Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fold Out Books.....Part One: Construction and Hinging

Hello all! Lora here with a special two-part post on making your own awesome fold-out books with one of my favorite things on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts site...
Arch Top House Silhouettes!
I love this little chipboard piece of joy.

There are so many wonderful things you can make with this. My favorite is, of course, fold-out books.
Yay, fold-out books!
I get a lot of questions about how to make them, so in the first installment of this blog post, I am going to show you how fun and simple the actual construction of the book is and the reasons I build them the way I do.
The Arch Top House Silhouettes come in a set of three, but I generally like making books with five to seven panels, so getting two, three or even four sets is a good idea...you can a make at least a couple different length books and have some options.
Here are a couple of examples......
A three panel:
And a seven panel:
And here is the start of a two panel in progress:
What I am going to demo for you now is a five panel Fairy Fold-Out Book.

I began with five of the Arch Top House Silhouettes panels. (I previously thought I'd do a seven panel book but changed my mind, hence the picture of seven pieces)
I used one of the panels as a template and drew around my chosen papers and cut them out.
A quick note on how I choose papers.....
If you notice in the two completed books above, there is a bit of symmetry going on with the paper choices. I tend to like my books with odd number panels which allows for a central panel that can either be a feature or can blend in with the rest of the book, depending on the subject.
I usually choose to make the center panel a different color the rest of the book. The outside panels are usually the same color (they can be different patterns but they 'read' the same color) and the next two in are usually the same color way as each other and so on. I think this creates a harmonious base or commonality that you can then create a bit of chaos on and everything still feels like it fits together. (More on this as we go further into composing the layout)

After the papers are cut out, I carefully lay out my plain panels on a grid, making sure the bottom edge of each one lines up with the other and that there is a space of about 1/4 inch between panels. This space allows you to fold the book easily and gives you some leeway for layering and stacking components and ephemera. If you are using very thick elements on every panel consider spacing the panels further apart.
 When I am sure everything is lined up, I measure out a piece of linen hinging tape You can get this on Amazon...I use Lineco) slightly shorter than the length of the book and gently lay it on as straight as possible, making sure the tape is centered between the straight edges of each panel. You can correct the alignment at this point because you haven't pressed the tape down yet. Adjust if necessary and press the tape down.
Now turn the book over and do the same thing again, making sure you get the tape to stick to the other piece as it goes between the panels. I sometimes use a little ruler to press it down into the sticky bit of the other tape.
Double hinging tape makes the book strong and keeps the paper you will put on the panels from peeling off the book with rough handling.

After the taping is done, I glue on my papers. I use a scoring tool that I lightly scrape across the top of the panel to evenly distribute the glue and then wipe the excess away with a paper towel. I have used any flat object to get glue to adhere...pencils, ruler edges...just make sure it is smooth or you will tear your paper! A brayer also works really well.
I also tear a paper towel into small squares...less waste and easier to deal with.
I let the panels dry and give everything a quick sanding. You don't have to do this, but I prefer to as I like the way the edges look and it takes away any excess paper from over cutting. Just make sure you don't sand your hinge.
I ink up the edges of my book panels...
 Now that you have the basic construction of your book done, the fun really begins!
NEXT POST: A wee bit on Color, Collage and Composition to make your book pull together.
Stay Tuned!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Cupid Matchmaking Vampires?.......It must be Opera.

One of the things I love about opera is this; there is no story too outrageous, no plot too complicated, no hero or heroine too ridiculous for an opera.
Nothing that is over-the-top nutso is too much for opera.
Costumes, acting, sets. All are lavishness on steroids.
And I call that fabulous.
Not to mention the music can be dramatic, tender, heart wrenching, sublime, terrifying.....you understand what I mean if you love opera.
In this little piece I am poking a bit of fun at one of my favorite forms of theater.
But hey, I have actually seen crazy-er real live opera, (how about "Orpheus in the Underworld"  and the underwear factory scene) though technically an operetta, it serves as a fine example of completely outrageous silliness.
Here's to love triangles, giant egos and outrageous silliness!

Most of the supplies (all the fantastic ones) are from the super Alpha Stamps and for a complete list of supplies for this project click HERE.
I began with the Window Shadowbox for Punch and Judy Facades and the Shadowbox Riser for the Arch Top Theatre Facade.
After I assembled and glued the separate pieces, I cut the backdrop paper for the stage and I then glued both the pieces together.
The 'floor' of the stage was a bit too low for my purposes, so I added a lift by gluing up a couple pieces of scrap chipboard and then painted it white and aged it up with a little gold stamp ink. I glued it into the shadowbox.
I chose the Marionette Theatre Collage Sheet as the front of my stage and juiced up the color a bit with some colored pencils and Copic markers.
I punched up the color on the curtains and the pediment I added as well.
I also wanted the stage floor to extend out a little past the curtains, so I built a little extension by folding a narrow piece of flexible cardboard (just a scrap piece from the extensive pile-o-kaka that I don't throw away) the length of the stage and painting the underside black and the top white with gold inking.
At this point, I decided to change the paper inside the stage to Double Dot Vintage Shadow (the floral side) and added a little heart and coffin stage decor. I cut the heart from the flip side of the Shadow paper and the tiny coffin I made using a graph paper drawing as a template.
And a lot of patience trying to figure out the angles.
Geometry is not a strong point of mine.
I glued the heart coffin thingy to the back of the stage. I glued the stage extension to the facade and added all the Fancy Scalloped Gold Dresden Borders, the curtains and the pediment.
I played some music and swept the floor whilst waiting for glue to dry...........
I then glued the whole facade on to the shadowbox and started adding detail!
Like Stickles Black Diamond Glitter!
And Black Mini Paper Roses!
And...and..more glitter.
and, oh yeah...people!
And fangs for everybody! Hurrah!
And fun little talking bubbles. These talking bubbles and the 'Theatre Des Vampyres' sign I made on illustrator and printed out on card stock, then glued in place.
I painted a candlestick stand and a wooden disk, glued the candlestick stand on the disk upside down and added Dresden trim and Black Diamond Stickles, then glued it to the bottom of the shadowbox making sure it was centered.
Holding on to the dry stand, I then painted the entire back side of the piece black and voila!
Vampire Opera.
It's a good thing.

Again for a link to the wonderful Alpha Stamps
supply list, click HERE

Window Shadowbox For Punch & Judy Facade
Shadowbox Riser for Arch Top Theatre Facade
Arch Top Theatre Facade
Marionette Theatre Collage Sheet
Theatre Maecanique Collage Sheet
Pink Children's Theatre Collage Sheet (butterfly fairy)
Mini French Ballet Costumes Collage Sheet
Gatefold Square Shrine Curtains Collage Sheet
Double Dot Vintage Shadow Scrapbook Paper
Tiny Paper Roses-Red
Black Mini Paper Blooms
Stickles-Black Diamond
Fancy Scalloped Gold Dresden Borders
Candlestick Holder (turned upside down)


Black Acrylic Paint
Wooden Disk (underneath the Candlestick Holder)
Colored Pencils
Copic Markers
White Poster Paint Marker-Fine (fangs)

Thank you for dropping by.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Snow Queen

Just a little piece I made as a demo for the Make and Take class I teach.
There is a mini tutorial on how I put together the Arch Top Reliquary Here if you've a mind to go take a peek.
Hop on over to Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts and pick up one or two of these babies...they are fun to play with!
Reliquary-Arch Top
Snowflake Shape Set
Snowflake Shape Set-Minis
Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tags for a Nursery

A friend of mine recently had a grandchild and she asked me to make a set of pretty tags to hang on the wall of the baby's room. Not the typical 'baby' tags, but something simple that would be appropriate for any age. I made these!
 I started out with the Chipboard Decorative Tags Extra Large and the Chipboard Decorative Tags Large. My friend wanted a set of two but the tags come in a set of three. I chose the tags with the rounded tops.
I papered all the tags (using Graphic 45 Botanical Tea)
 I sanded all the edges and inked them using Brilliance Galaxy Gold and Distress Ink Vintage Photo. And glued the large tags on top of the extra large ones.
After that I just played with images until I found some I liked (all from Botanical Tea) and arranged them in a pleasing way.
Before gluing down my images I added a pretty turquoise ribbon straight down the center of each tag. It's a good visual and a nice contrast with the mocha colors that run throughout the papers.
I glued the images down and I also added Punch Elements-Deco at the bottom of each tag. I painted them white, added Galaxy Gold ink around the edges and used a 1-inch punch to cut a couple of images from the G45 papers. I glued them to the top disc and then glued the whole thing on to the bottom element. I like the way this looks....it adds another layer of detail.
Now that the major elements are glued in, I started adding little details, like tiny dots around the large images and on the Punch Elements. I used Liquid Pearls White Opal for this.
I glued on a couple of buttons, top and bottom and added a pearl on top.
I also made a bow for each tag and glued them on the top of each tag, under the hanging hole. And added a little white flower with a dot of Stickles Turquoise in the center.
For consistency (and because I think it looks pretty) I glued flowers down the bottom of each ribbon as well.
So pretty and feminine.
I like the idea that these tags are something that she'll grow into instead of out of.
Chipboard Decorative Tags Extra Large
Chipboard Decorative Tags Large
Punch Elements-Deco

Additional Supplies:
Graphic 45 Botanical Tea Scrapbook Papers
Liquid Pearls-WHite Opal
White Paper Flowers
Small Buttons
Glass Pearls
Turquoise colored ribbon
Brilliance Ink-Galaxy Gold
Ranger Distress Inks-Vintage Photo

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Snow Queen or Girl Next Door?

Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Just a glance at this little box and you might think you're looking at a pretty young woman in cute wintery clothing. And that is partly correct. But she's also got a lot of swirling snow around her and is floating a few inches off the ground. Hmmmm.......
More here than meets the eye. More power and strength than what one might see at first glance. Maybe the Girl Next Door really is a manifestation of the Snow Queen? Don't  be deceived by delicacy and a pretty face. She might not Hulk out if you piss her off, but she may have a whole blizzard waiting for those pretty little gloved hands to give the signal and let it rip.
I wonder how many other women out there are snow queens or baba yagas or great warriors in cute purple skirts and stripey scarves?
It wouldn't be prudent to underestimate what you see everyday.
No, sir, not at all.
Just a thought.
I started out with the Shadowbox Lid-Taj Mahal and the 4x6 Shadowbox.(which I forgot to take a picture of)
I used the lid as a template and traced out the paper that would be glued on to the top.
After gluing the shadow box lid, I painted a coat of gesso on the shadowbox and the shadowbox lid in the places where the pieces would not be covered with paper. I then gave it all a coat of white paint.
I also painted the Snowflake Border and the Chipboard Snowflake Shape Set white and messed around with some Copic markers and a few colored pencils to deepen the colors of my ladies outfit.
And while I was about it, I glued the fronts piece paper on and piped all the edges with Stickles Diamond, including the inside edges.
Because glitter.
You can see in better detail on the picture below, where I glittered the edges of the shadowbox and deepened the color on her outfit. She got some glitter as well.
I decided on reflection (of about ten seconds) that I need to glitter all my snowflakes, so I did that. I also glued in the background collage image, but I did not glue it flush to the back of the shadowbox. I felt it was a little too deep for my purposes, so I pulled it forward about half an inch using a couple of layers of foam backed poster board.
Using the same poster board, I glued my girl in, putting her into the foreground and then used tweezers to place all my snowflakes about mid range inside the shadowbox.
I used a Sharpie Poster Paint Marker to put little snowy dots on the inside and outside of the shadowbox. I cut the Snowflake Border up and used part of it at the top of the shadowbox. (I like it up there....it looks a lot like a crown) And glued the larger piece on the bottom of the box.
I added some scrolly Waterfall Stickles at the base of the crown and little dots of it on the bottom border and the snowflake behind her head.
Try and do that one before you glue it in place. Ahem.
A few extra dot of glitter here and there to look like snowflakes glittering in the light and that's my Snow Queen/Girl Next Door.
A pretty straightforward project and very satisfying to make!
For a link to all the supplies from the amazeballs Alpha Stamps, click HERE!

Shadowbox Lid - Taj Mahal
Chipboard Snowflake Shape Set
Snowflake Border
White Glitter Snowflake Embellishments
White 7/8 inch Satin Ribbon
Diamond Stickles
Waterfall Stickles
Snowy Winter Ladies Collage Sheet
Scrapbook Paper (on the front of the piece) is from Bo Bunny  6x6 Winter Wishes Pad

Snowflake Shape Set Mini (GSLCuts)
White acrylic paint
Colored pencils and a few Copic markers
Thank you for coming by!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I will Always Love You.....

Somethings in life never change. Like a sweet tooth. Chances are, if you started out with a sweet tooth, you'll always have one.
Some of us enjoy our penchant for a decadence a little more robustly than others.
Take me for example...I am never happier than when I have a good book and a box of chocolates.
And maybe a bubble bath.
And possibly a glass of champagne.
And don't forget the massage.

Here's a sweet little valentine for all of us hedonists.
 I started out with a coat of gesso on both pieces of the Reliquary-Arch Top and then painted it white.
You can also see in the picture above the image I chose for my inspiration. She is from a painting called 'La Simplicite' by Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1759) and I've used her a couple of times with a similar theme, mainly because I like her expression, but also because her eyes are looking in the direction I like to place things.
The little cake came from a scrap from a collage sheet by Sandy Gordon.
I cut my background paper (I changed my mind and used green but didn't photograph it) and glued it in place. Notice I didn't cut it to the edge of the back piece. I cut it so that the paper edge would be hidden by the front piece, but small enough so that the paper edge wouldn't show when both back and front are glued together.
Do not glue the front and back together yet.
I cut my image being mindful of edges showing, place it where I liked it and then glued it in, checking to see if the top fits well and no bits that aren't supposed to show are sticking out. Then I glued the top piece of the reliquary on, making sure all the edges of the top and the bottom line up.
I glued my little cake in........
And then started adding the details....like little pink and white dots and sparkly bits. A pretty flower and of course, glitter!
The bottom piece with the sentiment (which was written in Illustrator and then printed on cardstock) is from the Stackable Labels Shape Set which I painted pink, added the phrase, glitter and a couple of flower petals and glued it on the bottom of the reliquary.
I doubled over a white ribbon and glued it on the back to use as a hanger and then glued a pretty flower image on top to cover up the raw edges of the ribbon. I added some pink paint and glitter to the front of the ribbon for a little extra bit of charming detail.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Supply List:
Reliquary-Arch Top
Stackable Labels Shape Set

Additional Supplies
Wite paint Pink Paint
Stickles Glitter Glue (Diamond)
Silk Flower
1 Inch White Ribbon
Collage Image (cake)
Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue
Pink Heart Glitter

Thank you very much for visiting!
Lora Mahaffey for Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts