Sunday, 8 September 2013

Hit The Books At Anything But A Card. . . . . . . . .

It's time for another challenge at Anything But A Card and this fortnight we are asking you to create a project using er. . . . . . . books! 

You could create a project based on your favourite book; alter a book; use book pages on your art; create a mini book or journal; make a bookmark or cover - the list is endless!

If you pop over to Anything But A Card, you can have a look at the wonderful creations made by my team mates. There will be more inspiration from the other half of our team in a weeks time too so don't forget to have a look will you?

So, what have I done this week? Firstly, I used the fab Mr Skinner as my inspiration (well, his art and techniques not him personally you understand! He might take offence if he looks at my project and thinks he was the inspiration!!). I'm afraid I've gone slightly Halloween too - had to follow the Maestro's lead, it would be rude not to. . . .  I did the Skinner 'Book Of Secrets' online course in order to try to improve on some techniques visited in previous workshops. My project today is based on those techniques and one that Andy did as a demo piece.

I've altered a little hard backed book which are reasonably priced and very useful to give as gifts or even use yourself.

As usual, I forgot to take a picture of mine but these books are identical to the one I used.

The book then turned into this:
For some reason the colours were difficult to photograph accurately but you can see them more clearly in other images. Look to the spine of the book and you will see that I chose to add a layer of bookbinding paper to improve the look. Once that was in place, I could add all the other layers and elements. Everything was then coated with gesso.
Large skeleton rock star: silver
Thought you might like to see the guitar player in all his glory!

Image of the back view. Lots of shades of DecoArt Traditions were used in various ways to add colour. 
Metal skeleton charm playing a guitar, watch parts, Tando chipboard, sticky backed canvas (under the skeleton & just visible);embossed card and modelling paste were all used on the front cover.
This view shows the work before I tamed down the colours which I felt were a little bright in some places.
The modelling paste was used through a stencil, over the top of the canvas. The watch parts and chipboard shapes were pushed into the paste before it dried.

Gradually building up the paint layers on the back of the book. Lots of layers of embossed card too.

Once covered in the book binding paper, the spine was treated to some 'studs' and lots of layers of DecoArt Traditions paints. 

This project was great fun and combined with Andy's ideas on his online course, I feel I have improved certain techniques - wish I could tell you about them but it wouldn't be fair to Mr S if I did that, would it? Want to learn more about online workshops with Andy? Just click on his blog HERE and feast your eyes!

Ok, that's my offering for today. What are you going to make for this challenge?? Remember to check the rules to make sure your entry is a valid one - it's such a shame, isn't it, when people put in lots of effort but the project doesn't come close to what the challenge is asking for? Please make you that's not you won't you?!

Thanks for looking and I hope you like my little book which is a vast improvement on the original. It's up to you know. Can't wait to see what you come up this! Off you go to Anything But A Card and see what the other ladies have come up with.


  1. Nothing up on the ABaC site yet, you've obviously beat them to it!!

    Great book and love that skellie charm, makes a fabulous front cover!!

    Great to see you back.

    Sam xxx

  2. This is so cool, Julia - quirky, spooky and full of fabulous techniques and layers of paint. Fantastic inspiration for a great challenge theme. Hope all is going well (am taking a quick break from book boxes and dust myself!)...
    Alison xx

  3. Oh Julia! Do you realise yet what a superb talent you have sweetie? This is outstanding and I know that Andy will love it too! So many layers and work here...just AMAZING!!!!!

    HUgs always xxx

  4. Ha ha ha ha ha the resemblance is uncanny (Sir Skinner is gonna shoot me lol!!), I can just imagine a pair of glasses and some turquoise nail polish tee hee!!!!!
    Julia this is stunning sweetie, beautifully crafted as always with some of Andy's fab techniques superbly showcased. I love the colours and details, perfectly chosen my lovely.
    Huge huggles x x x x

  5. A fabulous makeover of the book Julia - all those wonderful techniques and layers of paints. And so very you! An amazing piece of work. Jennie x

  6. gorgeous book Julia - brilliant textures and amazing details - fabulous x

  7. This is absolutely brilliant, you are certainly a pro when it comes to these techniques! hugs trace x

  8. Your firing on all cylinders here Julia :) fabulous book !!!
    Great to have you back :)
    Von ♥

  9. WOW Julia, that skeleton is so cool, love him!
    As always, love the techniques you've used and how you've incorporated the embellishments.
    Hope all is well with you.
    Avril xx

  10. ...gorgeously fab fun and full halloween goodness Julia, and so perfect for our Mr Skinners techniques...Mel:)xx

  11. wow this is gorgeous.....just much depth and detail. Totally fabulous. Love this!

  12. What a fabulous book, and so funny !!!! Very brilliant Julia wow !! x

  13. Hi Julia, I just love that skeleton, he is hilarious with that guitar! Love him. Your book cover is incredible, so much detail, so many fabulous techniques. You never cease to amaze with your fabulous art! Hope the packing is going well. Hugs, Anne x

  14. Oh WOW! That's something special Julia. Love the way everything blends beautifully on this and creates the perfect foil for the skeleton. Hugs, Jenny x

  15. Very cool indeed and I have to tell you that I so love the rivets on the spine.
    An incredible transformation of such a humble notebook.

  16. What fantastic layering texture and subtle colours you have achieved Julia! I love your starved artist embellishment too!
    You keep making me want to get some Decoart paints in!
    Hugs to you

  17. This is so awesome! I love how you made the background. Your skeleton rocks! (hehe) :) This is really so cool!

  18. Amazing cover you have created with a very different look to it.

    Love Chrissie x

  19. Absolutely fabulous Julia, love the skeleton.
    xxx Hazel.

  20. This is an amazing piece of work, the textures and techniques all make a fabulous book, thanks for sharing..

  21. Oh my he is rather spooky ! Great colour & textures on your spooky design :) Shirleyx

  22. What can I say??? It is an amazing alteration really are an artist!

  23. Wow! Mr Skinner would be proud of you...this is amazing Julia!xx

  24. This is wicked! I LOVE it, Julia!
    Have a great day...

  25. Oh the color you achieved on this is fabulous! Love the embossed designs, patchwork, and amazing texture! This screams FUN!!!


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