Literary Origami – Bookworm and Snowflake

I did a DNA test and found out I’m 100% bookworm.
– Author Unknown –

This folded bookworm was a big disappointment. Too much big eyes and book, not enough worm. I’ll have to find a different pattern.
Would you know this was supposed to be a snowflake if I didn’t tell you it was supposed to be a snowflake?

Sadly, my socks are like snowflakes. No two are exactly alike.
– Graham Parke –


An Untrue Story that will Offend Everyone or No One.

Am I Preoccupied by Snow?

Glad you asked that. Yes, it is Winter here in Alberta and I have successfully completed sidewalk clearing duties during and after three snowstorms. If you don’t have snow, but wish to train in case you do get a snowstorm, be sure to watch the following:

Literary Origami – Book Fold Trees

Some people won’t dog-ear the pages… Favorite books should be naked, faded, torn, their pages spilling out. Love them like a friend, or at least a favorite toy. Let them wrinkle and age along with you.
– Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin –

Book Folding – ‘dog-earing’ taken to the extreme…

This folded book tree is a full circle. To prepare this book for folding, the two covers and spine cover are torn off.  Break the spine (ouch!) in numerous places to make it easier to form the folded book into a circle. Use a glue gun to join the spine edges together when the folding is complete. Glue on a ‘trunk’ – or not. It will stand by itself either way.
This book tree is a half circle. Leave the covers on. Break the spine in lots of places to make folding easier. If you want this book to stand on its own, then don’t glue on a ‘trunk’. I glued on a trunk and some buttons – I’ve hung it on a wall using a plate hanger.

Step by Step Instructions: (these show a book without a cover.)

Step 1 – Fold 1: Top right corner of the page folded to the middle of the book. Use a bone folder or back of a spoon to make the folds crisp.
Step 2 – Fold 2: Right side of the page folded to the middle.
Step 3 – Crease 1: this is a crease at the bottom of the page to mark where the folded page hangs down below the bottom edge of the book.
Step 4 – Fold 3: Unfold Fold 2 and fold the crease up that you made in Step 3
Step 5 – Refold Fold 2 with Fold 3 tucked under. Use clothes pegs or some other large clip to hold the folded pages out of the way.
This is what your tree looks like after the first few pages are folded. As you fold more pages, keep pressing the book open along the spine so that all folds align the same with the spine.

Decorating

Go Wild! The Full Circle Tree: I glued a bow onto the top and a ‘trunk’ cut from a small branch of a tree to the bottom. The Half Circle Tree – I glued a heavy Christmas paper to the inside of the covers. I added a bow to the top and a trunk to the bottom. I tied some crochet cotton onto buttons to make the bows, then glued them onto the tree.

All my other Literary Origami Posts are at Book Fold.

My other Book Fold Projects

Book Pumpkins – Thank You Reader’s Digest

Readers’ Digest Condensed Books –  They were published for 47 years (before being rebranded) and it has been estimated that about 10 million copies were sold per year. That’s a lot of books that are still living in boxes in the attic or displaying a pleasing shelf full of books with similar spines!

The current value of these books, however, seems to be about $0. They are not rare and the fact that the stories are condensed reduces the value to today’s readers.

What should I do with a box of Reader’s Digest Condensed books?
– Make Door Stops…
– Just don’t leave two of them alone in a box in a dark room or you end up with a whole ‘litter’ of them.

I recently inherited a box of these books from a relative who knew I was not adverse to ‘mutilating’ books.   I thought I would try making them into Book Pumpkins. There are quite a few sites on the web that tell you how to do this. Usually they say you cut the pumpkin shape with scissors but I found that quite time consuming and not so kind to arthritic fingers. A better tool, for me, was The Car Guys Scroll Saw!

The finished Book Pumpkins – top view.

Here are the my instructions for this project. For more detailed photos, see the photos below.

Trace and Cut: I traced a half pumpkin shape on the book cover, cut the shape out with a scroll saw, then took the cover off.

Prepare the Spine: I removed some of the binding material off the spine to make it more flexible.

Make the Center of the Pumpkin: I cut a piece of dowel that was a few inches longer than the height of the spine and the right diameter such that the spine would wrap around it. The front and back edges of the spine should meet.

Hot Glue – OUCH: I hot glued the spine around the dowel, leaving about an inch of dowel above and below the spine.

Make the Base for the Pumpkin and Spray Paint: The Car Guy cut a circle from some scrap lumber. He drilled a hole in the middle of this base. The hole was slightly larger than the diameter of the dowel. We mounted the bottom piece of the dowel into the circle, leaving a slight gap between the top surface of the circle and the pages of the book. This leaves the pages free to fan out nicely. I spray painted my pumpkins with Rust-oleum Hammered Copper.

Make a Pumpkin Stem and Decorate: I used a piece of tree branch that was a larger diameter than the dowel. I cut the branch into ‘stem’ lengths and drilled a hole in each that was slightly larger than the dowel. Then I glued the stems onto the dowel, making sure the pages were still free to fan out unhindered. I decorated the pumpkins with wood shavings and crinkly paper.

Pumpkin shape. Ready to cut with a scroll saw.
This is where the dowel will be glued when the book has been cut and the covers removed.
This is the base with the dowel inserted.
The twig stem and decorations.

Do tell – how many Reader’s Digest Condensed Books do you have on your book shelves!

Acrylic Pouring – Why Paints Do Surprising things

A few more of my Acrylic Pour Paintings:

‘A Sinking Feeling’

This pour was a contest between the white  base coat paint and the colours I poured over top. The white paint was not as dense as most of the coloured paints. The result was the coloured paints tended to sink into the white rather than sitting on top where I wanted them to be.

‘I Never Promised You a Rose Garden’

Chameleon Cells is the fanciful term used to describe what you get when you dot wet water based paint with drops of silicone oil. The silicone pushes some of the paint away, which creates ‘cells’.

‘Stompin’ Grounds’

This is another example of Chameleon Cells. I think it looks like a footprint, which reminds me of the song “You Done Stomped On My Heart”

You done stomped on my heart
And you mashed that sucker flat
You just sorta stomped on my aorta…
– Mason Williams –

The song was recorded by John Denver, but I first heard it at a live performance of Paul Hann. I suppose Paul’s version of the song is particularly memorable because he was performing in our small town and he had lunch at our house (our Performing Arts Council was on a very tight budget…)

Other crowd favourite Paul Hann songs were “Doesn’t Anybody Do it Straight Anymore?”, “Love is Like a Hockey Game” and “I’d Like to Make a Movie with You.” His impish grin delivered more meaning than the words did, which was just as well because it was a family concert.

Acrylic Pouring – Also Some Quips and Quotes

Some more of my Acrylic Pour Paint projects. The two round ones were poured on CD’s. (The white borders and dark ‘frames’ are computer generated). The photos really don’t do justice to the texture of the paint and the sheen of the Polyurethane topcoat.

I don’t think of myself as an ‘artist’. I just pour some paints on a surface, push them around a bit and the paint decides whether it is going to flow a bit or if it will rise or fall in relation to the other colours. (Different colour paints are different densities).

Mashed Tomato,  Kiwi and  Pumpkin

I’m not performing miracles, I’m using up and wasting a lot of paint.
– Claude Monet –

A Study in Orange – but not meant to depict Marmalade, Halloween, Traffic Cones, Life Rafts or Cheetos.

Red Bubbles

Red Supergiant Star Betelgeuse

Red and Blue Betta Fish

I couldn’t have that painting hanging in my home. It would be like living with a gas leak.
– Dame Edith Evans –

gHosT the Dog – Woodworking

Update from gHosT the Dog

somedays i am a shop dog i am into, woodworking as you can see i custom. craft small logs i debark and shape, i am like a planer and a sander and a drill all in one.  it is hard work all i ask in return, is some biscuits and peanut butter. and a walk preferably in the ditch not on the road and a clean. bowl of water with no. dead flies in it!!!

two-legs who i live with and two-legs car guy are doing. woodworking, too they are making wood boxes. with bows and ribbons. made of wood they use lots of tools but best. of all is all the sawdust. they make then i lie in it. and roll in it

two-legs who i live with named her wood things website. after me The Rustic Ghost. she isn’t selling. any of my sticks they are priceless. i think but also hard to find. when i am done i hide them or two-legs gamma puts them. in the chipper pile she thinks i don’t know she does that. but i know

two-legs gamma gives me a biscuit. after our walk in the ditch. she makes me lie down. and stay then she breaks the biscuit. into three or four pieces and hides them, around the shop then i look for them which. is hard because i didn’t see where she. put them and the biscuits don’t have any smell or maybe, they do smell but it is the same as sawdust which. is mostly what the whole shop, smells of.

if you want to see, the other things i’ve written or things that have been written. about me just go here gHosT Dog. i’m done this story so two-leg gamma will finish things up:

A boy can learn a lot from a dog — obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down.
– Robert Benchley –

Every snack you make,
Every meal you bake,
Every bite you take…
I’ll be watching you.
– Unknown Dog –

Handle every situation like a dog. If you can’t eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away.
– Author Unknown –

If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.
— Phil Pastoret –

My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That’s almost $21.00 in dog money.
— Joe Weinstein –

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
— Groucho Marx –

Crochet Scrumble – Granny Is Not so Square Anymore

This Scrumble started with a Granny Square (a pattern that dates back to the late 1890’s). It was joined by a few ‘Snails’, some Flowers, the Sun, some Ocotpus Tentacles and some Ruffles.  For no particular reason, my inner Granny said ‘Enough’ and this Scrumble was done.

They call me grandma because partner in crime makes me sound like a bad influence.
– Author Unknown –

The best babysitters, of course, are the baby’s grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida.
– Dave Barry –

Apparently this works on Ritz crackers too…
Tobey King’s ‘Bernie Sanders with mittens crochet doll’ was her version of the photo of United States Sen. Bernie Sanders as he sat in the bleachers on Capitol Hill at President Biden’s inauguration.

Acrylic Pouring – Smooshing in the Round

In the ‘too cheap to test new ideas on good canvas’ school of frugalness, I have been pouring paint on computer CD’s. There is no shortage of those, and music CD’s, in our house!

For my first attempt I prepped the CD by taping the centre hole closed (on the shiny side of the CD.) . Then I poured these Arteza Pouring Paints on the label side of the CD: Brilliant Red, Forest Green, Carnation Pink and Titanium White. (Forest Green is a deceiving name…)

‘Red Poppies” Arteza paint on a CD

After pouring, I laid a piece of parchment paper (you can use a wet paper towel or wet knapkin) over the paint, gently rubbed the surface (smooshing) then lifted the paper up from all four corners.

Smooshed Red Poppies on a ceramic tile.

Then I laid the painted parchment paper onto a white ceramic tile and then carefully lifting the paper off by the four corners.

“Iris” – Arteza Pouring Paints on a CD

On the second CD I poured these Arteza Pouring Paints: Phthalo Blue, Titanium White, Coral, Gold and Neon Purple.

“Iris” on a white art backing board.

I used the same ‘smooshing’ process and pressed the paper onto a white art backing board.

For the third CD, I wanted to eliminate the centre hole indentation. I taped the hole on the back side, then filled the indent on the front with wall plaster. When it was dry, I sanded it then applied two coats of gesso and sanded again.

For this pour I used these Arteza Pouring Paints: Cerise Pink, Titanium White, Coral; and Artist’s Loft Pouring Paint: Aqua Green. I used the same ‘smooshing’ technique.

When I smoosh, if I lift all four corners of the smooshing paper by the four corners, then the design will look different than if I peel the paper back from one side only or from two sides at once, etc.

If you can think of catchy names for any of these pours, please comment below!

My other pours are at this link: Acrylic Pour Paint

Acrylic Pouring- Accidental Painting

Acrylic Pouring is a painting technique introduced in the 1930s by Mexican social realist painter David Alfaro Siqueiros. He discovered that different colors of diluted paint would spread, coalesce, and infiltrate one another depending on the density of the paint. He called it ‘accidental painting’.

Ghostbusters -12X12 canvas

Pour Painting has recently become a popular craft for people who like to  experiment with color and unorthodox techniques. It would be realistic to expect a work of art to hang on your wall the first time you try it! Unless…

you are, like me, shall we say ‘unlucky’, in which case it is a good thing that pour paints are quite content with being stacked, layer upon layer, two or three times… before the final product is declared a reasonable ‘first’ attempt.

We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.
― Bob Ross, creator and host of The Joy of Painting’ –

I call my first painting “Ghostbusters”. I think you can clearly see how the nuclear-powered zappers have affected the ghosts. This painting is suitable for display in any room with a ‘disgusting stuff containment unit’ – like our bathroom.

Third Time Lucky – 12X12 canvas

My second painting is called ‘Third Time Lucky’ because there are two unsuccessful layers of paint under the lucky layer. I see microbial creatures swimming around in murky water – maybe this should hang over my washing machine.

As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.
– Calvin – cartoon character, Calvin and Hobbes –

Mucking about with paint (other than the kind I put on a wall) is a new experience for me. I’m really enjoying it, but it is a messy craft, so the next step in my artistic progression was to carve out a place to practice it. The Car Guy offered me one small work table in his garage, but there were more drawbacks than advantages to that location. I moved it all into my craft room. I protected the work services and floor with multiple yards of heavy plastic. Then I opened a couple windows and used a fan to ensure good ventilation.

My next two paintings were on round pieces of wood. They will probably be made into clocks. I call the smaller one, on the right, ‘Under a Microscope’. The larger one on the left is ‘Full Moon’. (I had mixed up too much paint for ‘Full Moon’ so used it up on ‘Under a Microscope’.)

River Delta – 4X4 canvas

What happened when a ship carrying red paint collided with a ship carrying blue paint?
Both crews were marooned.
– Author Unknown –

Another leftover paint project is two small canvas panels that I call ‘River Delta’. The paint was excess from my Rocky Sunflower project.

Letters M, W

My last project while still in Arizona is on wood – my initials.

Have you tried acrylic pour painting?

Acrylic Pouring – A Rocky Psychedelic Sunflower

One of the ‘big rivers’ in our yard.

If there is one thing we’ve got a lot of at our Arizona house, it is rocks. Thousands and thousands of rocks. Millions of rocks if you count the crushed gravel that blankets the entire yard.

The gravel is broken up by larger rocks that I have marshalled into wavy rows to form dry creek beds.

I’ve used some of the rocks to make two giant lizards. One is very dark in colour. The other is very light.

One of the two lizards. This one is a dark lizard made from lava type rock.

On the whole, the rocks in our yard are not very colorful. I thought I might remedy this by using outdoor acrylic pour paints. (Here is an excellent primer on this artsy craft – Acrylic Pour Painting.)

The sunflower is about the size of a real giant sunflower head.

I called my first project “Psychedelic Sunflower”.  It reminds me of 1960’s Trippy or Psychedelic art. Maybe you are old enough to remember the brightly coloured, abstract works of that time period.

This will be the first of more rock art if the paint withstands the Arizona summer sun!