The Old

old and new art journal altered books

Last week saw the completion of my first altered book art journal, Gratitude. It started out as a place to play last October, somewhere I could escape to outwith my “real” art journal. As it turns out, this was the journal that became my favourite place to tell my secrets.

The book was The Lost Art of Gratitude – hence the name Gratitude – by Alexander McCall Smith (a Scots author) which I purchased at my local library for 10p (they sell off cancelled titles for this ridiculously low amount to raise funds).

I love flicking through the pages so much – I can see such a progress in my pages. But more than that, I can see how much my life has grown since last I started it.

I had some other titles ready and waiting to begin a new altered book, but  I didn’t feel drawn to any of them. I’m in the middle of preparing a small square format book for some still to be decided future project, but other than that, I’ve been working in my Canson mixed media journal. I love the freedom the Canson’s 9×12 pages give me, but there’s simply something missing – an added dimension that only comes with a printed book.

The New

And yesterday, I discovered the reason for my reticence in beginning any of the other books. I was waiting on the right book! That’s it sitting underneath Gratitude in the photo at the top of page. As soon as I picked it up in the library yesterday I knew it – this is THE ONE!

Only Revolutions Cover Green

The book is Only Revolutions, a novel by Mark Z Danielewski. It’s a love story, a road trip and more, but I won’t be reading it. I wonder how the author would feel about that?

It’s been published by some very creative folks. Underneath the dustjacket was the most beautifully decorated cover.

Only Revolutions altered book cover

The story is told by the two principle characters, I think Sam is represented by the green and Hailey by the yellow. Their story begins at opposite ends of the book, the publisher recommending that you alternate between the two, eight pages at a time (you need to turn the book over and upside down to read the character you want.)

Only Revolutions altered book inside pages

I’m not sure I could put up with that format long enough to finish the story(or even begin), but I know for definite that the unusual page layouts will make the most excellent journal backgrounds.

The inside covers are also pretty interesting.

Only revolutions altered book

And from the other end …

Only Revolutions altered book

I’m so excited. Almost too excited to begin – all this, for just 10p (thank you West Lothian Libraries!) I feel so blessed to have found this volume. But before I can delve in, I have some scheduled writing to finish.

p.s. If you’re looking for a special volume to turn into an altered book, take a look at The Art Journaler’s shop. Mandy and Theresa put together kits with books they’ve specially selected for art journals.