Category Archives: Altered Books

Autumn Altered Book, update

autumn altered book cover scaled

autumn altered book chicken page scaled

autumn altered book front door scaled

autumn altered book living room scaled

autumn altered book spine scaled

I wanted to show a few of the updated pages from the Autumn altered book I began last year.

Go here for the original post.

Part II, here.

Not a huge amount of progress, but some.

Maybe next year…

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Autumn Altered Book, Part II

Next steps … but still in progress.

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Autumn Altered Book, Part I

For this project I’m using a Country Living Halloween book. It has lots of fall colors and pumpkins and things.

First I tore out a lot of pages. It was hard for me to do this step when I started making altered books, but the simple fact is that after all the embellishments are added, the book will be too thick and just wont’ close. Sometimes that may be the desired goal, but not this time.

The pages on the inside cover are orange with lighter spots of cats and jack-o-lanterns. Since this isn’t a Halloween book, I covered the pages by stamping a leaf pattern all over it.

The picture below shows the unstamped page (on the left) and then the stamped look (on the right).

Next, I use a glue stick to affix the pumpkins onto a piece of book page, then placed it onto the lower left-hand corner. The piece of book page had been used as a base when I was spraying glimmer mist onto something else. It left an interesting pattern and looked just right for the pumpkins. They were clipped from a Mary Englbreit Home Companion magazine.

This page featured instructions for making a Halloween scrapbook. I covered the felt cut-outs with a stamped image of old-fashioned ink pens. The background paper was from the time my sister (Fran) taught me how to use alcohol inks. The pens just seemed to complement the idea of the scrapbook.

To change the wording, I used a piece of junk mail that had fall leaves on it, and dotted the words “All My Blessings”.

It probably won’t be completed this year because I’ve learned that after putting something away for awhile, fresh ideas will come when I pick it back up at a later time.

Tomorrow I’ll post more photos of it.
Next, I took

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Floral Altered Book pages

from Fran's Floral Altered Book

These page layouts are from an altered book my sister made; her theme was Flowers.

On this page, she distressed the pages with purple and buff colored stamp pads, used a daisy rubber stamp, magazine clippings for the flowers and heart. The wavy floral paper scrap was from a drapery sample book, which she ran through a crimper. Also she stamped a tulip on a layered tag and used a bit of photocopied ephemera.

From Fran's Floral Altered Book

This is one of my favorite altered book pages of all time. The purple flower is a silk one, and I wouldn’t have thought of using it because it’s so thick and bulky – but it’s perfect.

Besides the silk flower, she used a purple stamp pad for distressing the page, embroidered ribbon, words cut from a magazine (Home Grown and Spring), rubber stamp, and a decorative paper napkin.

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Mini Altered Book

My sister is an uncommonly thoughtful gift-giver. As a small Thank You, I made this little altered book for her a couple of years ago.
The F is for Fran and the running themes throughout the little book are the Christian faith and cats. Using black acrylic paint, I stenciled an F onto a piece of bookpage, then used a Sharpie to outline it with dashed lines. After gluing it onto cardstock, I distressed the edges in pink, as well as the edges of the whole cover. The kitties are stamped and are repeated on the back cover.


Backgrounds: magazine clipping and book page
Embellishments
Calendar – the Scripture
Magazine clippings – house, jewelry and butterfly; the stylized heart was cut out from a James Avery jewelry catalog
Stamped – the little heart, glittered swirl, girl’s face and clock
Photocopies – 1950’s girls were reduced from an old dress pattern
Sticker – cat
Misc. – swirls from a mini punch, daisies from a glitter set, vellum from a junk mail envelope, canceled postage stamp, colored paperclips

Here again, magazine pages were used for the backgrounds, as well as part of an old book page. The F was cut from a map in an old Book of Knowledge and glued onto cereal box chipboard; the pansies were from a stationery package.
Calendar – Scripture
Photocopy – little girl
Old greeting card – bird


Magazine – back of F, teapot
Stamping – cat
Calendar – Scripture
Misc. – canceled postage stamp


Magazine – Twinings tea ad, keys, cat, coffee cup
Calendar – Scripture
Sticker – cat with feathered hat


Backgrounds – jewelry/flowers from magazine; bookpage, and red cellophane from Valentine candy box
Magazine – 1950s Harlequin glasses, flower, ruby slippers, key
Catalog – jewelry from James Avery, then glittered
Stamping – You’re the cat’s meow!
Misc. – paper strip cut with decorative scissors, glitter, Kansas from Book of Knowledge


Backgrounds – gardening pages from magazine
Calendar – Scripture
Sticker – butterfly
Magazine clippings – basket of flowers, Attracting Birds and Butterflies, teapot
Stamping – cat
Misc. – canceled postage stamps


Backgrounds: magazine pages with jewelry,
Catalog – cross from James Avery, stylized flower from Avon book
Fabric – blue gingham ribbon, pinked edge drapery sample
Sticker – cat
Stamping – Everday is another chance to make your Dreams come true.
Misc. – plastic flowers, flower from old book, teapot from Bigelow tea box


Background – pink cardstock
Stamping – little girl praying, kitties
Misc. – colored paper clips, pink polka dot ribbon for binding

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Vintage Kitchen Altered Book Ephemera

These pictures are from the October 1, 1943 issue of The Family Circle magazine. Some magazines haven’t changed all that much over the years. Family Circle has changed a lot. In ’43, it contained only 20 pages, included current events and a movie review, a short story and was printed in black and white on paper which was not slick. The cost is not printed on the cover, but I’m guessing that it was about .05. (Click on the image for an enlarged view, then click again on the magnifying glass. It will then be readable.)


The Sweetheart Toilet Soap ad is particularly nice for me, because that’s the brand of soap my mother bought for our bathroom (besides the Lava that was for my dad. Boy, I only used that soap once!). Sweetheart was pink and pretty and had a lovely fragrance.


I’ll be scanning in lots of vintage ads, recipes and illustrations and will share some of them here. I’m working on an altered book. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in an altered book round robin, and my sister (Fran) suggested we invite Abby and Cathy to join us in one with the theme of “Vintage Kitchens”. We will each choose a more specific theme for our own books then write a few rules for the others to follow when they work on ours.

Fran has chosen the 1950s, with emphasis on the colors of turquoise and pink.

For mine, I’ve chosen a 1940’s look with red and white, and accents of green and yellow.

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“Thank You for the food we eat”: a Dick and Jane Altered Book

Mother, Jane, Father, Sally, and Dick

Dick and Jane readers were a wonderful part of my childhood – I still get such a cozy feeling just looking at them. So, when my sister, Abby and I decided to exchange little handmade Thanksgiving books last year, I chose the Dick and Jane theme for the “We Give Thanks” book I made for Fran.

Dick, Jane and Sally

Thank you for the food we eat,

Spot, Tim and Puff

Thank you for the world so sweet,

Jane, Sally and Dick

Thank you for the birds that sing,

Mother, Dick, Sally and Tim

Thank you, God, for everything.

Jane

Amen.

First I photocopied illustrations from a Dick and Jane reprint that I’d bought a few years ago at Wal-Mart (these reprints were from the 1950s’ editions). I also have 2 copies of original editions, and I wish I had used them to copy because the pictures are much better. A copy of a copy is very often not a good thing. But anyway, I selected pictures that I thought would illustrate the prayer we learned in Kindergarten at Mingo School (before our schools became so God-less).

The title “We Give Thanks” is in keeping with the Dick and Jane series, for instance, “We Work and Play”,  “We Look and See”, “We Come and Go”, etc.

To give it the feel of a board book, I made my own chipboard pages from a Coca-Cola carton. I probably should’ve rounded the edges slightly.

The background layout for the illustrations were enlarged and photocopied prose pages from the Dick and Jane books.  The edges were distressed with blue ink; brown might’ve been better.

For the prayer itself, I photocopied a page of old penmanship-style scrapbook paper. Now I realize that I could’ve bought a whole tablet of that paper at Dollar General for about $1.00.  Anyway,to get the look of children’s printing, I used a pencil in my left hand (I am right-handed). As you can see from the “Thank you God for everything” page, I accidentally wrote “Lord”. I need to fix that.

To finish, I punched 3 holes on each page and used blue gingham ribbon to bind it. On the back I used a “Handmade by” stamp and signed my name.

Now I think I’ll make one to keep for myself.

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Reading Material

As a quick look around our home will tell you, I love to read. Books, magazines, old letters, vintage catalogs (!), clipped articles, and yes, even cereal boxes. When I go to the antique mall or a garage sale, rarely do I buy anything that isn’t printed. Occasionally a pretty dish or a doll. Maybe a vintage article of clothing or old sewing supplies.


More often, my treasure sack contains various types of ephemera: old sewing patterns, a pattern catalog from the 1950s, a 16 Magazine from 1965, Needlecraft Magazine from 1932, a very well-worn elementary reader from the 1930s, a slim WWII volume: This is the Navy, a 1960 Montgomery Ward catalog, the little booklet/catalog that came with Barbie dolls in 1962, an old drama script, a handmade wedding album from the Depression, old high school and college yearbooks, cookbooks, paper dolls (!), school room ephemera (the seasonal cardboard cut-outs that teachers used to decorate their door with). Let’s pause and take a breath. (And yes, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition. It just didn’t sound right when I used “with which”.)

I just love the printed word.

However, not all printed words.

A few weeks ago Joe and I went to the Grapevine Public Library to see what offerings were in the Friends of the Library nook. These are items which have been donated to them, which they can’t keep and they will let you take them home for a donation to their funds.

One of the employees was re-stocking the shelves and I asked her if they had any donations which were too tattered to put out and that would go straight to the paper recycler. I explained that I like to do paper crafts and find it very difficult to tear up a book to use for projects (and I can never alter one that I liked). I explained the caveat that the books cannot be prurient, even for crafting. Can you just imagine a collaged piece from a Harold Robbins book?! Yikes!

(As a Fawlty Towers fan, I first typed Harold Robinson, then caught myself and corrected it. I think the Waldorf Salad episode was my favorite one.)

Anyway, she said that they had just received a large donation (I’m guessing several hundred books), most of which wouldn’t sell and that I could go into the office and look at them and see if there was anything I liked.


She showed me the Jalna series of books by Mazo de la Roche. The Jalna books were a popular series, the first of which was written in 1927. The lady told me that they would not sell.


Also there was the World War II collection by Winston Churchill, missing one volume.

On and on it went. I ended up with 41 books in my stack, knowing that only a few would end up as craft material. One slightly unpleasant aspect of all of it was the pricing. These were books without a price tag. Buyers are expected to come up with what they think is reasonable and fair. My general rule of thumb is a garage sale price. Magazines are a dime, children’s books and paperbacks a quarter and hardbacks .50 unless in very bad condition. But she wasn’t happy with my offer of $20.00.

Now, before you hit that comment link about how greedy I was, take a deep breath and remember that she considered all of these books unsaleable. They would get nothing for them when sent to the pulp mill. My choices were 39 hardbacks and 2 paperbacks (39 x .50 = $19.50 + .25 +.25 +$20.00). So, I offered her $25.00 and she accepted.

My plans are to read the Jalna series this summer, then perhaps start on the Churchill books this fall (they are huge – over 700 pages each; the usual goal of 1 book per week will collapse with those).

Many of the others are simply old novels. Maybe I’ll read them and then be willing to tear out the pages. But maybe not.


Three of them were old looking and when I read the titles I thought, “Surely I won’t mind tearing these up.”

Then we got them home and I really looked at them (I didn’t spend the time to look them over carefully while at the library).

One of belongs in a genealogy department because it’s an 1886 list of Illinois Civil War veterans, which includes their dates of service and promotions. Scratch this one from the scrap heap.


The next one is an 1898 volume called “The Lives of the Saints”. Even though we aren’t Catholic, a saint is a saint and my husband is particularly interested in St. Theresa of Avila, who is chapter one. Scratch this one from the scrap heap.


The last really old looking one was called the Illinois Blue Book, 1933-34. It was a state government book published in 1933. Alright! Here was one that I could use! A lot of cool looking photos of state officials and lists of government projects … and then right in the center is this gorgeous section of photos and drawings of the “Century of Progress Exposition 1833 – 1933, Held at Chicago, May 27 to Nov. 12, 1933”.

Argggghhhh!

And ebay? Ebay?? Someone save me from ebay. (However, I just got the bid on the most fantastic bundle of 1965 and 1967 Seventeen magazines. I’ll share the photos with you later.)

*Updated May 26, 2013

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House Altered Book, part III


Kitchen


Bedroom

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Girls' Bedroom


Pantry


Patio

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House Altered Book, part II

Some of these pages are finished and some are almost are. And there are about 4 more sets of pages left to go.


The cover


First page provides the background for the house on the cover page, and also is complete itself.


Porch

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