Monday 4 October 2021

We Are All Mad Here...

Hello friends and Happy Monday...

Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend and if you watched Tim's latest YouTube Live, then I hope you felt inspired by the launch of the new Village series! Isn't it amazing? Thank you to everyone who has messaged me to say how much they loved my village make, I am hoping to share it here very soon, and I also want to say a huge thank you to you all for the comments you've been leaving throughout the making season! It's definitely been busy but so much fun and when I read all your kind words which have meant so much to me, it makes all that hard work so worthwhile!

Anyway, back to today and this week's new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge! This week the DT are showcasing Stamperia products within their makes and combining it with the theme ~ ANYTHING BUT A CARD!

For my project, inspired by my love of all things Mad Hatter and Alice In Wonderland, I chose to create a new notebook using the beautiful Stamperia Alice Through The Looking Glass collection. Notebooks are something that I can never resist, I have so many...some might say too many but I don't think you can ever have enough but these date back to my teens when I collected anything from Snoopy, Disney and my favourite bands and now I have books from museum visits, Lulu Guinness, my obsession for all things David Beckham and I still collect Snoopy, Mickey Mouse and my favourite band! So, what's better than to add a handmade one to my collection and here it is....

So let's get started on how this book was made! Are you ready for the trip into wonderland...

To begin with I used a cheap A5 ring bound notebook in my stash ~ I think this cost me about £1.50. This has a hard cover front and back and then lined paper inside...

To prep the book, I applied a coat of white gesso around the edges of the front cover. I also added a very light brushing of gesso to the back cover and on the inside covers of the book. You don't need to apply paint all over as these will be covered with paper.

Once the gesso was dry, I then added my colour to the front cover and chose to use Aged Mahogany Distress Paint. Once I'd painted all the areas that will be on show, I dried the first layer of paint before adding Black Soot Distress Paint over the top, using the dry brushing technique.

Again I allowed this to dry and whilst that was doing it's thing, I moved onto prepping the papers that I'll be using. I used the papers from the Collectables pad and cut the panels to size to mount on each of the covers. 

Taking the panel that I'm using on the front...I wanted to add some rips and tears to this so that it created more of a vintage feel. Once I'd done this, I then attached small offcuts of a second paper design behind the places that I tore and ripped ~ this creates the look of layers but you haven't had to use an entire sheet. You can see the chequered paper I used in the corners and I also attached some down the sides.

With these in place, I inked around the edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink, paying particular attention to where I'd torn the paper and then machine stitched a border.

I then adhered the paper onto the front of the book using Matte Collage Medium.

At this stage, I opened the book to work on the inside, it's better to do this now before adding the elements to the cover. I used a different paper design on the inside and again cut it to size and machine stitched a border around the edge.

In the collectables paper pad, they've got sheets of images and I chose fussy the images of Alice, the Alice logo, the White Rabbit and the playing cards which I then fussy cut.

Taking the image of Alice and the logo, I adhered these to the inside cover with Matte Collage Medium. I then added the wording 'she dreamed beautiful dreams' which I took from Tim Holtz's Clippings Sticker book and cut these into two pieces before attaching them to my cover, doodling a black line around the outside of them.

On the opposite page...

...I began by applying a coat of Matte Collage Medium over the page, then to achieve a more vintage feel to the paper that would match the colour palette of the collection, I scribbled Old Paper and Antique Linen over the page, blending out the excess with my finger tips and a semi dry baby wipe. I then attached my playing cards which I placed to slightly overlap the top edge of the page, and these cascade down the page...

...towards the White Rabbit which I adhered in the bottom right hand corner. 

After adding a few splatters of Black Soot and Pumice Stone Distress Paint, I added some Remnant Rubs ~ 'this End Up' is from an older set I have in my stash and 'No. 05337' in the top right hand corner, and the word Curiosities in the bottom right corner are both taken from the Specimen Remnant rubs set. I completed the page by adding a small amount of Walnut Stain Distress Crayon around the edges and dragging some of the colour into the page, just to add that touch more vintage.

To complete the inside, I attached a Hinge Clip and after punching a small hole into a couple of the die cuts, I tied these to the clip.

For the back book cover, I used another sheet of the paper from the Collectables set, this time the black and white polka dot and once again, I machine stitched a border around the edge and also across the border strip design at the bottom of the page.

I then fussy cut Tweedledum and Tweedledee from the pad and adhered this in the bottom left hand corner of the cover.

The inside is now ready, the back cover is finished and I can move onto the front cover...

To begin with I formed the ledge for the scene and using the Pinked Etcetera Trim, I covered this by die cutting a piece of the same paper I'd used to cover the front of the book, and cut with the Tim Holtz Sizzix Decorative Trims Thinlits Dies.

I attached my die cut to the trim itself and then adhered the trim across the bottom section of my book cover.

To create the scene I used the chipboard Mad Hatter, a clock and toadstool chipboard Die Cut from the Alice Through The Looking Glass set and the other images, tea pot, butterfly, extra toadstool and playing cards are all fussy cut from the Collectables pad.

I then arranged these images along the trim to create the scene, using foam pads to add various heights to each piece and also fanning out the playing cards to cascade down the book cover.

I also added some moss and a few Bouquet Findings that I dyed with Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain. In the centres of each flower, I added a dab of glue and sprinkled them with some glitter from the Tim Holtz Holiday Sparkle Set.

To complete the scene, I added a small "Enclosure' Snippets Ephemera piece by Tim Holtz and also added teh '5 For" Ephemera piece to the top right hand corner.

Finally, I added the quote plaque ~ again both of these layers are fussy cut from the Collectables Pad. I then used Tim's Embossing Dabber over the top of the quote and embossed this with Frosted Crystal Embossing Powder before I mounted the quote over the top of the frame using foam pads and then attached the layers directly onto the cover.

As the finishing touch, I added a drawer pull taken from the Tim Holtz Hardware Pull idea-ology set and placed this just beneath the Etcetera Trim and then added the wording Dreamland, from the Clippings Sticker book in the window.

So that's it from me for today and I hope you've enjoyed this altered notebook, as much as I loved making it. It really was so much fun to use these Alice images and bring the scene to life....

As a final make to this book, I created a bookmark! This is just one of the chipboard die cuts from the set, and I punched a hole in the top and threaded some Velvet Ribbon through. I thought this a nice little addition and a different way to use the die cuts. always, if you make anything, or been inspired by anything that you've seen here on my blog ~ then please, let me know by tagging me on social media or leaving a comment here and I will be right over to take a look!

Don't forget that every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $25 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp and you can join in up to 5 times, which means you could have 5 chances to winYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today ~ stay safe and keep well.
Love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:

Stampers Anonymous: Pinked Etcetera Trim
Distress Spray Stain: Peeled Paint and Frayed Burlap
Distress Paint: Black Soot, Pumice Stone, Aged Mahogany
Distress Crayons: Antique Linen, Old Paper, Walnut Stain


  1. This project is just perfect!

  2. This is a cool project for all those "Mad Hatters" out the papers...and Yes, I am one of the many waiting on the Village Collection project...I have a shelf reserved for the one I am going to make....just got to get the stuff here to work with...LOL. Amazing as usual....

  3. THUDUNK!!! this is absolutely STUNNING!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

    Hope you have a great week!
    Lols x x x

  4. This is the set I almost chose!! I think it’s absolutely adorable & I was hoping someone would do a make on it. And what a LOVELY make you’ve done!!
    Probably my fave of them all!

  5. Emma this is amazing, always love how you layer and pay extra attention to detail. A fabulous altered journal, love those papers and I adore how the playing cards spill out over the edge. Fantastic and ever inspiring.
    Creative wishes Tracey.


Thank you for all your comments and messages, they are all appreciated and I hope you'll come back and visit again soon...
Emma ~xx

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