Sunday, July 4, 2010


Thank you firstly to Peta for inviting me to participate in this wonderful altered book collaboration, and organising it so well.
Thanks to all the artists for giving so freely of their energies and efforts in working on my book. I received it today and saw for the first time all the marvellous things in it. I cant tell you how exciting it was to see read laugh, to boggle, to be was just such a lovely experience to have it in my hands. I had forgotten I have to do the last double page, as there was one left over! Aghhhh... and I thought I was finished! I was looking at all the pages I had done for everyone, pictured here, and it emphasised for me the lovely journey I have been on, and how you have taken me outside my comfort level on many occasions and allowed me to experience something totally new. Thank you...Its been great.

Friday, July 2, 2010

ABC Exhibition at Wrapt in Rocky

Above are photos of Keith Lo Bue exploring the delights of Tamara's Faery Tales book.....Nanette's book and Amanda Lowjen looking through Olleys 'Who Am I? I Am Who? book.
There are more photos and a fuller description of the opening below...I keep forgetting that the first photos I upload will be the last!! If you get what I mean!!
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ABC exhibition at Wrapt in Rocky

Above are photos of my book as well as Donna's, Olley's and Helen's books. They looked fantastic, as you can see Tamara and I also displayed some of the boxes they were posted in as these seemed to tell part of their journey and stories.
More photos below!
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ABC exhibition at Wrapt in Rocky

Above are Shelly's, JacQ's, Kristin's and Tamara's books displayed at Wrapt in Rocky.
More photos bleow.
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Opening of the ABC at Wrapt in Rockhampton

Forum participants exploring the books! There were many positive compliments by the admiring crowd!
More photos below!
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The Opening of the ABC exhibition

As promised, here are some photos of the books at Wrapt in Rocky! Our exhibition opened on the first night of the forum. The new library at the Rockhampton Girl's Grammar school was a fitting place for the books to be exhibited. There was a great deal of interest shown in the books themselves as well as how the collaboration worked. It was great to have four collaborators present at the opening, Tamara, Olley, Nanette and myself. We got a real buzz from hearing the ooohs and aaaahs as people donned gloves to look inside the books....there were people looking over each others shoulders to enjoy the artwork and the uniqueness that each book had to offer!
We can all be proud of our participation in the ABC....well done to each of you! And thanks for so willingly sending your very special books off to me after only having had them in your own hands for such a short time!

I'm looking forward to the next one now!
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Luna Playhouse

I am currently involved in an exhibition with Blarney Book and Art. The idea for the exhibition is that the artist uses the book, either the story, the image and/or the book itself, to create an artwork. A number of these pieces are then exhibited at Blarney Book and Art. This is the second year that Blarney have organised this interesting exhibition, the artworks from last years exhibition can be viewed on their website, they are very creative and intersting!
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Luna Playhouse

The box opens up to reveal a backdrop of Luna Park. An upper and lower stage, constructed from foam core and painted, slide into place, the striped inside covering of the box look like stage curtains, the box is of course, something I couldn't throw away as it "may come in useful someday", (it was once packaging for our Nespresso coffee machine, which by the way is the best coffee machine we have ever owned!) The original book "Three Model Theatres" which the artwork is based around, is part of the backdrop and can be removed to reveal the same image of Luna Park behind it. At various intervals inside the book, painted directly over the top of the text and diagrams, are masks from all corners of the world. I really liked the idea of building a 'model theatre', however the instructions in the book were not easy to follow, so I simplified them a little! As masks have been used in theatre throughout the ages by every culture it seemed appropriate to use the image of Luna Park in this work.

Blarney Book and Art is in Port Fairy in Victoria, the exhibition opens this weekend and continues for a couple of months.
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fractured Faerytales

Tamara's Fractured Faery Tales arrived with one last page left needing attention. This delightful little book already contained cows jumping over the moon, Jack and his beanstalk, Goldilocks, Snow White, a Princess in bed with shoes - not peas! and lots more. BUT no Cinderella! Lucky me...not only did I get to write a very unique wedding invitation for the fold out of this page (which included the promise that the wicked stepmother and ugly step-sisters would be tied up in the dungeon for the duration of the festivities!) but...

I also got to write "and they all lived happily ever after."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Out of my Studio

I loved combining Kristin's surprise packet of interesting studio ephemera along with bits and pieces from my own studio. My theme was Magical Realism. At first I had no idea what I would do! I dragged out some photos and scraps and some half done works that I scored from a dollar table when I was at the Ballarat Fibre Forum over Easter. I cut away some areas from one of the pieces and slid a photo of two of my daughters swimming in a pool, the 'ships' found their own place and the piece of woven material worked as a ladder. The toadstools are a combination of actual photos and painted paper with my legs as stalks. I used water soluable oil pastels to tie the whole piece together.

Above is one half of JacQ's double page spread, it's title is 'Cuba'. Love the use of colour JacQ!

My 'sign in' page in Kristin's book.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Out of my Sudio

Beach is my prompt word for 'Out of my studio' and memories of holidays in the sand dunes came flooding in to my head. It was so strong I even wrote a poem. This was an inspired idea Kristin. I loved doing my pages in your beautiful book.

Jens paint box

Words cannot do justice to the feeling of receiving your own book back. Thank you everyone for contributing your fabulous work. I feel I have got to know a tiny part of you through your work and I just can't stop looking at it. Jen

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I've just completed my pages in Nanette's is simply bursting with Optimism! Tamara and I have collaborated together in this collaboration in order to finish our pages. We have had such fun working together in the studio, sharing our ideas for 'Optimism', searching for just the right colours and textures and images and ensuring that our pages work well together. We have enjoyed the process of creating together, bouncing ideas around and encouraging each other.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Peta's pages from Shelly's book

I've just posted the completed book of "Real Girls Eat - The Travelling Cookbook" to Shelly in Texas USA! Shelly, I think you will enjoy the wonderful pages contained inside the well designed covers of your book! It was a delight to read the recipes, hints and words of wisdom, especially those about chocolate!
Thanks everyone for your replies to my last email, it certainly seems as if we are well on the way to completing this collaboration before the end of May!
Keep those creative juices flowing!
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Keep a large pot of earth beside the sink.......

Shelly's Travelling Cookbook is full of wonderful recipes and hints about having a happy life! Including how to save water and clean straw hats! There are recipes for yummy chocolate and fruit cakes as well as Vegemite soup! I enjoyed putting together some handy hints from an old botany book that my great aunts, Gerty and Laura Dawson had recorded recipes such as 'Calfs Foot Jelly', 'Mrs Wallace's Brawn' and cures for all kinds of ailments including one to 'Clean the Tongue when it has Fur on it'!!!
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

There IS Gold at the End of the Rainbow!!

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There IS Gold at the End of a Rainbow

Hi Collaborators!!

I hope you are all beginning to see the light at the end of the’s hard to believe that we began the ABC almost 12 months ago....I’ve just looked back on my emails to see that I sent you all a welcome email on the 6th of April I said it’s hard to believe that 12 months have marched by!!
I think most of you will be completing your last book or two this month.
Helen has just completed her last books which were Jens “Paintbox Colours” and my “Cabinets of Curiosity”,
I believe that Donna is onto her last book which is Tamara’s “Fractured Faerytales”,
Tracey have you finished your last book??
Shelly has two to go, “Kristen’s “Out of my Studio” and Nanette’s “Optimism”,
Jen has two to finish, Kristen’s “Out of my Studio” and “Cabinets of Curiosity”,
Olley you must be on the downhill run too, with Helen’s “Tutenkhamen’s Tomb” and JacQ’s “While You were Sleeping” to complete?
Lindesay, I think may have 2 or 3 to complete? Helens, JacQ’s and Olley’s books?
Nanette, I know you mentioned to me a couple you are waiting on to complete, but I can’t for the life of me remember which they were??
Kristin, I know you have a couple still to complete, no doubt you have your hands full with your three boys! Congratulations on the birth of Marley!
Tamara is also nearly finished, with “Optimism”, “Cabinets of Curiosity” and “face in the Crowd” to complete,
JacQ I’m pretty sure that you have 2 remaining, “ Donna’s “Anon is a Woman” and Helen’s “Tutenkhamen’s Tomb”
And finally I have two to complete, “Optimism” and “Out of my Studio”
Phew, that’s a lot of books and a lot of really fantastic artists!! All of you have almost worked in each and every book!

My goal is of course that all twelve books will be completed before the end of May, but being realistic this may not be what I am proposing is that whatever book we each have, whether it is completed or not, it needs to be received by the originating artist on or before Monday the 24th of May. This will allow each artist at least a few weeks to savour and explore their book before sending it to me to arrive by 21st of June in readiness for the Wrapt in Rocky Exhibition, which begins on the 25th of June.

For the Wrapt in Rocky exhibition, Nanette has asked each of us to write a short paragraph, (say 120 – 150 words), about our experience of the collaboration and a paragraph (probably about the same amount of words, 120 – 150), about the theme of your book (most of you provided this with your book as well as at the beginning of the collaboration via email, which I have saved to my computer if you would like to use the same description. Most of you incorporated a brief introduction to yourselves in your original descriptions, I think including something similar would be ideal. The above can be emailed to me and I will undertake the job of creating them in the same font and putting them onto an A4 sheet backed with foam core, to be displayed next to your book.

So important dates to remember are:

· 24th of May 2010 All books to be back in the hands of the originating artist
· 21st of May 2010 All books to be in my hands ready for the exhibition
I will send your books back within a couple of weeks of the conclusion of Wrapt in Rocky (which means by 19th of July unless a prior arrangement has been made with me.

I have attached a list of collaborators and their addresses just in case you are sending back to a different person than you would normally send to!

I am certainly keen for another collaboration....I have some ideas on the drawing board which I will share with you all in good time. Most of you seem keen to participate in another collaboration! Just wondering what timelines might suit you? Eg approx. starting date, how long to have to work on a book, also whether 12 artists are a good number or perhaps we could work in smaller groups? I welcome any feedback and ideas!!!

Let me know if you are experiencing any problems or stress with the above timelines and we will work something out.

Also would love to hear from each of you as you receive your book back!

Creatively yours,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jen Conde's Paint Box - the end

I think I must be the last person to do this book, and the last two pages were unfilled, so it was appropriate the poem from which we were to choose a piece thereof to work with, had a happily ever after ending that I could place neatly at the end of the book. this was very satisfying. Its a different process I find being the last person to finish a collaborative altered opposed to the first person. The pages that have been completed talk to you as much as the artists requests for what she wants for her book. Its an enriching experience all up, and I wouldn't have missed the process of working on all these books this past year and a bit.
There are some great pages in this book , and I think you will love to see it all Jen. Its interesting to see how people have worked in a blank book. It is delightful how everyone's personality comes through on their pages.

Fairy Tales

Just got the fractured fairytales book! It's gorgeous!!! Every page a breathtaker! very impressed, and I can really see the quality of the books getting better and more confident each month. Can't wait to see them all together! love donna XXX

Cabinets of Curiosity - Peta's book

Great book Peta to participate in altering. My folder had a given page on ballet which was lovely...but I had nothing here to work with on that theme, so I worked more with the idea of my own collection. In this case, my old book collection...of Victoriana books. The book I have used is the Girl's Own Annual. It is a huge weighty book, full of current topics...obviously from England. I cannot find a date anywhere. I did find an article called Training Wilhelmina to be a Queen. Wilhemina became Queen of Holland in 1890... the book must have been written sometime after she has become Queen. There are photos of her, and some of her drawings of horses reproduced. There is a lot of articles in this book with advise for what they are wearing in Paris now; selecting and adjusting a corset; possible styles in fashionable hats; some handsome designs in cross stitch; the woman who buys furs. Interestingly Nellie Melba (1861 - 1931) has written an article in there titled Why so many students fail in the Musical Profession, some practical advice by Madame Melba. So the article I have featured in your book Peta is Why will Women dress in Public? Apparently adjusting your clothing in public is just not done...and a vast article with many accompanying illustrations was published. Part of the article says that you just wouldn't find a woman in Paris doing that. So it was fun to play with all of this.