I think you can when it’s this lively! I had the pleasure of taking a bookmaking class with Bonnie VanDenHandel at She Scrapbooks in The Villages, Florida, a couple of weeks ago. Not only did we cover making an accordian-style book using one large sheet of watercolor paper, but we also did a marathon printmaking session using a Gelli Plate. And this book is the happy result. The front and back covers have strips cut from my Gelli-prints adhered and then embellished. We used gloss medium to add that bit of shine to the surface and to make sure everything is stuck down tight.
After I “warmed up” by making prints on plain copy paper, which were the ones I later cut up for the cover strips, it was time to print directly in the book, layering paint and texture on every page. As you can see, I’m quite fond of bubbles for surface texture. Once assembled, the book stands up on its own so you can see all the color goodness inside.
A view from the back of the book shows more color pages. The Gelli printing process is full of wonderful surprises as you combine stencils, stamps, and multiple paint colors. It’s pretty much mistake proof so it’s perfect for beginning art journalists like me. Once the pages were printed, we added the covers and a ribbon closure. Now I’m ready to fill the book with…. I don’t really know yet! For now, I just enjoy making the prints and books, and feel quite accomplished getting that far.
I made the flower accents using Bonnie’s paper punch and leftover Gelli printed papers. A little black cardstock and some jewelie accents helped them to stand out a bit. Even the charms on the ribbon closure are paper. The heart is a handmade bead made from layers of paper hearts and finished with Glossy Accents. The butterfly is also from a punch that Bonnie had for me to use in class.
Here’s my talented instructor Bonnie VanDenHandel of VDH Studios with her class sample book. Bonnie was born on the Caribbean Island of Saint Maarten and studied art and art education in the States. She now lives and works here in Florida. Below is a close-up of Bonnie's book, and one made by another of her students. I’ll be signing up for more of Bonnie’s classes at the shop in the future. Of course I realize that endeavors like this one require yet another set of supplies and materials. So my sewing and craft room is ready to split its proverbial seams. However, I'm sure that making this book is just the beginning of even more mixed media fun!