I recently found a vintage 1930s Eastman Kodak scrapbook among my grandmother’s possessions recently. Although she greatly enjoyed collecting photographs and cutting out newspaper articles about family and friends, she was never much of a scrapbooker. Instead of arranging and adhering pictures and clippings in an organized manner, she tended to haphazardly “stuff” them between the pages, where they languished for decades–or fell out!
With that being said, it wasn’t hard to reclaim her old scrapbook for my own use. After much pondering, I decided to convert the plain black book into a scrappy journal celebrating my grandmother and her long, productive life. At first I wasn’t sure how to proceed, but I thought that developing an alphabet theme based upon the people and things that she loved might be fun and reflective. So, here’s the unveiling of The ABCs of Alice!
To create the first page, “A is for Alice Augusta Marten,” I first glued a few of the delicate, aged pages together and applied several coats of black gesso to make a firm base. I then collected a variety of items from my stash, including acrylic paint, stamps, paper scraps, ephemera, die cuts, lace, a burlap flower, Washi tape, stickers, rub-ons, and pens, and began layering all the pieces in an intuitive manner. The focal point of the page is a portrait of my grandmother as a baby, taken around 1909.
As I worked, building up layers of color and texture, I marveled at how, throughout the process of collage, the eye and the heart just seem to know what feels right and true, without a lot of conscious thought. Something else–something mysterious–takes over. Before you know it, you’ve created a piece that reveals the special story your soul desired so much to tell.
I absolutely loved creating this first page, and I’m very much looking forward to working on letters B through Z!
Thanks for stopping by!!