Fauxdori - Traveller's Notebook inserts, using paste papers & painted papers

Here are the latest Travellers's Notebook inserts I've made, all with my own paste papers and printed papers.

This one is painted, layered with giant foam stamps in swirls, squares & leaf shapes
Paste paper variatiation using acrylics & gel medium, combed through
 Metal file tabs on the front can have labels (or not...)

Traditional paste paper

Traditional paste paper - linen Under Construction tape
I've used acrylics (always best for this) so the covers are wipeable in case of accidents (coffee, sticky fingers, melted chocolate etc).

All of them have stitched papers (looks so much nicer than staples).

Hand-stitched double pocket

Double secretarial pocket

Single secretarial pocket (paste paper layered to black card to make it stand out more)

Punched pocket with matching paper clip 

All have pockets inside the covers. Always useful (receipts, pretty stickers etc.

I've kept these pretty plain as they might also appeal to men - but can always be personalised with stickers etc. All of these will be in my Etsy shop very shortly.

I can't believe how long it's been since my last post - I'm thoroughly ashamed of myself, but in my own defense all I can say is, Life Happens. Which included 4 funerals since September (including my best friend), several hospital visits (eye op set for January) and a computer crash.

Paris Amour - Kindle cover makeover

I've really enjoyed doing a makeover for this Kindle cover.

It's for the latest Kindle, which is an 8in, and more of an oblong shape. The cover I bought was a plain white leatherette, which quickly discoloured to a nasty cream, and it also marked up badly. So the cover was well overdue for a makeover.

I've used rice paper from Imagination Crafts.

I lightly sanded the cover first, wiped over to remove any powdery surface, then gave it a very thin coat of gesso, to give it a tooth.

To prep the rice paper, I used a paint brush and clean water to draw onto the paper. This makes it easier to tear apart (although you can also tear it when dry, it's easier to wet it if tearing larger areas). This results in a lovely feathered edge, which virtually disappears when glued down.

With this particular paper, I wanted the text centred on the front cover, so needed to remove an area on the right (not wasted - it's now on the far left of the back cover). This left a little space, filled in by a strip of lace rice paper. Look as closely as you like - feathered edges make the joins invisible.

Make sure to use good layer of decoupage glue (gel medium or Mod Podge would also work) on the cover, then more glue on top of the rice paper as you stick it down. Work the paper well into the creases, and bend the cover back and forth to make sure it's well stuck and moves easily.

The rice paper has strands of fibre trapped inside, which makes it really strong and flexible. As you can see, it's stuck well and bends beautifully with the cover, and has not torn.

Finally, I added a coat of protective wax once the cover was totally dry (I left it overnight to make sure). Tim Holtz Distress Wax, Dorlands Wax Medium or even clear shoe polish will do the job for you - add a thin layer with a cloth or your finger, wait 5 minutes, then buff off any excess.

After several weeks of being taken everywhere, in and out of various handbags as well as being used constantly at home, the cover is showing no signs of wear. It's also wipeable. So I feel it's a really good job done.

Best of all, I showed the Kindle to Sue (owner of Imagination Crafts, where I bought my rice papers) who liked it so much she asked me to post a pic to her facebook page! Yay!

Fabulous Fauxdori faces, using acrylics

I decided to have a go and make my own Fauxdori inserts - and I'm really pleased how they've turned out.

I roughly sketched out the faces using pencil, gesso'd over the pencil and then painted with acrylics. Finally, I added some collaged vintage butterflies and flowers and some rice paper from Imagination Crafts (no affil, etc).

Front cover
I've used a piece of thin chipboard from the back of a sketchbook (if it won't fold easily, it's too thick for this) and gesso'd both sides before adding the artwork etc. The front cover has rice paper, acrylic, my own hand drawn face, plus a bit of glitter in addition to the collage.

Back cover
More collaged butterflies and more glitter. I've also emphasised the hair with dots of acrylic to follow the shape of the plaits etc. Plus glitter eyeshadow and earrings.

Inside front cover
This is rice paper glued directly onto thin chipboard. I used PVA (a wet glue) which is ideal for this kind of thing. Glue stick doesn't stick well enough, and double sided tape isn't all that brilliant either, especially if you are stitching with thread (it's a nightmare to stitch through - the needle clogs up, the thread drags etc).

Inside back cover
 I made a little pocket from a scrapbook embellishment (glued down on one side and bottom edges). Always handy for storing ephemera etc.

The stitching

This is a simple 3-hole pamphlet stitch, using waxed embroidery floss. You can find tutorials online, and I have this one in my Etsy shop SOLD and a little video here. I used Fabriano Artistico papers (if you are going to all this trouble, it's worth using the best paper you can afford) which are great for mixed media and will take any amount of abuse, lol.

I tore the pages to size using the edge of a ruler, then distressed even more using the Tim Holtz Tonic Paper Distresser, which is a really nifty little gadget. Just run it along any edge you want to rough up - or use a pair of scissors. Just google for this - easily found anywhere including Amazon.

This Fauxdori is now in my shop on Etsy. SOLD Hope you like it!

Live in the Moment - Tablet cover upcyle project

I've been playing around and upcyling this tablet cover. It fits the Samsung Galaxy S2 tablet, the iPad Mini and  the Kindle Fire HD (7in) and is now in my Etsy shop. SOLD

I've adapted the idea of painting on fabric, collaging onto this tablet cover, from an online class I took: Toni Burt - Wrapped In Vintage. Toni actually sews her cover, whereas I've used an existing hardcover faux leather one.

The front:
It's a really nice quality of faux leather, so well worth messing around with. The inner core is stiff board, so I knew it would take plenty of embellishments.

The fastening:
The outer edges of the tablet and the tabbed loop are all collaged with vintage lace. The collaged elements are rice paper which is really strong (has cotton fibers embedded in it) and goes transparent when you add glue underneath and on top. I've also used some vintage scrapbook images, tickets, bubutterflies etc.

The base is muslin (thin cotton fabric) stuck directly to the faux leather using fabric glue. I then added vintage dictionary paper and vintage sheet music, then added everything else on top!

The back:
The roses are acrylic, where I've added dots of pink and white, then swirled the colours together with the end of a paintbrush. The words are rub-ons. I've added a little glitter, then used a waterproof spray over everything so the cover is wipeable. I also drew back into the iamges to add more detail.

Front and back with tablet opened out flat:

The inside:

Elasticated corners hold the tablet in place:
The little butterflies are collaged undernath the elastic, so nothing interferes with the tablet itself.

This was a fun project - something a bit more girly than a lot of the tablet covers I see around (some are just too techie) and just that little bit different... Find it here in my Etsy shop. SOLD

Hope you like it!

Ribbon Storage No 2 - kitchen roll or loo roll inner tubes

It's an emergency - you need ribbon or lace storage in a hurry, but don't have anything to use for those odd little bits that always end up tangled and creased. Make a quick cardboard winder from kitchen roll or loo roll tubes!

Personally, I don't like the idea of bare cardboard (card liners, ubes, cereal packets etc are made from a cheap grade of card, obviously) so it really needs sealing in some way. I'm using craft acrylics, but you could easily glue scrapbook papers etc (use PVA - white - glue).

 I've used the inner tube from a kitchen roll here.

Flatten the roll - use a bone folder if possible.

If using a really long roll, you might want to cut it in half...

Cut in about 1cm down from the top and bottom edges, and cut in about the same amount (you don't need to be exact re measurements). Roughly half an inch-ish. Then cut away the little chunks, giving you this spool shape.

Either cover with scrapbook papers (I use PVA glue) in which case you might want to cover the roll before making your cuts - it's much easier. Or use craft acrylic, chalk paints etc, to paint the tube on both sides. 

You might like to stamp on top - I used white craft acrylic and an old foam stamp I had in my stash. Big bold designs are best as you really aren't going to see much of the design (it will be covered with ribbon or lace).

You'll be wondering why I've left the slits on the sides open - this is so you can tuck in the ends of the ribbon when you start to roll up (helps to grip it) and then you only need to use a pin to secure to finish.

Quick and easy, maybe this won't last forever, but good enough to use in a pinch - and stops all your odd bits of ribbon and lace from tangling. You could also punch a hole at the top if you want to hang them up.

Provided you've stuck in a pin (or piece of tape) to secure the wound ribbons, you can thrown these into a shoe box with confidence. There, all tidy!

Ribbon storage No 1

I've been been really busy reorganising my craft room and all my storage - so busy, I haven't posted for ages! So big apologies.

I've been organising some of my ribbon stash ...

The stand and hangers are MDF, by StampsAway

I've used a base colour of Rustoleum Chalky Matt Furniture paint in 'Chalk White' on both sides of the hangers (allowing one side to dry before painting the other side). It's worth being patient and allowing the paint to dry naturally, as MDF absorbs paint, so you can see if you need to apply a second coat.

I then stamped a text design over the top (again allowing to dry before stamping the other side) using a calligraphy mat from The Artistic Stamper (no affil) It's mediaeval and Italian, no idea what it says, but it looks wonderful. The paint is Americana Decor Chalky Finish in 'Primitive', a really subtle griege.

The outer case has the same antique white as a base coat, then crackle glaze topped with matt finish pale sage green acrylic (PaperArtsy in 'Guacamole'). I decided to keep this fairly plain, as it's up on a shelf and against a wall, so you don't really see it - although I did paint the back as well. If you're going to do it, do it properly.

Yes, I also painted the inside as well using the same Rustoleum Chalky Matt Furniture paint in 'Chalk White' on the raw MDF - it only needed one coat. 

You can buy a pack of 14 hangers if you don't want the entire kit (stand with 28 hangers) or you need even more hangers.

Now all my ribbons and lace are on show, so I actually know what I have! Genius or what?

This was as much fun to decorate as it was to get some of my vast ribbon stash finally sorted out.

Bloglovin, Social Media & all that stuff

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Photo by Brassai

 Sometimes, you really need a stiff drink (or a strong coffee)!

Oh what a headache all this social media etc is!
I forgot I signed up with bloglovin and am none too sure whether it was just to read blogs, or whether I connected it to my blog - so I'm trying again. It's all so confusing, and how on earth anyone has the time to post on them all, I don't know...

I've added this one, anyway. Whether I've connected anything else, your guess is probably better than mine, lol.

Anyway, here it is, set up as instructed, so maybe it'll make things easier for anyone who wants to follow all this stuff...

Personalising Planner Divider Pages

Here are more of the planner divider pages, which I've personalised. I've added pockets, tags etc - it's amazing what a difference it makes!

I made a video showing how to make two of the pockets (this is my first one for ages, so please make allowances).

Sorry about the occasional background noise - although some distance away, we're under the Heathrow flightpath, so there is some muted plane noise, as the windows were open.

Month by month... 

January - lace edge (see how to do this in my previous post)

February - 2 cut pockets, layered one on top of the other