I'm sharing an altered book today - inspired mainly by the House of Bears and their wonderful literature-inspired challenges. This month it's Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and themes of gentlemen, neglect/decay, or any other inspiration or characters that you find within the pages of the book. That meant that it also fits really well with Simon Says Stamp and Show's current Read All About It challenge. As someone for whom words are just as important as pictures, this was a really great project to work on...
I went in search of an old copy of Great Expectations (we're clearing out our large family house at the moment, including many thousand books), and found my mother's old school copy ready to be sold or donated. I double-checked that she wouldn't mind it getting a new life, and then did this to it!
I wanted it to look as though it might be one of Miss Havisham's belongings, full of past grandeur but now neglected and decaying. It was originally bound in red cloth (sorry, forgot to take a 'before' - I was in the zone!), but I soon altered that with some gesso and gold acrylic paint.
I also added a cobwebby look using one of the texture stamps from Tim Holtz's Ultimate Grunge set, and generally laid into the pages (now stuck together) with Vintage Photo, craft scratcher, gesso and fingernails!
The central pages also got their edges furled and inked, but I left them unglued so that I could play my fan game with them. They were rolled and tucked, and then gently gesso'd and inked. Finally the whole thing got a good spritz of Mushroom Color Wash and Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist for some more mildewy faded glamour...
The furled pages created a perfect place for characters and words from the book to 'pop-up' out of... I love that they are emerging from the pages to seize our attention.
I used other pages which I'd removed from the book before gluing - so everything is genuinely Great Expectations text, and then used TH stamps to form an image of Estella, and the skull - as a reminder both of the graveyard where Magwich first appears, and of the theme of death and inheritance.
Money is central to the book, so there are some receipts...
...and some Victorian book illustrations, all from the Vintage Gentleman Kit I was so thrilled to win recently from Vintage Page Designs.
From getting the book in my hands I just let the ideas lead me, and overall I"m pretty happy with the result... and I don't even feel that guilty about the book in the end!
I like this new visual version of the themes of the story, tumbling out of the pages, and I certainly prefer the faded gold and brown to the original red! And since it was only going to be disposed of, I'm happy to have given it a new life...
Thanks so much for spending some of your precious time here at Words and Pictures - I really appreciate every visitor, though I'd probably still be obsessively crafting even if you weren't here, to be honest! Hope you find some time for whatever you're passionate about this week...
I'm entering this for the following:
Love her, love her, love her! If she favours you, love her. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces – and as it gets older and stronger, it will tear deeper – love her, love her, love her!
There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of what I had thrown away when I was quite ignorant of its worth.
Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule.
All from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens