Sunday, January 17, 2016

I can't believe I'm doing this

I know I said I was going to cut back on challenges this year, but when I saw Craft Barn's latest challenge of Alpha/Dictionary, I simply had to join.  I didn't even know Craft Barn existed in 2013, the last time they ran that same challenge, so I was actually excited to play.  For me, it became a chance to complete a few quick spreads, maybe learn or develop a few techniques, try out products I had hidden away I'd forgotten why I purchased, or use a few excess products instead of hoarding them.

I read the directions carefully and saw I could use a dictionary or a journal.

I'm actually NOT a journal person, but I have a ton of old grad school books I can turn into an altered book.  Since we could use a dictionary or journal, I thought I would be allowed to use one of these.  It also said as long as we used the same substrate each fortnight, that would be acceptable.

For once I gave thought to size.  I wanted a book that would fit on my scanner, but didn't want one so big I'd have to scan and show the spread in two parts.  I took both books to my scanner (in the office), then decided

I would use the large one after all.  I was sure I could get the art and the word(s) on a single side.  I knew this was a school book and was extremely well put together, so I removed about 1/3 of the pages before I began laying down my first background.

I have one of these same American Heritage Dictionaries that is hard bound.  I bought it my first year as an undergrad and used it through my final degree.   Although I bought my first computer in my final year as an undergrad, the internet was not around, which meant I didn't have access to online dictionaries.  My first English professor said it was THE dictionary to buy, and I got this one in a thrift store a few years ago to use in my art, while keeping my hard bound dictionary in pristine condition.  So all words and definitions will come from this book.

Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, I looked through the book, but didn't come up with anything I had in my stash for B until I thought of this:

Possibly not the best start in the world, but I used a few sticker letters that had been hanging around for years and years.  I began with buttermilk and bright green acrylic paints that I mixed directly on the pages using a faux credit card.  When the paint was dry, I spritzed my handmade shimmering mist through a doily that was upright on the left side (not shown) of the book.  I turned it over and "stamped" it on the right side of the book (shown above), then removed the doily and allowed everything to dry.  It's amazing how so many letters can read and look the same backward and forward.

This is the definition of backward from my dictionary.  I agree this probably does look worse!

I'm so glad I found this challenge and will be able to reunite with several of the participants I've lost contact with over the previous year.  Thanks, too, to those of you who visited today and those who leave comments.  They are truly appreciated.

30 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Yes, it's an interesting challenge, I joined in it one year, too. Love what you have made, and how your illustrated your word. Good choice of book too. Have a fun with the challenge, and have a great Sunday, hugs, Valerie

Helen said...

I was surprised they were repeating the dictionary/alphabet challenge since they did it just a couple years ago. your use of backward is good though. hope you have fun. I'm not doing it again, however!

kaybee said...

I also missed this challenge in 2013, so new to me too! Love the concept of your page - very outside the box (or is that backwards!) :D

Craftyfield said...

Last time I joined half way and did find that I actually enjoyed the challenge. Lovely first page!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I was actually sorry I missed the one in 2013, and as much as I want to play along, I just don't think it is a realistic commitment for me right now.

I really like your first entry--made me smile. I'll look forward to following along with what you create.

Linda Gibbons said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I love your backward page, great color and design.
I may have to give this challenge a try, thanks for showcasing it.

Krisha said...

Great page for the letter B.
I checked out the challenge, it does sound like fun.....must ponder this a little more...*grin*

Janet said...

It seems like a fun challenge, and I think you're off to a good start.

pearshapedcrafting said...

I used to love the Craft Barn Challenges and although this is appealing I am not sure I could keep up this time! Although………!!! Just got back and caught up, we did have snow yesterday but home now with just a sprinkling - but colder!!!?? I love this page Elizabeth - so clever! Hugs, Chrisx

Crafty Claire said...

I love the grungy look to your page and great colour combinations xx

Meggymay said...

This is a wonderful start for the challenges and a super page for the letter B. Look forward to seeing your next pages.
Yvonne xx

Linda Kunsman said...

a fun and interesting challenge Elizabeth and I can see how you were drawn in. Fabulous page to start the challenge!

My name is Erika. said...

I haven't heard of this challenge but it was so much fun to see what you did with it. And you really did it backwards too, didn't you? What a fun way to use that word. Hope your week starts off in a good way!

Corrine at corrinegilman.com said...

Backwards is so cute, great idea. Those big textbooks hold up well. xox

Scrapmate said...

A great idea for a word and I am looking forward to seeing your art again.

Nancy said...

What a fun challenge- and your book looks just right. Look forward to your progress with this one. I love journals.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

A fantastic page for the challenge! Wishing you fun with it -- looking forward to more!
Happy new week my friend!
oxo
Susi

Elaine said...

Good to see you joining in again and I love your page - great colours and great word to choose too! Look forward to seeing how your book progresses!!

sheila 77 said...

Looks like a good challenge.
I think your "Backward" page is fun, nice thinking.
I enjoyed reading about how you started too.

Laura said...

Hehe, I love this! Quirky and my favourite colours!

Maggie said...

Hello nice to see you here for the 2016 challenge really enjoyed 2013 challenge so jumped in for this one, going with AJ pages this time.
A great page and word choice looking forward to seeing your book evolve
MaggieH

Lou said...

Such a creative idea that no one else had thought of. Great start to the new challenge! Lou x

Lesley said...

Lovely to see you again! Great word choice for this first challenge and your page is lovely! xx

Julia said...

Such a clever interpretation of Backward. I am looking forward to following your work during this challenge. Great work and thank you for commenting on my page to.

gardenpinks said...

What a clever definition! Just love it and love the background too. So glad you are joining in with this challenge and looking forward to seeing more art from you and Bluebeard :) x

thassos456 said...

Fab page, love the background, great colour. Looking forward to visit your blog again this year :)

WendyK said...

A lovely start to the challenge, a great idea. I didn't do the first one either. I also didn't read the instructions properly, so will put the definition on when I get home from our weekend at my daughters. Thank you for vsiting my blog.

butterfliecrafter said...

very clever of putting some letters backwards, curious how the mind works and is still able to read without any difficulty.

Silvia(Barnie) said...

How cool is this?! A gorgeous pick, love love love it.

maggie said...

Lovely to see you are joining in this year's challenge. A great choice of word and a fun page to start your journey.