Monday, May 21, 2012

Altered Books

So I've found a new obsession! When a friend of mine showed me some of her sketchbooks made from old discarded library books, I was instantly hooked! She had paintings and drawings and color. In a book!

I went straight to Goodwill and bought some books to try on my own.
It's super easy and I love that there are no rules, so its hard to feel like you messed up a page (although if you truly disliked it, taking an exacto knife to cut it out is super easy). Plus I bought 5 books for $1 (sale at Goodwill oh yes!) so I definitely consider them cheap sketchbooks. I'm also finding that these books are a great small exercise in getting some creative juices flowing. No pressure. No fear of the ole blank canvas. 
This particular sketchbook I've begun using for sermon notes. Yep I lug the book, the pencils,  the pens, watercolor pencils and pastels to church (yeah I'm that person who takes up two chairs with my junk). I listen, I write, and I sketch. As a highly visual person this helps me remember what was taught Sunday to Sunday while also letting me be as creative as I want. Yes, in church. Long ago I realized that God and art definitely go hand-in-hand. Letting one inspire the other has always been good for me. 
Right now we are in the books of Acts
Vintage sewing pattern tissue paper, scrapbook paper, a receipt for some earrings Justin bought me, even letting the book page show through
When I start a new page I usually focus on color. I glue at least three pages together to make them sturdy enough to hold paint and whatever else I stick on the pages.

I prepare the background ahead of time at home in the studio, so that all I have to do is take the notes come Sunday. My backgrounds consist of paper I like, gessoed pages, paint, and sometimes I even modge podge regular drawing paper to just cover the words and give me a blank page to write and draw on. My favorite backgrounds are monoprints of abstract color.

(an example of a mono printed background, great for texture!)

This one has sandpaper, mono printed paper, and drawing paper.

I begin during the service and then finish when I get home in my studio (mostly acrylic paint because that would get messy to take with me).

Pictures, newspaper, scrapbooking paper, even tea tags!

Altered books are more about putting together what you like and find inspiring. There's no wrong way to do them just put whatever you want in them and have fun!

To see some more art journals/altered books go to: and check her work out! It's amazing!

1 comment:

  1. ohhhhh!!! LOVE THIS! i LOVE that cross with the words peeking through and the phrase "a wonderful labor of love"

    you have a beautiful gift! <3 so glad we have connected.