Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Altered Book

I realize I've never shared my altered book here. I made it for my mom for her birthday (though it took me so long, I gave it to her for Mother's Day a month later, instead!) when I was pregnant with Margaret and was dealing with my toughest foster child to date. Working on it was my escape from the stress.

I started with a book I found in a used bookstore, a compilation of Robert Louis Stevenson stories. It was a very thick book, about 400 pages, so I glued the pages together one by one with wood glue and a foam brush, carefully smoothing each one with a ruler as I went until I had about 12 thick pages.  This was the part that took the longest of the whole project.

I then got to work decorating with scrapbooking papers, doilies, and wrapping paper. Buttons, twine, ribbon, and beach glass. All manner of lovely little treasures. I included artwork from Renoir (our favorite artist) and others, as well as some of my favorite quotes and passages.

All in all, the book took me about 2 months to complete.  It's probably my favorite project I've ever undertaken.

"Finish every day and be done with it.  You have done what you could do.  Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day, begin it with too high a spirit to be [...]

[...]cumbered with your old nonsense.  This day is fair and good.  It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment of yesterdays." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your life can." You've Got Mail
"I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word.  Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine." Emily Dickinson

"You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again." Jean-Jacques Rousseau
"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them." The Little Prince

"It's like when you're a kid the first time they tell you that the world's turning, and you just can't quite believe it because everything looks like it's standing still. I can feel it, the turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour; the entire planet is hurtling around the Sun at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour, and I can feel it. We're falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go... That's who I am." Doctor Who

"If someone loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars.  He can say to himself: 'Somewhere, my flower is there...'  But if the sheep eats the flower, in one moment all his stars will be darkened." The Little Prince

"Always throw spilled salt over your shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, and fall in love whenever you can." Practical Magic

"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again." Elizabeth Lawrence

"Love is not blind, it sees more and not less, but because it sees more, it is willing to see less." Will Moss

"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow... yet we forget that he is someone today." Stacia Tauscher

"Love is a great beautifier." Louisa May Alcott

"I have walked with people whose eyes are full of light but who see nothing in the sea and sky, nothing in the city streets, nothing in books.  It were far better to sail forever in the night of blindness with sense and feeling, and mind, than to be content with the mere act of seeing.  The only lightless dark is the night of darkness in ignorance and insensibility." Helen Keller

""ahthOOn Ssyng!" I said.  "That's farewell."
"It sounds evil."
"It is," I answered, and we parted." Ella Enchanted



Mindy said...

This will always be one of my most treasured gifts.

arianne said...

This is a work of art. Truly. And such a good idea. I'm going to be on the lookout for good books to use for a project like this. Thanks for sharing it with us.

vivian said...

I just love your project and would love to endeavor to make one of my own. It is truly a work from the heart...love it....thanks for sharing this with us....it helps us all in many ways.