Tuesday, 25 March 2008

My first - Japanese accordian mini-book

Entitled 368, this mini-book is my first attempt at a Japanese accordian book. The pages measure 3" x 6", and there are eight usable sides (four pages). The content covers (in brief!) the 368 days between my last day at school and my wedding day.

The pages are made from Rob and Bob Studio scrapbook papers; the cover is cardstock by Die Cuts With a View. Numbers are coloured with Sakura pens.

I think I now feel confident enough to attempt a more complicated and substantial book.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Floral mini-book challenge

Challenge is the right word! When I dreamed up my idea of a flower-shaped book for the challenge, it seemed such a good idea, but when I sent out my pages to the other participants there was a little wailing and, I suspect, some gnashing of teeth...

However, they all produced beautiful pages as you will see below. I decided that today would be the day that I put my book together. It would only take a few minutes, I told myself ...

My plans had included sewing the book with invisible thread ...

It took me four hours and three attempts, then once it was assembled I realised there was no way a cover would fit neatly onto it, so I now have a beautiful ... erm ... pendant mini-book!

I tried to put the names against each page, but being a bear of very little brain, I'm not clever enough for that, so I hope I get them in the right order. Pages are from Marion, Santtu, Roberta, Vivienne, Billie, Annie and Lynn.

The final page is my own, and is my first attempt at both tapestry stamps and flower soft.

On to the next project ...

Saturday, 22 March 2008

My first ... circle accordian book

Last Yule I bought myself a couple of surprise presents as usual, something I began about ten years ago. I wrap them up, label them from me to me with love, and put them under the tree with all the others. Each year I'm so glad I did, as my husband and son seem to think I appreciate little kitchen gadgets ....

One of my 'surprises' last year was Alisa Golden's Expressive Handmade Books - a fantastic book that is very reasonably-priced, and full of beautiful diagrams and loads of useful information.

In February the Stamping Mad Forum's Virtual Crafting Challenge was on Inks, and I used the opportunity to catalogue some of my stamps. I noticed I had quite a few daisy stamps and threatened to make a mini-book called A Field of Daisies.

Now that my playroom is organised and tidy I have time to try my hand at one of the books illustrated in Alisa Golden's book, so for my first try at a circle accordian book, I have made A Field of Daisies. Here are a few photographs of the (almost) finished book - there are a few empty pages awaiting new stamps I have on order ...

The pages are made from a Brenda Pinnick Scrapbook Paper Pad. I had started off by painting my own background paper, but it refused to lie flat when dry! Back to the drawing board on that one - in fact, I should really have stretched the paper properly first, but I was in too much of a hurry to get started...

Circle accordian book opened up to show its form.

For this I used the central part of the small Windsong Treasure Box stamp and coloured with Marvy pens.

Stamp is Inca's Daisy Squares, coloured with Pearly Watercolour paints from The Works (offline until April).

Various punches used on iridescent cardstock.

I'm now looking forward to my next handmade book... when I can think of a subject ...

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Full of Folds - Virtual Crafting Challenge for March

I have always been fascinated by the sculptural elements created by folds, and although I had bought a couple of books on the subject I hadn't made any serious attempt to coopy or create such paper sculptures.

The Stamping Mad March Virtual Crafting Challenge provided just the right opportunity.

Here are some of the resulting paper/card sculptures.

Above: four simple curved folds in an A4 sheet of printer paper.

Above: two curved folds with a small section cut - hammered cardstock scrap.

Above: parallel equal folds with random horizontal cuts - thin cream cardstock

Above: angled folds with circular cuts - white cardstock

Above: angled folds and circular cut - white cardstock

Above: angled folds and circular cut - white hammered cardstock

Above: curved folds from centre point of a regular hexagon - white hammered cardstock

Above: vertical folds, horizontal cuts and random angled folds - pre-coloured linen cardstock.

Above: sheet of A4 printer paper folded into a solid facetted shape.
Based on a project by Paul Haeberli (1994)

There is a lot of beautiful curved fold papercrafting online by Richard Sweeney, and the late Dr David Huffman. Other articles on Origami Mathematics are also very useful for anyone who wants to have a go for themselves.

Monday, 17 March 2008

My playroom

It's taken over two weeks but at last I've FINISHED sorting my stash, and my room's now ready for playtime! This is the view diagonally across the room from the door.

I'm not superstitious, so working round the room widershins [anti-clockwise] first there is a cupboard fitted with strong, deep drawers. The top two drawers contain cards and envelopes, stored in polythene bags by type. The third is full to the brim with rolls of tissue paper, rice paper, wallpaper, wrapping paper, etc. The next has stamping accessories, although most of the ink pads and all the stamps are in my bedroom cupboard. In the bottom drawer are old family photographs waiting to be scanned.

The vegetable rack in front of the drawers is for pulling up to my desk to hold equipment I'm using on any particular project.

The shelf immediately above the drawers holds all my scrapbooking papers, cardstock and some embellishments.

The small metal filing cabinet holds ... erm ... filing ... including user manuals, etc. Pergamano and dry embossing equipment is in the top drawer, and my sorting means I have a spare drawer in the middle. I doubt it will stay empty for long - my flower soft order arrived this morning!

n top of the filing cabinet is a large box of finished cards, surmounted by a large drawing board and my Rotatrim. I have taped a large bag to the side to take all the waste, although much seems to end up on the floor no matter how hard I try...

Next we come to glass shelves backed by mirror tiles, which provides added light to that part of the room. Yarn, embroidery threads, buttons, beads, and other small embellishments are stored here.

Under the glass shelves is the bureau, where all my punches are now stored ...

On the next wall the shelves are mainly filled with cardstock, sorted by colour. The top shelf holds magazines, books, etc. The thick lever-arch file with the flowery cover contains templates, while the blue one to the left is all Hot off the Press papers.

The computer desk is on the far right of the window wall, then my work table, supported on two units. The right-hand one is metal, with shallow drawers. These hold all the cardstock and papers for computer use, including photographic papers. There are currently two empty drawers ... but again, not for long!

The little plastic chest of drawers on top of the work table holds the things I use every day - glues, scissors, knives, pencils, water brushes, etc.

This is the view of the garden that I have when sitting at my work table. There's a bird feeder just to the left of the window and most days there's a constant stream of small birds coming to feed.

The left side of my work table is supported on a simple shelving unit. The top section holds brads and eyelets that I use most of the time. The next two shelves have various score boards, with bone folders in the upper, and rules and straight edges in the lower. The lowest shelf contains peel-offs separated by colour in boxes. In the gap at the bottom I keep a cat litter tray - no, I don't have a cat, it's for catching embossing powder or glitters!

To the left of that unit is one I bought from Wilkinson's last week, with 6 A4-sized drawers. I used to store my scraps of card in a big cardboard box, but now it's neatly sorted by colour groupings, and is now accessible when I'm embossing.

I had been wondering where I could keep my Score-it board, but the top of this new unit has turned out to be the ideal place!

The final wall starts with a shelving unit that houses my television and video recorder. Fortunately there is also plenty of room for more storage! This time the boxes on the two top shelves hold 'work in progress', so I have no excuse for not finishing at least some of the projects! The boxes on the bottom shelf are mainly kits, although a couple contain die cuts which I look at from time to time, then don't get round to using!

The biggest item of furniture in the room is a lovely sideboard. The top section has glass doors and I've managed to keep that just for 'pretties' - nice glassware and other things that bring back happy memories.

The centre shelf in this is ideal for my Wizard and Sizzix machines, with their own light. There's also space for my Talking Books machine, which keeps me company a lot of time I'm working.

Tucked behind the door is my colouring corner.
Top shelf: Twinkling H20s stored without lids in peel-off boxes; Metallic Rub-Ons, also in peel-off box; stencil paints and large stencils; Art Institute glitters and glues.
Second shelf: Ikan'dee chalks; Sakura paintbox; Perfect Pearls in a Terry's Old Gold chocolate box!
Third shelf: Sakura pen rolls; Stampin' Up pen roll; Marvy pen roll; watercolour pencil roll [three sets amalgamated into one roll] and [standing up] paint brush roll.

So, that's it! It's been a very long, very hard struggle at times, and although 'the journey is the thing' I'm so glad to have arrived at my destination!

There's just one problem. I'm scared to get anything out in case I make it untidy again!