Friday, 19 December 2014

Honey Soap

Now that I’ve got most of my soap making supplies, I decided to make some honey soap this afternoon. I have a friend in London who keeps bees, and I thought she might appreciate some of this. Our soap-making teacher lent me a large mould with a honeycomb pattern with bees, which I was keen to try. I would have preferred it to have been a small mould because it held a lot of soap base and if things were to go wrong, it would be a waste, but there was no way to make a smaller amount, so I grasped the nettle and went ahead anyway! I weighed the mould filled with water to determine approximately how many grammes of soap base I would need, and discovered that there was enough in the 500g pack of honey soap base to make the large mould-full, plus two normal-sized square ones.

The honey base that I bought is a clear soap base, unfortunately not SLS free, which I’d have preferred, but I couldn’t find any online. Most commercial soaps have this chemical in them, and as long as the person using it doesn’t have an unusually sensitive skin, it should be fine. The base contained 3% honey, with no fragrance, so I bought a bottle of honey fragrance oil to add to this soap. I will generally not be using fragrance oils as I prefer essential oils whose flavour is completely natural and not a chemical approximation, but of course there isn’t an essential oil available from honey.

Here is the equipment I used to make the soap.

01 Equipment

Back row: two plastic measuring jugs; bottles of liquid colour; spray bottle containing rubbing alcohol; large clear honeycomb mould; chopstick for stirring and paintbrush; small plastic container for mixing colour. Front row: 4-cavity soap mould made of silicone rubber; small square of bubble wrap; honey soap base; digital weighing scales.

My first task was to try and mix up some brown colour from the available colours I have – I ended up combining blue and orange (which came out green, not brown), to which I added yellow, red and black in various amounts until it looked brown enough – it would have been a lot easier if I had purple to start with but it came out OK in the end. I painted this colour neat into the depressions in the mould in the shape of the bees; of course, the clear plastic resisted the liquid and it ended up in blobs, but I thought it might be interesting to see if it would colour the soap base in a random sort of way, so I persevered with this.

02 Brown Colour in Honeycomb Mould

The soap base melted ready for the bees. This was a small quantity of opaque white base, coloured with a small amount of the brown. This looked more or less OK to start with, but then in the mould it looked distinctly pink – pink bees??

03 White Soap Base Melted and Coloured

I decided to use a plastic pipette to squirt the melted soap base into the bee-shaped depressions. This was successful at the beginning, but the pipette eventually melted and the end closed over, and was ruined, so I used another one, which held out to the end, and then also had to be chucked out. These cost pennies, so no great loss. Also, the soap base kept cooling and starting to set, so I kept putting it back for a few seconds in the microwave, until horror of horrors, I melted the jug!!! Never mind, I have 3 more (all cheapo jugs from the market so nothing too disastrous!) Possibly for things like this, where the process of pouring takes longer than usual because it’s so fiddly, it would be better to have the soap base melting in a double boiler, which would keep it liquid, rather than having to re-heat all the time.

04 Bees Poured

The brown colour did mix in a random sort of way with the pale brown (pink) soap base and reminded me somewhat of those seashell-shaped Belgian chocolates! It all got pretty bubbly which isn’t very good, but I tried to disperse the bubbles as much as possible by spritzing with rubbing alcohol.

I was thinking I was going to have to wait a long time for them to set, but being so small, they set really quickly. What you are supposed to do is score the surface and spritz it with rubbing alcohol, and of course I forgot to do this, but as the surface of the bees was a bit bubbly and rough, I hoped that this would be sufficient to form a key between the two layers of soap.

Time to pour the honey soap base.

05 Honey Base Poured

After melting this, I coloured it with a mixture of yellow, a little orange and a few drops of the brown mix, and added some honey fragrance oil, and then poured it gently from one corner where there wasn’t a bee. I left it to set, hoping it would pop out of the mould OK, without all the bees detaching themselves and flying away!

Through the golden colour of the clear soap, the bees look quite a nice colour, but the side in contact with the mould (which would be the top surface of the soap once it was turned out) would not have the benefit of this and would unfortunately be pink!!

Time to make the two normal sized soaps.

I cut a small square of bubble wrap and placed it in the bottom of the mould, with the bubbles upwards, as I’d seen done somewhere online.

06 Bubble Wrap in Mould

I poured in half of the remaining honey soap base with its colour and fragrance. All seemed to be well and I started to clean up the jugs and stirrer etc. when I looked around, I saw that the piece of bubble wrap had floated to the surface. Grrrr. I quickly whipped it out and turned it over so that the bubbles faced into the soap, and left it to set.  I couldn’t get it to lie absolutely flat, possibly because it was slightly too large. The remaining soap base was left in the jug, to be reheated to make the second square soap.

07 Bubble Wrap Floating on Melted Soap Base

Time to turn out the soaps. This is the large one.

08 Large Soap Unmoulded

The pink bees don’t look too bad! There’s nice contrast between them and the honeycomb background, anyway. I like the fact that the bees are not all the same – some have their wings spread more than others, which gives it a more natural appearance.

As you can see, along one edge, some of the bees didn’t come out, but remained stuck in the mould. This was probably because I forgot to prepare them before pouring the honey soap base. I have tried to get them out of the mould, without success – if I could get them out, I could stick them back on with some melted soap base. As it is, this edge was to be cut off, and then the rest cut into smaller, useable soaps.

The trouble with clear plastic moulds is that they are much less flexible than silicone ones. I managed to pull the sides away from the soap, and press down on the middle, but the edges were more difficult, and it didn’t want to pop out easily. Some silicone soap moulds are very flexible and you can turn them inside out to pop the soap out, which is a lot easier.

Here are the two smaller soaps I made. You can see the impression of the bubble wrap on the bottom, giving the impression of honeycomb.

09 Small Soap Unmoulded

The underside of the soaps, showing the impression of the bubble wrap.

10 Small Soaps Underside

Cutting the large soap. You can see the three small soaps on the right, which I cut off the side where the bees did not come out of the mould.

11 Cutting the Large Soap

The soaps, wrapped. I have put the bee soaps in pairs, and each soap is individually wrapped in cellophane.

12 Wrapped Soaps

I also wrapped the small reject soaps, because I shall use these myself, and the wrappers protect them until they are used.

13 Reject Soaps Wrapped

I am pleased with the colour and scent of this soap. I am not sure if I shall make honey soap again, though, because my preference is for making more natural soaps.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

WOYWW 289

For information on how to join in the nosey fest where we all see what everyone has on their messy work desks, please click on the WOYWW logo in my sidebar, which will take you to our hostess Julia’s blog.

Sorry folks – couldn’t get online last night and then this a.m. forgot all about uploading this post and signing up for WOYWW! Better late than never, I suppose. It is still Wednesday, after all!!

My main work area has been cleared now that I have finished my recycled mini-album, so nothing of interest to photograph! However, this is the work surface on the other side of the room, where I have dumped all the soaps, bath bombs and bath melts that I’ve made in the soap making class, together with some wrapping materials, ready to wrap them and prettify them ready to give away! You can also see the box which contains my essential oils and other bits and pieces, and the bottles of my home-made infused lavender oil.

WOYWW 289

Please see my previous post for details of the final three soap making classes and some photos of the soaps etc. that I made. I simply hadn’t the time to keep up to date with posting about those, being so busy completing the album, and there’s been lots of other stuff going on, too. My mum had 3 TIAs last Thursday and in the late afternoon we found her on the floor and couldn’t get her up, so she ended up in hospital for a few days. She made a good recovery and came home again yesterday. We are busy trying to get things organised for her so she is safer around the house. There is no guarantee she won’t have more of these mini-strokes and they could be the prelude to a big one, but all we can do is continue to give her her warfarin and hope for the best.

With my hubby’s broken wrist and not being allowed to drive, this has complicated matters considerably. Thank goodness all our amenities are close by, because we’ve had to rely on taxis and lifts. It is likely that he will have to remain in plaster for another four weeks after Christmas until they are sure that the tiny, but very important, bone, has mended properly. Never rains but it pours, does it.

I have heard from the hospital with details of my upcoming colonoscopy which is now to take place in January. That will be nice to look forward to in the New Year (not…)!

Yesterday I managed to pick up my knitting again and am working on the final stage, picking up the stitches for the neck. I am hoping to finish it this week and hopefully have some photos of it for you to see.

Happy WOYWW, everybody, and again, my apologies for visiting so few of you last week.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Third, Fourth and Fifth Soap Making Classes

I’ve got really behind with posting about the soap making classes, because I was going all out to finish the recycled mini-album and have been very busy with other things.

In the third class we did layering and embedding with the soaps. The first one we did was supposed to be like a snow globe, but unless you use crystal clear soap base (which is not SLS free and may not be hypoallergenic) it is rather translucent and spoils the effect a bit. We were provided with little plastic gingerbread men to embed in the soap, suspended on wires while the soap hardened. We were supposed to put glitter in the clear soap, but of course Shoshi forgot, so hers is a snow globe with no snow lol! (Global warming, perhaps?!!) Anyway, most of our results fell short of satisfactory, with most people’s gingerbread men coming out at a jaunty angle and looking drunk, and mine certainly fitted that description, made worse by the fact that his feet were sticking out through the base!

01 Snow Globe Soap

02 Snow Globe Soap Bottom

I was very unhappy with this. This style of soap isn’t what I’m interested in making anyway, because as you know, cutesy isn’t my style… However, my lovely cleaning lady loved it, so I am giving it to her! At least someone is happy…

The other two soaps we made were much more satisfactory.

Pink Layered Heart Soaps

First of all, we made tiny red hearts from white soap base, in small moulds. We then put some white soap base (coloured if we wanted, and with fragrance added) into the base of a full-sized heart-shaped mould, and the teacher took these away to pop in the freezer to speed up the setting process. When they came out, we scored the surface to roughen it, and sprayed it with a little rubbing alcohol, both of which helped the next layer to adhere properly. We then poured in some clear soap (also coloured and fragranced as desired) and while it was still liquid, we added the little red hearts we’d made earlier. These came out very much better.

In the fourth class, we made bath bombs. This didn’t grab me at all… You mix bicarbonate of soda with citric acid (both white powders) and then spritz with water, taking great care not to make it too wet or it just fizzes away. For colour, we used powdered colour rather than liquid, and added a few drops of essential oil or fragrance oil for scent. We mixed it up well and kept spritzing until it had the consistency of wet sand, and then squashed it into a mould and turned it out onto the table and left it to dry.

I hated doing this; the powder got into my mouth, nose and eyes, which was most unpleasant, and I had a job getting the consistency just right. I managed to make quite a good selection, though, and once wrapped, they looked pretty good.

01 Bath Bombs

I tried one in the bath, and after an initial fizz, that was it! I much prefer a good soak in bubble bath, so shan’t be making these again. The ones I’ve made will be nice for presents because I know a lot of people do enjoy bath bombs.

In the fifth and final class, we made bath melts. This was a lot more satisfactory than the previous week’s efforts. We mixed shea butter and coconut oil with some almond oil, in some empty tin cans the teacher provided – she had made wire handles for these. They were lowered into a pan of boiling water on the hob, and melted gently. Once melted, we could add fragrance and/or colour, and then pour the liquid into moulds to set. Again, the teacher put them in the freezer to speed things up, because these take quite a long time to set, preferably being left overnight, and we had to have them hard enough to carry home.

01 Bath Melts

Again, I don’t think I shall bother to make these again. Really they are just a base for introducing fragrance into the bath, adding a bit of moisturising along the way. Not bubbly enough for me!

The other night I had my first aromatherapy bath. I’d read online that you should not put neat essential oil into the bath because it tends to clump together and can come into contact with your skin, which can cause irritation because it is incredibly strong. There are very few essential oils which are safe to apply direct to the skin; normally they are diluted in a carrier oil. One website said that you should mix it with a tablespoonful of carrier oil (I used olive oil) and pour that into the bath. I used lavender oil, and also put some in the top of my little oil burner that has a tea light underneath, and leaving the bedroom lamp on and turning off the other lights, I lit several candles and had a wonderful soak – I’d also added some fragrance-free bubbles – it was the most fantastic experience, really relaxing and lovely, but oh boy, the state of the bath afterwards… I use an inflatable bath lift (known as Boris!) and also a non-slip rubber mat, and everything, including the bath, was extremely greasy. After feeling so relaxed after the bath, all I wanted to do was fall into bed and enjoy the benefits, and not waste the whole effect by spending half an hour cleaning up the mess, so I left it till the next day. It took me ages to get it clean, and I had to use some multi-surface cleaner to disperse the oil (Ecover, made of natural stuff, but even so, that stuff gets in my throat and makes me cough!) – I was NOT a happy bunny.

I went on the soap making forum I have joined – they have an essential oils section – and asked for advice on a painless way to clean up, and several people said that they never used the carrier oil as the clean-up was such a bore, and I now have some instructions for home-made bath salts, using Epsom salts, into which you sprinkle some essential oil and keep it in a jar. You can colour it, too. It looks gorgeous! I now have some Epsom salts on order and am keen to try.

This is all a huge learning curve, and it is great fun learning how to make my own beauty products, and I know exactly what’s gone into them, and can colour and fragrance them as I like. They also make gorgeous presents. I am also learning about making my own cleaning products which will be natural, and also very cheap to make, and not full of harsh, strong-smelling chemicals, which I have come to dislike intensely since I developed M.E. – many people develop chemical sensitivity, and it’s nice to be able to avoid these things.

I’ll keep you up to date with the things I make. I’ve gradually been collecting bits and pieces online, mostly from Ebay – moulds, essential oils, soap bases, etc. I shall also be using my other skills to create pretty labels and packaging for them, and I am saving suitable empty bottles and containers.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

WOYWW 288

To find out how you can leap in and experience the fun of What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday, click on the WOYWW logo in my sidebar, and you will miraculously arrive at our hostess Julia’s blog, where you will find full details.

Again, my apologies for having visited so few desks last week, but when I got the opportunity I was working flat out on my recycled mini-album in order to get it finished before Thursday when my sister (and hopefully my niece) are coming, and I can give it to my niece then. Success! It is finished!!

My desk this week.

WOYWW 288

As you can see, it is remarkably tidy. After finishing the album, I had to make a card, and then I had a massive clear up and put loads of stuff away, ready for whatever I am going to tackle next. Not sure what that will be yet, because with the dreaded C just over the horizon I have to do some other things. Also, I am pretty exhausted now, having pulled all the stops out to finish the album, but I’m so glad I did!

At the back of the craft sheet you can see the pile of embossed card and alcohol ink backgrounds I did a while back. I think I should work on these and get some cards made up for my stash before I do anything else, but I do want to make some more soap before Christmas. On the pull-out unit on the right is my felt making box (still in utter disarray since the final felt class – no time to do anything about that!) – the box is just dumped there to be out of the way because I had to alter some more bedding on my sewing machine this p.m. You can also see (on the right) my new kitty squad stamp, still not unmounted from its wood block.

I haven’t forgotten that I have not yet posted photos of the last 2 soap making classes – too much else going on! I’ll try and do a post soon. The last class is tomorrow. Here’s the card I have made for the teacher, which I hope they will all sign:

08 Finished Card

It’s got 2 printed images (the soap an internet download and the duck a photo of one of my hubby’s ducks from his bathroom lol!) cut out and stuck down, and Ryn’s wonderful water droplets stamp, and some glass bead gel medium to make it more sudsy. I photographed it against one of the scratch papers I created while making the album. I also made a custom sized envelope for it, using my recently acquired envelope punch board.

My hubby broke his wrist a few weeks ago and is in a cast, and has been told definitely that he is not allowed to drive, which is presenting us with some problems – we have got to take a taxi to our friend’s on Christmas day but it’s not quite as frighteningly expensive as I’d feared, but bad enough! My hubby has arranged transport with a neighbour for my class tomorrow, and he’s got to take Mum on the bus to the surgery on Friday – what fun and games that will be! I can’t remember when she last travelled by bus. (Lady Muck.)

Here’s the final page of my album, after which I also did a page giving details of how it was made, and some blank pages (with just the signature black and white borders) for notes. You can read the final post about it here.

42 Final Page

I am hoping to make a video slideshow of the completed pages, and how the book was constructed.

Have a great week everybody, and I hope in the midst of the usual seasonal busyness that you will all find time to be creative and feed the inner man/woman!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Thank You Card for Soap Making Teacher

What with rushing to finish the recycled mini-album in time and then being pretty exhausted, I wasn’t sure I’d have the energy or inclination to make a card but I really felt I should do it, because our teacher (who also taught the felt-making class) is so lovely, and gives so much during the classes, and I’d feel a right weed if I didn’t apply myself!

This card is a lot less complicated than the one I made for her for the felt course – you can see it here – but time and energy haven’t allowed me anything more ambitious.

I decided to make this more of a fun card. I began by photographing one of the plastic ducks from my hubby’s bath, and downloaded an image of a bar of soap. I cut these out and stuck them together with regular matt gel medium, after adding a bit of a shadow with some Pumice Stone distress ink under the duck.

01 Image Cut-Outs

I created a background from a piece of scrap card, distressing the edges with Stormy Sky distress ink and adding some shadow where the images would be applied, with the same distress ink. I used Ryn’s water droplets stamp with cobalt archival ink and added a tiny dot with my white marker pen on each droplet’s catchlight. I always do this with this stamp, because it makes the droplets really stand out.

02 Stamping the Background

I added some more distressing to the background, using Faded Jeans distress ink, and stuck the images down with regular matt gel medium.

03 Inked Background and Images Applied

To add a more sudsy effect around the soap at the bottom of the card, I laid down some glass bead gel medium with a palette knife.

04 Glass Bead Gel Medium Applied

A detail of the glass bead gel medium. Where it is showing white in the photo, it will be clear once it is dry.

05 Detail of Glass Bead Gel Medium

I matted the card onto a piece of scrap yellow card using my ATG glue tape gun.

06 Matting and Layering

Finally, I lightly inked the base card with some Stormy Sky distress ink, and layered the card topper onto this.

07 Matted onto Inked Base Card

The finished card.

08 Finished Card

Now I have to make an envelope for this custom-sized card, using my new Envelope Punch Board. I recently discovered a brilliant online tool for making envelopes of any size not listed on the chart that comes with the board.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Recycled Mini-Album–Finished at Last!

Saturday was the first anniversary of my father’s death. It seems appropriate that I completed the album that celebrates his life on that very day.

I have two photos to end the book. The first is of my dad with his newborn granddaughter, who will be the recipient of this book. The other is the very last photo that was ever taken of him, on his 90th birthday at the residential home. They put a candle on his pudding, and you can see how happy he looks. I am so glad that despite his confusion with the dementia at the end of his life, he spent his last days content and at peace, in a beautiful care home, with his family visiting when we could.

Here is the page spread with the background and borders. To create the background I stamped with a Stamp Barn swirl stamp (FLR 0211), using Versamark, and then brushing on randomly three different Perfect Pearls, in Turquoise, Forever Green and Forever Violet. You can see the semi-circular hole for the tag on the left.

150 Background and Border for Final Photos Page

The page complete. You can see the tag in place on the left, with its tag puller with the embossed flower. The reverse of this tag is the clocks tag on the previous page.

151 Final Photos Page Complete

The last few pages of the book are taken up with details of its construction and embellishment, and some blank pages for my niece to add her own reminiscences and photos.

152 Book Details Blurred

153 Book Details Detail 1

154 Book Details Detail 2 Blurred

After completing the second page, I realised I’d left out several of the materials, for instance alcohol inks and inked kitchen paper. Ah well. No room for any more!

For the final “Notes” pages I cut sheets of plain white paper to shape, and distressed the edges with Black Soot distress ink, and stuck them down onto each page using soft matt gel medium. I was careful to apply this only to the back of the sheets and the surface of the actual page, and around the edges of the top surface of the sheets only, and not over the whole top surface, so that there would be a plain paper surface for my niece to write on with any pen or pencil of her choice.

155 Cutting the Paper for the Notes Pages

156 Sticking Down the Paper for the Notes Pages

The next step was to work on the borders, and I created a different one for each of the three pages, using white acrylic paint, and tidying up the edges with a waterproof black pen once the paint was dry.

157 First Notes Page Complete

158 First Notes Page Detail

159 Second Notes Page Complete

160 Second Notes Page Detail

161 Third Notes Page Complete

162 Third Notes Page Detail

The final step was to add the little cartoon that one of my dad’s medical student friends drew of him – I also used this picture in his funeral service sheet. My sister has the original.

I stuck the picture down onto the end paper at the back of the book and added some embellishment with a sepia archival pen, along with my blog address at the bottom of the page.

47 Back End Papers

163 Back End Paper Cartoon Detail

The end of the book! A good brush up to get rid of any traces of gel medium that had got embedded in the binding, and a final coat of acrylic wax, well buffed up, to give a nice vintage leather effect. I am particularly pleased that despite getting a bit carried away with lots of texture which added a huge amount of thickness to many of the pages, when closed, the book covers are exactly parallel – just as they should be!

49 Back Cover

Just a reminder of what the front looks like.

01 Front Cover

This has been an amazing project to work on. Every page was full of special memories of me, and I am sure that getting them all down on paper has helped my grieving process in the year following my wonderful dad’s death. Also, I have been thinking constantly about my niece who is to receive the book, and hoping that it will be a real treasure for her to keep for her lifetime, a little memorial of her grandfather. This has truly been a labour of love. Finally, it has been an adventure and exploration into the world of mixed media, and throughout, I have been learning new techniques, and stretching my skills and thinking outside the box, using all kinds of different materials. This adventure has been so much fun!

The final step will be to make a video slideshow of all the photos I took on Saturday night, of each completed page, with perhaps the addition of some work-in-progress pages. I want to keep as comprehensive a record as possible for my own benefit, as I shall feel another bereavement once this book goes to my niece – it has been such an important part of my life for the last eight months!

Before starting this book, I was working on a larger album about Dad, for my hubby and me to keep, based on the “Tattered Time” paper stack from DCWV, which had to be set aside in favour of this album. This is another project to be taken up again in the New Year and worked on as time permits – no deadline on this, and it will be fun to work on.

I hope you have enjoyed the journey.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Recycled Mini-Album Pages–Clocks

This post is about the penultimate page of the mini-album, and deals with one of my dad’s most absorbing interests.

He was a keen and expert horologist. He collected many clocks during his life, and was a skilled clock repairer. Over the years he amassed a comprehensive set of tools for this purpose, including a watchmaker’s lathe to complement his larger engineering lathe. He was always sketching on scraps of paper – ideas for repairs, clock movements, etc. This album would not be complete without some pages on his passion for clocks.

I recently acquired a gearwheels stencil, an “ArtMask” from Carabelle Studio, called “Rouages Steampunk.” Strictly speaking, it is a mask rather than a stencil, because it is the background that is cut away. I tried to make a gearwheels stencil once, with the gearwheels, rather than the background, cut out, and it all fell apart and I ended up with a fine collection of acetate gearwheels! (I am using them as masks, and for sticking onto projects, so they are not wasted.) Anyway, in this case, I wanted the actual gearwheels to be gold, and the background to remain black, so I did a bit of reverse stencilling. To do this, I first painted the whole page with metallic gold acrylic paint, and while it was still wet, I laid the mask on top and secured it top and bottom with some masking tape. I then wiped away the gold paint through the holes in the mask. To start with I used a baby wipe, but this was too wet and it spoilt the design underneath, so I had to wipe off all the gold paint and start again. A piece of kitchen paper wasn’t sufficient for paint removal, so I took a fresh baby wipe and wrapped it in kitchen paper and used that, which was better. For the second page, I dried a fresh baby wipe slightly with my heat gun, and the results were fine.

131 Clocks Page Background

I am pleased with the metallic finish on this background.

The next step was to lay down some images as the next layer of background – a scanned image of a diagram of a clock escapement, and some photos of various clocks my dad repaired. I decided to fussy-cut the background away and lay them down so that the background would show through.

132 Fussy Cutting the Images for 1st Clocks Page

Here is the first clock page complete, with the addition of photos and embellishments, and the trademark white border. The images in this case were laid down with soft gloss gel medium, so as not to interfere with the reflective surface of the gold background. The clock face was a cut-out, which I had distressed and kept for another project – it had been in my stash for some time.

133 1st Clock Page Complete

The first photo I chose was of some clock parts my dad made from scratch, to replace some worn ones in a clock he was repairing. He would always try to reproduce as faithfully as possible any clock parts he replaced, to be in keeping with the period – for instance, adding metric threads, or modern gears in an antique clock would be an anachronism, which would have offended him, not to mention reducing the value of the clock. Next to this photo is a picture of my dad’s little repair notebook, packed with his tiny, almost illegible writing! (He was a doctor, after all…) In this book he kept a record of all the repairs he carried out on people’s clocks, and could refer back to this, the next time a clock became an inpatient in the clock hospital. At the bottom is a photo of a church clock movement he repaired.

134 Clocks Title Detail

In the above detail shot of the title, you can see one of the Friendly Plastic gearwheels I made several years ago, with added gilding wax and Glossy Accents (neither of which shows up very well on this photo). This was stuck down with Pinflair glue.

The next photo shows the second clock page with the photos added. A bit more of the gold gearwheels background is left exposed in this one, but there is a fussy-cut clock movement laid over the left-hand page. On the right hand page you can see a photo of one of Dad’s antique clocks – his oldest one, a 17th century Cromwellian clock that my grandfather picked up cheap in a sale “because it’s only got one hand,” when they were made with only one hand!

135 2nd Clock Page with Photos

With the addition of borders and some text, the page is complete. You can see the tag puller on the right – more details about the tag below.

136 2nd Clock Page Complete

A couple of detail shots of this page. First, the top of the page, showing the gearwheels border I created, and the blue-painted clock movement (another church clock that he repaired) overlaid.

137 2nd Clock Page Top Detail

At the bottom of the page are photos of two models of different types of clock escapement that Dad made from perspex. He used these on an overhead projector to illustrate the difference, during his lecture “The Clock Doc – or Horology in a Nutshell,” his presidential address at his local medical society. Typical of Dad, he spent many hours making these models, and they were up on the screen for only a few minutes. They are now in my possession.

138 2nd Clock Page Bottom Detail

Preparing to make the tag. You can see the semi-circular shape I have punched out, and the printed clock face image ready to be punched out with the same punch.

139 Making Clock Puller for Final Tag

The clock face tag puller attached to the tag.

140 Clock Puller for Final Tag Complete

The tag in situ, showing how the tag puller fits exactly into the semi-circular hole.

141 Tag with Clock Puller in Situ

Because the two pages glued together to form the tag holder came at the end of the clock section, the reverse of the tag is different. Here you can see the stamp I used – one from the Stamp Attack Butterfly Doodle Dallions set.

142 Materials for Flower Puller for Final Tag

I used some Cosmic Shimmer Lapis Cobalt Aurora fine embossing powder to stamp the image, and then three different Perfect Pearls (Plum, Kiwi and Turquoise) applied like watercolours to colour the image. After this I punched out the shape.

143 Making Flower Puller for Final Tag

To complete the tag puller, I distressed the edges with Black Soot distress ink.

144 Flower Puller for Final Tag

Here is the reverse of the tag, with the flower tag puller attached.

145 Flower Puller on Final Tag

This picture shows the tag in place, with the flower tag puller nesting into the semi-circular hole.

146 Tag with Flower Puller in Situ

The background and border on the clock side of the tag. I used an Artistic Stamper stamp for the background (“Cogs”), stamping with Versamark, and adding some Cappuccino Perfect Pearls with a soft brush.

147 Background and Border for Clock Tag

Here is the completed clock side of the tag, with some journaling with my white marker pen.

148 Clock Tag Complete

Here is the reverse side of the tag, completed. As this lines up with the final page of the book, I decided to make this one a summary of all my dad’s qualities and accomplishments as celebrated throughout the book.

149 Final Tag Complete

All that remains to be done on the book now is the final double-page spread, and then a couple of pages of information about how the book was constructed and embellished. If there is room, I shall add a couple of blank pages at the back for notes and further photos.