new chapter

I was invit­ed to an altered book work­shop a while ago. It’s a great way to jour­nal. I altered a few more pages after I went to the workshop.

The above is a sec­tion that I man­aged to fin­ish in the work­shop, done by glu­ing many pages togeth­er in the end of the book, then cut­ting a win­dow through all the lay­ers, then glu­ing it down to the back cover.

I then tried to exper­i­ment with this tis­sue paper paint­ing method, but I think one needs to use spe­cial tis­sue paper that “bleeds”, which are not the ones from the dol­lar store. So any­way, I thought I’d paint an octo­pus instead. The Chi­nese char­ac­ters say “octo­pus of prose”.

So then on the next page I tried mak­ing a found poet­ry, and this was when I real­ized that this book (which I picked up many years ago from a “FREE!” bin at work because the cov­er was a very nice teal colour but I actu­al­ly have no idea what the book is about) is actu­al­ly set in Toron­to! It’s a bit hard to read in the pho­to so here’s the poem:


In the meantime,


on the dusty shoul­der of the Don Val­ley Park­way, feel­ing the cars swish by on their way to King and Bay.

This was a time of


made every­one nervous

limped along the gravel,

the one hum­bling period

No mat­ter where

remained a rich tourist

the Holy City

At night, it shimmered.

Then I worked on the cov­er. Weav­ing words and hand­made paper and the roars of an Alber­tosaurus (she’s from my Tyrrell Muse­um ticket).

The book form lends itself nat­u­ral­ly to mir­ror image print­ing. I thought this looked like a sea drag­on rising. 

I called this piece “Myceli­um Run­ning,” which is also a very cool title of a book about the unseen organ­isms that keep the bal­ance of the earth. Myceli­um is the veg­e­ta­tive part of a fun­gus. Not the roots, but rather the branch­es. And the mush­rooms are the fruits of the fun­gus. Myceli­um is vital in ecosys­tems for its role in decom­pos­ing plant mate­r­i­al, and it com­pris­es of some of the largest organ­isms in the world. 

This is called “minc­ing my words,” made after I roy­al­ly failed a job inter­view, and remem­ber­ing oth­er inter­views that did­n’t go as I hoped. With pieces of my hand­writ­ten notes from school and resume, and feel­ing like I was pre­tend­ing to be who I was not, going in cir­cles and nowhere. The weav­ing on the left and the X’s were a way of me say­ing “NO” to the whole thing. 

This is my favourite. It’s called “Revenge of the Upside-Down”. But we, we who are female, we who are racial­ized, we who are dif­fer­ent from the so-called norm, are not back­ing off. 

Close-up of the glit­ter and determination!

So, I thought it’d be fit­ting to post about this project today, and to end the post with this par­tic­u­lar image, as I’m tran­si­tion­ing from full-time front­line work to aca­d­e­m­ic work in the fall, start­ing a new chap­ter, wad­ing through uncer­tain­ties, chas­ing a dream. 

In the mean­while, I’ll have a sum­mer with less work and more time for craft and fun adven­tures :) Stay tuned for more projects and pic­tures! Thank you for jour­ney­ing with me, always.



2 thoughts on “new chapter

  1. So cool! The upside-down looks very much like the upside-down :D
    We can prob­a­bly do more altered book crafts on old ARCs I picked up from my intern­ships that I don’t want any­more and can’t sell…

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