Monday, January 20, 2014

Altered Artsy Almanac

Hello everyone! A new fun challenge is up at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge blog, 'A is for'. I had so many ideas for this challenge and couldn't make up my mind. Then I got the phrase 'Altered Artsy Almanac' in my head and remembered a planner from some years ago that I never used.
'Almanac' is a common word in Swedish for a calendar or a planner, I think it might mean something slightly different in English, more in the line of weather, tides, planting times and such. I wasn't sure what to do with my almanac, but figured that something that was meant for planning a year, might work well for recording a year too. I used a bunch of different techniques to make this and turned it into a tutorial. 
The original planner, just a plain planner.

I started by gluing pages together with multi-medium, leaving me with 12 spreads, one for each month. They were left to dry overnight, under a book with wax paper in between each page. Then I gave each page a coat of gesso. The planner had really thin paper and they didn't handle the gel and the gesso very well, with quite a bit of warping involved. I almost gave up, but decided that it wouldn't matter and wouldn't show as much in the end.

When the gesso was dry, the pages were coloured with Gelatos. I knew I was going to use Graphic 45 A Place in Time 8 x 8 papers, which contains pages for every month of the year and picked colours to fit with the patterned papers. Just scribble the Gelatos over the gesso and then spread and blend with a paint brush and water.

Each page has different colours. My son actually helped a bit with the colouring, but since precision wasn't necessary here, that was fine. Except that he wants to include a bit of black everywhere, which would have created mud.

After finishing preparing the inside pages it was time for the cover. I embossed foil tape in two different embossing folders. I used the bubble folder embossed foil on the back.

I coloured the cover with Patina Ink (Verdigris, Marine and Moss), applying the inks with a paint brush and letting them blend into even more shades. The Patina Inks dry very quickly.

Lightly burnish to reveal some of the metal.

Water down Black Soot paint and paint the cover. Leave for just a little while and then wipe most of the paint off with a cloth.

I swept a Ranger Emboss-It Dabber around the edges and embossed with Stampendous Aged Silver Embossing Enamel. The Prima metallic rose was also embossed with a little bit of Teal and Silver powder. Be careful since it gets hot.

The letters were die cut from grungeboard with the new Vintage Market die. They were painted silver, sanded and scratched and inked with Black Soot. I coated them with Glossy Accents. The Prima metallic word was embossed with a little bit of silver powder. I used washi tape to cover the joint between the two pieces of foil. Quite a transformation from the plain black cover.

I used the Graphic 45 papers to decorate the inside pages. I made sure to include enough space to write on. I used similar parts of the 8 x 8 papers on each page, but still have lots of left-overs.

Potting Soil ink was used to ink the edges of the pages and I also stamped each page randomly with a different background stamp, using Jet Black Stazon ink.

I made sure that the month on the original planner pages showed through at least on one place on each spread. Love the bird images here.

On each page spread I used the monthly planner paper, a strip of postage stamps, and a title strip.

The background stamping adds nice texture to the pages. This script stamp is from Darkroom Door.
Beautiful flower images for June. 

I tried to pick stamps that fit with the months, a wavy scalloped pattern for the sea images of July.  

August, apples and pears.

As you might know, I love text and script stamps, this is a part of a Hero Arts stamp.
September, with some sweet school time images.
My son's favourite page, and here he could add some black Gelato to the background too.

As you can see, the initially warping of the pages, isn't as visible once they are decorated.

The gesso gives a nice surface for the Gelatos and also makes the pages sturdier.
And finally December, with a new favourite background stamp, Tiny Star Background by Hero Arts.

I hope you will join us this week! As always, one random participant wins a $50 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp.

Thank you for looking!


Dies: Sizzix: Vintage Market
Embossing folders: Sizzix: Clocks & Print BlocksBubble & Honeycomb,
Ink: Ranger/Vintaj Patina Ink: Weathered Copper, Victorian Gable; Archival Ink: Potting Soil; Distress Ink: Gathered Twigs, Black Soot; Tsukineko Stazon: Jet Black; Ranger Emboss-It Dabber
Paint: Faber-Castell Gelatos: Gift Set, 50s Diner; Ranger Adirondack Silver Dabber: Distress Paint: Black Soot
Medium: Ranger Claudine Hellmuth: Gesso, Multi-Medium Matte


  1. I can't believe I am the first to comment. This is absolutely stunning. I really enjoy mixed media but I am afraid to just go for it.
    It must have taken you a long time to complete.

  2. Oh WOW Anna-Karin what an amazing make over you've given this. I love the the cover and the inside pages are stunning.

    Sue x

  3. what an amazing makeover - I love the cover especially - its awesome xx

  4. Such a pretty cover with all that gorgeous texture....and then it's wonderful inside too.

  5. I loved the cover most with embossed foil and colors ,I liked the pages too with lovely gesso texture and vintage images !

  6. Stunning project! Love the embossed metal cover and the paints are gorgeous! What a wonderful calendar and the graphic 45 papers are perfect in the pages! Beautiful!

  7. Gorgeous project Anna-Karin, love the metal embossed cover and those patina colours and wash of Black Soot paint. The outside is a feast for the eyes and then we have the extra surprise of the inside being decorated beautifully too . Wonderful idea. Tracy x

  8. Just saw this on the SSS challenge site, and had to come over and tell you how absolutely stunning this project is!

    I enjoyed the tutorial. I'm not clear on how what "metallic tape" is and if it's in your list of products, I don't see it. I'd love to know what it is and what you taped it to in order to get it into the embossing machine.

    I pinned it to Pinterest so I can come back and take another look.

  9. Thanks so much, Anna-Karin, for taking the time to let me know about the foil tape. It's definitely going on my wish list. Your project is awesome!

  10. This is such a stunning creation, Anna-Karin. The texture you created on the cover is totally gorgeous. I love the beautiful collage on each page, too. Fantastic design! :)

  11. Oh my gosh, Anna-Karin! I love your altered planner. The exterior is really cool with the metallic embossed look. Love the sweet rose you've added, too. Then open it up and the interior is really fun. I made a flip calendar out of those G45 papers. I never thought to use them almost as a day planner. This is so cool! <3 Candy

  12. Stunning planner, Anna-Karin! I really love that shade of green on the outside! WOW! So beautiful!

    Simon Says Stamp!

  13. Uoh! I think that word summarize what I mean.It's great! I love the way you've changed so basic notebook into a work of art. Congratulations!
    Greetings from Spain

  14. What an amazing project! Your cover is absolutely fabulous!

  15. Wow, that sure is GORGEOUS, Anna-Karin. What a unique planner... the texture is amazing!

  16. Anna-Karin what a wonderful idea. I love it. The inside is so pretty too.. Love it x

  17. A diary with an absolute WOW factor!
    I love it and thanks for sharing all your pages and how you made it.

  18. Stunning! I want to make one! Beautiful work.

  19. totally fantastic! I LOVE everything about this!

  20. Stunning metallic cover - love the Frantage around the edges - and the internal pages are so pretty. So clever to solve the slight warping by adding papers to journal on. A beautiful album and great tutorial as always. Thank you!
    Alison x

  21. My goodness, this is a real work of art Anna-Karin. Love the metal cover and the collage feel to the inside pages. Jenny x

  22. OMG! I thought the cover was stunning and incredible with all the details, the colours, the border and the flower..before to see the inner pages. Very very beautiful! A feast for eye this almanac!

  23. Wowza! What a fabulous mini calender album jam packed with so much beauty! I love all the colorful pages and vintage photos! The cover looks AMAZING!

  24. Anne-Karin cover is absolutely an incredible piece! But also I really like the inside pages , a clever use of the Graphic 45 papers! Lovely piece! BArbarayaya

  25. Gorgeous piece, Anna-Karin! What a great idea to use that old planner and make it into a brand new one. The cover is amazing, so are the pages inside! Hugs, Sandra

  26. I'm always blown away by your creativity and artistry Anna-Karin, but this is over-the-top. We all have those unused planners from years-gone-by sitting in desk drawers. This is such great idea. Love your altered pages on the inside. Even I think I could find time (and remember to) write something each month in that almanac. Just love the papers and stamps that you used and the Gelatos give such soft color to background. (Great lipstick kisses on February :)). Seriously awesome project!! -- Mary Elizabeth

  27. Holy cow! I have no words! This is beyond beautiful, a work of art. Thanks for the step by step process.

  28. This is such a timely project for me as I have recently started using an old fashioned paper planner myself. But mine is NOTHING compared to this. You've given me quite a few ideas now. For instance, I love the gelato wash. And the cover! oh my, the cover! I adore your foil cover. Beautiful!

  29. Loved your use of texture with gesso...and the color themes for each month!

  30. Beautiful WORK OF ART.
    These are the right words.
    Thanks for showing and your explanation.

  31. This a great project and I loved how you didn't give up and you finished the Planner. The colors you used where perfect. Thank you for sharing.

  32. This is such an amazing project! First off, kudos to you for seeing the potential in something that most people would've tossed! It took a lot of work, but what a masterpiece you (and your son) created! I adore the cover and am always blown away by your wide range of knowledge and techniques. The color palette is dreamy and I really love how this turned out!

  33. This is such an amazing project! First off, kudos to you for seeing the potential in something that most people would've tossed! It took a lot of work, but what a masterpiece you (and your son) created! I adore the cover and am always blown away by your wide range of knowledge and techniques. The color palette is dreamy and I really love how this turned out!

  34. I found this altering via Pinterest and must say it ws worth clicking few more times! I love it!

  35. Amazing! This is such an inspirational project, and very useful too. Blessings!

  36. Great techniques!!

  37. Super Duper WOWZERS! Amazing 2014 Almanac! Thanks for sharing the details!


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