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Something a little different.

During this past week I have been sorting out supplies in my craft room and getting ready to make some Altered Books and Mini Albums. I just adore these and I have so many ideas I want to put into action. In the last couple of days I have finally started, so I have some photos to show you of my progress so far.

But before I do that. How many of you have been looking at the Pixie Treasures Pinterest inspiration board? There are so many wonderful ideas there, along with links to lots of freebies and tutorials all generously provided for free on the websites of the wonderful online creative community. I know some of you only do your craft on the computer – digi scrapping for example, and that a lot of the pictures are for actual physical greeting cards and such. But you can still use them for inspiration, and to prove it, I have one to show you that I made for my daughter for her recent birthday.

This is the card from the Pinterest board that I used for inspiration:

And here is the one I made – digitally – for my daughter:

You can see that there are lots of differences, but the layout is basically the same and the colours are similar. This is because of my little (until now) secret. You see, I can make stuff for you guys to use in your layouts. But I rarely do layouts myself. Because when it comes to putting them together I suddenly have a lack of confidence and fits of indecision. And if you think I’m bad digitally? you should see me doing layouts in real life – cos this is where if you do something wrong you can waste precious resources. And we all know that craft resources are not cheap!

So I fiddle and faddle about and it takes me ages to decide on things. Even tho I had a layout to copy for this one it still took me a whole day to put together! *sigh* So, there you have it, my dirty little secret.

I think the seam binding ribbon in the original is much prettier than my bow. Do you know that you cannot even buy seam binding in New Zealand? WTF??? I know – I am going to have to order it from the states would you believe! Crazy! I asked for some in the shops and no one even knew what I was talking about!

So I found some papers that were similar in colour toning as the original but not the same. Then I tattied up the edges by using the burn and dodge tools in photoshop. Then I added the stitches and embossed them to try and get a more realistic look.

Then I added a strip of paper with stripes across it, lay the lace strip beside it and the green ribbon over the two of them. The postcard with the back showing goes underneath these strips, but the front one goes on top.

I found some suitable photoshop brushes to do the swirly effect along the edge of the green paper and for the ends of the postcard and applied those, along with a shadow on the postcard ones.

Then I made the bow and attached that, and found two pins in my collection of images and slid them in. I had to recolour the button because I didn’t have a green one. The stars are not glittery like the original ones. This is because when I had my previous troubles with photoshop I lost a lot of my styles and other presets, so I just had to make do with a silver one.

The pretty vintage tag at the top with the rose on it is from Far Far Hill. I put the Happy Birthday wording on it and the string. Then I added a wee tag down the bottom with my Daughters name on it and the year.

So although it’s similar, it’s not the same. I think it came out pretty well. What do you think?

My First Altered Book Project

While looking through the DIY and Crafts section of Pinterest the other day, I came across a page with lots of Art Journals, Altered Books and Mini Albums on it. Wow! I just adore these and I’ve wanted to try my hand at making them for a while. So I watched some of the video tutorials and am now totally inspired.

For my first one I have found an old book and ripped out the pages. My Mum was a school teacher and a librarian – she will be looking down from above, most unhappy with me! Sorry Mum! but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, as my hubby keeps reminding me. I was so excited to get started that I forgot to take a ‘before’ shot of the book before I tore out the pages and painted the cover, but here is what it’s looking like at the moment:

This book cover was a faded yukky orange. I coated it in charcoal acrylic paint and then dried it with my hot air gun. Then I drybrused cream over the outside, concentrating more in certain areas than others. After that was dry I used Walnut distressing ink to give it an aged dirty and worn look. This did not come out as well as I’d hoped. I wanted the brown of the ink darker but after several coats it was still too light. Since these pictures I have modge podged the whole outside to seal it, and that has made the ink show up darker and it’s looking much better.

While the cover was drying I started sorting and making the decorations for the outside. First I wanted a background matt and not having anything suitable I took a paper doily and painted it an olive green. This caused me some trouble too. The first one I did I lay down on some scrap paper and applied the green paint. Only trouble was that the paint, when going through the holes in the doily, completely glued it too the paper underneath and I couldn’t seperate them without ripping the doily. Scrunch up and throw into the trash bin. Second attempt I painted sections at a time, lifting it off the paper as I went and drying it a bit at a time so it would not stick to the paper underneath. This one worked much better:

While that finished drying I started putting together the first flower to go on the cover. I found a length of lace and sewed a running stitch along one edge, pulling it up to make it frilly, then attaching the ends together do it was a frilly circle. Then I pulled some outer petal layers from a small fabric rose and using Tacky Glue, stuck them in the middle of the of the lace circle. Finally, I scrounged around in a tin of old earings and found a lovely pearl one with wee diamond like stones around it. I broke the backing of it and glued it into the centre of the flower:

Oops, probably should have cropped that photo first. Never mind, you can still see it. Pretty isn’t it? That’s number one. I have lots more to make.

That is as far as I’ve got with this book. I’ll post more photos after I’ve done some more work on it.

If any of you are making altered books or mini albums, I would love to see pictures of them or hear about your ideas and experiences.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Brenda xx

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2 Responses to “Something a little different.”

  • Chris Allport:

    Hi Brenda

    I make cards myself, that is my first love. I have never made one as beautiful as yours. I just love the distressed look but have never done it myself.

    Cardmaking was what led me to digital scrapbooking as I found a link to a scrapbook website in one of my cardmaking magazines – it had a free pack of papers, that is the reason I bought it in the first place. I went to Shabby Princess and the rest is history. Now I do more layouts than cards.

    Take care of yourself.

    Lots of luv