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pardon me, but omfg!  i received the most delectable, most divine, most gorgeously, stunningly beautiful parcel EVER last week (or the week before)!  what is it, you ask?  my book from the pulp redux collaboration!  for those who don’t know, the pulp redux collaboration is/was an international handmade/altered book collab with five gals: two from the US (lisa jurist and myself), two from new zealand (debie price-ewen and lisa sarsfield) and one from austrailia (kim palmer).  we each started our own books, and each participant created pieces to go into said books in the theme of the originator.  to see all of our contributions to date, visit the pulp redux blog.  my book’s title is “the museum of forgotten things”.

i had had the privilege of seeing all of my completed pages after lisa j. worked her divine magic as she sent it to me so i could post it all to austrailia.  so, kim’s contributions were new to me.  and omg, she created the most amazing things for my book!!  not only is it a book, all bound in gorgeous leather, but it’s a HUGE art quilt when you unfold it!  i cannot say or share too much as we’re having an unveiling exhibit in a few months, but i’ll share a peek.

in the spirit of stacks (see previous post), i will share this photo first.  i took this a mere 7 minutes after the book arrived a couple/few weeks ago and planned to post it all right that very second.

pulp redux book collaboration, alicia caudle

initially, we were all going to bind our completed books into one huge book, but this thing is TALL.  so, i have decided that although it’s a bit more work, it will be easier to view and enjoy if i bind them in volumes.  both deb’s and kim’s are pretty self-contained so i may just bind the other three.  then, i shall be getting a 2 foot wall shelf to display them on in my living room — i am so in love with all of the amazing work that has gone into this!!

look how tall it would be if i bound it into one huge book (i still may, but the volume idea sounds so cool!):

pulp redux book collaboration, mixed media books

here’s a cheater shot of each of the five pieces laid out on my couch:

pulp redux book collaboration, mixed media books

i am slowly but surely finishing lisa j’s book.  i’m not trying to go so slow but that is life sometimes… waiting for pieces once i find the perfect “thing” online, etc.  i HOPE to send it to her within the next couple of weeks.  how many times i’ve said that i do not know, but it will happen before the holidays, that is for dang sure!

how tall is your tallest book or art journal?  (i actually have a reason for asking — check back in a few days for my splendid and huge collaboration idea i’ve been toying with for a few months.)

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we pulp girls have certainly been slacking with the book posts lately, but i have a sneaking suspicion that we’re consciously or sub-consciously trying to prolong the whole event.  i also know that we’ve all been some busy girls with HUGE things going on in our lives as of late.  i have been instructed to keep the peeks of the last book i work in (this very book) kind of cryptic as we have some secret future exhibit plans where all will finally be revealed, so i’m not showing as many photos as i typically would.  this is, however, round one of two posts i will be doing.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist
originally i had NO idea what i was going to do.  this was in part due to the fact that no natural bits (branches, flower bits, dried leaves, moss) could be sent overseas to new zealand or austrailia due to very strict postal laws and of course, particularly with a title like this, it was a necessity.  THANKFULLY i ended up being the last one to receive and work on this book so i’ve cheated and included heaps of nature bits in this so far.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist
several different fabrics (some hand-dyed by my very own natural dyes i have been making), fibers, dried flowers, moss, vintage book and handmade papers surround the edges of the page.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist
many watch parts, gears and vintage brass beads also adorn the page to depict “time”.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist
even rust gears peek out through the sandwich of nature yummies and organic wool.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist
imagine living in the victorian era… you are little alice searching for the rabbit hole.  i imagine she would find many secret things along the way, and many little hiding places and treasures.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist, alice in wonderland
two tiny drawers are hidden on the side of the book (i may add tiny “drawer pulls” but have not yet decided).

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist, alice in wonderland
more treasures from nature, and even that “late” and elusive white rabbit hides in one of the secret drawers… ’cause in my world, he can.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist, alice in wonderland
this is a bit wider of a peek, so you get a slightly better idea of where i went with this.  the alice image is actually a door that opens, and there is about an inch-deep secret hiding place inside.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist, alice in wonderland
this is not the end result of the compartment, but i wanted you to see how deep it is — that is a deer knuckle bone or something odd like that, and of course a little vial.  not sure exactly how i will complete this section, but it will come to be soon enough, i’m sure.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist, alice in wonderland
i hope i don’t get in trouble for showing this much of the page.  BUT you have no idea what’s on the back, or any of the other secrets that alice and her friends hold, so that is good… for now.  every single little bit of this book has been hand-stitched — no sewing machine was used for any part.  AND i only bled once while creating it (so far).


i had SOOOOO much fun working on this first part of lisa’s book that i couldn’t stop.  my mind kept going and going.  as it now turns out, lisa’s book contribution is the first piece in a series of several alice-inspired nature/victorian/steampunk/forest/taxidermy/apothecary pieces.  they are so very alicia and contain all that i love.  none are 100% done, but i’ve started 6.

here are some very tiny peeks at my very first one that i started, called “finding the rabbit hole”.

alice in wonderland, steampunk, taxidermy, apothecary, forest, nature, bones, victorian, altered art, altered book, mixed media, assemblage, alicia caudle

i started mine on a 6″ x 12″ canvas — this is the 12″ side, with similar nature bits as in lisa’s book, twigs, dried flowers, moss, and other secrets.

alice in wonderland, steampunk, taxidermy, apothecary, forest, nature, bones, victorian, altered art, altered book, mixed media, assemblage, alicia caudle
here is alice’s key — all rusty with the number 41 on it.  maybe i’ll actually finish these 6 pieces before i reach that age?  it has no significance, of course… i just like numbers.  next to it, a real white rabbit taxidermy paw.

alice in wonderland, steampunk, taxidermy, apothecary, forest, nature, bones, victorian, altered art, altered book, mixed media, assemblage, alicia caudle
on the top left of the piece, there is a hole with a glass ring framing it.  if you peer inside, you will see a teeny tiny mouse skull and jaw.  this was taken while the adhesive was still wet, so there will not actually bit any shiny bits.  if there are, i shall fix that!

alice in wonderland, steampunk, taxidermy, apothecary, forest, nature, bones, victorian, altered art, altered book, mixed media, assemblage, alicia caudle
and of course i’ve found some of the white rabbits watch parts to include when i get a bit farther along.

i have a massive texture making fetish.  dunno why, but i do.  so, i think every tuesday that i’m in the mood will be texture tuesday.  a freeby texture i’ll offer up for use in your physical or digital art, iffin you’re into that sort of thing.  (i have NO idea where “iffin” came from, sorry.)

free texture, photoshop texture, paper, sky, free images

BUT that is nowhere as cool as pulp in my hands… yesterday, i received not one but TWO of the books for our pulp redux collaboration.  i have both lisa jurist’s book (mudhound primitives) and lisa sarsfield’s book (lucky dip).  yes, two pulp books in my hot little hands in unison!!  omg, they are AMAZING!  i gently unpackaged each of them, one at a time, to get a good look at them before carefully wrapping them back up.  they are so fat!!  and i don’t mean in that weird teenage cool way.  they are thick as hell!  lisa s’s measures in just about 4 inches thick (two more people to work in it) and lisa j’s book is just over SIX inches thick.  wonder how they will look when i’m done…

…this is how they look pre-alicia-contributions…

lisa sarsfield’s book (i’m working on this one first as one more person will need it after me before pulp #1 comes to a sad end).  her theme is “labyrinth”:

altered book

and this is lisa jurist’s book.  i’m working on hers second as i’m the final contributor and i don’t want to hold anyone up.  her title is “roots, beneath the layers”:

altered book

(and happy birthday to my husby!  he’s 31 today.  woots!)

un voyage par l’obscurité.

that is what i think this newest book of mine shall be called.  but of course i change my mind a zillion times before its complete.  i may call it phantoms and shadows.  actually, wait, i rather like that!  i’ll save un voyage par l’obscurité for another book.  yes!  the bird skull book.  (it must be somewhat annoying that i type my thought process(es_ as they are occurring in my mind.)

i photographed this cover yesterday afternoon, then spent much of the evening working on it so it’s already better than what i’m sharing but this will just have to do.

(click photos to enlarge)

singed red velvet with burned holes, lace behind in places, antique bone beads for the centers of the french knot flowers (the bone beads were apparently made in africa or south america sometime between the late 1890s and early 1920s — the bag i got them in was a mix of two kinds and i’m not certain which are which as i’ve since forgotten what the lady told me but i THINK these are the african ones, and the seed ones were from south america).

altered book, handmade book, cover, phantoms and shadows, red velvet, black lace, ghost, jump rope

i love to incorporate things from friends in my art to keep.  this frame was from my sweet friend debbie in new zealand, some of the black lace from my sweet friend jo in england, the gorgeous silk green, rose and creamy thread is from my sweet friend lisa in maryland, and the rest of the friend goodies are on other pages so you shall see those soon.

altered book, handmade book, cover, phantoms and shadows, red velvet, black lace, ghost, jump rope

this was a vintage photo of two girls (presumably twins) jumping rope together.  i made the one on the right super light by cutting her out of the photo, photoshopping in a background behind her and overlaying her and reducing opacity.  you can’t tell in this dark photo, but in person, you can see the “alive” girl’s dress through the ghostly one’s dress.  the crackle and such looks WAY better in person but as i was photographing in the son weird shadows and reflections were occurring… or phantoms?

altered book, handmade book, cover, phantoms and shadows, red velvet, black lace, ghost, jump rope

the brass antique frame is not set into the front of the book so it doesn’t look gappy or weird anymore.

altered book, handmade book, cover, phantoms and shadows, red velvet, black lace, ghost, jump rope

and here is the whole front of the book as it was yesterday afternoon (the two lace bits on the top and sides came from a fantastically wonderful etsy shop called “mary not martha”, just in case you want some).  all of the edges are now finished and things look MUCH better.  kind of “simple” but definitely an alicia-style book, i’d say:

altered book, handmade book, cover, phantoms and shadows, red velvet, black lace, ghost, jump rope

AND, without further ado, i shall announce the winners of the “how to crackle a frozen charlotte tutorial”.  yes, i said i was going to only pick one, but i thought i should pick two since everyone was so sweet.

two winners of my art tutorial give away, frozen charlotte tutorial, crackle

woohoo!  congrats, you two!  please contact me and i shall email your tutorials straight away (your posts don’t have links to your blogs for me to inform you that you’ve won).

xx

time, and the whole world, stops when our little ones are unwell, doesn’t it!?!!  i had my wee man in the hospital yesterday after several days of a horrible virus.  the world was already running on quarter time with him home for the summer holiday and me unable to do 75% of what i intended each day, but this week, nothin’.  i didn’t eat or sleep for the most part let alone art.  until today.  finally did the last 20ish minutes of work i had to do on deb’s book and photographed it.  omg, this thing is HUGE.  i am on an enormous box hunt.  but we’ll go there in a sec.  the bug-boy, as i call him, is now fine — much, much better.  his 103.5 fever has dropped to 99 and after plumping him up on some bags of IV fluid, he’s looking pink and precious once again.  no more of that pale faced and sunken eye crap for my boy.

part one

i posted several of these photos on the pulp blog a couple/few weeks ago, but some are “fresh” and unseen as i haven’t had the time to post as i had promised/planned:

here is the first page i created for deb’s book… the top cream part and the bottom multi-colored parts are both doors to compartments within the pages.

debs loves tiny details so i tried to add as many as possible.

close up of the cameo lady through the crackled glass.

this round glassy piece is a petri dish.  of course it opens — and of course there is something inside (something much prettier than you’d typically find in a petri dish, i suspect).

this little piece is removable.  see how crackled the petri dish is?  i’m nto sure why it has a pink tone in this photo ’cause it’s most certainly not pink.

close up of the cameo piece.  if you enlarge, you can see all of the crackle behind the lace.

cameo-girl’s head thingy opens, and behind it is a heart.

flip that piece over and you see a little pocket, complete with tiny details and a note from the gentleman in deb’s story.  i practiced “victorian era man writing” for days and hours and days and hours.  this is my “i give up” version.

around the edges of this piece is aged ribbon and little pin heads.  i guess i didn’t do a very good job taking this shot, but you get the idea.

open the creamy petri dish “door” page and this is what you see.

close up: proof of their travels.  debs had asked me when i got the book where i would be taking the couple in her story.  here are some of the places.

detail of tickets… and the tag from a little prezzie damian gave maude.

detail of the cover of the 22 inch scroll, which is her diary.

the diary scroll.

writing… every single item on the next page (er, in the next compartment) is passively mentioned in this diary, as are the things from the back of the book which will be shows in part two.

here is a collection of things maude saved throughout their travels.  deb asked me to please, please sneak a little brass frog i had into her book and here it is.  that button is actually from the late 1800s, when the book takes place.

this locket is rustier than it appears in real life.

open it to see damian (same photo lisa used) and the top of the eiffel tower.

hinges — i made these myself out of metal bits, pin heads and lace.  yummy, if i do say so myself.

the other photo didn’t capture the rust and patina, so here is a close-up.


****************************************************************************


part two

i took all of these next photos within the past couple of hours, of the “missing parts” from before and the ones that looked pinkish — the book isn’t pink, promise, but these may be a tiny bit off too.  but, you get the picture:

slightly more color accurate photo of the front.

mmm, detail.  love the glassy crackles (i’m doing this in two more pieces i’ve started in the past couple of weeks).

better coloration of the cameo piece.

the heart again.  i think the other shot was fine so now i’m probably just boring you.

here is the door on the bottom.  what is in it?  i hadn’t mentioned anything about it last time.

oh?  what’s that?  an owl?  deb loves owls, so i had to creatively incorporate one into her book somehow.  i had purchased this pendant last december or january for a birthday present for her and took 4 months to properly age it.  it was a stubborn owl.  the top ringy thing ended up breaking off due to corrosion but the brilliant and majestic kerin said something to the effect of “duh, just fix it with epoxy clay” so that is just what i did.  thank you keriny!  could not have fixed this crazy owl without you.

i love all of the greens and rust on the owl.  i crackled him too, but you can’t really tell, then put a thick layer of something i’m hugely allergic to over it to preserve the rust and patina.  hah.  that’s a funny concept to me.

okay.  i am NOT a jewelry maker.  i’m jewelry retarded.  but i liked the owl in his reborn state with this horribly rusted and green-patinaed chain so i just faked a necklace out of it.

the chain is attached to recycled green sari silk with french knots every few links, lace that i dyed on the top, and little glass and crystal beads.  maybe it was once an ornate and beautiful necklace?  or maybe it always looked a bit funky.  definitely has a bit of personality either way, even if it isn’t the best personality.

and finally, here is the back page, or the back of the treasure box book.  a pocket that holds more memorabilia that they collected throughout their travels.

close up of the pocket.  i had purchased five of these Xs from seth apter, choosing to incorporate one into each and every of our pulp books.  they are so cool!  most of this is hand-stitched though i didn’t do some machine stitching.

within the pocket is a collection of stuff.  when deb and i first “met” and became friends, we were both, quite ironically, looking at the book urgent second class at the very same minute in time.  because of this, i wanted to incorporate at least one fun altered postcard similar in concept as a friendly little happy thought between two friends.  i wasn’t intending to rip of nick bantock’s style or ideas.  i had also printed a wonderful photo onto textbook paper but it looked too much like his wonderful work so i didn’t opt to include it in the book.  the rest of the pieces are just photos and a map and such.

the backs of the two things that have backs interesting enough to share.

close up — i made this wax seal with an asian coin, wax and copper paint.  fun stuff.

i also added a little tie closure to the treasure box, just in case.

other side view with those pretty little hinges again.  and why does the lace look pink?  hmmph.

the tower of deb’s pulpness.  all of our pages together (well, deb’s start to her book, lisa’s pages and mine).  how will this be bound?♠

better shot, without the cover on top.  still not sure now she’s going to do this, but i bet it will be a wonderfully fun project indeed!

and now, i must find a new box.  i was packing everything up carefully to send this off today, but alas, i must go on a box hunt.

the moment i find a box large enough, i’m shipping this off to the lovely and ever talented kim in austrailia.  i think i’ll use the box she sent her book to me in as it was huge and may still be around here.  i hope!  i’m not recalling whose book i get next but i’m stoked!  it’s either lisa j’s or lisa s’s and i have big plans for both.

keep peeking back here often for book goodness as not only am i working on those two books soon, but kerin and i are doing a small book collaboration (i’m excited to be her first book collab partner — this is fantastically cool!!) and i’m working on an alicia book, all for myself to contain all of the little bits and stories that may be too dark or weird or ill-mannered for others.

i have just completed my additions to kim palmer‘s book fragments, vestiges and remains for the pulp redux collaboration and oh my, has it been such an honor to work in her GORGEOUS book.  you can check out her blog posts to see all of the pages and details, but here is the cover if by some weird freak of nature you’ve missed it:

kim palmer's cover of fragments, vestiges and remains from the pulp redux collaboration
not a huge amount has changed in the book, but i’ve finished up all of the outstanding bits and pieces, adding a bit more detail and texture and small elements here and there.

one of the additions was a beeswax and acrylic frame around the copper tape i had edged the glass door with on the first page.

bees wax and acrylic paint covered copper frame around glass door in altered book

maybe you can see it a little better here:

bees wax and acrylic paint covered copper frame around glass door in altered book

the door opens up to reveal a photo of della, a young lady who was captured in the victorian era of portland, oregon (where i’m from) and taken down into the portland underground/shanghai tunnels and held captive before being sold into prostitution.  behind her photo are journal pages from her sister who wrote in attempts to find sollace in her despair.  you can read more about it in my initial post on these pages here.

i just LOVE how kim’s glass bottles with scrolls flow with my page ever so perfectly.  it looks so intentional.

glass bottles, scrolls, altered book, collaboration

here is the whole page, actually in the book this time:

altered book page, history, collaboration, art, portland, oregon
i had a super huge scare along the way in that i opened, dropped and thus spilled some red alcohol ink on my second page.  it’s nowhere near THIS crimson in person (thank you, flash!) and i rather like it.  i was quite pleased.  the area is about the size of a US quarter and rather looks like blood.  quite befitting AND i’m sooooo very glad it didn’t land on the white page or the book (they were on the other side of the room, in a box — accident prone girls like me must work this way).

altered book blood, portland underground, shanghai tunnels
after i finished the black page, i was pretty bummed that it felt top-heavy.  there was a bit more space on the bottom and not enough space on the top.  i accounted for everything except the photos that were going to be in the top pocket.  i fixed this by stitching and embroidering some linen — black and black — and putting it along the top.  i cut the bottom to fit the book and perfecto!

black fabric collage, altered book page, shanghai tunnels, portland underground, photos

when we very first started this collaboration, before i had finished my pages (well, i’m still not finished but before we sent out) and prior to even having kim’s book, i had the idea of buying five of something, i wasn’t sure what, so that i could put one in each of the books.  i went to lots of antique and thrift stores, scoured etsy and ebay but since i didn’t know what i was looking for i couldn’t find it.  i decided to just stop looking and POOF, it appeared.  mr. seth apter mentioned in his blog that he had posted the first pieces in a series of art elements he would be selling in his etsy shop.  check that out here: http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/2010/02/proceedings.html i saw them and i KNEW i had to get five and use one in each book.  not only are these elements extremely cool, they are from seth who we all adore.  it felt doubly befitting to use them.

copper x art element from seth apter
my camera’s flash is messing with me again… and you!  the x is actually distressed, but you cannot tell here so well.  i thought it was a perfect completion for the page, both visually and symbolically.

here is the whole, completed second page.  there is a stray element in the photo — that green patina piece.  not sure how that got in there or if i like it.  lisa, let me know if it’s on the page when you receive the book.  if it’s ugly, could you please yank it off??  this is so mysterious.

altered book page, portland underground, shanghai tunnels
see though — the red isn’t that hot and crazy as the previous photo.

my two-page spread, all attached in the book and ready to go:

two altered book pages, black, white, page spread
i just love the side views of this book!  kim’s going to have her work cut out for her if he’s going to want to re-bind it all.  i do think she will want to as once it’s completed i think it will resemble a star burst more than a book.  🙂  it’s gorgeous none the less!

fragments, vestiges, remains, altered book, kim palmer, merlin's musings
towards the beginning of the book, kim has a sweet page with five chains for each of us to add a charm.  hers is the friendship coin and key, mine is the heart.  i searched and searched for a human heart as that is so very “alicia” but was unable to find one.  i still intend to.  the red is velvet from my favorite childhood doll’s dress that i carefully tied on.

heart milagro, charms, altered book
i forgot to take photos of each of the books within the book: the diary pages behind the photo of della on the “white” page and the history of the portland underground under the trap door on the “black” page.  maybe i can con one of the girls into taking some for me.  assembling those were part of the most time consuming aspects of the book, but so much fun!  the pages are aged with instant coffee and made to look very old.  they look pretty darn cool if i do say so myself.  under the trap door page, there is a pocket within the book with an aerial map of the portland area from that era.  how did i forgot to photograph all of that??

i now have deb’s book and have already started in on it: though the eye glass.  so check back soon as i’ll have images to post… now that i’m pretty much not on my death bed any longer.

as most of you know, i have been working on a phenominal collaboration with debrina, lisa j, kim and lisa s called “pulp redux” — it’s an altered book collaboration.  due to illness and moving and family in town, kim’s book arrived to me a bit later than the others had received theirs, but i have been working away and finally have the first two pages to share.  first though, a slight deterrence.  when kim’s book arrived i was so utterly surprised to find four tissue-wrapped gifts inside the box, each a different colour.  we were each supposed to pick one.  after much hemming and hawing and running my fingers over each of the packets, i picked the blue one.  inside, was this most magnificent fabric collage from that sweet lady which contains the quote from her book as well as one of the images:

fabric collage, astralia, kim, merlin's musings

copyright kim palmer of merlin's musings

now, if you have not looked already, please go see THIS POST and THIS POST and THIS POST to view kim’s book as i received it.  so magnificent!  (read in reverse order if you want to see it properly sequential)

and to my contribution(s) to her book, fragments, vestiges and remains.
part one of two.

although i am not entirely done with the first two pages of kim’s book, i felt i should post an update nonetheless. when i finish the remaining page(s) i will post a few more updates of these.

in short, this two-page spread is about the portland underground, or shanghai tunnels, which were inhabited by white slavers and other nasty people around 160 years ago. they would kidnap men and women and sell them into slavery, prostitution, etc.  on page one, you have della’s story — a young lady who was unsuspectingly snatched, and her sister’s efforts to find her.  on page two, a wee bit of history and a trap-door such as the ones the “shanghaiers” dropped people down after nabbing them.

altered book, pulp redux, kim, merlin's musings, fragments, vestiges and remains

the little glass door is not currently attached, nor is the diary behind it, but they will be tonight.  i am first coating a layer of the copper tape with wax, and then carving into it like i do in my wee apothecary bottles.

altered book, pulp redux, kim, merlin's musings, fragments, vestiges and remains

that stupid white string on the right is NOT supposed to be there.

altered book, pulp redux, kim, merlin's musings, fragments, vestiges and remains

della’s sister stitched a small red heart onto the page as a tribute to her love for her.

altered book, pulp redux, kim, merlin's musings, fragments, vestiges and remains

page two displays the darkness of the portland underground.  a pocket atop the page holds photos from 160ish years ago.

altered book, pulp redux, kim, merlin's musings, fragments, vestiges and remains

bottom was fashioned to look like one of the trap doors — or at least function like one.  underneath is a history of the portland underground, or shanghai tunnels — which i haven’t written yet.

altered book, pulp redux, kim, merlin's musings, fragments, vestiges and remains

here are some of the photos:

altered book, pulp redux, kim, merlin's musings, fragments, vestiges and remains

you can actually read about it and see several more photos here on the pulp redux blog.  after doing a long post over there i’m feeling a tad on the lazy side with retelling of stories and reposting of images.

i feel so repetitious with all this “i’ve been such a busy little bee” prattle, but it’s true.  i feel like i have four point seven full-time jobs lately with web design, clients, my shop, prepping for a couple of exhibits, family, “me” time (huh?), volunteer stuff that i keep finding myself doing, one world one heart, updating my sites, etc.  it’s made for little time to art.  but as most of you, i can’t make it though a day [nicely] without being creative.  web design isn’t enough — i need the feel of fabrics or fibers, the smell of paint or something to get me through a day most happily.  so, i’ve been taking little bits of time to make little things lately.  mostly ATCs and ACEOs and other small-scale paintings and collages.  i have two or four swaps going on, some gifts i feel i should make, and a few to sell… soon.

atc, aceo, paper, cloth
i’ve been enjoying making some paper and cloth ATCs.  i’ve started a few over the past week and finished the two above.  i love the contrast between the smooth papers, with more rough and texture papers and softness of the fabrics and fibers.

i’m also doing a series of “love affair” related ACEOs for two swaps.  and some naughty vintage erotica ones too, but i may not post those here.  or maybe i will.  you’ll just have to wait and see.

love affair, nude, vintage art, atcs, aceo
the “little things” are fun as i can create them when i have little time… between helping with homework and putting whatever i’m making in the oven, etc. and can easily be set aside when a client calls.  i am, however, going to be spending time creating the things i have really been wanting to create for the past year — finish my mechanical and light-up pieces that have thick layers of dust on them.  that is one of my passions, and something i haven’t had the time to partake in for way too long.  i’m lucky — my husby is an electronic genius.  i say “what if i wanted this to have a head that turned?”  he says “buy this and that and this and that other that and i’ll do in it a night.”  gotta love that!

i’ve been on a frida kick lately too.  i started to make this for the gorgeous and talented gaby but as i have a problem with injuring myself to the point of drawing blood when using an awl, a sewing needle or working with sharp metal.  as a result, i bled on the back of this card not once, but TWICE.  so, i’m making her a new one.  i’m not going to post the new one until after you receive it so as not to ruin any potential surprise.

copper framed frida kahlo atc
since this is all battered and bloody on the back, i’m going to make it into a wee shrine of sorts.  it’s such a lovely image of frida and the wee fresh-water pearl matches her bow so well.  since taking the photo, i fixed the necklace piece to be more perfectly centered, and you can’t really tell in the photo but a lot of subtle text in the crackle that doesn’t look too shabby if i do say so myself.

for a BIG thing, i must announce that my sweet and wonderful friend debrina has finished her pages in my book “the museum of forgotten things”.  i must admit that i grew quite weepy when i saw it last night as she’s done such a phenomenal job.  it’s utterly perfect.  i’ll add one image below, but go check out our pulp redux blog now to see the rest.  now.  you’ll LOVE it!!

altered book, museum of forgotten things, pulp redux, round robin
i’ll be posting my first additions to kim’s book “fragments, vestiges and remains” in the next day or three so peek back.  then i have until the 22nd to plan and execute my other two pages for her book and ship it off to debs who gets it next.  i must hurry as the 14th is valentine’s day and i’ll be mucho busy, the 18th is my birthday (i’ll be 23… again… for like the 10th or 13th time) so i’ll supposidly be busy, and maybe out of town the next weekend for a night so i must hit the book again tonight!  sooo much fun!

ohoh, and a last note.  see side bar for fleamarket floozies — we’ve created a group for our barterables.  and i’ve updated my barterable page (see link at top of page).

cheers!

i spent a bit of time working on my book for the pulp redux collaboration today, and took better photos.  you can read more about it there and see larger photos, but here are a few peeks.

the title of my book is “the museum of forgotten things”.  some of these things are obvious, some are not… to anyone other than me.

page one: the frozen charlotte page.  the pearly moony piece is from my sweet friend debs, as is the lacy background.  much of the other fabric is from my sweet friend lisa.  i loved that i could include things from both of them, particularly because they are two of the amazing ladies i’m doing this international altered book collaboration with.

frozen charlotte altered book page, pulp redux

the little frame piece is painted, covered in beeswax, then painted again, and the backing that the charlotte is on is a mica sheet.  that part is double-hinged so you can see/read the charlotte poem beneath.

frozen charlotte altered book page, hinged handmade book

page two is about a lady… you can read about her in a previous post here.  the photo of the man is not the one that is supposed to be there — i lost him and replace him when i get the book back late next year.  i guess it doesn’t really matter what guy is in there though since he’s dead anyway, but i liked the other dude’s creepy mustache. the stripey burned fabric is a piece of his shirt and blah, blah — you’ll get it when you read everything as it all pertains.

obituary, diary pages, altered book, handmade book

sparing you page three for now.

page four is annoying me because the top opens, then the middle opens and that means four times more work BUT it’s fun and i like it.  it tells a story without words… that’s kind of dark but very personal for me as well.  i’m already sharing too much.  (she is from one of my collage sheets — i cheated)

anatomical imagery, altered book, handmade book, female, cervis, uterus

opened peek:

altered book, handmade book, anatomical imagery, altered bits collage sheet, book within a book

this is an old side view of the book.  i need to take a new one.  between every paper-page for everyone will be a foam core page for extra play room.  all pages will have the little loops and sticks (7 total) and i’ll, of course, stitch everything together once i get home.  i think it will be a foot thick by then (30.something centimeters for those of you who don’t know what a foot is).  ((that is an ongoing semi-inside joke — i’m not being a bitch, promise.))

stick binding, piano binding, handmade book, altered book collaboration, mixed media art

more peeks coming soon: pages five and six, and the cover.  i will be shipping this off to debrina next, in a day or three.  in the meantime go look at everyone else’s books on the pulp redux blog.

on a completely irrelevant note, except that it’s a book, lemony snicket’s first in the series of unfortunate events (the bad beginning) is now free online, here.  my little guy and i read all 13 books and althought dark and depressing at times, really enjoyed them.  actually i lie.  we read 12.5 of the books together and i finished the 13th on my own.  short version: daniel handler, er, i mean lemony snicket, was doing a book signing at a local book store.  i surprised little guy by taking him there.  he now hates lemony because he is an “asshole who doesn’t know how to appropriately joke with children” (a direct quote from my son after asking if he could get a “bad word free pass”).  anyway, good book so if you have kids or whatever, it’s free now.

most of the other gals have already posted about this on their blogs so i’m slacking and behind… and you may very well have already checked out our joint blog: pulp redux (i really have to update my thread!).  for those of you who don’t know, i am ever so happy to share that i’m doing a fantastically fun international altered book collaboration with five amazingly talented ladies.  er, four now, actually.  one had to step out of the picture, sadly, due to a family emergency.  i have the amazing privilege of playing with debrina (if you know me, you know her!), kim, lisa j. and lisa s. (in alphabetical order — you know me!)  our sixth pages will be completed by a guest artist who will not be part of the big collaboration.

some of the girls are starting with pre-existing books or albums of various sorts (which was very cool and smart!) but i opted to make my book from scratch (i seem to like to over-commit myself and get in a bit deeper than necessary sometimes).

my cover is not done as i’m waiting for a parcel of black patina, but here are some sneaky peeks.  for now, i’m leaving the book unbound so that i can accommodate it’s anticipated girth upon its return to me late next year.

i have opted to bind the pages with fig twigs and fabric.  each of the sticks contain two sets of pages that open up as a book typically does, but fold down on the inside to make for additional arty playground space.


i will do two rows of stitching on the pages between the fabric (which will later be stained, of course), then sew/embroider the sticks a little more steadily into place, then wrapping the sticks with whatever i feel like wrapping them with when the time comes.

the cover is covered with handmade black banana leaf paper, and a 3d piece will sit atop it that’s made of two layers of foam core, the top layer covered in copper sheeting, etc.  the hole in the middle will be filled with little mysterious curiosities, such as bugs, bones and mini wax-topped bottles.  big surprise, eh?  photos of that will come later because currently, the copper is super bright teal and green due to the two day vinegar bath it received and i’d like it to be way more dark (hopefully dick blick sends my black pantina soon!).


i have lined the inside of the covers with red velvet because that felt only right with the title/theme.  oh, which i forgot to tell you.  whoops.  it’s:

The Museum of Forgotten Things

in the back of the book will be a pocket (will sew it on in the end) that will contain a note from each of the participating artists, and perhaps (hopefully!) some sort of trinket or embellishment sewn onto the pocket.


for my second page (first page will be shared later), i have concocted a crazy story about a lady who, in her old age, seemed to have been forgotten as had pieces of her past.  i’m not going to give all of that away right now, but this little bundle will fit within a pocket i fashioned like a secret stash of peronal belongings.


i wrote her obituary (which was no small task as i researched geography, fonts used in that era, surnames and origins, first names and origins, modes of transport, professions of the era, etc. and created a whole story.  i’m not a writer so it bit me in the arse part way through.  this is the back view of the bundle though:


i even wrote two diary pages from this lady, essentially confessing to something she did several years previous that no one had known she had done.  yes, the peacock feather ties into the story.


luckily, i had TWO photos of the same mystery lady so was able to include a second photo of her in the bundle to further tell her story.


all of this will be tied together, as displayed above, and will fit into this pocket i’ve started:


the pocket front, of course, will be embellished with more “bits” from her story, but i didn’t finish it yesterday as i had hoped to.

instead, i created a piece of art for a friend.  i sure hope he likes it!


now i should go clean house so i can later finish my pocket and post it all on the pulp redux blog!

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the tallest handmade book in the world {project}
Pulp Redux: International Altered Book Collaboration
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