Apr 302015

I probably should not have waited until the last day of the month to answer the April Showers challenge for Blogging Business Artisans, but that’s what happened. LeAnn Frobom of Pasque Flower Creations initiated the challenge, as follows:

April showers bring May flowers. The challenge this month is to create something that incorporates an image or a color scheme reminiscent of April showers—umbrellas, raindrops, puddles, clouds—the (cloudy) sky is the limit!

Fortunately I had exactly the appropriate materials on hand to create an item to meet this challenge. I cut everything to size, and was ready to begin.

Raw Materials

I decided to create a deluxe version of my current address book, which consists of 100 pages—enough space for 300 contacts’ names, addresses, and various phone numbers and e-mail addresses. I honestly think this is enough space for most people, but when one of my customers told me she ran out of space for one of the alphabetic sections, I realized you simply can’t have enough pages in an address book. The address book below, Birds & Berries, is an example of my standard-sized address book.

Birds & Berries Address BookThe new address book has enough space for 102 more contacts, plus a few more features. On the inside front and back covers, I included a pocket for business cards or sticky notes. In keeping with the theme of the challenge, the print on the pockets features clouds with smiling faces, as well as rainbow-colored raindrops. I took these photos late this evening, using the back side of my cutting mat as a backdrop, so I hope you’ll excuse the shadows and somewhat muted colors.

Front Inside Cover

Front Inside Cover

Back Inside Cover

Back Inside Cover

My contact information section looks the same as it did previously, except that there is space for 102 more entries. I used a linen paper called Royal Marble Smooth in Blue from Wausau Papers that I’ve had forever. It looks a bit like a wispy sky, so it seemed to be the perfect match for the April Showers challenge.

Contact Information Section with Space for 402 Entries

Contact Information Section with Space for 402 Entries

I added two new sections to the back of the address book: one for important numbers, and the other for special dates.

Two New Sections: Important Nos. & Special Dates

Two New Sections: Important Nos. & Special Dates

Here are the pages from the two new sections, side by side.

Here are the pages from the two new sections, side by side.

The covers of the address book were fun to design. I wrapped bookboard in Umbrellas card stock from Echo Park’s Sunny Days Ahead collection. It’s absolutely perfect for the April Showers challenge. Of course, once it begins raining, May flowers follow, quite often with tulips and daffodils, so I knew I needed to add some flowers to the front cover. After all, it wouldn’t be a MisterPenQuin book if it didn’t have a flower embellishment! That’s true, of course, if the book is designed for women—a couple of days ago I posted an example of a book with buttons instead of flowers, since that book was designed to be more gender neutral.

To prepare for the flower embellishment, I pulled out my non-stick craft mat and applied some inks directly onto it, specifically Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Pickled Raspberry and Tumbled Glass. I sprayed the inks with water, and then I swiped a sheet of Neenah Bright White 65-pound card stock through the inks. I dried the paper with a heat gun. Next, I applied clear embossing ink to a rubber stamp called Newspaper Tulips from Hero Arts. I sprinkled the image with white embossing powder and used the heat gun to melt the embossing powder. After the embossed image cooled down, I cut out a rectangle around the image, and matted it.

Front Cover

I haven’t listed this upgraded version of an address book yet in MisterPenQuin, but it will be available soon if you’re interested in purchasing it. After all, Mother’s Day is around the corner! Thanks, LeAnn, for coming up with a fun challenge during the month of April.

© 2015 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.


2 comments on “April BBA Challenge: April Showers

  1. LeAnn Frobom on said:

    What a GREAT response to the challenge! I love the little rainbow designs on the front cover — and the clouds and rainbows and wispy sky motifs inside. I’m one of the folks who can really appreciate some extra room in the address book! The two new sections will be really useful, too.

  2. Natasha on said:

    I can’t pick my favorite part of this project! The umbrella paper really caught my eye in the supplies picture, but then I realized how super cute the cloud pattern is. Then I saw the embossed flowers and now I really can’t decide. It’s a neat idea to emboss over inks. I’ve embossed over watercolor before and that works nicely, too.

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