Tuesday 29th March 2011

by tonie

our altered books
It’s not that I can’t quit, it’s that I don’t want to!  Addic­tion.. or Obses­sion no, no.. Altered Book Com­pul­sive Dis­or­der!  That’s it!  That’s what I think doc­tors should call it.  Who would have thought that tak­ing the kids to a sum­mer pro­gram at our local library would incite an “altered view” of just about every object I encounter.  “Can I put that on one of my pages?” I ask about every thing from a stamp off a soon-to-be recy­cled envelop to an old shoe string. “Out of con­trol,” you say.  And to that I say, “HA!“
I like that you can use fancy themed paper, stick­ers, stamps, pho­tos, etcetera to design a page.  Yep, it’s almost the same as Scrap Book­ing.  Of course Scrap Book­ing is more struc­tured, and is sup­posed to be about a sin­gle theme for the whole book such as an event or a per­son.  Altered books are dif­fer­ent, in that you use old books to cut shadow boxes, fold pages to make pock­ets and add things, or paint and paste on the pages.  Struc­ture, yea, there is a time and place for that. Altered books have no rules, it feels freer — safer.  You can put things together, just because, with no rhyme or rea­son, as if you are mak­ing abstract art.
They can be about any and every­thing.  Exactly the way my ADD-mind works.  It was made for me, the pack rat of tiny objects I don’t want to toss out.  Maybe because I am afraid the mem­o­ries asso­ci­ated with said item will go with it… You know, scraps of the past, I have to col­lect, as if I know, one day I will need proof that I actu­ally had these expe­ri­ences.  Some­times I col­lect them just because “they were aes­thet­i­cally allur­ing objects,” either way…
I like that I can use lit­tle trin­kets that I have col­lected for years.  Not only does this speak to my recy­cling con­scious­ness, it screams to my cre­ative nature.  Now instead of hav­ing lots of lit­tle things tucked away in draw­ers, con­tain­ers, and boxes around the house, I can dis­play them in a way that lets me use mul­ti­ple styles of artistry.  I can cut and rip, or paint and paste in an old book that was des­tine to be donated to the local thrift store or worse.
Maybe some day I’ll have to stop. I will run out of scraps and trin­kets, or after I have found a way to put every­thing in to books, includ­ing my fur­ni­ture. Then peo­ple will mis­take my home for the library.- Ok, that thought came from way out there.
If I do go that far… Please, some­one, do an inter­ven­tion. Till then…

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