02 July 2009

Altered Book Swap Part 2... step-by-step

I have always been considered someone who loves detail! It has helped me in my work, my relationships AND in my art as well. Add to that an inquisitive mind and you will understand exactly why I love TECHNIQUES and the ever-popular WORK-IN-PROGRESS, or WIP, from either point of view. I enjoy documenting them myself ... even in the garden... and reading about them too!

The best part was finding a book to alter with a die-cut cover!

"Belly Button Book"
- by Sandra Boynton

The very first step (not shown), as with all board books, is to sand each page lightly to remove the finish. This will give it "tooth" so they can accept paint.

Naturally, as this was my very f.i.r.s.t. altered board book, I tried to stop whenever possible - grab my camera - and set up for a photo. Here are most of the steps I used to create the front cover:

I grabbed a few magazines and cut several images and collaged the cover so there would be some added dimension once I attached the next layer.

Next I crumpled several torn pieces of pink, orange and red tissue paper adhering them with decoupage medium. This is an easy technique that's alot of fun because you simply smoosh the tissue in random peaks and valleys. Once it dries completely, the effect is very pretty!

A sturdy punch was used to make a hole in the cover. Next, I added a copper eyelet so I could attach a "dangle-y" at some point! Use your imagination to add ribbons, cording, leather, beads, a section of chain, charms, a tiny photo, a stamped tag, fibers or even fabric. No limits!

My favorite technique is any type of image transfer and I knew instantly that it should be a strong visual to entice you to open the book. Not only did I find one that appealed to me, but oddly it was framed inside of a perfect circle. The decision had been made for me!

Using soft gel medium, I applied several layers in opposite directions, drying between each layer. At this point, it doesn't matter if you cut it out before or after the process. Some people may prefer a "margin" to hold on to while rubbing.

This time I worked on top of my non-stick craft sheet but mostly I spread open a catalog and just flip the pages as they get dirty. R-E-C-Y-C-L-E, R-E-U-S-E!!

Every mixed media artist needs a squirt bottle that has a fine spray. It's wonderful to use with alcohol inks, but that's a future post.

Some transfer mediums instruct you to immerse the item in a bowl of water for 10 minutes, which I tried, but didn't make much difference here. This method is trial and error and you will find a way that works best for you. I simply spray and rub the paper from the back, slowly and repeatedly many, many, MANY times... the result is more than worth the effort, as you will see when you do it. This view is the reverse side, partially completed. TIP: I always print at least 2 images just in case I tear one in the process!! I lost some of the color here and had to begin again.


To make the "dangle-y" I wove some unwaxed linen cording, used for bookmaking, through the eyelet, strung a few beads and attached a metal rimmed paper tag. Next I covered the back with strips of copper foil used for soldering and flattened with a bone folder.

For the front of the tag, I layered 2 white paper flowers, cut a green flower for the leaves, added a swarovski crystal for the center and finished with a few embellishments using my gel pen.

I highlighted the inside rim of the circle and also surrounded it with dots using a gold paint pen. The dots are outlined with a black permanent marker and, as much as I wanted to add a title, I stopped here deciding "less is more!"

Click for a link to see all 17 books in the art-e-zine Altered Board Book Swap!

More WIP pages to follow...

1 comment:

Seth said...

Really interesting to see the step by step process. Thanks!