Create a page with the greatest of ease (not so much)

Create a page with the greatest of ease (not so much)
Create a page with the greatest of ease (not so much)

Paper Calliope is a blog about crafting. It is unique in that it includes humor. The problem is today I’m not a wee bit funny. I’m coming off two long weeks of being sick. I’m crabby and I don’t walk across the room without lugging a box of tissues.

Since this is not a mommy blog you don’t get to hear why I’m crabby–that while I was sick the Husband™ went to conferences in the tropics and left me to single parent, or that while I was sick The Son™ broke the snowblower in the midst of the year’s worst snowstorm, or that while I was sick the dog upchucked all over the Persian rug or….See?! No mommy blogging here!. Nope, not one bit.

So yeah, I may not be funny, but you can be darn-tootin’ grateful I saved you from all that mommy blogging. Here, have a tissue for those tears of joy.


May I direct your attention to the center ring

For all of the above reasons I wanted to create a quick little project. The problem was I couldn’t think of anything quick. Everything led to a big project–if I do that Dumbo page, I need to begin the Disney Scrapbook from our trip in (hangs head in shame) 2005, if I scrapbook that darling picture of my infant daughter, I need to–gulp–START HER ENTIRE SCRAPBOOK. Oh crap. I’m going to hyperventilate.

Instead of breathing into a paper bag, I decided to give myself two challenges. First, I must grab one random photo and scrapbook that. Second, I must use paints since I rarely paint and need to improve my skills. So I went into my studio closet and grabbed a photo from the “I-Have-No-Freaking-Clue-What-Year-This-is-From-But-I-Need-to-Figure-it-Out” Bin. Sadly, there’s plentiful photos from which to choose.

The photo I pick photo is of my son the year we threw him a circus-themed birthday party. I think he was 5, but I’m not positive. If you scroll down you can see that he is wearing a ringmaster costume, which happens to be my husband’s high school marching band costume (this is why you can never throw away crap–ever). To make this page I first applied Golden Regular Gel Matte to white cardstock with a stencil of a circus tent. I don’t have a picture of that, but I have a similar picture of another page I did at the same time.* The gesso will serve as a resist for the next step.

Just pretend this is a circus tent and not a cute elephant.

Let’s pretend this is a circus tent and not a cute elephant.

After that dried, I diluted acrylic red and yellow acrylic paint with water and painted broad, careless stripes to the page.


What are those little marks on the ruler anyway?

I measured where I wanted the door to be placed on the page so it aligned with the circus tent. Then I created a template with a scrap piece of 12 x 12 paper. This step isn’t required, but I don’t entirely trust my measuring–all those little eighths and sixteenths get a wee bit confusing. I held the template up to the layout to ensure a perfect fit. Next I used the template as a pattern to trace the door on the back of the painted page. As you can see, I didn’t worry about a perfect cut for the template because I still used a straight edge when cutting out the  door out with an Xacto knife.

My version of measure twice, cut once.

My version of measure twice, cut once.

Next I randomly stamped the “Life is a Circus” image using clear embossing powder on the painted page. Using a paintbrush, I applied Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments in an assortment of metallic colors.



I selected the ephemera I wanted to use and fussy cut the elephants, aerialist and contortionists. I applied these to the page with a glue runner. I then cut away the portion of the tickets that crossed the door. On the back side of the paper, I used clear duct tape to make a hinge for the door.  

Now I have to interrupt the instructions to make one thing clear. Sometimes I’m going to expect you to play “Pretend”. Some projects, I meticulously plan. Others, like this one, just kind of happen. As a result, I don’t necessarily do things in the best order. So let’s just “Pretend” this is the point where I applied the mustache scrapbook paper to the back of the door and not at some other far more difficult point in the process. 



Using cardboard and duct tape I made a shallow box in which I would place the picture. This involved careful measuring of the picture, the door and the box. Tedious. Even more tedious to read. Besides, you will have your own measurements.

You can’t see it from the angle of my photos, but I applied the polkadot scrapbook paper  as the flags to the bottom and top of the inside of the box before adhering the picture in the box.


To make the pennant flag banner, I cut small identical triangles. Fast-forward through more tedious measuring to where I glued two triangles back to back with twine between them, and repeated this for two more flags. I then adhered the three-flag banner to the back of the straws before gluing the straws in place over the picture. Then carefully lining up the box to the page, I duct taped the box to the back of the scrapbook page, creating an alcove of sorts. 


Open the door to find the cutest ringmaster of all

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, May I direct you attention to the center door of the greatest page in the world… Ta-Da the Page is complete! Well, almost…

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls...

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls…

It’s time to play “Pretend” again. If this had been a carefully planned project, this next step would have been done way back at the beginning. Remember how this was a painting challenge? Well, after the page was done, I decided I did not really like the painted part of the page. It just didn’t have enough layers of interest. Unfortunately, everything was glued in place. As a concession (I’ll take a cotton candy please)** to solving the problem, I cut the edge of a foam brush in a zig-zag pattern and used it to lightly stamp gesso along the lines of the stripes. 

Now the page is complete. If I ever figure out what year this picture was taken and want to add journal notes, I can easily journal onto solid cardstock and adhere to cardstock to the interior of the door.

I wish for you a joyful and creative week.

An artist never really finishes his work;
he merely abandons it. –Paul Valéry


*Yeah, yeah, I know, I was just going to do one simple project. But if I’m going to the effort of pulling out the gel medium, the stencils and the paint, I’m going to make more than one base. In fact, I ended up making 14, but I’ saving that for another blog when I’m funnier. 

**Was that not the best groaner pun ever?


2 Responses »

  1. This is a great project. Thanks to you, and your funny business :D, we have been warned about the process and the steps to properly get this done. LOL! This is totally my crafting style. Everything has a plan….until I start the project. I enjoyed learning that I am not the only person in this entire world that gets ahead of herself/himself 😀

    By the way, that little boy is the cutest! And your project is perfect just as it is!


    • Thank you Leslie! Sorry I missed seeing your post until now. Somehow I have not found a way to yet get notifications of new comments, so I have to search through each post every day. Ugh.

      That cute little boy is now 17 years old. Everyone hears the cliche about how the time flies, but no one warned me about how heart-breaking that is. Sniff.

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