Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Marie Antoinette and the Altered Book

Thank you for your encouragement after my last moany post... it didn't take much to forget those marks... and after a weekend of sunshine, gardening, good food and time spent with the family I'm enthusiastic and ready for the start of my next module on Monday. Not much else going on creatively here though which I think has a lot to do with the mess in my workroom. To be fair it is rarely tidy but has reached a ridiculous level of detritus where I can't find anything, including table space on which to work or floor on which to stand! I have declared it a health hazard so this week's task has been to have a thorough clear up... I have a "before" photograph... but still a long way to go before I can take an "after".

But there have been small chunks of creativity in connection with my Marie Antoinette bodice. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Angie Hughes was talking to our Guild (the day I made two cheesecakes!). She gave a very entertaining talk - one of the best anyone could remember - which was wonderful except I'm the next speaker booked for our Guild. It would have been an easier act to follow if she'd been rubbish! But I digress... the next day Angie led a workshop on altered books, something I'd never really done before. She brought along some fabulous examples and we were let loose among paints, glue, rubber stamps and embossing powders etc

I wanted to make a book about Marie Antoinette as back up to my bodice. I chose an old book of French plays which seemed appropriate to alter. (I know there is at least one person who will be aghast at this but it was old and the pages were very tatty and torn!)


I managed to finish a couple of double page spreads in class but when I got home I got out my glue and gesso and continued to add to the book a little each day.

Which is the beauty of altered books... with just 10 minutes here and there you can build a whole new book... with a new front cover...

And inside you can tell a whole new story....




With little windows to peep through...


And embroidered edges to pages... it is really quite addictive!

Thank you Angie for a super day (and all this the day before she moved house!) You can see what the rest of the class did here.

20 comments:

  1. glad to hear you're feeling more cheerful Gina. you're obviously as good at paper arts as you are at creating with fabric and stitching. lovely pages. i must do a class with Angie one day!!!

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  2. Oh yes lovely book. I did a day with Angie at my guild last month and am really enjoying an ongoing altered book that I started that day.
    I adore yours - well done - a shining example!!

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  3. Yours is a really pretty book Gina and I like all the stitching you've added.

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  4. What a brilliant idea! Your book is lovely Gina, I had a look at the others and they look great too!
    Vivienne x

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  5. That looks huge fun. I've got a collection of old books rescued from charity shops that I plan to "alter" one day - you've inspired me into actually doing something!

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  6. I hold onto old books too but somehow I just haven't had the courage to do something with them, it feels like a desecration but probably if I got started on it then I would be fine. I like yours very much

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  7. Gina,
    Having made and altered books for a week with Angie in Ledbury a few years ago I heartily agree with you. She is always keen to share her knowledge and ideas - and she has lots of them! I wish I had half of her imagination and ability. Your book is a delight and I am a firm believer in giving an old book a new lease of life - it gets loved all over again and I have no issue with that. Fancy an altered book swap next time? ....(I jest...) Lesley x

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  8. I do sympathise about the messy studio, I'm hopeless at keeping on top of things and then it becomes impossible to work.
    I love altered books, yours is beautiful.
    Penny x

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  9. What a lovely book to go with the bodice.
    (I sit typing this in amongst the most awful tangle of threads and paper and STUFF!). Maybe tomorrow I might tidy it up........ maybe.............

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  10. What a super post Gina - I love your book - it's gorgeous and very fitting of it's subject. I have Angie Hughes' book which she very kindly signed for me and would love to have done that workshop with her.

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  11. Scrumptious! I so love altered books and scrapbooking. I have a big pile of board books waiting to be upcycled into something beautiful!

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  12. Dear Gina,
    I keep meaning to make an altered book and just cannot bring myself to do so. My mom was a librarian and it just seems like a travesty to cut up the pages. BUT, I also need a project that I can do in bits as I seem to be short of studio time. Maybe this is something I can tackle. Do you have any tips to get started?

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  13. Oh I LOVE that book! The Marie Antoinette theme is beautiful, and I like that you have picked out her love of flowers. I particularly like the little cut out sections.

    Great work, Gina.

    x

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  14. it is lovely Gina - the stitching really lifts it

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  15. Gina, I like the floral, lacy, pinky-ness of your book. Bet that Marie A would also admire it!

    You've given me yet another idea to explore for myself some day.

    xo

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  16. Sometimes I don't really 'get' altered books, but this is a smasher and complements the bodice beautifully. I know what you mean about the workroom - I'm reduced to working on the arm of my chair as it's the only clear space!

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  17. Now I don't want to spoil the mood, but I have just heard that the BBC are not recommissioning 'Zen' - too many male detectives on TV apparently. Please go and 'alter' a copy of the Radio Times

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  18. I love the book Gina, great colours. If the talk you give to your guild is half as enjoyable as the one you gave to us in Farnborough they will be very happy.

    PS. I wouldn't dare take a photo of my workroom at the moment just in case it fell into the wrong hands !

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  19. I love the altered book Gina. I also enjoy Angie Hughes, but i'm sure you were just as good and i'd have loved to be there too :)

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  20. Altered books are fun once you get past being told when you were younger not to write in books! I like to use them as a sort of sketchbook.

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