September 16, 2009


When I posted this Out and About Nothings, Aunt Amelia’s comment said, “Actually, I'd not be a good one to comment on your altered book, anyway. I never got my mind around "the why" of Altered Books.”

So here is my long-winded version of whys and wherefores and a surprise offering.

To alter an existing book is taking something that would be discarded; in this case a book I bought from the Goodwill. But a person can take any notebook to decorate (alter) or even various pages (think scrapbook) and affix them into a book. They can be themed or a hodge podge. Assembling of found or castoff objects into a pleasing and cohesive design adding paint or doodles or just about anything, imagination is the only limit. A lot of time these books have some sort of interaction between the reader/viewer and the pages they can be -pop ups, disc to turn and change a view or give surprise perspective to the page. It is a different type of medium that offers art that can be touched, smelled or whatever. There is a certain 3 dimensional aspect to altered art / altered books.

This is a venue that I am still learning, it is something that cannot be hurried as one must wait for glue or paint to dry. I think my attraction to this form of art is that one takes things that are textural and combines them with visuals to create something emotional. They are great for gifts of the heart because they can be so personalized. Well like … who remembers ‘This is your life’, I don't but I heard it was a TV show about someone’s life, yeah sorta like that, but about the theme or not of your choice.

I could see you, Auntie, taking seed packages of flowers in your husband’s garden, a tiny bottle of it’s soil with perhaps dried petals pasted to pages and some of the lovely words you write about it or some of the letters you get and placing them in an old gardening book. There see Aunt Amelia your very own altered book.
Lets say for instance you like to walk in the woods or on beaches and take photos or make drawings. One could put these in a book along side tree bark, leaves, feathers little rocks (without damaging nature of course). One could mention the way the air felt or how is smelled on that particular day.
Maybe you could to do one of your pregnancy or on the birth of a grandchild. Do a book teaching your little ones numbers, letters, colors and nursery rhymes, where they get to decorate the page. Guys, you don’t have to be left out, there are many “manly” subjects out there, you have the whole array of outdoors activities, sports, cars, outer space, tools, bb que or whatever you men do. The limit is… well there is no limit.

Just curious here, how many of you dabble in art and or crafts? Would any of you care to win a book about beginning Altered Art? I’m just asking cause “indoor” weather will be here before you know it and you may want try out something new to do with the kids and this is so kid friendly. Guys may want to make a special gift for their partner (keep it clean fellas) And maybe I can have a give away, but only if more then… lets say 5 folks were to be interested and if so maybe I will.

You tell me.


Jannie Funster said...

I admit I did not know what you meant by an altered book in that post. This clarifies it so well, thanks. It's nice that a book about to be thrown out is given new life.

I love the thought of one you would make from a day out in nature, something about that makes me very wistful today for Northern climes where I gathered flower petals and leaves as a child for scrapbooks.

One super-neat thing I saw on a decorator show once was someone took an old yellowed magazine - like one from the 50sd, all black and white -- well black and yellowed by now, and used it for wallpaper on a kitchen wall.

I've go way too much on my plate now but would consider it if I hadn't taken on so much.

Georganna Hancock M.S. said...

Wow! You certainly are creative, yes! I totally get the idea and I like it. I've been interested in "assemblage" art for quite some time--ever since I noticed the junk piling up around here. Then I moved half my mother's home into my mess, so now my whole house is an assemblage! How much entrance fee do you think I should charge?

Seriously, do you own a soldering iron?

Snaggle Tooth said...

I do understand n like your altered book concept. I like to design with multi-medias when I have time. Wish I had more time to spend on projects, but been too preoccupied lately- I have a BFA degree in Visual Design-
but have had to take a physical night job to get by.
I tend to get craftier at need presents times...

sheila said...

I love that whole idea. I did something similar when my kids were born, but I think it was more journal like rather than an actual book (someone else book)

But this is VERy cool, I can think of a lot I could do with this idea, that's for sure! Thanks for the idea!

Deanna said...

Paige, I LOVE it! At this moment I am trying to put my office back together, (after finally finishing the painting last weekend), and I've already got three or four piles of books I don't know what to do with. I don't want to throw them out, (horror of horrors to discard a book), but I don't want them on my bookshelf in the shape they're in. You've given me an idea. My son played Michael Darling in the play Peter Pan a couple of years ago, and I still have an envelope full of the memories of that time - the [now crisp] roses he received after the first performance, a picture of the set design autographed by the designer, etc, etc. That's all been sitting in my office all this time. I've been wanting to do a few scrapbook pages with it all, but the idea of putting it in a book is so much nicer. We do have a copy of the book Peter Pan, but it was signed by all the actors, so I wouldn't want to alter it. Maybe one of those old books sitting in my office would work; I just need to find the right one.
Thanks for a great idea!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Thank you Hon, for explaining to me, "the why" of Altered Books! I now 'get it' more. But [sad for you to hear, I suppose] I'm still not drawn to trying it out.

Maybe I simply don't have the imagination, to do it. Which might be it, since I do have some art ability... But I always more-or-less copied someone else's art. Maybe in a diff medium, like I copied some Monet, but using pastels rather than paints.

I did some simple sewing. But never knitted or crocheted or the like. Maybe I'm just not creative enough. Or....... due to early circumstances...... Never gave myself the 'permission' to attempt my own creations... And now, I'm "tired." I'd rather just take photos... Maybe... :-)

Well, I may not be able to whip up some art... But I surely can whip up a whole "mess" of written words,can't I? lol

Jannie Funster said...

And have you ever seen that old William Hurt movie "Altered States"? Freaky!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Back again, but...

OT below...

Wishing you would read my entry of today.

Aunt Amelia

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

And here I am again!!! ,-) To reply to the comment you put in my blog.

Golly gee willikers NO! _I_ wasn't invited to see the Pres.!!! >,-) Nope! Not Ol' Auntie Amelia.

I'm not shy with my views, and this Admin. would never allow me to "come and clap" for him. -giggles-

Thank you for saying I'm your favorite Aunt. After my yesterday's political-type post, I'm probably no longer the Fav. Auntie of other readers. But, that's cool. Every once in a while, I have to spout off.

But fear not! Because as you can see, I'm back to
Sweet~Old~Lovely~Writing mode again, today. >,-)

'Aunt Amelia'

... Paige said...

Sign up has ended and those that appeared to be interested are now entered into the Hat and my Beloved will draw a name...soon.

So in the mean time enjoy the upcoming Autumn and keep your fingers crossed :^) that is if you want the prize.

Snaggle Tooth said...