Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Painting a Midsummer's Eve Sky Using Sakura Crystal
Lacquer and Terri Sproul Mixers

Happy Wednesday - Susan here bringing you a project to start your creative April off and running...time to go to your craft room and get that altered book out that's screaming for some attention.

Today's project is an altered book spread. I paticipate in a local Altered Book Club round robin group which meets monthly. Each month we receive a different players' book and a technique in which to apply with the theme. This book was Fantasy Fairies and the technique was utilizing pockets. The pages are completely painted using Sakura Crystal Lacquer and Terri Sproul Mixers.

Since this theme is "Fantasy Fairies", I decided to paint a background that goes along with my personal fairy name "Feather Saturnfilter". I will explain briefly...there is an artist named Emma Davies who makes fabulous handmade Fairy Figurines. She also has a fairy name generator on her site. It's quite fun. CLICK HERE to see. Not only does this give you a name...it also gives you a little description too. I have created my fairy and a background based on the following description:

My Fairy is Feather Saturnfilter.
She is a trouble maker.
She lives in high places where the clouds meet the earth.
She is only seen on midsummer's eve.
She wears pale blue like the sky and has pale pink wings like a cicada.

Here's my fairy made out of handmade paper, fabric scraps,
two-tone purple yarn and hand-drawn wings.

This book was quite large about doll collecting. The pages were about 9" x 11" in size. I have a blend of gesso, light green and gold acrylic and glazing medium that I use as a primer base for blocking out pages. It covers up the text and photos, but remains a little translucent and gives a nice painted texture to work on. I also inked the edges of the pages with antique gold ink. Now I'm ready to create!

Layer one: I mixed up a generous amount of Sakura Crystal Lacquer with Green Pearl Mixer and painted the bottom half of the pages. This has resulted in a lovely pearl teal green. I waited about 5 minutes or so to dry. The ripples in paper are from the moisture of the wet media. The pages were a little thin so I glued two pages together with glue stick prior to starting. This is something you may want to keep in mind when selecting a book to alter. The thinner the pages, the more work you have to do in preparation/durability of altering, painting, etc.

Layer two: I mixed up and applied Citrine Pearl Mixer with Crystal Lacquer and overlapped the green. The citrine is a lovely bright sunny yellow and is perfect for my late summer sunset.

Detail of the brush work from base primer layer showing how it had been accented by the Mixers.

Layer three: I mixed up a generous amount of Sakura Crystal Lacquer with Red Pearl Mixer and painted the remaining area at top of each page. I overlapped the yellow with the red.

Now I let this dry for a little bit - about a 1/2 hour. Since I had painted on three layers. While waiting I went about preparing my accordion pocket tag holder, fibers and prepared my next layer to paint. There were a couple spotty areas that were still slightly tacky so I thought I might speed things up with my heat gun. **TIP TIME** You have be very careful to keep the heat gun far away from the surface. I don't recommend this unless you like a bubbly effect like this...

So I waited a little longer to dry. For the next layer I wanted to soften my sky into a proper sunset. The ripples in the paper simulate clouds {a happy accident}. I mixed up some Gold Dust and Citrine Pearl Mixers with a good amount of Crystal Lacquer

I painted this on and feathered out my overlapping colors.

The completed background. Then I began stamping with Hampton Art Dandelion stamp set using black Staz-On ink creating a ground area. This set has dandelions, plants and some butterflies and also a darling dragonfly.


I wanted to remove any possibility of pages sticking together if wax paper has been removed by other players. To do this I got out my trusty EK powder brush dispensing tool {this is a tool they came out with to deactivate exposed sticker adhesive when popping up with 3D dots}. I happen to have this and tons of other nifty crafty gadgets from teaching at my local scrapbooking store. You can also use a cotton ball to apply plain talcum powder. This tool is handy because it can get down in the crevice of the book. I also dusted all over the pages EXCEPT where I would be adhering my accordion pocket, fairy and framed description. DO NOT put POWDER where you intend to glue something - it will repel adhesive.


Detail of beautified Fairy name description thanks to some computer handiwork. The finishing touch is the furry fibers down the spine and laced through the tags in pocket accordion. Tags are made using an assortment of Robin's Nest papers - and colors organized like a rainbow [red, orange, yellow, green, blue & purple].

Completed altered book pages. I love it!!!

I hope you have enjoyed today's post and that you are inspired to go and create something. Please take a look around through the projects from my other Sakura Hobby Craft Design Team members for some great projects, tips and ideas! See you in two weeks on April 18rd, 2012.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment, select receive e-mail follow ups on comments and I will respond. If you would like to see more of my creations, please visit my blog sbartist : painting in the dark by clicking here.

Have a wonderful Wednesday : )


  1. Fantastic, this came together beautifully. I love cyrstal lacquer, also the powder tip, thanks

  2. Your pages are stunning thanks for all the tips and techniques

  3. Beautiful! I love the colors and the stamps :)

  4. love altered book. this page rocks...

  5. Beautiful, love your pages... the Crystal Lacquer and Terri Srpoul Mixers were perfect for this project.

  6. Wonderful tips and techniques! I love your fairy, she's just adorable.

    Hugs XX

  7. Wowsa! What an altra cool project!

  8. I love altering books, and your pages are truly beautiful. Love the colors you chose, and I especially like your fairy. You are one very talented lady. TFS.