From Cover to Cover (Which is Not to be Confused with From Sea to Shining Sea)

My souvenir from The Grassroots Art Gallery in Lucas, Kansas (I’ll tell you more about that another day) was this altered book created by Luanne Howell.






I have long loved altered books . . . and never given myself time, space, or permission to create one.

Until now.


This morning was the annual library used book sale where you fill boxes, bags, buckets with books then just make a donation on your way out. I caught myself reading book flaps to see what I thought about the book, then I wondered why it mattered, given that it’s all donation-based.

Oh, all these aren’t mine, silly. There were four of us, and this is our collective loot.

These are the jewels I adopted:


Some I’ll read; others I’ll alter while The Engineer (who filled three boxes) is busy reading. My selection criteria for books to alter was (1) hardback and (2) fetching book covers. I only picked up hardback books with fetching covers, and the kinda’ amazing thing? The books with the interesting covers were all fiction books about Southern women. Ha.

It feels rather sacrilegious to alter books. And I also hear the stern voice on my committee scoffing at how I can’t stick to one thing and how I should be stitching and asking what I’m going to do with them anyway. You know the kind of stuff he barks at me. I think it’s time to stop that nonsense voice, so I choose to follow the soft whisper of my wise woman who says simply “Do it.”

And I’ll no doubt be inspired by Susan Lenz’s altered books.

I even have an idea for a way to alter the perennially popular Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Hint: The title will become “Gift from Nancy.” Gift from the Sea . . . Gift from Nancy . . . Get it? Maybe you have to say it aloud. Or just stay tuned cause you know I’ll keep you posted.


  1. moonreader

    The last time I went to a book sale, I wandered , blissfully… I picked up 3 books. all Hardback. Each with my own fantasies about altering them.
    The first book was snatched by..(x) and I was admonished, as it was published in 1819, and ” was I out of mt ever loving mind?” ( you should have seen those old stained pages.. swoon) The second book was snatched by Another (x) and it was a marvulous book full of maps… Oh the things I was going to do with those maps.. They were battle maps.. Harumph… and well i was admonished again in a different voice and my book was snatched away. The last book was an old sears roebuck catalog circa 1918, and I tell you.. that one, had every juice flowing and when I was admonished by (y) and it was snatched away I threw my hands up in the air and told them all to go get themselves to the damn sale, and quit taking my books! but I have never considered an altered book again.. I think all that snatching, snatched the wind from my sails.. dontcha know.
    So Now I get to live vicariously through you! Because your crowd was kind enough to get their own books ( hence no snatching at your house) and You can share with us the beautiful gifts from Nancy.. 🙂

    • whollyjeanne

      snatching can kill a craving quicker than most anything. (except that voice.) i had a box started today, and bam – some stranger snatched it up for their own. it’s crazy. and ridiculous. and it took me a long time to get back in the swing of things. (that’s when i developed my new selection criteria.) (and carried my own books in my own arms.) i’d love to see any book you altered. maybe i’ll send you one . . .

Pull up a chair why don't you, and let's talk . . .

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Where in the world is The 70273 Project? Please add a pin to show us where you are in the world. (1) Click the + sign in upper righthand corner of map. (2) Enter your first name only. (3) Enter your city/state. (4) Using the pins at the bottom of the map, select a marker based on how you are involved. (5) Select preview to see before posting. (6) Select submit to post. Please add a marker for each role you serve in The 70273 Project.

Support The 70273 Project

Allow me to introduce myself . . .

Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

special delivery: get blog posts hot off the press


© 2024 Jeanne Hewell-Chambers’ Barefoot Heart

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑