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Off the Shelf Book Review - Altered Art Circus: Techniques for Journals, Paper Dolls, Art Cars and Assembles by Lisa Kettell

AlteredArtCircus

From the cover inward . Altered Art Circus: Techniques for Journals, Paper Dolls, Art Cards, and Assemblages by Lisa Kettell  (Quarry Press, 2009, 128pp. ISBN-10: 1592534872 ISBN-13: 978-1592534876, $24.99) is a treat for the senses!

But before I go any further, I have to issue a disclaimer.  Yes! I am one of the featured artists in the gallery of this book but no apologies forthcoming for the following good review. It IS a good and fun book, and I cannot stop looking at it. And, yes, I do look at other pages besides my own- at least half the time!

All of the projects are simply amazing eye candy creations and demonstrate the whimsy and wonder of the author, artist Lisa Kettell, who was profiled right here on Vintage Indie . Lisa’s projects are easy enough that you can recreate them yourself, and fun enough that you can do them with children. Or if not, then just let the book bring out the child in you! There is a generous section of copyright-free art to get you started, and then there the gallery of ideas from contributing artists.

Unlike other art how-to books, however, this one retains Lisa’s magical, mythical style with projects like “Alistair’s Closet of Mystery,” “The Traveling Bumbelinas,” “Miss Spellbinder’s Magic Cookbook” and “Trixie-the-Pixie’s Journal.” Each one gives you a sneak peek into the colorful imagination of the author as she adds a bit of historical whimsy to each project.

For instance, who knew the Bumbelina sisters, Ada, Chloe, Maisey, Maude and Winnie, had a traveling circus with their father or an end-of-season masquerade ball? And what about Pierre LeRouge’s traveling circus-slash-opera? It’s all there, if you let your imagination work like a child’s once again.

Even if you've never made an artist trading card before, there is a how-to section for ATCs. By far, my favorite projects are the circus wagon cars and the embellished circus animals. As sort of the namesakes of the book, they are enchanting, imaginative, colorful and delightful. You'll find yourself heading to the craft store for rubber animals in no time. I did.

Other how-to projects include a tussy-mussy, wands, jar fairies, crowns, shadow boxes and more. There are little bits of “real” history throughout, such as an explanation of artist trading cards and their history and the history of pointed hats.

Even if you never make a thing, this book is one for your inspiration shelf. And even if you still don’t feel like an artist after you read it, I bet you’ll feel just a little bit younger and whimsical.


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- Contributing Editor Gina Smith aka Lilly*s of London*ish, started making jewelry about six years ago and has since tied this in with a love of vintage finds, Blythe, crochet and altered art in her etsy shop. Growing up in an antiquing family gives her a background and appreciation for all things vintage, especially dinnerware, jewelry and Americana advertising prints and products

{All contributed content Gina Smith © Lilly*s of London*ish}

Comments

Wonders Never Cease

Looks like so much fun!
I can't wait to see it in person!

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