I love scrapbooking and have done it in one form or another for the past 12 years. I started off with a scrapbook that was made out of a few colored sheets of construction paper stapled together when I was 12. Each page had a collage made out of all the memorabilia that I had collected on a family trip to Austin, TX. Everything from newspaper clippings to restaurant napkins to tickets and photographs came together and told a story in those pages. Each page had a theme and represented one fun thing that we did on the trip.
As I started getting more serious about crafting and learnt more, I moved to ring binders and patterned paper. The layouts were now embellished with a few stickers and there were pockets and fold out pages to add some visual interest.
Then, on another vacation, when I was taking some time out to indulge myself and learn more about crafting, I stumbled upon the altered art movement. The moment I saw all that memorabilia and ephemera come together in beautiful mixed media pieces, I was hooked! I had found the perfect medium for my scrapbooks and from then on I have made altered scrapbooks for all my trips.
I usually start out with an old book. At times I go for a hardcover novel and at other times I alter a children’s board book. Then it is just a matter of treating the book as a blank canvas. I tear out some pages and glue some together. Sometimes I tear the edges and burn them or ink them for a grunge look. I use a lot of paint for all my books! I use bright colors and various painting techniques.
Once the base of the book is done I start adding pictures and memorabilia. The last layer is embellishments. Everything from stickers to ribbons finds its way onto my altered pages.
Recently I have stumbled upon some very cool techniques that allow me to turn soda cans, packaging plastic and other trash materials into very cool upcycled embellishments. I have since then started incorporating these in my work as well.
Something about altered books really appeals to me. I have always loved to recycle and have turned fabric scraps into bags, newspaper into gift bags and soda cans into earrings and pendants. The idea of using an old book to capture memories is something that I really enjoy doing. The best thing about making these altered books is that there are no rules. You can always work on a page and try new painting and doodling techniques. If you feel you are not happy with the results you can always tear the page out and start all over again. There is also no need to measure and be precise, I love to go through my scrapbooks and see paint that refuses to stay within lines. Life is beautiful because of little imperfections. Let’s celebrate that in our art!
Try making an altered book and have an artsy day!