Monday, 27 January 2020

Fly Free, - Mixed Media BeginnersTutorial

Hello friends, thanks for dropping by.
It's been a while since I have popped in here to share a full tutorial, but just for a change, here goes:
I think regulars know by now how much I love creating journals. Well today I will just share in detail how I made the cover of this one. My lovely Instagram friend Emilia, better known as Varalusikka, who recently invited me to join her design team, asked me if I would create a mixed media tutorial. (For those of you not on Instagram, she has a fabulous shop Paper Garden Finland) So here you go, starting from scratch:
1. Take a piece of strong card, - I took a piece of 12 x 12, to make like a kind of master board, and gather some old scraps of book pages, ephemera etc. (you could also use bits of scrapbook paper)
2. Next tear them into smaller pieces and adhere them to your substrate. While in the process I decided to also add some scraps of a paper napkin and some bits of lace. It does not really matter if there are some gaps here and there. I used just ordinary PVA glue for this, thinned down with a bit of water.
3. Next take a wide soft brush and some gesso. Using either a craftsheet or some kitchen roll, put a blob of gesso on there and then pick some up with your wide brush, and very lightly go right over the whole piece, but making sure the layer underneath is still visible. This is a bit like dry brushing. From the photo above it looks perhaps as if there is not much difference, but trust me there is, - the gesso really brings out the textures.

4. At this point I decided to cover the whole piece with a coat of clear gesso, this does not change the look at all, as it dries completely clear, but it gives everything a coating which protects it for any further inking or spraying you may want to do. As it turned out in the end I did not do too much of that, but it basically stops ink and spray soaking right into the paper, so also makes it easier to remove, if you want to lighten things up a bit.
5. Let everything dry thoroughly and then cut your piece to the size you want it. As I wanted my piece as a cover for an A5 journal, I kept the 12" width but cut a piece to 21 cm high.
6. I then scored 5 3/4" (14.5 cm) from each side, which left me 1/2" (1.5 cm) for the spine.

7. Here you see just the front. Time to start to decorate. I inked lightly around the edges, using a Vintage Photo distress crayon, which on the gessoed background is really easy to smudge out. I also added a few strips of washi tape and some light background stamping in black Stazon.
8. Create a focal point for your journal. I decided to make a shabby cluster, these are brilliant to use up all kinds of scraps and can be used both on journal covers or inside a junk journal. They are great fun to make, and easy.
Here are some of the scraps I used, some corrugated card, part of a tea dyed doily, some lace, cheese cloth etc.

I gave my corrugated card a quick layer of gesso, this is really the substrate of the cluster, and then glued some of my bits and pieces on top/ I always use 3-in-1 glue, it dries quickly and clear, but you could use any strong kind of glue or a glue gun.
Here is the finished cluster, you could finish them in all sorts of ways of course, this time I decided to add a butterfly, an old pen nib, some bling and a little sentiment.
And here finally is the finished cover, ready to have the inside pages sewn in, but that may be for another post.

Well, that's it for now, if you are still with me, thank you, hope you will have the chance to have some mixed media fun yourself soon and happy creating!


brenda said...

Lovely to see you posting Astrid and as always your creation is full of inspiration and beautifully finished.

B x

Ann Marie Governale said...

Beautiful vintage cover.. Thank you for the tutorial. I am so glad to see you back in blogland. Looking forward to more of your posts. xxx Ann Marie

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, this is a stunning journal cover! I so enjoyed your tutorial, it was fabulous to see how it all came together and the layers of papers and napkin are so beautiful 😀. The white gesso really brings out the texture and thanks for the tips about the clear gesso and glue. The fly free embellishment that you made with all the lace and butterfly is amazing too - I love it! Thanks again and wishing you a happy new week! Hugs, Jo x

linda said...

Such a beautiful cover. I'd like to know how you achieve the yellow/golden color on your papers and embellishments. Do you use a Distress ink pad, tea dipping or coffee dipping? It's just such a beautiful and soft shade.

Dorthe said...

Such beauty Astrid, I love your stunning cover , and I also love your tutorial.The gesso dry brushing looks amazing !!
I only recently discovered Varalusikka and her beautiful Instagram pages and shop. So wonderful you are now part of her team !!
Hugs, Dorthe

My name is Erika. said...

I love all the lace Astrid. What a beautiful page. Thanks for stopping by blogland. and sharing this tutorial. Hugs-Erika

Sue said...

Awesome work. It gives me that tickly feeling in my tum. Such pleasure to view your artwork. Thanks. ❣️

sarascloset said...

Really lovely journal cover, Astrid! I love seeing how the background came together and all the bits and pieces you embellished it with. Congratulations on your new IG DT. Sadly, I'm not on IG (yet, but you are tempting me!), so if I don't see it posted on your blog, I will miss all those great makes! So happy you posted this, but my apologies for my lateness. Keeping up with bloggie things is a challenge right now!

gracenotes said...

Thanks Astrid for your email back and also for directing me to this beginners tutorial! Beautiful and wonderful post as uusual! grammajof8

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