Plant Dyed Ecoprint Paper with Onion Skins

Over the years I have made some impressive dyed pages (often called ecoprints) with autumn leaves. (To see this tutorial, go here: http://bookandpaperarts.com/bookandpaper/beautiful-paper-dyeing-fall-foliage-leaves-using-eco-printing-techniques/) Recently I tried the same technique with onion skins and wow wow wow, it did not disappoint. Haunting colours, depths, and rust-like patterns, and I don’t have to wait for fall to roll around. Here is a breakdown of how these pages were made. Hopefully you will put it on your list of things to try, and if you have any questions, just get in touch via email or the comments below.

MATERIALS

  • loose onion skins, purple or yellow or both
  • a mordant (optional but I highly suggest it)
  • a deep baking dish large enough for your paper
  • heavy paper – I use 200 gsm
  • twine or cord
  • the biggest darn pot you can find – I use a stock pot
  • sticks or dowels (optional but helpful)

DIRECTIONS

Okay, how do you gather up a mess of onion skins in the first place? In order to procure a substantial supply you have to be resourceful. My system is to go to the loose onions in the supermarket and when no one is looking, rustle them a bit. The skins loosen and [read more]

Altered Altoid Tin

This altered Altoid Tin features a beautiful belle (with a mighty fetching hat). She is an original, clipped from a carte de visite circa 1880s. I have added some wings and she is offset in the middle of this drawer for a 3-d effect. On the other side are images of bird’s nest and egg over an original, handwritten document from 1902. The front has been distressed with wood glue and blow torch, and I have embellished with another bird’s egg on tea bag. It measures 6cm x 10cm when closed.

Cost is £25 or $35 usd. Shipping is £3 ($4.00) [read more]

Illustrated Journal Pages: Churches

Here are recent pages, including churches and notes from Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, as well as French churches in Perpignan, the Priory at Serrabone, Elne Cathedral.

To see more sketchbook journal pages of churches, go to:

http://bookandpaperarts.com/bookandpaper/illustrated-journals/illustrated-journals-drawing-in-churches/

For more information on some of these lovely Romanesque churches, try:

http://www.francethisway.com/places/elne.php

https://www.france-voyage.com/travel-photos/serrabone-priory-167.htm

[read more]

Gladys Cooper Vintage Postcards for Downloads

I am obsessed with old books, old clothes, and boy, am I ever obsessed with old movies. (I met my first husband at a silent movie double feature, so there.) One of my favourite stars ever is Gladys Cooper. She is best known as a renowned character actress in the 1940s at Warner Brothers. She starred opposite Bette Davis in Now Voyager (as the oppressive mother) and in Separate Tables opposite Deborah Kerr (as the oppressive mother). She was also in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca as the really sweet sister to Laurence Olivier. What is less well known is that before all that she was a Great Beauty, when such a thing was a career.

Yesterday I hit the motherlode of Gladys Cooper postcards from her babe period. If you would like to use any of these for crafts or art journals, just right click on an image and click “Control C” then go to Word or Paint or whatever program you use for images and press “Control V.” If anyone would like a larger resolution, please contact me directly and I can send you a larger image. Enjoy!

To read a dishy biography of Ms. Cooper with clips from her films, go [read more]

Handbound Vintage Blank Book #3

This is a unique, one-of-kind blank book that can be used as a sketchbook, diary, scrapbook, or journal. It can also be used as a guestbook. It is a vintage French textbook.

It is full of 80 pages (for a total of 160 sides) comprised of Daler-Rowney artist papers in white and cream; 19th century sheet music, dictionary pages, handwritten French letters; reproductions of Redoute flowers on heavy paper; handmade ecoprints; vintage accounting ledger pages; and maps. All of the pages are handtorn for a faux deckled effect, and many have hand-dyed edges. It contains plenty of pockets and removable tags. It measures: 5 1/2″ x 8″ (13cm x 20cm). (Please note, the pages shown below may not be the exact pages, but are near examples.)

These pages were then hand-sewn into a vintage book cover, with a freestyle “cowboy” binding. Too often new journals are intimidatingly pristine: the look of this book is deliberately messy, in the hopes that it will jumpstart your creative work and silence the dreaded inner critic. (You know the one I mean.)

This journal comes with a free UHU, artist quality glue stick; a small water brush; and a paper ephemera pack made up of pieces found [read more]

Handbound Vintage Blank Book #2

SOLD!

 

This is a unique, one-of-kind blank book that can be used as a sketchbook, diary, journal, or scrapbook. It can also be used as a guestbook.

It is full of 72 pages (for a total of 144 sides) comprised of Daler-Rowney artist papers in white and cream; 19th century sheet music, dictionary pages, handwritten French letters; reproductions of Redoute flowers on heavy paper; handmade ecoprints; vintage accounting ledger pages; and maps. All of the pages are handtorn for a faux deckled effect, and many have hand-dyed edges. It contains plenty of pockets and removable tags. It measures: 4 1/2″ x 7″ (11.25cm x 17.5cm). (Please note, the pages shown below may not be the exact pages, but are near examples.)

These pages were then hand-sewn into a vintage book cover, with a freestyle “cowboy” binding. Too often new journals are intimidatingly pristine: the look of this book is deliberately messy, in the hopes that it will jumpstart your creative work and silence the dreaded inner critic. (You know the one I mean.)

This journal comes with a free UHU, artist quality glue stick; a small water brush; and a paper ephemera pack made up of pieces found in my paper arts studio.

Cost is [read more]

Handbound Vintage Blank Book #1

SOLD

 

This is a unique, one-of-kind blank book that can be used as a sketchbook, diary, scrapbook, or journal. It can also be used as a guestbook.

It is full of 80 pages (for a total of 160 sides) comprised of Daler-Rowney artist papers in white and cream; 19th century sheet music, dictionary pages, handwritten French letters; reproductions of Redoute flowers on heavy paper; handmade ecoprints; and maps. All of the pages are handtorn for a faux deckled effect, and many have hand-dyed edges. It contains plenty of pockets and removable tags. It measures: 5 1/2″ x 8″ (13cm x 20cm). (Please note, the pages shown below may not be the exact pages, but are near examples.)

These pages were then hand-sewn into a vintage book cover, with a freestyle “cowboy” binding. Too often new journals are intimidatingly pristine: the look of this book is deliberately messy, in the hopes that it will jumpstart your creative work and silence the dreaded inner critic. (You know the one I mean.)

This journal comes with a free UHU, artist quality glue stick; a small water brush; and a paper ephemera pack made up of pieces found in my paper arts studio.

Cost is £32 GBP. Shipping is [read more]

Distressing Paper with Tea and Coffee

Sometimes you have to spend good money for art supplies and sometimes – you don’t. For instance, you can get a lot of beautiful, mysterious, and dramatic effects with leftover tea and coffee for free.

  • Tea stained pages. Simply soak pages in strong tea (I use double the tea bags for a heavy brew) for a few minutes for a pale shade or overnight for a deeper patina. If you rotate the pages while still damp, the tea will travel over the paper and then pool in different parts so that the staining is irregular. This can also be done with coffee.
  • I prefer to get a light, parchment colour with tea and then use coffee for mark-making. While you can use it straight out of the pot, I always take the day’s leftovers and leave them in an open container overnight. The water evaporates a little making an even stronger brew. (I actually let my coffee evaporate for several days. It is not always intentional – I just get behind on stuff and it sits there waiting for me, getting darker and darker.) You can also use instant coffee and make it even stronger.

Recent Altered Books

And here are a batch of altered book covers from late 2017. Most incorporate original 19th or early 20th century images and handwritten letters and postcards from France, Switzerland, and the U.K. Click on an image to [read more]

Tea Bag Art Tips

Boy do I love using old tea bags in art. There is something mysterious about the translucent layers they make. Added to paper or other substrate, they look like parchment or linen, while allowing any text or image underneath to show through. Here are some suggestions for using tea bags in your art, collage, scrapbook, or other mixed media projects.

Layering, layering, layering. Brush your glue medium of choice onto the tea bag and place it on the surface you are working with. Bunch it up here and there for added texture. You can then paint or print over that. Or not.

Rubber stamps. You can get some dramatic effects that look like a tiny print on parchment that you then add to paper or board.

– Guess what doesn’t work. Stencils with ink from a spritzer or mister. What does work are stencils with ink pad. For this I used a Tim Holtz blending tool that you “load” with ink from a pad, then pounce over the stencil.

Paint. I am not much of a painter but there are artists out there who turned the humble tea bag into a tiny canvas for portraits. Here I have used acrylics, both [read more]

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