Friday, October 02, 2009

heather's art journaling class update

Last week I signed up online for Heather's "A Beautiful Life" art journaling class. It's taken me a while to find some bits of time to pull together the cover. Thank heavens Heather is leaving up her class for the whole month of October (and is still taking sign-ups), so I can catch up on the pages.

Besides all the beautiful vintage images that Heather is providing to download, this project appealed to me because I still consider myself a vintage newbie. It isn't often that I manage thrift shopping, and it's never thrifty when I do. Not yet for me those huge gorgeous salivating piles of vintage wallpaper, soft faded pearls, endless lace trims, timeworn millinery flowers, and so on. My meager stash did not come as bargains. So I thought it would be a fun challenge to see what I could come up with -- without.

First issue to contend with was finding the book to alter. In true urban style, I stopped by the book-sale corner of my local library to see what surprise might be hiding among all the well-thumbed recent best-sellers for resale. Luckily, off to the side as though nobody knew where to shelve it, was an old book of organ music. It's a little larger than Heather's suggested size, but it came with all those pages of music (even though organ music is a little strange on the page :).

Next challenge was turning the deep green cloth book cover into something a little milder. Lacking the desirable wallpaper stash, I decided to use some of my Carolyne Roehm embossed wrapping paper in this delicious buttermilk color. One advantage: since it isn't crackly old wallpaper, it wraps easily around the edges and corners to give a nice finished look. And I love that deep textural feel, although much of the paper surface is eventually covered. Adding to Heather's blog discussion about which glues to try, my glue of choice for this large scale was Golden's Gel Medium, slathered evenly all over the book cover, followed by smoothing on the paper with a brayer. I used this same gel/brayer process for all the papers.

Since my cover was rather large (10" x 14"), I felt it needed more embellishment than Heather's smaller example. So, using red line tape down the right side, I attached a row of creamy pompoms from Michael's and lace trim from Joann's. Then I collaged my papers, including Heather's terrific cover download framed with some organ music, with gel medium. A little distress inking softened the torn edges.

With no big gorgeous floppy vintage millinery flowers, I tried to match the scale by assembling a bouquet of newly-made ones to arrange across the top of the cover. My layered flowers use creamy Prima paper flowers and white felt flowers cut on my Sizzix machine. In the center of the two silk flowers from Michael's, I inserted some pale blue flower stamens left over from my recent layout class. All the flowers were spritzed with Glimmer Mist in gold and topaz to add some "aged" color and just a little shimmer.

Then I stacked up a "real" vintage collar and a folded doily to drape as a base for the flowers, attaching each layer with red line tape. To help with dimension, I slid some chipboard in between the lace layers. Heather's "A Beautiful Life" title banner is sewn onto a printed stack of old tags. In the leftover tag space, I wrote the word "creating" to augment the title. The banner edges are highlighted with Stickles.

At the bottom of the cover, I added more buttons, part of another white felt flower and, channeling Rebecca Sower, a ribbon gathered with pink pearls. Except that my white twill ribbon is also new from the wrapping of my Williams-Sonoma napkins and the pearls are fake. Actually, I split one pearl in half trying to thread it on my tapestry needle, so I glued it up on the title banner.

Although I was pinch-hitting most of the way, it sure was fun using Heather's guidelines to assemble this vintage-style cover. Now I hope to start on the pages before Christmas. :)


Heather ~Pretty Petals said...

Pamela... you did a WONDERFUL job on your journal cover! I think the flowers you used are perfect... and I really really love that paper. It is perfect for this project.

also love how you added those little pearls among the ribbon along the bottom... sweet idea.

xo Heather

Lori said...

Pamela!!! wow Wow WOW!!! if you had thought your journal might suffer from lack of vintage things to use...then you have proved how very wrong that notion was...because you cover is absolutely stunning!!! i just love how you swagged the top with your lace and flowers, that could not be any prettier...i love that pom pom trim too, that is one of my favorite things!!! beautiful work!!!

sandra said...

Your journal cover has turned out just beautiful. I love the fact that it was a larger book...mine was smaller than Heather's, so I didn't have as much room. I agree with Lori, I can't tell you were lacking a vintage looks fabulous!!!

Attic Charm said...

Wow this is sooooo beautiful! I love that buttercream color and I think the paper flowers look just gorgeous on top of the pretty lacey layers. It all looks so very vintage too-

I think you will be glad you have a large-ish size book, mine is a wee small thing and therefore a challenge on pages like the sampler page. Need more space!! :)

Can't wait to see your pages!


Sandy said...

Oh, that is beautiful Pam. I'm now off tosign up. A bit late but there none the less.

Heather ~Pretty Petals said...

Another thing I forgot to say when I was here before... I am going to try that glue technique you shared. Looks like it would work nicely!

Household 6 said...

This is BEAUTIFUL! I really like how you inserted the stamens into the flowers, I must try that some time :)

carol wingert said...

Beautiful cover, Pam. Love all of the shades of white!
Many moons ago, I took organ lessons and played the old pipe organ in church. That was quite an experience and you're right, organ music does look different.
Have fun finishing your journal.

Jodie LeJeune said...

Hi Pamela Jane!
Your cover is gorgeous and it is obvious that you took your time and chose the best goodies for is simply gorgeous. I love how you layered everything for depth and the colors of cream so yummy. I can't wait to see what your next pages will look like...even though they may not be done before Christmas ;)
everything vintage

debi said...

Pamela, your book cover is absolutely stunning!!!!! I LOVE the beautiful dreamy yellow you used, and your lace, flowers and other embellishments are soooo pretty! And I Love pom pom trim!
It's been a really fun class...hope you have fun with your pages.
Hugs, Debi

Stephenie said...

YOur cover is gorgeous.. Love the beautiful flowers.. You added so many beautiful details which I looooove..

shabbyscraps said...

gorgeous! I love it~!
xoxo, TIffany

Scrappy Jessi said...

Hey doll
wow your book is amazing!!!
beautiful work.
have a great week

Sandy said...

Ha, I downloaded everything, I good at that--really good at it. As an excuse for not beginning right away, I have been in CA for the last two days on business. When I get back, I think I'll get started. I do have a bit of vintage stuff, some of it authentic so I hesitate to just use it willy-nilly. Don't ask me why. an old bill from 1920 is exactly that. Of no use except to create with it.
I did check your playlist to see who it was and was a bit surprised to see it was Bruni. Of course, I made no connection. I'll be back Sunday and ready to get started. Of, and watch for the mailman.

Leanne said...

Wow. I'm in the same place as you, not able to get to those thrift stores, so I make do with what I have. I love the way you made the flowers look old with Glimmer Mist. Fabulous!

MiniMadWoman said...

Pamela, your cover is just gorgeous! I love all the little details you've added on to make your journal special.

I look forward to seeing your progress!