I think I was just waiting for this opportunity. First of all, I’m in love with my new square punch. It’s so versatile and fun! So you can guess what all my cards are going to look like in upcoming months. Second, I’ve loved Joy Madison’s work for a long time, so that when I received the first altered book in the round robin, themed “favorite things”, I knew exactly what I was going to do.

I’m very happy with the outcome, and can’t wait to see what others do!

One teeny tiny note to book alterers who are sending their books in tightly sealed envelopes – try not to use too many types of glues/paints/other formulas. It really smells bad…:(

My altered book

November 21, 2006

My altered book for the round robin swap has to leave the nest (ha, ha) on Monday, so I sat down tonight to work on it. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I had! A few days ago I saw MemrieMare’s gorgeous doll, and decided I want my book to be on envelopes too. Then I saw Ali Edward’s fantastic Thanksgiving book – although it doesn’t say anything about envelopes, they look like envelopes! – and I knew my book would be all envelopes. The next thing that came into my mind was “rustic”. I love that word, and I love the look, so why not? I was so fascinated by using the envelopes, that I decided I *must* use them not only as my pages, but also to fill them up. So I collaged my cover page, and filled 9 envelopes (we’re 10, I don’t get any surprises from me) with tiny surprises, ephemera, basically, and held everything together with a clip. This way each participant gets a small gift – isn’t that fun?! When I get my book back, I’ll bind it using a stick – I just LOVE the look of it – well, rustic…

So here are my surprise baggies:

And my book- you can see how fat it is, because the envelopes are filled in:

The stamped letters aren’t perfect, but art isn’t about perfection, right?
I had so much fun doing this, and now I’m just crossing my fingers that it comes back home in a few months, safe and sound and full of creativity and art.

Altered book round robbins

November 4, 2006

I’ve been looking at beautiful fat books and altered books and decos for a long time. I think it’s a wonderful idea to have a book circulated around many crafters, and receive a beautiful, interesting, varied and international piece of art.

So I finally decided to set up a round robin myself. The idea is for each participant to create their own book/journal, start a theme, design the cover, and send it away to the next crafter who will continue the theme with their own spread/page, and send it on. When the book is complete, it will be returned to its original owner.

It would be my first time participating in such a swap, and I’m really hoping people join. I decided to be strict about who can join, because of some sad experience with bad swappers, and I’ve also made up a rule which will hopefully eliminate the number of unsent items – that is, that even if you’ve signed up, you don’t have to complete a page. If you received a book/theme you don’t want to participate in, or can’t, you can send it on, without doing anything in it.

My blogger buddies – please see this as a personal invitation – I would love for you to join! First timers are also welcome, after all, I am one too! 🙂

Read the rules and join here.
I’ve also created a Flickr group for this purpose, so we can post all the works in progress.

Playing with collage

September 10, 2006

It’s amazing how I fail to do what inspires me the most – what makes me feel so very good – clean my house! On Friday, I finally cleaned and organized things (don’t get too excited, I’m very un-organized, so that just means I pushed my crafting supplies into a drawer), and as the weekend started there was no one happier than me. I love clean and clear spaces, I should remember that. I was planning to work on collages, although I had absolutely no idea what to do. By the time I told myself “just start!”, it was already Saturday afternoon (our weeek here, in Israel, starts on Sunday). I sat down having no idea what I was going to do, and just starting cutting from magazines. It always amazes me that these magazines are “endless”. They’re all cut and bruised, but still abound with treasures. The first collage I did, I pasted into my book of dreams – it’s kind of magic, and I think It’s a spring/summer mix, because I’m so afraid the summer is slipping away. I want summer all year round!

As I said, once I started cutting I couldn’t stop, so this is just a “fun” playful collage that I haven’t pasted yet. I’m not even sure it will stay this way, but I like it:

And finally, a fun purchase this week. I’ve spent so much on crafting supplies, that I thought maybe I would declare September a “use what you have” month. However, I didn’t, because I’m too weak for such declarations. And as I was walking down the street last week I noticed a beautiful shop full of lovely wallpaper. Could I just walk by? you tell me…

My first spread

September 4, 2006

I finished the first spread of my book of dreams, with pockets, and I’m so happy with it! I had no idea what it would look like in the end. First of all, I just folded the pockets (I have to fill them yet), then I just used my new acrylic paints and painted the pages (for the aqua, I combined white and turquoise, and I love the result). I played around with my transparency collages, dabbed some paint on the yellow page, and really loved it. I let it dry during the night, and this morning as I saw it, I remembered the Van Cleef & Arples ad with the girl (I love their ads!), and stuck it too. Last came Jolee’s daisy punchies (I love them, but I can’t help it – who makes them? they’re small embellished punch outs – somebody sits there piecing them by hand?!). I’m really excited about the result – it’s bright and dreamy and I really like it. Paints are lots of fun. I didn’t think I’d enjoy them, but as I use them, I keep thinking of how I need many more colors. I do enjoy the process, and I enjoy “learning” about the materials as I use them. One of the best things about these paints, for example, is that they’re transparent, so I can cover pages with them, and the text will show under. I really like how you can see the Hebrew text under the yellow color. Also, it’s fun writing on a painted page!

My Book of Dreams

September 2, 2006

I’ve been seeing pictures of Books of Dreams on flickr and wondering what that’s all about, and then this morning I found out through Il Bloggo that The Book of Dreams is an initiative by Artsy Mama. I loved the idea immediately, and decided to start a book of my own, although the project actually started in April. I love the idea of altered books and mixed media art, but I admit I had a BIG problem just thinking about altering books or tearing their pages out. Well I’ve overcome that, as I tore apart a book today, glued its pages, and soon enough it will be my book of dreams.

A few months a friend’s family was emptying out their grandmother’s house to make it ready for its new tenants, and I went there too. There were lots and lots of “treasures” there, but at the time I wasn’t into crafting, and being the collector that I am, I just took a lot of old postcards, some old newspapers, and two old books. Dictionaries. Because I can’t let anyone throw away dictionaries. They’re both very old, and I would never use them. The one I chose for this project is a dictionary of phrases and expressions from the bible and other religious books. It’s separated into themes, “women”, “love”, “animals”, “authority”, and is actually very interesting. Since Ican NEVER ignore texts and words, I’m sure they’ll merge into my art, and I like the idea a lot. Since the book is in Hebrew, I decided I would do it in Hebrew and not English.

I spent practically all day on tearing out pages, gluing other pages to each other, and thinking and creating the cover. I like the result, but I don’t love it. I’m going to have to get used to it. I was so obsessed about making the cover, that I didn’t even realize I was supposed to leave it to the end. Oh well, so now I have a wonderful book and a cover, and I can’t wait to start with the first technique, which is “pockets“, but I have to wait for the cover to dry.

Here it is:

For the spine, I printed out a very popular song in Hebrew about dreams coming true (from the Israeli equivalent of “American Idol”, as kitch as you can get…), the “frame” I created is a whole glue stick I melted with my heating gun, at the botton I stanped a bouquet which can’t be seen too well, on the top there’s a parchment shrine embossed on the outside with an old letter stamp. When opening the shrine you can a dreamy looking Evangeline Lilly – I liked the romantic mahazine ad, and only realized it was her after I was done.

This was a lot of work, and a lot of thought, my house is now all scraps, glue, glitter, magzines and paper, but I enjoyed every single minute!