Sunday 6 April 2014

Welcome Back GD: Julie Ann Lee Project #1 A Happy Ending {Part 1}

"Hi, it's Julie Ann here with my last post as Guest Designer at PaperArtsy. I can't believe how the time has zoomed by! It's been a joy and a privilege to share these projects with you and although Sunday nights at seven have often seen me chewing my rather painty nails as we went live, I've had the time of my life! Thank you for looking and commenting so kindly on my work and for all the wonderful projects you've created in response".

For this last project I've created something that is more of a beginning than an end! Enigmatic? Not really. I've decided to create a journal, using Lynne Perrella stamps: it's a farewell and a new beginning at the same time! Over the next three nights, I'll be showing you how I create my cover, my first spread and my back cover and extra tags to go inside! I'll be using Lynne Perrella stamps, Eclectica (Sara Nauman and Lin Brown) and Ink and the Dog Minis. Warning - there are cartloads of pictures!!! I plan to add pages over on my blog in the future as I explore how versatile these LP images are. If you want to play along this week, though, you don't have to create a big complicated project. You could make a tag using the techniques from my project, a tag envelope or a journal spread - just one or loads, feel free. Here is a peek at my cover.

I've always been fascinated by toy theatres, and there is something so theatrical about Lynne Perrella's wonderful stamps, I wanted to use theatrical colours and evoke the mood of my first ever visit to the theatre. I went to see Cinderella at the Colosseum in London when I was a tot and I'll never forget the impact of those vibrant colours intensified by the stage lights. I had entered a magical world and I intended to return! My journal theatre is a fantasy one of long ago, lit by flickering torches. I started with an armful of Frescos! I chose the opaque Vanilla; translucents like Zesty Zing, Yellow Submarine and Tango; some blues to calm things down - Bora Bora, Mermaid and South Pacific; Spanish Mulberry because it seems so dramatic and Chocolate Pudding and French Roast to age my project. I also added the extra drama of Blood Orange; but that's flung itself off the edge of the image, maybe because it's such a 'Drama Queen'!

I was going to be working with a journal / sketchbook available from PaperArtsy. It has nice strong pages and it's beautifully bound.

I gave it a good coat of Gesso! 

 I wanted to make an aperture in the front of my journal to create the toy theatre effect. This was a scary prospect, as I didn't want to 'ruin' the beautiful binding but I took a deep breath, drew around a box the shape and size I wanted and then cut out my rectangle with a craft knife.

I used a steel ruler along the edges to prevent my knife from slipping and placed a small self-healing craft mat between the covers and pages so that I wouldn't cut through to the paper underneath.

This is a long process and it takes lots of patience! You just have to keep cutting in careful strokes until you can lift out your centre section.

Now you can begin to decorate. I place ancient plastic wallets between the pages of the journal or book for protection when I do this, as they don't stick and spoil your work like even waxed paper can. You don't have to waste them afterwards. You can wipe them off and use them again on future projects. I gave my cover a coat of Vanilla then some Yellow Submarine. I was worried at this point that the journal was going to be way too bright for my taste because I do love neutrals and pastels but I reassured myself that adding layers of different colours and textures would help achieve the effect I was looking for and in the end I loved the effect of those dramatic colours.

I was also going to add images and little figures to my cover, so I had lots of fun painting layers onto Smoothy Card and then using a sanding block to expose different colours before stamping on my background. At this stage I had Vanilla, Yellow Submarine, Tango and Blood Orange. Can you spot Mermaid, Spanish Mulberry, South Pacific and Blood Orange on the smaller strip?

I loved the effect of stamping with Versafine Onyx Black and LP028 here - it gave the illuminated effect I really wanted! The bunting (a blend of Spanish Mulberry and Mermaid) and the suns are from LPC005.  

I find that LP stamps co-ordinate so well that mixing and matching sets is a delight. You can probably see that I stamped several of the suns and stacked them to create depth. I gently sponged and blended darker shades, Tango and Blood Orange mainly, into my cover and then used Ink and the Dog Mini 84 without a block and Versafine Red Carnation to give the impression of aged script. These mini script stamps are just about the most useful part of my stash, I reckon!

 Now for some texture! I broke open some Grunge Paste mixed it with a tiny blob of Blood Orange and a little water. I wanted it fluid enough to paint with, but to still set properly. This is quite a tricky procedure, I find - I'm not as skilled at it as Liz Borer - but I do love dripping the Grunge Paste from the brush and creating sculpted effects.

Once the Grunge Paste was dry I added Treasure Gold in Florentine and Classic. I built this up with more strokes of Grunge Paste.

I went on adding strands to that tassel, so you can see in later images it looks more detailed!

Adding Treasure Gold makes a huge difference! The tie backs are some scraps of stamped card run through a lace punch. Now do you ever make up too much coloured Grunge Paste? You can't put it back into the container, so what do you do with it? This time I made it into two torches to have at the front of my stage. I took two cocktail sticks and swirled them through the paste left on on my craft mat.

The next step is to ignite that torch with Treasure Gold when it's completely set and dry!

I fixed the torches with heavy gel medium and then added some swirls of Grunge Paste.


I added an Eclectica butterfly chipboard shape, painted with Vanilla, Mermaid and a touch of Zesty Zing to bring it to life. The antennae are two flower centres from my stash. I stamped with the two ladies from LPC015. Finally it was time for my actors to take to the stage!

I chose the ladies from LPC013. They carry whole cities on their heads. Actors through their words and actions have to carry us to new lands, stimulating our imaginations to build magical landscapes so they seemed just right. I also like the way they faced each other like my butterfly ladies, almost mirroring each other.

I added some fibres, a gift from a crafting friend, to enhance the curtains. Please come back tomorrow, when I'll be opening the curtains on the PaperArtsy, Lynne Perrella Show! Here's another look at the curtain about to go up.

If you would like to see how I made my little purse from a tag and the bits and pieces inside, I'll be sharing that on Tuesday evening so do please come back then too! If you've liked any of the details so far, or if you've been inspired to create a theatre cover - or even a toy theatre - of your own, do please link up your creativity and join in the fun. You could have a chance to win a wonderful stamp plate of your choice. Thank you so much for looking.
 Julie Ann x.

Leandra Says: Oh la la {said in bestest french voice} this journal is rocking already ... and there's more to come!! These journals are seriously brill to work with, love the aperture you created to the front cover.The torches are such a fab touch .... love love love!

Gillian Says: Magnifique start to the week Julie Ann, the colour palette is exquisite, the added depth of layers from the Grunge Paste, Treasure Gold etc really brings the journal cover to another dimension. J'adore can't wait to see more.

If you would like to join in this week's challenge and play along with Julie Ann's techniques, then do link up your creativity here, and go in the draw to win some PA stamps of your choice! You need to link your entry by 17:00, Sunday April 13th 2014


Helen said...

oh Julie Ann this is fantastic!! So much to see - must go back and look closely and slowly - love the aperture you cut (brave lady!) and how you've decorated your theatre! The torches are just inspired!

Darcy Marshall said...

Stunning Julie, a fab tutorial. All those joining my monthly journal challenge could do this on their covers..

Unknown said...

Absolutely stunning! XxxX

jojo79 said...

This is beautiful Julie Ann. Can't join in this week, as packed away all craft stuff, but will come back too.

Steven said...

Absolutely Brill. Those are my colours definitely and inspiring for current project!!
I now have ideas for that square Seawhite book that that mad woman with red hair made me buy in Newcastle last month!!

Thanks for sharing!

Julie Lee said...

I can't imagine who that red-headed woman could have been! Furrows brow! Julie Ann

Lucy Edmondson said...

Oh wow, I'm enthralled by this, the story telling, the colours, the torches, the Lynne Perella stamps, the houses lit from within - what's not to love! I really want to rush off and make a start. This is just so gorgeous! Can't wait for tomorrow night .......

Lucy x

Hazel Agnew said...

Oh Julie Ann, I have gone back to being the little girl that went to a theatre to see the real sooty! Back to 1955. I feel all wide-eyed and excited. You have a magical way of presenting your beautiful work. The colours are so invigorating and as usual I can't wait to look inside and then join in. Some truly magical ideas and so well executed as usual. Dribble, dribble drool!! Xx

Lin said...

This is beautiful!! Julie ann with a capital B..can't wait to see it in real life!!

Words and Pictures said...

Beyond brilliant - the luminous colour combinations really set this theatrical cover glowing with life and light. The torches are a fabulous touch, as is the Grunge Paste swagging around the aperture. Brilliant stamping throughout - an absolute triumph! Can't wait to see inside!
Alison xx

Colleen said...

Julie Ann,
This is amazing, the depth and story it tells. I can see your stage lighting up night after night. WOW

craftytrog said...

Absolutely magical!!! xxx

ddazzled71 said...

The rich and dramatic colors you have used are just fabulous for this wonderful theater journal Julie Ann, I do love reading about your inspiration behind each of your projects too! Great step by step so far and I look forward to seeing the rest of it. xx

massofhair said...

An inspirational lesson on journal covers Julie Ann. Must admit to not having as rich a history of theatre as i do not enjoy theatre very much; ballet and bands yes but theatre no.

Fantastic colours, a rich tapestry cover and your opening act has given us a taste to return tomorrow for more delights :-) xxx

Anonymous said...

Bravo to you for taking that scary step and creating the aperture and to such amazing effect.
This project completely encapsulates the feeling of the LP stamps.
I do feel as though I have stepped back into time, with court jesters, torch flames and much merriment.

Deborah Wainwright said...

Oh Julie Ann how fab is this. Such rich colours to act as a foundation for wonderful stamps. Thank you for sharing your wonderful steps to how this grand book will unfold. Sorry so late been helping out a friend xxx

May said...

Fabulous creation...Loved the tutorial... so much wonderful detail & texture... Love the colours & stamping...WOW, WOW, WOW...Hugs May x x

Craftyfield said...

The wonder is in the details! Torches out of grunge paste? Little bags, fibers etc... Stunning piece and so much work involved!

craftimamma said...

Oh Julie Ann, this is totally amazing and the whole post is a joy from beginning to end. Your narrative is always enthralling and so is your beautiful journal cover. Stunning attention to the smallest detail as always and, with a bit of luck, I might get to see this irl next week ;D!

Lesley Xx

trisha too said...

Gorgeous, Julie Ann!


Paper Profusion said...

Congrats Julie Anne, you have crafted a masterpiece. Absolutely superbly done. Can't wait to see the rest. Nicola x

Dawn Louise said...

Superb masterpiece, looks stunning and tells your story well. Bright eye-catching yet a little vintagey. Look forward to your next installment x

Etsuko said...

Brilliant the theatre cover Julie Anne! Wonderful project of the LP stamps and the colours.
I imagined, The each pages will begin when the light will light on the torch. Look forward to your inside pages! xx

nefertiti said...

gorgeous project with lots of details!!! great work!!!!!!

sue said...

This is stunning. I am going to try those textures with Grunge Paste...... It sounds like fun and the look is a m a z i n g! Thank you!

Keren Baker said...

This is stunning- what an amazing journal. Looking forward to seeing the next installments!

Jackie PN said...

Totally, Utterly, absolutely FABULOUS!!! I am in love with this! Thank you sooo much for sharing it and the tutorial!

pearshapedcrafting said...

I'm speechless, for me quite something! This is just stunning and so, so clever! Chrisx

Kezzy said...

Wow wow wow wow wow absolutely gorgeous stunning amazing journal cover, as you know I immediately emailed you the minute I saw it here, its truly unique. I am so going to miss your makes on here. Can't wait to see you over on your blog over the next few months to see how you fill it. Kezzy:-) xxx