Monday, July 26, 2010

Fairies: An Altered Book

I'm just finishing up my altered book project, and I thought I would share some photos. I originally made this book as a gift for my younger sister at Christmastime, but now I'm finally finishing it to enter in 4H fine arts at the county fair this week.

I made the book out of a copy of The Thousand and One Nights.

Here's the title page:

Table of Contents:

Since I made the book for my sister, I tucked a note for her inside a pocket:

This is one of my favorite pages. I used a portrait of Queen Victoria that I had kicking around, and gave her fairy wings. :)

On the side of the page, there's a few tags that can be pulled out of hidden slots:

(You flip the center panel to reveal the rest of the page)
Originally, the rest of the book was blank, so that my sister could add to it if she wanted to. But she decided she wanted me to make a "Fairy Treasures" page, with a niche for trinkets and beads, etc. So I glued together the rest of the pages and cut out a shadowbox. The picture is of Ali Baba showing off his treasure, which was in the book to begin with. I just finished this page today. 

See all those nifty treasures?

That's one full book!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Reading

After another long interval between my infamous sporadic posts, I present you with my summer reading piles.

Yes, piles.

First we have my in-progress pile. These are all books that I'm currently reading. I tend to read a lot of books at once. That way, if I get tired of one book, I can put it down and pick up in the middle of another book. I'm a migratory reader.
Starting from the bottom of the pile:
The Life of the Forest, by Jack McCormick - I'm reading this non-fiction book as research for my next novel, Greenheart, which will mostly take place in a temperate rainforest. I want it to feel real, and this book is very helpful and interesting.

Digital Art Revolution, by Scott Ligon - I picked this book up because I love creating digital art with Photoshop, and I'd love to do more with it. It's got tons of weird artwork in it, but it teaches some great techniques and tricks with Photoshop.

Getting Into Character, by Brandilyn Collins - This book on creating three-dimensional characters requires a lot of thought, because each new thing presented is so unique and revolutionary. It's taking me a long time to read it, because I'm trying to fully understand each concept before I move on. I think it will definitely help my writing down the road.

Writing Fiction for Dummies, by Randy Ingermanson - The ingenious "Snowflake Guy" wrote this awesome book for writers of all ages and experience levels. Everything is laid out, clear and concise. Even though I've read almost a dozen books on writing, this one offers some questions and exercises that have made me think about my writing from a different angle. I recommend it!

The Restorer, by Sharon Hinck - I'm re-reading this one because I like it so much. An ordinary mom gets sucked into a fantasy world on the brink of war, and she's expected to become some warrior hero? What's not to like? (Besides, I think Kieran is one of the best characters of all time.)

Emma, by Jane Austen - I've seen several different movie versions of this classic story, but this is the first time I've actually read it. It took me awhile to get into it, because I just didn't like the heroine, Emma. But then I realized that you just can't take her too seriously, and I began to really enjoy it. It's a lighthearted, comedic romance story.

Airborn, by Kenneth Oppel - I bought this book used at my library for about 10 cents. I knew nothing about it. It's amazing! It's an alternate version of history set at the height of airship travel, with sky pirates, mysterious flying mammals, and lots of swashbuckling adventures in the clouds. I love it so far! (I'm really starting to like the "Steampunk" genre)

Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are, by Alex and Brett Harris - This is a sequel to the awesome book Do Hard Things. It's full of encouragement, ideas, and practical advice for teens who wish to break free of the low expectations placed on young people today. Teens have raised money to build wells in Africa, sailed solo around the world, made award-winning movies... what will you do? And more importantly, why are you doing it?

As soon as I finish reading all of those books, I'll move on to my to-read pile:

100 Cupboards, by N. D. Wilson
The Unicorn Chronicles book 4: The Last Hunt, by Bruce Coville
Brightly Woven, by Alexandra Bracken
Stravaganza: City of Masks, by Mary Hoffman
Over Sea, Under Stone, by Susan Cooper
Heartless, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Adobe Photoshop CS3 Classroom in a Book
By Darkness Hid, by Jill Williamson (not pictured)

And that's just a fraction of the books I'd like to read. *sigh* So many books, so little time. What have you been reading? Have you read any of these books?

Also, I seem to have forgotten to announce the arrival of my free paperback copy of my novel, Bluewillow, from CreateSpace. Here's a picture:

I made the cover, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. My sister agreed to pose as my main character (I turned her hair blue in Photoshop). Sorry that my flash sorta washed things out. It looks better in person.

Now my family is reading it together in the evenings. *gasp* So many people listening to my writing at once! Aaaaahh! Panic attack!! *ahem*

That's all for now, folks!