Bleubeard and Elizabeth at Altered Book Lovers hosted a tutorial on altering books in February, 2012.
I had no idea the time commitment that was involved. I did almost all the lessons except for one or two that didn't really interest me but I may go back and revisit them after seeing how others interpreted them. I have enjoyed it immensely and learned lots from Elizabeth and also from seeing what everyone else has done. Her side bar has the links to all her lessons and she is a generous teacher who posts what works for her and also what doesn't.
1) MOST important is picking a book that will stand up to altering and that is generally any book with a sewn binding. A theme can be inspired by the actual book or can be arbitrary. Mine was a kid's encyclopedia and I chose 'leaves' which simplified things for practicing the techniques. First post.
2) Pages usually need some kind of prepping and there are various ways to do that. Then you need to remove pages to allow for the thickness that altered pages bring to the book, at least a third. I think I would try to remove them as I proceed next time because I never really knew what I was going to be doing in the next few pages which matters if it is a picture book with a theme or if I definitely want a tip in page next. Of course, I could just did one page after another rather than skipping around. lol Some pages will need the added strength of gluing two pages together. Lesson 2
3) The cover was roughly sanded and gessoed. This photo shows a finished front and a partially finished back cover. The inside cover and first and last pages benefit from reinforcing. I liked mulberry paper. Lesson 3
4) Techniques for using glues, adhesives and gesso had me deciding to use an extra book to practice the different mediums in. I also did my niche in another book. Gesso, gel medium and mod podge were my favourites, although I am noticing that the mod podge stays sticky and therefore sticks! This page is leafless but I used, gesso to cover the background and glue to make a dimensional tree. Lesson 4
5) Design principles were surprisingly challenging as we had to learn individual aspects and then show how we used them in our book. We experimented with harmony, unity, balance, proportion and emphasis. I must admit that some these principles came together better as I went back and tweaked the pages. Lesson 5
6) The lesson on design principles continued with repetition, rhythm or pattern, movement, dominance and contrast. This page had very little tweaking after I originally did so I was pleased that I was really 'getting it'! Lesson 6 and more.
7) Design elements are a bit different and include line, shape, space, and texture. This spread took a lot of 'tweaking' to get it to flow with the rest of the book. Lesson 7
8) Colour is also an element and had its own lesson which explored the colour wheel and paint. I did a lot of studying on colour as it is fascinating. But I needed to apply it to the tutorial for altered books and focus on my book in particular. I decided to use a health food ad for fruit and nuts! Lesson 8
9) Backgrounds are where the pages get their beginning and there was lots of experimenting with all the various techniques showcased. Some are more successful than others and a lot depends on practice and personal preference. This was a page that was stenciled with a permanent ink and then sprayed with some coloured inks. I also used this technique on the gessoed cover. Lesson 9
10) Magazine images (collage) was a favourite and frames were surprisingly challenging. Adding the shiny leaf bumped this collage up a notch. Lesson 10
11) Pockets I luved! Lesson 11
12) Folded pages not as much. I think there is only so much in these little books so I did it in another book and perhaps a folded paper doily that became another pocket could possibly qualify. lol
13) Windows and doors take some preplanning. Lesson 13
14) Zippers did not really interest me but there some amazing examples that have me rethinking my prejudices. ;^) The above page was tipped into waiting edges and I added some sequins later for snow.
15) Decorative edges was pure fun. Who knew? Lesson 15
16) Fabric should be top of my list and I need to incorporate it more. I want to add some fabric beads but perhaps that'll wait for another book for I shall indeed be doing this again.. Lesson 16
17) Polymer clay was again fun and surprisingly light weight. Lesson 17 I didn't actually add too many but I did include a medallion and a large bead on my bookmark..
18) Transfers were tricky and I need more practice. I only used a few small ones on an early page. Again I thought pop ups were not something I cared for but student samples have changed my mind so they are on the to-do list now. Lesson 18
19) Bringing it all together is a bit challenging as techniques have had precedent over planned theme but it is possible. Lesson 19
I added some shiny leaves and some punchinella effects.
A very last minute find was my skeleton leaves which completed this dark page.
20) Cover is last and because I misread the instructions I did it in lesson 19. :( I just started at the front and worked my way through. Lesson 20
And so I have come to the end of a great tutorial. I've lost track of which pages have been posted. Some are great and some are not so great but I do like my book. I think the key to actually committing and finishing is due to Elizabeth for how could I let such a great blogging friend down. Thanks, Elizabeth.
It's true, Elizabeth is a good teacher and so generous with her information and suggestions. But, you are an excellent student, too! Your are so willing to try new things and to really dig and learn and it does a teacher's heart good to have students like you.
Elle your altered book is wonderful. I admire your willingness to try different techniques and also to re-work any you did not enjoy so much. Every page is a shining example of the growth you have achieved in this process of learning and experimenting. Well done dear...
Bravo Elle for finishing your book!!! It's been exciting watching on the sidelines and seeing each page being revealed:)
You book is so interesting, I have been enjoying watching it as you have made it. This recap post is wonderful and the tutorials sound excellent. I am so glad you shared it all together like this.
Beautiful recap of your book, Elle!
I'm already thinking about my next one, too!
I'm thrilled you posted this. I can't see the link on my blog, even with my translator, but I saw it as I was posting other comments.
You can be very proud of your book. I certainly am proud of you. You make ANY teacher proud. And having an extra book helped. I'm sure you will find a good use for it, since the niche is already there.
Way to GO!!
Great round up of your AB. Love all the bits and bobs sticking out of it. BJ
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