21 October 2010

A birthday bookmark

Tonight I was so very bone-tired . . . and then I realized that tomorrow was my dear friend's birthday, and the whole week had gotten by me without an opportunity to make something for her. We haven't gotten to see each other lately even though we live less than five miles from each other and our sons go to the same school, but the affection remains, and I couldn't let the day go by without marking it.

So, when something is needed quickly, I often turn to fashioning a bookmark. (I think part of the reason I felt so deeply tired was this constant pushing I am doing at myself to break away from following other's designs and instructions and really start from scratch with what I do . . . more of this seeking my own style and being brave enough to allow myself to discover how I wish to do things, so very difficult.) Very proud of myself in the end!

So to begin, I looked around my workspace and saw a leftover strip of monoprinting that I'd done with alcohol inks on glossy paper for the holiday cards I am laboring over--thought great, that will do for a background. Then I looked at my stamp collection and found the Elegant Stems stamp from Stampington--perfect. I used Jet Black Archival Ink to stamp with and dried it with a heat gun, then I applied Weathered Wood Distress Stickles to the three flowers and dried those with a heat gun too. The new corner chomper I got the other day made great deco corners. Looking good so far, but then of course the back of the glossy paper was dirty, so I needed something to mount it on. Quickly I found a silvery paper I'd gotten in England, and I used slate and sail boat blue alcohol inks to tone down the brightness. I edged the monoprint with silver Krylon pen on the straight edges (not the deco corners), ran it through my Xyron, and mounted it. Then I used the other setting on the corner chomper to make stub corners on the backing piece.

One of the things I'm most pleased about is that I finally put to use the rudimentary jewelry techniques I learned last year (I had to put all my toys away when our house was on the market), and the attachment to the bookmark is exactly what I have wanted it to be. I used metallic embroidery thread (love that stuff!) for the cording, and on one end I attached a Tim Holtz "Muse" tag where I'd highlighted the debossed letters with Cloudy Blue Adirondack Paint Dabber. But I hate tying loops and having straggly bits of thread or cord left over, so I had a go at using crimp beads, and they worked! Woo hoo! I'm sure my technique could have been better, but I am not complaining. No messy ends--yay me.
Finally, for the presentation, I took a little blank white bag and inked it with three different shades of blue Distress Ink, then I stamped Tim's fabulous flourish (swiped it on the Jet Black inkpad rather than tapping it in hopes of a less vivid image) on both sides. Grabbed my fibers basket and found one that matched all the colors of my piece, wrapped it around, and voila! The thing is done, and I have something I will be pleased to give my friend tomorrow on her birthday.