Friday, November 7, 2014

an Alice In Wonderland altered book

What creative things are you working on this fall?  I've been adding layouts to an Alice In Wonderland altered book, and it's been a delight.  If you visit my blog, you've probably seen some of the progress.

If you'd like to alter a book of your own, be sure to check out Kimberly's Altered Books 101 post here at the Altered Arts Magazine blog for some great helpful hints.

Wishing you a wonderful November, everyone!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Vintage Flashcard Dos-à-Dos Sketchbook

Vintage Flashcard Dos-à-dos Sketchbook by Kimberly Jones

Ever since I found a stash of jumbo vintage flashcards I've been thinking about various ways to use them for handmade books. With a generous length of 3.5" x 10.25" they proved to be ideal for a double-sided mini sketchbook!  It includes a mix of papers for jotting down notes and journaling, and watercolor paper for sketching, painting, or collage.

To make a Dos-à-dos book of your own you will need a few simple materials:

  • Vintage Flashcard {or cardstock or heavyweight paper}
  • Bone Folder or other Scoring Tool
  • Scissors
  • Decorative Tape or Masking Tape
  • Awl or piercing tool
  • Tapestry Needle with a large eye
  • Ribbon or other binding thread
  • A variety of paper including watercolor paper

Here's how to make the sketchbook:

  • Score the flashcard into thirds and fold.
  • Wrap tape around the spine to reinforce and embellish it.
  • Measure the paper for each side of the book. The paper should be the same height and 2X the width of each section. Fold the paper and stack 3 pieces together for each signature.
  • Pierce each section of the flashcard and the signature for in the center to create holes for stitching.
  • Thread the ribbon through the hole, wrap it around the spine, then go back through the same hole and tie a knot. Start on the outside of the cover and leave a long tail to wrap around the book as a closure.
  • Start on the inside of the second signature, wrap the ribbon around the spine, bring through the hole and tie a square knot. Snip off any excess ribbon.

An aerial view of the sketchbook shows both sides, one with watercolor paper, and the other with a mix of vintage book paper, handmade paper, a tag, and an old slide. The beauty of this type of book is that it can be made in a variety of sizes with an endless array of papers and binding threads or ribbons! Dos-à-dos is a French term meaning "back to back" and traditionally includes two separate books that are bound together, but this is my nod to that type of binding.

Here's the sketchbook all closed up with the ribbon and a sparkly clip-on earring to hold it in place. I already started embellishing the book with some vintage stamps from my stash, and some text and images from a book about birds. This will be a fun little book to tuck into my tote bag for sketching and collaging on the go! If you don't have flashcards this large, you can substitute any heavyweight cardstock or paper in the size you choose. I hope you'll enjoy making your own!
Until next time - make happy!

Friday, August 22, 2014


Tags are so fun to make!  A little bigger than an ATC, but smaller than a canvas.  

First, I take out all the supplies I might use.  

I went way old school and dry embossed this chain design into the paper with a stylus and a foam mat.  Then I turned the paper over and sanded the design with sandpaper

I then splattered some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist on the corners.

I made the tag from Susan K. Weckesser's Live In Color Paper Collection, then I used a piece of book paper on top.  I added my embossed paper to the bottom.  I inked the edges of the whole tag with Ranger Distress Ink.  I stamped the heart and the word love right on the book paper and outlined the heart with dots.

I finished my tag off with some Cord and Clothespins from Canvas Corp.

I had such fun making this tag!  I hope you create a fun tag today!!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Every little thing wants to be loved.

Hi everyone! leslierahye here with a recent Altered Trading Card Swap. ATCs are meant to be traded among artists and that's why they are so fun to make. This little 2½×3½" work of art will be shared with other artists making ATCs along the same theme--this theme was Bees. They also will make a run of cards on this theme and our hostess will sort out the lot and send them to each of us. It's always fun to get back the cards and see everyone's artwork!
I chose to use this quote from The Secret Life of Bees for my ATC. This is part of the Bee Yard Etiquette and while assembling them I became inspired to do a series of Bee ATCs--I will share those with you at a later date!

“I hadn't been out to the hives before, so to start off she gave me a lesson in what she called 'bee yard etiquette'. She reminded me that the world was really one bee yard, and the same rules work fine in both places. Don't be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you. Still, don't be an idiot; wear long sleeves and pants. Don't swat. Don't even think about swatting. If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates while whistling melts a bee's temper. Act like you know what you're doing, even if you don't. Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.” 
― Sue Monk KiddThe Secret Life of Bees

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Feather Studies

I love to explore a wide variety of art media and processes. From altered arts to bookmaking, collage, encaustic art, embroidery, textile art, origami, mixed-media - you name it, I've probably given it a whirl! No matter where my artful adventures may lead me however, I've discovered that a few motifs nearly always make their appearance in my work. Feathers are definitely one of my favorite elements to include! Their delicate beauty, graceful lines, and colorful variety make them a favorite detail for collage or mixed-media art.

I created the handmade sketchbook shown here as a special place to gather my favorite feather images, so that I can practice drawing and painting them. The book includes a variety of pockets, papers, and tags, that allow to me experiment with sketching and painting while documenting the various pens, pencils, markers, or paints that I use. It's a fun reference tool that I can refer to again and again!

For my Feather Studies book, I printed out some beautiful images from The Graphics Fairy to serve as inspiration. Her website has 1,000s of images that are copyright free, and cover a huge variety of topics. Do you have a favorite motif that runs throughout your artwork? If so, I would love to hear about it! You  might find it useful to dedicate a sketchbook that you purchase, or one you make yourself to that favorite element and use it to document your artful adventures.
Until next time: Make happy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

simple earring and pendant set

Okay, guess what these are made of:

collage images from Altered Pages
Ready for the answer?  Chipboard dominoes, collage images, clear Ultra Thick Embossing powder, and gold embossing powder around the edges.  So VERY easy to make.  Plus, they're nice and light, so the earrings don't pull . . . nice bonus, yes?


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vintage Ornament

Happy Sunday everyone! leslierahye here celebrating Christmas in July! I begin creating for the holiday season in July so that I can get all of my projects completed in time for gift giving and decorating. One of my favorite holiday crafts is making ornaments for our tree and for gifts. This ornament is created by making cones out of 2½-3" square pieces of book paper. Each square is formed into a cone and then glued and dipped into vintage gold glitter. Once the cones are dry, They are layered on a shape--a circle or star--and then a circle, a button or other focal piece is placed over the tips to both disguise the tips and to provide stability to the ornament. A string to function as a hanger is added to the back.

 I hope you enjoyed my ornament! Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Traveling Bookbinding Kit

Traveling Bookinding Kit by Kimberly Jones

I find lots of fun ephemera and papers on my travels, and I love to make books with with the treasures I discover. I decided to create a compact kit with all the essentials I need for bookbinding, so I can just toss it in my bag and go!

Traveling Bookbinding Kit Contents by Kimberly Jones altered

I found a plastic photo holder that was just the right size to contain all the basic supplies and tools I need for making books by hand. One unexpected item, the rubber finger tips, are available from office supply stores. They help protect your fingers when stitching through many layers of paper. The jumbo paper clips are perfect for holding signatures in place while I stitch, and a heavy-duty awl will go through just about anything.

The kit came in handy when I decided to stitch together a quick and easy book with some of my favorite found papers. I used corrugated cardboard, sheet music, glassine bags and envelopes, player piano paper, and a jumbo flashcard. Even at home, it's so convenient to have my basic tools together in one place. If I add a glue stick, I will have all I need for making books and collage art too!
Until next time, make happy!

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Pink Paislee's "Color Wash" line is so awesome!!  I was fortunate to get some of this collection as part of my "Design Team" box.  I haven't used it yet, but I took it out yesterday to get ready!  I can make so many things with it!  From cards and tags to art journal pages and mixed media works.  The possibilities are endless!
I got the 12x12 paper pad, the acrylic stamp set, layered cardstock frames, printed canvas stickers and tags.  The pastel colors are perfect for summer, and the paper has a distressed look to it.  it has splashes of color, with washed out areas.  The stamps are sooo cute with the "#"!  

I can't wait to get started!!  Are you working on summer projects now?


Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Alice In Wonderland has been a particular favorite of mine since early childhood.  Although it was a total pain ahem, interesting to photograph, I hope you enjoy this Alice inspired assemblage:

a broken child's tea party teapot and stamped/embossed pocket watch

The "steam" is the "Twinkle Twinkle" poem on vellum.

a felty bat, and Queen of Hearts playing card (Altered Pages)
 (Do you get all the Alice references?)

Thank you for looking, and Happy July!


Friday, June 27, 2014


Happy Friday everyone! leslierahye here sharing an anniversary altered trading card. Today my husband and I celebrate 22 years. Over the past couple of years I have  made him Altered Trading Cards to commemorate the occasion and this year was no different. I printed off a recent photo of us and some dictionary paper to cover the ATC base. I distressed the edges and heat embossed on the edges and on the lower third of the ATC. I adhered love words from the definition to the textured surface of the emboss powder and then enhanced the edges and surface with doodles and hearts (there are 22). Bling on a roll and embroidery floss finished off the ATC. This will now become a part of his love collection!

 I hope you enjoyed my ATC! Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Altered Magazine Bird Collage

When it's time to choose an image as a focal point for a collage, I often decide to put a bird on it! I love to work with vintage papers, but magazines can provide a wealth of text and imagery for collage art. When I first started using magazines for collage, I was a little concerned that the glossy finish of the pages wouldn't meld with the aged papers I like to use. I soon discovered that a bit of paint and ink can completely transform a magazine image and make it blend right in with the other collage elements.

I found the image for my most recent collage in the pages of Birds & Blooms magazine. As the title indicates, it's filled with colorful pictures of birds, flowers, and other nature-inspired images and text. I often find back issues of this magazine at library sales, so it can be an inexpensive and bountiful source for collage material.

Some of the other fun elements I included in this particular collage were vintage wallpaper from an antique shop, and some Chinese calligraphy paper I found at a wonderful store in Portland, OR called CARGO. I used a white Uniball Signo pen and a gold Uniball gel pen for the lettering and the pen work that added the finishing touches to this collage. If you have a favorite subject for your artwork, don't hesitate to hunt for magazines on the topic. You'll be sure to find lots of great images that you can easily alter and use for your collage and mixed-media projects.
Have fun cutting and pasting!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


When you are finished with a project, what do you do with your leftovers?  Left over paints and inks and papers and.....?

I always use every single bit!  I keep the papers and I wipe off my paint brushes on them.  Or I glue left over pieces of paper and ephemera to a new piece of paper and then wipe off my brushes on it or use up excess paint.  Then, when I make a new project, I have tons of beautiful backgrounds to choose from!

The first one is from the back of my spraying box. I then added one of my celery stalk roses to it and doodling.  The second is leftover Gelli Plate Printing, with a left over piece of a previous project.

I hope you put your leftovers to good use!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

does your muse ever go missing?

Mine does, that little vixen, she goes a sneaking off to who-knows-where.  But I've found the best way to call her back is to let loose with paints and papers and inks, and simple create background papers.  This week, it was by making monotype backgrounds:
 For this round, I used a stencil, a doily, lots of paints, and some spritzy inks . . .

 I REALLY like how the doily prints turned out, especially this next one:

 Yummy colors!

So the next time YOUR naughty muse takes an unexplained leave of absence, just relax, gather some supplies, and make backgrounds.  It may be just the thing to entice her home.

P.S.  If you'd like to print off one or two of these background papers, I have some larger images to share with you on my blog:  easily amused, hard to offend.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Quick and Easy Altered Coaster Gift

 Happy Friday everyone! leslierahye here sharing with you a quick and easy gift idea that is perfect for everyone!! This is a post-it note pad holder. You can decorate them any way you desire, I will share with you the basics today for constructing them. You will need : cardboard coaster [or a 4×4" square piece of chipboard], book paper/music paper or your choice, a binder clip, inks and embellishments [for this I used Ranger Distress Ink and paper ribbon and buttons], an Emory board or sanding block, Plaid Mod Podge or other clear drying adhesive.

Begin by tearing paper and adhering it to the cardboard coaster. You could also just cut a 4×4" square to fit if you prefer. Once paper is adhered, run sanding block or file along edges to smooth them. Ink over the paper for a further aged look. Cut a piece of paper to fit your binder clip and adhere it to the clip...coat the top of the paper as well to seal the paper--this is the part of the project that will be handled a lot and you want to to have some protection.
Find the normal size post-it pads and place on your mini clipboard. Finish off the holder with your favorite embellishments--here I tied some paper string around the clip handle and added some buttons to dangle. Ribbon, string/twine, or bling would also be fun! The sky's the limit! Add a pencil or pen to your project and you have an easy gift to share with everyone!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Bird Knows Mini Book

I'm nearly 2,000 miles from home visiting dear friends in California! My family and I began our journey in Portland, OR and drove down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco, and then headed 4 hours east to our friend's home. The journey was filled with spectacular views of the silver Pacific Ocean, majestic redwoods, mist-shrouded mountains, and beautiful architecture in San Francisco. I'm not homesick, but thoughts of home are always in the back of my mind. I'll miss the beauty of the west coast and the company of our friends, but like a bird, I'm always happy to return to my nest and the familiar comforts of home.

I brought a few essential art supplies with me, and along the way I've been gathering pretty paper and shiny bits and baubles. I found this charming package at Monticello Antiques while we were visiting the beautiful city of Portland, OR. I used the contents along with some stickers to make a little mini book expressing my sentiments about home. I wish I could stay longer in this lovely area, but home is calling and I must fly back soon and feather my nest with my newfound treasures.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


I made this paper napkin background for the Fall 2013 Altered Arts Magazine.  I've been hoarding it since then, just waiting for the perfect "something" to add to it!

Today, I am sharing a Doodle I made using Yasutomo Mineral Paper (which I am obsessed with) and Gel Xtreme markers.  The markers glide over the mineral paper so smoothly!  It is a wonderful combo to work with!!
If you LOVE to doodle like I do, you have to try it with roller ball pens/markers and mineral paper!  You will LOVE it even more!!


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Springtime in Paris

It's the first of June, and while spring is still (barely!) here, I'd like to share with you a favorite spring themed book I created a while ago.  (Please bear in mind my French is very limited, so if you notice any crazy phrasing, we can thank Google Translate . . . ;)

Prima Marketing Inc. flowers

Altered Pages images

vintage sheet music and text pages

die cut pages from Glitz

Bazzill cardstock

Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!