Saturday, January 12, 2013


Cold and grey winter days are my favorite times to snuggle in with a good book. 

The Oxford Book of English Love Stories

My mother gifted me with several interesting books for Christmas and I'm currently reading "English Love Stories" edited by John Sutherland. It contains a collection of short stories by such favorites as Mary Shelley, Rudyard Kipling, and Graham Greene. My intention is to get my mind frame around the romance of era's gone by, in order to create a mood or evoke that era for an art project. 

I am participating in an altered book swap with a "Romantic Era" theme for the Yahoo Group 'Art For The Creative Mind', affectionately known as AFTCM. The group has about 75 or so men and women from all over the world (mostly Canada and the US) that chat through an online forum and participate in mixed media art swaps. These swaps vary from the exchange of small artist trading cards, to embellished fabrics, to altered objects and all kinds of paper crafts. The support and encouragement is the binding for AFTCM as we are all at different levels of experience on our creative art journeys. I've only been a member for a short while and can't remember how I even found this group, but it has been the highlight of my days. It has taken me a good solid year of retirement to erase the emotional ties, the stress of deadlines and alarm clocks, and the all encompassing drive to remain employed in a sea of crazies that my work brought to my life. I only say that because I was a government employee for most of my career and it was nuts! But that's another story...  AFTCM has given me a place to meet people from all walks of life with incredible talent and ideas and a reason to be up to my elbows in glue, ink, paper scraps and ephemera. This is my idea of heaven. 

I'd like to show you what I am working on:

Book cover for my altered book, a work in progress.

The first stages of the drawers featuring a jewelry box and some chipboard from a cereal box.
 All of the pages have been removed.

Lace scraps sewn and gathered while watching "Downton Abbey"

You have got to love the costumes, the drama and the gorgeous set designs on Downton Abbey! Add to that a real-life castle and you've got the makings of a great program.

Highclere Castle
 Highclere Castle in England

So, I will leave you with a view of my desktop as I continue to work on my altered book project and read and dream about the romance of the days of old.




Zombob said...

So everybody in the group makes something out of a specific book?

Susan said...

Zombob- Each of the people that are participating in the altered book swap choose a book that can be sacrificed to altering with drawers, knobs, paper elements, etc.They send their completed project to a pre-assigned swap partner and someone sends to them. We are given total artistic freedom to interperet the altering as we see it creatively. My next post will have more pictures and ideas about this. It's so much fun to do!

MistiRose said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! I am including your blog on mine and also linking to Ink Stains by Roni. I am having trouble finding Words at Phrases... Google says there are 14 million recommended results! lol Would you mind, when you have time, leaving a link for me?