Sunday, 25 March 2012

My Altered Book - progress so far...

 I'm in the process of altering a book following the on-line
class being offered (very generously for free) by Elizabeth on her blog

I've so far completed up to lesson 3 so thought I'd better
start recording my progress.

Lesson one was finding the right sort of book to alter.
The only rule in this whole process was that the book
had to have a sewn spine.
Elizabeth gave very comprehensive instructions on how to 
find out whether the book had a sewn spine. 
With this information in mind I trawled several charity shops
trying to find the right sort of book.

One time my sister was with me and was completely
horrified when she saw what she thought was me
sniffing a book - LOL!!  My eyesight is terrible and I wear
glasses, but if I want to see the detail of something I have
to look over the top of my glasses and get up close and
personal with it!!!  So there was I with a book held up to my
face, almost touching my nose trying to see if it had a
sewn spine - over came my sister horrified asking if I
was sniffing the book - I'm still laughing now!!!
I think I convinced her of the truth and she's still speaking to me,
so all's well!

Sorry, I digressed ....   with a book in my possession -
'New Clear-Type Dictionary',
I could start the course, but then couldn't decide on a theme.
Eventually I settled on Dressmaking / Sewing - something
along those lines.

Lesson Two

This lesson was about prepping the book.
Towards the back of the book there will be a niche
and for lesson 2 we had to section off (with a rubber band) 
the pages where the niche would be cut into.
We then had to remove approximately one third of
the total pages in the book.
I used Elizabeth's second method for doing this. 

Lesson Three 

This lesson was split into three parts.
  • Firstly, prepping the outside book cover.  
As my book is cloth bound, I decided to skip this step for the time being -I will decorate it in some way after the inside is finished.
  • Secondly, prepping the inside end pages

Well, these photos look awful!
The pages do look better in reality.
I re-inforced them as necessary and then covered with
 dressmaking themed scrapbook paper.  
  • The final part of this lesson was to create a niche.
I decided to put a little dress form/torso in my niche,
so created a few from air dried clay from moulds.
 This determined the depth the niche needed to be
and the required number of pages were then stuck together
at the edges with Gel Medium and clamped
(or in my case pegged) together whilst drying.

This had to be done twice and left overnight.
Then, the exciting bit, creating the niche!
This was actually a lot easier than I thought it'd be,
although I can't say my niche is perfect, but it'll do for me!
The niche had to be stuck with Gel Medium and clamped
to dry in the same way as before.
Once it was all dried and stuck together, the fun part came
- decorating and filling the niche!

For behind the niche, I stuck some old dressmaking pattern tissue,
and before gluing the niche block to the back cover,
I added some ribbon - I'm not sure what I'm going to do with
them exactly just yet, but they will give me the option to make
some kind of ribbon closure.  If I decide not to use them
 I can just cut them off.

I wanted some of the book text showing through, so
lightly painted the page with a buff coloured acrylic paint and gesso,
then overstamped with a dressmaking stamp
 (Tim Holtz 'Pattern Pieces' by Stampers Anonymous).
I added a label from an item of clothing too - just under the niche.

Here's a close up of the niche.

 Around the niche was smeared some Distress Ink.
The torso was sprayed with Crafty Notions
Creative Colour Spraypaque Fire Opal.

I like how this page has turned out.

I've started the next lesson - which explores different glues,
and deciding which ones we like best for our altered books -
but the trouble with glue is ... you have to wait for it to dry!

Thank you again Elizabeth for all your time and effort,
I'm looking forward to the next stage!


BJ said...

Wow Sherry, I love your theme of dressmaking. The niche torso is brilliant and the moreso as you made it yourself. Really wish I'd added some ribbon to mine before sticking the front and back pages, as I am sure it won't stay closed when it is finished. Perhaps next time. Loving your book - BJ

Createology said...

SSD (thats Sherry Sister Dear) your book you are altering looks like a very lot of work. Then again your finished page is so wonderful I can see why you would go to all this work. I adore your little dress form and the niche she is placed within. Brilliant you are! Serene Sunday...

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I'm totally impressed, Sherry. This is one gorgeous book you are going to love forever. I am delighted you have found a theme you enjoy, because the torso in the niche is not just beautiful, it is incredibly well made. I'm impressed that you took the time to make your own torso. I have never worked with air dry clay, so I was quite impressed with the outcome.

I really like how you backed your niche and the ribbon you placed in the back of the book. That closure could definitely come in handy when this book is complete. Lovely way to go!

sandee said...

Sherry, I love your niche, with the distressing you did it almost looks like stone to me. And kudos on the dress form, adorable, I love dress forms!! Can't wait to see what you come up with next! I joined your blog, it helps me keep up with everyone in Elizabeth's AB class, waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

peggy aplSEEDS said...

i really really love how your altered book is turning out. that dressmaking/sewing scheme is wonderful and i love the torso in your niche! well done!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

what a fun theme--and you are off to a beautiful start! I was not famililar with that type of air dry clay--the resulting torso is cool & I will definitely be checking this out.

Btw, I have a little tiny sewing machine charm that I'd love to see put to good me if you'd like to have it.

Karen said...

This is going to be one gorgeous book when its finished Sherry!!! I am running late & haven't blogged mine yet...I am just having a look around to give me courage as this will be my first AB haha xxx

FeltByRae said...

Wow, that looks stunning, such a neat idea, and I love your dressmaking theme

BTW, nothing wrong with sniffing books - I do it all the time! Although I got laughed at on Xmas day when I sniffed the notebook my mum had bought me before I read the back... turned out it was made from elephant dung! Lol!

JaN's ArTy JouRneY said...

Looking Good Sherry!
Loving the torso in the niche...
and I also love the theme you have chosen... what a fun project!
Jan x

Michele Pacey said...

Gosh that is pretty. It's fun to hear about your book-finding adventure with your sister, hee hee. It's funny what we do in the name of art. Sniffing books is all part of the fun!

Jackie said...

This looks so good, and it is great to see what you did at each stage - thank you!

fairy thoughts said...

Wow this loks really good, love the theme, there will be so much you can do with it.
thanks for your comments, but no my item is not a shoe horn, it is animal based. (yuk)
looking forward to the next stage

sandee said...

Hey Sherry, thanks for the heads up on the link on my post, guess I was in too big of a hurry this morning scooting out to run errands, but it's fixed now! How's the AB coming along?

Deborah said...

How did I miss this!? Sherry, I salute your drive to experiment and try new things - and the fact they always look fabulous. Do you mess anything up??

Terrie said...

I could have sworn I left you a comment the other day, but I don't see it here - I'm finally getting around to visiting all the AB links. I remember seeing yours before because it's so distinctive. Your dress form is stunning and the whole idea of it is just amazing. I can't wait to see how the rest of the book comes together.

Paula Gale said...

Hi Sherry,

I'm really impressed by what you have done here and your excellent pictures of your progress. I hope you don't mind, but i've done a link on my latest blog post back here, because I mention doing an altered book and was so impressed by yours here.

Let me know if you would like me to remove the link, or if you have any comments on it.

Thank you in advance

Paula x x x

WendyK said...

Your altered book is looking fabulous Sherry. Love the theme of course. Look forward to seeing some more.

PetraB said...

This is so cool! Your alterations are so impressive.