Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nine days of my life I'll never get back!

I've started a new altered book.  It's for my art friend Kathy.  Kathy brought me a ton of "stuff" she didn't want after she cleaned up her craft room.  I've given a lot of it away, but she told me if I didn't want the stuff she left, to pitch it in the trash.  My heart can't do that.  I'm simply not built that way.  So, after sorting and choosing, I gave some of it to my neighbor Cheryl across the street who is a stamper and scrapbooker, I gave Scott several wonderful OLD books, I gave my next door neighbor some fru frus, and I kept a few art and mixed media books I will review one of these days, then give them away.

One thing I simply could NOT get rid of was a folder filled with many, many printed pages for an altered book I had heard Kathy talk about making.  So, I started in, but realized nothing was in order.  And, unlike how I prefer to work (which is in random order in an altered book), this book had to be created in order.

I know I should begin at the beginning, but I didn't even think about taking photos for the first five days.

So here I am after nine days.  The hardest nine days of my life, in fact.   First, I sorted and sorted and sorted, but even though I have British ancestry, I had no formal knowledge of the Kings and Queens of England.  I'm still sorting, but now I've found a few web sites that can help me figure out who comes next in this altered book.

I hadn't been thinking clearly when I gave my friend Scott all the books that were sewn.  So I had to go to my stash for a sewn book, the only rule you MUST observe when making one of these altered books.

I suspect you can tell I've removed at least half the pages that had originally been in this book, but even so, I may have to remove more as I progress through the pages. There will be NO niche in this one.

See my right sidebar if you want to make an altered book along with me.  Each of the lessons is self-explanatory, but if you want to skip the theory, there are lots of lessons on process.  As for products?  My belief is you should use what you have.

I actually started this spread first, while watching the NBA All Stars (basketball) Weekend.  Since I had very little glue, I decided to use two glazes that Kathy had given me.  I hoped to use as many of the things she left me as I possibly could.  The first glaze was brand new, never opened, and was the gorgeous maroon I used for the first layer.  However, after a day and a half, it was still not dry.  Then after three days, the glaze still wasn't dry.

I finally decided to forge ahead.  It was quite warm the day I laid down the second color, a yellowy beige, along with the images, so I took my book and images outside because it was actually warmer than in my craft room.  However, it was also quite windy, and the strips of Kings and Queens I had cut flew all over the place.  Consequently, I'm not completely sure I have these in order, although I did my best.

Note the cheesy scrapbook paper I used as a backdrop when I laid down the glaze.  I plan to use it.  Nothing Kathy gave me will get wasted in this book.

I realized I needed to reinforce the front cover, so I used some of my shimmering mists and colored some Tyvek. I found some large playing cards for the decorations, too.

I further reinforced the title page, also with colored Tyvek, and added smaller playing cards.  I found more Queens than Kings in my playing card stash, but I rationalized that Queens, although less of them, seemed to outlive all the Kings.

Kathy had printed out this mnemonic, so I colored it with my handmade mists and added it to the page.

I covered the copyright page with more playing cards, and some crowns I colored using acrylic paint.

Thankfully this spread was finally dry after five days.  I won't be using glaze as glue from now on.

Speaking of glue, all I had in my arsenal was white (wet) glue.  And it was the thick glue I really didn't want to use, but had to if I wanted to proceed.

These were the very first Kings, from 871 AD to

1066.  Since this page was so distorted from the glue I used, I tried to sew two pages together.

I didn't get the pages even, because I matched and sewed the first page to the second when I should have matched the second to the first.  Although I thought I had enough letters to spell the word "Norman," when I got to the final "n," I didn't have enough.  Golly, I was making a mess of this book, even though I had barely started.

I sewed the photo of King William I to the background and that was when I remembered I had that horrible double sided heart tape I had tried to use on another project.  This time I used it to hold my decoration in place.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.  Yes, after nine days, this is all I have to show for what I'm making.  Also, whenever I need to create a challenge entry, I have to move everything out of the way.  You may also note there are no, or very few embellishments.  I need to keep everything flat as long as possible, so I will go back at some point and add the 3-D elements later.

Again, I SO appreciate your comments and visits.  Thank you SO much for that.

13 thoughtful remarks:

Nancy said...

So impressed that you have made this and done all that research. I love the mnemonic for the royalty. You are certainly the salvage queen for all that you harvested and shared from the things you were given!

massofhair said...

Looking fantastic, wonderful use of your new/old stash Elizabeth:-) xxx

froebelsternchen Susi said...

It's great that you use all this stuff for this special project...
fabulous! Fantastic!

~*~Patty S said...

WOW that is a lot to get in order. Altho I am fascinated by British history I would never pass the test with knowledge of facts ;-)
You have me wondering what kind of glaze you used? I just came across a box of Golden colored glazes that I just had to have some years back and used some on a couple of postcards with no drying issues altho it did seem a wee bit slower than paint. I was afraid they might have dried out like other products that just don't seem to have a long shelf life.
Our local art group just got organized to gather art/craft supplies every couple of months to donate to a senior center. Their art supply budget is pitiful for the year and they are excited to get what we are sending their way. Other stuff goes to charity as I am with you throwing things away that could be used by someone seems like a sin.
Looking forward to the continuing saga of your royal altered book... you are off to a great start E!

Helen said...

Look forward to seeing what comes next!

TwinkleToes2day said...

You always impress me with your dogged perseverance; you never seem to let things get in your way of doing what you want. I think you are a very good role model and very inspiring.
I enjoyed seeing and reading all you have done with this book so far ((hugs))

Pamela Gerard said...

Oh! How fun. I don't think you need to get those six days back -- you might have to give up that very cool altered book if you did! Nice work.

Eliza said...

I am so impressed with all your dedicated research, gosh what a journey you are going to have with this book. I am really miffed as to what glaze you have used, I have never heard of a glaze taking that long to dry.

Thanks for sharing

Hugs Eliza

voodoo vixen said...

Oooooheeerrrrrr... I really must get back into my altered book... it sits forlornly waiting for me to get with it! Love what you are creating here... such a lot of background work, you will be more knowledgeable than us Brits at the end of it!! :)

johanna said...

i really enjoyed reading your journey so far... i had to grin here and there (the wind caught the royals;))... i also think glueing is a critical part of book working. it often is too wet or does not hold good enough. i often use glue stick (knowing they might come off one day and i must glue them again). or doublesided tape for rectangle papers... sewn elements are always to my delight!... and i agree: 3d (if ever) at last, because you can´t work on the next pages properly.
interested how the Project will go on:)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

This is some undertaking and will be quite a royal masterpiece when finished! Despite the long drying time, you accomplished so much.

Looking forward to seeing more!

Halle said... are dedicated!! Look forward to seeing more as you progress.

pearshapedcrafting said...

Elizabeth this is fabulous and you are SO patient! I hate waiting for anything to dry!! Chrisx