago - it's been waiting at least three years to be used for something!

I'm completely in love with the new Idea-ology skulls - incredibly detailed and brilliantly aged.  All you have to do is stick them down and they add antiquity and mystery.

He's next to a resin rose which I rusted pretty much exactly four years ago (my Tea Dye and Rusty Hinge post will reveal all...), and a rusty star which came that way.

The golden bird I think came off a charm necklace bought at a charity shop for crafty dismantling, and he's flying over a resin picture frame - maybe Prima? maybe not.

There's another of the frames, and another rusty star (somebody must have been making a collection) in the top left corner display.  You'll see I distressed the papers even more round the corners and edges.

Just below the Quote Stick (which gave me the idea behind the whole piece), a couple of spools sit on some more of the lace with a couple of faded roses, carrying the memories of some long-forgotten romance.

Tucked away in a corner, there's one of the Idea-ology Salvaged Dolls, messed up considerably with washes of paint, perched on another of the wooden spools.

And the key (from another long-ago rusting session) keeps its secrets - we'll never know what lock it opened... perhaps one on a small chest containing the love letters from that faded romance.  Since the key is lost, the chest can't be opened, so the letters will never be read again.

The innards of an old pocket watch hang on the wall, supported by a twist of rusty wire.

Down at the bottom left, the decorations are a little less steampunk and a little more baroque.  The gilded cherub perches on his wooden flourish (Calico Craft Parts again)...

... while the rusted locket, fallen into decay, commemorates another long-lost love.  Such a profile!

As you'll have noticed, there are several of the wonderful Clippings stickers dotted around.

There are more of them over on the inside cover of the journal.

Facing all those long lost dimensional objects, we also have some lost and found paper ephemera...

... the photos slipping through time...

... along with luggage labels, and tickets, and playbills, and school reports...

... and the memories and echoes of conversations...

... all the tiny pieces which go to make up the record of a life...

... and most of which slip away from us, carrying the stories they hold off into the world.

The whole thing stands up beautifully making it easy to display... now I just need some space.

So there's my journal cabinet of curiosities for you - I hope it sends your imagination off down as many story avenues as it does mine!

Hope you're all enjoying a great weekend, and I'll see you again soon.

Memory is the cabinet of imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience and the council-chamber of thought.
Giambattista Basile

Monday, 14 August 2017

Candlelit Foliage

Hello all!  I'm so glad you liked the Autumnal Oxide Journal (so do I!), but we're taking a little break from the journal journey today because I'm over at A Vintage Journey instead, arriving at Destination Inspiration.  If you'd like to take a closer look at what I created with the contents of this month's travel bag (texture paste, layers, neutral palette and a glass substrate), then hop right this way.

I was responsible for the choice of the glass, so I had to prove it could be done!  I had a vague idea for the lanterns when I started, but they've ended up far exceeding my expectations.  I hope you'll have time to hop over to A Vintage Journey to take a look.

I'll be back in a few days with the next journal, so I hope to see you again soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

If you treat glass right, it doesn't crack. If you know the properties, you can make things; the colour of dusk and night and love.
From Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

If you don't mind hopping to see the full project, I'd love to share this in the Technique School over at Stamps and Stencils this month.  I was really making these altered jars up as I went along, but there are plenty of process photos to take you through it
And since they're a pretty long way off from being a card, I'd like to make them another entry at the That's Crafty Challenge Blog where they're looking for, yes, Anything But Cards

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Autumnal Oxide Journal

Hello all!  As promised, I'm here with some more pictures and words about one of my latest journals created with Eileen Hull's fabulous journal die.  Warning - there are many, many pictures to capture all the colours and angles, so you might want to grab a sustaining beverage!

Oh boy, did I have fun playing with the Oxides on this one?!  As well as some of Tim Holtz's brilliant new Thinlits dies... and I'm very happy with the journal I've ended up with.

If you missed the exciting launch of the Journal Treasury - a collection of inspirational projects made with the die (but also providing inspiration for any kind of handmade books/albums/journals) - you can catch up with all the details here... or just head over to Bella Crafts to grab a copy of the e-book at the reduced August price of 30% off.

Buy the Journal Treasury E-Book

This particular journal isn't in the book, but there is one of mine there, and there are some spectacular projects to enjoy from amazing crafters around the world.

From the moment I saw the new Thinlits collection, there were some "must-haves".  They're intended mainly for Halloween, but there are lots of them which will have a much wider use, especially for those autumnal projects which always get my creative juices flowing.

You've met this colour combination before, and with crows associated with it too.  I've pretty much "cased" my own journalling pages, A Beautiful Adventure.

But now I've got some glorious ink and oxide effects in the background, which simply couldn't have happened back then in pre-Oxide days...

... as well as Tim's fabulous Scarecrow to add to the scene.  And it's a journal not a journalling page, so really it's quite different!

I started with a large piece of watercolour paper, and my autumnal landscape colours in Distress Inks on the mat for the first passes.

Once I had some good bright layers down, I switched to Oxides on the mat and started layering.

And from there I did a bit of ink and Oxide mixing, as well as plenty of water-spritzing, until I was happy with the results.

Well, a little more than happy, actually...

I cut the Eileen Hull journal cover first of all in some strong cardboard.

I spent a bit of time deciding which parts of my large sheet I really wanted to feature... 

... before running it through with the die to get my front and back covers, which I stuck on to the cardboard pieces for extra sturdiness.

I love how the final layer of white spatter really adds detail and depth somehow.

I had added some stamping, of course... one of my favourite Tim Holtz meadow flowers stamps...

(I love how the Antique Linen Oxide gives you this wonderful misty look over the top of all the other inky layers.)

... and the glorious tree branches to give a little more for the large crow to perch on.

He does have the branch which comes as part of the set, but I like how the stamping gives a little more depth and truth to the illusion.

He seems to be contemplating whether to join his fellows in the sky.

The tiny birds flying away in the distance come with the Scarecrow.  They're fiddly, but definitely worth it...

... providing an echo of another of my favourite TH stamps, but with a bit more presence over a busy background.

On the front cover, his partner in crime has no such doubts about whether to leave...

... he's off!

The scarecrow can only stand and watch the results of his successful scaring.  I do love the detail on this die.

If you're wondering, his twiggy fingers do go off around the corner onto the spine.

My signatures inside are made up of some cheap watercolour paper, perhaps for mixed media journalling...

... or maybe I'll stick some of the many autumnal tags I've made (past, present and future) onto the pages.

The signatures are held in place with some elastic twine, so they're easy to get in and out.  I haven't bound the signatures, as I thought it would be easier to create on the pages if I left them loose.

Some simple rustic twine forms the closure.  I didn't want anything getting in the way of the scene too much.

It goes in through the central hole in the spine and is held in place with some wire inside, so it's not going anywhere.

You can undo the knots without any worries about losing the twine!

This one really gives me great joy to look at and to hold, as you can probably tell from the number of photos!  I hope you've enjoyed seeing some more of the details in close-up, front and back, inside and out.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  And remember, if you're looking for more handmade book inspiration, do check out the Journal Treasury.  See you again soon!

Life is populated with scarecrows—all those people and things that seem so scary and trouble our sleep. Isn't it nice to know that most of them turn out to be made of nothing but straw?
Jerry Spinelli

I'd like to play along at That's Crafty Challenges where they are looking for Anything But Cards
At Love To Create, sponsored by Premium Craft Brands, they are having they're usual Anything Creative/Mixed Media Goes, so I'm joining in there too
At the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, they'd like to see things For A Child - I'd have loved a notebook like this as a child to record my thoughts in