Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Antique Book “Blessings Journal”

I have really been enjoying the online class I am taking from Jeanne Oliver, “Letting Go {Creating Beauty from Ashes}.

One of the projects from the class involves making a journal from an old book. That is just the sort of combination that works for me: LOVE art journlaing + LOVE old books. (I am also working in an altered book I started with Junelle Jacobsen in “The Art of Spring,” but it is not an “old book—I have posted some of my work from that project and will do more in that one as well.)

For this “old book” project, I delved into my treasured stack of antique books that I got from a couple of family members, now deceased. My sweet mother-in-law (d 2012) loved old books also and had saved some/retrieved some from her old elementary school (no longer in existence—Centennial School in central Missouri). As I prepared to do this project, I was torn between wanting to “immortalize” one of the old books by journaling in it, but at the same time not wanting to do anything to them. I discovered that there were two copies of one of my favorites, a collection of Nathaniel Hawthorne works. One of them had my mother-in-law’s name written in the front (her handwriting), and the other was one she had retrieved but had no personal meaning. So I opted to work in the one without her signature. I have this nagging feeling that the book may have been valuable as it was. Oh, well, too late now.

Title page w border and wm

copyright and content page w border and wm

Prepped with some clear gesso, water color paint, and then some white gesso, but I will not do much to this page, as I want to always be able to read everything here. Enlarged portions from the left side here:

authorized publishers w border and wm

(Note: my book DOES have the authorization of Houghton Mifflin Company.)

copyright w border and wm

Wow! Copyright 1879—by “Lathrop, Rose Hawthorne, 1851–1926, American nun, philanthropist, and writer; youngest daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne.”

front of blessings feather journal w border and wm

My altered cover, using a page of text from the book that I tore into the general shape of a feather and then painted.

open the eyes blessings journal pg w border and wm

I used several NeoColor II watercolor crayons for the background (over clear gesso). The spread was completed using an image from Graphics Fairy and represents my first attempt at writing with India ink and a calligraphy pen. I used the blank pages in the book that came before the title page, so there is no text on these pages.

grace like rain blessings journal page w border and wm

Love this new song (“Grace Like Rain”) we have been singing at our church, and it always brings a vision to my mind, something like this one! Not very experienced yet with water colors, but I think I like them!

And so, I will continue to work in this book, my “Blessings Journal” and will likely post pictures along the way.

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