Thursday, August 28, 2008

A little altered art

Green gifts for 7 year olds are not exactly an easy thing to find. Somehow High School Musical and Hannah Montana don't exactly mesh with an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

I didn't set out specifically to give green this year for my niece's birthday, but economics played a role in my creation of altered art. Actually, a small scrapbook.

"Altered books" was a trend that seemed to peak in the scapbooking world a few years ago. Essentially, you'd take a book and repurpose it (with craft supplies of your choice) to make various art projects. As an avid reader, the whole concept made me cringe: Destroying the printed word?

But then, if the book isn't being appreciated for the literary impact on your life, maybe it's time to give it a new home or a new life.

In this case, it wasn't literature but a small photo album that I'd received when my daughter was born. Branded with the information for a formula company, it was a small album that housed a few dozen 4x6 photos.

For three years, it's collected dust while I waited for someone else to dump it on. For about that long, I have had random stickers, including puffy ones that I'd somehow acquired, that have met a similar fate. The two made a great pairing, as the album received a fun facelift.

Throw in a few dozen photos of my kids and my niece, and you have a one-of-a-kind gift for the girl who dearly misses her little cousins many miles away.

Is it simple? Sure. Is it high art? Hardly. But sometimes you have to put a little heart in your art.

Happy birthday, Sam. We miss you.

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