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finishing touches

Messy-grungy beauty

This is it! Time to put the finishing touches to your little book! I like to think of finishing touches as little acts of love, a way to honor and gently let go of the work that has come to life through me. It's also a very lovely and playful step that really brings it all together in gives the art more depth, more interest, more life. 

Remember to stay open to the whispers even at this stage... Notice the thoughts that show up. Maybe you'll realize you have a song playing in your head, maybe some little cut-out word will suddenly attract your eye as you rummage through your materials, maybe you'll find an image at the back of a scrap of paper that's left on the floor... In my experience, the inner artist has a sense of humor and often loves last minute surprises!

Pay attention and never hesitate to add something to your book if it feels right.


1. finishing the pages

tea-time!

Here I'm showing you just a few simple techniques, but of course I encourage you to look through the supplies that you have, the materials that you love, experiment and try anything that feels good!

I usually have a cup of tea or coffee on my table as I create, and it often happens that I end up dipping my paintbrush into it, which is really fun! Another reason why I love to play with tea or coffee is that it smells soooo good and I like my creative process to involve all the senses. The experience of art-making, to me, is truly as important as the art that is born out of it. Maybe even more. And usually, the more delightful the creative experience, the more delightful the art is!


what you'll need

  • Strong tea or coffee (confession: mine in the video was not really strong enough and I had to go make some more!) or brown ink or paint (watered down)
  • Optional: Pitt artist pens (brush tip) in colors of your choice, or watercolor, acrylic paint, acrylic ink, water-soluble pastels... all of these work as long as you have a light touch!
  • A small brush
  • Matte gel medium to attach elements like buttons etc.


Finishing the covers

Finishing the covers is really the last step of the process. The thick, chunky covers of plaster, cardboard, wax and crochet create a contrast with the more ethereal layers of the pages, yet at the same time they will end up being in complete harmony with them. So that even before you open the book, they start telling the story within. And of course, if you feel inspired to add a title to your little book, now is the time to add it!

 

book 1: the cover

The cover is another opportunity to layer more textures! Here I'm adding a central metallic element that will hold the book's title, and I'm also showing you how to play with the wax and let it surprise you, by etching into it and rubbing oil pastel into the carvings.


what you'll need

 
  • a central decorative element (metallic or other)
  • some fiber scraps to layer underneath
  • needle tool (awl)
  • heatgun
  • dark brown oil pastel (I'm using Raw Umber)
  • a small cotton rag
  • some vegetal oil (sunflower or other)

 

Book 1: embellishing the spine

When I first created my little bundle at the beginning, I felt like adding some loose burlap threads to the spine. Now is the time!


what you'll need

 
  • left-over strips of fiber: burlap, ribbon, cheesecloth...
  • needle tool (awl)
  • needle
  • thread (the same that you used for binding)

 

book 2 : adding a title

Here I'm adding a small metallic label-holder to give a title to the book. For an added little twist, and to connect this book with the other, I'm showing you how to create a waxy effect on the title with the gel medium we've been using all along!


what you'll need

 
  • metallic label holder
  • matte gel medium
  • palette knife or plastic card
  • needle tool (awl)
  • dark brown oil pastel (I'm using Raw Umber)
  • a small cotton rag
  • some vegetal oil (sunflower or other)


Here we are!

these little books have fully come to life and I can't wait to see yours!

Please share your questions and the making of your own Little Book of Whispers in our Facebook group or leave a comment below!

Share images of your journey on Instagram with the hashtag #littlebookofwhispers !

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