Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The beginning of a Christmas gift for a friend

It finally hit me why scrapbookers can whip out several spreads in the course of an hour or so. They get their photos together, then match up their purchased background paper with their photos, add a few purchased embellishments, a title, and some journaling, and voila, they are finished.

Now don't get me wrong. I am not a scrapbooker, but that doesn't diminish the sheer art of coordinating paper, embellishments, and photos, deciding on the proper layout, and writing something appropriate.

As an altered artist, I have no huge stack of purchased papers, only background papers I make myself. The same is true for embellishments and focal images. I either make my own, find cool things that my friends have thrown in their recycle bins, discover items on the ground, or take advantage of "freebies," either in coffee bars (stirrers and coasters) or over the internet (laminate chips, magazines, etc.). These are my fodder. And it bulges from every nook and cranny of my very small craft space. But within those confines, I keep an endless supply of things that are alterable for little more than the cost of glue and my time.

As an altered artist, I also feel obligated to search for that special image, that special found object, and that special background. If I don't have it, I make it. With that in mind, I started a book that I plan to give to my art friend Cris for Christmas. Once it's finished, I'll punch holes and bind it using baling wire and ribbons, since I don't have any more rings. This project is going to take several days, so I'll be posting what I've done each day and give you a run down of all the recycled materials I've used. I'm a bit late today because shopping for Thanksgiving groceries took a lot longer than I expected. Tofu turkey, anyone? (JUST JOKING, since I am not a big fan of tofu).
For the cover, I began by gluing two pieces of a flat rate envelope together. Then I took some foam letters my friend Theresa gave me and made the above cover. Next, I gessoed the entire piece and allowed it to dry.
When finished, I painted the entire piece green. I used cheap acrylic paint, so had to give it a couple of coats. I kept wishing it was warmer outside because I could have spray painted it in a lot less time. When it was dry, I stamped on the raised letters using my French text stamp (the only text stamp I own) using Staz-on. This is one time I don't think the scanner did a good job, so I'm hoping the camera will show it better once I have the piece finished. Cost of this page? Gesso, paint, Staz-on, and white glue to adhere the two envelope pieces together.

In case I didn't mention it, the size of the book is 8.5 X 5.5 inches.
Before I started the first piece, I cut several old file folders to size. These were old and battered, so I had to gesso a few of them.

For this first page, I began with part of an orange bag. The sheet music was scraps that I swiped with dye ink, then sewed to the focal magazine image. I glued the entire assembly to the orange bag background, then added the sentiment, which I printed. Cost of piece? Glue, thread, printer ink.

I hope to have a few more pieces tomorrow, although this is a busy, busy week which I suspect is true in many homes across the United States.

1 thoughtful remarks:

Mary said...

The book that you are making for your friend is coming out beautiful. I love the cover and how you used the foam stamps to make it. IMHO it is a lot easier to scrapbook the way that I do then the way that you do. I took some classe 2 years ago on how to alter books. The kind of book that you read not a scrapbook. Although I found it very interetsing I also found it a heck of a lot harder then what I am used to doing. I hated how my book came out and ended up throwing it away. Perhaps you can now see why I am always in awe of what you do. I love your work Elizabeth.