Tuesday, March 20, 2012

AB Lesson 3

Lesson 3 of Elizabeth's Altered Book Class has us prepping the cover and front pages of our book and creating a niche in the back of the book. Since my book has a cloth cover and I also hope to use the cover design as a decoration, I did not prep the cover. I figure if I change my mind down the road, I can always prep it later.

It was suggested that we do something to reinforce the first pages of the book since this may split at a later date. Turns out it was a good move for my book because the back split when I was manipulating it to create a niche. More on that later. Here is what I did to reinforce the first pages:
I created this by using a tyvek envelope that I first covered with several layers of gesso to cover up the writing. I was going for an abstract landscape, and selected acrylic colors that I thought would achieve this look. I dripped them on in an overlapping pattern and then folded the sheet lightly in half--think Rorschach ink blot test. When I opened the sheet, I did not have total coverage, so I smooshed the color around gently with a foam brush while trying not to muddy it up too much! I let it dry overnight and then used white glue to attach it to the book. I may add some embellishments at a later date. I am attempting to stay current with each lesson while not stressing out about perfection!

I am pretty happy with the way the colors came out, but after opening and closing the book a few times, the color has peeled? chipped? separated? from the center line. I am guessing that acrylic paint may have been too thick over the gesso. I am wondering if I had applied a top coat of something if that would have helped. I am not very familiar with these techniques, so hopefully, someone with more experience will chime in on this.

On to the niche...remember those pages we set aside in the beginning? The ones at the back of the book we didn't thin out? Well, they became the niche. I decided to make something to go in the niche so I beaded around a moose (what else!) medallion. It reminded me of moose I saw on a trip to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.
I used gel medium to create the niche and as I alluded to before, with all the manipulation and clamping, the cover split from the last page. Since it was going to be glued down anyway, it was not a tragedy, but I can see why it was so important to reinforce those first pages. I picked some complimentary papers to use that picked up the colors in the medallion. The back page was scrap book paper & the green is mulberry paper. On the facing page, I added a page from a travel magazine. Here is the finished niche:

The results of Lesson 4 will be posted in 2 weeks!

14 comments:

Terrie said...

Holy moly - your niche is.....perfect! Those corners are amazing! It looks like yours is as shallow as mine - next time I'll definitely make it a little deeper. Love your colors and how they work with the picture on the facing page. This is looking great! Can't wait to see more.

Melissa said...

Just stick some ribbon or bookmarks to hang out of the book on the painted page and then you won't have to see the cracked paint!!

I like the colors - it has a nice abstract landscape feel.

The moose is splendid and looks grand in his niche.

sandee said...

Stunning niche, that beading work is simply amazing!!! I have also discovered that paint doesn't stick that great too gesso, I have wipe off a layer easily and have been a might frustrated with that too. maybe we should ask Elizabeth about it? Other wise you are off to a wonderful book and am looking forward to keeping up with your progress! waving hi from the hills of North carolina :)

Magic Love Crow said...

Wow Deb, this is truly a lot of work and patience. I love your moose! The bead work is stunning! This book is going to be gorgeous when you are done! Big Hugs ;o)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Debbie,

I am in awe of your niche. I especially love the beaded moose. Remember I said we all have talents that we could incorporate in our books? Well, this is a super perfect example, since you are a terrific bead artist.

I may not have made myself clear on the tyvek. Ideally, you should probably use dyes OR water down your paint to achieve the effect on tyvek. It does NOT like paint. In fact, even though I used paint on mine, I used the cheap stuff that could be watered down. Of course, I added embellishments over mine (bits of paper), which created a partial barrier that kept the pages separated a bit, making less contact and the paint harder to peel. I have had tyvek peel like that on me before, too. It will continue to flake and crack. I've even bent it and had whole portions peel away. I suggest adding a sealer (spray sealer, or paint on gel medium or, dare I say it?, Mod Podge) over the top. I believe that will help, or it will continue to peel away.

trisha too said...

Wow, your book looks great!

:-)

Jenny Woolf said...

What a super niche! YOu are so clever. I don't know what to do about the cracking gesso, but I think you are right, that perhaps it was too thick as there is often a little flexibility there.

New End Studio said...

Pretty lily of the valley! Sorry about the tyvek paint problem, I'm learning from you and the other comments. I think the slick surface of tyvek eventually repels the paint. Your niche medallion is terrific!

Flowermouse Design said...

What a creative idea to make a niche. I can not imagine how much work going into the book. Interesting to read about all the mediums used and how they work together. Keep going Debbie!!!!

see you there! said...

I'm enjoying following along on all the books. Your niche is great.

Darla

IrelandBrady said...

Debbie, your altered book is coming along very nicely (hope you don't have too much more trouble with your reinforced first pages) ... I really like how you combined beading on your Moose niche page. Your bead work is wonderful.

Christine Bennett said...

Happy spring Deb! Finally have a chance to catch up on your blog. This altered book is really coming along. I have yet to try it, so it's good to peek over your virtual shoulder :-) Enjoy the weekend!

peggy aplSEEDS said...

wow, everyone seems to be doing so well in their ABs! i really like your beaded medallion for your niche and the colors your chose are wonderful. i must get to work on my niche!

Sherry Edwards said...

I had a similar thing happen to me - I used scrapbook paper for the front pages and after closing and opening, it split right down the middle! I just dry brushed a little paint to cover it - I may go on to use some ribbon on it yet as well, but haven't decided yet.

Your niche looks great too x

ps, thanks for the offer of your sewing machine charm, but I do already have a couple myself - you've given me the idea of using them in my book though, as I had forgotton I had them! Thanks :)