Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fun in the Sun

I am having such a fun time! I'm down in San Diego visiting with friends from PTA. We lived here during the kids' elementary and middle school years. It is warm and green and I love seeing my friends again. I can't believe it's been 4 years since I was last here.

I've also realized I need to get into the habit of taking more pictures. I spent the day on Coronado Island and there is not a single picture of that wonderful place or the friend I spent it with. Guess I'll just have to go back and take pictures.

Tomorrow I'm antiquing with another friend. I'll remember to take more pictures.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Altered Book Project . . . progressing

I'm getting ready to fly out to California for my mom's birthday party, so this is a bit of an apologetic post. I wanted to finish these two pages, but there was so much else I felt needed to get done. And some of the photos are not very clear. That said, I have made some progress and continue to have fun as I work on this book!

This is my third page and as you can see, I have cut a hole out of it to connect it to the fourth page (the pink peeking out from the circle).

Here's the pink pages looking back, with the teal page peeking through.

And here is the middle of those two page sets. I glued the pages together, adding a piece of velum with a random-dot pattern.

Here are the teal page, partially finished. This duplicates what I had originally used as my first page. Unfortunately, the book wouldn't close, so I ripped those pages out and moved the concept to these two sets of pages. You can't tell from the photo, but there is really wonderful white gold glitter on the edges of the ledger paper.

So far, these pages are my very favorites! I love the pink and I connect with the images. After painting these pages a soft pink, I cross-hatched the paper with gesso, using a dry-brush technique. It kept the gesso from getting too thick. The Victorian lady's hand with egg is from the same set as the chicken wire stamp used on the green pages. The writing, bird, and crown stamps are from Tim Holtz's new collection for Michaels.

The crown reminded me of the wonderful children's book series, My Father's Dragon. The middle book, Elmer and the Dragon, is set on Canary Island, where a community of canaries are ruled by the king and queen, whose crowns look just like this stamp! I highly recommend these books, specially if you have elementary school kids. They are a fun bedtime read. Elmer is a delightful little boy. He has all sorts of adventures with dragons and canaries and he learns a lot in the process!

The lace is part of a stash of small bits and pieces of vintage lace I have collected over the years. I love how it sets off the image of Sarah Bernhardt and well as the porthole window back to the teal pages. I think Sarah should be looking at something connected to her. Please leave me a comment if you have an idea, or are just a Sarah Bernhardt fan! I read a biography of her recently and what an amazing woman!

I will leave you with a photo of what's in store at the back of this book:

Think small treasure boxes!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Altered Book Project . . . continued

This is an amazing learning experience. I have discovered one of the most important things to do is rip out pages! Books are not really designed to have dimensional objects in them. So to accommodate the thickness of ribbon, brads, etc, you really need to get rid of a lot of paper. All the pages I painted and showed in my previous altered book post had to be removed, tho I kept them and will use them either in this project or another.

Here are the second pages in my altered book:

For these pages, I used gesso as a kind of whitewash over the green glaze. Then I used the gesso again over some of the images and elements. The chicken wire is part of a Stampington & Co set called Bird Santuary. I worked on these two pages before gluing them to the following pages. I knew I wanted to add brads and wanted to enclose the brads. It works better for hiding the back side of brads, but the gluing does not go as easily. If you have to see something before you know it's right, then I highly recommend a restickable glue stick. A little like post-it notes, it allows you to place your items together without affixing them permanently.

Mary is working on her own book and it is wonderful. I love the soft quality to her backgrounds. I'm glad we decided not to have a theme, cuz I'm finding each new page seems to call forth a different story. It will be interesting to see if at the end there is something unifed about the book. Will I say, "Oh, that was what I was going for."