Sunday 14 December 2014

Altered Book for Secret Santa and Giveaway news

We all agreed at AVJ that we would take part in a Secret Santa gift exchange and each of us had one person (drawn from a hat) that we would send a gift to. So if you have a cuppa in hand I will take you through the making of my pressie.

My Secret Santa project went to the lovely Anne at Redanne. She, like all of us at AVJ, loves to get into the vintage, grungy and distressed look that the amazing Tim Holtz creates.
I was delighted to make this and send it to her, however it didn’t end up as I imagined it would, in fact I named it Topsy in the end because the ideas grew and grew, as did the book. So here’s the story.

The concept began with the idea that I would alter one of Tim’s worn covers and add the plastic tag pages for Anne to keep next years Tim tags in …. but as I thought about it more I decided to use one of the old books I had in the cupboard instead.
I started with an old vintage book that didn’t have a publication date in it, but some research on the internet suggests it was probably published in the early 1900s.
I took out the inner section just leaving the cover and reinforced the spine with some builders drywall joint tape which is a very strong paper (forgot to take a photo here). My intention was to add some flaps on the inside covers for the bound pages to slip into. But I next wanted to add a page to go with each month of the year and tag pocket. So the pages were cut to size and punched with the ‘Bind It All’ ready to put together later.  Each page was sprayed both sides with tattered rose, antique linen distress stains plus several glimmer mists to get the distressed background but keeping the colours fairly light. 
I stamped and cut Tim’s calendar months and cut the pocket hinges edging them all with walnut stain, these were later attached to Tim’s tag pockets and put through the ‘Bind It All’ as well.
Next I gathered lots of die-cuts and collage pieces as I wanted to decorate each page and decided that each one would have a tag theme to correspond with the month and I chose one main colour for each one and wrote them down to refer to.
So as you can imagine, by the time I put all my collage pages and the tag holder pages together they wouldn’t fit between the covers of the book the way I imagined. So I cut the covers off and put them through the ‘Bind It All’ but soon realised that even the largest O wire wasn’t big enough to bind it and believe me I tried lol. I knew that Anne was going to need space to add her Tim tag every month so even more room was needed. At this point I was very disappointed that it wasn’t working out and wondered what I could do to remedy the situation.  I remembered back to when I had bought scrapbook kits many, many moons ago and they had spacers which allowed the pages to go in the albums and not get crushed. So I sat and cut 12 spacers that had bee run through the ‘Bind It All’ and adhered them to each page. As you can imagine by now this book had grown enormously in depth and with the covers on was now over 2 inches deep. But I still had to get it bound. Eventually I solved the problem by googling how to bind single pages in a book and found this video.
Eh voila, new learning for me and problem solved.
It took a while to get each page bound to the next page ….
… it’s a slip knot method that I had seen before but never tried ….
… and actually in the end I was rather pleased with the result.
Each page opened fully and there is now room for the additions Anne will hopefully make.
To finish off I also added a tag to suggest to Anne what she could use the book for.
This is soooo typical of me, start with one idea and then change things as I go along.

As for my Secret Santa gift I was very lucky to receive a sketch book / journal from the lovely Jools with the most amazing cover on it. I love these hard backed books with plain paper that you can keep to add journalling, ideas, snippets of work, photographs etc, so this one will come in very handy over the coming year. The textures are gorgeous and it’s kept to a monotone palette which looks stunning.
More photos and information can be found on Jools’ blog.
Before I finish today, I know I said we all agreed to take part in the Secret Santa but dear Terry was unable to commit to it. As a dear friend who I love to see when I go to California we always swap little gifts with each other at this time of year, so I decided to send her something as well. In my haste to get it in the post to the US I forgot to photograph it and this is all I took.
But Terry has received her gift and very kindly sent me some photos.
I won’t show them all now, I will point you over to Terry’s blog for today, but I will probably be using this technique and ideas in a workshop next year.

We are having a Christmas Giveaway and Creative Guide hop over on ‘A Vintage Journey’ We would love you to come and join in the fun and there are some fabulous goodies to be given away.

I think all it needs is for me to say thanks for stopping by today, especially if you got here to the end of such a long post. Please pop over to see all the amazing projects my wonderful teamies have sent around the world and maybe get some ideas for your own hand made gifts, if not for this year then bookmark the pages or add them to Pinterest to come back to next year.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

hugs Brenda xxx