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...

Thursday 31 December 2015

What do you wish for?

Hello all!  I'm absolutely thrilled to be a guest over at Frilly and Funkie as part of their new challenge theme, Holiday Hues.  You can select any holiday to play with - Christmas, Valentine's, Easter - up to you... and create something in your favourite colours for that holiday.

Well, I know there are people who rip down the Christmas decorations the day after Boxing Day (well, you would if you've had them up since November, wouldn't you?!), but round here we're Twelve Days of Christmas types - so the tree goes up as close to Christmas Eve as possible and stays up until 6th January... that means I'm still deep in the festive season, so I've stuck with Christmas as my chosen Holiday.

I'm afraid I'm pretty much CASEing one of my own creations - is that allowed?!  I was so pleased with my altered book covers that I wanted to play again, and I dare say this won't be the last variation on the theme.  The previous one, A Christmas Story Book burst out into some very traditional holiday hues, which were an unusual sight around here.  (Do check out the story of Josef and Luigi if you missed it - it's a tale for the festive fireside.)

But I thought for this one I'd stick to my own personal favourite Christmas palette (you'll find it all over my Christmas Pinterest board as well as in my December Tim tag, not to mention many of the actual decorations at home)... so my Holiday Hues are whites and neutrals with the absolutely essential holiday greenery.

This altered book started with the sweet Found Relatives Occasions image, which echoes this utterly wonderful video clip which turned up this year - 40 seconds which are enough to restore anyone's belief in the magic of Christmas.

Because of all the storytelling, I didn't get to tell you much about the making of the last one, and I think these are going to become a regular feature around here (as long as I can source enough dilapidated books!), so I'll add a couple of details this time.

The book was already on its last legs - I still can't quite get my head around ripping apart a perfectly good old book.  (The new mass-produced hardbacks are another matter, but it takes more work to give them a sense of character).

I removed all the pages which obviously weakens the binding if it doesn't destroy it altogether.  So tissue tape is the first step to constructing my book window.

Next a bit of measuring and a craft knife to cut the aperture to fit the die-cut Tim Holtz window frame.  I think this one was cut out of Grungeboard, so it was more than capable of coping with the DecoArt Chalk Crackle process.

I gathered pieces of ephemera that the little girl has been collecting... obviously the one that matters most is the Perfect Attendance certificate, necessary to prove to Father Christmas that she has been a good girl!

So good, in fact, that she was asked to sing the first verse of Silent Night as a solo in the school Christmas concert.

Of course, she's been writing letters to F.C. and hoping for replies...

.... and counting the days off in her calendar until the big day.

(Again I've been using some of the leftover negatives from my December Tim tag to provide the touch of festive greenery, just as I did with my romantic Holiday Greenery tags at CVC.) 

I think now she can hardly believe she's sitting here with the man himself.

She's a quiet child - a collector (too early to say yet whether it will turn in to a hoarding habit).

But she always keeps her parent's theatre and cinema tickets...

...and their Christmas party invitations, even though she didn't get to go herself (so it's not looking good!).

The "negative" pine branches on the collaged interior are an echo of the front cover.

Even though the book boards themselves are green, I still wanted plenty of holiday greenery to decorate them.

I cut Kraft Core in a couple of shades of green with the Holiday Greens Thinlits, then distressed the branches with a sander, and added touches of glue to adhere a frosting of Rock Candy Dry Glitter.

The holly leaves were an afterthought really.  They're from Calico Craft Parts, one holly bough cut in two, and they'd been sitting on my desk since the autumn.  (They'd had a sweep of dark Pan Pastels, but then didn't make the cut on my tower of Autumnal ATBs.)

All I did was add a couple of spritzes of DecoArt Mister in White Shimmer and I got this magical antique silvery effect... hard to capture in a photo as usual, but I really love it.

The word is made with the large Bigz die, cut in Grungeboard again, painted in DecoArt Titan Buff, sanded back and inked.  Then it was out with the Rock Candy Dry Glitter again - I'm not generally much for glitter, but this stuff I'll make an exception for!

And it was some Calico Craft Parts which came to the rescue when I needed some supports to glue the word in place with a pop of dimension.

The tiny "innards" (pressed out from cogs and gears and snowflakes, and carefully preserved in a little pot) were perfect to lift the "wish" clear of all the greenery underneath.  So there are times when the hoarding tendency comes in handy!

As well as greenery, whether die-cut, punched or stamped, the outside and inside have other things in common...

... the tiny stars...

... and lots of snowy splatter.

I'm afraid we've only been able to dream of a White Christmas where I am - and far from dream weather, so many people have suffered nightmarish flooding over the Christmas period... my heart goes out to them with wishes that 2016 will be altogether kinder.

So that's the combination that makes up my Holiday Hues - neutrals, whites and greens.  When you stand the book cover by a light, the glow lights up the inside just perfectly... I hope you like it.

You'll find lots more colourful holiday inspiration over at Frilly and Funkie where the Frillies have already shared their beautiful creations, and the Funkies will be long next week with more.  It's been an absolute pleasure to contribute to Pamellia's lovely theme as a Guest Designer, so a big thank you to the team for having me.

I hope the next year will bring you what you wish for.
Happy New Year everyone, and I'll see you in 2016!

It seems to me that we can never give up longing and wishing while we are still alive.  There are certain things we believe to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them.
George Eliot

As a partner to the Christmas Story Book, I'd like to enter this at the Craft Stamper Take It and Make It, Sharing the Season
I'd like to enter this at Love to Create where, as usual, it's Anything Creative/Mixed Media Goes
And a final fling for the year at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge for their Winter Wonderland


Clare Lloyd said...

Such a beautiful project. Happy New Year

Amanda said...

Beautiful Alison and don't blame you casing your own project. Here's to a fabulous creative 2016
Amanda x

Helen said...

Beautiful, Alison - loved the idea the first time round and it's even better here! Happy New Year to you and yours and may the Weather Gods be kinder in 2016 to everyone.

rachel said...

such wonderful words and pictures today alison. this is a stunningly beautiful project and your words have left their magic with me and help to make me hopeful for the new year. big hugs lovely lady! rachel x

Kirsten said...

So very beautiful. Wishing you a very happy new year, Alison, I'm looking forward to seeing the new works of art you will create in 2016.

Beulah Bee said...

Nicely done! Happy New Year.

SewPaperPaint said...

Absolutely delightful, Alison! I love the white splatter and bit of glitter on the words, so pretty! Happy New Year!!!

chrissie said...

Stunning Alison and such a great way for the old book to end its days.

Our tree doesn't go up too early and stays until the 6th but we have a very strange modern one these days instead of the lovely smelling greenery of years ago..

A very happy 2016 to you and yours

Love Chrissie xx

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

I don't take it all down until after New Years, and I plug in the tree everyday, so I LOVE seeing this! This might be my favorite of yours, and I'm pinned to my Christmas Board. LOVE every detail, and the neutral palette you do oh so well! Completely stunning and gorgeous! Happy New Year!!!

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Such a wonderful project! It is so hard to tear up old books isn't it? They are such characters and have such tales to tell. This one now has a new tale to tell and what a lovely visual tale it is.

As for decorations we take them down January 1, however this year I was ready for them to go the day after Christmas. It was far too cold to do it though. I failed to have the Christmas spirit this year.

margie said...

another beautiful book and story! Your color choices are perfect. Thanks for sharing.

suzyb said...

You have such an amazing talent at making things look so very old! I truly love this one! I have an old English book that was my Mum's when she was in High School. She has doodles inside!!! So special to me now that she is no longer here. I want to use the books pages for journalling but leave her art alone. Happy New Year to you and yours and I'm so glad I found your blog. Can't wait to see what the year of the Monkey brings :)
hugz from Victoria, BC

catherine said...

This is just a beautiful project Alison as has all your projects been this year. Wishing yop a wonderful and happy new year and thanks for being such a lovely blogging friend xxx

Fliss said...

Wow! What a stunningly beautiful creation Alison. So full of amazing detail and gorgeous vintage style.
Wishing you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2016 too.
Fliss xx

Unknown said...

Happy New Year to You, Alison!! I know I've been sorely missing from visiting your blog of late and I feel horribly about that (it's called real life getting in the way of fun stuff!). But I can see you've been up to your creative best and this altered book cover just proves it :) :) Just a Wonderful Christmas decoration and the story of this little girl is precious. I can't seem to rip any books apart (oh no, I'll read that one again...) but after reading this posting, I'm going to look for an old book to properly rip apart and alter!! If you can do it, I can do it!! :) :) That will be a creative goal I'll make for myself in 2016--Alter an old book a la Alison!! :) :) Have a Very Happy New Year--Cheers to you for a Happy and Healthy 2016!! XOXO-Shari

Cestina said...

This is just delightful and the video clip makes me cry each time I watch it.

Thank you

Diana Taylor said...

Wow, this is absolutely gorgeous - I love the colour palette, so very natural, and the ephemera you've added is just perfect. Another stunning creation!

Redanne said...

It is perfectly OK to case your own creation, especially when you case it so beautifully! I love this and the wonderful story you tell. The video brought a big lump to my throat, thanks so much for sharing it! We too, take down our decorations on the 12th day so you are definitely not alone. I love Christmas and love seeing your Christmas makes.

Wishing you an even more wonderful 2016 Alison! Anne xx

Nan G said...

Loved the Christmas book and this one is another beauty! Wishing you many adventures both creative and personal in 2016! Happy New Year! Hugs

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh Alison! From the fabulous video clip at the start (a reminder of my teaching days) through the story of the little girl, accompanied by your step by step guide to the making of this gorgeous window book I have loved this post so much!Just want to wish you all the very best for 2016! Hugs, Chrisx

Lucy Edmondson said...

I absolutely love this, Alison, it is so evocative and I love the story you have woven around the little girl and her hoarding. I love your use of the book cover and all the greenery,

Lucy x

Lynne Moncrieff said...

This makes me feel al warm and fuzzy.
Alison, there is no text appearing in the comment box - oh no what is happening!
I will try and re-visit t

experiments in paper said...

Ian loving your altered books, Alison! And the stories to match them.....this is wonderful! Those greens and neutrals go together so well in your hands. Here's to a fantastical, magical 2016! xxx Lynn

Astrid Maclean said...

Another wonderful vintage altered book cover woven around a sweet story! Of course I love the neutral colours, though the vintage hues around the more traditional colours of your previous one were wonderful too.
When we are home for Christmas, our tree also goes up at the earliest on the 23rd (must be the central European influence) and does not come down until the 6th (well strictly speaking after 6 pm on the 5th), but that's another story....
May 2016 bring you all you are wishing for and I look forward to the next altered book cover!! xxx

Jackie PN said...

Now, you must know how happy I am to see another altered book already! Yay!!
This is just delightful Alison and I am so happy you have stuck with the Christmas theme! too many are in such a hurry to have it and have it done with! I am still enjoying my Christmas time-thank you for adding to it!
Jackie xo

Etsuko said...

What a fantastic this, Although it contains a lot of techniques and ideas, I just have admired its beauty. Happy New Year Alison. xx

craftytrog said...

Absolutely magical! xx

Julia Aston said...

Goodness - another wonderful book window Alison! love your 'Christmas' colors - all the lovely greenery - your crackled window - you need to find a photo of you with Santa to replace the sweet found relatives one!! Happy New Year! Julia xx

Julie Lee said...

I love your winter palette! Loving how you photographed your beautiful altered book in among the ivy leaves too. This project has such a great vintage feel to it as well and really takes me back to being a little girl in the fifties and sixties!!! Green is a wonderful colour for Christmas, reminding us of Spring to come. We too are into the 12 Days of Christmas. We even celebrated Epiphany to cheer ourselves up one year!

Mrs.B said...

It's wonderful to see another altered book Alison, and I enjoyed the story too.
Avril xx