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.


  1. What a beautiful altered book! The collaborative spread is beautifully special, and something to be treasured for a lifetime, ;). Happy Day and Creating!

  2. I've never altered a book before but loving your book and the descriptions of how you are creating! Great journal pages!

  3. I love what you did with your son's drawing. I got myself a book. I glued 3 pages together and gessoed the page so now I am ready to play in it. Thanks for the ides and I do love that quote, I see a 10 page in my future. We need to play again soon.


  4. OMG! Just got on your site today Jolene and saw your work again (which is so wonderful, makes me feel good) and read about the 10th person and our super friend, Deb. What a special night we had together...She brought together such a talented group, with so much to share. Deb is one of those "earthbound Angels" you pray to visit you and make your life something special and different. All who are in her path are blessed by her presence and you and I have been so lucky to share her friendship. Speaking of funny things, Kate, is one of my friends too! Do you remember me from the Rush Weaving at Aimee's home and the Fiber Fairs? How we all weave together so all, my best for the day, Phyllis