Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Christmas presents

I took part in a '12 days of Christmas' swap again this year. I love this swap, it needs 13 players, and each player makes 12 gifts which are swapped out by the hostess.

I open a gift a day until Christmas Eve, others save all theirs for Christmas Day!

Here are my gifts, all wrapped up and ready to mail. Usually I make my own wrapping paper too, but this year's gifts were 'plan B', as 'plan A' went pear-shaped, and I ran out of time!
I used some special handmade papers I bought years and years ago, instead, and was busy wrapping (badly) ready to mail on the way to the airport for my flight to Germany. Talk about cutting it fine.....

Plan A was needlefelted silk 'scarfettes', but the embellisher machine went on strike after number 7, and I couldn't get it sorted. I will post about those another time, but the books below were what kept me up late for a couple of nights in November (this post has been delayed until I knew everybody had opened their gifts).

The covers are made from foam board - very useful stuff, as it is light, yet strong. It comes in black and white, and takes paint well. I cut the covers to size, then coated the edges and one side with a generous coat of gesso. While the gesso was still wet, I stamped into it (wash the stamp immediately after you've done this), then left to dry.

I tore textured paper into strips and wrapped them around the edges of the covers, so that there was textured paper covering at least the first half inch of each side. I stuck the papers down with matte gel medium. Once dry, I started painting. Each cover had several layers of Golden fluid acrylic paint - the more layers you add, the more leathery the look. These covers had about 10 layers of paint.

The final steps for the covers was to line the reverse side with velvet paper to finish them off, then to highlight the stamped image and textured papers. You can use anything metallic for this step - gilding wax, iridescent oil pastels, Shiva/Markal paint sticks. I used a mixture of Treasure gold gilding wax and Sennelier iridescent oil pastels.

Finally, cut the papers to size and bind the books - I bought myself a Bind It All a few years ago, but you can just punch holes and use book binding rings. This might have been the best plan for me, because once i had punched all the papers I discovered that the covers were too thick for the Bind It All, and I had to punch every binding hole by hand.... Ho hum!



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