June 2022 - Sea book - by Emilia Tapiola

Hello friends, 

For a person loving books and creating journals, this month’s theme was an absolute treat. Only, it was nearly impossible to choose one among millions of ideas! In the end, I decided to go with a sea-themed project. This way I could combine treasures from our summer travels and an over hundred years old book about sea creatures from Helsinki University that I had started to work with for another project but found out the pages were too fragile.

I had already taken out most of the pages from the book, and there were only maybe 1/3 left, so this was a quick project to create. (If you want to do a similar project, take most of the pages out, and leave only signature pages. This way your book should not fall apart.) The next step was to rip the pages horizontally. I opened the book from the middle and starting from the lower part of the pages I pulled the pages, layer by larger, making sure each layer was slightly wider than the previous one. Then I crumbled and ripped and twisted the layers to look a bit like very vintage paper waves and added some heavy Body Gel here and there among the page layers. It didn’t need much, as the crumbled layers held themselves quite quickly, especially after I primed them with White Heavy Gesso.

Making sure each page and corner, everything exposed to later paint layers, was primed with white or clear gesso, I added Heavy Body Gel in places where the pages were still loose and let everything dry.

Next step was to add seashells and driftwood onto the paper nooks with Heavy Body Gel, and mixture of Mini Art Stones and Mega Art Stones (and attached with Heavy Body Gel) between them and the paper layers, to create sand and sea foam effect. I also added some buttons to give a nice round effect to contrast all the horizontal and vertical lines of the book. After letting everything dry, I added a layer of Soft Matte Gel on top of the art stones to make sure they will stay where they should, when I add paint. 

I did not use much paint, as the vintage book itself had such a lovely beige colour, so I only mixed some Dark Chocolate and Pitch Black Impasto and added some watery shadowing into the paper edges, and after it was completely dry, added another layer with Manor Blue and Snow White Impastos on top, and to give a bit lighter tone of brown, a drop of Liquid Acrylic Burnt Sienna here and there. It needed some highlighting, so I run a very thin line of Sparks Ancient Coin paint along the page edges. 

The next day, when I was certain everything was completely dry, I added some waxes as a finishing touch. I am yet to discover a project Vintage Silk wax does not rise to the next level. I love how it turns any project into a gentler version of itself. And it did the trick this time, too, a light shimmer, a whisper of sunlight, a thread of hope. I also added some White Pearl to imitate the glistening sea and matte wax Old White as a contrast.

I thought about adding some text (or some drawn seagulls) on the upper part of the book but decided against it. Sometimes it is fun to leave the imagination fly free and space for your own thoughts to emerge.  

This project was almost quicker to create than to write this, so don’t be intimidated by the length of my writing; it’s easy, it’s fun, and you cannot go wrong with an old book and some summer treasures!

Wishing, as always, all things gentle and beautiful,


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