I had a lightweight piece of folded scrap cardboard with even the little end flap folded. I liked it and didn’t want to toss it. I also had written the word LOVE on a scrap of paper with the last of some glitter paint in a squeeze bottle.
One day I thought, This love word would fit perfectly on the front, and I could make a mini folded book. Instead of time-worn love themes, I decided on the scripture Love thy neighbor as thyself. (Mark 12:31)
I thought about a neighborhood design with houses made of triangles and squares of scrap paper. I then changed the theme to the paraphrase I love myself and my neighbors benefit! This fitted perfectly with my belief that if we don’t learn to love ourselves first we can’t truly love anyone else. I decided it would focus on self-love and high self-esteem.
I painted the entire piece of cardboard, back and front, with metallic copper acrylic paint in one of the 4 oz bottles from the craft section at Wmart. I then dry-brushed in places gold glitter paint.
I added a flower die cut and a faceted metallic rhinestone to accent the O in Love. I added sequins and other rhinestones to embellish the front.
I drew in the windows on rectangles of decorative paper and topped them with triangle roofs.
I kept gathering all types of scraps from my scavenged stash to fill out my neighborhood and the sky above. I typed out and printed the quote and collaged it down. The phrases Be Happy and Count Your Blessings are from a sheet of transparent quote stickers for scrapbooking.
I made flower bushes by cutting up used greeting cards. I made trees by cutting turquoise cardstock with decorative paper edger scissors and drawing on details. My color theme evolved into mostly purple, yellow and turquoise.
On the back side and further playing on the neighborhood/home theme, I designed the narrow flap to mimic a front door. The 2 strings with end beads simulates a pull doorbell. The eye and the inkwell leads to what is inside, a chance to write something good about self.
Once you open the door, you can see the full invitation quote, What I love about me. Two micro tags are attached to the door chime pulls and are not removable. The mini tag with the colorful pony beads strung on eyelash yarn can be removed from the heart-printed, vellum pocket. On these tags are to be written a few individual words that describe what is beautiful about you.
The bluebird, the fence and the flower bush was cut from greeting cards. The seagulls are clip art.
As you can imagine, this was a very satisfying project. This sweet little handmade book got away from me when it sold at Etsy. Like a loved one who has passed, I have the pics to remind me of happy times and to share. We can try but we can never really recreate one-offs. The spirit is just not there, although something brand new and just as beautiful can be made.
I love the creative flow of altered art. It can be exhausting to think about creating something like this. The ease is in receiving the inspiration and letting the flow come and then it creates itself. It also tells you when it’s finished.