09 May 2007


"Of elephants and dreams" Part 2:

First of all, thanks to all of you who commented and sent me emails about the book. It means so much to me that you all took the time to let me know what you thought. I really appreciate it and I am so glad and grateful to be able to share it with you-my friends.

So, remember how Karen recieved the itinerary at the zoo in the piece of bamboo (great idea Gina - we should all be so lucky to have such a caring and very thoughtful partner - good on you) well the photo below is of Karen as a little girl. Isn't she beautiful!!! Anyway the photo which is actually a transparency placed over a photo is framed by that very bamboo. Yes the colour has now changed and I had to slice it down.

Other significant bits and pieces are the text I chose. It is from "A tale of two cities". I chose that texts amongst hundreds because Gina is an Aussie from Sydney and Karen is from New York.

Secondly if you look carefully at the bottom under the buttons it says, "Oh Solomon, dear Solomon!" Gina's surname is Solomon.

Everything I put in these books has a reason for being there. I do go to great lengths to make the books extra significant, love it when the clients realize and find the extra symbolic things. I guess that's why it takes me so long to finish a book but everyone loves that extra attention to the detail that I try to put in. Hope I don't sound like a "wanker" here - it's just what I do.

It is hard to see but depending on the angle at which you view the photo, as it is a transparency - you kind of get a double image.

Regarding all the photo's in the book, they were all standard colour photo's. However I decided I would give them a vintage feel as you will see throughout. Gina did want to keep most of the photo's in colour so I had to learn lots of new photoshop techniques to make them look like polaroids, through the viewfinder-type and dualflex - which basically means a really dusty old camera lens. each photo took a couple of hours to get to where I wanted them to be - alot harder than just making them Sepia toned.

Here is Karen recieving the bamboo and I blurred out the guy cos he was a bit of a distraction in the photo. To the right of the photo is a vintage leather eyeglass holder that I used as a pocket to hold the itinerary in. The flap at the top is there to protect the photo from scratching which is what happens when the bamboo piece sits on it.

I really should show you what this fabric looked like new, ink, paint and the heat gun did a great job of ageing it. At one point it started to shrink and burn which was great - and yes i took precautions not to burn another hole in my carpet like i did when Michael was here. Inside the bottle marked with 50 is bits of the paper that Gina used to make the name-place settings for the dinner before they left for Thailand.

Then you open up that image and...

You see this - a photo of Karen and her brother - gorgeous looking as well.

This image above has to be one of my favourite pages. I love the old ephemera image of the elephant and the door knob frame. The frame took me two hours to refine so it looked perfectly straight - well as straight as I could get it. Then I gave a deMeng wash of paint, it was already a gorgoues old brass so it didn't need much. I put the feet of the elephant at the bottom of it, my little attempt to be a bit artistic. But I do like the mica sandwiched between the photo (that was inked and aged at the top & bottom) and the frame - in the shape of a heart. Bottom left of that is the xox handsewn. Yummy, just loved how this turned out.

This is a pocket that I cut off from the uniform that karen and Gina wore whilst riding the elephants. I attached the instructions/words for the elephant commands to the rod above it and stuck it inside the pocket. What I did not know until they picked up the book was that that is how they wore the commands, around the neck and tucked into the pocket. Apparently the key was similar to the one that they had for opening the door to their hut. Funny how that happens.
The triangle around the words is kind of obvious.
When I am doing these albums I really do go into a kind of meditative state, trying to focus on the clients experience and or life moment. I play appropriate music and in the end, apparently, I do things instinctively that are correct for the message that is needed to evoke the story behind the photo. It's hard to explain - not sure if I am explaining it correctly.
There's more to come but gotta go to my eldest son Ari's very last parent teacher evening. I can't quite believe it's the last one before HSC ( for any of my American friends visiting this post, it's the final mammoth exams before our kids complete High School).
So sorry but to be continued..


Vicky said...

Good Morning! May I say what a very interesting blog yours is. Your book in particular is thought provoking and go and get the workbox inspiring!

Dawnie said...

Well Judy youve got me drewling all over the keyboard. Its just YUMMY and I love how you shared your thoughts on the process.
Wonderful job that Im sure your friends will cherish.
Thanks so much for sharing


Ro Bruhn said...

WOW Judy I'm still drooling this is just fabulous, so much work, you must really have job satsfaction with this one. Can't wait to see the rest.

Anonymous said...

Judy, your attention to detail, the layering and depth of each item on each page is awe inspiring. Sharing your thought process as you create each page pulls me in even deeper. What a treasure.
I like that you are showing little bits each day. It keeps me from sensory overload and allows me the time to savor each element on your gorgeous pages.

Karen Cole said...

Holy #$@.....excuse me, but that is my expression when I am completely blown away!!!

It is the type of work where I need to use all of my senses. I want to touch it for sure. The textures are wonderful. And, as Michael may tell you... I like to smell things as well. The colors are beautiful and so earthy. Are these colors a departure from your usual? What size?

We missed you!xxoo

Judy said...

Well Karen you would have loved the smell of this one as some of the upcoming pages were collaged in beeswax, yummy smell.Regarding colour, for the books, I go with the colours that work with the theme and/or the photo's. But yes, I love working in muted tones, dark colours and monotones. Size: height ended up being varied, the biggest was almost an A4 which is like your regular computer paper, the depth was about one foot, I think.

kelsey said...

I'm so glad Judy that you decided to share some of these pages with us....NOW we can appreciate even more what effort & care goes into these books. Absa-bloody-amazing...(yep, new word!)...lol

Love the descriptions that you've given and the reasoning behind some of the things, guess it's even more special when you just KNOW what each little thing means as you look at it.

Like any good book, you'll find more and more detail each time you go back to it.

jo said...

This book truly has me enthralled Judy. What an incredible honour it must have been to receive a gift so full of thought, care and memories. I am gob-smacked by your fantastic talent! You inspire me to get creative again!
Good luck to Ari on his HSC, Samara is doing hers this year too (not the best time for a car accident!!!).
Looking forward to seeing more of that book...
Jo xoxo

Ev said...

These pages are fanbloodytastic. You are truly one of the best intuitive artists I have seen. I think intuitive is more how you work than having things crop up as a coincidence. I really want to touch smell and absorb these pages IRL...You are amazing....

ursula clamer said...

Great work Judy, I love the richness and how it is full of meaning and symbolism. You can really see the attention to detail and the hours you have poured into it. You deserve to be pleased with yourself. Ux

Debbi B said...

I'm joining the chorus - the pages inside are incredible too! I love the detail and really appreciate you taking the time and effort to share it with us. As I think I said before - awe inspiring!! Debbi B

Coby said...

Judy, thank you for sharing some more of the pages from this wonderful anthology. As I looked at the pages and read your words, I felt the magic. You have such a talent. Evelyn describes you as an intuitive artist. She is correct.

Love Coby

Deb L said...

What an amazingly beautiful book.. each page more luscious than the last. A loving tribute... Deb