Thursday, 13 October 2016

Skeleton leaves anyone?

Hi everyone, Ruth here with an inspiration post inspired by the current challenge theme 'Elements of Nature' . Skeleton leaves were one of the first crafty items I bought many, many years ago to make some cards and I have had some in my stash ever since but never thought of another way to use them that wasn't..well if I'm honest a bit naff. Not wanting to get rid of them they have been moved from one place to another and then when I saw what this months challenge theme would be I decided it was their time! So here is my second creation incorporating skeleton leaves....a nature book.

I started off with a book that had disintegrated and decided to recycle the covers, taping them together with a space for the spine. I will make a text block at a later stage that will fit inside....I do love handmade journals.

Inspired by a cheesecloth covered book on pinterest I gave the covers one coat of gesso and applied some muslin whilst it was still wet, I then painted more gesso on top and scrunched the muslin up a bit.

Once dry I spread a thin layer of grunge paste over and stamped into it with a Lin Brown leaf stamp. Spray the rubber with a mist of water before stamping. I just made a random pattern.

This created some lovely texture.

I decided to apply skeleton leaves to just the front and leave the texture showing on the back. I applied the leaves whilst the grunge paste was still wet, trimming where I needed to and then left it to dry. Once dry I applied a coat of gel medium to make sure all the leaves were stuck down. I also added a few tiny art stones.

I used pinflair book binding glue to stick the muslin to the inside covers.

Next heat embossing on a skeleton leaf with frantage shabby white enamel. This is the same method I used for my herbarium in last weeks post, but I used gold powder that time.

The book was ready for a dry brushing of fresco paints in snowflake, nougat, toffee and french roast. I also used a fine text stamp to add some further detail.

 I then applied torn pieces of the skeleton leaf to the front.

A tickle of white fire treasure gold highlighted the neutral colour palette.

I nearly left it as it was, particularly as it's much easier to work in a journal that has very little dimension on the covers but I decided to use some more of the natural elements and encase them in UTEE.

I put a little glue on the base of the microscope slide and stuck it to my craft mat before sprinkling in some pieces of the skeleton leaf, micro beads and gilded seed heads, then I poured clear melted UTEE in before sprinkling some more tiny additions. The splashed of white are melted embossing enamel on the leaf and just adds a lovely highlight to the piece. A little gilding around the edge of the slide to finish off.

I have loved using skeleton leaves again and have further ideas to experiment with them in encaustic wax...just goes to show you shouldn't throw anything way in crafty land! I do hope you've been inspired to join in with our challenge or experiment working with natural elements as there is an abundance at this time of year.

Thanks for stopping by, Ruth x


  1. Totally love your book covers Ruth x made me smile when you spoke about having the skeleton leaves in your stash for quite some time and looking for a way to use them as I am the same !!
    Wonderful natural the details and finished result

    Hugs Annie x

  2. This is a stunning project Ruth! I love the restrained colour palette with little touches of gilding here and there. The skeleton leaves look so good. I'm going to dig out the ones I bought yonks ago too! Thanks for the inspiration. Toni xx

  3. That's gorgeous Ruth! Skeleton leaves always make such a beautiful background xx

  4. Absolutely beautiful and underused product! Such a lovely result!

  5. AAAAAAH yes! I remember my love affair with skeleton leaves, and now they seem to be making a new entrance back into the craft world.
    This is an extremely stunning journal.
    Thanks for showing all the steps to it!

  6. It is just to fall in love with Ruth, stunning with the extra leaves with white embossing, and the touch of white fire treasure gold ! Xoxo Dorthe

  7. Absolutely stunning. Love the skeleton leaves and especially love the slide. This is an element of nature project at its most spectacular.

  8. This is absolutely stunning!

  9. Absolutely stunning project and a fantastic tutorial, Ruth! The way you used those skeleton leaves is brilliant and so inspirational! Hugs! Branka xx

  10. Oh Ruth! This really is so beautiful! What a wonderful way to use your skeleton leaves! Hugs, Chrisx

  11. Fabulous, love it. Now I know what to do with the skeleton leaves I bought 9 years ago.

  12. What a wonderful cover you created with the skeleton leaves and your beautiful slide frame! A beautiful natural nature look!

  13. Yup, I'm in love! A journal cover to sigh for, to die for - it's just beautiful, Ruth. One of my favourite things in Craftyblogland ever!
    Alison x

  14. I'm in love too... A fabulous book cover using leaves skeletons, muslin and utee, SO beautiful!!! Corinne x