Altered Book: Four & Twenty Black Birds

Normally I photograph and share new work as soon as I’ve completed it, but lately I’ve been too short on time to do so. I’ve still been working away on the Fairy Tale series of altered books and just put the finishing touches on the fifth (and final) one today. The book I’m sharing with you today is part of the series but it was inspired by what is considered a nursery rhyme rather than a fairy tale.

I’ve always loved the line from “Sing a Song of Sixpence” about the “four and twenty black birds baked in a pie” and wanted to attempt to recreate this as an altered book. I thought, “how hard can it be to make a book look like a pie?” Apparently, it’s kind of hard.

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Four and Twenty Black Birds-4

This is the second book I folded to use because the first one didn’t work out the way I’d hoped. I did some cutting after the folding that ended up looking more like a mushroom than a pie, and it was then I gave up on that detail of the rhyme. Four and twenty crows flying out of a book is pretty awesome all on its own, thank you very much.

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Four and Twenty Black Birds

I sourced the bird outlines from google images to make three templates to trace onto black card stock. I then cut out twenty four black birds from the paper using an xacto knife. It was fun to have a small pile of crows on my desk before they were attached to the pages using glue. Yet again I could not resist incorporating paper cut work into an altered book, because I am a little bit obsessed with the process.

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The only splash of colour to this is provided by the patterned paper I added as end pages, and I’m really glad to have it there.

Materials used: book, black card stock, scrapbook paper, glue, and gel medium.

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