Wednesday, January 5, 2011

'WOYWW - Makin' a mess!'

by Mary Lou 'LuLu' Haynes

Howdy and Welcome,

For WOYWW this week, my workspace has some altered books that I'm prepping to be travel journals.

"Makin' a Mess" -
vintage kids books, gessos, wax paper, deli paper, rubbermaid containers

Left book is an old hardcover Golden kids book. Right book is a softcover kids book. Over the past few months, both books have been slathered with multiple layers of gesso (tinted, clear and white). This was after pages were removed and alternate pages adhered together for more support. Page corners are decorated with my 'homemade' embossed aluminum tape. Just finished another gesso layer and they're going to dry overnight.

Some of the rubbermaid containers were a failed idea. A while back I mixed several colors of tinted gesso. The few that I covered with plastic wrap  before putting on the lid all dried out. Oh, well - you live and learn. At least they didn't all dry out!

Have you tried your hand at altering old books yet? How do you prep your books? Do you spend a long time in the 'PREP' phase like I do?! I'd love to see some of your 'prepped' works in progress.

Please comment about this post - or any of my other posts. Here's a peek at more artist spaces at the WOYWW blog hop.

Thanks for visiting and please stop by again soon.



sandra de said...

Can't wait to see how your travel journals turn out. Had a giggle about the paint's all a learning process. I read about someone storing their left over paint in the freezer!!! I wouldn't even try that with teenagers who eat everything in the fridge or freezer?

MaggieC said...

Your projects sound fascinating and I look forward to seeing the end results.

Elizabeth said...

Your altered book projects look fascinating. I've never tried altering a book but I'm really interested in how yours will look when completed. Pity about the paint drying out - I would have thought the cling-film would help too so surprised it didn't - back to the drawing-board then. Elizabeth #76

Carola Bartz said...

So far I have started on altering one of those small square cardboard toddler's books and I haven't left the gesso-phase yet. I got the impression that they need many layers of gesso... Yours look good! I like them.

Anonymous said...

I have tried altering a book and it's harder than I thought it would be! I used a regular book (not a kids book) and removed some of the pages. I am still working on it but the pages kept sticking together so I added fabric at the seams. That helped but I haven't worked on it in a while. I can't wait to see yours!

LuLu said...

Howdy W B Artist,

I use black or white gesso or tinted gesso to keep pages from sticking. Sometimes I use clear gesso instead of the colored gessos, depends on if I want to obscure the background or preserve it.

Thanks for your comments. Please come back to visit soon.


Pat Brennan said...

Happy new year to you. You have been a busy girl!
I had a glitch in my comment posting, all sorted now. Catching up with all my friends old and new, here in 'blogland'

Tertia said...

I have never actually tried altering a book, but I have admired all the beautiful ones everybody is making. Would love to see the finished project>

Susan Allan said...

I think there are no rules to altering books. I tend to use household paint....little tester pots of emulsion paint, (or latex paint, for those who live in the States).
Then I decorate with ribbons, lace or scraps of paper, or just stamp the pages or leave them plain. The sky is the limit!!!
Look forward to seeing your travel journals!!

Sue xx 50

Marjo said...

Looks like loads of fun. Thanks for the peek and sharing. Hugs, Marjo #23

Serendipity Stamping said...

Have never tried an Altered Book, but love to look at them. You see I have a very low patience level, so would never get one done. Good thing we are not all alike. Looking forward to seeing yours as it goes along. Thanks. #95

Spyder said...

Your journals looks fab, I'm really going to have a go at making one this year, did start, but then sort of made a mess! Happy WOYWW!

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

I've tried altering a board book, but I'm very impatient. I gesso one spread and do it, then gesso another spread. I can't wiat till it's all gessoed up!
Patsy from

S.E.Minegar said...

Now I am intrigued about this WOYWW business! This looks like so much fun!

HarmonySweetpea said...

Hi LuLu,
I'm a WOYWW newbie. Travel journals are such a wonderful way of reflecting on travel memories. I always keep one when I go overseas but never thought to make my own. What a great personal record. Good luck.

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