Don't Be Afraid. Be Board.
I love books. I adore them. Always have. New books, old books, used books, small books, big books.
My heaven? A bookstore. That offers chai. And comfy chairs.
So you can imagine my interest when I first discovered mixed media work where typed words crept around the edges of an altered book or scripted fonts in a foreign language whispered around soft, muted bits of worn paper in a collage. This was quickly followed by a horror, though:
They PAINTED and GLUED in a BOOK?! They TORE the pages of an OLD BOOK? *Gasp*
However, my fascination kept growing with each work of art I discovered that incorporated actual books. This past summer, at a Red Cross book fair, I came across several old books that were falling apart...and only $.50 each. Fifty cents? With a big, anxious sigh I purchased a large grouping and knew I was about to do something that I'd either love...or regret and cause me to go to therapy.
As I prepare to unleash the big project at which I keep hinting, I thought I'd revisit some of the journeys and projects that got me to this place. This particular sucker was a doozie. I started and completed it back in January.
WARNING: This is a tad long & photo-laden. I decided to share most of my steps for a few reasons:
- I know we all start somewhere...and keep starting, and starting, and starting. I'm trying to share my "oops-es" and foibles to encourage every single reader to be honest with your work...and most importantly, to enjoy the process and not fret over the final outcome!
- I have learned a great deal from other kind souls who have posted their processes on their blogs & websites. I want to continue to pay forward the kindness...hopefully at least one reader will find at least one helpful tip in here.
- It's a nifty way for me to document my own process. (admittedly selfish!)
I had collected a variety of scrapbooking papers in the colors to both complement and enhance the beauty of the old pages. I played around with the layout (knowing I wanted to keep a few of those lovely French words visible) and just snipped away.
One tip? I'd let the paper hang over the board (just a rectangular scrap of plywood) knowing I'd cut it after. Silly me, I tried to use my craft knife and cut with the board facing up...ever so delicately trying to follow the unseen side of the board. (You can see I made a slight error up there.) I figured out about halfway through to turn the board over and cut the paper from the back. The craft knife can just trace along the side of the board, leaving a nice, clean cut paper edge. Just call me Mrs. Obvious.
The final board, covered with the papers and the beloved bok pages. I believe I had inked the sides of the pages (take a distressing ink pad, such as the Ranger ones, or a matching ink color, and press the ink pad along the edges of the paper) before adhering.
I used good old Mod Podge and a foam brush to adhere each of these.
Speaking of Tim Holtz / Ranger inks...I used this ink pad to randomly stamp the top and edges of the board. I literally just pushed it down on the top...I wanted a very worn look.