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Monday, 1 January 2018

Beautiful New Year Moments






Hello all, and a very happy 2018 to all of you.  I hope it brings you all that you are wishing for.


The first of the month means it's time to begin a new challenge at Mini Album Makers.  As always, any handmade book is welcome, and my lovely team-mates have provided a wealth of inspiration for you.  But before you hop over there to check it out, here's my own offering.


I've made myself a journal for keeping notes and ideas in for a new word-based endeavour I'm involved in - making it perfect for Simon Says Stamp's Something New theme.  It's decorated in a simple, natural style that makes me happy.
















And those lovely leaves also put in an appearance on the inside, albeit in a slightly different way...













I started by tearing the pages of a cheap watercolour pad in half, and then cutting the end-board of the pad in half to make my front and back covers.... simple and easy so far.















I painted the outer covers with some DecoArt Chalk Paint in Enchanted and added some of the Crackle Glaze formulated for the Chalk Paints.
















While the glaze was drying, I hole-punched all the pages and gave them a light spritz of Bundled Sage Distress Spray.













The pages were then left to dry as I added the top coat of the covers.  The white DecoArt Chalk Paint is known as Everlasting.  I love the mega-crackles from that hefty application of Crackle Glaze.












I glued some pre-printed tissue paper and some torn teabags onto the crackle... all nice and translucent.















I then added a patch of seamed calico fabric (one of the unwanted curtain bands which come with a certain Swedish furniture store's cheapest calico curtains... waste not, want not!) and lots of scrunchled thread to the mix.













That all needed time to dry so I got on with something else in the meantime.













I pulled out some of the lovely chipboards by one of the Mini Album Makers' sponsors, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.  I thought these leaves would make great decorative elements over my background textures.














Before decorating them, though, I used the leafy garland as a mask to add some more decorative detail to a few of the interior pages.  This time the spritzing was done with Peeled Paint Distress Spray.












I gesso'd the leaves and spritzed them with a combination of Bundled Sage and Peeled Paint sprays.  They looked pretty cool while they were still wet...













... but the colour faded quite a lot as they dried.  I was a bit disappointed when I came down the next morning.














In order to recapture the "wet look", I used some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - a mixture of Green Gold and Sap Green spritzed with water on the craft mat - and splodged the leaves down into them.
















I'm very happy with the result.












I know spring is quite a long way off yet, but the vibrant freshness of the green leaves is a promise of good things to come!













I lightly gesso'd the fabric and tissue of the front cover to knock it back a bit before adding my finished leaves.  And then I thought I'd better do the back cover too, so that the crackle would be softened in the same way as on the front.













The binding is very simply done with twine threaded through the hole-punched pages.  














But I decided I wanted a bit more natural earthiness, so I bound a twig into the twine as I tied it off.  It serves no particular purpose, I just like it!












The twig actually comes from a roll of wired twig garden edging which I'm gradually dismantling as I find a need for the twigs.













A little bit of Gathered Twigs (but of course) inking around the edges, and we're pretty much done.  














I love that there are places inside where I'll be writing over or around the masked leafy garland pattern, echoing the front cover...















... but not always.














I also really love the wild thread giving movement to the whole thing. 















The Idea-ology Quote Sticks tell you exactly what I hope to be doing throughout 2018.









I toyed for a while with the idea of spattering it with white paint in time-honoured fashion, but in the end I restrained myself.  I thought it was better left with this clean, fresh look.


So there you have it - Happy New Year!  I hope 2018 will be kind to you, and to us all.  Why not kick it off by coming to play along at Mini Album Makers?




There's lots more inspiration for you over at the challenge blog, and you could be chosen as one of our top picks or win our sponsor prize, which this month is a fantastic $25 gift voucher courtesy of the fabulous Lindy's Stamp Gang.  So do come and join in - we welcome any handmade book, and we love seeing all shapes, sizes and styles.  Hope to see you there some time during January.  Happy crafting all!




You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
Henry David Thoreau

I'd like to play along at That's Crafty Challenges where Anything Goes
At the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge they are looking for Something New - well, not only is this my New Year's journal recording words for a new creative project, but I've also used these new (to me) Gypsy Soul laser cuts

42 comments:

Valerie-Jael said...

Fabulous album. Happy new year, hugs, Valerie

Helen said...

A beautiful album,. I love those leaves - they look so real! they make a fabulous mask inside too. Happy New Year, Alison, hope you have a fulfilling and creative one.

Meggymay said...

This is a gorgeous album, awesome details.
Happy New Year Alison I hope 2018 will be a good one for you.
Yvonne xx

Craftyfield said...

Love it! Helen's right, the leaves look so real... Your shopping in the garden centre for crafty supplies made me laugh, I have been tempted many times before,to my OH consternation... Still I'm using his roll of garden twine, when he's not looking!

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

What a beautiful way to keep those written thoughts and words. A marvellous process from start to finish. I love how you have chosen colours that are subtle giving the spotlight to your words rather than images. Fabulous idea and blank canvas to encourage your inspirations.
Creative wishes Alison & the happiest of years.
Hugs Tracey xx

Flo Langley said...

Happy New Year Alison. Wishing you and your family health and happiness for 2018. Beautiful project.
Flo x

Neet said...

Happy New Year - and what a way to start it off! I love books and this one, well, I just fell in love with it. To me it says "Peace". The circle of friendship, the lovely green against the white(ish) background and the words all add up to a message of Peace for me. It is so tranquil - it really soothes the soul.
Thank you for such a great piece of art and for the delightful way you have shown us the process.
Hugs, Neet xx

Marci said...

Oh, I needed to see this on a -10°F morning! It looks like Spring and I am longing for Spring. It is so fresh and beautiful. Thank you.

Marci said...

And Happy New Year to you!

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

Absolutely delightful Alison and I couldn’t think of a nicer way to start off 2018 than by looking at your lovely artwork
Happy New Year to you
Hugs
Donna xx

craftytrog said...

It's a beautiful and inspiring album Alison, and a great tutorial!
Wishing you a happy 2018.
Alison xox

Dortesjs said...

Gorgeous delight love this post,love your mask your paint your crack´s your swedish use.. lol lol awsome work- happy new year from me in denmark

Dorthe said...

So adorable Alison, such a gorgeous result. The use as mask, of the wreath is a brilliant idea, and looks stunning on the pages, so lovely with the added textile and fibers. So lush ,-and spring is flying to meet me, seeing this journal .
Hugs, Dorthe

Mrs.B said...

A fabulous album, love the chipboard embellished cover and a great ides of using it as a mask for the pages.
Happy New Year to You.
Avril xx

maj. said...

Great album!!!!
Happy New Year!!!

sumit gupta said...

nice design:)

Nikki Acton said...

Love every tiny detail... The twine, the twig, the crackle and splodgy leaves! Happy New Year Alison. Xx

Sue said...

This is really beautiful Alison, I love these leaves. Have a wonderful and creative 2018. Sue xx

Wanda Hentges said...

Love this, Alison!!! Beautiful book!!!

Amanda said...

Beautifully constructed and designed, what a fabulous piece to add your words into, a real keepsake for you
Love
Amanda x

Sandy said...

You are so dog gone good talented Alison - what a beautiful cover - love it and of course the twig in the spine was just the right touch for your cover.
Thanks Sugar!!
sandy xx

Redanne said...

The neutral colours are beautiful, so very you Alison and I love how you doubled up the use of those leaves and your crackle, as always, is superb. I am sure this album will inspire you daily - a great start to the New Year!! Anne xx

Astrid Maclean said...

Fabulous album, the muted crackled cover is gorgeous and I just love how you did the spine! Happy New Year!

My name is Erika. said...

Gorgeous album. I bet you can make some fantastic art in it! Happy New Year! Hugs-Erika

Margaret said...

Oh, what a stunning handmade book! I absolutely love the nature theme and all of that wonderful crackle!

Hope you have a fabulous new year!

Patty O'Malley said...

Beautiful project, Alison! Happy New Year!

Team Clark said...

Just brilliant Alison! I love the twig binding and beautiful crackle with the pops of spring green! Great idea to continue the theme throughout the pages with the sprays. A beautiful start to 2018. Hugs, Autumn

Julia said...

A beautiful album, if it were mine I just couldn't bear to write in it as it is so gorgeous. Happy New Year Alison x

Kate said...

I just love your journal cover. That crackle looks so pretty against the fibers and chipboard. A beautiful album for the challenge.
Kate

Pamellia Johnson said...

Hi Alison. Such a beautiful project! Just wanted to say Happy New Year!! I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday! Thank you so much for all of your support and inspiration in 2017. May 2018 be a year of crafting, friendship and good health!! sending hugs :)

Инна Бронникова said...

What a beauty, Элисон!!! These cracks are wonderful!

Paper Profusion said...

This is beautifully envigorating Alison, and I love the twig inclusion too. Very clever to multi-purpose the laser cuts, results are fantastic. Wishing you a very happy, healthy and massively creative 2018! Nicola x

Nora said...

I really love your book!!! It has a an earth's nature, that I specially like!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

Kirsten said...

That is a beautiful album. Happy New Year.

Jackie P Neal said...

Scrunchled and Splodged ! My two new favorite words! heehee

Alison, another Amazing make from you! You really now how to make new products appear to be from nature and the organic look you gave this book is just outstanding- I just love it! So happy you shared all of the steps-thank you!
Jackie xo

Catherine said...

I love your mini album, it's beautiful! The texture and design are amazing. Thanks for joining us on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.

Cathie ♥

Barbara Schiassi said...

As always your projects are wonderful and so delicate! I wish you a wonderful a peaceful new year! Barbara

Sara Barker said...

Alison, you've created a breath of fresh air with your gorgeous natural journal! I love that crackled background! (I always forget about that chalky crackle on my shelf; thanks for the inspiration!) A great touch of nature with the twig on the binding and clever to repeat those leaves on the inside pages. What a beautiful project! Hugs!

Etsuko Noguchi said...

Fantastic mini album and beautiful wreath and leaves. Love the background too. xx

Gloria Stengel said...

Spectacular covers! I love how you used the chipboard as a mask for your pages, and then used the actual chip for the cover! Genius! What a perfect journal for the new year!

Deb Riddell ~ Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Absolutely gorgeous (as always!) Alison and I adore that you used the chipboard pieces as masks for your inner pages, just a brilliant idea and so very effective. The covers ... what can I say, gorgeous texture and design, love each and every bit of it. Thanks so much for sharing, Deb xo

crafty creations said...

Wow its amazing Alison - love the fresh look along with all the texture and grunginess I particularly like how you used the leaves as masks - brilliant x Hilda