Hello! Today I am excited to share something I have been working on for a little while. This is the finished project for a collaborative class I will be teaching at China Phoenix 2 on March 5th with my friend, Anne Engelhardt. Anne is an amazing artist. She is a master bookmaker and combines this skill with her passion for gorgeous Japanese washi papers to create absolutely exquisite 3-dimensional art pieces that include handmade journals, boxes, and jewelry. She owns a fabulous online store, by the name of Craft Fantastic, that carries an exciting array of papers, glass embellishments, clip art, and jewelry making supplies. It is truly worth a visit, so get over there and take a look around! You'll be glad you did!
When Anne asked me to work with her on a collaborative class, I was honored and intimidated at the same time. The idea was that she would give me the first part of the project, a book, a box, or some sort of foundational piece that I could decorate for my part of the class. The attendees would spend the first couple of hours creating this beginning structure with Anne and then they would spend the next couple of hours adding stamped images and embellishments with me. It sounded great to me. When I received Anne's "foundational piece", I was blown away! She had created a 6-panel screen out of bookboard, carefully covered all of the pieces in a beautiful washi paper, then made delicate text paper blossoms and attached them to tiny branches, added clip art to glass embellishments, AND...as if that weren't enough, cut decorative text paper strips from dictionary pages. All of this was handed to me in a box that also included rolls of fabulous ribbons, additional clip art, papers, text pages, etc. She left out not a single detail.
I didn't even know where to start. The project was wonderful as it was and I couldn't bear the thought of gluing anything to it. It would be like spray painting graffiti on a museum wall. Well, I had to get over that, so I buckled down to come up with something that might be semi-worthy of sitting atop that perfect base. It was this project that caused me to revisit that ancient technique of embossing a background on cardstock, adding color and then ironing off the embossed areas using blank newsprint. As you can guess, I had fun playing with this technique and have been using it on a lot of cards lately. The background images I chose to work with for this project are all by Judikins. On top of the backgrounds, I stamped brush stroke flower images by Penny Black and then double embossed them to achieve a thick, shiny, raised image. The results, to me, have a somewhat Asian feel and I thought that worked well with the papers that Anne chose for her panels. I added lots of embellishments and Nancy (CP2) let me borrow 2 haiku cube stamps that are so fabulous, she may never get them back...lol!
Well, it is finally complete and I am hoping that I have done Anne's lovely work justice. Sometimes when you are elbow deep in a project, it is difficult to get a good feel for the outcome. I am crossing my fingers that Anne, Nancy and the CP2 patrons like it. Wish me luck ;D