Sunday, September 22, 2013

ABAC Challenge-Hit the books!

I want to start off apologizing to my fellow teamies at ABAC!  I have not even introduced the latest challenge and here I am sharing for it's last week... So, a little late, I am letting you know there's a challenge at Anything But a Card Challenges and it's all about books!  You can alter a book, make art with a page from a book, create something inspired by your favorite book, and any other wonderful things you can think of that relates to books!  The design team has already shared two weeks worth of fabulous inspiration, so I hope you stop by and check them out!

Oh... I can not tell you how hard this challenge was for me!  While I am ever in awe of all of the beautiful altered books that I see, I have never been able to bring myself to actually tear up a book.  My love of reading and books began early in my childhood and has happily continued over the years.  I love finding an old book in an antiques shop, smelling the pages, and wondering how many eyes have poured over the pages.  I've also been known to finish a much loved book or series, and suffer a slight depression that my relationship with the characters has ended.

So you can see how this puts me at a of books or love of creating...  Fortunately, during a recent attempt to purge a few more things from my overcrowded home, I came across an old dictionary and some very neglected books that really were beyond being saved.  Rather than pitching them (which would have helped my cleaning efforts), I moved them onto the shelf with my 'recycle/repurpose' items.  It's probably best that this happened without any witnesses since I had just finished reprimanding the entire household about our need to get rid of all of the 'junk' that doesn't have a purpose anymore... Technically, I'm not deeming myself a hypocrite because they do have a purpose, right??

I had already spend some time on Pinterest looking at book inspired art and was amazed at some of the intricate folding and cutting that made sculptural masterpieces.  I knew that this was well beyond my level, but I did find several other inspirations that I pinned for future use.  One of my favorite techniques is covering all but a few choice words with paint and ink, and then adding artwork to enhance the visible words.  This is what I chose for my design team inspiration piece.

I used a page from a very mistreated Pocahontas book, and as I was painting the base, my DD (former owner of the book) freaked out on me wanting to know WHY I would cut up a book.  Little did she know that Sarcastic Mom was the mode of the day, and I responded without batting an eye "Oh, and on the floor being stepped on and ripped up is more appropriate treatment of a book?". No response to that one...  Which left me sitting in peace to paint around the great quote from the book.  As a tribute to the former owner of the book, I used purple to add a splash of color to an otherwise neutral palette.  I love the ultra subtle leaves on the background, and the glittery butterflies were added to tie into the 'listen with your heart' theme.

I realized a little too late that my initial paint coat was a little too thick in most spots.  I really wanted a few more words gently bleeding through. Live and learn...

I hope I have inspired you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new too, especially if you are a book lover like me.  At least that poor book had a small piece salvaged and treasured!

Project Recipe: vintage white & purple cow acrylic paint, crumb cake & soft suede ink, Lovely as a Tree and Gently Falling stamp sets, heart to heart punch, asst. stickles, purple burlap fibers


  1. I can totally relate Margaret, it is so hard to alter a book but you've given this one new life and it turned out fantabulous. :) I love this new rendition and the purple on your page is perfect! I know exactly which book you used too because I read it a 1,000 times with my DD. Thanks for the sweet memories and the lovely project you shared.
    Sorry to be so long visiting but glad to be back! Big Hugs

  2. how pretty! Love the soft colors!

  3. I know exactly how you feel about books.....but guess sometimes they're just beyond saving. I do love your comment to your husband! LOL!
    So pretty and love the technique you used. Such soft and wonderful colors and you've created something beautiful that was just going to be discarded.

  4. It took me a long time no matter what the condition of the book to procure it for art so I totally understand your feelings. What I think is shocking is the massive amount of books that are taken to landfill. Here in our area we have a number of very active charities which use suitable donated books for reading programs in the island countries close to Australia . They send container loads which is wonderful.
    Now back to your ABAC effort. What fun it is to create your art around a sentence or two - try playing the other way too for that too will make you smile.
    Your rescue mission was superb!

  5. It's beautiful Margaret!! I loved your response to the DD. I say the same thing to my daughter about her clothes! The depth of the purple is perfect and the words float off the page wonderfully!! :)

  6. This is really, really pretty, I've never seen this done before! I love the sprays of purple!

  7. I completely understand too... when I first met the idea of altered books, my spine crunched within me. But, like Julie, I hate the idea of books heading for pulping or to landfill, so I've come to the conclusion that being converted into a work of art is a far more fitting end for a book than that.

    Now to your creation - I love the quote, and the beautiful nature stamps you've used are so gentle and lovely... a really great step out of your comfort zone - thank you for sharing the adventure with us!
    Alison xx

  8. I have never altered a book mainly because I don't have any vintage ones to do that-but I totally understand how hard it would be for you-but you just did some up-cycling-which is a good thing


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