Or, “You can run, but you cannot hide!”
I enjoy making altered books as an art form. I make them and then give them away. They’re for anniversaries, birthdays, whatevers. Some are amusing, some are spiritual, some a mixture. With each one I learn something different to do or a different way to do it. I grow with each one. And each one takes a piece of my soul with it when I give it away.
The usual method is this: there is an upcoming special date or reason for making a book for a specific person. I ponder about that person or reason for the book. I do research for just the right sayings, graphics, art work, stamps etc. Whatever I feel should go into that book. I assemble the elements and then alter the book. From idea to completion takes many, many hours. Assembling the elements may take days. I might have a certain piece of ephemera in mind and will have to hunt through my craft room to find it. Or a specific stamp set that I KNOW used to be RIGHT THERE on the shelf, but was moved and now I have to go through ALL the sets to find that certain one. Once I actually start on the book, I can complete it in 2-3 days if I have the free time to work solely on the book. When it’s finished, I take pictures of the pages for my file.
The last two books I’ve done have been a bit different. For these books, the muse has been the Holy Spirit. I was working on a friendship book, and the whole time I was working on it I was getting the almost overwhelming feeling that I should be doing a book for someone else. Since the book I was working on was for a specific person, I couldn’t just finish it and give it to someone else. I continued with the current book, fighting the Holy Spirit, and felt awful. I usually take a big break after altering a book, because I put so much of myself into it and need to refuel. Not this time. I was so strongly led that I finished the book and sent it off, and immediately started on the next one. It was one of the best I’ve ever done. A HUGE part of me went into that one.
A couple of months went by before I started getting that nudge from the Holy Spirit for another book. This one was completely different. It came, giving me only 3 days to do it. It was like, “Do a book for this person, NOW!” I had one idea for it, and just barely started the process before it was changed for me. I went in an entirely different direction. I have never altered a book so quickly before. And again, I feel it was one of the best I’ve ever done.
I have a list of people I want to do books for, and hope to get another one started soon. I find it an amazing art form. I look at some of the altered book blogs and galleries, and get so inspired. I feel like such an amateur next to some of these artists, but since it’s MY soul that goes into my books, I know it’s the best I have to give. And I’m content with that.