Thursday, March 21, 2013

G45 Secret Garden - Altered Book Art

A few months ago I joined an Altered Book and Mini Album group, I have been making a bunch of mini albums at the meetings, but this is my first altered book.  I decided to do a shadow box style book with the center of the pages cut out.  Because this is a new type of project for me, this post will probably be wordy so I make sure I explain what I did. Also If you know a better method or have a good source I can use to make this better in the future, please let me know. Thanks!

I started out by shopping around for the right book.  I wanted an older book with pages that were sewn in, not glued flat to the spine.  I also wanted a book with a certain depth and size so that it would fit a decent sized niche inside.  I finally found my book at an antique village near San Diego.
Now that I had the book, I had to figure out how turn it into a shadow box. After looking on the internet for more information, I found that using matte gel medium on the edges of the pages would glue the pages together without leaving a shiny lacquered finish.  I also found a suggestion to use clamps to hold the pages really tight while the glue dried.  My boyfriend took it to another level and suggested we also use wood the length of the book so the pressure would be even and the pages would not have a wavy appearance.
 So that is exactly what we did. Leaving the front cover and a couple pages out of clamp, I put two coats on all 3 edges, using a smaller brush to clean up globs. I left the book to dry for several hours. (If you know what paper you are using for the cover, it is good idea to skip it in before gluing book pages to back cover, I didn't think of this and had to cut thin, awkward strips.))

When the book was dry I drew the out line if my opening on the top pages. using a very sharp craft knife I began to cut away at my shadow box.. Once I got to about a quarter of an inch in depth, it became difficult to cut. At this point I applied a thin coat of gel medium to the inside edges, re-clamped the book at left it to dry over night.  The glued edges will now become a sort of guide to help you cut the rest of the pages. If the cuts get messy or hard to cut you can glue the inside to make it stiff and less problematic a second time.After  got the shadow bow to the depth I wanted I cleaned up edges and the corners as best I could.  Then I glued it one last time on the inside and out side and let it dry for 24 hours. When it was dry I started to decorate the book.
 For the cover I used the floral side of the 12x12 Secret Garden pattern with 8x8 Leafy tree tops trimmed to center panel and edged with brown. I put the yellow Pretty Primrose on the spine. I then covered the spine with two layers on vintage lace, one pink and one tea colored.

 On the back I cut out the "thistle" panel from the May Flowers paper and matted it on a yellow page from the 6x6 pad of coordinating papers. I fussy cut a second rose and decorated with with distress and regular Stickles. I attached this over the rose on card with pop dots and then I attached the card to the center of the back cover.
On the front cover I added Petaloo , Prima and other paper flowers and leaves to the upper right and lower left corners. (I pre-glued these to small triangles so i could get the shape and size correct before attaching.) I added some pink and blue ribbon next to the flowers.  To create a title, I used the G45 matching stamp of the words "Secret Garden" to emboss the green 6x6 paper in detail gold; I hand outlined the words in black ink. I then roughly fussy cut around the stamp and added it to a sheet of the purple and then the word patterned blue papers. (I inked the edges with matching chalk shades.) I attached the title to the cover.
I used a sheet of the striped Sunkissed paper on the inside cover and the text side of Seed Fairy opposite it.  Using my Cricut I made a "fancy" library style envelope with Coming Up Roses.I affixed a sticker with a quote to front and glittered the corners. I then created a tag using a sheet of the pink 6x6 paper and two of the the May Flowers panels and chalked the edges in brown. I added some pink ribbon and petaloo flowers to the tag.
On the opposite page, I placed the Secret Garden sticker with its border. around that is a border of lace that seemed to give it a three dimensional look.  Below that is a nine square piece of the Seed Fairy paper with a fussy cut and glittered/Stickled rose from one of the May Flowers panels on top of it.  In the corners I added some Prima pearl embellishments from their Divine line.
I used the Beautiful Blooms paper on the page opposite the shadow box.  In the center I added another panel from the May Flowers page matted on to a pink page from the 6x6 pad.  I "painted" over the birds, flowers and cage with Stickles. (The waterfall blue looks really nice on the blue birds and blue ribbons)
For the shadow box, I used the blue 8x8 April Showers with the white 6x6 paper with the same text. I hand ripped it to create a distressed edge where they overlapped.These were affixed to the back of the recess. I then fussy cut out portions of the flowery trees and girl by the fence from both the 12x12 and 8x8 pages of the Secret Garden sheet.
I colored in portions of the flowers, the birds, ribbons, keys and fence with regular and distress Stickles. Once the glitter was dry I began to layer in my pieces. I added one of the flowery tree parts to the very back. In the middle I added the girl and one side of the fence from 8x8 pad. I then added Primrose paper around the recess like a frame. On top of that I added the larger section of flowered trees with the birds and flower (so this is the top layer.)  On the bottom corner I added a small portion of the 12x12 fence so that it was bigger than the 8x8 below it. This increases the visual depth of the scene in the niche.  On the bottom edge I added some pink ribbon to match the ribbon and bow on paper.  I also tucked a few more paper flowers in the corner.

After I was finished decorating the book itself, I made a book mark with the Primrose paper that slide in to space behind the spine.  On it hang some of the Secret Garden chipboard tags, a prima embellishment and a key on a blue ribbon.  On the top is a big blue bow with a small paper flower on the back.

So that is my first Altered Art book. I had fun making it and learning a new process.  I have already chosen another book to work with  and think I may put a mini book in the recess this time. What do you think?

Materials Used:
Cricut: Artiste

Paper: Graphic 45 Secret Garden (12x12, 8x8, 6x6, stickers and chipboard tags)
 Inks, Glitter and Paints: Ranger Stickles (distress & regular), gold embossing powder, brown, blue and purple chacks.
Other: Prima lowers and embellishments, Petaloo flowers, Graphic 45 metal key, ribbons and lace

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