Sunday, May 23, 2010

Carol's Marie Antoinette Folder: Sensual Pleasures

Here is the spread I just completed in Carol's Marie Antoinette Folder. Her theme is "Sensual Pleasures." I immediately thought of cakes and chocolate candy. I decided to do a 4-tiered pop-up cake. The cake itself turned out fine, but there was still something missing. I pondered what to do to complete this spread, but nothing I came up with felt right.

Usually when I hit a block like this, I end up rethinking the project and start all over again. There are many ways to work through a block. For example, I could have gotten out all of my Marie Antoinette materials (which I have collected in preparation for this folder swap) and see what leaps out at me. In this case, I was getting ready to lead a group of my high school classmates (affectionately known as the "Sweeties") in a magnet-making craft night. As I gathered my magnet materials, I realized that the flat marbles that we use to make magnets would make fabulous chocolates. I had a bunch of leftover candy cups (my hubby keeps me well stocked with chocolate) and simply found pretty, colorful pictures of petit fours and glued them to the flat marbles. I then glued the little "chocolates" to the candy cups. At first, I centered the doily in the center of the layout, but soon realized that the flat marbles weren't so flat after all--Carol's book would not close flat enough for mailing. So, I placed the doily on one side of the layout and arranged the candies on the doily. Now, the folder can be properly closed. I added chipboard letters to spell out "Sweet Thing" and my folder was done. How appropriate that the Sweeties were the inspiration for my "Sweet" spread in Carol's folder!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Michelle's Victorian Art & Poetry book

I got a chance to do a "Victorian" spread in Michelle's book this week. I must admit I don't know all that much about this time period so it did take me a bit out of my comfort zone. I was, however, familiar with Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her "How Do I Love Thee?" poem. to fashion a spread with these elements?

Michelle provided a goodie bag of assorted ephemera along with her book. In it, I found a floral print napkin which I thought would be a fitting background for my spread. Next, I found a crocheted linen doily in my thrift shop stash which really started to pull everything together. I printed the poem onto vellum and used double-stick tape to adhere it to the middle of the doily. On the right side of the page, I placed a portrait of Elizabeth. To finish it off, I added a few flower and butterfly die-cuts.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Two More Spreads from My Third Round Robin

A year's worth of altered bookmaking! My third AB RR is officially concluded!

Here are two pages I did in Gail's "hidden Treasures" book. She chose a book written in Japanese and it reads from back to front. I did one spread with a bunch of koi swimming in a pond (crinkled cellophane with a heat gun to make water). For the second spread, I took two geisha images and printed them onto tissue paper. I then glued them to the pages and let the Japanese kanji show through. It was so simple but I like the way it came out.

In this round robin, we chose a prompt from the preceding artist's spread. Gail's spread contained a tag with a woman singing "The melody haunts my reverie..." This phrase is from the song "Stardust." Since Darrell's book was entitled "The Elements of Color," I searched the lyrics of the song for a color. Lo and behold, the very first line of the song reads "And now the purple dusk of twilight time..."

So, I created a collage background tearing magazine and catalog clippings in various shades of purple. I printed the lyrics of the song onto irridescent lavender tissue paper. I arranged each line of the song onto a purple three-page fold-out.

Sampling of My Work from My Second AB Round Robin

This spread I did in Fran's "Past, Present and Future" is very special to me. The book invited the artists to pick a time that they wanted to travel to. In January 1996, I attended a “Progression” session. There was a group of about 40 people. Alice Anne, the woman leading the session, had us find a spot on the floor to lay down on our backs, relax and close our eyes. She explained that she would be taking us through an exercise that would transport us exactly one year into the future (to January 1997). She used the metaphor of the train to take us to our destination. As she spoke, each of us envisioned our own individual journey into the future.

When my train came to a stop, I disembarked onto the platform. Alice Anne asked us to take a look at our feet, explaining that the type of footwear we had on would tell us about the journey that lay ahead. I was wearing a brand new pair of white Keds sneakers. When I looked up around me, all I could see was clear blue skies and endless cornfields and wheat fields. It was a place that I imagined Kansas to be.

At first, I was excited that I was able to visualize anything at all during the progression session. However, as other participants began to share their experiences with the group, I learned that some people went to much more exotic destinations like Indonesia or Macchu Picchu. At the time, I didn’t understand why I had ended up in Kansas, but seven months later, in August 1996, I met my future husband. He proposed in October 1996 and we were married in March 1997. You guessed it—he’s from Kansas. That progression session remains one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had.

Fran’s book allowed me to do a piece about the present (1996), going to the future (1997) which is now in the past.

Gail had a fun theme for this round robin. She called it "The ___red Book." You could pick any word that ended in "red." I chose WIRED and used wire in my spread to illustrate it. On the right side, I took a piece of screen and spelled out the word "wired" using wire. I embellished the edges with wire and glass beads. On the right side, I made a cut-out star and filled it with coils of wire. I also decorated the edges of the page with coiled paper clips.

In my second AB Round Robin, Rosemary's theme was "The Goddess Within." I made a beaded art doll and placed her on a winding road that leads to a mirror in which she can see herself. I also incorporated a piece of chipboard which states "All who wander are not lost." Finally, I attached a ceramic doll that I had found which says "Follow Your Heart" which fit the theme of Rosemary's book perfectly.

Glimpses of My Work From My First AB Round Robin

This is one of my favorite spreads. For Rosemary's theme "As Above, So Below," I researched the topic and was intrigued by the concept of the jeweled net of Indra. Imagine an infinite net suspended above that stretches in every direction. At each junction hangs a jewel, and in each jewel's polished surface all the other jewels in the net are reflected. It is a beautiful metaphor for the interconnectedness and interdependency of everything in our universe.

As I recall, we were challenged to use the red, yellow and blue colored paper in our spreads. I incorporated all three colors on the left side, and then wrote about the jeweled net of Indra in the spaces. On the right side, I strung a net of jewels using copper wire and then affixed the net to the page.

This is the spread I created for Lori's book "Winged Things." Like me, she loves the color purple. I found this image of a fairy on a card and enlarged it to make a pop-up for her book. I scattered dragonflies, butterflies and flowers to surround the fairy. Yet, I felt that the spread was still missing something. I then took a piece of lavender tulle and gathered and tacked it down in places about the page. The result was as if the fairy and the dragonflies had been captured in a butterfly net--very whimsical!

This is the spread I did in Debbie's book on "The Sea." Most of the other artists had taken a very serious approach to this theme. I wanted to lighten it up a bit. How many of you remember "The Love Boat"?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Debbie's Fruits & Vegetables book

We are just finishing up an AB RR this month. The last book I got to work in was Debbie's "Fruits & Vegetables" book. As you can imagine, by the time I got the book a lot had already been done on the subject, so I took it a bit outside the box. Debbie loves everything having to do with the sea--especially mermaids! That got me thinking about "Chicken of the Sea"...Debbie also loves to cook, but tuna is not exactly a gourmet ingredient. Fortunately, I found a number of recipes for "mermaid" dishes: Mermaid Salad, Mermaid dip, etc.

The background is painted with Lumiere paint (halo blue-gold). I found a mermaid embroidery pattern at a local thrift shop. I decided to embellish her with blue sequins for her tail, microbeadz for her hair and glitter glue for the algae, starfish, tiara and bubbles. The Chicken of the Sea logo is printed onto a transparency and secured over the embellished mermaid with eyelets.

On the opposite page, I created a series of vellum pockets. The bigger pockets hold the recipe cards which are actually postcards with sea life illustrations (coral, shells, starfish, etc.) The smaller pocket holds a smaller card from an inspiration deck. The four cards I included here all have to do with the sea (dolphins, fish, sea shells and mermaid).