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This blog is for sharing a love of paper crafting. You can also check out my Pintrest pages. If you find the ideas here to be helpful, I'd love to hear from you. It is what helps make the time I put into this blog feel worthwhile, and always brightens my day. I love hearing your ideas too!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My Cup Overflows


As usual, to read more about the spiritual meaning of this artwork check out my other blog here.   Here I just want to briefly explain how it was done since it represents a way to layer stamps without masking them as you do so!

After preparing the page with clear gesso as usual, I stamped these images with Spellbinders "Celebrations" hybrid ink (all stamps from HOTP - "You're Tea'riffic" small stamp & "Sweet Blossoms & Swirls" stamp set).  I'm not sure this ink gives me as crisp an image as either StazOn or VersaFine, but I wasn't sure what I would use to color it & didn't want to have to worry about the black bleeding.  This ink doesn't bleed whether using alcohol inks OR watercolor based ink.

Usually when I stamp multiple layers, I mask part of the stamp, but it just wasn't very practical to do that with this one.  It was just too hard to know for sure what parts of the cup would need to be masked to add the flowers!  SO, I started by stamping the cup.  Then stamped one bunch of flowers & took white gesso and a very fine paint brush to remove any lines from the cup that needed to be removed.  I repeated this process for all of my flower additions.  I already knew the white gesso was pretty much the same color as my page and it worked really well.

I ended up coloring it with my scroll and brush markers, using multiple colors to add a bit of depth to the flowers.  Even in person, you really can't tell the difference between areas with white gesso and areas without! I DID go over a couple of lines with my fine-line Sharpie where the white gesso had covered a bit more than I wanted.  I finished with some hand-drawn lettering using both a very fine Millennium pen, and the fine-line Sharpie.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Shepherd


The personal meaning of today's picture is discussed on my other blog, here.  In this post I'll talk about what I did to create this page.

I knew I wanted a shepherd and sheep on this page, and chose places for them.  I also knew I wanted to write some quotes on the inside of the images, and wanted bigger words "The Lord is My Shepherd" as sort of a title.  I remembered having seen Rebekah Jones writing big words on a Bible page - right across the printed words - and having it still readable, so I went back and checked to see how she did it (check her blog here).  She used Inktense pencils, which I don't have, but I figured my watercolor pencils would work.  I also decided to use my computer to create the words and trace them like she did.  

I found a font that was close to what I wanted (unfortunately, I don't remember which one now).  I overlapped the letters, stretching them to fit the space I had to fill, and then printed out the result.  Because it was so hard to see them through the page (because of the writing front & back) I colored them with a sharpie.  This gave me a chance.   Though I could still see them only imperfectly, it was enough to enable me to get the gist of it:
  1. I first traced them lightly with a pencil, then erased as much of the pencil marks as I could (since I knew it wouldn't erase perfectly and I'd still be able to see it).  
  2. Next, I colored the letters in with a watercolor pencil.
  3. Following Rebekah's advice, I took a paintbrush, dipped it in water, and dabbed it on a paper towel to remove most of the moisture before using the brush to blend the color on the letters.
  4. After that, I took a Sharpie and outlined each letter.
  5. Finally, I went over the letters with clear "Wink of Stella" to add a bit of glitz and help them stand out.
For the shepherd and sheep, I first tried to find pictures that I might be able to trace (since I often find drawing what I want to be a challenge).  I couldn't find what I wanted.  No ready-made pictures were oriented quite the way I wanted them or else they were too cartoonish.  The "how to draw" shepherd & sheep videos were also more cartoonish than I wanted.  But together, they all gave me enough ideas that I was able to draw these (though they came together easily enough that I frankly believe it to be a miracle!). 

I first drew them on tracing paper (since I've discovered that Bible pages prepared with gesso don't erase well and the tracing paper allowed me to see through to the Bible page so I could form them around the printed text).  After I got them drawn I went over the outlines with a Sharpie and then placed the drawing behind the Bible page so I could trace them.  That worked pretty well for the shepherd, but I couldn't see the sheep well enough because of writing on the back side of the page.  So, I resorted to a trick I learned a long time ago.  Since I had drawn the sheep on a piece of tracing paper, it was easy to do:
  1. Take a soft pencil and traced the outline on the BACK of the drawing.
  2. Place the drawing in place on the page, right side up (back side with pencil marks facing the page).  
  3. Trace again around the drawing.  The pressure will transfer the pencil marks from the back of the tracing paper to the page.
  4. Remove the drawing and go over the resulting marks with a pen (I used a Sharpie).
I really was pretty pleased with the way it all came together.  I hand-wrote the verses I wanted inside the drawings and colored/shaded the shepherd and sheep with my Scroll and Brush markers.  When coloring the sheep, I discovered that if I put just a touch of the marker and then came back over it with a water brush, I could blend it out to a much lighter color (especially when working over the clear gesso!).  For instance, I used the same marker to color the sheep's face & the shepherd's face - but you can see that the sheep's face is not nearly as dark.  To color the sheep's wool, I drew with the marker near a curved (fluffy) part and then took the water brush over it in circles to create a bit of texture from that.  You can't tell as well in the picture, but in real life, you can see that it worked pretty well.

Next I highlighted the words of the Psalm in green with a Scroll & Brush marker before going over them again with a Wink of Stella clear pen.  

For my last step, I colored in the "grass" and the sky with oil pastels.  I applied the color, and then rubbed it with my finger to blend it out.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Bible Cover Part 2


Even creating the cover of my Bible fed me spiritually (you can read about that here).  You can read about the basic process of adding this Bible cover here.  Today's post is about how I added the "decorations".  

Since my cover was vinyl, I wasn't at first sure how to go about adding art to it.  Certainly water color pencils wouldn't cut it!  Then I thought about STICKERS!

I started with my stash of alphabet stickers.  I found I had several sets of stickers that were basically the same size and style, but different colors.  Though I didn't have enough letters of any one color, I could mix and match them to create the title - which I did.  I then outlined the letters with a fine-line Sharpie to help them stand out better.  

With the title in place, the cover looked better - but still a bit plain.  I went through my stash searching for something suitable.  I thought maybe I'd find some flowers, but stopped when I saw these butterflies (HOT Dazzles), knowing they were perfect!  However, the turquoise stickers wouldn't look good by themselves, so I backed them with a pink foil before adding them to a double-stick sheet and cutting around them.  Then I added the butterfly "swirly trails" (also Dazzles).  They really added a nice touch.

But there was still a feeling that the cover was incomplete.  As I sat looking at it and thinking about how butterflies symbolize for me the transformation God is making in my life, a verse from the beginning of Romans 12 flashed in my mind. "Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind".  That was the perfect thought - a subtitle if you will.  I had several sheets of the smaller black alphabet stickers, so used them to add that - and a couple more thoughts that seemed appropriate.  Now my cover felt complete.

As the days went by, I enjoyed looking at (and feeling) my new Bible cover, but I soon became aware that the stickers would not last well.  Already little corners were trying to come up!  What to do?  Then I thought, what if I cover it all like decopage?  So that's what I did.  I had some Mod Podge in my stash, and used it with a foam paint brush to apply several thin coats, letting it dry between coats.  It worked great!  I now have a new decorated cover that looks like it will last well for some time to come!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Father's Day

This card (and the next one that is similar) are actually last year's cards that never got posted.  You can tell that I was dealing with a lack of time as both cards are similar.  Here's the 2nd one:
As you can see, both use a similar focal - made using stamps and dies from JustRite ("Celebrate Today Vintage Labels Four" stamp set & "Vintage Labels Four" die set).

First card:
  • Focal: stamped onto patterned paper using dark blue ink and embossed with clear embossing powder.  
  • Papers: older Hot Off the Press
  • Ribbons: White 1/4" satin topped with a narrow navy
Second card:
  • Focal: stamped onto plain white card stock using dark blue ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. 
  • Paper: ??? don't remember for sure where I got this 
  • Ribbons: Navy 1/4" grosgrain ribbon
As you can see, both cards were made in a similar manner:
  • Cut the background paper a bit smaller than the card and ink the edges.
  • Add ribbon, tucking ends under background paper
  • Adhere background paper to card & then add focal.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

My Delight


At first glance, this page is pretty cluttered, but even the clutter had an important message for me.  For the spiritual application of this page, see this post on my other blog.  Here, as usual, I'm simply going to discuss how I created it.

The page had a bunch of "do this while you read this book" instructions that I covered with Art Basic's Heavy White Gesso before covering the whole page with their clear gesso.  I mostly used the clear gesso to help the rest of the page have a similar look and feel to that which had the white gesso since the white gesso had stretched the page a bit.  While I usually use the smaller round Ranger applicator with foam pad for applying gesso.  I found that for using the heavy white gesso, it seemed to go on better if I used a foam brush instead - didn't pull the page as much.

After the page was ready, my first step was to prepare the heart-shaped doily I found in my stash.  I colored it lightly with distress ink (Worn Lipstick), then colored the outside of the heart with a Scroll & Brush marker before adding the words with another marker & a Millennium pen.  Knowing I wanted all the intricate pieces glued down, I decided the easiest way to make that happen was to use some spray adhesive (I used a Krylon one I've had for some time).  I placed this in the center of the page.  

Next, I found some pink fuzzy alphabet stickers in my stash & formed the word "delight" - adding "in the" with my Millenium pen.

I found myself thinking about the promised result of delighting in God's law of love and wanted to illustrate that as sort of a vignette on the page.  You see the result.  

For the colored areas, I used my Scroll & Brush markers.  For the stream, I sort of outlined it with long strokes from one edge of the page to the other with a light turquoise color. Then I colored over top of all of that with a light blue.  Next I took a clear stamp of a tree (from HOTP "Four Seasons" set), shaped it on my block to give me the sort of placement I wanted, and then inked it up it with my markers.  I first stamped on a piece of paper to "season" it before repeating the process and stamping it in my Bible.  This particular stamp just stamps the outline of each leaf, so I took a lighter color green and colored them in (coloring frequently on a piece of scrap paper to remove the darker green that transferred to the marker).  Finally, I came back in with a marker to outline the trunk & add a bit of texture, before doing the same for the stream (choosing a darker turquoise this time).

I finished up by adding a couple of heart stickers and paraphrasing the two texts I was thinking about - using my Millennium pen for most of the words.  The exceptions were the word "heart" that I wrote on the sticker heart was done with a Sharpie so it would be more permanent on that slick surface.  I also colored in the outlined word "Love" with a Scroll & Brush marker.

Friday, June 3, 2016

I Can . . .


This page started as a coloring book page ("The Word in Color" Coloring Book by Christian Art Publishers), and you can read about my spiritual journey with it on my other blog, here.  When I had colored my page, using my Scroll and Brush markers, it looked like this:


I really wanted the background to be more of a blueish tint, but didn't want to take the time to shade around all the details in the image.  My thought all along had been to scan in my finished picture and then print it out the size I needed to add it to my Bible page - perhaps scaling it down so it would fit in the margin.  However, as I thought about wanting a blue background, I thought of how I've added some pages to my Bible, and I decided to do that with this.  

I looked through my stash and found a nice light blue shimmery paper and decided to try printing on it.  It printed out fine, but I was concerned the ink might not dry thoroughly on that type of paper, and I didn't want to take the chance of letting it smear.  So, I covered the whole with clear embossing powder and heat set it.  That gave a bit of texture and a lovely sheen to the page.  I then cut it to size, added it to my Bible with a piece of Zip adhesive, added my washi tape tab (book of the Bible hand lettered with a fine line Sharpie on it), and my page was done.  I really was happy with how quickly and easily this page came together.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bible Cover


I've had this Bible that I've started journaling in for many years.  It's a hardcover book and the cover was looking pretty beat up, so today I decided to put a new cover on it.  I wanted a strong fabric feel to it, so decided to use some vinyl wallpaper samples I had on hand.  I'm quite pleased with the result.  I expect to add something to the front - a title at least - but haven't yet decided on what I want to do for that.  Here's what I did to cover the Bible:
  • Wallpaper: Found the largest piece I could that I thought would look good.
  • Measuring: I knew I wanted the Bible to be able to close, so I needed to measure it with the Bible closed.  I needed all the width I could get to cover all the way from the front to the back, but the paper was taller than I needed, so I first cut off the excess.  Then, with the Bible closed and the paper wrapped around it, I placed it on my table, made sure everything was centered, and then drew lines around the back on three sides.  I then flipped the whole thing over and did the same for the front.
  • Spine: I wanted the ends of the paper by the spine to wrap to the insides, so I made cuts from the edge of the paper to where I had ended each pencil mark. 
  • Creasing: I folded the paper along the pencil lines and creased all with a bone folder.  Then I opened them all up and folded in a triangular piece at each corner.
  • Tongues: I folded the spine pieces in alignment with the other folds, and then trimmed the edges of each at an angle, so they would slip inside the spine.
  • Adhesive: I used my ATG gun, gluing all edges and some in the center by the spine.  I also made sure I had plenty of glue along the little triangular corner pieces. It might have been even better if I had put glue in the center of the front and back covers, but that also might have made it impossible to align well.  I'm happy with it as is, but there's a little bit of movement in the cover that can be seen on the front and back since they were only glued along the edges.
  • Assembly: After I had all my glue on the paper, I started with the top of the Bible.  I opened it up, standing it on end, and slid the "tongue" down the spine.  After pressing it in place, I went to work on the bottom tongue.  This one was a bit more challenging because the top one was adhered in place, but it wasn't too bad.  After those were in place, I went to work on the back cover.  I turned in the corners and pressed them in place, applied a bit more glue where the outside of the corner would be making contact with the cover and then folded over the three edges, pressing each in place with a bone folder.  Then I flipped the Bible over and did the same for the front.
  • Finishing: I finished the inside by cutting coordinating wallpaper patterns to fit, gluing them in place, and using a bone folder to burnish them.  Here's what the inside front cover looks like now:


And the inside back cover: