The Taz Book

It’s no secret; I love handmade books.  Love making them, love fondling them, love learning to make them.  So I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take a class with my BFF, Terri, taught by Jen Starr at a local scrapbook store.  Not only were we going to make books, but Tim Holtz products featured quite prominently in the design!

This is the example for the class:

Notice all the Tim goodness: Distress Inks, die cuts, tissue tape, ruler ribbon, hitch fastener, clock face & spinner, and that flap on the side is grunge paper.  Does it get any better?

We spent most of the three-hour class applying Distress Inks to the various papers that would make up the pages, using foam applicators.  It was nice to get a lot of ink-application practice in, but we had achy wrists and messy fingers by the time it was all through!  I still had several items to ink up when we left and was nowhere near done.  Luckily, Jen provided a two-page instruction sheet plus photos of each page, so it was simple enough to put it all together over the next few days.

Jen told us to pick three colors to work with, but I chose four.  She had a huge variety of Distress Inks to choose from, and while I didn’t get to use one of my favorites, Peeled Paint, I think I made good choices with Rusty Hinge (I need one of these!), Broken China, Worn Lipstick and Shabby Shutters.  One of Jen’s tips, which I used to great advantage, was to combine colors you wouldn’t normally think go well together.  Two disparate colors can blend unexpectedly to create something quite wonderful!

Of course, the best part of a “real” class is meeting your classmates, sharing tips and stories and generally having a raucous time.  (Some of us were more raucous than others!)  Jen herself shared some extremely interesting facts/stories about the Awesome and Illustrious Tim Holtz himself.  I won’t reveal too much, but suffice to say I now know why he always wears long sleeves and why you should never offer him a slice of apple pie.  🙂  (And I love him all the more for some of those other stories!  LOL)

Anyway, on to the book.  When I chose my colors, I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but shortly after I got home, I decided to make it about our adored newest family member, Taz the kitten!  Actually, she’s 7-1/2 months old at this point and doesn’t look much like a kitten anymore, except for her rather small size.  We adopted her last September and I’ve taken many photos and shot many videos of her.  Lynx Point Siamese is my new favorite cat breed!  My husband named her after the Tasmanian Devil, because she started out super wild & fiesty.  Now that she’s older, she has calmed down considerably, and I imagine, once she’s a mature, sedate cat, we’ll have to pretend the name is ironic.  🙂

Here’s the cover.  In class, I had stamped the word “DREAM” on the die cut, but it came out crooked and smeary, so I covered it with a few layers of Snowcap dabber paint (which took on the orangey hue of the ink beneath it) and added another small grunge die cut on top.

The cover is basically cardboard covered with inked papers and embellished.  The grunge paper flap on the right is glued to the back cover and folded around to the front, where it’s held in place by a hitch fastener.

Inside cover:

As you can see, we used Tim’s masks to create the background.

The next “pages” are manila tags that have been embossed with Tim’s texture fade embossing folders (we got to choose which designs to emboss) and then Distress inked.



The next is one of my favorite pages.  We ripped one side of corrugated cardboard and then painted it with Claudine Hellmuth studio paints.  Inked paper was glued on one side.  I added some tapes and painted grungeboard letters.  I like the way the letters seem to float on the ridges of the cardboard. 

The back of the cardboard was covered with more inked paper.

Next is a miniature manila file folder that’s been embossed and inked, then glued along one side and the bottom to form a pocket for an embossed/inked tag.



On the next page, I did something totally stupid that later turned into something totally clever.  🙂  The embossed die cut was supposed to flip up and down via jump rings.  However, I punched the holes too far from the edge for the jump rings to fit.  (Derf!)  So I figured this would be the perfect place to mention Taz’s affinity for elastic hair bands and include an actual example – which I glued into the holes.  Doesn’t it look like I did it on purpose?

The back of this page has one of my favorite photos; my husband holding a contented Taz.  I used tissue tape to cover the wayward holes punched at the top.

Next is another embossed manila folder.  I’m not sure what we were supposed to do with this, but I glued it together to make one thick page.


The card is from a deck made by Fancy Feast a few years ago.  I happened to run across it while looking for bookbinding rings.  (The rings provided in class were far too small to accommodate all the pages, so I used my own.)


The next page is simply a sheet of watercolor paper.  We did both sides by smooshing Distress Inks onto our craft sheet, spritzing with water and swiping the paper onto the inks.  Any white spots were filled in with the foam applicator.  As the paper was rather fragile on its own, we die cut  and painted Claudine Hellmuth sticky back canvas to wrap around the edge before punching the holes.

Finally, the inside back cover, which is lined paper glued to cardboard, inked and masked.

I love taking classes and can’t wait for the next opportunity!


7 Responses to “The Taz Book”

  1. Says:

    I absolutely love your book!!

  2. That Other Chick Says:

    Aww! So sweet! Your book turned out great, love the colors and that Taz, she is adorable.

  3. lenna young andrews Says:

    Lisa, what an awesome book! I am planning a “little book” swap to be announce at the end of the month and due in June. I sure hope you’ll be able to join us!

  4. Cindy Says:

    What a beautiful book! Thanks so much for sharing it on the blog Lisa.

  5. Susan Slomski Says:

    Very nice book!

  6. coupons for blurb photobooks Says:

    Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

  7. Anonymous Says:

    This books are amazing and very beautiful

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