Sunday, April 11, 2021

Dragon Book Box and Journal

 This is a design team project for Faith Pocock Craft Studio.  Faith sent me a couple of book boxes to play with.  

These book boxes have a flexible spine and locking mechanism to keep the box closed.  I chose to not use the locking mechanism on this book box opting to use a an old leather belt as a closure instead. 

I covered the entire box with tissue paper and then I glued calico to the outside of the spine to give it a more durability without removing the flexibility.  I then used air dry clay for the dragon and the filials.  I added some metal corners and some hitches for the closure. I added a metal handle and some red half gems to finish the front.

For the back of the book box I used modeling paste through a stencil. I added the leather belt pieces using metal filigree pieces and decorative brads.

The front and the back were painted black and then drybrushed with red paint and gold wax.

For the three sides of the book box I used modelling pasted and then dragged a fork through the paste while it was wet to give the effect of book pages. Once the paste was dry I painted the edges with brown paint and vintage photo ink. I then added gold to the edges.  

The inside of the box was lined with printed paper and I used a page from an old calendar on the inside lid of the box.  I added a piece of metal filigree and a brad.

To go inside the book box I made a journal. I used covers from an old book, covered them with tissue paper and glued another calendar picture to the front, 

To get the look of scales I glued eggshells to the cover and around the picture ont he front cover.  I then painted the eggshesl with black gesso and then used the same paints I used on the book box.

I made my own hitches for the closure using brads and eyelets.  I glued these into place and then I added a gem to the front of the cover.  On the back I sued brads and metal filligree pieces.  I used more brads to secure the leather belt in place for the closure.

I then dyed the paper for inside of the journal. The paper is a mix of 130 and 200gsm paer with four signatures with eight full pages in each signature.  I used a hidden binding system and decorated the spine using metal filigree and brads.

Thank you for reading this and I hope it has inspired you to try something similar.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Church and Cottage

 Another DT project for Faith Pocock Craft Studio.

Here is the plain MDF project, a small church and cottage.

The MDF kits are so versatile and handle being covered with all types of media.  Don't be afraid to change things around to make the project your own.  I wanted to incorporate a journal into this kit so I dispensed with the flexible strip around the base and made my own base incorporating parts of the kit and a recycled book cover.

I used a recycled hardcover book to make a box for the kit to sit on, leaving the front open.  I then glued a used tape roll to one of the round MDF circles and decorated it with torn egg carton and some artificial grass.

I got a bit carried away with making the project and forgot to take photos for each step so I don't have pictures of the "book box" prior to it being attached to the base.  I didn't attach it to the box until I had finished putting everything on top and had the book finished because I need to make sure I had it situated properly with all of the weight on it so it was balanced.

Before assembling the houses I wanted to work on the windows. I wanted a look of old, cracked glass.  To achieve this I put the pieces flat on baking paper and then I filled in each pane with crackle glossy accents,  Once it had dried it had shrunk a little so I used Triple thick glaze to "top up" the glass.  Here is the result.

The windows were frames which were painted with black gesso and then glued to the windows on the front and back of the church and the cottage. I then assembled the chirch and cottage and began to apply the stone texture.

To get the stone effect on the outside of the buildings I glued on torn pieces of egg carton which I then painted with black gesso.

I wanted the opening in the church to show so I turned the church around and made a door out of card and paper. This side would normally fit up against the small cottage when the piece is assembled on the original kit..

I then painted the church and cottage with grey chalk paint, applied a wash of black paint which I rubbed back then I drybrushed some paler grey and a bit of green to the "stones" until I was happy with final effect.

I used crackle glossy accents on the door to give it a weathered look.

For the roof I used corrugated card which I painted black, then I used red paint to catch the highlights.

I glued the second MDF circle to the top of the "book box".  I then glued the houses and the fence to the circle.

The kit came with three trees but I chose to only use one. The tree in the kit was flat MDF but I wanted it to look more organic so I wrapped it with tinfoil and paper towel, which I used to make branches. I also used tinfoil and paper towel to make a stump and roots for the tree. I made the roots so that they would come down the sides of the :book box"< I was going for the old and gnarled look.

Unpainted Tree

Painted Tree

Tree and Stump completed

I used torn egg carton to make stones on the book box.  To create the soil I mixed tea leaves, brown paint and little white glue.  I then layered this all over the base and glued in the foliage.

I used the same technique for the "moss" using green paint instead oft he brown.  I spread this over the stones and the dirt in places.  

Then because I could I added a few toadstools.  I was going for a neglected, overgrown vibe for the piece.

To make the cobblestones I again used pieces of egg carton which I embedded in the dirt, leading from cottage to the church.

To make the book I used corrugated cardboard which I covered with brown paper.  I made a door for the front of the book and used the egg carton to pieces to cover the rest of the book.  I used hand dyed paper inside the book and there are seven signatures inside the book. I used the hidden spine method as I did not want to detract from the effect of the stone on the spine. I added a small handle so that that book can be pulled out of the box easily and then I attached everything to the base I had prepared earlier.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Dragon Egg

Here is a little project that I made by upcycling a childrens toy.  

Here is the original toy before I got my hands on it.

I filled bag with rice and then I glued it inside the bottom portion of the wgg so that it would stand upright and not keep tipping over. 

Once this was done I glued the two portions of the egg together, gessoed the whole egg and then I glued tissue paper all over the body of the egg.

After gluing the tissue paper I then glued pieces of torn egg carton to the egg.

When the glue had dried I painted the egg with blue chalk paint.  

I then added metallic sprays and waxes until I was happy with the way it looked. I painted the hand with white chalk paint and then used waxes to give it some definition.

For the finishing touch I glued gems, seed beads and glass glitter randomly on the egg.  This piece has a gorgeous sheen and glitter to it but it is hard to pick up with the camera.