Altered Book: The Music Plays On

My children were invited to play in for a concert called the Baroque Play In at their music school last month. The concert coincidentally was also the birthday celebration of the conductor, my children’s teacher. During the concert that lasted more than 2 hours, I took a lot of pictures of musicians who participated. Looking at the pictures I immediately had inspiration to create a scrapbook using travel advertising book I received with my newspaper. This project was my second altered book project. First thing I did was wrapping the book cover with gift wrap. Then, I adhered some black papers on every book pages; drew and cut the flourishes; wrote the sentiments and decorated with stickers and other accents. I admit, every pictures seemed to fall into pieces just like that without any hesitance. I gave the altered book to the music teacher as a (belated) birthday present and she loves it.

(See my first altered book project here: ORIGAMI GARDEN. )


Altered Book Project

Altered Book: The Music Plays On p.1

ook: The Music Plays On p.2

Altered Book: The Music Plays On p. 3

Altered Book: The Music Plays On p. 4

Altered Book: The Music Plays On p. 5

Altered Book: The Music Plays On p. 6

Altered Book: The Music Plays On p. 7

Altered Book Cover

In Memoriam, Dear Teacher

A devastating news came last Thursday of an untimely passing of a dear teacher. He was one of my daughter’s music teacher and has been involved in a lot of music programs and activities throughout the year. He was an honored man and very industrious. That’s why we never would’ve expected the worst kind would befall upon him. But there it was, his decision to end his life has left us with sorrow and a big question. Why did he do it? We never would’ve thought behind his leadership and excellent work performance, he was a troubled mind lost in an abyss of desperation. I’d like to dedicate a poem to honor him. Then during my visit to a book sale, my daughter handed me a poetry book called “American Poetry 1671-1928”,that was published in 1929. I fell in love right away with Walt Whitman’s “Good-bye, My Fancy”, one of the many poems that are in the book. So, this one is for him.

May he rest in peace.

Picket fences


Good-bye, my Fancy!

Farewell, dear mate, dear love!

I’m going away, I know not where,

Or to what fortune, or whether I may ever see you again,

So Good-bye, my Fancy.

Now for my last-let me look back a moment;

The slower fainter ticking of the clock is in me,

Exit, nightfall, and soon the heart-thud stopping.

Long have we lived, joy’d, caress’d together;

Delightful! – now separation – Good-bye, my Fancy.

Yet let me not be too hasty:

Long indeed have we lived, slept, filter’d, become really

blended into one;

Then if we die we die together (yes, we’ll remain one),

If we go anywhere we’ll go together to meet what happens,

May-be we’ll be better off and blither, and learn something,

May-be it is yourself now really ushering me to the true songs

(who knows?),

May-be it is you the mortal knob really undoing, turning-so

now finally,

Good-bye – and hail! my Fancy.

Bird bath

Sweet Treats for Saying Hello

Back in the old days, an apple is given to a teacher as act of appreciation. It is so well-known that apple becoming sort of symbol with school and teachers. But instead of apple, I sent bags of sweet treats with the kids for their teachers. It’s kind of celebration for their first day of school. As I mentioned it before in my post before this, the kids’ school was closed due to tropical storm Irene. We’re thankful that everybody that we know from school are fine. It is also my way of smoothing the first day that sometimes making my kids nervous and anxious. So I made these paper bags that I filled with sweet treats. I used the template from the bag I got from this chocolate store I visited. The papers were scrapbook papers with two different sides. Make sure if you want to make some kind of container out of paper, use paper that is thick enough but still fold-able nicely. I also made tags with my kids’ names written on them as a way of saying ‘hello’ to their teachers and to get to know them better.

Sweet treat bags for teachers

Sweet treats for teachers

Sweet treats for teachers

Notebooks for Beloved Teachers

It’s that time of year again when I have to rush in the morning preparing three kids who still want to sleep to go to school. Although this year is a little bit different. The kids’ first day of school got postponed because of tropical storm Irene. Since the school lost its electricity for days. It’s a surprise to think that my kids were devastated by the news. So when the first day came finally, they actually cheered. They even woke up without any trouble and happily prepared themselves. Wow, I was amazed!

Before the school started, there was the school orientation for parents to fill up forms (times 3 for me, ugh) and for the students to know which teachers and classrooms they’ll have. To appreciate and get to know the kids’ teachers, I made several notebooks for them. The notebooks were made out of used products: tissue boxes and groceries bags. You know there are lots of cute and charming tissue boxes with awesome motifs, so why not use them for your craft. From one grocery bag (such as from Whole Food), you can get 30 pieces of 8,5 x 11cm notes. On the first day school last Friday, my kids brought the notebooks and a bag of sweet treats to school to say hi to their new teachers.

What you need:

– used tissue boxes

– groceries bags/ brown bags

– color rubber bands

– buttons and alphabet charms

– paper flowers

– ink stamp and sponge make-up (optional)

– patterned & regular scissors

– marker

– glue

– hole punch

How to make:

1. Cut the front and back sides of the tissue box and then cut into half. Punch two holes on the top side. These will be the front and back cover of the notebook.

2. Cut the grocery bag into small pieces of 8,5 x 11cm. Punch two holes copying the notebook cover holes.

3. Pick two rubber bands (preferably different colors). Tie one rubber band into one hole, then tie another one for another hole. Tie the two rubber bands together like so.

4. Make the decoration for the front cover. Cut small piece from tissue box with patterned scissors and distressed it with ink stamp. Write down JUST A NOTE on the piece.

5. Adhere the sentiment on the front cover and decorate with paper flower and button (for female teacher) or button with alphabet charm (for male teacher).

Notebooks from tissue boxes & groceries bags

Note book from brown papers & tissue box

Notebooks from tissue boxes & groceries bags

To One Good Teacher

One night my son came up to me and asked,”Can you make a card for my teacher?” It was almost the last day of school. But I had no particular theme for the thank you card and I didn’t have a lot of time. So I dug out my box of old crafts, where I usually put things that I made but never intended to give away or send away, or things that I made but never made it into something special, like a card or scrapbook or whatever. I chose an embossed crane in oriental theme that I created a while ago but never made into a whole other craft. While digging up for that particular piece, I remember I have a special quote from Chinese proverb about teachers. I thought that was just perfect! I stayed pretty late creating this card, even though it wasn’t a complicated one. But since I had so many things to do, making a thank you card was the last thing I had in mind. In the end, my embossed crane was a match with the proverb and also an oriental metal charm that I sewed onto the paper. On the day the school ended, my son proudly handed this card to his beloved teacher.

“One good teacher outweighs a ton of books.”

Oriental Crane  Card