Vintage Book Assemblage: Imperfection Celebrated

Cathe-Holden-Celebrated-Book-02I’ve been trying to take more time to do collage, vintage assemblage, and mixed media art projects. This is one piece I worked on the other day using things from around the studio. Though I didn’t take step-by-step shots of the progression, here are several of the components and supplies I used to make it, and to follow is a description of the techniques I applied.Cathe-Holden-Celebrated-Book-12

  • Thrift-store dish (saucer shown, salad plate used.)
  • Collected moss from the forest
  • Vintage pink velvet ribbon
  • Grungy old pearl necklace strand
  • Large lace rubber stamp
  • Vintage wallpaper border
  • Vintage brass library ID plate
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Florentine Gold Glitter
  • Recollections gold embossing powder
  • DecoArt Mixed Media Titanium White fluid acrylic
  • And two found vintage photographs featuring these lovely ladies:

Cathe-Holden-Celebrated-Book-11Mrs. Thompson, Ruth Fisher, Marge Peterson, Clove Prather, and Celeste Devant.

To create the hole in the book cover and pages, I first disassembled the vintage book cover from its pages. The little book’s cover opened flat was small enough to fit through my Sizzix Big Shot machine. I ran the cover through using the Eileen Hull Recipe Card & Label die from her brand new Vintage Kitchen Collection (coming out this month!) This was my first Sizzix machine attempt with a book cover, and though I had intended the window to be perfectly aligned with the cover, it ended up going crooked. I’m thrifty to a fault when it comes to vintage components, so I decided to salvage the book cover and embrace the error, which ultimately inspired the theme of the entire piece. Then I cut three 10-page (aprox.) stacks from the book contents and fed those through the Sizzix, one stack at a time, lined up with the die to match the (crooked-) cover cut. I then glued all the pages back into the book cover at the spine.

I rubber-stamped the book cover with clear embossing ink and dusted with the gold embossing powder. It’s way too much fun watching that stuff turn to shiny gold using my embossing heat tool- my latest obsession. I used another flourish rubber stamp with white ink to add a bit more decoration.Cathe-Holden-Celebrated-Book-03 I glued a tiny pearl strand around the inside of the book cover window. I added a small strip of pinked-edge vintage wallpaper inside the top of the window. I trimmed out the ladies in the photocopied photographs and tinted their cheeks (and the main gal’s belt) with diluted pink acrylic paint. I added a pressed vintage gold bead cap embellished with glitter as a crown, and one bloom from a bouquet of vintage white velvet millinery Forget-Me-Nots (colored pink with a permanent marker) for a corsage. I added touches of glitter to the ladies’ accessories. On the backsides of the photos I attached toothpicks to keep the paper figures standing upright. I glued the photos within the window area into two different sections of the book pages. Cathe-Holden-Celebrated-Book-05 I used a bit of Dresden embossed foil border, antiqued with the DecoArt Media Titanium White fluid acrylic, by painting over the trim completely then rubbing it off, leaving paint in the crevices. I like to distress with white to create a sort of pickled or white-wash look rather than a darker color making the piece more grungy. I think the white makes the art a bit fresher overall. I used the same white fluid acrylic to stripe the book spine.Cathe-Holden-Celebrated-Book-09For the bookmark, I adhered the velvet ribbon at the top spine area and into the book pages. I attached another piece within the bottom of the book.Cathe-Holden-Celebrated-Book-08 I trimmed out the flowers from the vintage wallpaper border and adhered them about with DecoArt’s Media Matte Medium, my new favorite decopage adhesive. I typed the text on the computer and printed to vintage, yellowed newsprint paper, trimmed and glued the paper strip onto the vintage brass library ID plate and finished with little brass nail heads snipped from tiny nails. Cathe-Holden-Celebrated-Book-06I used Beacon 527 to attach the book upright onto the plate with pages separated.Cathe-Holden-Celebrated-Book-07 I decopaged a vintage trade card image to a piece of matboard also cut from the Sizzix. The shape is an accessory piece from Eileen Hull’s ScoreBoard XL Box Die and was the perfect reinforcement piece for attaching the book to the plate. I finished off the display with some moss I found in the forest.Cathe-Holden-Celebrated-Book-10Now… go celebrate YOU for YOUR imperfections! They are likely what make you so fabulous.


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