Preparing the Book
This found object assemblage was created using a very fat
children's board book that I got at Half Price books for a few bucks. The fact
that it was so thick and that it had a window in the lower half of the cover
made it perfect for this altered book project.
The Left Side
The first thing that I did on the left side was to paint
the little frame yellow. I made a border using strips of gingham blue
printed tissue paper which I glued around the frame. I taped a piece
of quail wire (which has smaller openings than chicken wire) between
a sandwich of two pages and glued the pages together. Then I decorated
the double page spread using printed tissue paper and dyed Japanese paper
which has a rough, loose weave.
I used various shades of blue ink pads and a square stencil to print a
check pattern around the empty white spaces to tie everything to gether.
The Right Side
At the bottom of the niche, I glued some light blue paper and also put a strip of it around the sides of the opening. I glued another group of flowers in the right bottom corner. The bird images were scanned and printed on white vellum tags. I glued the blue ribbons and yellow buttons on top. Around the bottom of each tag I wrapped yellow and blue thread. I glued a piece of sheet music onto the book, and then glued the bird stickers on top of that. I don't think I centered the sheet music on the page very well, but there is nothing I can do about that now.
The nest and eggs were glued into place after I had completed the cover and finished every other part of the book. The nest and eggs are extremely fragile. I sprayed the nest with matte fixative, hoping to keep it from unraveling, but little flecks of it continue to fall off. I had seven eggs when I started, but broke three while making the book. I suppose that was fate, since four eggs in the nest makes perfect sense-- one for each of my mother's daughters-- me and my three sisters.
The first thing I did for the cover was prepare the photo of my mother. It was originally black and white, but I scanned it and added the warm sepia tones. I had to play around with the image for quite a while in order to get it the right size for placement on the cover. I wanted the bird nest opening to be at about chest level. I must have printed out a dozen test prints before I got one that fit just right. After I had printed out the final copy, I used a combination of chalk and oil pastels to add color to my mother's face, hair, and dress.
When the picture was ready, I wrapped the entire front and back covers
with the light blue printed tissue paper. I start on the front and put fluid
matte medium all over the cover. Then I lay the tissue paper on top and
smooth it out, brushing matte medium over the surface and smoothing it
my paintbrush. I don't worry about wrinkles; in fact, I encourage them.
the top is dry, I continue gluing and smoothing the tissue paper around
the spine, and
after that dries I finish with the back. I have found it easier to lay
down the cover paper this way; I get much better results than if I try
to wrap the whole book at one time.
When the entire book is dry, that's when I fold the edges back and glue
them to the undersides of the cover.
I had some nasty looking edges along the sides of the paper, so I put sticky red tape on some decorative ribbon and ran that along both sides of the picture, wrapping it to the backside of the cover at the top and bottom. I made a frame with twigs, glueing them together and wrapping the cross-sections with blue thread. I used the gel medium to attach them to the book, and finally I glued down the bird block picture.
Using a small blue stamp pad, I made a smudge of
color around the inside and outside edges of the book.
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