Sunday, January 4, 2009

Here's to A Wonderful New Year's Welcome to Our Inner Works Altered Books Collaboration

Happy New Year Everyone. Here's my first posting with the birth of my altered book. I've selected I Lift My Lamp (Emma Lazarus and the Statue of Liberty) by Nancy Smiler Levinson. It's the story of Ms. Lazarus's life and how amazingly, it was a sonnet she wrote to raise money for the base of the statue that would become the lines most people equate with the Statue itself. These words are engraved on a plaque that can be found inside the statue's pedestal titled "The New Colossus".

..."Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse your teeming shore
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I life my lamp beside the golden door!"

The theme for my altered book revolves around designs in nature which is woven throughout the pages of the book - filled with Emma's passion for life, her love of books, poetry and the "boundless joys of nature". Emma wrote that it was good to be alive, "to see the light that plays upon the grass to feel the mild breezes stir to gaze at the bright breathing sea..."

I really love how Emma was described in the book as a soaring spirit. That's how I will think about all of us working on our collaboration together.

Here is a picture of the book I've selected with the original cover on.

And below, with the cover taken off. It measures 9" high by 6" wide and is almost 1/2inch thick.

I wanted to introduce you to my book since it will become a part of everyone's life once you put your labor of love into it. Likewise, I look forward to the pleasure of seeing everyone else's books. So hurdle number one has been tackled when I decided on my theme. Then item number two on my list has been satisfied by selecting my book. Now my new challenge of course is the cover and the inside 2 pages. Part of the difficulty I'm having for the inner pages is that there is so much I want to share and express but am limited to the 2 pages. So, I have decided to trust everyone in our collaboration to help support me in our endeavor by adding all that you feel will expand on my theme to add depth, beauty and an inspiring inner soul to my book. Jill


  1. What a great choice for a theme and your book Jill. The book seems to really capture the spirit of this project and I believe will serve as inspiration as we all work in it. Thanks for sharing at this early stage of the process. The planning stages are always so exciting. Anticipating the first package received is so much fun. And opening it is even better. Great start to what I am sure will be an even greater experience.

  2. Jill what a lovely post...the photo of the glowing sun and vibrant yellow warmed me up this chilly morning and the words accompanying it was so fitting for the theme of your lovely book....I am so pleased to be sharing this journey with all of you as it will be enriching is so many soulful ways. Thanks for sharing this post...can't wait to feel the energies from your book when it is already so inviting..

  3. Jill, what a great project. Look forward to seeing the end result. Love the sunny photo, it certainly brightned up my work day.

  4. This is a wonderful book choice Jill. I'm really looking forward to this whole process. I'ts going to be a great experience

  5. I'm really glad you selected nature...spending time in it is definitely my way to connect to the heart of myself, I often wished I was a landscape painter for that reason.

  6. Jill - I found this blog thru Seth's blog - which I follow on a regular basis - the project is very exciting and I look forward to seeing what each of you bring to the table - on another note -under the "small world" category - I happen to know the author of your book choice - I have known Nancy for 13 or so years - we met thru The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators - - of which we are both long time members - so I will be especially interested in seeing what you create with her wonderful book - Happy New Year - Reva Solomon (Los Angeles)