Book Making Feed

Sunday's Musings

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Outside my window...a sky working on becoming bright blue, with sunshine peeking through here and there.

I am thinking picking memories that were made yesterday - a little boy and his grandpa picking about 80 pounds of apples and then working in the kitchen to make homemade applesauce. Every time we open up a jar this winter, the memories will come flooding back.

I am thankful for...a husband that enjoys cooking, time spent with my grands, this gorgeous fall weather, and Sundays around my home.

From the kitchen...comes the aroma of apples; there's no getting around that one! Later, stew will simmer in the crockpot, as well as homemade butternut squash soup. Want to come on over?

I am wearing...a long blue fuzzy robe. There's just enough chill in the air to warrant it.

I am creating...a new journal today...more on that later!

I am reading...Elevate the Everyday by Tracy Clark, along with a few other photography books/art books.

I am hoping...for more photo ops in my future. Yesterday, I bounced back and forth between the dslr and iphone. So many apps, so little time.

I am hearing...the snoring on one fat gray cat, whose tummy is full. He's found a towel on the floor and shows signs of sheer bliss.

Around the house...vacuuming waits to be done, closets need clearing out, laundry is in motion.

One of my favorite things...autumn's glorious colors.

A few plans for the week...tweaking this blog, journal play, and more decluttering/destashing.

I hope your Sunday is filled with joy.

Totally in Love

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I've fallen totally in love...


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with the textures of peeling paint,


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long forgotten hallways,


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shades of white and pale greens,

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and the bits of a crumbling past.

Seth, I am thinking there's got to be one very cool artist book to be made from these photos! Wish you were closer to pick your brain...

EB, so many glorious blues and rusts; they remind me of your work.

Ideas popping in my head...I really need to figure this all out.



Made a quick little journal the other day...some preripped watercolor papers, which I had used to scrape and layer on leftover acrylics and inks.

I piled on some more color with Faber Castell gelatos, figuring out just how far I could push them.

The butterfly came courtesy of a fingerpainting session with Dom, as did the circles floating on the page.

I stamped the flowers and happily colored away with various pens in my stash, piled on some more gelatos, and blended it all in.

More stamping - words this time, liking the look of the differently sized letters.

And, in case you're wondering about those snakes...I had a bizarre but vivid dream about a snake in my father's back room this summer. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out the snake bit, especially since I barely tolerate the creatures, and this snake sported a very grumpy and very human face.

Curiousity got to me, so I googled the meaning of snakes in dreams, and honestly, that snake was an excellent fit. Turns out he symbolizes transformation, particularly a change that you don't want to be making. I had the dream shortly after we sold my dad's home.

Yeah, it fit, but butterflies also symbolize transformation, and if it's all the same to you, I'd rather have butterflies in my dreams than grumpy old snakes.


Life's A Photo Op!

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Spotted these on our way to the Farmer's Market early Saturday morning, and they just made me grin. Doesn't take much to amuse me, does it?

But, for some reason, these little cheerful little cars delighted me, and I grabbed the camera, figured out where to stand to get the best shots, and snapped away. Luckily, few cars got in my way since not so many folks were out and about.

As I crouched down low in the middle of the lot, a voice came over the store intercom: "Code 217." Without missing a beat, Phil grinned and informed me, "That's the code for crazy lady in the parking lot." Darling man, don't you think?

I hope your weekend had been as lovely as mine - farmers' market goodies, homemade spaghetti sauce simmering away on the stove, a lovely casual gathering with friends, the first pumpkin spice latte of the season, working on a tiny journal, some shopping at Chico's outlet, and a whole lot of puttering around the house, doing this and that.

I love my 3 day weekends!


Gutting the Journal

So, this lovely, sad to say, began to fall apart. As the saying goes, "I chose poorly," at least as far as the condition of the book. Dry brittle pages, even with the help of masking tape and gesso, do not lend themselves to artistic abuse.

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Aided by that little blue exacto knife resting in the upper right corner, I carefully began to slice away the pages, leaving the spine intact.

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Next step: reinforce the spine with a bit of strong black paper.

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I pulled some hot press watercolor paper from my stash but didn't have quite enough. I added in a few sheets of heavy weight paper, and with the addition of some absorbent grounds, it works quite nicely. I sewed in several signatures with the basic 3 hole pamphlet stitch.

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Success, of a simply wanted to just splay open, so...

Feb 2012 007 lieu of a book press, several magazines and later, a bunch of paints, were stacked on top, and left for a few days to do perform their magic. I did manage to salvage the completed pages, but I can't see a way to make them part of the book. Maybe inspiration will strike?

The whole business, along with the business of life, stalled things for a bit. I've just really gotten back into the swing of things again, as far as the journaling itself goes. I'll share those in the next few days, but in the meantime, I'm getting ready for Art & Soul in VA.

Book of Days, Week 1

Catching up here! I could not resist Effy WIld's Book of Days, and I've been engrossed once again in the world of altered books and journals! time to post, it seems!

BOD front cover
In a never ending effort to use up my stuff, some paste paper created last year at Art and Soul and an old math text from an "antique/junk shop" came together in a way, I suspect that neither ever envisioned! A bit of waxy paper to reinforce the spine, and a bit of stamping and...ta da! One cool book!

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A bit more of hand painted paper (acrylics this time), some Tim Holtz Ranger Ink, a photo I shot at Yaddo gardens, a bit of stamping and tape equals the inside front cover.

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I'm definitely experiencing a "re-learning" in old book pages can be brittle and need some gluing together, some gesso, and some patience.  Unexpected things happen on a regular basis, and I'm also re-learning the art of "going with the flow" and "embracing imperfection!" One goal? To incorporate as much of my own phtography as possible.

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Effy had used an altered tag as a "flap" but nothing I tried seemed to work. Improvise right? I cheerfully used some very cool tape (use up my stuff...remember?) on an envelope. You can flip the envelope over and inside of it you'll find a card listing some things "I'm Looking Forward To." I love this shot of the snowman; he's actually enjoying a bubble bath in the original photo.

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Here's the rest of Week 1. Another photo - I suspect you'll be seeing a lot of the "grands"...more stuff from my stash, and lots and lots of gesso and masking tape to reinforce the gutter.

I've spent many an hour engrossed in this book; it's a wonderful way to destress if you let go of perfection and remember that old books offer many problem solving moments!

I'll share Week Two  tomorrow.


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I don't do creativity neatly.


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Doesn't look too bad..but, I've alerady cleaned up the mess.


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And, let me assure you; it was a dandy of a mess!


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Most supplies have been placed back in these drawers.


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I copied yesterday's photo and created 2 quick little journals for my sister and myself. Messy is good.

August Break 2011, Day 11



Something Out of Nothing

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So, you can make something out of nothing, or almost nothing at any rate! That piece of well painted wallpaper I showed you yesterday got chopped down to size, folded in half, and is now living a new life as a journal cover.

I already had some pages "prepped." Really fancy paper for the inside...not!

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Among all the other "stuff" hauled out of my dad's house was a large stack of National Geographics. Most of them hit the recycle bin, but dad so loved these magazines, that I just couldn't bear to toss them all out. If you've ever had to pack up someone's home and life, you get this.

So, while I prepped a "real" journal's pages last weekend, I steadily tore out magazine pages and prepped them as well. Once dry, I scraped paint across them withan old credit card. And I fell in love with the results!

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Although a bit thin, the gesso gives the pages a surprising strength. Once I had about 6 or so painted, I folded them in half, placed them inside my "cover," and used a simple three hold pamphlet stitch.

The angel on the left is a shot from a few years ago, printed out on vellum. "Angels Among Us" was a test print on deli scrap paper. As for the left...some of the "bracelets" my dh sported during his recent hospital stay! We're still not sure why he had to wear the "Fall Alert" one, and I suppose we never will know.

I'm loving this journal. It's small, will fill up quickly, and although soft and flexible, that wallpaper with all its layers of paint make it one sturdy little book. And its "nothingness" as far as cost of supplies, etc. gives me a delicous sense of freedome. I'm not worried about the "expense' or about ruining my "good stuff." Then again, this is pretty cool stuff, don't you think?

Packing Up a Life

I have to tell you, packing up a life absolutely stinks. Big time.

We spent Saturday at my dad's home. Hedges were cut and the grass mowed.

8 boxes of Goodwill items packed up, most of them delivered. I don't even want to know how many more there'll be.

2 large trash bags filled.

2 boxes of things coming home with me...simple things, like a coffee cup I remember mom using. An old pie tin to hang on a kitchen wall. Nothing huge, nothing valuable, unless of course you count the value of the memories.

It was hard work, but not all bad. Meals were shared with my sister and brother. Laughter rang out many a time.

But still it was hard. The home we shared is beginning to look more like a house. We're slowly stripping it of its personality. So it goes.

So, I collect bits and pieces of memories, and I honor my dad when and where I can.

I'm part of a photography yahoo group. Differnet themes get posted, and you sign up for the ones that appeal. We recently shot our "intention" words.

At first, I chose "stillness" since I seem to be seeking it. But as the deadline appeared, I dithered, not sure it was "the word."

In the end, I chose "Taste." As in tasting life, all that it has to offer! All the my dad taught me to appreciate.

Our wonderful and beyond creative leader, Catherine Anderson, posted pictures of the covers over here.  She always finds the neatest way to bind our photos together.

The front of my page looks like this:

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A good deal of the photo ending up getting cropped out, but my idea was to show some of life's gifts to be tasted....a new baby, brightly covered silverware that makes me smile, Broadway Shows, a trip to the Outer Banks, sea turtles, and so much more. Precious wonderful life!

And the back of my page looks lie this:

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Oh, dad, I love you so much. I wish I could "fix" you or at least understand what causes you to do what you do. There's just no making sense of it.

But, I promise you this.

I'll taste every single bit of life that I can!

Art and Soul, Day 3

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Saturday brought a fun little "junk" book with Gaye Medbury, called "Stitched and Tied, Too." We used all sorts of things...tags, vintage scraps, envelopes, and even a little cloth bag! Gaye pushed our creativity a bit...we began with plain white paper for our covers. We arted up that paper in various ways - paint, ink, stamps, collage, etc. The point? You don't need fancy paper to create something 'Oh so cool!"

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These are two of Gaye's samples; my own book has been constructed but not yet decorated. You'll see it sometime soon. These are mostly vintage in appearance; mine is a bit more funky and colorful? (Not surprised, are you?)

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The spines of these little sweeties are constructed from some stury cloth, which we stamped and stenciled. The cloth hides the foundation for a concertina accordian spine.

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The differently sized "pages" of this book delight me; I have always loved things peeking over and from behind; it whets the curioustiy.

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The books are so tactile...napkins, metal, paper, etc. A surprise of some sort awaits you each time you turn the page!

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Gaye's aura attracts all sorts of goodies when she haunts estate sales and yard sales. She shared some of her own images as well as providing a little goodie bag. Beads and baubles were available to use...what a wonderful and generous teacher!  See the little blue squares? Microfiche!

I'm going to go work on my book a 4's adventures coming to a place near you very soon!