Rags to Riches is designed especially to share handmade books, journals and paper art. The objects on this blog are made totally of recycled materials or discared paper, and cardboard. Please feel free to comment on any of my postings. I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Polka Dot Swap

I made this book as part of a polka dot swap that I took part in. The Polka Dot Swap was organized by Stacey in Auckland, NZ. I really enjoy the swap mainly because it does not have too many restrictions and I could choose my swapper who lives locally. Another fun thing about this swap was that it gave me a chance to get some polka dot fabric that I did not have. Some of the items have to be handmade so I made this book as part of it.

As I have mentioned often in this blog, I only use recycled materials for my books. The cover of this book came from a discarded book jacket of the Oxford Handbook of Personnel Psychology. I love the vibrant colour of the cover and it has all the colour balls that are perfect for a polka dot swap. I did not know at the time that it would come in handy.

I used yellow as signatures (pages) and the paper came from a recycled photocopy paper. When I finished the stitching, I used the same thread to make a cord for the bookmark.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CD Books

I went to a workshop on how to make books from CDs last weekend. Yes, ordinary CDs that play music. Of course we only used rejected CDs. I have seen these books made and was always fascinated by them. I mentioned to my friend Tricia whose orginally taught me book making that I would like to know how to make them. She told me she could show me how one day when we are on duty at the Cottage in Wattle Park. That one day was last Sunday, and we had lots of fun creating these little babies. It was not easy, but I was on a roll and made a few of them. They will be handy as gifts.

Here they are, the whole bunch of them. I was lucky to have saved some little CDs amongst my collections of recycled materials. I used Japanese handmade papers that DS brought back for me from Japan for the covers and embelished them with charms, beads and tassles.

A close up of the very first one I made.

These are the ones Sue and I made in the workshop.

Here is Sue concentrating on where and how to assemble the book. Notice the shelf behind Sue? Wattle Park Cottage house Basket Makers of Victoria and it is also a gallery that is open to the public on Wednesday and Sunday. I am a member of BOV and very often I am on duty there on Sunday. There are some cute baskets on display at the cottage and what you see in the picture is only small number of them. There is another room across the hall full of many creative baskets. Take a look at their website to read more about BOV.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Book Workshop for Robin

It was an honored to have Robin Wagner in my book workshop on Sunday. Robin is visiting Australia to attend a conference. She managed to find the time to attend my book workshop. I met Robin last year when she visited my university. We got talking and I told her that one of my passtimes is making handmade books using recycled materials. Robin is a librarian and every librarian loves anything to do with papers and books. Unfortunately, Robin was due to return to the USA when I met her. We kept in touch and I promised her that I will teach her book making next time she is here. So here she is, sitting at my house learning the age old art of Coptic binding.

Here is Robin going through the box of dust jackets looking for a perfect one. It was not an easy task to choose just the right one for her first handmade book!

Here she is putting the last Coptic stitch on her book. She was hard at work all day trying to remember and learn what I taught her. It was not an easy task, but Robin is a sewer so she caught on very quickly and soon she was on her way to finishing her very first handmade book.

I had invited my students from my Wednesday book workshop to join us for the day too. Dennis on the left and Ayako at the top of the photo. Both of them kindly brought a plate to share for lunch. I made pumpkin soup and bread rolls for them. We all had an enjoyable day.

This is the book I made on Sunday using dust jacket with the cute little picture of a dog on a pink chair. I just love the way this dogie lying there without a worry in the world. I finished it in time to take for show and tell at the Wednesday workshop.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Altered Books

I know I have not been making any books lately, but I do have some books that I should be showing on this blog. One of them I was so lucky to receive for my birthday last year from my friend Lynette.

This book looks like an ordinary book on the outside. Yes it was once a book titled 'Australian Short Stories'. With Lynette's creative thinking she turned this book into a sewing caddy. Lynette knows that I am a collector of sewing gadgets and this one is a unique one that I was lucky to receive.

In 2008 our sewing group SBOV (Sewing Basket of Victoria) had a birthday challenge. This book was my birthday challenge that Lynette made for me. Lynette cut out some of the pages from the book and lined it with fabric and paper. She went over it with clear varnish to seal it. On the top part of the book she decorated the scissors and nested them there nicely. On the lower part of the book she made me a needle holder that fitted there neatly.

Little Golden Books are all time favorites of my daughter. In her collection there were some Barbie books she used to read. I have kept all of my children books, and with my book making skills I turned this Barbie book into a Journal. I inserted some of the original pages amongst the blank pages of the journal. I am delighted to give new life to an old classic book.