I have wanted to alter a book for some time now but have not found quiet the right book. I would visit local flea markets, scour all the books, read all sorts of interesting titles that would prompt ideas, purchase a book, bring it home, and not be able to bring myself to actually alter it. I finally figured out that I was buying books I actually liked which made it impossible to alter. So this time I tried a different strategy, I looked for a title that intrigued me but not a book I liked. I settled upon a book by the title of JOURNEYS THROUGH BOOKLAND. I loved the title, words almost always spark my ideas and this one summed up my attempt at this new to me art form. It would be a journey not only as a new art form but to use the book as a journal, to really make it personal. I decided not to get all caught up in doing it "right" but just doing it for the pleasure of doing it. I decided to create the pages and if writing accompanied it right then fine, if not, I left writing space and will go back at any given time I feel inspired and write then. So far I have done a little to the cover and three two page spreads pictured below:
For the spine I masked off the edges and painted a one inch strip on each side of the spine in a warm brown color. I then glazed it with a brownish bronze metallic glaze mix and topped that off with a little metallic gold glaze mix that I lightly wiped off. I left the original title of the book intact and just glazed heavily over it and painted the brown sections between the titles glazing the the same as the spine edges. I then used a gold metallic pen to outline and detail the title. For the front and back cover I wanted a sort of leather look so I used plain brown packing paper cut an inch larger than I needed, wet it thoroughly, crumpled it into a tight ball, gently unfolded it and spread it out, without removing too many wrinkles, and let it dry. Once it was dry I covered the front of the book and one piece of the brown paper with gel medium. I lined up the edge of the paper overlapping the painted edge a little and smoothed the paper into place. I trimmed off the extra and applied the medium to the edges for an extra bond. I repeated the process on the back cover. I decided to leave it as is until I complete the end of the book and then I will embellish the cover.
For the first few pages I used gel medium to glue together three pages to make one sturdy page, placing wax paper between each set of pages while drying to keep them from sticking. I then decorated the inside cover and title page keeping some of the original text. I used brown shoe polish on the background then added some torn mulberry papers, a dried leaf, a magazine cutout, some text cut from magazines, a few rub on letters, a piece of brown lined paper, and some brown ink and chalk for antiquing. I used gel medium to secure all the layers. The page has an Autumnal theme to it because the magazine cutout I chose had the leaves, pear, and welcome on them, I just expanded upon that theme.
For the next double page layout I used some pastel chalks to create a background. I left the original text as it happens to be a poem I love. I highlighted some of the poems words with darker smudges of chalks. I painted the daffodil using watercolors and watercolor paper. After it was dry I cut it out and used gel medium to adhere it to the page. I used some of the blue chalk to darken the background around the flower and page edges. I added a tiny blue vellum envelope with a triple matted mini photo of the first daffodil that bloomed this past Spring in our front flower bed. I secured the photo just peeking out of the envelope. I left the field of blue background blank for later journaling. I sealed the pages with a spray on fixative for watercolors and chalks so it would not smudge or rub off.
The other two page spread I have completed is my favorite so far as it represents a beautiful memory made with my daughter, Kelli. I coated both pages with gesso and let it dry. I then used two colors of craft paint a light green and a teal blue. I sponged them on letting a little of the white gesso show through. I wanted a verdigris type finish. I scanned two photos of my daughter, changed them to black and white in my photo program, and then printed them out on white card stock. I used chalks to color them in and sealed them with a spray fixative. I used some torn strips of decorative tissue paper and attached them to the pages with gel medium. I then attached to pictures. I used a cutout from a reproduced vintage paper doll sheet that looks as if she is placing flowers in Kelli's hair. I used some rubber stamps, gold ink, and gold embossing powder to further embellish the pages. I used a quote from a Jane Austin book along the side of one of the pages first writing it with a gold pen and then going back over it with a very fine black pen. Lastly I journaled about our beautiful day together.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey thus far with me. I have enjoyed sharing it. I will post more of my art adventure as I add new pages. Right now I must put this project aside as I just got the things I ordered from ALPHA STAMPS, http://www.alphastamps.com/ for the Mother Goose Fabric ATC swap I am participating in. I am ready to dive into yet another art adventure.
Photos: My altered art journal