Thursday, February 5, 2009

Shamanic Dream Book-Altered Book Art

I began my first altered book in the beginning of 08 and have worked on it on and off for about a year. I have always been very attracted to old books….I love the smell of ancient/dust filled slightly decaying books…..I come across them often in the most interesting of places, alley ways, yard sales, antique shops, trailer parks, public bathrooms, land fills, graveyards, open fields, abandoned buildings….its like treasure hunting! There is something mysterious and magickle about old books and it has always seemed a natural thing to want to create with them. This was my first altered book so it was certainly experimental and I learned a few dos and don’ts along the way. Within this book I used many different artistic mediums. There is a lot of acrylic paint, pen and ink drawing, photographs of mine that I cut and decoupaged with, I used a few different kinds of crackle mediums and paint, markers, highlighters, paint pens, water color, decorative paper, found objects, ribbon, yarn, tie dyed fabric…the list goes on.
Here are some scans I made of it( i need to change my blog layout so that it doesnt cut off my pictures. if you click on the picture you can full view it fine):

The cover:
Dream Book-Cover-Mixed Media

Page 1 and 2
Dream Book-Page 1 &2-Mixed Media
Page 3 and 4
Dream Book-Page 3 and 4-Mixed media
Page 5 and 6
Dream Book-page 5 and 6-mixed media
Page 7 and 8
Dream Book- page 7 and 8- Mixed Media

I will be posting this for sale in my etsy store: once i figure out how much to ask for this piece.
The creation process was fun. I started out by sectioning the book into clumped pages by gluing them together with E6000 glue and setting them outside to dry. Once i had finished doing that i realized it would have been a lot simpler to rip out the majority of the pages and then glue the remaining pages together. In a sense i do like the effect that was given from using all the pages in the book because the pages i created are very thick. However since i used all the pages of the book its easier for the pages to want to separate themselves and do weird things like that. Once all the pages were separated it was just a matter of piecing together the scenes within the book using anything and everything available. I used your standard decoupaging method for most of the book. Once i was done with a page i would go over it with a nice thick coat of gloss varnish. This sealed the artwork nicely and gave it a nice weight of rigidness. However i have run into issues with the pages wanting to stick together because the gloss varnish tends to do that. To cure that issue i put fabric along the edges of the pages to help keep them from sticking. Perhaps if i had used a non gloss varnish there would not have been a sticking issue...i will try that next time. But all in all this was a really fun project that allowed me to experiment with all sorts of mediums/combinations of things. I will certainly have to begin a new alerted book soon. I have about 5 vintaged copies of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll i think one of those books would work perfectly for the next project!


  1. I just found your blog and LOVE it!! I just put it on my blog reader.

  2. Thanks so much! now if only i could figure out how to hook my blog up with a blog such a newbie with all this blog stuff..