Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Labor of Love

I mentioned a few posts ago that in addition to making my BFF her hair accessory, she also asked me to make her guestbook.  What I haven't mentioned is that she gave me an old, wood-bound journal (blank) that belonged to her grandfather that she wanted me to turn into her guestbook. 

Above are the before pics.  It's hard to tell in the pic, but the pages were already too brittle to use for something that she planned on keeping for a long time.  She also gave me some leaves and some old lace that I was free to use or not depending on how things went.  She is a huge fan of texture when it comes to art and their wedding has also focused on the fall leaves and colors of the area (in Michigan, along the lake).  She also didn't want me to decorate the wood cover itself (can't say I blame her).

Now, when I took this project on, I kind of had an idea in my head on where I wanted to go with it.  It involved using some art paper I already had and playing with watercolors to give the pages a little color.  I also planned to use some of the leaves, but then realized that if I were to decoupage them down to the pages they would probably crack or peel as the pages were turned.

Watercolor + art paper + decoupage = giant FAIL

No pics of giant fail for you because I was just plain disgusted.  Utterly discouraged and determined not to let my BFF down, I moped for three days and then I marched right on over to my favorite art supply store and got lucky.  And by lucky I mean I talked to no less than four different workers there and found the perfect paper to turn this project into what I had imagined in the first place.  Now, I know that I wasn't supposed to shop for Stashbusting September, but pretty much this is a commissioned piece so I'm over it.  Plus I have so many other projects started for Stashbusting September that I am just going to continue to stashbust on my own probably right up till Christmas.

Now that I've gotten all that off my chest, here are some "after" pics...

Clearly, I blurred out their last name above.  This is the inside cover.  The paper is made from tree bark.  It has a fabulous texture to it and it brings in the whole nature theme and trees without any mess.

She also has this crazy fixation with anything copper, so I added just a touch of it in the form of some acrylic paint.  :)

Here are the pages the guests will actually sign on.  I tore them along a straight edge so that the pages would have rougher edges.  The paper itself has texture, but it's much more smooth than they look here.  I bought a pair of prismacolor, fine-line markers in black for the guests to sign with.  They write perfectly on it without smudging or bleeding.

Love the leaves. 

These last couple shots are my attempt at showing the soft edges that the torn paper produced... it feels almost like cloth.

And with that I am going to go start packing because we leave tomorrow for the wedding!


Gloria said...

Oh my goodness, this is just GORGEOUS! She is going to go CRAZY over it. I cannot believe how perfectly you came up with the cover page idea, and the guest pages to match so well with her Grandfather's journal! Kudos to you -- you did a fabulous job and she (and her new husband) are going to LOVE it!!!

Unknown said...

Amazing.. as usual! I love it and I am sure that they will too.. what lucky friends you have!
Now go have FUN at the wedding!

CK said...

Wow, that's beautiful!!!! How creative! I love it!

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

What an absolute fabulous keepsake! Its simply gorgeous. I love the additions you made to the inside. This will definitely be something for your friend to treasure!

Marjorie said...

Without the epic fail, you would have never ended up with this beauty!

Megan Gunyan said...

I hope you had fun at the wedding! What a challenge this was, but you found a beautiful solution. I'm sure your BFF will LOVE it! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

Unknown said...

wow, I love this! What a unique remembrance for her wedding, and so sentimental, too. Great job!

and thanks for commenting on my yarn wreath!