I never go anywhere without a sketchbook journal; it’s the best way to make sure you are working in it, no excuses, and using small bits of time here and there. While I usually use a most substantial journal there are times when it is too heavy to be practical, and then I want a smaller, lightweight book. But – I want it to be noteworthy, so I decorate them before taking them out. (We want compliments, don’t we?) Here is a video showing how I altered the softcover sketchbook above. Below this are some written instructions AND some high-res downloads that you can use to reproduce this book yourself.
You can usually find these soft cover journals in craft, stationery, or book stores. First I put down a messy layer of gauze. If you don’t have gauze you can use cheesecloth or other light fabric, or tissue paper, or skip this step. Over that I added a page from an old French army record book onto which I had stamped a bird’s nest. Now, you can use any page of your own that you fancy but here are some high-res scans that you can download or cut-and-paste [read more]
My latest altered book is made from a vintage book called The Missionary Box. Books like this were given as gifts for doing well in Sunday school and they often have an (appalling) edifying tone. Added to the cover of the book is a miniature ring of skeleton keys. I have used gesso to activate water soluble media throughout and there are lots of pockets. Click on any photo below for a larger view and more detail. Some of the vintage ephemera in this piece include:
- a small ring of keys
- handwritten post cards and letter fragments
- celluloid card, 1905
- cabinet cards including lady with cat
- birds and bat engraving, 1912
- woodpeckers and birds engraving, 1845
- calling cards, circa 1902
- vintage map of Naples, 1905
Here is a video flipthrough:
And here is a longer video here explaining the book.
This altered book is £175 GBP with free worldwide shipping. Please contact me to buy or use this Buy It Now [read more]
I recently acquired an amazing volume of Oliver Goldsmith’s A History of the Earth and Animated Nature series. There are six volunes and they tend to be crazy pricey but I have my mind made up and managed to get two of them in my budget. The most recent was volume two and it is full of coloured engravings of birds! With an occasional insect. So without further ado, please feel free to use these images. Click on an image in the gallery to enlarge then right click, copy, then paste it into Paint or Word or whatever program you use to print [read more]
And here are a batch of altered book covers from late 2017. Most incorporate original 19th or early 20th century images and handwritten letters and postcards from France, Switzerland, and the U.K. Click on an image to [read more]
I had to talk myself into putting her on this cover as it meant cutting her out of her cabinet card photograph, and she is so perfectly the kind of young lady that old-timey songs (and poetry) were written about. It is, however, this very quality that makes her such a sublime altered angel.
Altered book cover. Book cover is from One Thousand and One Works of English Poetry and has some lovely raised embossing. The main figure is from a cabinet card and based on her dress and hair ribbon, is from the 1880s. The border is a fragment of a handwritten letter, French, 1903. The wings are handcut from a variety of vintage papers. All papers are originals, not printed reproductions.
It is wired for hanging, or the wire can be removed for framing. All of my pieces come with extra paper goodies. Cost is £45. Shipping worldwide is £5. You can use the PayPal button below for payment, even if you do not have a PayPal [read more]
Now that is a hair ribbon.
Collage on book cover. Book cover, 1878. Tintype of young man, circa 1860s. Cabinet photo with the handwritten name “Mabel,” circa 1900s. Swiss, handwritten envelope with stamps, 1902. Marbled end paper, 1848. Fragment, French encylopedia, 1878. Measures 17.25 cm x 25 cm.
All papers are original. These are not printed reproductions! It is wired for hanging, or the wire can be removed for framing. All of my pieces come with extra paper goodies. Cost is £65. Shipping worldwide is £5. You can use the PayPal button below for payment, even if you do not have a PayPal [read more]