love-1Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cannot think of a more fitting day to post my newest art journal layout.

I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out. Most of all I’m happy I finally had the forethought with this layout to leave spare pages between so I could actually do some sewing and even put a decorative brad on the design.

I can’t tell you for how long I’ve been wanting to add a brad of all things to one of my art journal layouts and do something somewhat dimensional on top of textural.

I finally picked up some Tim Holtz Idea-ology foliage brads at Jo-Ann’s the other day (along with a smorgasbord of other art goodies,) so I was eager to use at least one in a layout.

I also wanted to go with a soft color palette this time around and use some pinks since I haven’t really been using much pinks lately.

To start off the layout, I glued down a piece of scrapbook paper from the DCVW Once Upon a Time stack which I cut down to size to fit the spread. I also cut it down the middle so I could close the pages easily. I used Golden Soft Gel Matte to stick the paper down. The paper from this stack is really pretty. It has a lot of glitter and embossed elements to it. I really enjoy the fantasy theme it contains, as well.

My next step was to prep the surface to add color—I did this with a light brushing of Liquitex white gesso, then another more all-over covering of Liquitex clear gesso. I hit it with my heat tool then allowed the layout to dry even more thorohugly under heavy books to make sure it would be nice and flat when I got to work on it.

When I went back to work on the layout, I sanded it with a piece of fine sandpaper to it to lighten up the tooth of the clear gesso (it is extremely gritty compared to the white gesso.)

Next I pulled out some Faber-Castell Gelatos and scribbled them in random spots on the page, primarily over the top of the areas where I had white gesso. The colors I used were Blood Orange, Watermelon, Strawberry and Metallic Melon. I also pulled out some Caran D’ache Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels and scribbled a little bit of Orange and Purple on the page. I took a wet flat paintbrush then and spread the colors around on the page, blending them out.

The spine area of the layout was bothering me as it was pretty exposed for the most part because of how I initially glued down the scrapbook paper. I made sure to paint a bit more of the Gelatos down the spine, then hit the top portion of the spine with the Iced Coffee color.

I stenciled down a pretty design using a cheap makeup sponge dabbed in Artist’s Loft acrylic paint in Bronze, blotting it over the stencil. Not quite sure why they call the color Bronze as it looks more gold to me. But hey, it worked. I mopped up any remaining excess paint from my palette with the same makeup sponge and blended it into various spots around the layout to spread the color around.

Once the acrylic was dry, I took out some new beautiful scrolly stamps from Inkadinkado and stamped them around the layout with ColorBox gold pigment ink. The layout is really pretty when you move it around in the light as it catches the fine details of the gold stamp work. The cool thing about the scrapbook paper I used is that it also has some neat embossing on it that shows when you move the book in the light, as well.

love-2I hit this with my heat tool again and then set to work on my focal piece.

I had some pretty chipboard frames from K&Company on hand that I wanted to use and found one that seemed like it would fit the layout nicely in both proportion and design. I swabbed some more of the bronze acrylic paint over the chipboard piece to help it fit better with the layout visually. I then grabbed a small scrap of scrapbook paper that had a distressed wood print on it, traced the chipboard piece on it and cut the shape out.

I was originally going to write the word “Fantasy” on this piece of paper, but then decided to go with “Love” because of the pinks on the page and the close proximity to Valentine’s Day.

I adhered this piece of paper down to the page with gel medium. I then took some Tim Holtz Idea-ology botanical remnant rubs and put them in a couple spots around the white piece of paper.

Adding rub-ons.

Once those were down, I painted some Distress Crackle Paint in Clear Rock Candy over the top of the “Love” sentiment to give it more visual and textural interest. The paint went down a bit thick so I took a clean paintbrush and spread it over the area more evenly, thinning it out. I also made sure to randomize the brush strokes, as the crackle paint can have a tendency to crack at certain angles depending on the brush stroke. I wanted to make sure the cracks seemed more random.

love-7My next step was to add the stitching to the page. I did this by poking holes in a line across the layout with my awl. I used embroidery thread for this, making sure to start and end on the back side of the page so my knots would be hidden from the layout.

love-5After the stitching was complete, I adhered the chipboard frame down with gel medium, then poked another hole in the layout through which I inserted the pretty leaf brad.

My final touch was to go around the edges of the layout with the Iced Coffee Gelato and smear it to give it a vignette border.

love-materialsHope you enjoyed the layout and feel the Valentine’s Day love. Please leave a comment, like or share the page! Thank you!

List of materials:

Ranger Dylusions Creative Journal
DCVW Once Upon A Time scrapbook paper
Golden Soft Gel (Matte)
Liquitex white gesso
Liqutex clear gesso
Faber-Castell Gelatos
Artist’s Loft acrylic paint
Hero Arts floral fillgree stencil
Inkadinkado Artistic Flourish clear stamps
ColorBox pigment ink
Tim Holtz Idea-ology botanical remnant rubs
Distress Crackle Paint
K&Company chipboard frame
Sharpie pen
Embroidery thread
Tim Holtz Idea-ology foliage brad

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