Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Altered Books and Blogging (swap around?)

I am feeling somewhat better, this “stuff” seems to want to hang on, but hopefully soon, very soon I will be able to breath again without feeling like I’m breathing through spider webs, and cough again without my head exploding, and . . . Well you get the idea.


So, I need to ask you guys a question, or two. How many of you are crafty? Have you heard of altered books? Would you be interested in getting a group together to do a round robin kinda thing with an altered book?

So here are my thoughts. First, if you aren’t sure what an altered book is, here’s a short explanation I snagged from the International Society of Altered Books Artists website.
It is any book, old or new that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art. They can be ... rebound, painted, cut, burned, folded, added to, collaged in, gold-leafed, rubber stamped, drilled or otherwise adorned ... and yes! It is legal!

So, it’s kinda like scrap booking, and kinda not and to be real honest I have only started one so far so I’m by no means an expert. But, to continue my thoughts, I thought it would be really cool to get some crafty bloggers to each start a book, and pass it around, working on the blogging theme.

For instance, I would mail my book to someone and they would do a page spread on the theme of Lisa’s Chaos, or how they see me, maybe they would use birds, or Wisconsin, or whatever and when they were done they would mail the book on to the next person who would create their idea of me or my chaos and eventually the book would get back to me.

So, expenses would be:

  • the cost of your book (Check used book stores)

  • sturdy shipping box (probably free)

  • Postage to ship each book (I plan on keeping the group to 10 people or less and I'm cool with media mail if you all are)

  • Supplies you want to use on the books (could vary greatly)

So what do you think? Would you like a book created by your readers all about you? I was thinking we would start sending our books around in January, after the holidays are over. But I’m throwing it out there now, so we can organize, get our books and make up our covers the way we want to in our spare time now.

This could be a lengthy commitment. I know it would take months, even with only 10 people involved.  I figure that a week should be a long enough time limit once we received a book to work on.  Plus time in transit. . . So it’ll take a while to complete, but you probably won’t be working on a book continually.

Let me know your thoughts in comments or via email lisa (at) lisachaos (dot) com


Here are a few more links with info and photos:

There are even a few flickr groups dedicated to altered books:

I have to thank you (Margaret, Tracey, Alisha, and Karmyn ) for your puzzlement and asking questions, because of that I think I've found some helpful sites to explore.

And as for Anglophile, I'm sure you could do it girl!  Dallas, of course you're in, I can mail to you so no one else incurs the overseas postage, as long as you're cool with mailing back to the states.

Did you all see what Susan said?
And honestly everyone, if you are just worried about it being too difficult, I was an art docent for 6th graders and they all created beautiful altered books. (Once they got over the idea of "ruining" a book)

Thanx for the encouragement Susan!


  1. I think it's a good idea, Lisa, but I just cannot commit to it. I just have way too much going on in my life right now.....and much of my life after January is uncertain at this point. With travelling / my own cardmaking / blogging and a whole freakin' host of other stuff, I just can't commit. It sounds fun, but I really don't know alot about altered books either. From what I understand, pretty much anything goes! Good luck with your project though!!

  2. Not crafty at all...have fun :-)

  3. sounds interesting, Lisa! I tried to read the description, but apparently the firewall didn't like it (silly firewall). Can I be a "maybe" till I can get access to the website and read more about what's involved? I'm not crafty as such (not unless it involves yarn or fabric). Heh...I have a box full of stuff from my wedding (nearly 18 months ago) that I keep planning to "scrapbook"...once I find out exactly how to do that! So, I am sorry to be so wishy-washy. I'll let you know!

  4. I think it sounds fun! Count me in. I have to learn more about it...i will check out the link ;0)

  5. I'm interested, but it would depend on when it starts, hopefully after the holidays, and if you will allow international participants. If not, no worries. I will still read your blog. :)

  6. no...i'm not crafty, but it does sound fun. i hope you get enough participants and give us updates here. i absolutely love that dragonfly pic. yours pix are always so clear and sharp. :)

  7. I love this idea, but I won't be able to join you. I am afraid I would be the one that was sending things out overnight at the last second. I do hope that when this flies, you post some photos. I've never actually done an altered book, but have seen lots of them.

    Oh, the dragonfly picture is FABULOUS!!!!!!

  8. Great dragon and a great idea!
    Cheers, Klaus

  9. Okay, I think you can count me in, BUT I am at a total loss as to what in the world an altered book is. I'll do some research today.

    Beautiful Dragon my dear!

  10. I found a great link with an example. Check this one out! Totally detailed!

  11. Hmmm...I've been in a few Altered Book RR, but never with a goup of bloggers. I think this could be fun. Count me in.

    And honestly eveyrone, if you are just worried about it being too difficult, I was an art docent for 6th graders and they all created beautiful altered books. (Onec they got over the idea of "ruining" a book)

  12. Crafty, yes... but not in the way you mean.

    L.o.v.e the dragonfly! You do such incredible macro work! And other work too for that matter. I am awed.

  13. Wow that sounds interesting. I cannot commit lest I end up committed. Taking on too much would likely drive me over the edge right now, but I will watch with absolute interest.

  14. I'm not even sure I know what an altered book is.

    I have a lot of books with altered photos, if that counts?! :)

    Love the up close and personal shot!

  15. I'm not sure how it works, and I'm not really crafty, so I wouldn't want to screw things up.

  16. I'm interested but want to know more about you just remove the pages of the book and fill in what you want? I'm looking over the website trying to understand it.

  17. Sounds fascinating I shall lurk and watch with interest. That's another beautiful photo.

  18. those are the kind of fun things I would do if I was retired or independently wealthy and not working (:

    I'll have to wait until reach 65 or win the lotto. Neither is guaranteed.

  19. this sounds very interesting to me....add me to your list. I am still not sure how it works though...we would make a bood for a specific blogger, or a book would make the rounds and we would each alter it before sending it on?? I am not clear, but I am definitely interested.

  20. Sounds intriguing and interesting, but with us hopping countries so many times and me not being THAT crafty, I am not joining in... :(
    Hope you get it together anyway :D

  21. I'd like to participate if there is still room. It sounds like a fun arty swap, and it is always interesting to see how others view you.

  22. Well Lisa I'm another one that isn't the least bit crafty - but you did give me a great idea for another project I'd really love to do. I'll think it through and let you know! :-)

  23. This is really cool!!!! I think I will pass on this....
    I'm not very crafty!!! I can't wait to see what your book looks like!!! =) Show us!!!!!

  24. Hi!
    I found you over at Photo Hunt. I would love to do this Altered Book Swap. I have recently been looking into doing one for myself. I scrapbook, so this seems like the next step. I have a scrapbook blog if you want to take a look. Here is my address:
    Just click on Scrapbooks and you'll go right to my blog. I'll be putting you in my blog list so I can keep track of this possible swap. Take Care!!


  25. Hmmm … I’m anything BUT ‘crafty’ … but I’m intrigued and will check out the links as time permits. I’ll also watch with great interest whatever you share ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

  26. I am here via and would really enjoy doing this ~let me know OK!?

    ps your blog is really lovely ....such beauty!