Saturday, October 22, 2011

Altered State of Mind

How many times have you been browsing the net or chatting with a friend and saw/heard of something you never really knew anything about but immediately felt compelled to try?

Well, the other day, while trying to get some writing done in a mini creative pow-wow at Archivers while some friends were scrapbooking, I mentioned how I used to scrapbook but just grew bored with it after a year or so. One of my friends mentions that I should totally look into altered books, that she thinks I'd have so much fun making one and that the writer in me would probably fall in love with the creativity of blending words from a book into my own words and art. I'm not much of an artist. In fact, I find it hard to draw a straight line without a ruler, so I was skeptical to say the least. Besides, as a writer, I couldn't fathom tearing pages out of a book and drawing/painting/stickering/scribbling/collaging over them.

And then I Googled and saw images like this ...

And I thought how creative and beautiful.

Maybe I'm not as artistically creative as the picture below, but it might be fun to experiment with color and texture and throwing out all the structured rules of writing for a bit of whimsy.

And so, I decided to try my hand it. As a very studious type of student, I wanted a website to thoroughly detail each step. I didn't want to get it wrong, but there are no such websites. Oh, there are plenty of sites out there for techniques and tips, but none of the sites seem to list, in numerical order, the steps used to complete such works of art. Perhaps that is the beauty of such a project. There is no right way to begin it. There is no right way to finish it. The possibilities are endless.

I'm working on a project now and I'm totally obsessed. I feel like I've only just gotten into the good part. I've torn pages from my chosen book. I've glued pages together for stability. I've primed pages to easily paint/color/draw/write. I've painted and textured the cover. I'm trying to decide how I want my pages within to look.

The control freak inside of me wants to make a power point presentation to outline exactly what each page should look like, which is kind of defeating the purpose of the project to begin with, but at least I've begun a project. I have been taking pictures for before/after presentation so I can't wait to share with you when it's completely done!

Have you ever made an altered book? Are you interested in trying?

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Our Time

Over the past few weeks, I seem to be so busy I rarely have a moment to sit down during the day and do anything. Between classes at the Y and school functions and doctor/dentist appointments, I feel like I've been running around for the past few weeks with little more than a checklist of places I need to be.

Over the weekend, I decided to slow it down and enjoy this unseasonably warm weather we've been having here in Indiana. It is beautiful out with temps in the lower 80s and the leaves changing colors fast. So Saturday afternoon, I took my little one to the park and we had a picnic. It was such a lovely day!

There are trails throughout the park that lead you through this twisty woods along a creek and after our picnic, Christian and I decided to take a little walk down one of the trails. As we headed into the canopy of trees, I realized that my camera batteries were low and I said aloud, not really expecting any kind of response, "If we weren't running so late today I would have remembered to check my camera batteries."

My son, who so often makes me wonder if he isn't far older than his nine years, says, "What are you talking about? We weren't running late. This is our time. We can do whatever we want."

Those words stopped me in my tracks. He was right. This was our time. We had no appointments. No must-do's. No people to meet. No anything. And yet I was stuck in that checklist mode. It made me wonder if I am all too often that way, running around like a chicken with its head cut off and for the first time, it made me curious how often my son notices these things. It definitely turned me philosophical for a moment and then I snapped this picture of him with the last of the dying battery and I laughed at how quickly he goes from the wisdom of an old man, back to a little kid.

Anyway, here are some more pictures from our afternoon at the park ...