Thursday, 5 August 2010

Learning to play

A while ago having realised that I didn't play as a child (always prefering a good book) I decided to explore the idea of altered books. This sounds like a contradiction of ideas as it took some time before I could bring myself to deface a book - this has always been a cardinal sin in my book (no pun intended!) I decided that I could only use books that were otherwise to be sent to the tip. First was the book above which I picked up for 10p. I naively thought I might introduce my daughter to some of the delights within but she was having none of it preferring those girlie interests of talking to her friends and listening to music. Hence the cover - how times have changed!

I moved onto "The Children of Dickens" spurred on by the fact that the pages were starting to fall out. I'm no artist but have always loved colour and paper and decided to just do whatever came into my head.

I played about with collage,

cutting windows

Weaving paper

stamping and my first attempt at painting anything since I was about 8!

Getting rid of angst! This was actually quite good fun

Some pages just reflected things I had done- a trip to Rome

Othrs involved just playing with colours and combining things to give what to me were pleasurable combinatons

Some pages were inspired by the book itself - don't you just love the image of the little boy?

And some were "where I was at at the time"!

This one has a famous paragraph from Dickens on the subject of money. My late father was a retired bank manager and the closely writtn page around the paragraph records the movements of the stock market as recorded from CEEFAX hour by hour as he watched the value of his shares rise and fall each day. (This was his form of relaxation - there was never any hope for me!)

Strange but true. I have a book full of pages like this but I can't throw it away!

Other pages I have circled words to make my own sentence out of what is on the page...

And finally a page using marbled paper that Niobe and I made when she was little!

I haven't done anything with this for a couple of years. There are always so many things to do. But it was great to find uses for some of those bits of paper and ephemera that we collect for no reason other than that we like them. Maybe when there is more time I'll practice more and take lessons in subtlety. In the meantime - pass me that box of stamps will you please?


  1. This is special, Wendy. Love it! Amanda xxx

  2. This is great Wendy - you are obviously an artist at heart.


  3. They a so lovely and seem very theraputic.

    I showed them to my son who is taking art and he thinks they are great.
    Cate x

  4. Hi Wendy, found you from Amandas Blog, Bless Her!!

    About 6 months ago I bought a load of old books from an Auction, with every intention of having a go at Altered Books!

    Yes there they still sit:( Alter me, alter me. Dont worry, I am not mad!!

    Love the way you have done your books, I do love this technique.

    Just become a Follower
    Michelle x

  5. this looks great fun and very liberating, like you I find the idea of painting and sticking in a book, but I guess once you make that first page there's no going back

  6. Wow Wendy you really have altered that one, absolutely love it especially the dolls dressmaker page. Makes me want to go delving back into my ephemera and get all creative again.

  7. Gosh, Wendy, you've had a great time there. I especially like the weaving.

  8. i was going to say i especially love one of these and then i thought i actually can't single out just one ,,every single one of them is fantastic. what do you mean your not an artist ?????????????????????????????????????
    the wv is deigas ( i degas ) ????????????

  9. I loved the stamp one and the ones with the stocks and shares...

    Great work. Bet you felt exhausted once you had done it all. :O))))

  10. This looks like such wonderful fun - liberating, a bit anarchic, very creative and recycling to boot. We should all make time to play. You've really inspired me. Thanks Wendy.

  11. Wow, I think your book looks brilliant, what a wonderfully expressive thing to do. I am in the midst of making a collage scarp book for my nephew and am loving it, so I cna totally relate to the pleasure you took in making all your pages.

    As for the "Ham" "Sandwich" comment, BRILLIANT!

    Have a lovely weekend,

    Sarah x

  12. This is a tour de force Wend and a great idea. I love the idea of re-purposing a book that would otherwise be destroyed or thrown away. I don't think it's defacing the book at all. I look on it as saving the book and giving it another lease of life. I am a committed altered book fan and please don't say you're not creative because this book and this blog proves otherwise! Lesley

  13. Wend,
    I picked up your return comment. There are tons of books about book arts out there, just depends on what sort of thing you're interested in. I think I have most of them! I can happily recommend a few if you e mail me with what you're looking for. Happy to post a couple to borrow if that helps? Let me know. Lesley

  14. So beautiful...pure inspiration! Hugs for a great new week. xox

  15. They are all really fantastic. I cannot really pick out a favourite, but the one with your fathers' page...I just love the idea of using it like that and that it makes it more than just an item that you hang on to. My words fail miserably to convey how this post has touched me, but it has inspired me! Thank you.
    Z xx