We just got back from holidays, so I think I was inspired by the beautiful turquoise mountain lakes of Jasper Provincial Park, the white sandy beaches on the Sunshine Coast in B.C., and of course all the ocean life.
Every summer we visit an International Sand Castle competition in Parksville, and the entries are amazing. I decided to create this book for my photos of these amazing sculptures and a few of the shells we have collected.
Using the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Mini Configurations Book (9 x 6in) and Ranger's Dina Wakley White Gesso, I painted my book and the boxes inside. Gesso primes your surface, making it ready to accept different mediums.
After everything was dry, I applied a coat of Evergreen Bough Distress Paint. I did not paint the backs of the boxes(these will be covered) and the front of my book (just around the edges). I enjoy using this type of finish on boxes, it creates a neat texture and just by changing the colour combinations, can look so different. I used it on this Halloween box on a previous post. Your darkest colour goes on first.
I used Antique Linen, Frayed Burlap, Evergreen Bough, and Bundled Sage Distress Paint to dry brush onto my book. For those of you not familiar with dry brushing, it is applying a very small amount of paint on your brush, and removing or brushing some off before applying it to your surface. You can see on my small white paper, what your brush strokes should look like. Your paint is applied very lightly so it dries quite fast, therefore you can work quickly. Not all your surface is covered with each colour, and that is how you get this textured look.
You can go back and reapply some or all of the colours, achieving whatever look you want.
After your painted boxes have dried, apply adhesive to the backs and insert into your box.
Now for the front cover of your book. Using Wendy Vecchi's archival ink and rubbing alcohol technique, you will need archival re-inkers, speciality stamping paper, a spatula and a craft mat. I used
Ranger's Aquamarine,Viridian and one drop of Hydrangea. Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol to your mat and add a drop of each colour. Mix the ink slightly into your rubbing alcohol. I mixed mine too much as you can see in my photo, but I took my paper (cut to 9 x 6in) and swiped it through the ink.
Because you are not using water, the rubbing alcohol doesn't seep through your paper and when heated, the speciality paper does't warp. I did mine a second time after I dried it, as I wanted it a bit more of the green tone and not as blended this time.
That's better, I like the darker contrast! Once it dried, I was ready to emboss.
My paper was too large for the embossing folder to fit completely, but I just inserted it across the bottom first. After that was embossed, I embossed the top left corner of my paper. I was ok with the parts that weren't embossed, they were going to be covered up anyways.
I wanted my paper to have a somewhat aged or distressed look, so I sanded the raised areas and the edges of my embossed paper. With my Antique Linen Distress Ink Pad (normally I use my Ranger Blending Tool, but I wanted the raised areas really dark) I swiped across the sanded areas to give them definition. My next step was to paint on top of everything with a combination of Antique Linen, Old Paper, and Frayed Burlap Distress paint. I dabbed on a bit of Antique Linen in different areas, then with a damp paper towel, rubbed the paint using a circular motion. This removes most of it but leaves a light layer of paint. I alternate the different colours and apply the same technique.
It gives the embossed paper a little bit of an aged look and a kind of pearly finish. The trick is, not to apply the paint too heavy and just do a small area at a time. You can always add more paint, but you can't remove it if you have too much!
Once everything is dry, apply your embossed paper with Ranger's Gel Medium to the front of your book. Now you are ready to embellish. Don't you hate it when sometimes you do a background that turns out really good, and find it so hard to cover it! I try and pick my least favourite part and use that place to cover, but sometimes you just like all of it!
Using the Tim Holtz Movers & Shapers Mini Sand & Sea (small seahorse & starfish), and Sand & Sea Bigz (large sand dollar, seahorse, starfish) dies, I die-cut several pieces with chipboard. I'm never sure how many I will use, so I just cut out more than enough and save the extras. The first thing I do, is gesso all the pieces. I like to have a nice white base to work with, especially when using light colours. I find that when you paint directly on top of chipboard, sometimees the light colours aren't as vibrant or you have to apply more layers of paint. Once the gesso was dry, I applied Ranger's Texture Paste to some of the pieces. I just noticed on my photos, I didn't end up using the small seahorses, wonder where they disappeared to?
The larger sand dollar with the starfish glued to the top, had texture paste applied with my finger. When I'm working with small pieces, I tend to use my finger when applying mediums, it's just faster and I have more control. I applied the paste heavier around the starfish, so it just looks like it is part of the sand dollar. Once that was dry, I painted with Antique Linen paint, and inked the edges with Frayed Burlap and Pumice Stone Distress ink. I applied Clear Rock Candy Crackle Paint and set aside to dry. Once it was dry, I applied Frayed Burlap Distress Paint on top and wiped off the excess, so the paint just stayed in the cracks. The other large sand dollar and texture paste applied with a small spatula to give it more texture. After I painted it with Antique Linen Paint, I shaded the edges lightly with Distress inks. The Distress Ink colours I used for all the pieces, were a combination of Antique Linen, Frayed Burlap, Scattered Straw, Pumice Stone, Evergreen Bough, and Bundled Sage.
One seahorse had texture paste applied with a Tim Holtz stencil called Dot Fade, then painted with Antique Linen Paint. The other seahorse was painted with Antiqued Bronze Distress paint. After the paint was dry, I added a drop of Antique Linen paint to a small amount of Clear Rock Candy Crackle Paint on my craft sheet. I applied this to my bronze painted seahorse and let dry. Because I added in some paint, it didn't crack very much, but the colour still showed slightly through from underneath. I added a bit of Evergreen Bough paint to the edges. The other seahorse, I didn't add as much paint, just a small dot, and it ended up cracking more. I also painted the edges, after the crackle dried, with Evergreen Bough. The small sand dollar was painted with texture paint, then painted with Antique Linen, and edges inked. The small starfish was painted with Antique Linen, when embossed with Ranger's Weathered White Embossing Powder. I put small amounts of paint on my craft sheet and then dab lightly with my finger, bits of colour on top of the embossed pieces. It gives it a grainy finish.
A couple of small pieces of gauze were stained, the ends frayed and then adhered to my book front.
I die-cut some "ocean greenery" with my Tim Holtz Spring Greenery Decorative Strip die and his new Wallflower Vellum paper. I just chose a few different smaller patterns of the vellum to die-cut. With these, my gauze, some frayed Tim Holtz Linen Ribbon, Natural Twine, Alpha Chips Elementary Chipboard letters, sea shells, and my die-cuts, I was ready to adhere these to the front of my book. I used glue dots and pop-dots for almost everything, I found they stuck better.
For the inside, I added in my photos, some sea shells we have gathered over the years, some sand saved in a Tim Holtz Corked Dome, Tim Holtz Compass Coin, Word Band, Mirrored Stars, Linen Ribbon and starfish and greenery die-cuts.
I haven't decided how I want to place my photos in the box yet, I just have them sitting in there. I can't make my mind up, whether to do an accordion type mini album or a book album, or just leave them like they are.
This little book is going on my coffee table, so we can all enjoy the sandcastle photos. It's the perfect way to display and save those tiny treasures that seem to get lost or put away in a drawer too. I've had the sea urchin shell for a long time, but was always worried it would break when handled. Now it's safe in its own little box!
Thanks for stopping by and having a look at my tutorial, and I hope I've inspired you to try different techniques or make your own coffee table book!
Have a great day,