Defending Blue: The Altered Book

Recently I responded to a photography challenge from

Lens-Artists-a photo a week-Blue .

Of course, the BLUE is what caught my eye but the whole thing inspired me to write up the short version of a wonderful art experience I had a few years back.

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My long-time friend invited me to join a yearlong project, along with seven artists. (Please notice I did not say seven other artists, as I am maybe an interesting craft person, at best. But I was honored to be in the company of these true artists!!)

The project was rotating Altered Books.

An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form into a different form, altering its appearance and/or meaning. Wikipedia

This was our assignment. Choose a color theme. And then find a book to “alter”…. meaning just that…a book to change in any way you want.

We informed each other of our chosen colors (blue, red, green, orange, pink, brown, purple, yellow) and set off on our 12 month journey with each other.

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Our procedure was to start our own book, work on it for a month or so, and then mail or take it to the next person on the list. Then they would work on our book, in our color, and we would work on the book we received, using that color. The process is brilliant because you are thinking about all your co-artists throughout the year, watching for. and gathering, ideas and supplies for each of the others’ color themed books. (It was cool that our particular group also knew each other so the ideas we had for each book could have personal meaning, as well as working in that person’s color.)

After a month or so, working with the new color, we would mail or take that book to the next person in our rotation, and so on until we had each worked on every other book.

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The thing I loved most was as each new book arrived, it was like opening a birthday gift. Discovering the current month’s color and seeing what the last person had done with it was so exciting. And of course, as we neared the end, we got to see the project almost completed, with  many different interpretations of that color and of each person’s style of “altering”.

Sometimes the words on particular pages were used as a focus for the altering.

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Other times, it was the actual structure of the book (pages glued together and cut out in shapes).

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And there were even some very clever “pop-outs” so when you turned a page, something surprising would happen.

Since BEADS and BUTTONS are my primary craft addiction, I used a lot of those. But because we were emailing like crazy, sharing tips and checking in, we were learning new techniques from each other along the way (photo transferring, different washes, newly discovered glues, cool sticker sources, Exacto knife methods, etc.).

With each book we signed, left a book mark, or in some way identified our contribution.

 

We didn’t return the last book we worked on to its owner. Instead, we brought it to a gathering on a previously planned weekend. We met at a cabin on Hood Canal, so we could open our own books in front of each other. Every book got hours of attention, each page turned, a new gift! We got to talk about what we had done and why, how we had altered, what each color meant to us, etc.

 

And of course, this was a celebration, so there was food and wine and music too!!!

All in all, it was a memorable experience, one I would love to do again in my life. What a fun way it would be to get to know other Bloggers!

I just had another great idea! What if we did a rotating altered photo album. I know, I know, it would be easier online but what if we each found an actual photo album or scrap book, each picked a theme, (trees, babies, sunsets, politics, whatever!!) and then rotated our albums, sharing our own photography in that theme.

Think of the great coffee table book we could each end up with!

Wow.

SongLyricsSunday 7-1-18 Theme “Game”

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 7/1/18

Well, this word conjures up too many responses…songs with the word “game” in the title or lyrics but I just cannot post a song by Foreigner! It’s too easy.

I have been a Psychotherapist (that’s one word, not two or three) in private practice for 40 some years now. My original education and training was in Transactional Analysis, a pop psych theory made popular by Eric Byrne in his best selling book Games People Play

Games in this context are defined as Berne defined games as: “an ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined,predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions… with a concealed motivation… or gimmick.”  www.ericberne.com/games-people-play/

Given this definition, I’d wager that MOST songs are about “games”, in one way or another. In my music life, as far back as 1965, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, “The Game of Love”, (another one I just cannot post!), songs have been about one game or another.

So I picked two of my favorite songs, both about a bigger picture kind of Game.

One rings very true for my generation, not that it doesn’t apply to others, but we became so much more aware of this game. “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne.

And the other, more of a universal game currently being played by too many humans on our planet! “They’re not Here, They’re Not Coming” by Don Henley. (There is some sad irony in the timing of Henley’s song, released in July 2001….)

Both songs are great musically. Just don’t miss the message!

Running on Empty by Jackson Browne

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdHg4QEmBvk

with lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq25ZJwZJzU

Lyrics

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In sixty-five I was seventeen and running up one-oh-one
I don’t know where I’m running now, I’m just running on

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive
In sixty-nine I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
I don’t know when that road turned, into the road I’m on

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
I don’t know about anyone but me
If it takes all night, that’ll be all right
If I can get you to smile before I leave

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
Look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Honey you really tempt me
You know the way you look so kind
I’d love to stick around but I’m running behind
You know I don’t even know what I’m hoping to find
Running into the sun but I’m running behind

Songwriters: Jackson Browne

Running On Empty lyrics © Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music

ArtistJackson Browne

AlbumRunning on Empty

Released1977

GenreSinger-songwriter

NominationsGrammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

And

They’re Not Here, They’re Not Coming by Don Henley

https://www.lumsvids.com/vid/006-they-re-not-here-they-re-not-coming/

(Only video I could find of this song but it really plays like a trailer for X-Files…what a dark and violent TV Series….that I loved every minute of…)

https://genius.com/Don-henley-theyre-not-here-theyre-not-coming-lyrics

From the Arizona desert
To the Salisbury Plain
Lights on the horizon
Patterns on the grain
Anxious eyes turned upward
Clutching souvenirs
Carrying our highest hopes
And our darkest fears

They swear there was an accident
Back in ’47
Little man with a great big head
Splattered down from heaven
Government conspiracy
Cover-ups and lies
Hidden in the desert
Under endless skies

Well, it’s a cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold
Post, postmodern world
No time for heroes, no place for good guys
No room for Rocky The Flying Squirrel

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
Turn your weary eyes back homeward
Stop your trembling, dry your tears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my brother
They’re not here, they’re not coming

Would they pile into the saucer
Find Orlando’s rat and hug it?
Go screaming through the universe
Just to get McNuggets?
Well, I don’t think so, I don’t think so
It’s much too dangerous, it’s much too strange
Here in a world that won’t give Oprah
No home on the range

Well, it’s a cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold
Post, postmodern world
No authenticity, no sign of soul
The radio won’t play George and Merle

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
‘Til we put away our hatred
‘Til we lay aside our fears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my sister
They’re not here, they’re not coming

To this garden we were given
And always took for granted
It’s like my daddy told me
“You just bloom where you’re planted.”
Now you long to be delivered
From this world of pain and strife
That’s a sorry substitution
For a spiritual life

Well, it’s a cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold
Post, postmodern world
No place for sentiment, no room for romance
Bring back the Duke of Earl

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
Turn your hopes back homeward
Hold your children, dry their tears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my brother
They’re not here, they’re not coming

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
‘Til we put away our hatred
And lay aside our fears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my brother
They’re not here, they’re not coming

 

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SongLyricsSunday 6/24/18 Dream

Oh, I so love the opportunity to post one of my favorite songs from one of my top 10 favorite performers. The theme Dream is perfect, although these lyrics are not my favorite part of the song, Sylvan song/Dream of the Archer, by Heart.

My favorite part is that it’s an amazing and complex showcase of this group’s talent. Just listen to these voices and the slow build up and total variety of the instrumental parts (I don’t know the correct musical terminology).

This particular video, for some reason, doesn’t play very well, so crank up your volume. (Well, that’s must when playing anything by those Wilson sisters anyway! Ann is the most talented screamer since Janis Joplin.)

I chose this version because I liked the comments by the person who put together the pictures for it. A wonderful creative and interesting interpretation of the song.

Lyrics
Wayfaring warrior soul, still wild
The archer stands
Arrow measured to the goal, sing of
Strong and living man
In his mind there is a vision wand’ring
Through the forest town
Telling of riches only given if through
The woods the way is found
Crying ah! beautiful dancers wake up
From your sleep!
Ah gentle romancers, drink of love
So sweet!
Treasure glowing in their eyes, forest
Deepens dark their dream
Keep to the pathway he advise the woods
Are more than they might seem
Heed you now the apparition bending never
Ending sounds
Call you into her mystery, are your eyes
Not sparkling now?
Sighing ahh! take you no warning,
Make no foolish fight
Ahh, think not of morning, lie here
Through the night!
Beauty take us! they call in my arms!
They hear her say
Silken web falls, mist illusion rips away
Helpless! helpless! now they scream
Helpless on the path he stands
And awakens from his dream singing string
Beneath his hand
Gentle archer ages old, release the aim
Free the goal
Roll your arrow to my soul, release the aim
Free the goal
Songwriters: Ann Wilson / Nancy Lamoureaux Wilson / Roger Douglas Fisher
Dream of the Archer lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

 

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 6/24/18

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Just found a damn good live version here….

SongLyricsSunday–June 3, 2018 theme Smile

Well, I first thought of the song Sara Smile by Hall and Oats, which is a great song musically, hard to sing, shows off their talent, but it just wasn’t interesting enough for this challenge.

Then I remembered this crazy video from a while back. The creativity around this video and despite his reputation, the artist himself, really makes me smile.

So enjoy Gnarls Barkley-Smiley Faces

Smiley Faces
But what did you do
What did you say
Oh did you walk or did you run away
Where are you know
Where have you been
Did you go alone or did you find a friend
I need to know this
‘Coz I noticed I’m just smiling
How can the sun
Have any fun
Feeling free
And I can tell you know how hard this life can be
But you keep on smiling for me
So what went right
What went wrong
Was it a story or was it a song
Was it over night
Or did it take you long
Was knowing your weakness what made you strong
For all the above
Oh how I love to see you smiling
An oh yeah
Take a little pain just in case
You need something want to embrace
To help you put on a smiley face
Face
Smiley face
Don’t you go off into the new day without getting down
Here’s a summary of something you get sad about
Say for instance my girlfriend she, bugs me all the time
But the irony of it all is that she loves me all the time
Oh see
I believe
Whenever I see you smiling
‘Coz excuse me
But it’s easily one of the hardest things to do
Your worries and fears become your friends
And they end up smiling at you
Put on a smiley face
Songwriters: Brian Joseph Burton / Thomas Callaway / Thomas Decarlo Callaway
Smiley Faces lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management US, LLC

2nd to the last Photo Challenge entry from ChosenPerspectives

All-Time Favorites

The challenge this week, since it’s the Daily Post’s last week with us at WordPress, is to share an all-time favorite. They each did this also, and if you are only seeing this post on MY blog, please treat yourself to some spectacular photography at

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/all-time-favorites/

I can’t wait to see all the photos shared this week by the WordPress community!

 

I’m actually really glad I have more than one picture in my favorite personal category…Accidental Photography.

These are photos where either I didn’t mean to click but was greatly rewarded anyway, or when I took a picture of one thing, I discovered later a huge additional surprise in the shot.

I learn so much about observation, paying attention, taking my time, and choosing perspective from photos like these and I am so grateful.

Eagle Peek a boo
I thought I had just captured the beauty of these blossoms…

 

sundog curve
I couldn’t quite edit this one of a sun dog to fit in this post but I still have no idea what the perfect little “moon” is in the shot.
SAN JUAN'S 4-09 211 (2)
This one was taken among 30 or so clicks, trying to capture Hummingbirds at this feeder.              I almost deleted it!