Last year I wanted to make my mother a special gift for Mother’s Day. I had an old, dilapidated photo album with a broken lock that I’d gotten on eBay (I’d bought it for the photos, thinking maybe there would be long lost relatives in it because of it being from Brown County, Ohio — there weren’t any, of course). I’m very interested in altered books, or anything “altered,” so I decided to do an altered photo album focusing on my mother’s maternal line of ancestors.
I went back as many generations as there were photos available. We’ve been scanning in family photos for years, so I had a good stock to work from. I digitally altered the photos and printed them out. I reinforced the delicate album pages (which had openings for the old-time cabinet photos) by covering thin cardboard with decorative paper as a background, inserting it into the window of each page, and using that as my canvas. I cut out each mother’s image and glued it within the page frame, adding embellishments in collage fashion.
Some of these women would probably roll in their graves if they saw the treatment I gave them. I was trying to imagine what they would look like in color, but I also wanted to “dress” them for the special celebration the altered album was supposed to represent.
I made a small “Mother” plaque for the album cover (see photo above) by using a rubber stamp and a small puddle of warm UTEE (ultra-thick embossing enamel). When the piece was cool and hardened, I painted over it with a gold marker pen and antiqued it, then glued it to the album cover.
The album opens with an invitation:
Tomorrow I’ll post the first “collage” in the book.