The 4x4 prompt for this week was to use our favorite color. I just love color, period. Vivids, darks, lights, neutrals....color is just exciting. I choose color by mood, either the mood I'm in or the mood I'd like to be in. I've gone through phases of favorite colors: turquoise, orange, taupe (I love taupe) the old hunter/burgandy phase, and even the mauve/blue phase. But when push comes to shove, the one color I never stray far from is pink. I used it in my wedding. I even had daughters so I could use it freely. We once had a living room painted the palest, softest, most delicate shade of pink. It is the color of my blog header. Pink has never failed me.
My college senior just moved into her first apartment. She asked me for some recipes that would be: 1)simple, 2)quick, 3) cheap, and 4)familiar. Well, I just couldn't hand her a stack of recipes cards, no siree. Visions of an altered book cookbook began dancing in my head.
I'm going to show you how this: became this:
I had a lot of Big Bird, Bert and Ernie to cover up:
I began by applying gesso to each page: Next, I painted each page with acrylic, using retro colors of turquoise, pink, chartreuse, and that lovely 1940's green.
I added some retro stamps, chalk low-lights, and catalog, magazine & internet pictures.
Collecting the recipes was fun. I provided most of the sweets and Amy contributed a lot of the main dish & crock meals; we included some old family stand-bys, and fulfilled the criteria of simple, quick and cheap.
I wanted to create a book that looked like it had been assembled over time and seen some kitchen action for years. Following the pattern of my own recipe collection, I copied some of the recipes onto odd bits of paper scraps and envelopes. Some went on index cards. For the typed ones, I used an old typewriter font.
The recipes still looked too 'new' and glaringly white next to the retro pages. To age them and give them the look of old favorites, I tinted the cards with coffee by mixing instant coffee and a little water in a shallow container. Some of the dried cards also got treated to coffee rings with actual cups and lids. It created a nice effect.
With some more tweaking, staining, chalking and adding more images, I completed the 20 page spreads last night. Some of the pages have space to add more recipes as she collects new favorites. It's designed to be used and added to without the worry of keeping it pristine--in fact, just the opposite!
Here is a sample of some of the pages:
Kristin was thrilled with the finished product, telling me she would treasure it forever! I can't wait to see what she cooks first!
This little mask was just the right size for my diva. By carefully cutting around her fingers with an x-acto, I was able to fit the mask in her hand, making it look like she has just pulled the mask away from her face.
This week's directive on Step Outside Your Box was to "Think Big"-- break out of our usual size pieces. What a challenge it was for me! The biggest I usually do is a double page spread in an altered book. The piece I have pictured above is a 16" x 20" canvas! It was so much fun to do!
Usually I start a piece with an image, a background, some portion of the whole, and build from there--often surprising myself with the finished product. However, this morning, this completed idea popped into my head immediately when I saw the theme for 4x4 Friday: "Vintage Brides". Knowing what I wanted to do and getting it done became another matter. You may think that the bride image is a transfer, but you would be mistaken. It seems me and transfers are not exactly 100%. Undaunted, I plowed ahead, tried another method, and viola! The image of the bride is printed on tissue paper! And I think it turned out great, if I do say so myself!! 4x4 Friday - Vintage Brides