Sunday 13 October 2013

Hidden Treasures 'Life's Journey' Art Book

Aaaaaaaah... Sunday.......Aaaaaaaaaaah....*Sips cup of tea*....... The perfect day for putting my feet up, enjoying a good brew and just plain ignoring all the things I still have to do! I'll get to it manana....

Are we all enjoying the weekend? I do hope so! Here in England it's grey and bleak outside, but we've had a reasonable week of bright skies so that's not so bad. I have another project that I'd like to share - it's one of my finished Hidden Treasures - Art Books. These bring me real joy to make and do take quite some time, as (unlike an art journal or similar project) I want every page to be perfect and exactly how I like it. This book measures a little over 9cm x 9cm square and the base pages are blank coasters altered with a combination of vintage collage and mixed media application. The book is bound with vintaged binder d-rings, decorated with a plethora of charms and trinkets which nestle within some seam binding ribbons and hand-dyed yarns.

The covers and pages have a vintage or retro feel to them - which I personally love. These books are all a part of me and they reflect my likes and interests.

The fastening is a seam binding ribbon bow,  adorned with italian glass hand-blown lampwork heart bead, two with delicate white glass ribbon design, and two 'Fantasy Rose' beads, with a rich old-gold and delicate pink design.

I like to add hidden messages or books inside these projects - this 'Life's Journey' book features a little secret book which opens to reveal artwork based on my deep love of nature and wildlife as well as little motivational words:

The other pages in the book were completed as individual works of art before binding and I'm extremely pleased with the final results - I hope you like them too:

The sunshine page was completed upon my return after a car journey in the countryside, watching the evening sun sink behind the hills and the gold of the rays looking like liquid metal flowing over the land below. I used melted gold wax with extra real gold powder to reflect the memory I had of that moment. The 'bloom & grow' page was completed after watching the seed heads of flowers in the garden releasing their tiny parachutes into the wind. They would fly far and wide and grow in some tough landscapes, providing beauty and a habitat for wildlife wherever they grew.

My 'Love Yourself...' page is a reflection of my belief that whoever we are and whatever kind of life we lead, we forget to appreciate our own uniqueness. We are each a work of art in our own way, and if we can learn to love ourselves in an honest way, we will truly bloom. The sea-side page was created after looking at family photos of trips to the seaside. I love the sea and sea-shore and it holds perfect memories of adventure and happiness with family members now long gone. I wanted to capture the idea of these days with this vintage design stamp, which reminds me a little of my grandmother, along with the real tiny sea-shells, and the silver coin - pirate treasure!

This 'Serenity' page is simply inspired by my mood on that day. I love the images and colours - it gives me a sense of peace. The other page is my tribute to the people who are not BORN into our lives, but who choose to love us and be there for us in times of need as well as in carefree times. TRUE friendship is worth more than anything. I've chosen to extend the image beyond the border of the page as gives more interest to the book as a whole. I also added some little metal embellishments - I love the look of them against the rest of the page.

There's a fine line between 'exploring' and 'escaping'....sometimes one leads to the other in some way, but I feel we all need to find the balance there so that we can make clear choices for ourselves. The 'walk the line' page was created after thinking about this  - I like to represent (and exorcise!) my thoughts and ideas artistically and symbolically. The matching page is such a representation....time passes quickly which can make us feel sad and unfulfilled,but we forget all the skills we've collected, the important lessons that have been learned, and all the beauty we've seen. Rather that looking wistfully at landmark birthdays past, we should look towards the future and the landmarks we'll create for ourselves! Experience guides us to possibilities.

My 'Follow Your Heart' page was created straight after the previous page and is a continuation of my feelings on that day. I love heart shapes and I'll include them as often as possible! My little Bluebird of Happiness is just that - an expression of joy! I'd been playing music and singing along (my poor neighbours!) and felt so happy! We should ALL sing whenever we feel like it! Little bluebird is painted with a mixture of acrylic paints, cosmic shimmer paints and acrylic inks.

"Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight -
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have this wish I wish tonight!"

But I have SOOOO many wishes! And there are SOOOO many stars! I'm gonna wish every wish I can! These stars are painted with shimmer mica paints, decorated with spirals - the life path - and individually enamelled. I like the kind of 1950s retro colours and pattern.

 Oh - you KNEW there'd be a mermaid in there somewhere! I'm currently working on a 'Mermaid Realm' book - MUCHO mermaidness! I just loved this happy little image of the girl on the stunning papers from Graphic 45 and she HAD to have a tail! What could be better than being a mermaid? She's painted with layers of blue and green, then finished with shimmering gold accompanied by her friend, the sea-turtle (vintage illustration), swimming across a genuine Japanese washi paper square which is itself highlighted with gold ink designs. I love this page!

The edges of the book are all painted, inked and then gilded to create a splendid vintage look and feel. I enjoy adding texture to my work, so when it came to the final page, I used some modelling paste to stencil these yummy orange circles as an accent to this page. This was pure self-indulgence - all those hearts and happy colours!

Thank you so much for looking - hope you've enjoyed the post. Is there anything you'd like to see on this blog? Do you have suggestions about what arty crafty things you'd like me to post? Why not leave a comment or email me and let me know - I'd love to hear from you! As always - love and hugs, Shroo :) xxx


  1. Wow!! fabulous book!

    And it was my pleasure, the books just have so many inspirational ideas in them!

    I have just started selling on Etsy Don't know if that Link will work?

    This is a fabulous Blog! I really enjoyed reading about each individual Page of your Altered Art Book. I have a Blog too Again, I hope that Link works.

    I don't think I saw a Bloglovin Link on your Blog? I will have a look again in a minute, but it makes it really easy for people to follow you and not miss any of your Posts!

    Right I am off to follow you and have a good look around your Blog :)
    Michelle x

  2. oh my gosh.. just amazing-- an adorable booklet!
    fantastic !

  3. OMG - I adore your work Shroo! So lovely

  4. Wow! I adore mini books and this is spectacular. Love all fabulous details, images and the colour combo.
    Sooooooooo creative!