My latest altered book is in a book of children’s Bible stories from 1915. It is a larger size than I usually get to work in and I really had fun with the larger format. Throughout I have used original 19th-century paper ephemera to create collage layouts before embellishing the pages with a variety of mark making. Here is the video flip through and below that are still photos. CLICK ON ANY PHOTO IN THE GALLERY TO SEE A LARGER VERSION.
This altered book is for sale. The cost is £145 (approximately $205 but please use currency converter for exact exchange rate). Worldwide shipping is £15. To buy use the Buy It Now button. You can also email me or contact me on Instagram via DM @bookandpaperarts.
(Click on any photo in the gallery to see a larger [read more]
These are high-res scans of steel engravings of Bible scenes from 1852. I hope that you find them as haunting and weirdly fun as I do.
Click on any image to get a larger resolution then right click, copy, and paste into an editing programme such as Paint. (I use Word even though it is not a real art editing programme, because I am used to it.) You may want to crop and/or resize to get it to fit the piece you have in mind.
Please note, these are for sale. The sizes vary but all are approximately 4″ x 6″ (10.5cm x 15cm). Each one is $25 US. Please contact to [read more]
What’s with the French and 1 April, the day when school children go around pasting paper fish on the backs of the unsuspecting and yell “Poisson d’avril !”. No one knows for sure but there are plenty of adorable, probably not-entirely true theories behind the tradition.
One comes from the fact that back in the day the new year began around the first of April. That changed in 1564 when King Charles IX took France into the modern world by adopting the Gregorian calendar and a new year beginning with January. This caused understandable confusion and frustration. (Think about it. As it is, Daylight Savings Time throws me off for weeks. Imagine shifting a whole season.) The response was to jokingly continue to celebrate the beginning of the new year on 1 April with gag gifts of fake fish.
Okay, but why fish? It may have been connected to Lent which often fell about this time of year. Meat was forbidden and fish was a big treat, ergo giving someone a fake fish was hilarious. (Don’t ask me, I don’t understand pranks at the best of times.) It is more likely to be linked to the fact that fishing [read more]
These altered postcards are one of a kind miniatures. Each postcard dates from the early 1900s (circa 1902) and has that beautiful, old-world handwritten script. The birds are from an old Swiss field guide to birds, 1912. Each one has been hand-cut and added to the post card, then altered with charcoal and graphite for maximum pop. Each card measures 13cm x 7.5cm (5″ x 3″), and will come on a card that is from a 1920s French post card scrapbook. It is not fixed and can be removed and framed, if wished. Cost is £27 GBP with free worldwide shipping. To buy use the Buy It Now button UNDERNEATH the image that you want to purchase. If there any problems, please contact me by email.
Click on any image for a larger view:
One of the questions I am asked the most often is where do I get my bird images. Well, I do actively search them out and then some just find me but yes, I have a lot of birds. So here are a few to share and add to your collage, art journals, altered books, or other mixed media work. To use these, click on an image for a larger resolution, then right click and copy. You can then add it to an editing program such as Paint. (I use Word. Even though it is not a visual platform per se, I am used to it.) You may want to resize these, make them larger or smaller. Happy Making!
Recently I made an altered book layout using mix-and-match, contrasting backgrounds for a sort of torn wallpaper look. (The video is below.) You can use the techniques shown – rough tearing papers and layering them – using any papers that you have such as sheet music, varied text, junk mail, magazine pages, and almost anything in between.
But if anyone would like to have these images, which are from Goldsmith’s Animated Nature, the 1876 edition, either for a similar background or any other project, I have added these high-res scans for you to use. Simply click on any image to get a larger version, then right click and copy the image into an editing program such as Paint. (I use Word. While it is not traditionally used for photo editing, it works for me and I am used to it.) Please note, you may want to resize this and make the page and images smaller. [read more]
The Girl’s Own Paper was a periodical published in Britain from 1880 until 1956. I really enjoy the older versions for their plates and engravings that I use a lot in my altered books and art journals. They also have some writing that is as ridiculous as it is humourless: sanctimonious advice to young women about the quality of the verses, suggestions for becoming lace menders or lady’s maids, and serialised stories that were meant to be uplifting but today seem terrifying in their narrow expectation for the female half of the species.
Here are a few plates for you. Click on any image for a larger version then right click, copy, and put into an editing program. Paint is a good one although I also use Word (because I am used to it). Below is a video flipthrough of some of the prettier (and cheesier) selections from the book. Let me know if you have any questions and please get back to me and let me know what you [read more]
Below are some scans of vintage British wildflowers from The Concise British Flora In Colour by W.Keble Martin. I use the originals pages of these all the time in my altered books, art journals, and other collage and paper-based mixed media projects, and now you can, too. Just click on any of the images below for a larger version then right-click and copy it into your editing program of choice: I use Paint but Word is also handy.
While they are endless ways to use pages as beautiful as these, but if you are looking for further inspiration or just need some book-arts-eye-candy to get you warmed up, here is a video sharing some of my go-to methods, including:
- Printing on tracing paper
- Making borders
- Anchoring pages
- As collage elements
I would love to hear how your ideas and how you are going to use these, so please keep in touch or let me know if you have any questions. (If the darn comments aren’t working, send me an [read more]
I recently acquired a batch of French holy cards (images pieuses) from the 1870s. They are utterly charming engravings on paper surrounded by a lace border, which is why they are also called “dentelles,” which is the French word for lace. Cards like this were often given as gifts for a first communion, baptism, or other important events in one’s church life and were cherished.
I have made this into high-resolution (300 dpi) scans that you can download and print or use digitally in your own collage, journal, or other mixed media work. TO USE: click on an image below for a larger resolution. You either print from there or right click and copy into an editing programme such as Paint and then size and print from there.
Please check back soon as I will be adding some images pieuses in colour!
I sell quite a bit of vintage paper from my studio, from letterpress text to handwritten letters to just plain old antique book pages. Sometimes the happy new owner of these pages is off and running with using it her work but other times I get emails saying that it is beautiful but what do I do next? Can I really use it in my pages?
The answer is, you bet. Let me show you some of the ways you can incorporate old papers into your work. As usual, I am going to show most of these methods using my altered book but remember, you can do the same in your art journals, junk journals, collage, or any other mixed media project.
- Full page coverage. Using handwritten documents or letters is one of my favourite go-to ways to start a layout. It is fun and atmospheric and allows your focal points to shine, all at the same time.
- A variation on the full page cover is to mix and match it with the original underpage. I like to rough tear a letter in an irregular way and then glue it to the base so that you can see some layer. [read more]