Monday 6 August 2007

Seek and Ye Shall Find

Time for my first proper blog entry!
Next week I'm meeting up with some friends from the Craftswap forum for a potluck lunch, and they've asked me to make a day of it and lead a class with them. After some thought, I decided to use it as an excuse to make my first project using the Zutter Bind-it-all machine, a recent purchase while on holiday in the USA.

The Bind-it-all is a great little machine which punches and binds wire bound albums, and for something so small, it works like a dream! I'd recommend one to anyone looking for a simple way to make their own mini-albums, notebooks, etc.

The theme for the project is things that are hidden, so each page includes an element hidden or obscured from view in some way. Below you will find pictures of each page, with a brief explanation behind each one.

Front cover - the only part of the book with nothing hidden on it, but it gave me the chance to try out the Tim Holtz distress embossing powders for the first time. I like the gritty feel of them, and it gives the page an added textural dimenion.

Page 1 - A message hidden in plain sight. It actually says "All things hidden will be revealed to those with the patience and curiosity to explore". A later page includes an acetate overlay with the missing fragments of the message, and when placed over page 1 and lined up correctly, the message is revealed. Page is coloured with 3 blended acrylic dabbers and stamped. (It shows up better in real life than in this image!).

Page 2 - Nothing complicated here, simply a message contained in the envelope on the page.

Pages 3 and 4 - I bought these neat little paper bags, each containing a plain white card, while on holiday, and have been waiting to find a use for them! Nothing complicated here, just stamped on both sides then bound into the book, with the card inside it coloured and stamped.

Page 5 - Each tag here is a folder, with an image or message inside each one.

Page 6 - Beneath the "do not read" cover is a 16 page "maze" book, made from a single sheet of 6" x 12" paper, folded and cut to make a continuous book. The book is held shut by a small piece of velcro at the right-hand side. I like this page, because I got to use my barbed wire stamps for the first time! Page is coloured with spiced marmalade distress ink pad dragged across the page then further distressed with water splashes.

Pages 7 & 8 - A money envelope. As well as containing the jigsaw puzzle piece shown here, this envelope contains the acetate overlay needed to read the message on page 1. In addition to stamping and distressing the envelope, I added the photo-turn to keep the flap closed.

Page 9 - The Andy Warhol page. As soon as I saw this stamp of a Campbell's soup can, I was itching to make something with an Andy Warhol theme (he did all those paintings of Campbell's soup cans, remember?). Hidden beneath the tag is one of his famous images of Marilyn Monroe, along with his well-known quote that "In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes"

Page 10 - My favourite page from this project, just because it includes a technique I hadn't tried before with a stamped image. The tag is coloured by blending together 2 complementary shades of acrylic paint dabber. I then used the lighter of the two, with a small paintbrush, to paint the blank area inside the stamped image - I think it looks great! The glassine envelope, which features the word "within" on it's rear side, contains a negative version of the stamp, with the empty area painted in the darker dabber colour.

Pages 11 & 12 - Nothing hidden on this tag, but it does have a hidden function! Although it's not visible in these photos, the tag is perforated next to the binding holes, so that it can be torn out by the recipient of the book, and used as a bookmark. Tag is coloured using blended acrylic paint dabbers, then stamped and embossed.

So, that was my first project using the Bind-it-all. I like the fact that it's interactive, the reader has to engage with each page to find the hidden content, rather than just turning the pages quickly.

More posts to follow, as and when I make stuff!
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