Wednesday 3 February 2016

The great book of elves

Hi again,

Time to show you something else that kept me busy during the past weeks.
After seeing my Halloween grimoires, my friend, who is a teacher, asked me to help her create a magic fairy book, as a prop for a school musical. So I spent quite a few busy evenings, collecting ideas and developing a plan. And then many more actually creating it.

And here it is, the great book of elves:

As a basis I got an old used book, the largest I could find. Then I cut the oval in the front and about a third of the pages, to create the recess for my little fairy. If you ever try to re-create something similar, I can only advise you to use straight lines, the oval was so tough and it didn’t get as even as I had hoped…
After the cutting was finished, I covered the book with mod podge and a single layer of crumpled paper towel, to create some structure. Then I added some more structure with embossing paste and a floral stencil. I had to do that twice, the first layer wasn’t quite enough. I also adhered the die cut fun foam letters to the book.

Then I painted it all white (several layers) and brushed on green and pink, because that was the colour scheme my friend wanted. But that really didn’t look good at all, so I painted it white again. After this layer of white, the green and pink still shone through a little, but I thought that looked rather interesting, almost pearlescent. So I kept it like that and brushed on gold to bring out the structure. But that wasn't quite strong enough for the letters. Therefore I used a gold Edding to trace the letters, corners and stripes. That made them stand out much better.

I placed a green water colour background behind the window and glued the pages of the window together (mod podge again). Then I adhered some leaves, flowers, a small piece of bark and the fairy in the opening.

I also added three strings of pearls to the outside spine, to make it more magical. To do so, I fixed the strings to an elastic band with wire, pulled the elastic through the spine and then fixed the other side in the same way, under a bit of tension. Now the elastic is pulling in the string and wire, keeping them safely hidden.

After the outside was completed, I turned to the inside. As the base was a glossy paged cookery book, I really wanted to cover the pages with something.
So for a start I removed quite a few pages, to make the book less heavy, thinking of the poor child who will have to hold it up on stage. Then I chose aged looking printer paper and printed a few fairy stories on it in a font I liked, but very lightly so the print was barely visible. Then I traced all the letters with a black calligraphy fountain pen, to make it look handwritten. Next time I’d definitely just print it in black and be done with it. I don't even want to know how many hours that cost me.

Next step was to cut off all the remaining pages, leaving only a narrow strip of each, on which I adhered the new pages, covering the strip from both sides. That was much more difficult than I thought, which is why the pages don’t look as neatly as I had hoped. But after all the work I just can’t start over… So that’s deliberate, definitely…. ;) 

By now, my friend already took the book back to school to show her class, and they were all excited...

Now, have a magical day

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