Welcome! Artfully Musing is a blog dedicated to sharing art and the techniques and products used. I'll be showcasing collage, altered and mixed media art as well as miniature. I hope you'll check back often and are inspired. Thanks for visiting! Laura

NOTICE: AlphaStamps has moved to a new website. Unfortunately, I was not aware the product links in my blog posts would not forward to the products on the new website. This has affected both the links in the posts and my Collage Sheet & Digital Image Set Catalogs. I ask for your patience while I work to fix the links. I’ll be fixing the newest posts first working back in time. Lastly, I’ll fix the catalogs. In the meantime, if you encounter broken links and need to finding something you can either use the name of the product to search the new AlphaStamps.net site or you can email me using the “Email Me” button at the top of the left column of the blog and I will do what I can to help. Laura

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I thought I would start easing into the Halloween season with two Alchemy themed projects.  Both feature altering books where I've used egg shells to create a texture on the cover of the books.
The first altered book features a dragon’s eye surrounded by its scales.  Two holes cut into the pages on the side of the book, accommodate small tins filled with tiny bottles containing substances the alchemist would use in their quest to transmute elements into gold.  Faux suede cord wrapped around the book keeps the dragon contained and the tins in place.
The second altered book is an alchemist workshop.  The texture on the cover is created by applying paper clay stamped with an Alchemy themed rubber stamp and egg shells.  Accenting the cover are collaged celestial embellishments.  Standing guard above is a chipboard dragon coated with egg shells.
By folding and cutting the pages in the book, you can create architecture.  Inside the book is distilling equipment made from bottles, a working hourglass and all kinds of bottles, bowls, candles, a scale and weights and other items that would outfit and alchemist’s workshop.

Almost all of the images I’ve used on the books are from two new alchemy themed collage sheets.  The sheets are loaded with alchemy charts, architectural elements, bottles, distilling equipment, books, dragons and more.


Below is the dragon’s eye I used in the project.  Feel free to use it in your art.

Large White Turquoise Scull
Small Hinged Tins
Antique Bronze Talon Pendant
Mini Clear Resin Whiskey Bottle
Amber Resin Potion Bottle
MiniResin Honey Jars
Tim Holtz Tiny Glass Vials
Even Tinier Bottles
10mm Clear Glass Marbles
Raw Brass Box Feet - Cones
¼ Inch Wooden Mushroom Plug
Double Dot Vintage Gingerbread Scrapbook Paper
GildersPaste – Verdigris



Below is the alchemy manuscript I used in the project.  Feel free to use it in your art.

Dragon Die Cut Chipboard Set
Alchemy Symbols Rubber Stamp
Gold Bangle Bracelet
FancyBrass Sun or Starburst
Gold Crescent Moon Dresden
Bronze Pentagram Charms
Eyeball Cabs in Setting
Antique Bronze Pendant Setting with Claws
DIY Tiny Bottle Stoppers Mix
Gold Dresden Stars
12mm Glass Cat Eyes
Gears: Industrial
1 Inch Brass Star
3D Star Spacer Beads
Flat-Back Gold Star Studs – 12mm
White 11/4 Inch Rings
Vintage Mechanicals - Gears
Die-Cut Chipboard Clock Hands Set
6mm Round Gunmetal Beads
Silver Skeleton Pendant
MiniScale with Weights
Amber Resin Potions Bottle
Ghoulish Green Mini Resin Jars
Small Square Amber Bottles with Cork
Tim Holtz Tiny Glass Vials
Tiny Round Bottles – Used for the hourglass
MiniResin Honey Jars
Slightly Larger Mini Resin Honey Jars
Glass Teardrop Bulb Pendant or Ornament
15mm Round Glass Globe Domes – Hanging Lantern
Antique Bronze Skull Connector – Hanging Lantern
Tiny Wooden Bowls
Tiny Wooden Pots
Large White Turquoise Skull Beads
Antique Bronze 3D Skeleton Hand Charm
Silver Skeleton Pendant – Used for Hourglass
Gilders Paste - Silver
Copper Gilders Paste
GildersPaste – Verdigris
Lumiere Old Brass Paint
Nouveau Silver Patina Paint
Lapis Patina Paint
Pesto Alcohol Ink


ike said...

ACK !!! I am totally lost for words !!!! These are two of the most amazing things I've ever seen AWESOME doesn't even come close !! :-D

IKE xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

johala said...

Wahoo, very wonderful book which cover made me a little bit afraid! This big eye of dragon, BRRRR!
The inside is amazing as all you make!
Hugs and kisses

Karenliz Henderson said...

WOW Amazing book. From the big eye in the front to the inside of the book is jaw dropping amazing. WOW I have no more words.

fairyrocks said...

Outstanding!! As always, so inspirational and generous with your free graphics. Keep smiling and creating. I too have no problem with Halloween in July LOL.

Heather Maxwell said...

OMG Laura! How do you think this stuff up? You are one clever gal! Beautiful and imaginative in the extreme!

smokeysmom said...

WOW, WOW, wow! You are simply amazing my friend. I was able to follow your first book project but then got totally overwhelmed on the second. How do you come up with these amazing projects? Just amazing!

Erica said...

These are FANTASTIC!!! Thanks for the detailed tutorials. Has Alpha Stamps considered putting together kits where we can purchase everything we need for the project?

Chark said...

I think I just swooned! fab u lous!!

traci said...

OH Laura what a awesome book. You have the best imaginations and love everything you do. You never cease to amaze me by your awe inspiring projects. I would love to see this book in person-I can't imagine the work put into it. I am at a loss for word. >^..^<

Shoshi said...

I am not at all into halloween but I have to say these projects are truly amazing in their execution! Fantastic work, and I love the texture from the broken egg shells, and the "secret drawers" idea in the first book. Folding the pages of the second book has made an amazing sculpture and all the embellishments complete the project beautifully. I am full of admiration!


Linda Knox said...

OMGosh, Laura, these projects are so wonderful. Thank you sooooo very much for sharing how you made these pieces and all your creation tips and tricks AND the eyeball and alchemist sheet. I had been saving egg shells before I moved and my daughter laughed at me. Of course they went to the trash as we moved and now I have to start saving again. One question for you: after you add the gilder's paste, do you seal with anything? Thanks again and I am off to Alpha Stamps to see what I need :)

Chark said...

So, after watching the video and seeing all your work and creative ideas, I had to share on my blog. I hope that's ok, but you are my new art hero, so I couldn't help myself. http://glitterinmykitchen.blogspot.com/2015/07/sharing-with-my-friends.html

I linked back to you and alpha stamps. I'm so inspired to try it, but I'm also sure I can't pull this off like you :) I'm gushing, right? Oh well, I'm not the only one here doing that! You rock!

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

OMG!! Laura, these are BOTH absolutely incredible, off to watch your videos to find out how you made these amazing altered books! Thank you so much yet again for sharing your amazing talents with us all.

BurningRubber said...

These are stunning!!!

Ms Misantropia said...

Amazing creations as always - and I love the spookiness!

Betsy Skagen said...

Holy cow Laura. While I always love your work, the alchemest workshop in particular just blew me away.

I have to ask...just how long did it take you to make it? It is such labor of love?