Monday, May 30, 2016

Pretty Things...

An old Reader's Digest book became an altered journal on my recent quilting retreat last month. Following instructions in a DVD by Nellie Wortman, I combined lace, fabric, paper, beads, inks and more to make this shabby-chic project. As Nellie notes in her class, the book makes viewers want to open it and investigate all that lovely goodness peaking out of the sides and bottom. The cover itself is layered with corrugated cardboard, packing papers, and a transparency stitched to frayed muslin and trimmed with lace and flowers.

Even the spine became decorative with gathered fabric and pearls. And the fancy glass beads accent the binding thread. Almost anything goes in making these books, and it's very freeing and fun to think of ways to combine materials in a pleasing way.

I love vintage images of ladies in hats. This one is printed on cotton and covered with sheer curtain fabric. My version of the project is a faith journal, and I had a book of quotes to add to the pages. This one says, "Be strong and let our hearts take courage, all you who hope in the Lord." - Psalm 31: 24.

Each of the pages is made from watercolor paper and distressed with ink, applied tissue and other papers, and pen. This quote says, "Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well!" - Psalm 90: 12

 An old brooch centered on a folded flower made from muslin strips accents these pages. I also got some practice free-motion writing, using the machine needle as a pen. Another vintage photo of a woman in a wonderful hat. And a quote from Elizabeth Ann Seton- "I Will Sustain You".

Ruth Rae wrote an article in Somerset Sew, Winter 2011, in which she outlined ways to make "Scrap Cards" using bits and pieces of materials. I employed her idea to make small fabric vignettes which I then glued to several of the pages. These were a lot of creative fun, and once started, the ideas just flowed for combining things like clothing labels, cheesecloth, and machine and hand stitches.

For this image, I stitched a transparency of palm trees to a rectangle of fabric paper that is just full of texture.

And this is another Ruth Rae-inspired scrap card. Laces, ribbon, and words all stitched to a background of sheet music and then glued to the journal page.

 At last- a home for this hand stitched heart. I picked it up off the freebie table at our guild many years ago. I'd come across it every now and again and ask myself, "What am I ever going to do with this?" I came close to purging it from the stash, but I'm so glad I just couldn't do it. It's just right in this book.  One other quote I added to the book has a great reminder- it says, "The future lies before you like a field of driven snow. Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show." I'm sure there will be another of these books in my project plans. It was so satisfying to make, and it makes me want to pick it up and investigate it almost daily!

Speaking of pretty things, Jack and I came across this lovely shop while bike riding in Cedar Key, Florida last week. It's called Island Thyme Antiques. Doesn't Leslie the proprietor have a creative flair for display? Her shop carries all sorts of coastal gifts, antiques, and jewelry.

And there are nautical-themed prints galore. Worth a visit!


Createology said...

Nancy I am in love with your altered Reader's Digest book. Every page is such an inspiration and you have made each one very ethereal and textural. That hand stitched Heart is Gorgeous and it looks perfectly at home in your Faith Book. Embracing Creative Bliss...

Robbie said...

Nancy, your "faith" journal is WONDERFUL!!!! I love it...and the quotes you have in it are perfect!!! I can't wait to see this journal in person next winter!! You have so many wonderful details in your journal that need to be seen and appreciated in person! Again, nicely done my friend!

Lynette said...

What a pretty journal. I love the laces and embellishments - a most excellent transformation. :)

Dorothy Donna Parker said...

That is one fantastic journal, Nancy! Very inspiring indeed - a treasure. I have not made a journal with lace, etc. in it and have been itching to do so. Been saving little pieces of this and that. Can't wait to get my studio set up. Such a gorgeous little shop - lots of atmosphere. Obvious the owners love it. Thanks for dropping by my blog, always a pleasure. hugs, Donna