Friday, July 24, 2009

By the Numbers - Altered Book

I just finished two spreads in an altered book round robin swap. The theme of Dorothy's book is "by the numbers" - and yes, you guessed it - just create a couple of collages with numbers as the central theme. I knew right away that i had to do "even numbers". Just because i am sort of obsessive about them. The background on this spread is a black white and red calender from 2008. I printed out 2-4-6-8 in two bold fonts on matte photo paper and cut them out. I arranged them on the left side and added some doodles with red and black markers. On the right side is the word EVEN. I cut it out of two folded pages of matte photo paper. It has enough strength to stand up to this kind of cut outs. In red pen i wrote about the obsession i mentioned. Birthdays, anniversaries, phone numbers - they are all better to me if they are EVEN!

For my second spread i decided to use the ultimate number - PI. you know, 3.1415926535 blah blah blah. I printed out MANY more digits and used that as background paper. The four delicious pies, with a lacey crust flip open to ask the viewer, pie anyone?
Get it? yeah, i know, kinda corny..
Here's a little artsy crafty tip. How often are you frustrated by notn having the right letters for a spread or scrapbook page? The vowels are always the first to go. Look closely at the E's above. They are altered B's!
Here's my sign in tag - i reached into a drawer of playing cards and this was the one i picked - a PERFECT 10! Punch a hole, add some interesting fibres, sign the back - and voila - the perfect sign in tag.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tip in Swap - altered book pages

What is a tip in swap- you might be asking? When you do a normal round robin - you send your books through the mail for each participating artist to work on. With a tip-in - you just create pages that are mailed and then attached to the book by the owner. You can either do one sided pages that are just glued into the book - over existing book pages. Or you can cut away two pages leaving a 1/2 inch border. You then glue the new pages in between the cut sections - thereby {"tipping" them INTO your book. And no risk of books getting lost in the mail! For this project i created my own book "Purple" you can read about here.

The first pages i got to work on for another persons book were a fun trip down to the wild wild west. Shanna's book is called Driftwood, sort of a play on the HBO series Deadwood. You get to pick a character who light have lived in this town and create pages based on that theme. I chose a team of bandits above - selecting images and stories from the web that i embellished and changed to fit the book's theme.
I used a double ledger page torn from the center of a signature as the base. Some of it shows through. after arranging all the images and aging the whole thing i felt it still needed something.
SO i took a water pen - dipped in black ink pad ink and scribbled all over the pages. i like how it turned out. The tie is just there in the middle for the image - the book would never close! i moved it to the edge before mailing it off.
For my second spread i chose to invent a story about a lady named Bella who started a fine victorian establishment in town. It was fun playing with various papers to evoke the ornate salons of the day.
The image on the left opens to reveal her true identity - Madam Bella, of the Bella Union saloon.
I created one big long playbill sort of thing, something i saw in Wendy Addison's shop, the Theatre of Dreams. She uses a vintage letter press to create awesome printings. I have a sample somewhere in my yet to be unpacked stuff. I'll show it to you when i find it.

Here is a picture of it all in one shot:

Here is my sign in tag. I used a sample of wood grain formica. I found out i have about 50 formica samples in all different styles. Still have not found my good scissors but i have wood grain formica coming out the ying yang.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Craft Room Transformation - part 1 of 27

Ok - so it is not nearly done. But here is the "office" section of my new craft studio.
We switched out my old craft desk base for the office. The actual craft part is on the other side of the shelves. I temporarily attached two Cavallini posters to the wall using the extra sticky stuff that comes with those removal plastic hooks. Once i get over that we are renting and start making holes in the walls - i will put up some of my artwork. The books are by no means organized. They are a mix of magazines, art books, books to alter and books with cool stuff to rip out. Later once i know exactly how much space i'll organize them. Oh yeah - and this is about 1/4 of what i have!

More to come!

Self Help - altered book style

My craft studio is not really "there" yet, but i can get my hands on enough supplies to put together a couple of pages in Carol's altered book: Self Help.

I was flipping through an old anthropologie catalog and tore out some pages with green floral curtains. Not sure what i would do with them exactly - but i liked them. Living in a rental with hideous white vertical blinds, will make you dream about whimsical anthropologie curtains. Even if i WAS planning to buy curtains, it is unlikely they would be these! But that is the cool thing about altered art. You can create your own colour themes on paper - without spending a dime, or tormenting your husband with your ever changing decorating moods.
I started with a blank spread and just layered on torn strips of the curtains along each outer edge. In the middle i glued in some trees in a mist. I also saved some buddha heads from a mail order catalog. I added those as the focal point. For accent i added a strip of copper tape, and cut the word ZEN from wide copper tape. It is actually slug tape - you ca get it in the garden section of a hadrware store. Yes - i attached the E backwards on purpose -i thought it looked better. I only realized why later.
Because my Z is also backwards. Duh.

While looking for some additional embellishment i came across a green tea bag packet. It did not really fit anywhere on the page - so i cut a slit and created a pocket for it. Punch a hole and attach some fibres and voila, a tag!
Continuing on the green theme - i wanted to use this image from a magazine of a path of stones. I created two flaps from card stock attached with tape to the pages. I wanted to cut the pages so that they overlapped - but it did not work along the crease. So i added some vegetable netting to create some "greenery" in the space. Trust me - my craft supplies are still in such disarray, that i did not go LOOKING for green vegetable netting. I just happened to see it on the top of a pile.
Since Carol instructed us to create pages reflecting self help, but with a sense of humour - i knew i had to add something unexpected inside the flaps. What a better way to relieve stress (albeit temporarily) than with a sweet treat. Or four. Chocolate cupcakes with strawberry icing. It does not get any better than that.

Friday, July 3, 2009

home tweet home

Getting settled into our new home. Looking forward to three days to continue setting up the craft room and work on some altered book projects.

Here is a card my neice Erica made. Do you think she knows i am obsessed with birds and robin's egg blue???