Thursday, April 26, 2012


I am really enjoying being a part of this "Dark Side" altered book round robin.  Our dark hostess, Amy, ROCKS!  We have two rounds going simultaneously, but the round will end soon as we only have 5 players in each group!

This month, I had Kelly's book.  Her theme was "Dark Art."  I usually prefer to have a more specific theme to work off of, but when I thought about dark art, I started to think about secrets, and the rest of the spread came to me pretty quickly.

I was drawn to this picture of a woman's face.  The pain and sorrow in her eyes are almost palpable.  I wondered, what she was thinking?  What had she been through?  And what was she hiding?  She seemed trapped in her life, wanting but unable to escape.

I created a background using crackle medium to make it look like she was behind a wall.  (It's hard to see the real color of the wall in the top three photos, so I took a fourth picture, which is a close-up using a flash). Some of her face is obscured, but we can see part of her face through an opening in the wall.  This quote from "Clockwork Prince" by Cassandra Clare was fitting:  "Lies and secrets...are like a cancer in the soul.  They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Having A Great Time...With Pink Martini!

Darrell's book, "Having A Great Time, Wish You Were Here!" invites us to re-live a memorable time.  Since Darrell is a big music lover, I wanted to include music in my spread.  Last February, a group of friends got together and went to see "Pink Martini" in concert.  They are a 12 piece orchestra that plays original music with a distinctive "retro" feel.  They have an amazing lead female vocalist who sings in no less than seven different languages!  The bandleader describes their music best when he says "our repertoire is wildly diverse.  At one moment, you feel like you’re in the middle of a samba parade in Rio de Janeiro, and in the next moment, you’re in a French music hall of the 1930s or a palazzo in Napoli. It’s a bit like an urban musical travelogue...In that sense we’re a bit like musical archeologists, digging through recordings and scores of years past and rediscovering beautiful songs.”  Read more about the band at

The concert was an absolute blast!  When we weren't up on our feet dancing, there was a lot of hand-clapping and toe-tapping going on.  How can audience not have a good time in the presence of their music?   Have a listen for yourself:

For my spread, I selected a page with a picture of an old 45 rpm vinyl record on it.  I burned two Pink Martini CDs for Darrell, created jackets for them and positioned them onto the left side of the page.  The right side of the spread has a pink martini image and a blurb about the band on two separate transparencies.  I struggled with the layout of this page for the longest time.  I wanted to include the image of the "retro" couple but wasn't sure where to place them.  Eventually, I slipped the cut-out behind the two transparencies and that seemed to work!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Black & White Chunky Pages

Inspiration came easy for this month's chunky page swap!  I had wanted to try the bargello technique (a quilting technique).  Our "Black & White" theme gave me the perfect opportunity to try it out.

I have the most beautiful collection of black and metallic art papers.  I selected an array of these papers and began cutting them into thin strips.  I then glued the strips (one of each design) onto black cardstock.

After I finished covering the black cardstock with the different patterned strips, I then cut the cardstock crosswise.  This way you get a cross-section of all the pretty papers in each strip!

Next, I glued down the cross-section strips onto 4 x 4" squares of black cardstock (the size of my chunky pages), carefully staggering them to create this stair-like effect.  You can play with the layout to create the effect you want.  I trimmed the edges to fit the 4 x 4" pages and glued two pages together back-to-back so that the bargello design is visible on both sides of the page.  Gives my pages a nice weight too!

My bargello pages turned out beautifully, but there was still something missing...I decided to tie a silver ribbon around each page like you would wrap a gift.  Now they were just perfect!