Friday, September 26, 2014

Altered Books

I had three final sets of pages to work on for my Hawaii friends' altered book group. As an off-island member, I send my work to the group and the pages are "tipped in," or added to each person's book using tape or glue. Every member selects a theme, and it's up to each artist to decide how to interpret that theme. It's always interesting to see the many different responses to the same topic.

The first set of pages was for a theme of "Word Play" -- the unique, often silly ways that words can be used. The words on my pages are a song my mom used to sing to me when I was a kid, and that I sang to my own children.  I used watercolors enhanced with pan pastels for this spread:

The next theme was "Beginnings," and my interpretation was based on a quotation I found that resonated with me.  For this one, I used paste paper for a background (made with my friend Shirley last week) and created a faux chalkboard with a message about overlooking some things in life in order to embrace others.

The final theme was "Open and Close."  At first I couldn't think of anything inspiring, but my husband helped me brainstorm. Pandora's conundrum - to open or not to open - was the perfect fodder for these pages.

You can see how the flap on the right folds out in the photo beneath this one.

 Inside the flaps are all the evils, with hope in the center.

Hope you enjoyed seeing these as much as I liked making them!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ready to start making holiday gifts? Arm Knitting

A few years ago I learned to knit.  And every year when I want to knit something, I have to learn all over again from my friend Rosie.  It's definitely NOT one of those things that is like riding a bike...

Last week I got a knitting lesson from my daughter, with a unique way of knitting that requires no knitting needles - just arms. I saw something about it on Pinterest a while back but wouldn't have believed how great it would turn out.

You start with some fat yarn. She used a variegated kind, blue, black and purple.

Then you cast your arm

And knit onto your other arm

And then knit back to the original arm. 

And after a while, you cast off, attach the ends ... and voila! A beautiful eternity scarf.

And if you are very lucky, your daughter gives it to you for a present.  

Ready to make one yourself?  Here ya go!