Saturday, 31 December 2016

Mamhead Album–Finalising the Pages and Beginning the Binding

Today I really cracked on with the album and managed to complete all the pages with their embellishments, and began the process of constructing the binding.

Strong Tower Pages

Today I began with the Strong Tower pages. I wanted to pick out the “pointing” between the stencilled bricks.

119 Painting the Brick Stencil

I rubbed the Vintage Photo distress ink pad on the craft sheet and spritzed it with water, and picked this up with a fine brush and used the ink as a watercolour. You can see the completed page on the right, contrasted with the original on the left.

The next step was to ink the pages, and for this I used several distress inks: Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Scattered Straw, Rusty Hinge and Fossilised Amber. I rubbed the pads on the craft sheet, spritzed with water, and smooshed the pages in the ink.

120 Inking the Strong Tower Pages

I spattered the pages with water and blotted it off, to give a slightly mottled effect, and then, because I didn’t think there was enough texture on the right-hand page, I added a very small quantity of Golden Sands Infusions on both pages, and spritzed them with water to activate the crystals.

121 Infusions on the Strong Tower Pages

It was now time to start work on the photos. I tore the edges to reduce the size and make them more interesting, making sure that if possible the torn under surface of the paper was on the top as this makes for a more interesting texture.

122 Inking the Strong Tower Photos

I worked some Fossilised Amber distress ink well into the edges, to help them blend into the inked background of the page.

I glued them down onto the right-hand page using Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive, aligning them as much as I could – the photos were not taken in the same place but I think I’ve got a pretty good join.

123 Strong Tower Photos Stuck to Page

I distressed the page edges using Vintage Photo distress ink.

124 Distressing the Strong Tower Pages

Taking some of the small leaf trails that I cut with Sheba, my Cougar cutting machine, I inked them with Mustard Seed distress stain and left them to dry.

125 Inking the Small Leaf Trails

Once they were dry, I stuck them down onto the pages using Crafter’s Companion Stick and Spray glue, then for good measure I stippled on some soft matte gel medium and left them to dry.

126 Sticking Down the Small Leaf Trails

The pages were a bit curled and needed flattening under some heavy books, so I left them and turned to some of the other pages, adding text and embellishments. I am so thrilled to find so nany great quotations on the Internet!

How Great Thou Art Pages

This is one of the black-and-white page spreads, with the picture on the right being a black and white manipulated photo with a frame cut with Sheba.

127 Text on How Great Thou Art Pages

For the text on the page, I chose some lines from a much-loved hymn.

128 How Great Thou Art Page Detail

Green Pages

I added some text to these pages and after that, they were complete.

129 Green Pages with Text

Here is the frontispiece and the map. I added the text to the mottled greenish-black paper I created with Infusions. The text was written wit my white marker pen.

130 Fronticepiece and Map

Back to the Strong Tower Pages

Now that they were suitably flattened, I could add the text and embellishments. I wrote the text with a sepia pen. The leaves and flowers were stuck down with a generous amount of Pinflair glue to prevent them from getting squashed, and I added some spots of Orange Peel stickles (glitter glue) to the centre of each flower.

131 Embellishments on Strong Tower Pages

Here is the page spread complete with inking and embellishments.

132 Strong Tower Pages with Text

Detail shots.

133 L Strong Tower Page Detail

134 R Strong Tower Page Detail

Frontispiece and Map

After sticking the parchment paper to the base using ultra-sticky double sided tape, I traced the outline of the map, and then added little drawings of the Ordnance Survey symbols for a mixed wood, and added some text..

135 Maps with Parchment Overlay

Here is the map page with the frontispiece.

136 Fronticepiece and Maps

This finally completes the individual pages.

Hidden Hinges

I can now move on to look at the binding. Zsuzsa has just bound her Life Book art pages and has posted on her blog about the hidden hinge method of binding, which I thought would be excellent for this.

The site where she got her instructions stated that the hinge between the pages isn’t entirely invisible, and she recommends using card which matches as closely as possible the colours of each element of the card.

I have a box containing a large quantity of narrow offcuts (which you can see on the left of the  next photo) which I thought would work well, but they needed some work. I added colour to the coloured strips and smoothed it out as much as possible with a fan brush. In each photo, you can see the original card alongside the inked one, for comparison. Here is the green one.

137 Hidden Hinges - Green

I like the streaked and mottled effect of the strips. Throughout, I have used different shades of distress stains, and in the case I chose Forest Moss, on a bright green background..

Moving on to the next one, this was achieved by adding Iced Spruce distress stain to a grey background.

138 Hidden Hinges - Grey-Green

For the purple one I chose a pinkish red card and stained it with Faded Jeans to achieve a nice purple colour.

139 Hidden Hinges - Purple

For the blue one I used Evergreen Bough and Faded Jeans to achieve the results I wanted, on a background of pale blue.

140 Hidden Hinges - Blue

I managed to achieve quite a similar result to the background of the page with this one, using Vintage Photo and Mustard Seed distress ink.

141 Hidden Hinges - Woodgrain

The one to accompany the hand-made paper sheet with the golden tracing, consisted of the beige card I have used for all the brown-coloured strips. It needed to be a pinkish-brown and I chose Frayed Burlap and Tattered Rose.

142 Hidden Hinges - Pale Brown

Finally, a yellow one to go with the Strong Tower page. I used Frayed Burlap and Mustard seed, and set everything aside to dry.

144 Hidden Hinges - Yellow

All the hidden hinge pieces were cut exactly the same size – 4 inches (the height of each page) by 1 1/2 inches, which should be adequate.

I am glad that I decided to use scrap card for this instead of breaking into my best 12 x 12 papers, because I had to colour them by hand, and this has led to a lovely random, linear texture on the card, and if any of the binding shows, it will be more subtle and interesting than a plain card which might not have been the exact colour anyway.

Here are the completed pages, with their matching hidden hinge pieces.

145 All the Page with their Hidden Hinges

If I get time tomorrow I shall start to attach the hinges to the pages. I am very excited about this project now that the end is in sight, and I am wondering what on earth I’m going to do for the cover!

I am hoping to upload my end-of-year review blog posts tomorrow if I get time. I usually do them on New Year’s Eve but I’ve been busy in the studio today, and we were out this evening.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Mamhead Album–Embellishments and Text

Warning – long post, picture-rich.

Today I had a lovely long session in the studio and really cracked on with my pages. They are nearly all complete now, and I shall soon be able to think about binding them into a book.

Today I started adding text to a selection of pages, and adding some leaves and flowers and other embellishments. Here are the pages I have done.

Strong Tower Pages

This is still a work in progress. I am working on the LH page to go with the photo of the path to the obelisk, and I applied some Polyfilla through my own brick stencil that I drew in Inkscape and cut with Sheba (Cougar cutting machine) some time ago.

90 Strong Tower Page - Brick Stencil

I sprinkled on three different colours of Infusions, using a soft brush.

91 Strong Tower - Infusions on Polyfilla

Spritzed with water to activate the powder.

92 Strong Tower - Infusions Spritzed with Water

I then left this to dry and will work on it another day. I’m not sure how this is going to progress yet.

Friends Pages

I chose two quotes from the Book of Proverbs in the Bible for this page spread – lovely words about friendship, to accompany the two photos I took of my hubby and his friend walking ahead of us in the distance. The quote for the right-hand page I typed on the computer and printed it out, and cut the text into strips which I glued down onto the page.

I used the edge of a credit card to apply ink to the edges of the text strips, and then added a bit more ink to soften the white paper, using an Inkylicious Ink Duster.

93 Friends R Text with Ink

The final touch was to distress the edges of the pages, using a home-made blending pad.

94 Friends R Distressed Edges

Here is the completed page.

95 Friends R

On the left-hand page, I used my white marker pen to add text between the strips of inked kitchen paper.

96 Friends L Text

Here’s a detail shot.

97 Friends L

The page pairs. See how the kitchen paper extends onto the right-hand page.

98 Friends Pages

Detail of the pages.

99 Friends Pages Detail

Walk in the Woods Pages

All I needed to do for this was to add some text to the background page that I’d created using black Infusions applied with a fan brush.

100 Walk in the Woods Pages

The left-hand page.

101 Walk in the Woods L

Queen Beech Pages

This is a quote I made up myself. I have always adored beech trees and consider the beech to be the queen of the wood.

I added text using a permanent black pen outlined with the white marker pen, and distressed the edges using a home-made blending tool.

102 Queen Beech Pages


103 Queen Beech Pages Detail

The left-hand page.

104 Queen Beech L

Where E’er You Walk Pages

This is one of my favourite songs, from Handel’s opera “Semele.” I discovered online that the words were written by Alexander Pope.

All through our walk in the woods, I had that song running through my head, so I knew I had to include it somewhere in the album. I created the two photographic pages using a faded-out background that is actually a mirror image of itself on the two pages. I added the text with a permanent black pen.

105 Where E'er You Wakk Pages

Detail of the text.

106 Where E'er You Walk Text Detail

The left-hand page.

107 Where E'er You Walk L

Seeing Beauty Pages

I paired the two photos I took of beautiful small objects – a butterfly and a fir cone. So often people walk by and never notice the small things, but I’ve always had an eye for them and love the perfection of small natural forms.

I added some of the leaves I’d made, using Pinflair glue, after distressing the edges of the pages, using a home-made blending tool. The text was done as before, with the black and white pens.

108 Seeing Beauty Pages

The paired pages.

109 Seeing Beauty

The right-hand page.

110 Seeing Beauty L

Yellow Flowers Pages

The yellow flowers page, with the linear-fade photo, had been a problem because I wasn’t sure I really liked it and didn’t know quite how it would fit in. I paired it with my fern tracing page, and with the addition of some of the leaves and flowers, I suddenly liked it – a lot! Again, I attached the leaves and flowers with Pinflair glue.

111 Yellow Flowers Pages


112 Yelliow Flowers

The left-hand page.

113 Yellow Flowers L

Sea Pages

I tore the edges of the sea view photo to reduce the size somewhat, and to soften the effect. I distressed the torn edges with Faded Jeans distress ink. I applied both photos using soft matte gel medium onto a background of some printed cloud paper that I’ve had hanging around for years. I added more of my glittery blue inked kitchen paper to these pages, again using gel medium, and added some text with the black pen. To make it a bit more sparkly I applied some glitter pens in three colours, and Stickles glitter glue in two colours. I had intended to distress the edges but forgot to do this until after I’d applied the stickles, so this will have to wait until the pages are dry.

115 Sea Pages

The paired pages.

116 Sea Pages Detail

The left-hand page.

117 Sea L

The right-hand page.

118 Sea R

It’s a bit difficult to see the sparkliness of these pages. I have added some fine lines of silver glitter pen to the surface of the sea and elsewhere, adding some glitter pen in two shades of blue.

Finally, here are all the pages I worked on today, with the exception of the Strong Tower page. The curled up text page on the left is now under some heavy books which I hope will deal with that!

114 All Pages Done on 29-12-16

It’s really coming together now, and I am so looking forward to completing it and giving a copy to our lovely friends who introduced us to this stunningly beautiful woodland.

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