Hello all... I've been drooling over the Vintage Gentleman Kit available at Vintage Page Designs for nearly a whole month now. I'd finally decided to give in and go shopping, only to find that they were on holiday - thwarted again!
But I still wanted to enter the challenge over at their blog this month which is entitled simply 'Gentlemen'. I've created a number of shabby chic albums (some of which you've seen, and some of which are still to be revealed), but mostly in gentle blues, greens and the occasional mauve/pink. So what a good opportunity to go for something more manly. I had done a toilet roll mini-album in browns and blues using the BoBunny Weekend Market collection of papers, but I wanted something on a slightly larger scale (it's a 6x6) - so here it is:
I'm imagining a smoking jacket, pipe, library kind of gentleman here... and definitely of a certain vintage!
For the cover I used a paper from the Papermania Persimmon collection, and distressed it to get a very old wallpaper look - the sort he might have in his study or library.
I sanded it with an emery board (nail files are very useful craft tools), and blended on some Vintage Photo Distress Ink.
The corners are adorned with the corner flourish from the Tim Holtz Journey collection, double stamped in Vintage Photo for extra dimension.
The tiny tabs, cut using the TH die Tiny Tabs and Tags, have Weekend Market papers front and back, sandwiched onto card for some dimension and UTEE'd (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) for strength.
The lock and key are from the BoBunny trinket set which is part of the WM array, and it's all strung on to the book ring using one of TH's ball chains.
I made a black backboard for the lock, and edged it with Copper embossing powder. I used the same embossing powder to transform my silver book rings into copper ones, so that they'd suit the look of the album.
Throughout the album, I've used the Weekend Market papers combined with the Persimmon set, as well as adding music manuscript and plainer handmade papers of my own. I'm always worried that I wouldn't want to cover the amazing designer papers with journalling or photographs, but I realise that's pretty much the whole point of an album... so I try to create other spaces for journalling or as photo mats which will allow the papers to still shine through.
Let's take a quick flick through the album...
I like to create each double page spread as a single 'whole' area, so that each time you turn a page you find a new environment.
The flourishes most of the way through the album are from Whimsy Stamps, a set called Lavish Flourishes.
Quite often, I've embossed them with copper embossing powder, to get a lovely burnished sheen. Love the wooden rulers from the BoBunny papers, so I've created my own version on the reverse of the tags using TH's stamp from the Seamless Experience set.
I can certainly imagine that Sir Jasper (oh, look at that, he has a name...) has one of those glorious globes in his study, and probably an astronomical one too. This next spread pays homage to that, with a photo pad or journalling space created within the gentle curves of lines of latitude and longitude.
The next spread has a large pull-out tab, one side of Weekend Market, and one of actual sheet music, stamped with flourishes and edged with Vintage Photo. There are die-cut hearts to match, glazed with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.
I'm sure that, if not a musician himself, Sir Jasper is a keen connoisseur of fine music - chamber music I think, or possibly opera... he might, in this pocket, keep mementos of performances he has attended... a ticket, a programme, the lace handkerchief of the young soprano from the chorus...?
The next one is a little ornate for a man you may think, but a gentleman of Sir Jasper's standing and character will always appreciate beauty in his surroundings. A fine architectural flourish such as this one, provided by the TH Scrollwork On the Edge die would perhaps be reminiscent of the ironwork of his wrought iron gates. And rather than lace, let us consider it the mouldings upon the very fine ceiling of his Great Hall.
opens as well, to reveal a pocket in which Sir Jasper might keep records of his latest shooting party.
An elegant gold and brown affair here, a dark rich brown like the leather of Sir Jasper's favourite ottoman, or his favourite wingback chair, with the gold stud work. (Additional flourishes provided by the Whimsy stamps and some gold acrylic paint.)
The stripes on this spread are a little rakish, like Sir Jasper's younger brother (hmm, let's see... Bertram?) who is, as the phrase has it, 'half flash, half foolish', but very fond of a dashing waistcoat.
There are copper-embossed flourishes, and tags with one of my favourite TH stamps, the pen nibs from the Curious Possibility set.
I shouldn't think Sir Jasper gets many letters written while Bertie is staying - unless they are bills of payment for the debts his brother has incurred.
A retreat to the music room, then, so tastefully wallpapered (BoBunny), there to listen dutifully to the daughters of his near neighbours, the Cottingtons, as they demonstrate their musical prowess... or lack of it.
Still a gentleman will always be attentive and complimentary to the gentler sex.
And then this last one, with much more delicate wallpaper that I love (Papermania), makes a return to the rulers and measures - some of my favourite vintage objects.
I work, in a very old-fashioned way, with a wooden ruler myself - not only that, it has a list of the Kings and Queens of England all the way down the back.
I feel sure that Sir Jasper would approve of my learning the history of the nation as I'm crafting!
Thank you for joining me for this little tour of Sir Jasper's domain - apologies, I think it's the Whimsy stamps that must have induced the whimsical approach... I've been infected by the Lavish Flourishes in my writing too. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. I hope you'll drop by again soon, just to check my pulse, perhaps?!
I'm entering this (though Sir Jasper would probably disapprove of vulgar competition - oh, hush now) in Vintage Page Designs' July challenge Gentlemen, played, of course, by Marquis of Queensberry Rules... okay, that's enough now - I'm going to bed!
He was the product of an English public school and university. He was, moreover, a modern product of those seats of athletic exercise. He had little education and highly developed muscles - that is to say, he was no scholar, but essentially a gentleman.
H. Seton Merriman
A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.