Saturday, 30 October 2010

Don't you just "love" the Internet? ......

Grrrr!!!!  There I was, typing up this post last night, just about to check and upload it, when our whole internet connection went down - funny peculiar how it always seems to do this when the weather is horrendous outside (it was bucketing it down and blowing a gale!) ..... neither myself nor Max could get back online and I went to bed feeling very exasperated at the thought that everything I'd meant to post had been lost!  (It's as frustrating as the times I've gone to delete one character in a long text message and instead it's deleted the whole lot ..... aaagh!!!).  Anyway, with much relief, I've just discovered that most of the post had saved before the system went down, so here it is complete .......

I haven't had a lot of time for much creating as it's been quite a busy week one way or another (including a trip to the dentist - just a check up!), but I did manage to spend a couple of hours yesterday finishing off some pages for an Altered Book Round Robin.  For these final pages we could do what we wanted (in previous months we've worked to set techniques and instructions) and now this book will be travelling home to its owner, Liz, on Monday ...... mine will be on its way back to me soon too (can't wait to see it)!

I actually remembered to take a photo of these pages so I thought I'd share it with you to give you a flavour of what you can do with an old second-hand (NOT rare or valuable) book!

The theme of Liz's book is "Life's Tapestry" and we could choose whatever colour scheme and interpretation we wanted.  I decided to use all the remaining blank pages at the back of the book and cut out a rectangular window shape in them.  I then glued them all down (apart from the top sheet) with a gel medium to the back cover to form a shallow aperture.  I gessoed over the top pages, then coloured them with acrylic paint dabbers (boy, do I have trouble with those dabbers ...... they always seem to dry up on me and I end up smearing some of the paint over the sponge bit to get them to work at all ..... grrr!).  I then stamped flourishes and flowers onto the background and added some images over the top (some from Crafty Individuals mini books).

Inside the aperture, I stamped an appropriate quote and added some feathers, sequins and Beadazzles, plus some copper metallic rub-on and ink, before adhering some acetate over the top and then sandwiching it beneath the top page.  I finished the pages with self-adhesive ribbon strips, more words, paper flowers with button centres and fibres.

These old books are wonderful to work in, the pages are quite thin but they have a wonderfully absorbent quality which is great for throwing gesso, paints and inks onto.  It's also important to choose a book that's stitched not glued so that you can remove several pages in order to allow room for embellishing the pages you're working on.  I know that a lot of people find it very difficult to "deface" a book and of course I would never suggest cutting up anything that was rare or valuable, but visit any charity shop or car boot these days and you'll find stacks of old hardbacks that nobody wants any more ...... why not have a go and breathe new life into them as a "work of art"?  (They'd also be brilliant for art journalling into ..... hmm, I may well have a go at that)!

I'm really looking forward to seeing my own completed book "Flights of Imagination" and I'll be posting photos of all the pages in it as soon as I can.  I was wondering if anybody might be interested in trying out some techniques to alter an old book some time after the New Year - either just for yourself or part of a swap/RR, it could be fun!

Well, it looks like all the cards are now in for the "Things that Go Bump" Swap (and some really spooky cards there are too - love what everyone did!) so these will be swapped out over the weekend and posted Monday.  If anyone fancies having a go at creating the Vintage Christmas Triptych, there's still plenty of time - you only need to make one (see details in previous post) and it isn't due to me until the end of November.  I'll also be posting a new ATC swap theme on Monday, so do come back then and check it out.

Finally, don't forget the clocks go back tonight (well, 2 a.m. to be precise, but I always change them earlier in the evening before we go to bed)!


  1. Absolutely amazing books pages Heather. Thanks for showing how you made your scrummy pages.. I have trouble too with paint dabbers & store them all upside down.. not sure if it helps!
    Sorry for being awol from your lovely swaps I'm suffering with vertigo at the moment & getting very little done! I did have a lovely play at Lindsay's art journaling class.. it was a fabulous morning.. I have an Atc here for you that I should have given to Lindsay.. will send it off to you when I next join a swap :)
    Sorry to hear about your Blogger hassles, isn't it a pain at times. Sending you & Graham love & hugs. Have a lovely Sunday. Gez.xx

  2. Noted from your post and from the comment from Gez, that dabbers are a problem to you both. I have had experience of paint dabber problems with the mushroom one - especially at Lindsay's workshops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL
    The pages you have shown are scrumptious. I love the colours - some of my favourites - and I bet it's gorgeous in real life. Looking forward to seeing your book. Away tomorrow for a few days but will see the next ATC swap in the morning. Having a craft day on Tuesday with a friend, Sonia, and we may just make our ATCs together.
    Luv Joanne xx
    X Mia