...to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free....

10 April, 2011

"book in a box"!

Boy, did we have a good time!

As promised, I have some shots for you of the project
we worked on during the last two days.  
There were five of  us, counting Natasha.
In the group were three artists, all three of which are also teachers,
a woman who describes herself as "the wife
of an artist", (and who has beaucoup de talent herself),
and yours truly--blog writer/photographer (and only in the last
five years capable of seeing herself as having any
artistic talent whatsoever.)

In her quiet, easy way, Tasha had led us into our assignment 
first by giving us a list of things to bring to the workshop,
saying we were going to "work small", and
asking us to bring lots of photos of ourselves from all ages,
and papers, fabrics, magazines, images we love, buttons, lace
thread, beads, sparkly things--
all of which had to fit in two 8x12 envelopes.
Plus markers, paints, pencils scissors and a small notebook.

I don't know about you, but I am 
the principal photographer in my family, and so 
there is a dearth of photos of me hanging around, except the 
childhood ones which live in a box anxiously awaiting
the day I begin to organize my life.
So I brought photos of my "peeps", in former parts of their lives:
my husband, children, their spouses, my grandkids
and my dog.

We discovered when we arrived that the workshop project was to 
make a kind of "book" of small collages
from the materials we brought, and also from 
things Natasha had for us to use: art magazines,
her own art supplies, and the inspiration of all the wonderful work
she has everywhere in her studio 
(see yesterday's post). 

She also gave each of us a small, shallow white gift box
which contained 10 blank pieces of nice, thick,
white watercolor paper.
These were to be the "pages" of our "book in a box".
We were supposed have each page represent a certain theme, 
which you will see below.
We were also supposed to put a picture of ourselves on every page somewhere.
As it turned out, some of us were prominently positioned
on our pages, and some were hidden in a 
"Where's Waldo" kind of way.
(Don't you love how we can all start out with the same assignment
and create completely different finished projects?)

Most of us decorated our boxes first.
We used whatever we had on hand, and were 
told we could have no white spaces.

Inspired by Tasha's ideas, most of us
decided to put some 'legs' on our boxes.

                                                  Even decorating the legs, if we wanted!


Here's the top of my box,

and the inside--remember, no white space!!

(The people image on the inside cover is not mine.
It was made by Betty Pinette, an artist with Spindleworks
in Brunswick, which I'll tell you about another time.)

We also had fun creating the pages, which were not bound,
just placed inside the box as we made them.

First we found images we wanted to use
from the papers we brought, our old art, magazines, photos,
drawing on our pages:  anything we wanted!

Becky had one of the most charming collections for a page:
fabrics she had collected over the years to make a quilt.  (Which she 
hasn't gotten to yet, given that she has two young boys
to look after.)

What you are seeing above are pieces of her old jammies!
See her face peeking out from  under them?

This is Anne Tarbox, a painter from North Yarmouth, Maine.
Can you believe she cut up some of her watercolors
to make pages for her book in a box??
Aren't they beautiful?

Most of us, as I said before, followed Tasha's instructions:
Each page was supposed to have a theme.
There were ten in all, one for each page.
Here are some of the themes.


Here are some of the pages people made:

(the maker of the above collage is worried you will misinterpret
the meaning of the page with text.
It is about Christmas, which she loves, but she
doesn't love all the commercial hoopla that goes with it....

This, from "the painter's wife:"

Aren't they just beautiful??


Finished projects, as shown on the lovely handmade rug
in the living room of this old farmhouse.

A wonderful two days, with wonderful women!

Thank you, Tasha!!


  1. Boy, what fun you had. I need guidance in my crafting and art. It seems I have a hard time with original ideas!! Love all the boxes and picture pages.

  2. WOW! Now THAT is creative!!!!
    AMazing work...and fun while you're at it!!!

  3. What fun. Oh, my gosh. Such good photos, too.

  4. that's a cool concept - thinking "outside" the box for sure!

  5. Looks like a whole lotta fun. The top of your box is so cool, it has such a beautiful watercolor look! ~Lili