Friday, November 4, 2016


Can you believe it's already NOVEMBER??  This year is flying by!

It's time for a new art adventure at Creative Carte Blanche.  This month, Annette Green has given us a really wonderful theme with so many possibilities! 

"YOU HAVE ME IN STITCHES" can be anything from machine sewing fabric to faux stitching with a mixed media pen.  It's all up to your imagination.

I decided to create a little mini journal.  With Christmas coming up, these would be neat little stocking stuffers or gifts...and the beauty of them is, there are so easy and inexpensive to make.

I have to admit, I was so inspired by my sweet artsy sister Cheryl Grigsby's art journal pages for our October challenge, that I sort of borrowed an idea from her for this piece.  See Cheryl, I told you that I loved what you'd done!  

I'll take you through the process of making this little journal, complete with Annette's "You Have Me In Stitches" theme! 

I began by cutting some black chipboard, cardstock and dictionary pages into 3 1/4" x 5" rectangles.  These would be the covers for my little journal.  

Next I applied a generous amount of DecoArt Media Matte Medium to the chipboard, laid the cardstock piece in place on the top brayed over it to remove any air bubbles.  I repeated this process for the inside of the cover using a cut dictionary page.  Then I repeated this process for the back cover.

Next I sanded the edges and then applied a black cats eye ink pad around all of the edges.

Since this project as a sewing or stitching theme, I decided that I was going to use Tim Holtz' dress form stamp on the front cover.  I chose three vintage women's heads that I liked and sized them to fit that stamped dress form shape.  I printed them out using my inkjet printer onto a piece of white cardstock.  Then I brushed over them with DecoArt Matte Medium to seal them and let it dry.

Next I lightly went over the printed images with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide to give the black and white photos more of a sepia tone. I wiped the paint on using a baby wipe.

I backed the heads using Matte Medium and a piece of scrap paper to give it strength.  Then I colored the head using a water brush and various Distress Ink colors.  For the cheeks I used Victorian Velvet.  The lips are Worn Lipstick, the flower in her hair is Picked Raspberry and her hair is a combination of Fossilized Amber and Squeezed Lemonade.  I edged around the head with the black cats eye ink pad.

I wanted to make this more of a vintage piece so I thought lace would be appropriate on a sewing themed book cover.  The lace was a bit dark so I lightly added DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White to the lace using my finger and gently heat set it.  I added a piece of 1/4" Scor Tape to the back side and the lace was ready to place on the front cover.

I stamped the dress form in place using Ground Espresso and gently distressed the front and back covers with Spiced Marmalade.

Next I laid the lace in place and added the colorized head to the top of the dress form.  That was put in place using black pop dots underneath the head so that it would be elevated from the cover.  I then brushed a light coat of Collage Medium Crazing on top of the cover, except for the head and let it air dry.

While the Crazing Medium was drying I stamped one of my dear friends and fellow Creative Carte Blanche cohort, Yvonne Blair's sentiments from Impression Obesssions onto a piece of muslin using Potting Soil Archival Ink.  Then I layered the muslin with a piece of organza in between.

I hand stitched the layers together, cut down the sides and then frayed them using my Tonic Scratcher tool.

In keeping with the stitches theme, I added a few buttons and some stray threads to the layered piece.  Then I added three strips of Scor Tape to the backside so that I could stick it in place later.

Once the Crazing Medium was dry, I added a layer of DecoArt Raw Umber Antiquing Cream by wiping it on with a baby wipe, gently heating it and then wiping off the excess.  In the background, you can see some of the crazing produced by the medium.  Then I laid the hand stitched piece in place over the lace trim on the cover. 

Next I added some rhinestones to my vintage lady to dress her up just a little bit.  I cut interior pages from some vintage paper I had.  I cut the inside pages slightly smaller than the covers.  

 (After the covers were finished, I measured in 1" from each end and punched a hole that I would run cording through to hold the mini journal together.)

On the back side of the journal cover, I simply stamped a few of Tim Holtz' stamps using a combination of Black Soot and Ground Espresso Distress Inks and heat set them.  I then added a couple of pieces of vintage lace using 1/4" Scor Tape to hold them in place.  I then brushed over everything with DecoArt Media Matte Medium to seal the cover.

I used some of TIm Holtz' cord trim to complete the mini journal.  I tightly wrapped a little scotch tape over the end of the cording so that it would not fray as I was trying to slip it through all of the holes.  I assembled the mini journal and added the cording then tied it off using a square knot but leaving enough "play" so that the journal could be opened flat for writing in it.

Here is the completed back cover of the journal.

Here is the interior of the journal

And once again, here is the front cover of the journal.  

I hope that you've enjoyed this tutorial and you will join us at Creative Carte Blanche for this adventure that will leave you in stitches!  Post your project on our blog and share it with other wonderful artists in this community who all share a love of mixed media and all things creative and inspirational!

Next up will be my artsy sister, Cheryl Grigsby!  So stay tuned for her amazing piece she will be sharing next week!


  1. Very beautiful, Candy. Love the tattered look with the loose threads.♥

  2. Ahhhhhhhhhhh - this is so wonderful and the back is nearly as lovely as the front! Wow - what a very special stocking stuffer this little book will be Candy. And your sweet gal even has blingy jewels! I'm smiling. Love it!! Xj.

  3. WOW this is amazing; love the sentiment... and those details OMG !

  4. Gorgeous, Candy. I just love your innovative and marvelous ideas. Whenever I look at your projects, I want to sit at my work desk and start to create!

    Have a lovely weekend!
    Hugs, Gaby

  5. Once again, Candy, you've created a wonderful shabby, vintage piece with a tutorial I so enjoyed. I love your interpretation of the theme this month.

  6. Absolutely beautiful!!
    Your tutorial is spot on easy and I am going to have to make a few of these journals myself!
    I just love the quote you used and the elements you have combined!
    Sending hugs,Jackie xx

  7. I enjoyed your tutorial very much indeed, as I always do!! I love seeing how you bring your wonderful projects together, your step by steps are always so clear. The lady looks so beautiful with her blushing cheeks, I love the effect the crazing medium gives, the sentiment is perfect for a journal and your hand stitching is just the icing on the cake! Love this. Anne xx

  8. I've read your blog post a half a dozen times and each time I see something new. Fantastic details, as always. You always manage to pull off vintage art that's edgy. How you do that, girl??? Thanks for the mention, you are incredibly gracious and generous. <3

  9. A great tutorial, thank you. Love the finished product.

  10. Your directions are so clear—which is fabulous for me because I have a million ideas and no clue about technique. I'm just getting started in mixed media and appreciate how easy you make everything seem. Thanks


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