Saturday, March 23, 2013

For the Birds!

Tip-In Pages for an Altered Book

It's the end of the month again, and time to show another set of tip-in pages done for the Tip-In Swap for Altered Books in the Tennessee Stampers' Yahoo Group.  This friend's book is all about barns, outhouses, birdhouses, and nature.  The birdhouse theme spoke to me, since the birds are actively building nests in birdhouses around my house.  We even have a wren's nest built underneath a decorative birdhouse on a tall, skinny metal pedestal sitting in the middle of a big square pot of English ivy beside our back door.  She sits in her partially enclosed nest even when we are coming and going.  Amazing!  I thought we would probably scare her off the nest for good, but she is persistent.  So I am refraining from watering the plant right now.  It is still dormant anyway.

I used some K & Company two-sided paper from a large pad for the background and birds.  The background is over-stamped with shades of Ranger Archival greens--Olive, Sap, Emerald, and Library.  I wanted the background to look like it was inside a deep copse of trees, so I used a subtle stamp from Stampin' Up, used for the second step in one of the two-step stampin' floral sets.  Then a leaf stamp shaped like a branch of oak leaves was stamped over all in places that makes it look like branches in the trees.  The birds were cut with Sizzix's Sizzlets Decorative Strip Die, Birds on a WireRanger Distress ink in Peacock Feathers and Worn Lipstick give more dimension and color to the birds.  Black Soot accents the wire.

The birdhouses are cut with a Cricut and are from the cartridge Stretch Your Imagination.  I used 110 pound white cardstock and covered it with Tim Holtz's Tissue Wrap that had been wadded up to wrinkle it before gluing it to the cardstock.  Distress Inks applied with the foam ink applicators in Worn Lipstick, Peacock Feathers, and Shabby Shutters gives the houses some fun Spring color!  The houses are perched on tree trunks cut from a Tall Birch die made by Memory Box.

The sentiment is from Artistic Outpost, stamped with Ranger Archival Ink in Manganese Blue, and it is cut with a die from the Apothecary Labels set by Stampin' Up.  Worn Lipstick Distress ink is used to shade the die cut while it is still in the die.  A feather is used to accent the layout.

This swap is one of the best swaps for Altered Books.  The book is protected from damage since it never leaves the house, and the cost to mail the pages is only a fraction of the amount that would be charged to mail a book.  I love the fact that I have control where the pages are going in my book, and that I can install them my way--with little or no warping, since I am cranky about how I glue pages into an altered book.  

I don't like the warping, ripples and buckling that comes from using adhesive that is too wet.  I realize sometimes it is unavoidable, but I try my best prevent it by clamping the book on the edges with waxed paper protecting other pages from accidentally being glued at the same time.  My favorite glue for gluing pages together to make a sturdy foundation for a layout in an altered book is still Uhu Glue Stick.  It is wet enough to grab and hold if the application is heavy and covers all areas.  I always use a brayer to smooth it before gluing the next page.  Immediately after gluing, I clamp the book closed with a series of large black binder clips and let the pages dry overnight.  

If the book is full of embellishments and cannot be clamped, I will isolate only the section I am gluing and weight it down.  You can get really creative here.  I have employed my Vagabond on top of the platform that comes with the machine as a quick weight.  It works pretty well.  At the same time, I have propped the portion of the book I am NOT weighing down against the desk, which is higher than the chest supporting the Vagabond, so the book won't break at the spine. 

If an opportunity arises for you to join a tip-in swap, give it a go!  It is the best way to do an altered book swap, in my opinion!


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