Friday, February 25, 2011

Altered Books - Using and Making.

Over the last couple of years I have left my jobs at 4 different schools, begun to plan for "Retirement" and discovered the world of Altered Books. I love re-using things - and started a "School Life" Altered Book in an old Diary. I am still going to work on the cover but thought a page would be worth putting in here.

Covers of Diaries

I worked as a Teacher Librarian for 30 years, taught for 35 years and started school 57 years ago! Here's a photo of me at 5, on one of my pages. Working on this book helped me celebrate my achievements and 'let go' of my marvellous career. My Art as Therapy I guess!

I also love making books - using the simple technique of sewing through the middle. I use my own painted papers, magazine pages, blank paper, hand made paper - and decorate large sheets of card by painting, stamping and collaging printed serviette layers. I then choose an interesting section and cut to create a cover for the collected pages.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Paper Swapping Around the World

Some time last year, a friend alerted me to a Paper Swap at Lawendula. I was very tempted and joined and met some lovely fellow Paper Lovers from around the world.
Another project that Lawendula initiated was the Collage Box No 1. The idea was that she would put papers into a box and then it would be posted to the next person on the list - to take 12 pieces out, add 12 pieces - and make a collage from the pieces taken out. This is what I did...

The box arrived 

Packed full to the brim
So much to choose from...

Let's see what there is...

Love that red paper...

But I chose these pieces...

Added these pieces...

Packed it all up again and posted it to New Zealand and the next participant.

And then my pieces sat on my bench hidden away over Christmas, New Year, Summer ...while I tidied my room and bences a bit - and then had space to "do" my collage. Added some stamps, and orange dots of paint - and now am completing the project by posting.

Completed - looks better the right way around though!
(can't get it to be the right way around no matter how many times I try - now I know what people mean when the talk about blogger!)

Lawendula is hosting more Paper Swaps this year and there are two more Collage Boxes going around the world.
Thank you Lawendula for  great inspiring projects which has enabled me to meet some lovely Paper Artists from around the world.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Inspiring Words

Three more photos from my overseas trip last year - loved finding these words on shops and over doorways and as advertising! They were all appropriate for me.

Does just creating Art lead to happiness?
What a great message!
My Favourite! This would be a great name for a Blog - bet it's already happening. Must check.
Now I am turning off the computer and going upstairs to my room to find some happiness with my Art and Soul.  Wish me luck - may have to tidy up first - ugh!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


A beautiful view and such a relaxing place to have a coffee...

 Petite Palais

Pont Alexandre 3rd

I too, like many people I know, love Paris! In the past two years, I have been lucky enough to travel overseas and spend some time there. Last year, I visited some places I'd never heard of  before - one of them, Petite Palais, near the Pont Alexandre 3rd. Lovely collection of art & antiques &  free entrance. A great place for coffee & cake too.

I have been inspired by Tricia at French Kissed. Tricia restores old French postcards and creates digital images from them to sell.

I inherited a bundle of French Postcards from my Grandmother - who died in 1936, long before I was born. They tell the story of her communication with her German seaman fiance and of her family in Alsace who wrote to keep in touch when she and her German born husband migrated to Australia in the early1900's. Some of them were translated by my lovely friend Charlotte, whom I met in Cambridge, who lived in Cologne - but sadly died two years ago of cancer.

I intend to scan them one day and make a book of Albertine's story for future generations. It is awe inspiring to learn of the distance travelled by such young people and the reality of leaving their homes, countries and family and friends behind for a new life in Adelaide, Australia, so far away in those days of sea travel.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wandering around

This is my second attempt! Very cleaverly & frustratingly, I "LOST" my original post - and can't find it anywhere. But the positive is that I've practisesed posting again. Recently I've been housebound with a torn ligament in my foot, so it has been a great excuse to tidy my room and search out some unfinished projects. I've had great fun completing some "10 minute collages" - done by leafing through a magazine or two, tearing/cutting out things /words that appeal and then just placing & gluing them down quickly.It is quite liberating as it's so spontaneous - and great fun! Here's one in my Junk Journal (started last year in a Ro Bruhn workshop). It's interesting to look at them some time after they're done and see what your subconscious was thinking then.
I've also been visited by my two beautiful grandaughters (6 and nearly 3) and I'd promised them we'd do painting during the school holidays. So on  a lovely sunny 40 C day, the easel was set up on our deck shaded by gum trees and we all painted. I was able to get some covers ready for future notebooks, to go in my "present drawer", and they loved painting the papers and themselves.
I've also been blog hopping and found this interesting idea at Art and Inspiration. It's a Pay It Forward activity and decided I too would like to participate.The idea is to promise something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment here (and want to play along). To be eligible, you too must repost this offering something handmade by you to 5 other people. The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people some time in 2011.

So - I promise to send the first five people (who want to play along) leaving a comment here, a hand-made-by-me gift - soon, but remember you have to do it too. It sounded like a fun thing to do and as I love "snail mail" and "surprises" - and the film "Pay it Forward" - I'm following Tammy's idea too. Hopefully it will be a great way to meet other like minded people.