Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Few Questions About Mr. Tutt

Since I posted my little altered book journal "Yankee Lawyer: The Autobiography of Ephraim Tutt" (or Mr. Tutt, as I like to call it), I have had a few questions about it. Mostly about the size of the book. Well, the cover measures about 8 1/2"x5 1/4" and it approximately 2" thick (but that changes every time I work in it). "Mr. Tutt" is an old book, there's a label inside the front that states that it was manufactured during wartime (WWII) but I chose it because 1) I like old stuff. 2) The spine was in good shape and I knew that it could handle being altered. 3) I like the color of the paper and felt it could hold up to a little paint and water and well, abuse. 4) It had interesting content that I felt I could work with.
I started by gluing together 2 or 3 pages with Mod Podge to give the paper good thickness. After gluing together a few pages, I'd tear out a few pages, to give the spine a bit of room when I started adding in extra paper and things. After tearing out a few pages, I found that some of the other pages would start to separate from the spine so I would Mod Podge a strip of fabric, scrap of paper, piece of patterned paper, or whatever I had sitting on my desk at the time, down the middle of the book to keep the two pages together. The page below had a crazy floral print fabric in the middle of the book. It's just there to keep pages from starting to fall out.
This "Tenth" page is about an awesome quote that my new friend Phyllis gave to a friend of ours and I just had to sit down and copy it. Here it is:
"For every nine people who denounce innovation, only one will encourage it...
"For every nine people who do things the way they have always been done, only one will ever wonder if there is a better way.
"For every nine people who stand in line in front of a locked building, only one will ever come around and check the back door.
"Our progress as a species rests squarely on the shoulders of that tenth person. The nine are satisfied with things they are told are valuable. Person 10 determines for himself what has value." -Za Rinpouche and Ashley Nebelsieck "The Door To Enlightenment"

This is a page about the party I met Phyllis and many other amazing women. Every single one of which, I would call a "tenth person" The Mark Twain quote (another of my favorites) was printed by my friend Deb on canvas and it was a lovely little sailboat and very much NOT me, so I cut it up and added my own touch. I glued the envelope for the invitation to the page and painted the background similar to the canvas colors. After it was dry, I added journaling and put the invitation back into the envelope.
Yesterday, my friend the wonderful Kate, came over for an art day. My aunt Ilene joined us, too. I just love getting together and creating with Kate and Ilene and we had a great art day. My son also was involved in the art making process and made me this picture. He was so proud when I glued it into my journal and used it for a page. The marker drawings in the middle are Jake's and the acrylic paint around the outside is mine. I think this is my first collaboration piece.

One other question I have had about "Mr. Tutt" is what brand of watercolors I used in my watercolor sketch. I have a small set of Windsor Newton travel pans that I take on the go. I use a Koi water brush (I LOVE Koi water brushes, I think they are, by far, the best water brushes) that I can fill with my water bottle or whatever I can find (gas station bathrooms, etc.) when I am travelling. I think that I have answered all the questions about "Mr. Tutt" but if there is anything else you would like to know, I'm happy to tell you about it. As for now, I'd better head off to bed.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Best Way To Remember

Nine years ago today, our country suffered a tragic loss. People's lives were changed and it was a dark day.
Four years ago, I remembered the five year anniversary in a hospital while bringing this sweet guy into the world. I can tell you for sure that he is a bright light in my life and the best way to remember September 11th. Happy Birthday Jake! I love you!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Getting Back Into Routine

Wowzer! I am always amazed by how difficult it is to get my kids back into school. It surprises me every year. I am one of those moms who isn't excited when my kids go back to school but after the summer I've had battling my health, I'm sure they are excited. I've been pretty boring. The last few weeks have been spent traveling and squeezing the last bit of summer out of the year. So most of my creative time has been spent with this little traveling treasure.
This is my altered book art journal. It started out as "Yankee Lawyer: The Autobiography of Ephraim Tutt". I picked it up at the thrift store. I'm not sure how Mr. Tutt feels about me cutting, gluing, and painting over his life story, but I sure am enjoying it. I also pick up bits and pieces from Ephraim Tutt's life and it is fascinating. I like to take it with me because the size is so portable and I use it more to document my daily happenings. At some point I intend to alter the cover too, but until it decides what it wants to be, I will just pack it around "as is". Here are a few of my favorite pages as of late.
The page on the left I painted in the hotel room on a trip to Utah. I was practicing with my acrylics. The page on the right I did about my trip when I got home.
The page on the left, tells about a GREAT day I had last week, when my aunt, Ilene, came over and I introduced her to art journaling. She did a flower similar to this in her art journal and it was AMAZING! I saw the scraps on my desk after she left and wanted to document the day for myself, so I made a sort of replica of her flower in my book, therefore, I can take NO credit for this page. I just wanted to remember the day. The page on the left is about my son's first day of preschool. My baby now leaves the nest two times a week for a couple of hours. I'm not sure I'm happy about that!
One of the things that goes along with my autoimmune issue I'm having is a complete intolerance for the sun. Even a little exposure has made me sick and I have to be very careful now. So, while my family was swimming at Lagoon, I sat under a tree and sketched what I saw. I was just doing a loose pen sketch and trying to work quickly before we headed off to something new. I finished the pen and the underpainting while I was sitting there and added the rest of the watercolor when I got back to the hotel.
I used the map of Lagoon as a base for the page and added journaling and ephemera from the day. I recycled patches of tissue paper to Mod Podge onto the places that needed more coverage and dry brushed a little paint on them.
Used the little notepad from the hotel to make a list, then glued it to a painted background.
Had to document our family's first visit to Chuck E. Cheese (we don't have one where we live) especially since my son ended up with these cute pictures. I copied the pictures on plain paper and used color pencils to color a little background on them. I also used the wrappers from his first PEZ dispenser, which he got when he turned in all of his tickets. Speaking of tickets, I found two in his pockets this morning while I was doing laundry, so I found a place to stick them in too.
This little book has been so much fun to take places. Yesterday, my son went to preschool and I came home and painted. I began a canvas board and an art journal page (in my big journal) and now I am wishing that my house wasn't such a disaster because I am dying to get back to work on both of them. So I am off to finish my housework ASAP. I've got some painting to do! Hope you do too!