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Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Old Altered Book....

You know how I love books!! And I also love altered books and art journals and anything along those lines. Even though most of my attempts at this kind of art have not been much good, I still try from time to time. It seems to be a popular art technique and many artists use it in various forms.

When Molly left to move back to Illinois she gave me several books from her collection....the love of books runs in the family!! One of them was an old gardening book....or so I thought. I wasn't sure why she gave me a book about gardening when I live in a climate that isn't exactly the perfect place to grow things but I figured she knew what she was giving me and that there was something about it I would like.



Several days after she left I got out the books and was surprised. The gardening book was printed in 1907.



...it isn't in great shape but what I found inside was fascinating. Someone had added pictures of flowers and gardens!



They look as though they've been cut from magazines. And there are even some that are folded over, and some smaller pages have been added. Just like altered books of today!!



This is a close-up of the small page that was added. It's written in pencil so it's not very dark. I think if you click on this photo you might be able to read it in the larger size.



This small insert is written on the back of part of an envelope and the address is still there. It was mailed on April 7, 1924 from New York City, Tompkins Square Station and sent to Milo W. Barber in Venice, CA.

Here are a couple of other pages with added pictures....





Don't mind my fingers in the photos....the book won't lay open without me holding it. I think this book is one of my favorite things right now. It's full of poems and essays about gardens but the thing I like best is that someone personalized it. Besides the added pictures there are newspaper clippings and little notes throughout the book. Many of the pictures are in black and white but several, like the ones above, are in color. Some are starting to come loose and I can see what's printed on the backs.

Obviously someone loved gardening and they also loved this book. It is well worn and yet you can tell it was treasured by someone. And now I'll treasure it and keep it. I love this book!

32 comments:

  1. What a TREASUER, Janet!!

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  2. What a truly beautiful gift!

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  3. What a wonderful surprise, there is just something special about an old book that someone has written their thoughts in so many years ago, and extra special that it was given to you from M.

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  4. Wow Janet I can understand the pleasure you are getting from this book-it is truly amazing that it has survived all this time.Who better to own it now than you.

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  5. OH, how precious! The book is in very good condition for it's age so someone definitely looked after it all those years. I love the little additions throughout. Thanks for sharing it with us, Janet...such a treat!

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  6. I dont blame you its beautiful
    Hugs June x

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  7. That is truly a treasure.

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  8. What a nice surprise! What a gift!

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  9. This book is beautiful Janet! Thanks very much for sharing it with us. Love the idea of someone creating a altered book so long ago. A treasure indeed.

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  10. What a fun find! I love old books and to find one that someone obviously loved too is so fun!! What a special gift!

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  11. Oh my what a wonderful book. A true treasure. Hugs***Renea

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  12. Janet,

    What a treasure! I love old gardening books and don't find them often.

    Hugs--

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  13. Janet, this book has been loved, and it wanted to be known by you. I believe everything happens for a reason. It made me think of my little Grandmother. She was getting on in age and ask me what I wanted of hers when she was gone..it was so easy to answer, I want the Bible you used when I was a little girl. It was filled with notes and her personal thoughts, little tissue paper encase a noes need a little care. Pressed flowers that I know was brought to her by me. I could see her clear as a bell writting down the names of people she would pray for. Thank you for reminding me of this... Hugs, Mary

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  14. Oh janet - thanks for sharing this and could you possibly give us a few snippets of whats in the book, some verse or poems or snippets of the text? I loved the look of this old book, so rare to come by these days with their marvelous olde illustrations. A rare gift!

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  15. Wow! That is a beautiful book!

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  16. oh how exciting! i just love this so much~it sort of inspiring. making me want to get a really nice book and adapt it in this way over the years and leave for someone to find when i am long gone and wonder over me and my creation...

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  17. The magical quality of a book like that is amazing. It really transports you back in time and makes you want to know the person who took so much time and care with it.
    I think that's how we feel when we make something today. At least that my thought about it. It's a treasure.

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  18. How comforting to know that we had kindred spirits even in times long gone. Your post is a magic gateway to a world of secret gardens and gentle beauty.

    Thank you for this,
    Love,
    Alberta

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  20. I haven't been by in ages, but it is my understanding that nothing is new under the sun and that in the time period this book was printed it was quite the thing to make altered books also! How, neat that this one is now yours.

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  21. OH I would have been so excited, what a find! This is a treasure huh?

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  22. I like to visit you, a hug from me swedish girl.

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  23. that is brilliant! what a fantastic book you have in your hands, it's gorgeous, it truly is. xo

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  24. I hope you will read along with Ruth, I know you are busy right now... Can't wait to see who the winner is...hugs,ME

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  25. What a delightful and fun find..
    I just love things like this...

    I always look for bookplates when looking at old books…
    I have found names written in beautiful penmanship but never a bookplate.
    Nevertheless, I still hope that maybe someday.

    Louise

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  26. Janet, I am so pleased that you are enjoying Ruth....it has taken more time than I can tell you to find Ruth in words and pictorial. Just learning about the time and place has been rewarding. I had to find everything to bring her to life.
    I think this could be the best of times if we don't let the greed that has slipped into our country get us down. My adult children all are doing well, but they are taking this serious and holding down their spending.
    So how is Janet??????

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  27. Hi! I'm finally getting around to catching up with your posts. What a wonderful gift this little book is! I guess it's just proof that you can't tell a book by its cover. Wouldn't the person who did this so long ago be amazed that you are enjoying it and sharing it with us this way in 2009???
    Hugs,
    Angela

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  28. What a wonderful gift - and you're the perfect recipient. I'm sure you'll look after it and pass it on. x

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  29. It just goes to prove, once again, that nothing is new but an altered book from when they weren't doing it as a style or fad sounds pretty darn special.

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  30. What a fabulous book and an even more thoughtful gift. Isn't it joyful to "sit in" on someone else's creative journey of interpreting the book with the images they chose -- and long ago? I, too, love old books. But this is special, indeed.

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  31. What a wonderful find! I'm glad that book found its way to you.

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  32. How Lucky you are to have such a wonderful book like that. Isn't that so cool? Love it!
    xoxoxoxoxoxo

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