adornment, beads, books, embellishment, embroidery, fiberart, mixed media

Friendship Book

This friendship book is something that I have needed for a long time but didn’t know it. It will be a place that will keep the many treasured tags, ATCs, notes, index cards, words of encouragement collected from, you guessed it, friends. Like an autograph book for the internet age. 

This project has come together by accident. Can’t deny it. So I’ll let you in on how it came to be. 

It started with this idea that I would make some Moravian Stars from stenciled paper for my post in December. ( I used the Decorative 6-petal screen stencil.) Sounded good to me, but I hit some technical difficulties – The paper I stenciled upon was not the right weight and consistency for paper folding…in fact, it ripped quite often. Meanwhile another idea was brewing. The idea was released.

Still, I had all of these lovely strips of paper covered with stenciling. A good housekeeper would have thrown them out. Perhaps I should have. Just to keep those hoarding tendencies at bay. But I didn’t. 

I played with them. They sat on my desk for a few weeks. I curled some with the blade of a pair of scissors. That was fun (and I did eventually discard those pieces). I wove them. Well, that was mega fun. Trying to decide which strips should go next to each other was just the sort of thing I love. 

But that wasn’t enough. There was this translucent paper stenciled with the Ornamental Petals Screen Stencil. After tucking the ends under and feeding them through loops in the back, the translucent paper went over the top. 

This Dresden Trim Medallion from Gwen’s Small Medallions matched the pattern so well. It was cut into elements that were affixed to the middle and the four corners. 

Glass beads were sewn around the edge to secure all the papers and then along the edge of the stenciled area to enhance the design. 

I loved the piece. It stayed on the bulletin board waiting for an opportunity. 

Meanwhile, the Artist Tribe sisters were all talking about embossing powder. I had never used it. By chance, I inherited a selection of said items from my sister for Christmas. An old gelli plate print from several years ago was the substrate for my first foray in embossing. Wow! That stuff is amazing. (I used Gwen’s Decorative Folk Flower Stencil 4 X 4). So that hung on the bulletin board next to the woven piece. 

Christmas also brought cheer in the form of a gift of a handmade book made by Gwen. It is absolutely beautiful. The cover was plain brown board, which it must be said looked amazing as is. However, it was also an invitation for embellishment. And embellishment it got. 

For the front cover:

1. A piece of sari fabric scrap from the Irresistible India – Embellished Sari Scraps was perfect for the cover. Cut a little larger than the cover, it adhered with gel medium, the edges flipped over and smoothed on the inside. 

2. The Mirrored Gold Embellished Trim adhered to the left side. The woven paper piece was attached to the middle. 
3. Flipping it to the inside, the fabric edges were cleaned up and covered with two types of Dresden Trim

Back cover:

1. The remaining scrap was not large enough to simply paste and go. It was cut into strips and adhered to the edges.

2.  The gelli print embossed with Decorative Folk Flower Stencil 4 X 4 paper was added. 
3. The Mirrored Gold Embellished Trim adhered to the right side with gel medium.
4. A piece of Dresden Small Medallions was chosen for the way it reflected the stencil design. 
5. Gold Liquid Pearls (Ranger) were used to embellish both the Dresden and around the paper. 
6. Silver glitter letters were added to read “Friendship Book.” 
7. A piece of washi tape was added to the left side for interest.
8. Inside the cover, the washi tape and two types of Dresden trim to finish the edges. 


A piece of Sari Yarn (Twisted Sister variety) was added to the spine. The color was chosen to complement the colors in the weaving. 

The jury is out on whether there will be more dangling elements hanging from the spine.  

Now that I have made the Friendship Book, the fun begins! Here’s to filling up those pages. 

You may also like...


  1. I love the idea of this book and how it has come into being. I can so relate to your creative process and the evolution of this embellished cover. Your approach sounds a lot like my own. I heard a reassuring quote on the radio yesterday about creativity coming out of play , or something like that. You know how you sit with a bunch of stuff and play about, see if this goes with that and what if I…..?? It feels akin to the mad scientist sometimes but with prettier results than Frankenstein.😀

  2. What a great idea, Lynda! I keep all my tags and ATCs in one of those Ikea wooden drawer units, but a book would be a much better way to store them.

  3. Wow, so many lush layers, of course you had me at Sari scraps! I must get some! Love the process for how you got to your finished pieces, I think that is the way most mixed media artist go! As for paper hoarding..::innocent look::, I haven't a clue what you're talking about, bwahahahaha…cough, cough…lol

  4. This is so cool Lynda… I love the idea of a book to keep those little bits and pieces from friends! Also, so fun to see how you decorated the journal! It's gorgeous!

  5. Everything turned out so beautiful! What a great idea 🙂

  6. Thank you, Yari! I look forward to filling it with friendship.

  7. Gwen, it was gorgeous before I even started on it! I actually did love the look of the brown cover, but once my mind has an idea it can be hard to make it stop. Bling happens! A very dear friend made it for me. *wink* *wink*

  8. Sandi, you crack me up! I'm sure that you are quite free of the piles that plague the rest of us. 🙂 Yes, I love to show how I got to the end. I mean, so many people think they can't create because they don't know how to make the thing. I've got a secret for you – neither do I! I just react to the materials and help them make themselves. And you must get some sari scraps. They are luscious beyond description. I actually wept with delight when I got mine.

  9. Oh, Tracy! An Ikea wooden drawer unit would be a lovely place to keep all the tags and ATCs. I actually have thought about getting a rolodex. I can totally understand why people get into that. So easy to keep them organized.

    Regardless, this book will be perfect for me. I'm just not sure how I will handle all the beauty there will be when I have inserted everything.

  10. Lynne, you hit my funny bone. Sometimes my results are a bit like Frankenstein! Usually not, though.

    I agree with creativity being play. I mean, you take things and see how they relate to each other. You try them out. Something evolves. Sometimes it is a giraffe (really? how did THAT emerge?) and sometimes it is something elegant like a rose. Whimsy is great when it happens. Sometimes, just sometimes, we hit on something more. Any way around it, it is a fun thing and something I cannot stop. So glad to have found you playing too.

  11. So beautiful! You have put so much work into this piece. Love it!

  12. This is so beautiful! You artfully combined so many gorgeous elements and the result is so unique and special. Well done!

  13. Thanks, Linda! Gwen has so many gorgeous elements to work with, doesn't she? It is really fun to see them come together.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Thanks, Kate! It may look like a lot of work, and I suppose it was, but some of it was elements I played with all coming together nicely to work in one project. I sometimes have little bits and pieces, experiments really, that hang out on the bulletin board over my work space waiting for their turn. Sometimes they wait a long time before they get a chance. This time a number of those pieces jumped into the fray. Fun to see it come together.

Comments are closed.