I've been interested in adding more stitch work into my pieces. Here are some ideas that I found useful or inspiring.
- A tutorial on how to hand sew & tie buttons.
- One way to showcase stitch work on your album.
- Machine and hand sewn ideas.
- Tutorial on hand stitching.
ALTERED BOOK PROJECT
I've been interested in creating an altered book for a while. I've researched ideas and techniques on the Internet for the past 3 - 4 months. I bought a hardback book at the thrift store to use as my first canvas. I choose a book by Dane Rudhyar entitled Modern Man's Conflicts © 1948 based upon the size and length. Some altered book artists consider the book topic as well. I didn't do this because it was hard enough to find a hardback book I thought I could use.
Finally, this past weekend I was inspired to start. I wasn't sure how many pages I wanted to have in the end. I didn't have a theme. I had no idea how to start. But, I knew I wanted to use some of the text on the pages and had to preserve those to use later.
I started by scanning a couple of pages to look for words and phrases that had potential. I circled them with a pencil and cut thin strips of blue painter's tape to cover the words. Once covered, I used Pro Act Premium Gesso and a sponge brush to coat two pages. Once dried, I removed the blue painter's tape to see the effect.
LESSON ONE -- Don't use blue painter's tape on pages of an vintage book unless you want to remove the print. Only a shadow of the original text remained on the page. On one page, the entire paper tore off with the tape. I noticed that some of the less tacky pieces didn't remove the text nor the paper.
The torn page.
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS -- Remove some of the tack from the tape. Use a low tack tape. Don't cover the text with tape. Find another method to mask the text. Use a newer book.
I decided not to use tape for the next few pages. Instead, I simply circled the words and then carefully painted around them. Of course this took more time and precision because of the size of the print. But, I didn't have to worry about the text being removed. But, I had another problem. I could see the pencil marks through the dried gesso.
LESSON TWO -- Don't use a pencil to circle the words you want to keep.
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS -- Use more layers of gesso. Use a better quality gesso (assuming better quality provides a more opaque covering). Use a disappearing ink pen--tested first on your page. Start painting around the words and then go outwards so you don't have to worry about covering them up. Don't use the words on the page; instead use rubber stamps, hand write, print, or collage to add words later. Use a book with larger type size.
One tutorial said to glue pages together to create a firmer base canvas. This person's suggested gluing 3 - 4 pages together at a time. So, I decide to glue every four pages together. What glue should I use? I know that Ali Edwards likes to use Uhu glue stick. But, I haven't had much success with glue sticks in the past (although I haven't tried Uhu brand). The glue seems to dry up and lose its adhesion after a while. After reading Lisa Vollrath's tutorial on glues, I decided to use a regular glue stick, once again.
For the most part, I glued together every four sheets. On the first and last page of each four-sheet section, I'd scan for words to use later. I stopped about 1/3 way through the book. I want to explore techniques I can use in the book before I continue gluing more pages.
Here is a K & Company tag album that I taught at one of my crops. This was an easy project because K & Company prepared each class packet and provided instructions on how to assemble the booklet.