Saturday, January 2, 2010

Debrina's Contribution to Alicia's book...

January 02, 2010
Latest updates!

Hester in her youth...

The barn that burns down and Hester's daughter..

Just some badges that I'm working on...

The starfish that brings out love...this will be suspended with white thread from the hole frame...

The story unfolds...


2009 Update

The compartments and their tell-tale findings...

Well, if you know me well, you'll know I like to launch myself into any new project with speedy aplomb.  So, without further ado, let me introduce to you the start of the next instalment of Alicia's Pulp Redux book, The Museum of Forgotten Things

I've picked up where Alicia left off.  Hester, our main character, has shut herself away in her house after murdering her husband (this part of the story is Alicia's invention and is told so well by Alicia using various invented documents in her book - you'll see these in due time as you each get a turn at the book).  Thus, Hester's house, like her mind, has become something of a museum and a prison...there are things in it she'd rather forget but can't.  However, although Hester has become a recluse, this does not prevent her from taking many a secret lover!  So, although a part of Hester's life is lost forever (Paradise Lost) she has gained a new one - albeit tainted with grief and guilt but also coloured with secrets and passions.

Now a bit about what I've been up to.  Well, as you can see in the picture immediately above, I have made good use of an old Cigar box that I purloined from the Sanson market for only two bucks (!) this weekend.  Perfect!  It fits the format and size of Alicia's book perfectly.  I love the fact that it's Jamaican and that one of my favourite stories in the whole wide world is Jean Rhy's Wide Sargasso Sea.  Hester reminds me of the mad woman in the attic (Rhys' story is a spin on Jane Eyre - from the point of view of the first wife).  In Jane Eyre, the mad woman in the attic tries to burn down the house. In Alicia's story, Hester uses fire as a means of dispatch.  Of course, I'll say no more here, lest I give the whole story away!

The front of my page looks like this - I've used crackle paint (Ranger's Black Soot - thanks Alicia for sending me a bottle!) and a range of metallic paints.  Heavy duty watercolour paper was used to get a really awesome thick texture that I then took to with my red colouring pencil.  The result is pretty specky if I say so myself.  A secret hides under the door and the black void of the front cover will contain an illustration.

The book opens from right to left to reveal a hidden compartment.  The lid of my cigar box (the right flap) still needs work and I plan on putting a vignette on it. To the left is the lid of the compartment.  Let's open it up, shall we...

Crap photo this one, but it gives you an idea.  Little compartments will be carved out of the book I have placed in the compartment.  The book, as mentioned earlier, is Paradise Lost, though I'm still deciding about that.  I may yet just make a series of frames for the compartments.  Anyone got any tips on how to carve nice little boxes out of the book?

I'm really proud of this paper lining the box! I hand dyed it myself and I love the way it has come out all marbled like that.  This is the secret compartment area.  Like I said, I'm still undecided about how I'm going to frame the forgotten artifacts I have.  Nor have I gotten any closer to a solution as to how I'm going to allow book binding to happen, since the box opens right to left instead of left to right.  Give me time, I might do the whole book within a drawer thing yet.  Lisa S - that video you sent us needs to be up here.  I love the whole idea of a book within a drawer within a box thing!

Alicia's book arrives!  I open the box to find...

Now, just a quick little post about the receipt of Alicia's book in the post.  Here are the photos I took.  Hopefully I haven't conveyed some of the trembling excitement I experienced when opening the box.  If the shots are fuzzy or shaky looking, at least you know why! Lol!

I feel like Howard Carter as he opens Tutankhamun's Tomb!

What is this???

A book is revealed!

Is there a story contained within?

Ooooh, a couple of diary entries and an obituary. Hmmm....

More exciting reading...

The blank contents of my part of this wonderous book.  (Go to first picture of this posting to see what I've done so far...)


  1. What a lovely arty start to the year Debs! No resting on your loins I see! I reallllly like that starfish (which I hope is fake?? so customs can really like it too!) The textures on these pages look so wonderful, I can't wait to hold it in my own hands!

  2. oh my goddess!! this is just magnificent! I only WISH I could hold this!!!

  3. Brilliant Deb! You and Alicia should put your creative writing skils together and write a! Love the cigar box and the compartments with all the little icons and of course fantastic textures! Gorgeous!

  4. i was on the phone with deb yesterday when she uploaded this so she was able to hear my loud oooohs and aaahhhhhs live. i forgot to comment here after our couple hour long chat. whoops!

    i am sooooo loving this book! i lovelovelove all that you have put into this deb -- the colours, the textures, the story -- LOVE that you figured out the secret little bit about her daughter (that i didn't finish) and incorporated a new lover. yummy! this is just soooo magnificent and all of the little pieces of their lives and momentos -- yum! i can't wait to get it back!

    we can say the starfish is paper clay. :)

  5. Wow, someones been a busy girl! Love how this story is shaping up! She's some old girl that Hester, what a life, LOL! It will be fun watching all the twists and turns the character takes. The textures and ideas are great, Can't wait to see it in person and have a good sticky beak inside, LOL!

  6. isn't it so fantastic! i am loving it so very much!

  7. The atarfish has been "sealed", so I'm hoping that will do the trick for customs! Since it came from the States it should be fine to go back to the States! Lol. This is not nearly finished yet - I've got so much more embellishment to do yet, but I wanted to post just to let you know, Alicia, that work's being done....:-)

  8. That's STARFISH not atarfish! What the heck's an atarfish??? Omg, my poor brain...

  9. PS, I'm not trying to make my "comments" list look big here, but I forgot...the starfish has to make it through Australian customs (sorry Kim for that oversight! Duh! Well...I might chance it and accidentally forget to declare it. Must delete this comment soon to hide my tracks....

  10. comment whore. ;) (kidding, loves, loves!!!)

    i think an atarfish is the fish in avatar... if there is one.

    you can just write "paper clay starfish" or something. will they x-ray the whole thing and pick out every single tiny little shape? or even more general: mixed media/altered art book with found objects (gears, clay/bisque shapes and figures, hair pins, etc.), fabric/fibers, paper: art. i typically say something like that and try to touch on anything they may find weird. i put "fake shells" on one... but they were real. i got a huge skull and feathers as a gift the other week and it said "paper clay sculpture". that was from canada though... and it rocked.

  11. Love the update. The circular form really works so well here. Looking forward to seeing it as it progresses.