Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First Ever Altered Book

The new Somerset In Love publication from Stampington is a unique collection of altered books created by eleven talented artists. Originally intended to be featured in the Somerset Holidays and Celebrationsissue, it was soon realized by the publishers that magnitude of this project would require an issue all of its own. Marilyn Healey invited ten of her favorite artists to join her in a Vintage Valentine altered book swap. Similar to a “round robin”, each participant created a page that reflected the theme of the individual book and then sent it on to the next person on the list, eventually receiving her own completed book at the end of the swap. What you find in the 120+ pages of this publication is the results of this swap.

As I read through the publication, it was hard not to get swept away admiring all of the eye candy that was put into the artwork on the pages. Each piece seemed to be so special and contained so many ideas that it was hard to grasp it all the first time through. I had never made an altered book before and viewing all of these wonderful pages of love and romance, well, at first I found myself a little intimidated.

Working with the Vintage Valentine theme I chose to use a church hymnal and a Bible scripture, 1 Corinthians 13, as the base for my project. Although I do not sew, I loved the look of fabric that Tammy Gilley used in her book. I began by covering my hymnal with fabric and adding a couple of coordinating patterns to the center of my book. I then painted a metal frame to match my color scheme and also added just a touch of pink to the vellum quote. The frame was attached to the center of my book and I placed a heart doily and the quote behind the frame. To complete my cover, I added some ribbon across the bottom and a flower to the center of my frame.

Book-Cover
Title: Lover Never Fails, cover
Products used: Gel Medium (Claudine Hellmuth)
Acrylic Paint (Claudine Hellmuth and Golden)
Twilight Embossing Powder (PK Glitz)
Ribbon (Walmart and Dove of the East)
Flowers (Michaels)
Spray Adhesive (Elmers)
Ribbon and Fabric (Walmart and Dove of the East)

Using some patterned paper that conveyed my theme, I began working on the first pages of my book. I really liked the look of niches that are found in altered books so once I had glued several of the pages together, I cut out a heart shape. I then hand stitched a heart doily to a fabric heart and placed it in the niche along with a flower, glitter heart, and a quote banner.

Page-1-2
Title: Love Never Fails, pgs 1 & 2
Products used: Patterned Paper (Flair)
Gel Medium (Claudine Hellmuth)
Acrylic Paint (Claudine Hellmuth and Golden)
Ink (Colorbox)
Twilight Embossing Powder (PK Glitz)
Sticky Paper (PK Glitz)
Ribbon and Fabric (Walmart)
Flowers (Michaels)
Spray Adhesive (Elmers)
Button (Misc)

I found these heart magnets that my boys made for me when they were in a Mother’s Day Out program back in 1996. I thought this book would be the perfect place to showcase these little works of art. I used a combination of fabric, paper, paint, and a few embellishments to create these two pages.

Page-3-4
Title: Love Never Fails, pgs 2 & 3
Products used: Patterned Paper (Flair)
Gel Medium (Claudine Hellmuth)
Acrylic Paint (Claudine Hellmuth and Golden)
Ink (Colorbox)
Twilight Embossing Powder (PK Glitz)
Sticky Paper (PK Glitz)
Rub on (7 Gypsies)
Ribbon and Fabric (Walmart)
Flowers (Michaels)
Spray Adhesive (Elmers)
Buttons (Misc)

One of the things that I wanted to pay close attention to was the song titles found on the pages that I would be working on. I thought “Love, Wonderful Love” was a fitting title for this page. The page is fairly simple in that I added a sheet of office paper for the background then used some paint and fabric to keep with the theme of my book. I added just a few embellishments like the heart doily and glitter heart to tie in with the rest of the book.

Page-5
Title: Love Never Fails, pg 4
Products used: Gel Medium (Claudine Hellmuth)
Acrylic Paint (Claudine Hellmuth and Golden)
Ink (Colorbox)
Twilight Embossing Powder (PK Glitz)
Sticky Paper (PK Glitz)
Ribbon and Fabric (Walmart)
Spray Adhesive (Elmers)
Button (Misc)

I found this picture of my grandparents that was taken sometime in the 1930’s. It was at one of those places where they have a silly picture painted and you stick your head through the hole. It was a perfect addition to this project and just begged to be a part of this book so I created a rectangle niche to hold the picture. I used some patterned paper and paint for the background and added a rub on and some glitter letters.

Page-6
Title: Love Never Fails, pg 5
Products used: Patterned Paper (Flair and Anna Griffin)
Gel Medium (Claudine Hellmuth)
Acrylic Paint (Claudine Hellmuth and Golden)
Ink (Colorbox)
Twilight Embossing Powder (PK Glitz)
Sticky Paper (PK Glitz)
Rub on (7 Gypsies)
Ribbon (Walmart and Dove of the East)
Flowers (Michaels)
Spray Adhesive (Elmers)
Chipboard Letters (Misc)

I was amazed at how quickly all of these pages came together and how fun each one was to complete. The instructions and tips found throughout the book were easy to understand and follow along. Each page of the altered books were so clear that the tiniest of details showed through and if they didn’t, then the publisher also showed you a close up of some of the details.

Even if altered books are not your thing, this publication is a valuable resource to creating mixed media projects with a vintage romantic theme. This can include scrapbook pages, home d├ęcor items, and altered items of any kind. You are going to fall in love with the Somerset In Love issue from Stampington.

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