Altered Books (page 1 of 5)

Vintage French Paper Packs for Journal Art

Bonjour ! I have six lots of vintage French paper packs for use in art or junk journals, collage, or other mixed media projects. These are all authentic, original pieces of antique paper miscellany. Each pack includes:

  • Handwritten legal document with cover, cover plus three pages (six front and back), appr. 1826
  • Handwritten legal document of four pages (eight front and back) with stamp, appr. 1800s or late 1790s
  • Handwritten legal document (1794) two pages
  • Patent application record. This is letterpressed printing on stunning laid paper with deckled edges. It is 5.50″ x 8.25″ unfolded and unfolds to a large 21.5″ x 17″ (51cm. x 42cm)
  • Two copies of La Mode Illustrée, fashion magazine, 1880s. Each has four pages (eight front and back). I am including two copies because when I have sold these in the past, people have told me they can’t bear to use them. So one is for keeping and one is for using, by which I mean cutting it up
  • Three pages of vintage French ads from Femina magazine, 1911
  • Eight holy cards

As each piece is authentic and one of a kind, each pack will vary but each will be similar and live up to what you see here! To [read more]

Vintage Animal Engravings 1818: Free Download

Recently I acquired three volumes of Oliver Goldsmith’s Earth and Animated History. This classic text was re-issued for decades and later editions had hand-painted engravings (see link below) but these were strictly black-and-white. I love how the animals look slightly off, as though the illustrator had never really seen a giraffe (camelopard !) in his life.

For a larger view, just click on any picture in the gallery. To use in your own art or journal work simply right-click on an image, then copy, then paste into Word, Paint, or any other editing program.

To see and download hand-coloured engravings of Oliver Goldsmith’s birds, go to:   [read more]

A Paper Glossary: Want to Know What Hot Pressed, Rag, and Gelatine Sized Mean?

Vintage Paper Co is one of my favourite sites for drooling over. Based in Scotland, they source hard to find handmade paper, both vintage and contemporary, as well as hand decorated paper for fine art, handmade sketchbooks, and journals. As the owner William says, “We do not sell things that are readily available from other paper merchants or art stores because what’s the point? There are businesses out there who do a brilliant job doing this and I genuinely respect what they do but I don’t want to do that.”

Earlier this year, Vintage Paper Co published a super handy glossary of paper terms to help readers and shoppers understand some of the finer points and terms used to describe their wares. If you are like me you probably pretend to understand more of these than you actually do and paper is my full time job. William was good enough to allow me to repost it, so consider this a crash course in everything you need to know about paper phraseology. And then go check out his delightful site and their inspiring wares:

https://vintagepaper.co/

A Paper Glossary

A series

ISO range of paper sizes

absorbency

The degree to which paper takes up an [read more]

Vintage French Religieux Brocante No. 2

I decided to create these vintage packages with a religious theme to showcase some of the French sacred ephemera I have found (or that has found me. I never know which it is). While this lot would, of course, be perfect for someone who cherishes them as devotional items, they are also charming, vintage collectibles for anyone who likes French brocante. (Click on any photo below for larger view.) This lot contains:

Mother-of-Pearl Rosary, 1890. The beads are hand-cut and the centre stone is heart-shaped. It measures 20″ (58 cm) and has 54 Ave beads and four Pater beads. The Christ figure on the crucifix is silver. A white rosary such as this was given as a present for a first communion or a wedding.

The missel is a prayer book dated 1901. It has a hard cover that is trimmed with a filigree, silver monogram of the letter “M.” Inside are two engravings and each page is illustrated with borders of various religious scenes. Please note that the binding inside is a little loose and as such it is not being sold as a collectible book per se, rather as a charming piece to offset the rosary. It [read more]

French Book Arts Vintage Ephemera Boxes Fall 2019

This new round of book boxes full of hard-to-find paper and other French brocante for use in your art journals, junk journals, assemblage, or other mixed media projects. Below is a list of the basic ingredients but please note that each and every box will be different. If there are any major substitutions to be made, I will ask you about them before you buy so that I can make sure it is something you are happy with. If possible, I can try to adjust the contents to your specific interests so just let me know and we will see what can be done. (I will be featuring English themed boxes in November, so if that is more your thing, hang on for that!)

 

  • One vintage rosary;
  • Ten yards French linen thread (unwaxed);
  • Three yards heavy French linen chanvre twine;
  • Vintage tin (distressed);
  • Misc. buttons;
  • Three cartes postale, two with handwriting;
  • Edition of La Mode Illlustrée, a womans fashion magazine. Each will date from the 1870s to the 1880s and comes in a signature with four pages;
  • Two misc. handwritten pages, legal documents;
  • Handwritten pages of prayers;
  • School notebook 1899-1903 with handwritten lessons;
  • French dictionary pages, 1846, four pages;
  • Signature from French prayer book, 1822, eight pages;
  • Selection of invoices [read more]

Using Ink in Your Journal Work

So, let’s talk about ink. It is one of the bedrock materials for use in an illustrated journal, sketchbook, art journal, junk journal, or an array of mixed-media projects. There is fountain pen ink, plant based inks, pigments, dyes, acrylic ink, and tinctures and they can all be used to create backgrounds or highlights or washes or shadows in your sketches. Here are ten ways that you can use ink in your journal work. (Go all the way down to see the video!)

– Blots. Doesn’t get simpler than this. Dribble a bit of ink on a page then blot with another sheet then allow to dry. Depending on how much ink you use, you will either have a substantial, abstract background to draw or work on top of, or a smaller blotch. The shapes created by these smaller puddles of colour often suggest a drawing with this as its base. You can also make a blot by spraying liberally with a mister than allowing to dry or by folding the pages on top of each other for a dramatic smudge.

– Asemic writing is an abstract calligraphy, scribbled lines that suggest letters and in turn, words. (To see [read more]

Altered Book: The Psalter

Hiya. This is a new altered book. As always, it is a mixture of original vintage papers and photographs and some carefully chosen reproductions. There are pages with pockets. One has an 1880s carte de visite while another has a hand-embroidered postcard from around 1905, and yet another has an altered postcard and a tag with a handwritten quote from Mary Oliver. To see a larger version of a photo, just click on the image.

It measures 23cm x 15cm (9″ x 6″). Cost is £135 with free shipping worldwide. Please let me know if you have any [read more]

Book Arts Boxes

When I sell a handmade journal, I always send it with lots of extras, and over and over I got the same lovely compliment from happy paper fans: “This was better than Christmas!” So, yeah, I am shamelessly going to call these Better Than Christmas Book Arts Boxes.

Inside each one are over 50 pieces of paper and textile ephemera for making your own book or journal arts, including:

  • Two yards tea-dyed sari silk
  • Two yard onion-skin-dyed sari silk
  • Length of tea-dyed gauze
  • Length of onion skin gauze
  • One yard vintage French lace
  • 25 mini mother of pearl buttons in a vintage tin
  • Sample size (10ml) handmade walnut ink
  • Sample size (10ml) handmade acorn cap ink
  • Four oversize cigarette cards (flowers)
  • Four regular cigarette cards (butterflies)
  • Four cartes de visite circa 1880s
  • Four assorted vintage French prayer cards
  • Two vintage, handwritten postcards
  • Signature from guide to plants, 1902
  • Handwritten letter, English, 1867
  • Handwritten letter, French, 1902
  • Assorted vintage invoices/receipts
  • Welsh bible pages, 1843
  • Dictionary pages, 1878
  • Ledger page, 1896
  • Saturday Magazine, 1838 (four pages)
  • Scrap pack of tea and plant dyed papers
  • UHU glue stick (large size)
  • A mini, handmade journal with wraparound cover (each one will vary. The one in the photo is 4/5″ x 3.

    Click on individual photo for larger view.

Now it really matters to me that you get something [read more]

Altered Book With Encaustic

This altered book uses encaustic techniques to fix tea dyed gauze and a variety of vintage ephemera to an old book. (Vintage envelope, handwritten postcard 1911, fragment of dictionary 1895, tintype 1860s, and antique skeleton key.) Please note that this book does not open but is meant to be decorative. It is wired for hanging and could also be displayed on a table or book holder. (Click on photos for a larger view.)

It measures approximately 7″ x 5. Cost is £65 GBP. Worldwide shipping is £6. Please let me know if you have any [read more]

Altered Book: Some Birds

This altered, artist book was created from an early 20th century (English) hymn book.

The pages have been altered with a variety of paper ephemera including:

  • Handwritten French and English letters, circa 1840s – 1870s;
  • Astonomy lesson, Saturday Magazine, 1838;
  • Hand-tinted engraving of English churchyard, 1889;
  • Invoice, 1902;
  • Vintage bird engravings (black and white), 1912;
  • Engraving of vain woman, 1886;
  • Blue-tinted woman with turban, 1919;
  • Engraving of eggs, 1865;
  • Welsh prayer book, 1840s;
  • Kangaroo, 1911;
  • Frontispiece from prize book, 1921;
  • French military cahier page, 1897;
  • Swiss envelope and stamp, 1902.

This is a one-of-a-kind work of altered art using a lot of original vintage paper ephemera. It takes many hours to make from preparing the book for embellishing to designing and executing that pages, each one of which is a unique piece of collage.

The cost is £115 and worldwide shipping is £6. Please let me know if you have any [read more]

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