Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Weekend Projects

Another one of my weekend projects was an Anniversary card for one of my co-workers. I painted a background and then layered on Golden's Light Molding Paste that was tinted with Pearl Ex powders. This results in some nice texture with a bit of glimmer. I then Gocco printed on top of the sample and mounted it to a folded card. The card lining was printed on linen text weight paper.
Front of Card
Inside sentiment

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend Projects

This weekend, I didn't nearly get all of the things done that I should have. I don't even have anything to really show for my efforts. I just don't know where the time went.

I was working on two separate projects that I needed to complete by Monday. The first project was my Emotions swap on swap-bot. I am hosting a handmade postcard swap based on Emotions. The emotion this month was AWE.

I used some colored backgrounds that I already had. I then did a double overlay. The first was a baby's face and the second was a newspaper birth announcement page. For me, there is nothing more awe inspiring than the birth of a child. The joy and love of the new parents, and the miracle of birth. I put in this category the adoption of a child as well. The same love and joy is truly awe inspiring.

I am still in my text and picture phase. I really like the juxtaposition of text/fonts and images.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crafting on the Road

When I am traveling and have some time off, I try and visit the local arts and craft stores in the area. Sometimes, I will visit the local Michaels store or a fine arts store. Mainly, I try and visit the mom and pop type stores that depend on local crafters for a living.

In these difficult times, it is important for us to visit these stores because their livelihood is depend upon people like us--the independent crafter or the avocational crafter. For me, any place that has paper is a store for me. I can usually find a local scrapbook store that caters to the locals.

When I was on tour recently, I found my way into The Scrapper's Corner in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The store was a single story structure loaded to the hilt with scrapbooking items. The people there were so nice and we chatted as if we had been friends for years. In the back room, there was a class being taught regarding the Cricut machine.

Since, I am not a scrapbooker, I looked for items that I could use for my cards and for bookbinding. I bought some Christmas items that were on sale. Yet, I did find one product that I am hoping to use for my bookbinding.

The product is by Bazzill (a company that is familiar to me for its wonderful cardstock) and is called In Stitch'z. It is a series of mylar templates with holes for piercing. You are supposed to piece the holes and then embroider the pattern; it is primarily designed to add stitching/embroidery on scrapbook pages. What I hope to do is embroider bookcloth before casing in a book.

Thanks to Kristen Knoll and the women at The Scrapper's Corner. I enjoyed my time in your store and our chats.
Embroidery Templates by Bazzill

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back to Crafting

So, I finally made it back from the road. What an experience! The road manager for one of the acts that my office manages had to stay behind for some medical tests. Of course, he did not find out about this until the night before the group was scheduled to leave for a two week tour. Being the only person capable of leaving on a moment's notice, I was chosen to go on the tour--with about four hours notice.

There were many possessions left behind simply because I didn't have time to pack them--especially my camera and my laptop.

So I made it home on Saturday only to jump into making some projects that were due while I was away. One of the projects was a stationery box covered in faux leather that a banker friend wanted to keep on his desk at the bank. The nice aspect about this project is that I re-purposed old stationery and re-used it. I have been collecting old stationery from companies that have gone out of business and/or changed their names or address. I then re-size the stationery for my purposes. What normally would have gone to the landfill unused, now gets re-purposed before it gets (hopefully) recycled.

The second project was a pin box for my bookbinding teacher. My teacher sews and I wanted to give her a little gift since this will be our last session for the Bookbinding 1 class. I decided to make a small decorative box and put magnet sheeting on the lid so she could use it as a pin box. The magnet gets covered with paper in the final step. I used some of the decorative paper that I brought over from my last trip to Japan.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No Crafting for Me

Well----just when I was getting into a creative groove, life throws you a curve. I was supposed to take another class this weekend but I am getting called away for work. I was scheduled to take a class from one of my favorite teachers--Carolyn Chadwick--based upon slipcases but that doesn't seem to be.

I will be traveling with The Duke Ellington Orchestra for who knows how long. The Road Manager has to stay behind for some medical tests and he didn't let us know until late last night. So, I had less than four hours to prepare for what might be a two week trip.

The tour is schedule to start in Oregon (Medford and Klamath Falls) and will then procede to California (Napa, Fresno and Fullerton). The second part of the tour is in Missouri (Kirksville, Columbia and St. Louis) and Illinois (Schaumberg).

Unfortunately that means very little creating going on. Maybe I can find some good paper stores along the way. Hmmmm, that's an idea.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fixing Messes--Part 3

I am sure that all of us have had that one project that simply stymies us. Working on it from the beginning poses problems due to construction or lack of materials or an overbearing client. This NY journal has been the bane of my existence since I have started it.

It really was a simple assignment. Mount 20 pictures and include descriptions or captions and send it to its recipient. Of course, I could have bought a photo album. Being a budding bookbinder that seemed silly. I thought that I would do a simple pamphlet stitch book and put it in a hard case and that would be the end of it.

Well, it weren't that easy (as we say in Texas). I finally have something to send and I am sure that the recipient will welcome it with open arms. For own editioned book, I will do a Japanese stab binding or some other photo album style book.

Here are sections of the book for you to see.

The endpapers. These are reproductions of NYC housing maps--Cavallini paper

The final photo in the album. This is one of my favorite NYC photos.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fixing Messes--Part 2

Here is the final solution that I was able to use. I decided to layer a piece of mulberry paper on top of the postcard. The paper was a light peach color which I thought would give the card some nice color and contrast to the iridescent purple ink. I applied a thin coat of ModPodge to the postcard and placed the paper over it. After the paper dried, I Gocco printed the text is basic white. The interesting aspect of the final result is that the text is so faint that it is almost holographic in nature. You don't notice the text until the light hits the card at an angle. The glossy finish of the paint against the matte finish of the paper and card make this effect happen.

I then decided to see what would happen if I put ModPodge over the inked card. What happened was that the holographic nature of the text disappeared because there was no surface differential between the text and paper. In essence, the text gets lost in the glossy coating.

Finally, I decided to see what would happened if there was a colored variation/differential. In other words, would the text show up stronger if the top coating of ModPodge was tinted? So I poured out a small amount of ModPodge and tinted it with orange Dr. Ph. Martin watercolor concentrate. I had never thought about tinting ModPodge before but I figured two water based products should blend.

The tinting changed the overall color of the card which was fine. The holographic aspect of the text still disappeared but the text shows up better in the tinted card. I also had to tint the back of the card with ModPodge because some of the product edged under the card. I am not totally displeased with the results but I still like the holographic effect of the matte card. I will definitely use tinted ModPodge in the future.

The finished card with holographic effect.

The ModPodge layered card (without tinting).

The tinted ModPodge front.
The tinted back of the card.
P.S. the scan is much more yellow than it really appears. The card is really more of an apricot color.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fixing Messes--Part 1

This weekend I am declaring my "Fixing Messes" weekend. For all of you crafting and artsy people out there, I am sure that you have some projects that are uncompleted because you just didn't like the way it has turned out so far. Rather than throwing away the project, you set it aside to percolate on the back burner hoping for either (1) divine intervention, (2) a clearer head, or (3) time to reconsider the project.

Since I make so many multiples of my projects, when I am in the middle of a project I make extra parts because I know that I will need them later on. Therefore, when I have a project that just doesn't work then I have a whole bunch of extra pieces in the studio.

These are the projects that I will be working with this weekend. The first project will be to solve the dilemma of my Year of the Ox postcards.

The first picture is the prototype that didn't work for me. After I thought about it, I should have reversed the color scheme. The picture of the Ox should have been the darker color and the text overlay should have been the lighter color.

Unfortunately, I have a whole bunch of postcards already printed with the light colored Ox. (Picture 2). The reverse side has already been printed with the postcard print (Picture 2) so I can't do anything with the reverse side and the front looks a little plain with just the Ox.

Finally, the postcard that I ended up sending out was the postcard in Picture 3. As you can see, I mounted some Japanese tissue onto the card. I then printed the Ox in dark blue and overprinted the card with the text in dark purple. Granted, it is a busy design but I like that fact that you immediately recognize the text. Upon closer inspection, you can see the image of the Ox.

I will post the solution to the above mentioned problem tomorrow or Monday.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Paper Fridays--Metallics Drawer

Some more paper from my stash.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I've Hit a Snag

After a great weekend for creating, I hit a snag. Not a major snag, but one of the stumbling kind where you kick yourself in the butt because you should have (or did) know better.

I am making a photo album for a swap-bot swap. The idea was to gather 20 photos that you snapped yourself and provide some kind of explanation to the pictures. After emailing my swap partner, we decided that I would use some of my photos of New York City since she had lived in NYC over ten years ago. This is a prototype for an editioned set of photos based on 9-11.

So, I decided on the pictures. I printed the pictures and put them on a simple black mat. I then printed out the descriptions and matted them on black mats as well. The descriptions were printed out on 20 different colors of cardstock to add some interest to the album.

For the album, I decided to hand bind a small album with a basic pamphlet stitch. The pages are made from natural white Arches Ingres paper. The paper is one of my favorites because of its crispness.

I decided to hard case the album so that there would be some stability to the text block even though the only thing that would keep the book together was the pamphlet stitch and the glued in endpapers.

Like an idiot, I made the case based upon the text block without the mounted pictures and descriptions. Once I added all of the pictures and descriptions, the text block ballooned to about triple its size thereby making my case absolutely unusable.

I will have to tackle this problem later in the week.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Weekend Project

Here are photos of two more projects that I did this weekend. These are journals that have been cased in. I used some of the animal print papers that I have available. These will be samples that I will use for special ordering. Here are the cheetah print and the zebra print. I have yet to make the giraffe print journal.

Buyers will have the option of having a ribbon bookmark or not. Another option will be a glass or carved wood fob at the end of the the bookmark. In this case, I used a dichromatic glass bead. I like the fob at the end of a bookmark because it lends weight to the ribbon. I think that it is a nice way to personalize a journal.

Cheetah Journal

Zebra Journal with Bookmark

Closeup of the glass bead bookmark