Tag Archives: artist books



HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERY ONE, I hope you enjoyed my 5 DAYS of GIVEAWAYS – I have been very busy in the studio over the last week completing a “SECRET” project I am submitting for publication……….here’s a little peak at some progress…………

As a new year commences & I have hardly noticed the last one gone, I am reminded how quickly our life flashes by. In the process of my “SECRET” project, I have been reflecting on the book of Ecclessiastes and the Jewish folk tale of King Solomon…..gam zeh ya’avor. This Hebrew phrase, often mistakenly thought to appear in the Bible, means “This too shall pass.” Some surmise that it was derived from Psalms 57:1, but most Jews attribute it to a folkloric parable about King Solomon – here’s the story:

“There was a king who had the most magnificent collection of jewels in the entire world. It was the source of his greatest joy. One night he dreamed that somewhere in the world, a magnificent ring held the power to make a sad person happy, and a joyful person even happier. The dream was so real to him that he decided that he must seek and possess this ring.

“He offered a huge reward to anyone who could find it. After everyone else had given up their search, one of the king’s servants continued to scour the world for the magical ring. Finally, he too was ready to give up, when he stopped in to one last shop. There, the owner said that he, indeed, was in possession of this ring!

“The servant offered to pay whatever price the shopkeeper asked, but the man refused payment saying, ‘No, your king needs this ring. Take it as my gift.’  “The servant rushed to the palace, entered the king’s chamber, and presented the ring to him. Upon opening the box, the king found a plain, unadorned metal ring. Could this truly be the precious, magical ring he had dreamt about? Then he noticed three Hebrew words engraved on the ring. ‘Gam zeh ya-avor – this too shall pass.’

“The king was puzzled. And it took him many years to realize the true magical power of the ring, in time, he came to realise that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.

When he was truly sad, he would look at the ring and it would remind him that “this too shall pass,” and he would be consoled. And when he experienced true joy, the ring reminded him that “this too shall pass,” and he learned to hold on and appreciate those precious moments of joy. Soon the king realized that this truly was the most valuable ring in the world. He lost interest in the rest of his collection. All his dazzling jewels and gems paled when compared to the plain ring with the three Hebrew words, ‘gam zeh ya-avor, this too shall pass,’ and he always wore this ring of greatest value with pride on his royal finger.”

Abraham Lincoln made reference to this parable in an 1859 address, and there is a custom among some Jews to wear rings inscribed with the phrase (or its acronym), particularly during or after having coming through a seriously trying period in life. It’s an apt tale for the passing of another year, with the precious blessing of our darling new grandie, Ariel Faith……welcoming a season of emotional sunshine – after a long black winter……..watching the gradual deterioration of my mother-in-law in her twilight years, some changes in our family living arrangements, acknowledging the loss of some of my physical capacities this year & the purging of long held trinkets & treasures & the timely handing on of various significant family pieces in preparation to move from our home of the last 20 years………the good and the bad……..material & immaterial……..this too shall pass…………. It reminds me of the rewards of patience, the fact that no season, despite how good or bad it is, lasts indefinitely and the wonders of the cyclical passage of time.

This amazing montage of 365 days of photo’s sum up the year of 2010 in about 2 minutes – that’s about how fast the clock seems to be spinning for me right now.




I hope you like my new collage sheet….(hi res link – thanks Connie for the idea)..offered for only until 31st December……..after that I will take it down, and it will be replaced with a single image.  I know that I don’t have to remind you it is for personal use, and not to be redistributed or reconfigured in any way, shape or form – but it seems that this disclaimer needs to be added each time……… I’d love to see anything that you create from the collage sheet & appreciate links & kudos too!! LOL!  Tomorrow night is Christmas Eve here – so it’s the big finale………I have made something VERY special for a Christmas Eve giveaway…….

MY CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT GIVEAWAY IS A handmade artist book I created in a repurposed vintage book cover, it is approx 8in tall, 6in wide & 1 inch thick.  It is filled with a paper that will take pen & ink or a light wash…….it should be nice to work in.

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the cryptic clue is………….rsta fo tlmeeehhb…………..it’s a sign!!  I will draw this one late Christmas Eve – Almost Christmas Day here – to give the max amount of people a chance to participate.  It’s been a fun week!

New Journal Pages – Another Perspective


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as promised last week – here’s some of my new & refined journal pages – when you are ‘playing’ with a style different to what you are comfortable, finding the ‘finishing line’ is tricky.  I am really not sure whether a couple of these pages now fall back into my heavier, over coloured work that was beginning to get quite murky………..the very thing I was attempting to make a break from.  I usually create a new journal one of two ways, either I create signatures & work in them & then bind it all together, or I create a blank journal and work through the pages in it.  Each has its benefits and draw backs, however the perfectionist in me struggles to complete a book when I start to dislike one or two of the entries.  It just languishes on the shelf, untouched.

This time I tried a whole new approach, I have torn up a whole stack of pages and am just working on the pages as I go – they are not even a ‘folded page’ (for a signature) – just loose pages.  My intention is to ‘Zutter Bind’ them when the time comes to bring them together.  It is actually quite liberating – ‘cos if I really hate something – I just don’t have to include it.  That makes a big difference to how I approach each page, I don’t feel the anxiety of the ‘blank page’ because I can abandon the composition at anytime.  Sounds VERY precious & non commmital doesn’t it???  I have just found that it’s liberating. 

SIGNATURE – (as far as in relation to Communication Arts / Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding)
Printing a.  a sheet of paper printed with several pages that upon folding will become a section or sections of a book

More from ‘A Different Perspective’


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Thank you for the kind, & encouraging comments & private emails in reference to my last post – saying my art wasn’t very good – it really sounded like a pitty party & I am sorry if I lost you there – it wasn’t my intention – the story is that I am on a cusp of my art moving from altered art to original art (printing, painting & drawing) – but my ‘original art’ is not of a good enough standard at the moment to stand alone – then I try to blend a little original art and the ‘muddy’ colourful altered style that I tend to lean toward – & that’s were the self loathing kicks in!  I usually don’t like the result.  It actually gets back to what I talked about here  Perception & Reality are not always aligned.  Anyways – moving forward……….

Here’s a couple more pages from my recent art efforts for my new ‘simple look’ journal……’A different Perspective’  Some of them are still works in progress, however I am not sure whether that’s me trying to complicate them or whether they truely need more – so I am just sitting with them as is.  UNUSUALLY – not many photographs this week, not much happening that has captured my attention………except to say I love the late afternoon sun in my new west facing studio room.  It bathes me in orange & watermelon pink & I love it.  I imagine it as glory!

post script …………. this little ‘vessel’ has slipped out of the slide show & I can’t put it back – so it stands alone at the moment.

A little birdie told me


I have been working at trying to bring together lots of elements of a LONG over due special project the last few weeks.  It’s a unique handmade coptic bound book that brings together old, new, plain & printed.  Both disgarded scraps & treasures.

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  I have made lots of add ins & pocket fillings, that make it intriguing to look through.  The slide show is just a snippet of how many shots I have taken – there are 10 signatures (group of pages) each with 10 pages so there is a lot to see.  If you’d like to see some more – check out the flickr album for this project.

old is new again


WOW – only a week in as a FB newbie & I love it!  Have touched base with heaps of old friends and have even managed a 'catch-up' coffee & a dinner date for this week.  Facebook's not my only 'uncovery' of IMG_0592the week – I have also managed to discover iPhonography (like I need ONE more distraction from my iPhone…………..my hubbie just groans & mummbles something inaudible as I display to him my latest iPhone discovery………….warble, warble, fandangled……warble………)…. I am not going to go on about that here, I have done a post about that on my journalling blog if you'd like to look – it is pretty amazing what can be done with 2mg camera + iPhone apps = fascinating results………here's a peak of one of them

What I have been concerntrating on (art wise) is finishing off to very special gifts (!gulp!!! - they are actually a CHRISTMAS present! - we have this understanding see – by recieving late gifts, the celebration lasts longer!)…… these friends are adopted 'family' & we have an understanding about these things! – don't we guys????  we still do – yeah???? LOL!) - I just can't seem to finish it I think I'm done – but then I want to add more - I leave it a day or overnight, and then hate it when I come back to it.  I swear I procrastinate in a way now over my art in a way I NEVER did before art school – here's a clue for budding artists – DON'T go!  ANYWAYS, enough of my cynicsm (sp?) - I have been on the computer all evening – still haven't bought it to a conclusion – and it's time for bed.  TOMORROW i WILL do better! (ummmm……if I don't open my Facebook page! [sheepish grin]

 Here's a sneak peak of a little – as it isn't sent yet – I won't show too much – but just a little eye candy! IMG_1511_resize
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I have been exploring the concept of Wabi-Sabi with this project and I have to say that I have a nurtured & growing appreciation for it.  I'll explain more about this later when I finally post it.  Finishing this off has kept me quite busy as there is a lot of work involved – but it's a labour of love for special friends and so I want it to be unique!

AND to finish off on a great note!  An absolutely intriguing YouTube video of an altered book form.  It's not new – it's another of my uncoveries of the week!

a cultural project


Here are some pics of what I am working on right now – well actually – ONE of the things that I am working on right now – but not all of them are as interesting as this – I could bore you with details of how to design a language, literacy & numeracy test – but I am sure you'd perfer this!! LOL!!!

IMG_0012_resize I have called this post 'a cultural project' because this 'book form' is a box, with origami fold out 'pages' of one of Melbourne's significant public spaces – Federation Square.  It was designed by a London company of architects, draws on Aborignal cultural elements, amazing narrative tiling and has an Italian 'piazza' feel about it – see – sums up Melbourne perfectly – I am making a multi-cultural book form!

For the 'box form' that contains the book – I have used a garden variety $2 shop gift box that had a very shiny paper covering, after sanding that all back and sticking down whatever had 'frayed' away, I painted it all matt black, inside & out.  Despite my sanding & persistance, it didn't stick well & it was a candidate for a bit of the ol' Folden GAC' which helped to solve the problem.

I used postcards from the visitor centre, which are a glossy photo of the mosaic panels that cover the outer skin of some of the buildings, to cover the sides of the box and a 'visitor map' to line the inside.IMG_0015_resize I am still working on perfecting my 'origami' fold out pages, (only in plain  kraft paper for now) and getting the size just right - the lid is working just fine – however the base is a little deep for the size of my fold.  I have tried a mock up with 'tabs' on the lower 'pages' to keep it together, without letting the viewer pull it out too far..which kinda works……but its still a bit awkward….., I considered cutting down the box, but I do want some height to it, to give the whole 'fold out accordian feel to it………… so at the moment I'm leaning toward 'packing up' the base of the box on the inside with something with a bit of weight – some timber or something……….which will do 2 things – lift up the pages so they clear the box sides when it is pulled out, & secondly, add some weight to the whole form, which will make it a bit more stable when you take the lid off.  

I am still working on the lid – and I am not sure yet whether I will use what I've made – I wanted to create some sort of 'handle', I haven't worked that out yet – but there isn't a lot of time for contemplation now – it's a very short term and assessment is in only FOUR – yes FOUR weeks!  So I have to get my 'roller skates' on, so to speak! LOL!!

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Life in Focus


IMG_0025_resize It took a while, but FINALLY we have done something at art college I feel competent at! LOL!!! The last half of last term was spent creating hand made, coptic bound books. It seemed like an incredibly upside down way to create them,however, I guess there's another difference between 'art' & 'craft'. PURPOSE.   With no project, purpose or design in mind, we were to 'tear' or 'cut' pages (depending on paper being used) into book pages, to be coptic bound. 

I had SOME trouble getting my head around 'creating' a book (that was not an art journal/notebook with plain pages) that had no definition – it created significant indecision within me as I struggled to 'design' with no 'purpose', particularly when we were expected to use high end materials.  I felt concern for the potential 'waste', not having cash to splash for art materials.  It's not a method I'd recommend, or you just end up with a whole lot of books that are beautiful, but useless.  I always, make my pages first, THEN make them into a book – unless I am creating a blank art journal to work in.

I have struggled with following 'book instructions' of coptic stitching in the past, and leaning on my 'embroidery' skills, I sort of made up my own version, which looked, ok, but a little less than elegant or even!  In the end I made up 4 books, this is the only one that I actually photographed in process, because I did alot of the work on this one at home, due to the complex (& messy) way I created the finish on the pages & cover.

It was incredibly frustrating to put all ofthe time and effor tinto creating this treasure, not to actually have any 'purpose' or 'subject' for it.  But the result IS beautiful, despite it being 'plain' pages.  My initial thought was some style of doodled drawings, but not being so confident of my drawing skills & unable to settle on a topic, it is just sitting in my shelf, a bit lonely at the moment.   I am sure that some creative use will come to me eventually….oh, and I forgot to mention – the holes wasn't in the cover, my very special DH cut those in for me!

It may take a while to download the slide show, so here's the direct link, incase you have trouble viewing it.  http://tinyurl.com/ybbthvc