Monday, July 30, 2012

Illustrious Illustration

Last week I posted a picture of my workdesk as a part of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, and in that photo I hinted around about the illustration project I was working on. Now you get to see the whole project as it stands so far - though it isn't finished. Yet.

The site has a challenge each month to write a 100 word story utilizing a list of 5 words. My co-worker wrote a story using this word list:


And the story is as follows:

The rock despised himself, he was deficient in producing moss. He wanted to produce moss so he could one day become a centerpiece in the fairy's castle. To sit atop the fairy Queen's table was his dream. He would be amongst the fairy berry pies and giggling Lords and Ladies. However, without moss, he was not invited. Then one rainy day the fairy queen was taking her umbrella for a walk and saw the bald rock. She gave him a wink and walked on by. The next morning the rock woke up with a coat of moss on his head!

When my co-worker read it to me, I was delighted by some of the visuals (I could just imagine "fairy berry pies" and the Queen "taking her umbrella for a walk"!). She teasingly suggested that I should illustrate it - thinking I'd just draw a few circles on paper for the rock, a little fairy here and there, and be done with it. Little did she know that I decided to go all out! It's turned into a major project - one that I hope to have completed before the beginning of school next month (egad!).

Here is the (again, incomplete) cover. I took a vintage book bought at a garage sale (would they have sold it to me if they knew what I would do with it?) and removed the book block (hopefully the book wasn't valuable! Yes, Mother, I know you advised me to check on these things before tearing them up - but I forgot...). Then, inspired by a pin on Pinterest, I added binder rings by setting some eyelets into the book cover.

I plan to cover up the old book's title, but that will come later.
Once I think of a title!

I also added a Tim Holtz Faucet Knob, which I distressed with crackle paint and Distress Ink (as inspired by the beautiful work on this blog):
Love that crackle. Love it.
I covered the inside of the book cover with Tim Holtz paper, with the pages made from Grungeboard stained with Distress Stain:
This will be the title page, again when I title the book!
The first two pages (they will have words on them, but I haven't added them yet! I'm saving that until I can write in the word to all of the pages at once):

The first page illustrates "The rock despised himself, he was deficient in producing moss."

 The rock is made from Grungeboard coated in clear crackle paint. When you ink over the crackle it fills in some of the cracks: brown ink for the normal rock, green ink for the mossy rock. With the clear paint, you still get some of the gray Grungeboard to show through too, maintaining the rock's look. A few hole punched eyes, a little stitching for the mouth, and we have the star of the book.

 That dirt, below the grass? I tore up pages from the book that used to sit inside the covers and adhered the shreddings haphazardly to the page. I stained the previously white pages with various inks, then sanded to highlight some of the edges.

The second page illustrates "He wanted to produce moss so he could one day become a centerpiece in the fairy's castle." To create the floor for this page I took really thin plywood bought from Michael's and traced the floorboard pattern that I wanted onto it. I cut out each "plank" and stained them with alcohol inks. Yup, alcohol inks work on wood! I sanded the edges and corners of the planks to really grunge it up and enhance the wood flooring look.

Well, that's what I have so far. I just started yesterday on the third page - I can't wait to show you my idea for the "fairy berry pies"!

Oh, and if you think of a good title for this story, do share! I seem to be uninspired on that front...


  1. I'm afraid you've destroyed a priceless copy of The Mill on the Floss...JUST KIDDING! Well, actually I'm not sure if I'm kidding. (Does it say FAKE English Classics on the cover?) I love using old books this way! My title would be "The Fairy Queen's Table". Have fun! I love the faucet handle!

    1. Ha!

      Old books have a been-around-the-block feel that you just can't fake with inks and sandpaper...

      That's a great title! I might just go with that...

      Thank you!