Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tea for Two - Altered Book Challenge

May 2010's monthly challenge for the altered books yahoo group I'm in was to create a spread using the theme "Tea Time," also incorporating the colour "daffodil yellow" and "a bit of lace or a sweet treat."

My original plan was to use some tea-stained pages my DD8 and I dyed, as well as some flowers made with torn and inked pages. However, that just wasn't working with the vibrant colours of the "picniked" photo I wanted to use. Then I remembered I'd kept a stash of my daughter's water colour paintings that she'd made ("For you, Mom") thinking I could use them as backgrounds one day. How perfect is that?!?!? I spritzed one with some gold glitter spray, and it was even more perfect! We had some lace ribbon on hand (we're hoarders for a reason!)with flowers that resembled the border in my photo, so I cut out the flowers and inked them with some of the same colours as in the border and background. (I'm not happy that the glue I used seems to be visible, but "Oh well!")I had my daffodil yellow in one of the flowers, but I noticed that our sewing machine happened to be loaded with yellow thread, so I zipped around a few elements on the page, and created a stitched border. (I love the look of stitched paper!)After adding a bit of journaling about my DD8, who loves to bless me with sweet cups of tea, I decided the page needed a little something else. I'm not very experienced with stamping, but I decided to try out a new stamp that fit with the flower motif. The spread was a bit big for my scanning bed, so you don't see the scalloped border of the spread, but I thought it would add a bit of interest to the page when it's in the book.

It was interesting to me to see how this spread evolved as I worked on it; it's completely different than I originally envisioned, yet I'm pleased with the results. Have you ever begun a project and had it morph into something completely different than you originally planned? How did it turn out? Was it difficult for you to give up your vision and just "let things happen"?

I particularly enjoyed thinking about my daughter as I created this spread, and relishing all the memories I have of our tea times together.

Are there special moments or memories that you have with loved ones that might be used to spark your creativity?


  1. My finished project often doesn't resemble what I started with in my head! My projects will take on a "mind of their own" and I just let it happen! Especially if I don't like something I made, I have no problem changing everything! Your page with your daughter is very sweet! My memories of my daughter, now grown and flown, is sitting at Chapter's reading, and chatting. That is our tea time! Sometimes I will go to Chapters, get my coffee, and call her, to find that she's also in Chapters in her city, and we drink coffee and chat!

  2. Linda -- I actually teared up at your story about you and your grown daughter "meeting" over coffee at Chapters in different cities. I guess I fast-forwarded a few years in my head and imagined my own children all grown up, and it's kind of a bitter-sweet thought. It's so nice that you guys can still have your little tradition even though you're separated by geographical distance!

    I just discovered your reading journal blog. As a former English teacher and homeschooling Mom, I think it's an AWESOME idea! I used to have students do individual novel study projects like one of your spreads, but I never thought to have them keep whole journals like that. I feel a new assignment coming on . . . ;)

  3. Hello Paula! I really enjoyed your "tea time" piece, as well as the portrait of your daughter with watercolors! I am looking forward to trying that technique myself.

    As to your question about the idea vs. finished product, my clay piece for the museum that you commented on was so different! I started out thinking I would create a 3-D "flying carpet" with clay, a starry night background, beaded fringe hanging from the edge of the rug, etc. Haha! So typical of me to bite off more than I can chew! After baking what was going to be the background with rug piece extension, I knew it would just not work. The deadline was nearing and I had to completely re-think my idea, which continued to change as I went along. I must say I liked it when I finished, and still smile to think of it hanging in someone else's home, making someone else smile!

    Thanks for all your kind words and comments! I'd be happy to share some clay tips with you. Keep creating!

  4. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Darrelyn. You definitely have reason to be pleased with the end result of what began as your flying carpet:)


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