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Saturday, January 11, 2014


Hi Everyone. It's Bonnie Irvine here today with the first spread of my altered board book. Having just finished reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (I know...where have I been?), a truly inspiring book, I found my theme for my next altered children's board book...Bees. I've always had a fascination with them, with their industriousness, sense of community, fabulous engineering abilities, and all of the good that they do in my garden. Besides that, as long as they don't sting me, they're cute!

Before I started this spread, I gessoed the entire book including the cover. For these two pages, I scribbled 5 yellow shades of Neocolor II crayon across both and spread the colour with a wet brush. Next I applied Butterscotch, Lemon, and Buttercream Gelatos randomly but especially used the Butterscotch all along the edges of the pages. I blended these with a damp finger. Finally I softened and further blended the colours by applying two colours of chalk paint plus some white gesso lightly over both pages with Cut n Dry Foam.

Once that was thoroughly dry, Vintage Photo Distress ink was applied through TCW's Honeycomb stencil and through Dylusions Number Jumble stencil. White Gesso was applied with a stencil brush through TH Measured Layering stencil and TCW's Halftone borders.A TH script stamp was rolled onto the page here and there inked with Vintage Photo. The big ol' splotches were added by spritzing Tattered Leather Glimmer Mist through TCW's Splats stencil...shimmer and splats all in one :)

The giant sunflower was fussy cut from a Tim Coffey designer paper and adhered to the background. The gorgeous bee was fussy cut and the wings which were matted with black were given a smear of Icicle Stickles. Then she was popped up on foam tape with a double layer under her head for greater dimension. Some of the images were purchased from Etsy and the little boy from Deviant Scrap.

Two flags of ribbon were added to give him and his honey bottle a base. The little black circle is actually twine coiled onto a circle scrap of Sticky Back Canvas and coloured with black gesso. A tiny brass bee was adhered to the coil.

Pieces of striped washi tape were glued to white paper and then to the background so they were no longer transparent. Bits of die cut border accented the bottom edges.The lettering of Bee is done with Doodlebug Tiles. The quote was created on the computer and comes from Ray Bradbury. Black matting and doodling gave the phrases more visual weight. Black Big Brush pen was applied around the page edges.

 Bzzz was stamped in a few places with Jet Black Archival ink using a Hampton Arts alpha set. Lots of doodling with a black pen and a white gel pen completed the pages.

That's it for my first spread in my altered thrift store board book. With five more double pages to go,including the cover, you can be sure that you will be seeing more bee-themed mixed media art from Thanks for hanging out with me today.

Remember to check out the Pre-Order Bundle Sales Kim is offering in the store on new products from CHA . 
You won't want to miss them.


Here are links to the store for the products I used:


Anonymous said...

Wow Bonnie what a stunning journal page! Love the colours and the stencilling ! Sue C x

Unknown said...

A-Mazing! First, I was stopped by the background - seriously 5 neocolors + 3 gelato colors = amazing depth!! Then the rest of the page is icing on the cake - the bee, the twine coil ... everything!! love.

ParkNSlide said...

BEE-utiful! Loving your color palette and all the interesting embellies.

Words and Pictures said...

Stunning page, Bonnie - I love all the stripes and all the honeycombs layered into and onto it. The bee boy is fabulous, and the little bottle is perfect. Brilliant work, Bonnie.
Alison xx

Redanne said...

Your journal pages are always beautiful, fun and interesting and this is no exception. Love the beautiful bee and the way the boy is standing on the honeycomb. Beautiful work. Anne x

Julie S said...

I have never seen your work before but I'm a fan now. You've managed to get so many different elements on your pages yet they all look like they belong perfectly and you've ended with a beautiful cohesive spread. I've got a bunch of board books stashed but haven't felt inspired to work on them. I am now!

Andiepants said...

This is phenomenal Bonnie. Love the bee theme. If it makes you feel any better...that is one book i have not yet read myself. You are still ahead of me doll ;)

Sue Lelli said...

Bonnie, Super pages! Especially LOVE that huge sunflower and that bee! It looks so real! So many FAB details to look at!

Tracy said...

Bonnie it's lookibg fabulous..looove your background and how cute is that bee boy.
I love how it all tells a stort..beeeeutiful!

Micki said...

I love board books because they so sturdy and no frame or holder needed :-). Love your bright colors and all the detail from the beautiful sunflower to the bee boy. Love it.