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world-tree-spirit-journal

this is another one of my newest spirit journals. its covers are make of bird’s nest paper and the front is adorned with the first (or second?) world tree/tree of live patch i made.

the twig on the spine of this 6×9″ handmade artist book (i actually call them “spirit books”) is elder. a dear lady friend from nova scotia sent me a large bundle of them for my ogham sets as they don’t grow here. in celtic lore, the elder represents cycles: death, rebirth, renewal and regeneration. it’s also a symbol of creativity.

world-tree-elder-branch-spine
the closure is an antler button (via an antler found left in nature) and there are 60 naturally hand-dyed pages.

world-tree-spirit-journal-closure
in this book, the pages were dyed with organic, fair trade coffee. yum!

world-tree-dyed-pages

world-tree-dyed-pages-open

you can view additional photos and details here: http://aliciacaudle.com/art/shop/world-tree-book-alicia-caudle.php

(this book is sold, thank you)

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(oops, i already posted the hawthorn spirit journal a couple of weeks ago so this title is inaccurate. sorry!)

within the past couple weeks, i’ve completed a couple more spirit journals. i’m kind of obsessed, but anyone that’s known me since i started this blog 7? 8? years ago? …knows that’s i’ve always been book obsessed.

this one is entitled “faery writing and forest runes” (because books need titles, you know). all of the twigs were found on the forest floor in the oregon rain forest and taken with both permission and gratitude.

the front is adorned with western red cedar and douglas fir twigs that were been nibbled by tiny forest creatures whilst the branch was still living and covered in bark. i call these twigs forest runes and like to think of the markings as faery writing because that feels more magical than a bug or a worm in a lot of ways. if you listen carefully, you can hear their messages.

faery writing and forest runes, spirit book by alicia caudle

here is a close-up/more detailed shot of the stunning little twigs. they are just as i found them, except that i oiled them a bit with some organic coconut oil to bring out their gorgeous hues:

detail of faery writing and forest runes twigs, handmade spirit book, alicia caudle

the energies these trees carry and the messages they convey to us are: strength, virility, presence, and knowing (western ted cedar), determination, purpose, achievement, and reaching new heights (fir — i do know that doug fir is not actually a fir). on the spine is a gorgeous curving piece of pacific madrone which teaches us individuality, adaptation, and how to step into our unique, individual greatness.

the covers are made from a thick luscious paper called bird’s nest paper that was handmade in thailand, with some thick natural cotton weave between the layers to add to its rustic and ancient feel. the spine of the book has yet another twig (the madrone as mentioned above) and it love the way they meander as it grow, as well as the stunning reddish hue of their wood (can you read the faery writing on that one?).

madrone-twig-book-spine

the tree of life, or world tree symbol on the back is actually a lined pocket where you can stick your notes or pen. i made this using reclaimed, naturally dyed fabric and natural hemp twine.

world-tree-back-book-pocket
the pages themselves are hand-dyed with organic coffee and the front edges have been tattered a bit to give a deckle edged look, which is one of my favorite things to do.

handmade-deckle-edged-paperthis book is available in my new but not quite fully complete website, here: http://aliciacaudle.com/art/shop/faery-writing-forest-runes-journal-alicia-caudle.php

thanks for allowing me to share another one of my spirit books. xx

it’s been so long since i’ve blogged that it took a few to even remember how to create a new post. that’s pretty sad (i say whilst giggling at myself). after this long i don’t expect many people to even realize this blog even exists anymore.

though i’ve been quiet in wordpress land, i’ve been quite busy with art and shamanic work. i had started my learning in the native american/lakota traditions but veered onto the path of celtic and nordic shamanism once i received the call to start working with my ancestors. what a magical and wildly beautiful ride it’s been! a life balanced between family, art and healing couldn’t be more perfect for me. i’ve been blessed with an amazing teacher and mentor and am now offering services in soul retrieval, deposession, destiny tracking, green energy healing, illumination healing, curse unraveling, and a host of other things… but i digress. i’m also starting quarterly handmade book and spirit journal workshops which is partially how this came to fruition.

nature spirit journal
after months of the pieces sitting in my studio, i finally completed it. while taking photos of it i realized how much i miss blogging and reading everyone’s posts and viewing their photos so i’m jumping back in again.

nat2
this is newest nature spirit journal is made from fig twigs, a natural piece of coral i found on the beach in hawaii, hemp twine, bird’s nest and other natural handmade papers, recycled brown paper pages and recycled sari silk.

nat3

also, a small celtic knotwork piece on the front.

nat4

complete with classic tie closure like i always do.

nat5

the binding colors were inspired by the colors of the seasonal cycle of an oak, which is one of my favorite trees. (all of these recycled silk ribbons came from mudhound studio on etsy — lisa’s shop is amazing!)

nat6

the inside covers and flaps have some gorgeous handmade paper with natural leaves and other nature bits. it’s so yummy and delicate.

nat7

the inside pages are a recycled earthy brown color… and of course there is a gorgeous drilled stone at on the bottom of the attached silk bookmark.

i’ve just listed it up for sale in my etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/258914663/handmade-nature-spirit-journal-art

 

i have so been in the zone as of late — plugging along, trying to be productive and adding TONS of new kits and goodies to the altered bits shop all week.  i’ve gotten about 1/4 or less of the stuff i must add to the site up, but it’s a start and great since i hadn’t added a damn thing in months.  i’m so negligent sometimes!

new art journal kits on altered bitsaltered art bundles and kits on altered bits

here is a list of some of the items i’ve added: art journal kits, assemblage kits, ephemera, pen sets, paper bundles, artist trading card and aceo collections, collage bundles, miscellaneous art tools and supplies that i adore beyond words, etc.  within the next couple of weeks, i’ll be adding dozens of “creepy things” (antique/vintage medical tools, bones, bugs, etc.), antique doll heads and other parts, more textile bundles and even some tin types, daguerreotypes and weathered copper loveliness.

here are some tiny glimpses of some of this week’s new goodies:

altered art supplies from altered bits

yep, lots of kits and goodies!  and don’t forget — there are always free gifts with purchase (hand-picked every time — not generic stuff).

i’ll post more soon as i add more stuff to the site.  there are some exciting things coming up this month both supply wise and otherwise.  come back on march 1st for a wonderful announcement!  and stay tuned for a couple of great giveaways.

happy arting!

i’ve been having so much fun making these “two story books” of mine.  i’m a huge dork and love plays on words… which i suppose is obvious.  i have several in the making, but this one is finally complete.

my newest two story book is just in time for valentine’s day, though anatomical hearts are a year-round adoration to me.


the pages off the bottom book are blood red, and the top book’s pages are black.  i love writing in white gel pen on dark pages.

available for purchase on my website, here: http://alteredbits.com/alicia-caudle-art.php

— also, i would like to have a give-away —

this week the fam and i went on some huge adventures, having a hike in an area i used to frequent, tromping past mini-waterfalls and gazing below at the willamette river.  it was pretty, and fun (though quite cold).  afterwards we went to one of my favorite volunteer-run used book stores and i got heaps of vintage foreign language books.  lucky me!  but lucky you as well!  i’ve put together a bundle of over 40 pages of foreign language text and image sheets for you: french, sanskrit, japanese, scandinavian, german, russian… i’m guessing on some of these.  all of these date from 1920 to 1960 and could be yours for collage or other art projects.

vintage paper bundle give away
i will be adding a few more paper bits once the random generator picks the winner — something custom that i think he or she may like, such as vintage scrap, collage sheet bits, vintage ephemera, or stamps, etc.  all you have to do to enter is leave a comment.  the winner will be announced next saturday, the 21st.

good luck!!

xx

i always love fellow artists’ blog posts when they share images of their collections, shots of where they create, photos of the places they dwell, etc.  i don’t do that often, so today i will share a little piece of what my sister claims to appear to be “creepy explosions” and “creepy corners” all over my house.  she’s a weirdo (and is always begging me to make her some art so i suppose she’s a secret lover of creepy too??).

this summer we were supposed to remodel our detached garage and morph it into the studio of bliss and divinity (which was put off from the summer previous), but that didn’t happen.  soon this will happen but i’ve given up my dream of a new studio for myself.  instead it’s going to be a safe and cozy place for kiddos with aspergers and autism to come, hang out, express themselves and make some really cool art.  i have the windows picked out and a plan for a mini loft and wood stove (we’ll see how that turns out — i giggle while i type as the husby will likely roll his gorgeous brown eyes and walk away when i announce such things to him as my plan).  i don’t suppose the kids really NEED a loft, but it would be fun.  my point, which seems not to be a point at all, is that i now have WAY too much stuff as i thought i would be moving my art goodness to a space 4 times larger than what i have but it’s now not happening.  i should have some giveaways!

a shelf in my studio

anyway, i enjoy filling my space with many hoards of various bits.  this big compartment box sits to my left while i’m at my main desk (there are four desks in here).  these are the things that i use most often so they must be readily available.  figure one: compartment hoards.

a collection of curious items
this is my favorite multi-level box of goodies.  i have buttons from the mid 1800s, lots of completely random rusty and metal items, bugs and bones and things i have no clue what they are.  just stuff i love.

collection of goodies for art

below is part of my charlotte and charlie collection, some of my brushes and tools and other odd things.  this is a fairly old pic — i was using a VERY large canvas and a piece of plaid wrapping paper for a makeshift curtain for a bit there as you can see.  it’s all better now and i feel so grown up with real life curtains.  🙂

a collection of frozen charlottes

one of my other obsessions is boxes of old watch vials, filled with watch parts.  i have a few, but this is one of my favorites.

watch parts, watch vials

i have an ever-growing collection of bugs and bones, too.  oh, and a chicken fetus.  i’m not sure where some of this went which is super sad.  i started packing some of it up for the new studio but since that isn’t happening now, i’m going to have to go unpack.  it will be like a pre-holiday celebration, i bet!

bugs and bones to use in my art

this is to the left of my sewing area — a wonderful and gorgeous wing book from my sweet friend kerinny ninny, some of my favorite doll heads, cards from my pal debrina in new zealand and a host of other things.


oooh, and my leather-bound handmade books!  the goddess book is such a treasure to me.  it was given to me by my hear friend jo archer in england.  the ones below were gifts from my mother and father in law from their trip to russia.  i love them all!  they have inspired a new obsessive collection of leather bound books.   remember brain boy?  yeah, that’s him in the vase.  i need to get my arse in gear and finish that piece!

hand made leather books, doll head

this is the wall just outside my studio which i can mostly see from my main desk/work space.  there you can find art by many amazing artists: kim palmer, lisa jurist, kc willis, joanna pierotti, lisa sarsfield and this chick named alicia caudle i once met.

there is no way i could make the time to post all of the amazing pieces of art i have in my home but i will highlight five of my favorites this round, and do another five sometime soon.

this is one of my dearest, sweetest, most favorite pieces ever.  it’s called “three bird house” and was created by kerin gale, my sweet and wonderful friend.  i bought this from her when we very first met and we’ve been friends ever since.  i will refrain from sharing the whole nightmare story about it but here is the quicky (a testament to how amazing keriny is!): it arrived with the top shattered.  i sent it back and poof (poof = a year and a half, haha)!  she fixed it and you could never ever tell it was broken.  love that girl!

art by kerin gale

copyright kerin gale

this was a wedding present from our dear friend kevin who is an amazing and intricate collage artist and painter.  this is huge and is one of the first things you see when you enter our abode.  click to enlarge — there is SO much going on in there!  sorry about the glare.

art by kevin

copyright kevin

this, of course, is a seth apter original entitled “melt”.  i saw it on his blog last year and had to snatch it right up.  i will own more seth art one of these days!

art by seth apter

copyright seth apter

this is the only michael deMeng piece i own too, though i hope to remedy that one of these days… when i’m not poor and starving.  🙂

art by michael demeng

copyright michael deMeng

this gorgeous piece is one of my all time favorites too — miss joanne archer sent it to me very recently and i LOVE it.  it’s titled “the harbour” and is hanging in my living room in a very prominent place so i can see it every day and share it with all who come to visit.

art by jo archer

copyright joanne archer

i got a new cell phone a couple of weeks ago and i’m obsessed with playing with all of the filters and effects on the camera.  sepia is one of my favorites.  this is the wall of my living room that i see while perched on the couch — just look up and to my right and this is what i see.  the piece over the shelf and the other to the right are both by the amazing and talented lisa jurist.  if you click to enlarge, you will see a sweet clothes pin doll that miss debrina made me too.  and of course my ever-growing bottle collection.  i got many of these from jo archer’s shop maud and mabel on etsy.  go shop there — she has stuff to die for!

living room wall

a creepy corner?  nopes.  just another little collection of goodness.

new curiosity box

i am in love with african porcupine quills and have them all over my house.  such purdy little things they are, but sharp!  (yes, that is a raccoon penis bone next to them.)

a collection of goodness

i should have gotten more shots of my vintage and antique medical tools.  i have three surgery sets and more than just the four vaginal speculums i’ve shown.  sorry to appear so narrow minded in the medical world.  sheesh.  this shelf is just inside the front door but i am thinking it may possibly make a bigger impact if i move it to the bathroom.  is that too creepy and weird?

vintage medical things

now i’m obsessed with this photo filter.  lovely!  i collect daguerreotypes… well, this is a new thing.  i have only two at the moment but you have to start somewhere, right!?  i like this handsome gent.

i collect ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, tintypes, etc.

what do you collect?  have any “creepy corners” to share?  i want to see them.  🙂

re-announcing, the altered bits print zine! 

i’ve gotten lots of emails stating that i haven’t posted info about the zine on my blog other than the themes so yeps, i’m a huge jackass.  apparently i’ve just spewed off a bunch of empty promises to post about it… so now i’m officially pulling my head out and posting the info for those who are new to my zine or wish to get additional information.

after going through the suggestion and voting process, we came up with four themes for issue two of the altered bits zine.  the themes are as follows:

cabinet of curiosities ( i’m actually working on a piece for this category today.)
tattered and torn (i’ve gotten the most submissions for this category so far.)
an artful retelling of history (this was my choice, so of course i’m quite excited — love the merging of art and history!)
handmade & altered books and pages (this is a super fun one too!)

feel free to interpret each of these categories as you please and use your imagination.  EACH ARTIST CAN SUBMIT UP TO THREE PIECES.

here is a peek at some of the submissions so far.  i’ve muted the color a bit so i don’t give everything away.  i promise you’ll still want to see the zine in the real.  it’s going to be gorgeous!!

altered bits zine #5, issue 2 print

the deadline for submissions 21 December, 2011.  i have had to extend this a bit due to all of the recent chaos in my life… so hopefully this will work for everyone.  if you need an extension, please let me know and i may be able to work something out, though i cannot make any promises just yet.

what you must submit to be eligible for inclusion:

  • send high resolution photos of your art piece (or photography), at least 300 dpi, no smaller than 6 inches on the shortest edge (at 300 dpi, 6″ = 1800 pixels).  please attach to email rather than inserting into body (some email programs shrink files when you do that).
  • indicate which category you are submitting each piece to so i don’t put it in the wrong place.
  • PLEASE don’t send small photos.  use name files like this so i’m not confused: lastname_firstname-artpiecename.jpg (you can send jpgs, pngs, tiffs — no gifs or bitmaps — those don’t work for print).
  • a short bio in odt, txt, rtf, doc or pdf format.  please DO NOT SEND DOCX files — i can’t open them and don’t want to buy ms word.
  • the url to your  website or blog
  • optional: a short write-up about your piece and/or your inspiration (these will be space permitting)

what you need to keep in mind:

  • kind of a no-brainer but i’ll say it anyway just in case: do not submit anything with copyright restrictions.  for example, don’t use egon schiele’s “standing nude young girl” in a collage or whatnot — i don’t publish copyrighted content as that could ruin it for all of the responsible participants.
  • please ensure all of your images are royalty free or have commons licenses.  there are great places to get images like that (flickr commons, wikipedia commons, etc.).

when it will be published:

i will be working on layout and design over the winter holidays and the start of the new year.  i’m shooting to have this published and ready to order by late february or march.  i’ll keep you posted though — if you sign up for notifications on my blog, you’ll be insta-enlightened when i post about it.

extra bits:

if you are interested in submitting an article or tutorial, let me know — i’ve never included one before but think it could possibly be fun to have one in each issue here on out.  if you are interested in advertising in the zine, go to my website to find the rates and info that i will be soon posting: http://alteredbits.com/artzine.php (or email me)

send everything to hi [at] altered bits [dot] com.

thank you so much, friends and fellow artists.  if you haven’t submitted yet and you plan to, i cannot wait to see!!!

the amazing and brilliant seth apter of  the altered page is hosting paper stacks, an online collaboration, starting this very day.  you can see how stacked he is here: http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/2011/09/stackoholics-anonymous.html

to be totally honest, i’ve been so sucked into  “the first two weeks of home school mode” while also getting our house painted (HUGE drama there) that i didn’t even know about this until today when dave of clearer reflections emailed to to ask “hey, where’s your stack!?”  whoops!  but of course i could never ever pass this up so here are some of my stacks.

first, a stack of journal pages, waiting to be completed and bound into book form along with a small handful of collages:

stack of art journal pages, alicia caudle, altered bits

aerial journal page stack view:

stack of art journal pages, alicia caudle, altered bits

this is a book i started last year, with stacks of ghostly pages.  someday i will complete this book and share it with you — all true “ghost stories” and other creepy facts:

ghost book pages, alicia caudle, altered bits

and lastly, a stack of fabric covered journals i made last year that i have since sold (except for the top one, which i gave to my dear, sweet friend jilly of jazworks — i love that girl!):

stack of journals, alicia caudle, altered bits

how stacked are you?  (i’m off to find out now!)  go to seth’s blog (linked above) and you can see bazillions of other gorgeous stacks too!

i’m book obsessed.  i think i’ve made about 30 in the past two months, but this one i made for my shop since it’s been so barren over there that i could practically hear crickets.  the others were for art fairs and gifts, but this one is for you.  😉  my camera is weird and tries to make things look more pristine than they are.

anatomical heart journal, art journal blank book, handmade book

i like to fool around with different weird binding techniques that i dream up but this time i was going to just cover the spine with fabric.  however, when i was done, i liked the rough and rustic look of it so i altered my original plan.

anatomical heart journal, art journal blank book, handmade book

oooh, alicia-style crackle!  you can click to enlarge, if you’re interested.

anatomical heart journal, art journal blank book, handmade book

and… a classic back pocket.  gotta have a place for those secrets, i always say!

anatomical heart journal, art journal blank book, handmade book

i also spent some time working on my butterfly for the butterfly project.  if you haven’t heard of it, here is the short version: the holocaust museum in houston, texas, which is dedicated to educating people about the holocaust, remembering the 6 million jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors’ legacy.  fast forward to their project, the butterfly project is  to remember the 1,500,000 innocent children who perished as a result of the holocaust  by collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies.  i’ve started mine and will be finishing it this weekend with my family.  both the husby and the son wish to make one because we think this is such a beautiful tribute to a horribly tragic historical event.  many of the husb’s ancestors were lithuanian jews.  two dresses studio has graciously offered to forward the butterflies to the museum and we’ll be sending ours off soon.

this is the start to mine (lace, embroidery, recycled sari silk, salvaged fabric from a once-gorgeous dress from the 50s, etc… and i think i will cover the black stitching ’cause i may now hate it):

butterfly effect, butterfly

now, i have to plug my sweet friend lisa jurist because i adore her and her gorgeous products have facilitated my whole book-making extravaganza lately.  without her, my binding would be ever so bland!  if you do not know her, you must visit her blog and etsy shop and i assure you, you will adore her too.  i have a mudhound shopping fetish so a couple of weeks ago when i realized i was low on her amazing recycled silks, i popped over to get more.  see how amazingly lovely this silk is!!

mudhound studio goodies

and in the package, that super sweet, ever-so-generous girl sent me this amazing miniature vintage printer’s drawer (she sells these in her etsy shop too!).  i’m in love and can’t wait to get some of my wonderful little victorian babies and poison bottles into it.  thanks so much, lisa!!

mudhound studio goodies

 

i’ve been on a handmade book and journal kick lately and completed two more last night.  this one is teeny tiny and goes into an assemblage of sorts that is not ready to share (truth be told, i’m not sharing it until the zine comes out, ha!).

tiny handmade book

ignore the glue on my filthy little fingers…

the second was started before i got pneumonia.  i couldn’t finish it for a long time ’cause it didn’t really feel “me” despite my secret obsession with peacocks, creamy vintage crocheted lace and vintage beads, but it’s done, and i’m off on a couple anatomical books now, as well as some with glass covers (working on drill pressing glass is going to be fun!!).  this one was just added to my shop (it’s a little blank journal with 44 pages):

peacock feather book, peacock nest
i think i actually showed this before, now that i think of it.  boring!  sorry about that.  did i show the test tube books?  i must go check…

i’m quite behind on blogging but soon will be posting that ever so cool pile of things i found that made me gasp, details on the zine (you still have time to submit your piece or three!!), photos of my recent commission and something so sweet you’ll want to cry.  not really, but it’s sweet, promise.

what are you working on this week?

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