Monday, November 24, 2014

The Magic of Christmas...

We have come to the final round in the second Altered ladies Round Robin.  I was working in a "Magic" themed book.  As you would expect, all of the other spreads explored and focused on the occult and magician's tricks.  With the holidays now upon us, I took a slightly different take on this theme and went with "The Magic of Christmas..."

I knew I wanted to do an iris fold Christmas tree.  I found a simple pattern which I enlarged to fit the size of the book.  I used the pages that had been removed from the book and colored them with different hues of green for my iris fold papers.  To make it more interesting, I couldn't resist incorporating the November lesson in Lisa's Vollrath's Year of Altered Book class.  We are studying pop-ups this month and how I love pop-ups!!  What if I did a pop-up iris fold Christmas tree?   And, for fun, I took it up another level and created a double layer pop-up.  When the viewers open the book, they will see the iris fold Christmas tree through a window.

I loved the meditative exercise of creating an iris fold design.  While I have made a few pop-ups over the years, I really enjoyed learning about the construction and executing my very first double layer pop-up! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Circle of Color

Pam's book invites you to select a palette from paint chips.  The catch here is you must select a color whose name begins with one or both of your initials.  I poured through many paint chips hoping that I would stumble across a color that I'd never used before that began with an "L" or a "G."  I was immediately drawn to a deep purple called "Love Letters" and a beautiful green called "Luau Green."

I considered doing a very literal interpretation for this book--purple love letters--but the visuals that I was coming up with did not excite me.  I should add that Pam's book is cut into a circular shape.  I knew that I would want my spread to compliment and work with that shape.  These two colors naturally lent themselves to a plant or flower.  Yes, a simple, but exquisite flower.

This is when I got the idea to create a pop-up lotus flower.  I had seen different variations of these pop-up flowers.  After some research, I found the technique I wanted to do.  This particular pop-up does not require any special paper.  I decided to use vellum which creates crisp creases but also has a delicate feel to it.  I used Seedless Preserves Distress Stain to color my lotus petals.  Applying the Distress Stain caused the vellum petals to curl, so I had to weight them down with a book so they would dry flat.  The background paper serves as my Luau Green.

I used 10 sheets of vellum to create this flower.  Once assembled, I think a heavier weight vellum would have given it more body.  This vellum was quite thin and the petals are a bit floppy, but they still stand up.  I just love the simplicity of the spread!

Single Staple Collage Chunkies

So the idea for this month's chunky challenge was to create a page using materials that are secured with just a single staple.  This seemed to be a rather simple technique, right?  As I got started, however, the most important thing I learned was to wait  until AFTER all the pieces were into (com)position before trimming them to size.  If you trim too early, you may not be able to secure all the pieces with a single staple.  So therein lies the challenge!

I used the various ephemera that I collected on my recent trips to Italy for my pages.  In 2010, we visited Lake Como, Bellagio and Venice.  This past June, I was back in Venice, then Florence, Tuscany (Montalcino) and Rome.  I managed to collect SO MUCH ephemera, that I wanted to use as much of it as possible in my pages.  For this reason, I challenged myself to decorate both front and back of the page.  Now when I look at my finished pages, each piece of paper reminds me of a museum, a restaurant, an Italian paper shop, a great gelato place, a ferry ride...I LOVE that!  And, it's a wonderful way to share some of the highlights of my travels with the other chunky players!