Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A gift for a special young woman.......

A few days back I posted one of my recent altered books and mentioned I had just finished another one.  The second book is a gift for my almost 17 year old Granddaughter and it is intended, by me, to be a journal.

And not JUST a journal but an art journal, a book, that we will have done collaboratively.  She is a very artistic and imaginative young lady and I can see her adding her wonderful words and art to this book which will make it her creation.  I am just providing the framework, she will build the house.

I wanted the cover to look old, aged and rusty.  So, like the photo below, I glued cheese cloth over the book cover and added brass hardware.  I forgot to take the before picture, as you can see, so this is a simulation.

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  After all this was glued down securely, the cover was painted with metal filings, front and back, and treated with a chemical to quickly rust the metal.  All that comes in a kit you can be purchased at most craft stores.



12 days and cover 019 Final finished book cover!











book cover 009 Back and front cover when finished.  I used some metallic gold paint and "scrumbled" it on in a few places for highlights.

Here is the front inside cover and first page.......

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And the rest of the pages that follow.............

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On the page on the right and below there is a dried rose under a piece of mica and both were 007 taped to a paper written by a young man and dated 1926.  He was studying agriculture and received an A minus!

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This page was painted with chalkboard paint and the page opposite is here.......

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The layout above relate to a train trip she, her mother and a friend took to Seattle to meet the author of the Twilight series and attend a book signing.  The manila envelope taped between the two pages can hold memorabilia.  There are three envelopes in the book for that 015

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I left a space between two pages and added a small book for her to write the titles of the books she reads.  Some day, she'll look back with pride at the number of books she read.

I finished the bottom of the page with eyelets and beads!


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This is the book within the book.  She is an avid reader, even with eight pages she'll fill that up in no time.





I left about six pages unfinished in the book.  She can write, draw or add to them in any way she sees fit.

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Originally this was a book about stamps and was a school library book.  So, I left the original check out page, dated back to October 1963, in place and added the stamps to the facing page, as a nod to the original intent of the book.

I hope you enjoyed, please stop by again.  I'm linking to Met Monday at Between naps on the Porch and I'm off to visit Marty's Anything Goes Tabletop Tuesday.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I've been good....I think!

My goodness, this is turning into one great Christmas!

I thought I'd been a good girl this past year but, as anyone who knows me can tell you.........NOT that good!

I've already received some marvelous gifts....fabulous old badges, a gift of a tutorial on altered books and NOW, this.......Ina Garten's Apple Tart made, for us, by my friend Carol at Fresh Linens (you'll find the recipe there, too)!  It is soooo good!

A perfect, not too rich, but very flavorful dessert that is great with a dab of ice cream and a cup of coffee or tea!  Heaven!

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I thought I might freeze it and serve it to the family on Christmas Eve........or maybe not, they'll never know! 

Also, today finished my last Christmas gift.......

neck apple 003neck apple 006Not the best pictures, sorry, but I like the necklace.  I used an old rosary, key, rhinestone earring, a chandelier crystal and a lovely cameo broach, I removed the pin back and used jump rings to attach it.

neck apple 004A little better photo of the cameo, I love the setting.

Hope your Christmas is going wonderfully, too, and that your New Year is the best EVER!

I'm linking to Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphsis Monday.  Be sure to check out all the other great blogs.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

In an earlier blog, I mentioned I was having some problems, this year, getting into the spirit of Christmas!

Well, the circumstances of the last two days have certainly changed that.......yesterday's party with my "young in spirit" old-friends  where I was given one of the best gifts, I think, I've ever received and today where a blogger friend shared a wonderful tutorial on Altering Books with me.  Wow!  Do I feel special and blessed!

First, about bloggers and how sharing they can be....that is what makes blogging so much fun and so renews your faith in people and their generosity to perfect strangers.  So, for all the negatives you hear about the internet, trust me, there are lots of beautiful people out there.

Elizabeth,the woman who organized the 12 Days of Christmas swap, has so generously shared information with me on Altering Books that will be soooo helpful this spring when I teach a class at the art center.  That was the icing on the cake, as they say!

As gift I have ever received check out these photos!  All from the early 1900s, these wonderful union badges and commemorative ribbon badges.

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christmas 2010 024 christmas 2010 022 christmas 2010 023Most of them represent the electrician's union and must have been worn at meetings and/or when a member passed away.  One badge was for the Modern Woodmen of America and one commemorates the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in 1898.  Except for the one with the buffalo,which is the smallest, all of the ribbon badges are about seven or eight inch lengths of silk or velvet ribbon with metal attachments and silver or gold lettering.

Lots of girls cry when they receive diamond jewelry...not this girl....I cried over "diamonds in the rough".  I've seen pictures of cool badges and ribbons, like these before, but did not think I would ever be so lucky as to own one, let alone eight.

My friend, Murva, who knows I make jewelry and collage, mentioned she had some things I might be able to use, her son had given to her but she had no use for them. She said she would bring them to our Christmas party and I could take a look to see if it was anything I could use....Holy Batman!  Was I surprised and delighted.

Can I take them apart and use them in my art.....we'll now, that is a different matter!  I may try to figure out a way to display them in a shadow box or frame.....but I don't think I can take them apart!

What a great Christmas this is turning out to be!

Join me at Coloradolady's Vintage Thingie Thursday, Southeran In My Heart's Inspiration FridayThe Answer is Chocolate's Open House, A la carte's Junkin' Finds Friday  and Mr Romantic Hom Show and Tell Friday.  Remember I love comments!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Meet the old girls............


1966 1967: Mike, Gloria, Jan, Jackie and Winnie.


christmas 2010 0052010: Judy, Jan, Murva, Winnie, Jackie, Jean and Margaret.

I have had the good fortune to share this group of friends for many years!

The photo above show four of us "sweet, young things" all dressed up, going out for dinner to celebrate Christmas.  That was forty-four years ago....what!

I had just moved to this little town in the country from Portland and Jackie was one of the first women I met.....sweetly, she invited me to join her and some friends, Gloria, Winnie and Winnie's sister, Mike for a Christmas celebration dinner at the local golf course.

The rest is history!

We have shared births, deaths, divorces, marriages, kids growing up, grandkids growing up, a BUNCH of birthdays and some pretty crazy adventures!  Boy, do we have stories to tell!!!

Through the years we have shared the sadness of losing our friends Gloria, Mike and Norma (not pictured here).

We've, also, added precious friends Jean, Murva and Margaret who have celebrated with us for nearly thirty years.  Judy is a lovely new friend, who joined us for Christmas for the first time this year and Linda was ill and could not come. 

I am so fortunate to have these great women in my life....old friends are GOLD! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

Some of you are familiar with ATC (artist trading cards) swaps and other swaps that crafters and artists are participating in......well, I just took part in my very first swap.

What that means is, a lovely woman named Elizabeth hosted the "12 Days of Christmas" altered art swap.  Twelve artist signed up to do their interpretation of one of the twelve days of the song.  After completing their 12 pieces, they were to wrap them, send them to Elizabeth and receive back, in the mail, a set of eleven different 5 by 5 inch original works of art.

I got busy an made mine, so excited to see what I would get in exchange! 

Beginning yesterday, a Partridge in a Pear Tree Monday,  women in my group began opening their day at a time..and here is mine.....Day 2, Two Turtledoves.

Drum roll please....................

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And here is how it came together.............

 etc. 002Using hand painted paper, made by Ann Munson, I cut the white background, laid down the bingo card and cut a small piece, for the bird's background, from the wonderful paper Ann had painted.

etc. 004   Here are the pieces laid out and ready to assemble.  I cut one bird from tea dyed muslin, to make it darker and to give depth to the piece, then the white bird is cut from batting with red polka dot fabric for its' tail.  I stamped the back of a Bingo piece with the number two, cut some mesh from a fruit bag and made feet from vintage artificial flower pistils.  Not shown, is the leaf I stamped and cut out of a page of text.

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Placement determined, it is time for the glue!

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Next came the wrapping for the package.  I placed each card in a cellophane bag on which I had glued a piece of sheet music, some red paper then a white sheet stamped with a bird cage and I added two red birds.


The packaging process.....almost done..........

Voila'...........the packaged gifts, ready to mail!


Since we weren't "legally" suppose to open our packages until December 13 and I have trouble following directions....(I have opened mine, shhhhhh don't tell anyone)....and love every one of them.....but you don't get to see them until December 25. can follow Elizabeth's Altered Book Lover where everyday for the next ten days she will be showing you these wonderful cards or come back here for the great reveal on Christmas Day!

To read more about this swap go to Jackie Smith's blog.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Christ in Christmas!


cloche 001These small figurines of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus are a part of a set that belonged to my parents, so they have very special to me.  Because they are small they don't show up very well just sitting on a tabletop but when placed under a cloche....Voila'.... they are immediately raised to a the level of importance, visually.

  cloche 004 I placed a small round mirror on a white plate that acts as the base for the figurines.  I set the plate on a dollar store fir wreath then wove a battery operated string of small lights.

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I added the antique blue silk ribbon bow last! 

Simple things that elevate this meaningful and most important symbol of Christmas, the reason for the season.

I am linking today to A Stroll Thru Life's Cloche Party

and sally's Blue Monday.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Slowly getting in the swing.....

I am having trouble getting my Christmas spirit "on" this year!  Usually, I start buying gifts in July and am getting excited about all of the Christmas hub-bub about now...not this year!  But, I can feel it....slowly....slowly creeping in.....I'll get there, I just may have to play a little "catch-up".

In the honor of Blue Monday, here is my very beginnings of Christmas decorating 2010!

altered book 001 It started with this two tiered wire basket and some of the Hydrangeas I dried this year.

altered book 002I added some shinny silver Christmas balls, some ribbon and some lace.....and set it all on a silver platter...easy peasy, as they say!

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I'm not sure it's staying on the dinning room table but if it does it will be surrounded by a few Snowmen, of various sizes and descriptions!!

Joining the parties at Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphasis Monday and Faded Charm's White Wednesday.

Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to comment.