Sunday, 2 September 2012

Anything Goes At ABAC. . . . . . . . Challenge #1

For my first design team offering at ABAC, I decided to make a book which could be used for journalling, doodling, scrapping or anything else you might want to do!

If you've been here before, you may have noticed that I like to use metal tape on some of my creations so when I saw the article by Sarah Engels-Greers piece in Craft Stamper, it was love at first sight! I used this as  inspiration for my project. I did let Sarah know and if you haven't seen her fantastic work before, you can find it here.

It was wonderful to make this A5 sized book because I used up a whole load of packaging card I'd been saving and I got to use my grunge paper for the first time since buying it (I know, I'm probably the last person in the whole of the craft world to use it!!).

I cut a frame from some very stiff cardboard and glued leaf skeletons and die cuts on before covering it all with metal tape - sorry but I forgot to take a photo of the one I used but this frame is almost identical.

On the frame I used for the book, I attached some metal washers in two of the corners because I wanted my flowers to have a base to sit on. You can't see them very well on the final piece but they are there.

After applying the tape, I used an old pen to make marks on the frame  between the strips of metal tape - you'll be able to see these in one of the later photos.

So, from a nearly naked frame to this:
The finished journal complete with  a 'J' - for journal or Julia?! You can now see how the frame looks when the metal tape is applied, marks are made with an old pen to mask the tape joins and alcohol inks have coloured the tape. I used white mixative for the verdigris type colour along with a mix of blues and greens. This same mix was used to colour the rings and charms which hold the journal together. The flowers and heart are die cut metal covered card as is the leaf in the centre and the one on the back. Espresso alcohol ink was used to highlight.
The back of the journal was given a peeled paint treatment using a Decoart product. The top leaf was prepared as described above and the one behind was painted with acrylic paint to provide depth to the piece and in a matching colour to the one used as the base coat of the peeled paint technique.

The flowers were shaped after colouring and a heart brad - coloured with alcohol ink - was added to form the centre. Just below the flowers you may get a sneaky view of the little washers under the metal tape - if you look hard enough! They are the same brown as the brads and I just think they give a little shadow and depth to the flowers.

A die cut heart was made from the metal tape covered card and this was embossed using a Tim folder. The heart was coloured with the alcohol inks as described earlier and some brown was added to the seams to age the heart. Some jute thread was tied round the heart as a finishing touch.

The main layer under the frame was cut from grunge paper, embossed in a folder and then coloured with distress ink. I love the way it feels and looks like faux suede! Think I may just have been converted to grunge paper!

The pages inside were made from acrylic paint paper with some vintage book pieces glued on for interest. Some gesso was dry brushed randomly over these layers to tone down the print.

I've started adding colour to two of the pages with distress stains as the first layer. After this, layers of stamping and stencilling using archival ink, distress colours and acrylic paint have been applied. They still need work and lots of the other pages are still blank but I will get there! I think these two pages are the stage when you look at them and think 'where do I go from here?', however, I won't worry too much as I know they'll look very different when they're finished. That's for another day, another project though.
I hope that you like my first DT piece as much as I've enjoyed making it - please do let me know what you think.

Please pop over to ABAC - Anything But A Card - and post a link to one of your creations! It's a fortnightly challenge blog so it gives a little more time to get things done and we'd love to see you there. Winners are chosen by the design team and blog blinkies will be given as a reward.

Thanks for taking the time to look at my work. . . . . . . . .


  1. Oooh have to have a go at this! My new goodies are on their way, they'll be perfect for this challenge.

    Beautiful frame, and love the ad hoc nature of the book.

    Cassidy xx

  2. O my gosh Julia, your book is stunning....I mean really stunning!! Love blue and brown combination and "frame" with leaves....Bravo!!
    Now I am going to ABAC! :)
    Hugs from rainy Slovenia

  3. Stunning book, love the different techniques you used.

  4. What a glorious book! The cover is sensational - I love all your details and verdigris, completely scrummy! And the pages on the inside are already looking great, can't wait to see what happens next. Congrats on the first ABAC challenge up and running!
    Alison x

  5. Wow you've put a lot of time into this and it's absolutely stunning, both the cover and the pages inside - lovely.

    I'll be back later to join in with your first challenge.

    Sam xxx

  6. Wow wow wow can you ever doubt your skills.....An amazing piece of real art!!!
    What a great book and details, how clever did you use all the materials...
    I'm in love....with it :-)))

    Hugs, Alie :-)

  7. Just had to come by and comment again on this gorgeous journal! You are introducing me to all kinds of new materials and options!!! LOVE the patina combined with the golds and browns!!! So glad to be on the team with you!!!

  8. this si stunning, the colours and textures are simply beautfiul and i love the blue..just gorgeous..
    what a wonderful make to start off your dt post...this is really beautiful and all the elemnts work so well together! trace x
    how's the painting! x?

  9. Wow, stunning piece! I think the J is for Julia's Jolly Journal! Valerie

  10. Oh my word Julia, what a fabulous start on the DT you have made, not quite sure how you will top this one - it is utterly gorgeous. The colours are amazing on the covers and the pages inside are what I can only aspire to make one day! Brilliant piece!! Crafty hugs, Anne x

  11. Wow Julie, you have surpassed yourself with your first DT piece. It is absolutely stunning! I love your attention to detail and thank you for always giving us a step-by-step! xx

  12. Oh, Julia, these are so gorgeous. Love the leaf/cover and the inside pages as well... just totally fabulous!

  13. I keep looking at the pics and drooling....just breathtaking! Love all the details and your explanations and pics really are amazing! LOVE it!

  14. Stunning work Julia! The colours are wonderful and the way you have made the project your own is fabulous!

    I am looking forward to posting something for the challenge soon ..........

  15. I love the cover, so eye catching (going to have to get myself some metal tape), BUT I REALLY love your inside pages, the colours are gorgeous, I'm a book fiend too, love using them on my pages, so this is just everything I love! Looking forward to seeing more.

  16. OMG - I need one of these. What a gorgeous creation. The colour combination let alone all the beautiful embellishments is just delightful!

  17. Awesome cover for your book Julia :) thoses leaves look amazing
    Von ♥

  18. Stunning effect and sooo beautiful textures and colours!!!!! Love!!!!

    die amelie xxx

  19. Blown away by this!!!!! Just amazing journal. Loving the metalwork , the textural elements used and the colours. Oh heck, just love it all. This is a standout piece for your Design Team. Bound to get lots of creative juices flowing. Congratulations to an amazing crafter. Hugs, Buttons x

  20. WOW!!! This is sooo amazing!!! Love,love the colors, the effect the metalltape gives, the structur..everything! Great inspiration! Have a wonderful crafty day! Hugs and sunshine

  21. This is just STUNNING! I saw the thumbnail over at ABAC and had to come for a closer look. I loved Sarah's project in Craft Stamper too and had been thinking about getting some metal tape but this project has definitely inspired me to do so... it's just beautiful! All the detail and texture and the colours... I especially love how you've created the verdigris effect. :)


  22. Oh oh oh this is just incredible Julia!!!! I really admire your work with metal tape. er.....I have a load of grung paper that I haven't used yet so you are not alone hahahahaha!!!!!!

    Thank you so so much for your lovely comments on my blog, I really appreciate it xxx

  23. OH MY !!!! Julia this is STUNNING ! I've bookmarked this post so I can come back when I have more time to study what you have done to create this amazing journal cover. The pages inside are beautiful as well... be still my heart ! Thanks for sharing your talent, Shirleyx

  24. A Stunnig book Julia.
    Great cover and i love the leaves and anything else you used.
    Really a beautiful piece of art.

    Greetings Janny

  25. Stunning stuff Julia, you should have mentioned this at the weekend. what a great blog to be part of. I will look forward to what you do next x

  26. I have joined in with the new challenge. Your notebook is sublime ....gorgeous!

  27. Your book is stunning Julia, & so inspiring! I love your pages too!
    Lovely to meet you on Sunday too, the class was great fun, a wonderful bunch of class-mates!
    Alison xx

  28. I love everything about this. I am in love with the texture and the verdigris. Especially on the heart! I had to double click to find the washers under the flowers, but you're right- it adds the perfect touch. I love mixing hard and soft- the metals with the flowers and leaves- so beautiful!

  29. Julia, I am blown away, what a beautiful book you have created. Your attention to detail is superb and your description of how you did it all is incredibly well written and easy to follow, well done you. I am itching to get my hands on some of that metal tape, it looks amazing, between your project and the CS article I feel incredibly inspired to give it a go myself - thank-you. Lol, just think of all the fab doodling and journalling you could do on top of the gorgeous backgrounds you have done for your book.
    Big hugs x x x x

  30. Seriously...this is one of the most AMAZING PIECES I've seen!!! Truly a MARVELOUS DESIGN!!! The colors are just perfect and gold is yummo!!!! Going in my favorites!!!

  31. This is downright stunning!!! The teal is just the perfect shade!! :) :) I'm glad I get to be on the ABAC DT with you!!! :) :)


  32. Julia, this is stunning! Gorgeous texture and colours. Read the article in CS - got the tape - its on the list!
    Avril xx

  33. Thank you for your positive thoughts. I am enjoying the challenge journey and am looking forward to the next one. Your journal was awesome. Loved it! Just looking at it every day would be inspirational. Di

  34. I love everything about this - its sooo amazing. Your work is so beautiful & inspirational. I want to pick this journal up and hold it! Just stunning. Sx


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Juliax