Here’s a genre-busting concept – cutting words from one story in order to carve out another.  Literally.

For about a year, Jonathan Safran Foer carried a printed manuscript of Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz with him, along with a highlighter and red pen. The story, Tree of Codes, is the result. He approached the project one page at a time ~ looking for promising words or phrases, trying to involve and connect what had become his characters, and thinking, too, about how the page would look.  Tree of Codes is a small response to a great book. It is a story in its own right, but it is not exactly a work of fiction, or even a book.



As our lives become more digitalized, the beauty of the page still mesmerizes me.  As do the artists who collect discarded books from thrift store bins and  dumpsters to create works like these.



Pulp fiction meets the Pop-Up Book.



A dictionary, chiseled with knives and tweezers, becomes a visually compelling sculpture.




Covers and spines become a blank canvas defined by painted imagery.



Books are fashioned into wearable pieces of art.



Intricate scenes are created with only a few carefully cut and folded pages.




Inspired?  Find ideas in these, um, books.  It’s a Per Diem Good Thing.


Altered Books Workshop – Transform old books into one-of-a-kind pieces of art with Altered Books Workshop! In this book, readers receive detailed instructions for the newest craft craze–altered books–which combines bookmaking, collage, journaling, rubber stamping, papercrafting, stitching, embellishing and much more.

Altered Art: Techniques for Creating Altered Books – The illustrations in this book are numerous, gorgeous, and absolutely helpful, supporting an encouraging text that starts with general information, including basic techniques and ideas about selecting a starting-point object.

New Directions in Altered Books – This book was chock full of great ideas and inspiration for working with altered books. It covers such topics as choosing the right book, preparing the book, design principles, tools and materials, and techniques for altering books. Then there are many projects, each with a picture of the finished book, a list of instructions, and materials and tools.

Toni 3/30/11

The Osprey Helps Me Get a Grip

The osprey are back–at least in front of the camera at Milford Point.

Photo: An osprey preparing to dive

Today I hungered for some good news, and then, once I found it I yearned to dig a little more, to latch onto some intriguing factoid.

I was driven to this desire because I’d listened to back to back NPR news analyses on Libya and Japan. My head spun, and my spirits sagged. We’re not getting this right. Things just aren’t resolving. People aren’t making it. The bad guys are still in front. Radioactivity continues to be released.

You get the picture.

Therefore it was with delight that I captured the news that the Ospreys are back in Connecticut. Thank you Audobon Society for all things New and Wonderful.

And here’s the nifty factoid. Osprey are fabulous fishermen, er birds. From 30 to 100 feet they spot the fish. They hoverhoverhover and then divedivedive. Right before impact, the Osprey pushes its talons ahead of itself. Sometimes it’s fully immersed and has to thrash about to get up and out of the water with its catch. So it’s snatchsnatchsnatch and thrashthrashthrash.

Osprey talons are amazing. In addition to gripping pads, the talons are adapted so that one of its three front toes bends backwards. So,picturing this now? so, each foot has two toes pointing frontwards and two pointing backwards. This and their curved claws help them pluck fish from the water, get a grip, and keep it. I don’t know if they do this next thing in flight or if they pick the fish up this way first. But as they fly to their feeding perches they put the fish head first to cut down on wind resistance.

Aerodynamic and beautiful to behold.

Osprey (sometimes known as the sea hawk) flyin...
Image via Wikipedia



Osprey near nesting platform at Milford Point.