Thursday, October 06, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The 13 Days of Halloween

I love books. I don't read much anymore but I still love books. Real hardcover books. I think I just like the look of all the words running together.

I recently cleaned out my room to organize my "stuff" and I grouped all my finished altered books into a single place. (They had been lurking everywhere. On different shelves, tucked away in different trunks, and even still packaged in mailing envelopes/boxes!) Honestly, I had no idea I had created as many as I had. I still have a million books and ideas for creating so I never realized how many I really had done. It's about a dozen which is about ten more than I remember!

But this book, this shared Halloween altered book, was one of the first ones I created. And it is one of my favorites. So for Throwback Thursday, I've dug it up and photographed some of it to share with you. (I don't remember if I ever photographed this before and I'm too lazy to go back through the blog posts to find out. My gut says I haven't. But who knows?)

The 13 Days of Halloween:  If you were at a book sale, how could you resist this book? The art in it is all black linework. What a wonderful sketchbook feel. I wanted to leave as much of it as I could in the beginning. Sort of like the Wizard of Oz...start out with grey scale and work into color. So the book, The Ghost of Five Owl Farm, was transformed into an altered book which housed my version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Allow me to share a few of the "days" with you.

Day 1:  No partridge in this tree. Just an owl. I wanted this page to be relatively simple and I couldn't bring myself to cover up that cool paper. So instead of putting the words on top of it, I made little doors to lift. This allows the scene to be unbroken.

Day 4:  This is the first page that began a great little short-cut or cheat for me. This page should have 4 Evil Vampires but hey, I can't draw a vampire. I had no stickers of vampires or even a stamp. I made this book before the big vampire frenzy. So this little cheat is reflected in several of my spreads: I set a scene but use a symbol or reference for the actual "thing". In this case, I use coffins rather than vampires but because they are closely related, it makes for an interesting twist. The doors of all 4 coffins open to reveal the words. When closed, the coffins say, "Please do not open!" and when opened,  they read, "You let them out!".

Day 5:  This page is pretty straight forward because I wanted it to be all about the tags. I had all these vintage style Halloween witches from some collage sheets. I decided to make them into tags and keep them in a pocket in the book. So one witch sticker and 4 tags make for 5 Ugly Witches. The tags are also labeled on the back with silly things. (Most of the tags relate to a hobby called Letterboxing. This particular altered book was passed through the mail among Letterboxers that participate in Postal Letterboxing.)
Day 8:   Another page where I didn't have to actually draw the "ghouls". The little blood dots represent them. I had a HORRIBLE time trying to come up with an idea for this day! My partly dried out red marker came in extra handy for the wording. And yes, there's another lift up panel on the left page.

Day 10:  This is the only page spread that was re-done from the original. Originally, this day held a pocket with an actual Potion Recipe Book. All the recipes required strange ingredients found in these bottles. I still have the little book somewhere but because it was so thick, it ended up breaking the spine of this book. The middle pages aren't attached anymore. So I took out the pocket (and recipe book) and just placed the "ingredient bottles" on the page. My two favorites are the Squid Ink as pictured and the bag of Butterfly Wings: Harvested Humanely.
Day 12:   Coming up with 13 days was a bit difficult. So as I got closer to 13, my brain was going into a rebellion. This Day was something else before I revised my final list of ideas but now I don't remember what, as this seems so perfect. It has to be one of my favorite pages.

Good thing I had saved this gauze stuff from a dentist's trip. This was what I was packing in my mouth when I had a wisdom tooth pulled. I kept what I didn't use for...something. These mummy heads were the same shape heads I used for the dancing skeleton page. Word.

At the end of the book, I added the list of the whole song. The challenge in making this book was that I had to have at least THAT MANY whatevers...for example, on Day 6, I wanted to have 6 pumpkins on the page. So the higher the number, that's how many I needed. Which is why Day 13 is Bats. I had a load of Bat stickers.  I also had to pair a Halloween symbol with an action in the later days where as in the first few days, I just needed a descriptive word. 
As I stated, I sent this book through the mail a few times and the spine is broken for the most part. But I still love this book! It has great character to it made so by all it's handling. I made it in October of 2006...ten years ago!
I love pulling this out and flipping through it. It is a great inspiration for Halloween projects.
I hope you find a bit of inspiration here, too.
"I am the Who when you call, Who's there? I am the wind blowing through your hair."  --the Pumpkin Song from the Nightmare Before Christmas.

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