Monday, March 30, 2020

A wee bit of color for The Funkie Junkie Boutique Challenge blog!

I am scooting in at the last minute with a very small book for the "Little Things" challenge at the Funkie Junkie Boutique.  For those who've read here recently, I am once again diving into making books of various sorts (though not yet of the expected variety).  This wee one is the smallest I've made yet - 2.25 inches tall by 2.25 inches wide by 0.75 inches thick....  secured by a magnetic wrap.

Spring seems to be visiting other parts of the northern hemisphere at the moment, and I imagine we too will experience this wonderful phenomenon soon, or so I hope.  At the moment, however, we have moody dark skies filled with rain, snow, hail or some oddly comic mix of the same.  I dearly love the skies here, even with this type of weather, but even I long for a little bit of color amidst all of this atmosperic drama set amongst a very dun, muddy stage here in our rural farming area.

Whilst in my studio yesterday, in what I might charitibly name "cleaning up" but really was just noodling around, I came across a curious and fascinating book The Secret Lives of Color,  by  Kassia St. Clair.  She chronicles the discoveries and tales of colors and their various manisfestations in hues and shades.  Did you know, for instance, that Payne's gray (one of my favorite pigments) is named for a civil engineer turned water-colorist, who mixed this fabulous concoction of Prussian blue,  crimson lake, and yellow ochre?

At any rate, perusing the book took me to my own watercolors.  Wanting to see what they did with dry embossed paper, I dug out twelve embossing folders and promptly ran small swatches of Sthrathmore watercolor cards through my machine, and then applied to each one color of a rainbow order, made with one of my palettes - which had a rather motley collection of colors, many of which were of the quinacridone family.  Nonetheless, off I went....

until I had twelve little swatches of colors..... red, red-orange, orange, orange yellow, yellow, yellow green, green, green-blue, blue, blue-purple, purple, and purple-red (forgive the placement, per my usual failure to negotiate proper placement with Blogger).

The swatches were mounted on a small accordion book of smoke grey.  The back was stamped and heat-embossed with a small "splat" stamp from Stamper's Anonymous in black....

and each end piece stamped with a larger version of "splat", heat-embossed with white.

I constructed a small wrap of black mat board, covered with panels on which I had splattered various colors of distress stains, followed by a spray of matt finish fixative, and secured by two small magnets.

Each color swatch was labeled with its initial, die cut from the Tim Holtz "Alphanumeric Tiny Type Lower Case" set, and painted with Glossy Accents for a bit of shine.  I do not regularly look at, or post on, Instagram, but seeing the hashtag symbol in this set gave me the name for my small book!

Thank you for your visit, and if you'd like, please do comment below - I always love hearing from you!  As the title indicates, I am entering this into the current "Little Things" challenge at TFJB.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Field Notes for March Mini Album Makers Challenge

Warning, this is a long post, as it is the way I track my makes!

Some years ago, I purchased the beautiful Graphic 45 "Nature's Sketchbook" papers, thinking to make a naturalist's diary..... but life and my preference
to avoid fussy cutting intervened.  I did keep the papers when I moved, though.... and so glad I did!

I have always been an avid reader, and once I dipped my toes into the world of mixed media, I knew I wanted to create little books.... even though I'd little idea how to do so.  So as we do, I turned to You Tube, and many different blogs, and slowly my skills advanced.   

Recently, I've ventured into making mini albums with a vintage feel, that usually convey some sort of story (rather than being a photo album).  When I came across the "Nature's Sketchbook" papers last month, I decided I would finally make that Diary of a Naturalist I'd thought of all those years past.  

My brother being an entymologist by training, I knew part of the book would be devoted to that field.  The graphic 45 papers contain some beautiful butterfly images, so that would be another section.  I adore vintage paintings of mushrooms and toadstools, so here would be a third section.  The Graphic 45 papers also feature some gorgeous flowers, hence the fourth and final section.  As it happens, I have quite a diverse selection of digital papers I've purchased from Etsy depicting all of these interests, as well as vintage fabrics, wallpapers and other backgrounds, so I knew I would have plenty of images, in addition to my rather large (ahem) stamp stash.

I also knew I wanted the cover to be embossed faux leather, and then highlighted per Heather of the Graphics Fairy, with a faux leather binding cover.  I dyed my embossed cover with Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink Spray, and used Prima Antique Bronze wax to highlight.  The faux leather binding cover is colored with Vintage Photo Distress Stain spray.

But what of the book's construction?  This stymied me for quite a while, as I knew I wanted a lot of ephemera within the book, but with more than pockets and trifold types of things, having almost learned here that the book can become too thick without a different approach. 

 I happened across one of Nik the Booksmith's video tutorials about a Pen Pal Folio.  (Sorry, I cannot get the link to give you the clean slate!)  Although she used file folders, I used heavy card, which is what I had, and determined that I would mount each folio on a page of the album.

The pages are constructed of black mat board in hopes they would accommodate the weight of the folio and all the enclosed ephemera.  Due to the thickness of the mat board, I ended up using each side as a page, rather than making two separate pages and then adhering them together to a hinge binding.  The side without a folio is a pocket or bellyband, with much less emphemera.  Even so, the book is quite thick; the spine is three inches across.

The first page is the title....

with a small pocket on the reverse side,

containing various dragonfly cards....

The third page is the butterfy folio.  Each folio closes with a tag "latch", on which I've printed the title.  The latch is secured with decorative brads.

The insides of the folios are lined with light vintage damask papers.   The folios contain tags, little books, and pamphlets depicting the subject matter.

Here are the other folios.  I apologize for the formatting - Blogger and I usually have issues with that :-)

The opposite side of the butterfly folio is a belly band with a small pamphlet giving the origin of the word "Mycology" (the study of mushrooms).... and opposite that is the mushroom folio.

inside the folio are tags and a little book about mushrooms

The next folio is devoted to Entymology.... and the back of the mushroom folio has a small pocket with cards of various wasps....

The folio has tags and a small book about insects.....

 The final folio is about flora:

 The back of the Entymology folio is again a pocket with a variety of floral cards.... backed with beautiful digital vintage paper....

This folio has a few simple cards, again backed with digital paper.... 

And a wee booklet about wildflowers....

The final page (on the back of the flora folio) has a small pocket with a pamplet giving credits....

 The inside front cover has a simple bookplate.... and the inside back cover has a magnetic strap containing a map, perhaps depicting the naturalist's travels....

And the book itself has a ribbon closure, secured with eyelets.

Thank you so much for hanging in there with me if you did, and please know I'd love to hear from you below!

I am entering this into the March Mini Album Maker challenge and the current Celebration challenge at A Vintage Journey.  It is something of a collection of several mini albums and hopefully will count  for the mini album challenge, and I am certainly celebrating the completion of this album as well as having figured out an alternate spine for binding!