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...

Sunday 1 July 2018

Everyday Moments

Hello all!  July?  July!?!  I'm frankly bewildered.  I don't know where time is going at the moment.  But July 1st is what the calendar says, so it must be time for a fresh challenge over at Mini Album Makers.  As most of you will know by now, I haven't got very many everyday moments to myself at present.  I'm in another busy work patch along with (unusually for me) weekends full of social arrangements (I try to avoid them when I've got a lot on, but weddings and 40th birthdays are pretty immoveable!), but I did manage to squeeze in an altered art journal cover for this month's inspiration piece.

We welcome all handmade books and albums over at Mini Album Makers, as well as altered books and book covers.  Do check out the amazing inspiration from my team-mates - you'll be glad you did! - but before you go, let me quickly share a couple of the details of this 7.5 x 7.5 inch journal.

It started as pretty uninspiring plain greyboard.  It's good and sturdy, though (from Paperchase), so I knew it would hold up well to some paint layers.

I decided to use the DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint and Crackle Medium.  The undercoat is done in Relic, a cool, dark grey.

Over that I applied a good coat of the Crackle Medium with a plastic palette knife.  Here it is still wet on the back cover...

... and having dried over on the front cover.  You can use a heat tool for this layer - a good thing when you're under time pressure, as I seem to be constantly these days!

Next, I grabbed the Everlasting - plain white - to do my top coat, applied with a brush and left it to crackle.  This really does have to be left alone to do its thing for the best results.

I used my much-loved Memory Box Windswept stamp with Olive Archival ink to do some background stamping.  And I also blended some of the Olive onto the lower part of the cover.

It's better to use Archival, as the book will be handled quite often.  This journal is not full yet, so it will still be in use regularly.

That also means I need to keep things fairly two-dimensional on the cover, so that I can still open the book out flat to work in.

I grabbed four coffee stirrers, snipped off the curved ends...

... and dyed them with Vintage Photo Distress Stain, before starting to play with them as trellis, with some Tim Holtz Garden Greens Thinlits in the role of the vines clambering over them.

I cut the leafy branches from some distressed green cardstock from one of Tim's stashes.  It gives it just a little extra twist of interest - as does the spatter which, of course, got added later.

The addition of the little girl was a no-brainer once that trellis was there.

I love how she's just perched on the coffee-stirrer frame, in a little secret garden of her own.  She has been lightly tinted with a wash of paint to match what's to come.

The words are from Tim Holtz's Friendship Script Thinlits set.  I painted the cardstock with PaperArtsy Fresco paint in Cheesecake before cutting them.

And to match that soft, pale, creamy yellow, I added some paper flowers with just a drybrush load of the same paint highlighting them...

... and the Philosophy Tag with some more of the Cheesecake filling in the debossed letters, and a touch of fine twine tucked in the top.

I didn't pay much attention to the ring binding - it just got what it happened to get.

So in some places, it's creamily Cheesecakey, and in others, it received a hit of the Olive Archival.

I'm pretty happy with my coffee-stirrer trellis and my clambering vines, both 2D and 3D.

And the Cheesecake splatters over the crackle which finish the whole thing off make me happy too.

Over on the back cover is the best place to see those, where the garden is just allowed to grow wild.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and taking a little rest in my little country garden... it's the everyday moments which count!

There's lots more inspiration from my amazing team-mates over at Mini Album Makers, and we always love seeing your handmade books, journals and albums.

Our sponsors this month are Lindy's Stamp Gang, so do come and play along to be in with a chance to win the $25 gift voucher.  We hope to see you there some time this month.  And in the meantime, have a lovely July!

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
(and craft supplies, Marcus, craft supplies...)


Valerie-Jael said...

The cover is gorgeous, I am looking forward to seeing what goes inside! Hugs, Valerie

Craftyfield said...

I can see the little girl in the shade of a lattice covered in vine plants, a lovely imagerie and the crackle background is perfect! xx

Lenie said...

This is so beautiful!!!
Thank you for sharing this. It is very clear.
Have a nice creative week!

Astrid Maclean said...

Love the idea of the coffee stirrers! The little girl looks lovely the way she sits there, - as does the rest of the cover of course. Your crackling always looks wonderful!

Amanda said...

A beautiful transformation as always
Amanda x

Cath Wilson said...

What a great use for coffee stirrers... I may just have to go over to Costa to find some ;-)

Lovely work.

Cath x

Redanne said...

I enjoyed my visit to your beautiful country garden Alison, it has such a calm and peaceful feel to it. The crackle is a wonderful background for the coffee stirrer trellis and the little girl does look like she is enjoying her visit as much as I am. I really love the wild garden at the back too! Anne xx

Patty O'Malley said...

This is beautiful, Alison!

Susie Bentz: My Time to Play said...

This is just lovely! I am going to have to go find the Windswept stamp. Love the crackled effect.

froebelsternchen said...

What an amazing cover that is! So beautiful dear Alison!
Happy July!
Sending art- and me time for you!
Hugs, Susi

Meggymay said...

A gorgeous textured cover for your journal Alison.
Yvonne xx

Lucy Edmondson said...

Oh! That's gorgeous, Alison!

Lucy x

Julia Aston said...

Love your sweet vintage girl sitting among the vines in the garden Alison! what marvelous crackle and lovely greenery stamping!! Julia xx

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

Love your crackled cover Alison and your coffee stirrer frame is a clever little addition. Can not wait to discover what lies inside.
Creative wishes Tracey xx

Jackie PN said...

Oh Alison!! Your art just"gets me" every time!! I know I probably repeat some of my comments, butit's just like, what else can I say? heehee
Anyway, your cover is gorgeous! That crackle came out so delicious! Such an even crackle across both pages, I don't know if I have ever achieved that! Well done!
your trellis idea-genius-coffee stirrers? who knew they could work so well! And your little darling girl sitting there is just delightful!
Love everything about this cover and have I told you, I just lOVE your art? ")lol
Jackie xo

Nancy Wethington said...

Another beauty! And I never thought about altering/painting the coil binding. Going to do that from now on!

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison, your cover is a total lovely sweetness, with the girl, on the trellis , and her green lovely garden. The crackle is amazing as an old worn wall, I love it !!
Hope you can soon relax more, but you must feel happy to be so feted ( is that the right word ?) .
Hugs, Dorthe

craftytrog said...

The little girl is adorable, and you can't beat a bit of crackle! Great cover Alison!
Alison xx

Cocofolies said...

The scene you created is so lovely!
This little girl sitting on your coffee-stirrer trellis, mixed with the leaves of vine, over this great background is simply adorable... just exquisite.
You should have some wonderful moments anyway this summer, even if very very busy indeed!! :) Sending hugs and good vibes! xx

Paper Profusion said...

Beautifully fresh and serene Alison. It even invokes a lovely feeling of being cool - or perhaps that it is the fan on my desk lol!! Anyway, it is very lovely indeed! Nicola x

Sue said...

Wow this is so beautiful Alison. What's not to love about crackle, and the greens and the coffee stirer frame are just perfect. Thank heavend for these paper dolls too - what did we do before them! Have a very happy (even if busy) week, Sue xx

Diana Taylor said...

A great use of coffee stirrers. The cover is just beautiful and I love the image of the little girl sitting on the trellis. Such gorgeousness and perfect for these summer days.
Diana x

pearshapedcrafting said...

Your may be pressed for time but this is absolutely gorgeous even though it has been made in one of your few quieter moments! A brilliant transformation! I'm sure that some of those busier moments you have are going to be full of fun! Hugs, Chrisx

Jennie Atkinson said...

Wonderful altered covers Alison! Such a fabulous mix of embellishments on that gorgeous crackle. And what a great use for the coffee stirrers! Fabulous inspiration all round! Jennie x

Paper Wishes said...

Another magical transformation. I love those clambering leafy plants and Im pleased to see Im not the only one collects coffee stirrers! Thanks for sharing this. x Amanda

Mrs.B said...

A beautiful cover, love the 'frame' for your little paper doll.
Avril xx

SewPaperPaint said...

Dear Alison, I hope that things are settling down for you some by now. I know how you feel, as my life seems to be a whirlwind this year. I'm so thankful things have settled some. I just love your crackled journal cover! The base color is extraordinary! And I adore how you used the coffee stirrers. So smart and a perfect place for this cutie to perch. :) Thanks again for sticking with us amidst the storm! It's a joy to see your creations each month. Big hugs, Autumn

Mary Elizabeth said...

First of all, I love your addition to Marcus's quote! LOL. And once again ... upcycling ... coffee stirrers. I adore this frame as a perch for one of my favorite paper dolls. And then using it as a trellis ... brilliant. I am still amazed at how well your Windswept stamping turned out over the crackle finish. If I had tried that, I would have ended up with such a mess. Instead, you ended up with wonderfully wild vines for your garden. Just beautiful Alison. Hugs -- MB

sally said...

A very pretty, very "Alison " project! Sometimes, just scrolling through....I find you!

Sally xx