Monday, March 6, 2017

Mixed Media Art Journal Covers Guest Design for Happy Little Stampers

Welcome! Today I am designing as a Guest for Happy Little Stampers where the Mixed Media challenge is 'Books'. I have altered my art journal covers in some of my favorite colors with lots of texture. When you are done having a look, I hope you will hop over to Happy Little Stampers to see all the amazing projects the Design Team have created to inspire you!

I started by removing the book cover and back and giving both sides of the cover and backing 2 coats of gesso. I added the clock image in ink using a Tim Holtz stencil (Clockwork) using the monoprint technique I describe here

Next, I added DecoArt Crackle Paint through the same stencil on the cover and another Tim Holtz stencil  (Splotches) for the back cover and allowed that to dry overnight.

I made a puddle of  brown Distress paints and a little water on my craft mat and laid my cover in the diluted paint, removing and drying with my heat tool. I repeated this until I was happy with the result. I did the same thing with the back cover, but with blue paints. Some of the crackle popped off, and it really didn't look good on the back, so I added some Distress Crackle paint in Picket Fence to those areas, and allowed that to dry.

Not shown in photos in process, I went back in with Distress stains in blues and browns to achieve the final outcome on the front and back covers, and on the inside of the covers.  

I did some random stamping on the back cover using Distress Archival ink in Ground Espresso and Vintage Photo using portions of a Rubberstamps stamp and Tim Holtz Flights of Fancy and The Impossible sets. I also used my new  Prima Royal Menagerie clock stamp on a few of the crackled circles. 

I gave the front and back panels a coat of DecoArt Utra Matte varnish to seal, as these covers will be getting a lot of handling. I like the look of the chipping crackle, but I didn't want it to chip further.

Here are the inside panels. Please see my post here for steps on how I created these panels. On this book I've substituted designer paper for the manila folder I used on my card in my previous post, and you can see the faint print in the background. I've added some Distress Crazing Medium randomly around the edges and highlighted the cracks with Distress Crayons. There is some random stamping done with a Stampendous stamp and Archival ink.

For my collage on the front, I started with some vintage book pages  and a stamped image from Stampington and Company which I colored with Distress inks and stains. I distressed and splattered them with Distress paint in Black Soot. In between the layers I added Tim Holtz Mixed Media die cuts, painted to look like rusted iron.

I topped it with this metal frame which I also altered to look like rusted iron. This is from Prima's Junkyard Findings, a (new) gift I received from my uber talented and sweet and generous friend Autumn of Sew Paper Paint. I used an old 7 Gypsies rub on from my stash for the title, choosing just the right part of "The Juicy Part".

A Tim Holtz Gearhead Thinlit gets some rust using my yet unused Prima Artisan Powder--LOVE at first use! I guess I won't have to raid my spice cabinet for cinnamon any more!

Last, but not least, a little pocket watch I picked up at Hobby Lobby especially for this book. I rusted it as I did with the frame, and gave the face the crackle treatment.

It is Time to Make Art!

I wanted to thank Melissa and the entire Design Team at Happy Little Stampers for inviting me to create with them today! It was so much fun putting this little book together, and now it's ready to fill with art!

Thank you for stopping by today and for all your lovely comments!
Hugs and Blessings!
Sara Emily


  1. OOOOOOOh my oh my! (Do I know what this book will be used for? tee hee) This is knock 'em outta the park cool my friend! Rust at its finest and the layers of inks over your stencil work have me drooling on my desk top! Ha! I cannot believe how amazing this is and hope with all my crafty heart to get to hold it in my hands someday. You are a rock star! Big hugs, Autumn

    1. I just saw this at HLS and had to come back to say how excited I am for you! Your project looks fabulous and is perfect for their theme. Can't wait to see it!!! Hugs, Autumn

  2. WOW! This is amazing! What a fabulous job you've done on this project!! Thanks so much for playing in our ‘Something New’ challenge at Dies R Us! Please come back again soon!

    Darlene (DRU Blog Leader)
    DAR’S CRAFTY CREATIONS Please come for a visit.

  3. Turned out superb. I'm envious of the crackle effects. Bane of my life. I've never had them turn out as good as yours.

  4. this is amazing !!!
    Love the colors u used for the cover.
    Thanks so much for plaxing with us on SASPC.
    Alexa DT

  5. This is gorgeous, Sara Emily. Thanks so much for Guest Designing for us at Happy Little Stampers' Mixed Media Challenge. It is great to have you with us. :)

  6. This turned out beautifully, love the vintage look! Great details!
    Thanks for sharing with us this month at Penny Black and More!

  7. First of all, congratulations on your GDT spot! And what a fabulous project to be guesting with, your cover is incredibly gorgeous, love the crackle, the wonderful colours and your rusting - it just takes my breath away! Love this - a lot!! Hugs, Anne xx

  8. Huge congrats on your guest design spot, Sara Emily!! You totally rocked it with this amazing project!! I love the texture and the crackle!! The rust looks ah-may-zing!! All of the details are spectacular!! Love this, my talented friend!! It's so gorgeous!! Thanks so much for playing along at Scrapy Land!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  9. What a wonderful journal cover, Sara! So thankful for the time you took to show all the amazing photos! Love it!

  10. What an awesome project! I love all the fun elements.Thanks for sharing at Dies R happy you joined us!

  11. Absolutely amazing detail!!! Thanks for playing along at CAMM challenge blog.

  12. Woooow, Sara, you never stop to amaze me with your exquisite art! Your altered art journal covers are absolutely stunning! I am going to bookmark this for a future reference because I adore every single fabulous technique you used here! It's a textured heaven, that's what it is! The colors are simply magical and your faux rusted elements look so realistic! That crackled little clock is so super cool and awesome! I am so inspired and impressed, my super talented friend! It's spectacular! Congrats on your GDT spot! Have a wonderful day! Lots of love to you! Branka xx

  13. Love the crackle and rust combination... Always a winner for me! Xx

  14. Absolutely stunning - what fabulous crackle, and of course I love the blues and browns. The rusty textures are amazing - especially on the fine die-cut lattice. What a brilliant creation - congratulations on your guest spot!
    Alison x

  15. What gorgeous crackle and rusting on your beautiful journal Sara Emily! love the colors and all the texture! Julia xx

  16. Wow and WOW! Love those layers- Love that clock stencil with the crackle paste through it- gorgeous with your palette Sara Emily!!
    Fab make girlie!! xo

  17. Wow Sara, I don't even know where to start for this one!! I think I may have to pour myself another coffee so I can sit and stare at this for a while. You have really created a work of art with this album! That background is just incredible, the clocks, the crackle, the vintage tones with the pops of blue... before you added a single thing, it was already a masterpiece!! The pieces you did add, wowzers! Your rusting techniques are beyond amazing, so realistic! I adore how you framed the word ART, because it sure is!! Well I'm in love with this one, can you tell!! You never cease to blow me away with your skill and creativitity! Well done, my uber talented friend!! hugs :)

  18. WOW, this is absolutely amazing! I love all the texture and elements you put together. I enjoyed seeing your process as well. Gorgeous! Thanks for joining us on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.

    Cathie ♥

  19. Amazing the crackle effects. Your journal cover is a wonderful artwork, very well composed. I love every deatail on it.

  20. OMGEEE!! I just love it!! Such awesome texture and depth of colour and I was sure I wasn't going to love it at first, but my goodness Sara Emily this is beautiful! It reminds me of the mini mosaics we saw when we visited the Roman Baths in Bath. It is fabulous work huni! Absolutely jaw dropping gorgeous, I wish I could pick it up and hold it, turning this way and that, I love what you have created here xx

  21. this is a wonderful project. Love the colors. Thanks for all the pictures and how to

    Barb Housner (DT)

  22. Wow Sara what a fabulous journal. I'm loving all the layers and rust and patina. I've been using a bit of the crackle paste too lately, lots of fun, yours looks amazing. This really is a beauty!! Love it! Karen.x

  23. so fabulous !
    Thanks for joining us at Scrapyland challenges blog and good luck !
    Maryvonne DT Member

  24. wow-this is a stunning piece of work. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Penny Black & More. Lynn x DT

  25. This is just breathtakingly beautiful, Sara!
    You really know how to use all those different media so they create an explosion of yummy textural eye-candy! (hope this makes
    Love this to bits and will have to give this a try. Thank you so much for sharing the how-to and for playing along with us at SASPC!

    Claudia xxx

  26. WOW! Those big crackles are unbelievably cool, reminds me of Gaudí... especially in combination with the TH Clockwork stencil! Amazing!!!

  27. Thank you, Cris! I had to go look that up!

  28. wow wee - so much yummy crackle to look at and those beautiful colours and cogs - a triumph - I love this to bits Sara! Thanks for joining us at Countryview challenges and good luck! Hugs rachel xx

  29. Oh dear! I do so love when you do grunge and blues and Browns with some rusty goodness. Swoon goes my heart! Amazeballs details on this journal cover. It sure inspires! Love the crackle and the details you added with the stamping. Your layers are astounding and so scrumptiously scrumptious dearie. Loves loves loves it! Hugz to you muffin! ~Punkin

  30. Wow this is gorgeous! The crackle looks stunning but I just love the whole thing! Thanks so much for joining us at We Love to Create!
    Claire xx

  31. oh my - this is fab!!! thanks for playing along with us at STAMPlorations mixed media March challenge!!!

  32. Thanks for the awesome tutorial, Sara! Your art journal cover is a piece of fine art itself. I love all the textures and details. Thanks for being our Guest Designer. Hope to see your artwork in April. Helen Liu, HLSMM DT Sister

  33. Sara this is gorgeous, love all the different textures. Thanks for joining us at the STAMPlorations Mixed Media Challenge this time and apologies for being late with my comments. Carol DT x


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