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Friday, 1 June 2018

Meadow Medley

Hello all!  June is upon us, and with it a new challenge at Mini Album Makers.  After the industrial excursion of I Say "Why Not?, I've been taking a walk in the meadow with my album for this project, and I've a medley of meadow flowers and leaves for you.

I created my album with the help of some lovely stencils from Stencil Girl (our sponsor this month), some Gelli printing with real natural elements, and a cover made with those same meadow grasses and leaves once I'd finished printing with them.

This is one of those War and Peace length posts, but I've tried to minimise the words and maximise the pictures, so hopefully it's more like a stroll through an art gallery than reading a novel!  Why not grab some refreshments and let me take you on a walk through the meadow with me?

I can't really give you much information about the Gelli prints, as I was just playing and experimenting and enjoying myself in the moment.

I've been watching lots of Birgit Koopsen videos on YouTube to get into the Gelli swing of things.

The leaves and grass stems just came from outside my front door.

And I just used the same few over and over again, so they also gathered paint as they went.

As you can see, I suffered the usual "can't stop" Gelli phenomenon!

I can show you the paint colours I used for my printing session.  All of them were done with variations of these four.

And, in addition to the plant matter, I used Tim Holtz's wonderful Shattered stencil - playing the role of cobwebs here, of course.

And then I had all these prints and nowhere to put them... so I thought they'd better go in a book.

Since I wanted to create a nice substantial book, I needed more pages.  Rather than getting the Gelli plate out again, I decided to play with two glorious meadow grass stencils made by Stencil Girl.

I sprayed through and "printed" with leftover inks in Distress Spray colours chosen to complement the DecoArt paints I'd been using.

I'm not going to do too much on the how-to front with these stencilled pages, since there's a partner piece to this coming soon where I've done a similar thing.

Watch out for my tutorial mid-month over at Mini Album Makers when we'll be taking a walk through some slightly different meadows!

The basic structure for this book was created using the envelope technique.  You can find out more about how that's done by checking out my Glimpses of Springtime and/or Ruth Mescall's great little YouTube tutorial, though this is on an altogether larger scale.

The Glimpses of Springtime book was two inches square.  This one is 7 x 7 inches.  Also, for that one I painted, inked and stamped direct onto the envelopes as my pages.

For this one, since my Gelli prints were on separate pages, I built my envelope structure first, and then stuck on the pages front and back.  This means it's also pleasurably sturdy to handle.  The pages have substance and weight to them.

The cover was the last part to be completed.  Once I'd torn myself away from the Gelli printing, I couldn't bring myself to throw away the leaves and stems I'd been using, so I stuck them down onto another sheet of the 7 x 7 cardstock.

Before I started building up layers of paint and glazes, I stuck the sheet onto a firm piece of cardboard, and sealed them in with a good coat of gel medium.

This should stop them from decaying over time.  I did the same with some leaves and fir fronds in an art journal about three years ago, and they're still going strong!

Using the same paints with glazing medium I  built my layers.

Eventually some inks got into the mix, and some water drops and white paint for splatter.

I also applied the Titanium White with a credit card in places...

... as well as giving the flower heads of the grass stems some fresh life.

I added DecoArt crackle glaze around the edges in places, and used Antiquing Creams over it once it was dry.

A Quote Chip layered over some frayed linen ribbon tells you how much of me has gone into this book.

It was only when I was done that I realised I needed to create a similar piece for the back cover, so I had to start all over again.

I managed to get a fairly similar sort of look, but I wish I'd done it at the same time!

I added some broad hessian ribbon for my spine.  

And there's linen ribbon also glued within the covers to create a fastening for the book.

Again, I'll be sharing some more making-of detail about the binding in the tutorial over at Mini Album Makers later in the month, where I've used the same spine and fastening for the partner piece.

I'm calling this a Meditation Book.  My PaperArtsy word stamps provide just a little food for thought on each internal page spread. 

As you turn the pages, there's time and matter for contemplation, and a sense of peace and beauty should descend.  Each spread has a Gelli print, a stencilled print, and some words to enjoy.  For now let me just turn the pages for you so that you can see each double spread (and do click on the photos to see them in a larger size...

I hope you've enjoyed this meditative meadow walk, and I hope you'll be inspired to create a handmade book this month.

There's plenty more inspiration from my lovely team-mates, including two fabulous new designers whom we're delighted to welcome to the team, so do hop over and take a look.

As always at Mini Album Makers, all styles and genres are welcome, and we love seeing the albums, journals and books you make over the course of the month.

This month's sponsor, as I mentioned, is Stencil Girl.

Check out their amazing products here, and the Stencil Girl blog and YouTube channel for extra inspiration.  They are offering a $25 gift voucher to our winner, and you might also be showcased as one of the Mini Album Makers' top picks, so do come and play along.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you again soon.

Cross the meadow and the stream and listen as the peaceful water brings peace upon your soul.
Maximilian Degenerez

I'd like to share this at Words & Paintery where the theme is No Rain, No Flowers - with all the flowers and the rainy day colours, I think this should fit right in.


Valerie-Jael said...

What a fabulous album, love everything about it! Hugs, Valerie

Brenda Brown said...

I’ve totally enjoyed my meditative walk through the meadows this morning and basked in the glorious wash of mellow colours and beautiful natural designs you have created. This is utterly stunning my friend xxx

Helen said...

wow!! this is maybe your best yet! I love the use of the real leaves and grasses and every page is absolutely stunning.

chrissie said...

Beauty on every little page Alison and so much work you have put into this mini album.

Have a great day

Love Chrissie x

gibonik said...

Oh! This is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!! I'm in love!

Nancy Wethington said...

This is so pretty. Love the stencils you used and the ethereal look of each page.

Candy C said...

Alison, this mini album is so inspired! What a beautiful combination of the actual beauty of nature and the stencil girl stencils that so perfectly complement the items you have chosen from the meadow. Gorgeous color combinations. Beautiful layouts on every page. You are such a wonderful artist!

Patty O'Malley said...

Wow! What a wonderful book! You've certainly put a lot of hard work into it.

Redanne said...

I cannot say that I enjoyed reading War & Peace but I really enjoyed looking through yours and seeing all the wonderful detail! Your Gelli prints are gorgeous and look even more beautiful mounted in your book - and of course your words finish each page off beautifully! Anne xx

Dorthe said...

Alison , what can I say, I`m totally in awe of what you created here- so fabulous- and truly a walk through the most beautiful gallery .
Every page reveals such lovelyness, both the stencils, and so very much your Gelli prints , and the tones, are favorites .
Beautiful with the grasses and leaves you used over again, and gave the head-role on the cover .
Alison- such a master peice!!!
Hugs, Dorthe, xx

froebelsternchen said...

I am in AWE of this amazing project -- absolutely stunning - every single page and the whole book! WOW!

Happy June dear Alison!
Hugs, Susi

Astrid Maclean said...

OMG Alison, this has the complete and utter WOW factor, what a stunning, stunning book. I am completely in love and inspired by your gelli prints, stunning, just stunning! A walk through your meditative meadow was just what I needed after a somewhat stressful last few days. (Long story, suffice to say, thanks for leaving a comment on my MMM project, who knows what happened, gremlins really seem to love invading my blogging efforts at the mo, but I have now re-written the post).

I think this is my all time favourite book of yours, the addition of real plants adds such amazing textures, and the colour combination always makes my heart sing...

Craftyfield said...

A thing of beauty, Alison, nothing new here as you always produce excellent work! I love the natural elements integrated into the textures, the crackle, your deft touch with colours, just delightful! xx

Annie said...

I am totally in awe of this amazing album Alison x The gelli plate prints are fantastic and the texture of the leaves and sticks look quite spectacular !! Love it !!!

TFS and huge hugs Annie x

Mrs.B said...

A beautiful little album, gorgeous pages and I love the subtle textures on the cover by using the natural foliage.
Avril xx

Coco said...

Simply stunning and wonderful Alison!!!!!
A true piece of art, I'm blown away...
As usual, I'm really admiring. I will try to keep some of the great ideas you have gathered here to create this stunner, it can be useful at some point for one of my classes of course! Thank you for the great photos and tutorial.
Sending hugs,
Corinne xx

Meggymay said...

I have just had an amazing stroll through your gallery of super photos. The book you created looks gorgeous. Fabulous pages and wonderful soft reflective, soothing colours.
Yvonne xx

Amanda said...

Nearly missed this one and what a shame that would have been, this is absolutely stunning Alison, a masterpiece for sure!
Amanda x

Jennie Atkinson said...

Oh my heavens Alison - WOW what a book!!!! I absolutely adore the stunning Gelli prints and the stencilled pages, the colours and designs are fabulous. A really stunning meditative book. Jennie s

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

Beautiful in every way Alison, the colour and design makes for a great album. The closure gives such a neat finish.
Hugs Tracey xx

Julia said...

I thoroughly enjoyed my wander through your meadow today. This book is so beautiful. Every element of it is just gorgeous. I really want to try using real leaves and grasses now but I know I will never get even close to something as stunning as this. x

Diana Taylor said...

Oh Wow, this is just stunning - I LOVE your book and what a fabulous idea for show casing your gorgeous prints. Your colours are perfect and I also love the idea of using the printed foliage on the cover rather than throwing it away, which is what I always do when I've finished printing - I shall look at what I discard rather more carefully from now on!! This project has to be way up there with my very favourites of all time!

Anneke said...

Alison this book looks amazing!!! I can’t find the right words
to tell you how beautiful this is!

Kerstin F. said...

It's truly wonderful, love this natural character, so inspiring! Hugs, Kerstin x

Daria said...

This is incredibly beautiful. Thank you so much for the tutorial and for sharing all those wonderful photos.

Sue said...

What a beautiful book, I love how you've combined the stencilled pieces with the gelli plate prints, and the real leaves and grasses is the perfect cherry on top of the cake! Have a very happy week, Sue xx

Anna-Karin said...

This album is so beautiful Alison! I love all the gorgeous prints that you created and I can see why you couldn't stop printing. I do that too when the gelli print is out, so I always have to make sure there is enough paper and enough time.

pearshapedcrafting said...

You have made exactly what you say - a truly wonderful collection of words and pictures to wander through and mediate on the beauty around us(my goodness, that sounds a bit flowery, but it's true!!!) Your gelli prints are beautiful and the texture on the cover looks amazing! Hugs, Chrisx

Katie Baird said...


craftytrog said...

A stunning project Alison! I love the colours of your beautiful gelli prints.
Alison xx

Hazel Agnew said...

I have had the pleasure of attending gelli printing classes with Birgit who is amazing.
As usual your colour palette is divine and the prints are so delicately beautiful.
How gloriously indulgent is your meditation book. With your wonderful quotes it will be so uplifting.
As usual Alison, I need something like this too! Thankyou for setting me on another path of exploration! Xx

Gio said...

OMG, I am stunned! And I enjoyed so much this long post, I cherished every single photo. Starting with the cover, wow, that texture and the elegance that spread from it...marvellous (especially I love how you got it!). The inner pages are also lovely, especially the gelli ones, I know what it means when you just cannot stop :-) Thanks for sharing this with us, Alison.

Jackie P Neal said...

Absolutely Breathtaking Alison! Truly this is beyond words...
Oh how I love each and every page and the organic look of the whole book! you are so talented dear Alison! I have to go back and look again!!
Jackie xo

sally said...

Meadow meditation.....sounds like a wonderful place to be meditating! Delightful album 💗

Sally xx

Paper Wishes said...

Absolutely beutiful book. Looks like you had a great time making it and it speeks of being in tune with nature so well, just lovely.

Carolyn Howarth said...

What a wonderful book with such fabulous colours and printing. I love it!

Autumn Clark - SewPaperPaint said...

Good golly Alison! This is just so incredible and yes, as you turn the pages it brings such a calm and meditative sense. I wish I could hold it in person!!! As if the pages weren't mesmerizing enough, the cover with the foliage embedded in your mixed media is tremendous. I absolutely adore it and would like four similar squares to mat in white and frame in a square frame and hang together on my wall. :) Love! Hugs, Autumn

Martina Stoycheva said...

You`ve done awesome album! thanks for joining us at Words & Paintery.

Fliss said...

Desperately playing catch up Alison and so glad I stopped by as your album is absolutely stunning! The most amazing amount of detail and beautiful blue and brown hues. My jaw dropped when I saw all those fabulous pages!
Fliss xx

Julia Aston said...

Wow - just gorgeous Alison!