Saturday, 31 May 2008

Altered Books for sketchbooks

I've been promising myself for some time to make an effort and start using a sketchbook, instead of all those scraps of paper pinned to my workboard! Some time last year I started to play with altered books, using a child's board book as a beginning, again promising myself further experiment, at a later date. Recently, I came across an article by Jean Littlejohn in the Sept/Oct 2007 Issue of Cloth Paper Scissors about altering recycled books into sketchbooks. Above are five books I have been messing about with (literally) - four of them I am hoping will become sketchbooks I can draw, write and paint in, as all I have done is stick pages together, after tearing out quite a few at even intervals, then painting them several times with watered down emulsion paint. The taller one with some colour showing is a bit different, as I stuck some scraps of different papers over the pages with watered down pva glue...........
and then I painted it a couple of times with the emulsion paint. This was a bit of a gamble as the pages were quite shiny (the others books were quite mat paper, almost like newspaper, and very absorbent) I have worked through the whole book in this manner, and am quite pleased with the result.
The cover of the book, as you can see, is also very shiny, but any words showing through, on the pages, when I have finished with it may well be appropriate, as everything there is to do with gardens! I shall eventually make one of those beautiful (I hope!) tactile stitched covers for it, no doubt.
I have started putting colour on some of the first few pages, this one being the Contents page, at the beginning. As you can see, I am very optimistic as to how I am going to fill the pages, but with any luck the list of Contents should inspire me if I run out of ideas!


These are the colours of the next few pages into the book - lots still to go. It is wonderful how the textures show up, once you add just a little colour. All the colour so far is just watered down acrylic paint, but once I get going, anything goes! I'll post again, once I have done something interesting, and I'll also post about the other 'smooth' sketchbooks, waiting for their splattering of magic.

14 comments:

quiltchick said...

You have been a busy girl Val. These look fab. Much nicer than bought sketchbooks. Can't wait for the next installment to see what your going to do with them next.

Sandy said...

They are very inspiring. Maybe I'll get back to the book I'm altering.

Doreen G said...

These are looking great Val If I had another 24 hours in each day I may be able to do mine as well.

dot said...

They look great Val i really like the thought of "re-using" anything and making something beautiful from something that may not have started life as a thing of beauty! I too am looking forward to their journey being documented on your blog.

sharon young said...

Great start Val, it's somthing I've been toying with for a while now but haven't taken the plunge yet, like Doreen I'd need 2 lifetimes to do all the things I'd like to do.

Rosemary aka fabricfan said...

I find once the backgrounds are done, it is easy to keep going on a journal.

Jeanette said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! You are so inspiring Val! I want to try it out for myself. And since I have 8 weeks of vacation soon to come who knows I just might do it.....Now I must look up the tutorial post you made for quite a while ago and get even more inspired!

Thanks so much for sharing!

Lots of love to you my blog friend!

Jeanette

Genie said...

Oh for longer days
Some lovely work on your blog.

Linda said...

What a good idea - I think if I had books like these as a jumping off point I'd meet my aspirations to keep a sketchbook/journal!

Jeanette said...

Great garden pics Val! Especially the poppies! I love poppies and theese are in an amazing color! So beautiful! Do you want so exchange some seeds maybe? I can send you some of mine when they are bloomed over if you want.

Lots of love to you Val!

Jeanette

PS I did a post about poppies today so you can check them out :-)

Annette said...

You've made me want to finish the Altered book I started last year, now where did I put it?
What are you going to do in your books? Can't wait to see. . .
I love the pictures of your pretty garden, you're so lucky.
Oh yes and I think your Fairy Shoes are lovely.Best wishes, Annette

Purple Missus said...

I wish I hadn't come across here now - I want to do an altered book too :) Like Doreen said though, need far more hours in the day.
These are looking really good Val and you've made it sound so easy.

Sue McGettigan said...

Fab pages - I'm sure your book is going to be just wonderful!

Kelly Marszycki said...

These little guys are contagious, aren't they? I think it's like playing with crayons and glue and all those sticky, messy things we loved when we were children!

I invite you to look at my blog where I've posted my recent altered book experience(www.aestheticwork.blogspot.com)? Your photos of your garden are beautiful!

Regards,
Kelly Marszycki