Monday, 1 May 2017
Hello all! I hope those of you in the UK are enjoying the Bank Holiday, despite the rather gloomy weather. I'm delighted to be here today with a very exciting post.
You'll have seen projects using Eileen Hull's amazing new Journal die popping up here and there, and I'm so thrilled to have been invited by Eileen to create my own version to celebrate the release.
These journals will also be appearing soon in a special e-book, collecting together the inspirational projects from around the world. Details for that will follow soon but, for now, here's my Nature Journal for you.
Regulars know I love my crackle and my wild meadow flowers and grasses, so that's what I went for with this journal. It's for me, so why not have all my favourite things on it?!
The other thing which always appeals to me in a journal is gentle simplicity - to give room for the imagination to breathe.
On the inside, I've kept it simple too - a combination of watercolour paper (so that I can continue my new obsession), and some old music manuscript prepared for action with washes of gesso and white paint.
Eileen's die makes it so easy to make your journal be exactly what you want it to be, and as you will have seen around Craftyblogland, the possibilities are pretty much infinite.
I can't wait to play again and see what happens the next time around. But for now, here are a few close-ups and some details on how I did what I did, and the products I used.
The base layer was DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint in Relic (dark grey) and Primitive (stone) - doesn't matter how it looks at this stage, it's all going to be covered!).
Over that I used the DecoArt Crackle Glaze formulated for their Chalk Paints with a coat of Everlasting (white) once it was dry.
I decided I wanted a really rustic crackle texture, so I added some of the DecoArt Media Crackle Paint with a palette knife in places as an extra layer.
To seal all that in, so that the crackle won't peel off, I gave it all a generous coat of the Ultra-Matte Varnish also by DecoArt.
From there, I added washes of Fresco Finish Chalk Paints and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in lots of my favourite blues and greens. (Blues down from the top, greens up from the bottom.)
I use them with lots of water, and also with a spritzer handy, and add layers and knock back until I'm happy with the look.
For many projects, I would do this with Distress Inks, but this journal is going to need to withstand some wear and tear, so the paint is a better alternative.
Then I let loose with the glorious meadow grasses by Lin Brown for PaperArtsy.
I used the stems from ELB30 and 33, and layered them up in Olive and Leaf Archival inks, creating height at the edges.
You may be able to see that I've also done some light spatter with some of the leftover blue/greens from the craft mat.
I was slightly concerned about what might happen when I cracked those creases back into action, but the break was easy and clean, and I love the effect of the cracked edges.
After I'd inked around the corners and along the edges with Archival ink, I made sure they got an extra helping of Ultra-Matte Varnish to be sure they'll be nice and sturdy.
So far, it's been to the Czech Republic and back with me, and it still looks as good as new. Next stop, New York.
For the inside covers, I used some design papers by 7 Dots Studio. The line is called Nature Walk (which seemed appropriate for my Nature Journal).
And the signatures are formed of papers which I hope will inspire me to play...
Plenty of watercolour paper, torn along the edges for a nice distressed look...
... alternating with the white-washed music manuscript pages torn from an old, unwanted music book.
I love how the page edges look all together. Simple things please me!
The signatures are held in place with fine twine, threaded through Eileen's cleverly constructed spine.
I made a feature of the binding on the spine, adding a couple of Idea-ology pieces to an extra piece of the twine and tying it around the strings at the back.
And the same fine twine acts as a fastening - tied in a simple bow. It looks complicated to untie and retie, but really isn't!
I used my Hero Arts alphabet to stamp the word Journal onto one of the leftover watercolour strips torn from the sheets used to make the pages inside.
It's layered up over some tea-bag fragments. I love how these fragile bits of paper add some definition, while still allowing you to see the crackle and the stamping underneath.
And the back, of course, continues the gentle walk through the meadow...
So that's my Nature Journal - just the first of many journals which will appear, I'm thinking.
It's been amazing to get a chance to experiment with Eileen's design - it's going to be in such regular use when I get my own die back home to play with (it's waiting for me in the States at the moment).
I'll be back with details of the e-book release as soon as we have them, and at that point I may even give you a sneak peek of some of the experimental works in progress which are now in the pages inside! For now, you can catch up with some of the extraordinarily inspiring creations from around Craftyblogland over at Eileen's blog.
Thanks so much for stopping by today, and if I can get my computer keyboard to behave, I hope to spend some time in Craftyblogland soon.
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
I'd like to share this at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where the theme is The Great Outdoors
At Mixed Media World they are playing Anything Mixed Media Goes with a twist of watercolour
As always at Love To Create it's an Anything Creative/Mixed Media Goes
And at Mixed Media Monthly, as you can see, they would like us to Put A Stamp On It