I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Sunday, 9 September 2012

What the Dickens?

Welcome all, and an especially big welcome to the new followers - fantastic to have you here.

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:
The House of Bears challenge inspired by Great Expectations
Simon Says Stamp who are asking us to Put a Stamp On It
Recycle, Repurpose and Reinvent are having an Anything Goes challenge this month

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


58 comments:

Cestina said...

Fabulous! I never enjoyed Great Expectations, deeply depressing book, and my view of it was coloured by the even more depressing and terrifying 1946 film with John Mills.

But this is a wonderful depiction of the story, full of symbolism and imagination. I'm delighted that my detested school copy has been put to such amazing use.

Chrissy said...

What a fabulous project Alison..amazing work..

luv CHRISSYxx

Terry said...

Thank you for sharing your fabulous project with the DT from Simon Says Stamp and Show, love all what you have added to the book, looks great, thank you for sharing, hugs terry xxxx

florenceandfreddie said...

Fantastic Alison!! Really love this. Years ago I lived in a house where, so they say, the lady who CD based Miss H's character on, lived. You will sleep better now you know that! lol!
Regards Florence x

Brenda Brown said...

What a fabulous and amazing project Alison. You have really gone to town on the ageing and wow doesn't it look great. Just love your ideas and creative processes.
Happy Sunday.
Hugs Brenda xox

Liesbeth Fidder said...

Amazing work Alison ! A wonderful project ! :-D

Carol Q said...

that's stunning Alison - could see it in an art gallery.

Soo said...

Fantastic! Dickens is my favourite author and Great Expectations one of my favourite books - and you've more than done it justice!

chrissies said...

Wow! This is amazing and a fitting end for such a fabuluous book with a
wonderful family history.

Love Chrissie xx

die amelie said...

No reason to feel guitly at all, Alison!

You really gave a brilliant new life to the book by altering it in that gentle and subtle way. Love your approach on that one so much!!!!

Hugs,
die amelie xxx

lynne said...

Oh my goodness Alison I am at a loss for words this is just such a incredible piece. To take a book to alter is one thing but to alter it in such an original way is quite inspirational to say the very least.
Wishes
Lynne

Candy C said...

Alison...yet another very cool idea! Love the way you have altered this book to bring is such a beautiful new life. Love your use of the Tim's face and skeleton stamps on the tags! Really cool how you've created your piece to pay tribute to Great Expectations! You certainly created a wonderful piece of art! Thanks for sharing your creative ideas with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

House of Bears said...

Oh my goodness, now we always admire your work but this is truly stunning. You've taken something old and neglected and unwanted and made it into something old and neglected and something to covet in the most ingenious way. We love the way the characters pop out of the book to entice us to look further in. All the aging and distressing really makes this book.

You know when you wish you'd made piece of artwork yourself? We wish we'd made this!

Lisa M said...

It's torterous using a book but WOW, would you look at the remake here! Alison, it's so sensational. I loved admiring your style and personality that came through on each page, literally! ;) I made one like this before and decorated it for Christmas. It makes a great card holder to display on.
hugs to you and thank you for sharing this awesome creation!

Redanne said...

Hi Alison, so glad you decided to alter this book or we would never have seen the amazing result. It is perfect for Miss Havisham, the kind of book we would expect her to have....... A wonderful creation. Crafty hugs, Anne x

Mrs.B said...

Hi Alison, Stunning!
Love the idea of the images tumbling from the pages of the book, and that you have also used the original pages.
Avril xx

inkypinkycraft said...

this is beautiful, the soft and delicate way you have treated this and the wonderful vintage feel you have created is not only clever but beautiful!!
i love the furled pages, the soft tones and the tags inside..wonderful make trace x

Alie said...

What can I say Alison??? Again an amazing alteration, so inventive en different from things I've seen...and I love it!!!!
GREAT :-)

greetings, Alie :-)

Sarah said...

So beautifully done and aged to perfection!

Samantha Elliott said...

Wow! This is absolutely awesome! I cannot stop looking at it. It is such a fantastic recycling of a book!
Well done you!
x

Alison said...

This is an amazing project Alison, & so inspiring! TFS! x

Katherine (sutty) said...

Fantastic....love books and all the stamping and distressing you have added to this one...it could be Miss Havershams :)

Buttons said...

Bet Miss Havisham would be in awe of this project. Love the level of dimension and your choice of images. Great job. Hugs, Buttons x

Janny Jager 't Hooft said...

What an amazing project Alison
Love the way you altered the book.
I love it it is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!

Greetings Janny

Sandra said...

Gorgeous piece! Love it very much. It's brilliant! Thank you so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. Hugs, Sandra

Netty said...

wow your altered book is a true treasure trove, wonderful. Annette x

Nora MacPhail said...

Wow, wow and triple wow. That looks amazing. Marvelous transformation.

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Wow, how cool, that's a fabulous project.

catherine said...

wow Alison what an extremely creative project today. Love the stamped tags and images.Hope you have had a good weeknd
x catherine

Kate said...

This altered book is lovely! Very beautiful stamping and inking!! Gorgeous piece of art!!
Kate

soapHOUSEmama said...

Seriously?!?!? How awesome is this!!!!!!!

Suzanne C said...

Brilliant project! Stunning design and love the quote! Glad you joined us at Simon Says Stamp and Show!

Annie said...

Alison this is absolutely stunning and a winning piece. I never thought about the skeleton stamps before but this is gorgeous . A fabulous inspiring piece. TFS Annie x

toni said...

Fantastic creative project, x

Anna-Karin said...

Wow Alison, this is amazing! Such a wonderful idea. You really created a book of hidden treasures. Love all the stamping and everything. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp and show!

Kim Dellow said...

Oh Super love this Alison! Wonderful bit of art! So much to see and soak in! Thanks so much for the congrats comment you left me over the weekend. Hope you have a lovely week. Kim

Ellis said...

Stunning creation you have made with your mum's old schoolbook, every little part is so well thought thru, love it! =)
Thanks for joining us at Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent!
Hugs, Elenor DT

Gio said...

I love your new version of Great Expetaction! I think DIckens, too!

If you like Dickens have you read 'The Last Dickens'? An amazing book!

Anita Houston said...

How unique and original! I love your alterations!!! Fab tag too!

Anjas-Artefaktotum said...

Love that fantastic book project. Really a master piece!

Paula said...

Fantastic project!!! It is stunning!!!! WOW!!!! Thank you for sharing this with us at Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent!
Paula DT

Candy C said...

Hello again, Alison! I think I could come back and look at this book over and over again! I so love your idea and your design. It's awesome! Thank you so much for you very sweet comment you left on my blog about my heroes triptych frame. It really was a labor of love, to make something like that honoring my Dad. Glad you liked it, too! <3 Candy

Sue said...

This is absolutly beautiful Alison. The way you have aged your book is wondeful - definitely better than the original (oh yes O Level English Lit lol)x

Beverly G said...

What a wonderful project. I was taught to treat books with care, but I have to say you've certainly inspired me and showed me how you can give an old book a wonderful new life. Thanks for entering Recycle, Re-Invent, Re-Purpose.

Lori said...

Love your altered book - the cobwebby pages are really cool and the tags really depict the story! so glad you linked up at Recycle, RePurpose and ReInvent!

Kezzy said...

WOW wow wow gorgeous Alison, I really love books and have altered two, but this is stunning, I have never thought of doing the fan in the middle, might have to have a go one day if you don't mind, I will be sure to send them this way as it's your idea. I love how you have incorporated the actual story into the book, I have never read Great Expectations, but I certainly feel intrigued now. Hugs Kerry :-) xxx

Bärbel said...

Wow, Alison, das ist ein großartiges Projekt, Tags und Bilder fügen sich mit dem Buch zu einem harmonischen Ganzen!

Sarah J. Moerman said...

Wow! What a fabulous idea! Amazing job on this! It's truly a piece of art! Thanks for joining us for the Simon Says Stamp Challenge!

Terry said...

This is fabulous, Alison! Love your book alterations and all the tags! Very cool!

Sue A said...

Oh I love this! I've just started playing with altered books after being an avid cardmaker for years - this is fabulous and I love your blog - newly discovered thanks to the Funkie Junkie link. Well done! xxx

Ali Manning said...

What a breathtaking project Alison!

Roberta said...

WoW! It's great book!

Ana K. said...

Wow, I lost all my words...gorgeous!

Marjie Kemper said...

Oooh lah lah, this is gorgeous! Love the curled text and how you've softened and aged all the pages. The tags popping out are wonderful!

Debbie said...

I love your altered book! I have yet to delve into this...yet! Love your blog! Want to thank you for visiting me and leaving kind words!

Wishes
Debbie
^..^

Reiko said...

Absolutely stunning!!It's a long time since i saw soomething so beautiful!! I discovered your blog thanks to the Recyle re-purpose challenge blog, lucky me!!Thanks for sharing!!

Bonnie Irvine said...

Great Expectations is one of my favourite Dickens novels. What a delightful way to bring this old copy to life and pay tribute to a great novel. Love the furled pages and the tags. Very clever and creative. Thanks for joining us this month at Recycle. Re-Purpose and Re-Invent. I hope we see you again next challenge.

Chris / CS Designs said...

Alison, This is such a visually beautiful piece and great recycling. Thank you for sharing this on Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent
:) Chris / CS Designs