Bob-bob-bobbin' along........

Still in vacation-mode over the weekend, we girls got together for another page or two. Mom, too bad you didn’t get yours finished. My little chicks and I plodded on. . These are all the start-and-see-where-you-end-up variety. I like those kind the best—just work on them until you finish! Here are the results. I will let you guess who’s is who’s.

"A Night to Treasure"

"Letters Home"

The votes are in......... how did you do? .......................(sorry, I can't type the answers upside down.)





"A Night to Treasure" & "Fantasy" - my youngest, K.

"Letters Home" - my eldest, A.

"Cherubs" & "Daydreams" - me!


Round Robin, Part II

Several days under the shade trees was very inspirational for our round robin. We were quite a productive bunch. My eldest was really enjoying the challenges. Here are some of her creations.
“Create a collage representing the season in which you were born.”
“Create a collage using only items that represent living things.”
Quite a magical piece using random folders and random colors. “Create a collage that represents each of the five senses.” My youngest was on a working vacation, so she had less time at the craft table. Still she managed to create a couple of beauties. A color challenge: More samples of Mom’s work. She likes to work on her own, no challenges. I’m proud to say she is a glitterbug, just like me!
As for me, I did some work in my Celebrate the Seasons book that has layed idle for quite a while. It was nice to get back into it with a fresh eye. I will share some of my favorites later.


Round Robin

In the altered book world, a round robin consists of a group in which each member passes a book from one person to another, altering a few pages before sending it on. This is usually done by mail, involves several people and takes months to complete. My family spent this past week together camping at a nearby lake. Every day we spread our art supplies on a big picnic table under the shade of grand old trees and had our ‘altered’ version (pardon-the-pun) of a round robin. It was great fun. Contributors include both my daughters, my mom, and even my dad! It will take a little more work to get a page from the husband and sil—but we won’t lose hope.

I chose not to assign a theme, but rather let each artist create from their own inspiration.
This is my mom’s first page—ever. She made many more throughout the week.

The creative gene runs rampant in our family. This is my dad’s first – and so far, only- page:

A fun thing I sometimes do when hosting an altering get-together is offer ‘recipes’ or challenges to get the creative juices flowing. Below is a challenge to my eldest:

"Close your eyes and select two colors of paint from the paint box. Close your eyes and select two folders from the picture files. You may choose one picture from each file. You may use items from the scrap tray for other details."

Her choices were the colors pink and gold and pictures from the food and Oriental folders. Here is the result:

Caption: "If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits?" (Also notice the serendipity--the book title: The complete book of pitfalls--discovered after the page was finished!)

Using the same challenge, my youngest created this page. Her choices were the colors orange and turquoise, and pictures from the alphabet and flower folders.

It is amazing how each person interprets the choices they are given, creating something beautiful and unique. Could there be a life lesson in there somewhere???

I'll have more of our round robin later........


I always like to begin the day, to begin the journey, with a good cup of coffee. I took the quiz and learned:
I am a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated
You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys
Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.
And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.


Little girl in every woman

I believe it is true there is a little girl in every woman and a little woman in every girl. This book reflects some of the facets of that maxim. This tiny board book is near and dear to my heart. I hope it speaks to the little girl in you as well.

To give you a perspective of the size:

Board books are a perfect medium for telling a story. Having only a few pages helps to focus and capture the theme. I have to admit board books are hard for me alter since I have grandsons that love them so. I use those that I find at garage sales that have seen better days.

This little book has a flap on each page—perfect for holding an inner truth, for revealing juxtaposition. I will share two or three of my favorite pages with you—unless there is a clamoring for more.

Find your inner girl....you'll fall in love...

It's an art, a delicate balance....little girl....woman...

Beauty, when unadorned, is adorned the most.


First and Last

It has to start somewhere.
The first thing I did when I heard the words "altered book" was google it. What I found was the epitome of the phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words." My eyes drank in page after page of this unique art form that was calling my name, speaking to my heart.
This is the first page I ever made. Hundreds of pages later, I still like it. It's like an old friend; special and familiar.

This page, called Little Girl, is the latest in my collection. It was just finished this morning. I haven't known it long enough to be comfortable with it, but I like it. I think we will be good friends, too.


Start to Finish

This weekend, out came the paints and the scissors and a new page was born! It had been a while since I worked in a book. I needed a jump start and just as I'd hoped, this blog did it.

I thought it might be fun to follow a page's transformation from it's humble beginnings as a page of boring text to its new altered beauty.

The blank canvas:

The background with gold highlights:

Butterfly stamps added to background.
The focal point, girl with wings:

The finished product! Detail added: flowers, dried fern,
antiqued tag with ribbons, and edges woven with patterned
paper and gold cord.
Wasn't that fun? Let's do it again, real soon!


Collecting & Creating

To me, my craft has two parts. Besides the actual creating and assembling, I also enjoy collecting and organizing the materials. When I first started, I just had a stack of magazines that I would forage through in search of the right element. As I began to collect an assortment of pictures and words that didn’t make it onto a page, it got frustrating trying to sort through the layers to find that clock face I knew I’d cut out.

Next came the filing system—hanging files in a plastic crate. By sorting them into categories, my pictures were easier to locate. With categories and a place to keep them, I sometimes just go on a treasure hunt to fill up the lean files with whatever strikes my fancy. Over time I have amassed quite a cache from which to choose.

There is an actual term for this paper I collect, file and assemble: ephemera. Ephemera is hand-written or printed matter, not intended to be retained or preserved. Those bits of paper of every day life normally discarded after its intended use such as calendars, postcards, greeting cards, ticket-stubs, programs, and canceled stamps. (Before you scoff at this notion of ‘trash collecting’ just note that large academic libraries and museums collect, organize, and preserve ephemera as history.)

Some interesting things can be found by being able to see them out of context. For example, the letters that spell “Wings” were cut from a box of brownie snack cakes. I wasn’t spelling anything when I cut them out—they were just pretty bright letters. Before tossing the box, I snipped the letters and added them to a file. When I assembled this page, they were just what I was looking for!

There is a lot more that goes on a page than paper.
In this little white cabinet and little black toolbox is a treasure trove of goodies that I will share, later…………


Black & White & Red For Good Measure.

Crisp. Classic. Black and White.
This page is titled "Choices" for sheer irony. If only our choices were so contrasted.

If only one color is added to black and white, the resounding choice would be red!

More of the dynamic trio. This page is particulary pleasing to me.

These roses were just so pretty; black was the perfect background to compliment them. When the toasting couple showed up in my clippings, I went in search of the rest. Red ribbon is woven around the edges for texture.


The Color Orange

Orange, coral and cream is a favorite color combination. I like the warmth and the hints of sepia in these pages. The first one, "Happiness" uses a lot of torn pieces. Even the framed picture and two of the hearts are torn. A page with too many straight lines is boring--a little too "perfect". This page was mainly an exercise in color, texture and layering. In addition to magazine pictures, it contains mulberry paper, vellum, contac transfer and twine.

All the elements for this "Love Notes" page just seemed to fall together to tell the whole story.......
Who among us doesn't have a box of old love notes tucked away?

This romantic layout was built around the quote: "The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose." There is a beautiful truth in that statement. The peach rose is so life-like, you can almost smell it. The photo doesn't show all the gold shimmery touches of ribbon and paint that add a lot of depth to the page. In my opinion, the finishing touch is the pic of the carved hand clutching the bouquet.



Sometimes a page begins with an idea, a definite plan that follows through start to finish. But sometimes.....ahhhh....serendipity! A page opens ups, a phrase jumps out that so perfectly aligns with the picture in hand. The result is a page I couldn't have planned if I tried!
What an unusual chapter title: "Talents and Yachts". What a delightful combination.
This page started out with a silver background I selected at random. Only after the page was finished did I recognize it as a perfect mirror! Don't you just LOVE when that happens?

The journey begins.......

The first step of this journey actually began about four years ago. What you are seeing now, this blog, is just another leg of that journey.

I have a passion for paper! Okay, I admit it--I have an addiction to paper. A few years ago I discovered a way to channel that passion. Altered books. Creating them has brought me so much pleasure. But that is only half the fun. Blogging will give me another avenue to share them--the other half of the enjoyment. I will begin by showing some of my old favorites. Hopefully this outlet will inspire me to create new favorites!



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