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Two Alchemy Themed Altered Books by Laura Carson!

Filed under Art Projects, Collage Sheets, Featured Artwork, Giveaways, Laura Carson, Magic Potions Kit, Newsletters

Miz Bella is here today to tell you about TWO projects by Design Team Member Laura Carson! Let’s get right to it!

Today kicks off my favorite part of the year here at Alpha Stamps, when Laura Carson starts releasing Halloween-themed projects! Today Laura brings you Two Alchemy Themed Altered Books with Video Tutorials AND New Collage Sheets! Don’t know when the woman ever sleeps but I’m glad that she doesn’t because we love Laura’s creations! I also love Alchemy so this is a perfect start to my most favorite season of the year.

Both of Laura’s projects feature altering books where she has used egg shells (!) to create a texture on the cover of the books.The first altered book, Altered Dragon Book, features a dragon’s-eye cover 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 (and I love the use of the Antique Bronze Talon Pendants holding skulls as handles on the drawers). Faux suede cord wrapped around the book keeps the dragon contained and the tins in place.

You agree that the first book is quite a feat, yes? Wait until you see the second book. It’s truly an amazing work of art! The second altered book is an Alchemist’s Workshop (see the wide photo below). The texture on the cover is created by applying Creative Paperclay stamped with an Alchemy Symbols Rubber Stamp and once again, egg shells. Accenting the cover are collaged celestial embellishments. Standing guard above is a chipboard dragon coated with egg shells, and the images you see are mostly from the new Alchemy and Alchemists Workshop Collage Sheets that Laura created to coordinate with the two projects.

When you look at the other side of the book, you’re going to be blown away once again by the minute detail that Laura pays to detail. The aromatherapist in me is just freaking out over the little distillation unit that Laura created. (And I’m needing to get my hands on everything she used to create my own mini version!)

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 (made from 2 little bottles) and all kinds of bottles, bowls, candles, a scale and weights and other items that would outfit and alchemist’s workshop.

Stunning work as always from Laura Carson! Here is the supply list for the Altered Dragon Book and another for the Alchemist’s Workshop. Head over to Artfully Musing to find TWO video tutorials for directions on how Laura created her fabulous books and she has a couple of freebie downloads for you as well!



Hooray for the Alchemy Giveaway!

This week has a mix of items in the Giveaway: some back in stock items and a few of the fab alchemy things from Laura’s Alchemist’s Workshop:
Paper Mache Coffin Set (Ok.. so I may not be giving you a book to alter but how about a set of coffins?)
Large Ceramic Raven Bead
Fancy Brass Sun or Starburst
Dragons Die-Cut Chipboard Set
– Laura’s Alchemy Collage Sheet
– One of the Mini Resin Honey Jars
1 Inch Brass Star No Loop
– A set of Tiny Round Bottles (Laura used 2 to make her working hourglass)
– AND one of the new Mini Alchemy Half Sheets (see the bottom row of the photo at right for a close-up of some of the images)!

To enter the Alchemy Giveaway drawing all you have to do is leave a comment BELOW on this blog post TODAY OR TOMORROW (the deadline is 11:59 pm PST, FRIDAY, July 31, 2015)! AND tell me if you can think up a project using all of these Giveaway items, what would that project be and what other supplies would you add? Special second prize (both of Laura’s new Alchemy Collage Sheets) for most creative project idea!

Don’t forget to leave your (hello! correct) email address, too, so I can contact the winner; your email address does not need to be made public. Note: I’m offering free shipping, too, but only within the USA. International shipping will still apply.

Please be patient! Spammers try to post crap here a lot so comments are moderated. So if you don’t see your post in the comments section, be patient and check back in a few hours before re-posting it, please!

After midnight, I’ll randomly pick the winner (via So check your mailbox on Sunday morning to see who won and for the next Giveaway and Newsletter!

Hey, who won the Witch’s Cottage Fireplace Giveaway? That would be sheilaAR! (And she commented: “Incredible job, Shannon! I’ve been collecting some elements for a witch room but haven’t gotten there yet…you’ve inspired me! Could look at the contents of the cottage all day and still not see everything in it. Love!!!“) Please check your email for my request for your mailing address.

Posted by Leslie, July 30th, 2015

66 responses to “Two Alchemy Themed Altered Books by Laura Carson!”

  1. M. C. Sparks says:

    I wanna try a book with hidden drawers. Besides the kit I would need some Kraft paper for a grunge look

  2. Lyn Gill says:

    Oooo a mad scientist journal would be so awesome with the set! Gorgeous work on these altered books!

  3. Debbi Decker says:

    That Dragon Book is incredible! I’ve never done an altered book. It would be a fun project to try!

  4. DianeD says:

    Love this! My daughter is getting her Phd. in genetics and has her degree in Biology this would be perfect to customize for her.

  5. Laura says:

    This would make a fun occult store diorama for a Halloween display. It would add the tiny books for the bookstore part*/product_info.html?osCsid=3551cf1072d275695822c457276521a7 and the tiny pots for an herbalist stand, and And it would definitely need more jars and bottles for the concoctions made from the herbs.

  6. Lisa R. says:

    Oh my goddess!!!!! Even if I don’t win this time…Leslie all of these ideas for ole hallows Eve is soooo awesome!!! I am a HUGE FAN of Laura Carson!!! I’m gonna go broke retrieving these goodies for my haunted witch castle!!!! Thanks for the chance to win!! I completed MY version of the book of spells. I would love to share a pic with all of you!! Thanks again!

  7. Amy says:

    love it. amazing!

  8. Ina Good says:

    I love alchemy and I would make a wizards book and also use the magic potions kit my book would be with spells book base and drawers also I would also add edgar Allen Poe kit on top and inside to make it a spooky magical Halloween spell book.

  9. OMG i loooove all this stuff…i will win😘!!!!

  10. Nancy S says:

    Just love it! So many possibilities… Customizing for the little witch or mad scientist in your family…

  11. Lou Anne Colodny says:

    Oh this lady is fabulous. Laura Carson deserves many accolades. I would want to create the altered book with its alters….

  12. Cherie says:

    Love everything about this giveaway! I have an old, large book to alter and these would be the perfect items !

  13. Margery McInerny says:

    Oh my gosh. What a great morning to wake up, open my mail and find
    this! I love dragons and wizards and will make a magic alchemist’s castle. That is after I make the witches cottage. My head is spinning, not to mention my bank account.

  14. Gloria Stafford says:

    What would I do? I’d use these items to transform the base material of my work table into a magical coffin/closet/space ship that will transport me (& you too if you want to come along) to the very heart of Pluto for a great cosmic adventure!

  15. phoebe diamond says:

    I think I would make a shadowbox with lights in the back, mica and transparencies would create depth. It would be fun.

  16. Kim R says:

    I think my dead wizard has come back to life from his coffin with some deadly spells to conjure up!
    I would still need the Wizard collage sheet, chipboard backing, more tiny bottles for potions,a tiny crystal ball.+ more!green slime? magic dust?

  17. Pat Covington says:

    I love these altered books! The collage sheets would also be great for ATCs and Skinnies. What beautiful work.

  18. Cathy smith says:

    I love the collage sheets. I think it would be fun to make Merlin’s cave. You could make all sorts of alchemy stuff – and the dragon speaks of wizards more than witches. Or put hinges on the coffin and it could be a secret alchemy lab…..andnthen dragons could be on the front. Mid need the other bottles and labels of potions.

  19. barbara macaskill says:

    I would attempt to make a castle “in the sky” surrounded by flying dragons that would be in a mist of gauzey material. There would be stars, (of course there would be, it is in the sky), and I would use the little moonlights that I love as the twinkling stars. I would use an old chandelier as the base of the mobile since it has to be a hanging creation.
    I would also need some gilders paste to make the castle look old, paper clay to build the castle, 3D metal stars, chipboard moon and stars, Lindy’s Stamp Gang Industrial sprays, Moon & Stars Collage sheet, G-S Hypo Cement ( to make sure things stay stuck together), Chipboard layered iron bridge to go over the moat, at least one extra set of the dragons so I can make them 3D and the Gargoyle chipboard pieces would all be extra items that would get me started on this awesome creation!
    I a actually going to see if I can round up a few of these items so I can get started on this NOW!!!!
    Winning this would really help me get this creation out of my head and into the real world!

  20. barbara macaskill says:

    Forgot to add that my color palette is going to be grays, blacks, deep purples, blues and will be trying the egg shell technique on the dragons to make the even more realistic! I would also need to DecoArt Texture Sand Paste to give the castle a realistic finish.
    My email is

  21. I think I’d have to try Merlin’s workshop. I’m sure he was called upon to raise the dead from their coffins (need some skellies). I’d need lots of tiny books (I have that collage sheet!) and at least one cauldron. I think some fluffy substance for the steam rising out of the cauldrons and other various bottles and beakers. Some birdcages hanging from the rafters with all manner of beasties…. Spiders, dragon eggs… hmmmm…

  22. Jean Marmo says:

    Another amazing collection of fun goodies! Love the coffins! And those mini jars are just perfect! Those collage sheets are full of mystery and wonder! Love the inspiration!

  23. Noreen says:

    I love the eye! I’d set up a scene: a row of coffins painted black and covered with bits from the alchemy sheet. Skeletons inside in various states of decay with perhaps a bit of blood and rotting flesh. The ravens sitting on top of the coffins (already having eaten the eyeballs). The dragons would be flying over the coffins – preventing other predators from approaching. The honey jar is spilled out of one of the coffins, and the sunburst and star are part of the dragon loot that fell out when the rest was carried away.

  24. Traci says:

    Laura is truly amazing her ideas are beyond words. I so look forward to her halloween projects she is so talented and I always love her ideas. I have been thinking of making a coffin box with a workshop for a witch these items would be perfect for it. >^..^<

  25. Emily N says:

    Love the alchemy! I’d make a diorama of an alchemist’s workshop. He would need a crystal ball!

  26. Pat says:

    I just love these altered books and this project from Laura is so exceptional!
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  27. yvette leblanc says:

    love it! Book

  28. Karen N says:

    I love the coffins and would turn them into Halloween/Day of the Dead shrines using all the wonderful embellishments in this kit!

  29. Carolyn Bowlby says:

    I’ve been making altered books for a while, but nothing can compare with Laura’s creativeness. I am inspired.

  30. Gail says:

    Amazing kit! The ideas for a Halloween project are spinning….thank you so much for this.And thank you for the chance to have this wonderful kit.

  31. Jen R says:

    That Laura! So inspiring. I would use all of these elements in my haunted dollhouse. So many fun items, I could use in every room!

  32. Gail says:

    Amazing ideas! With Halloween coming really quickly this is perfect. Thank you for the chance to have this kit.

  33. Debra Gergely says:

    This is so awesome! I’ve been saving miniatures and little doo dads and bottles since I was a child and I am a book hound too. Not to mention my favorite holiday is Halloween so this couldn’t be more suited for me. I absolutely love love love it. Great Job!

  34. Francine perri says:

    I loved. Everything I would use them in my collages

  35. madamNatalia says:

    This is divine & magick!

  36. SW says:

    I really like the dragon book. Michael de Meng comes to mind.

  37. This is also my favorite time of the year for altered art! Boo! I hope I win some scary coffins!

  38. Mary Helene says:

    Such an awesome project. I love the mini jars.

  39. KIM says:

    I am drawn to the dragons.
    Dragons and coffin = viking coffin.
    I would put the coffin in a a forest setting.Lots of twigs small stones and greenery and crows standing watch.
    The coffin would be decorated to look like wood ,and adorned with a dragon,sunburst, a shield and sword.
    To honor a great viking .

  40. Roxanne says:

    wooohoo…I think I would make a Frankenstein style lab with a few ‘work’ tables with gears and chains and pulleys, stretcher and a few ‘almost finished’ zombies…with smiles of course. 🙂

  41. Nancy Sherman says:

    Love this project, so much to look at!

  42. Kathy R says:

    My favorite time of year approaches! I love the mini jars, eyeballs, dragon claws. I’d probably save this lot to add to others and make a small witchy cabinet of some sort.

  43. Jenni Brockob says:

    Oh my goodness!! I really really love the alchemy theme! So cool! I would like to make a medieval scene with some sort of wizard dude casting magic spells. I would like to add a skull, the mini scale, make a crystal ball with talons, and put together a mini bookcase complete with books. I think some gargoyles would add a nice touch too.

  44. Sharon says:

    I always want to win the giveaways no matter the subject…this is one where I am EXTRA crossing my fingers to be the random winner! How about turning the coffin into a trunk that has been found in the attic of Hogwarts, stowing away the supplies from long-dead faculty member?

  45. Becca F says:

    Love this topic – I’m binging on the TV series “Merlin” right now – what a fun thing to work on!

  46. Jo says:

    Love the dragon book – this giveaway has so many cool pieces!
    Would create a3D dragon journal with this, too!

  47. Megan Warren says:

    I think the supplies scream for a skeleton in the coffin with the dragon chipboard on the top as a coffin adornment. The skeletal alchemist of course would have to have a coffin full of his tools of the trade to take with him.

  48. Gina Goodling says:

    Just when I thought you couldn’t come up with another steller idea, you have done it again x 2, Laura! Eggshells for texture,brilliant idea for this dragon. I’m thinking a dragons dungeon, table top set up with all the alchemists bottles and bowl with dragon eggs and dragons hovering by!
    Bravo Laura, you must never sleep!
    Gina Goodling

  49. Holly says:

    I love these projects!
    I would start with the dragon book but would also do the other one.,
    I would add some of the fiber strings and maybe add a few charms!

  50. Karen Mallory says:

    Love Halloween things. I would make a coffin apothecary!

  51. Lou Anne H. says:

    I’d make a shadowbox with supplies for an alchemist’s workshop. I’d add a bunch of the mini bottles shown recently.

  52. I would cut pages to fit the coffin so when the lid comes off it would reveal all the hidden spooky items, you might even find a small wooden Book of Spells, or a bottle of blood carved into the pages.

  53. Sokat says:

    I think this speaks to me as a photo journal with coffin shaped pages that are attached and expand as you pull the out of the book. On the coffin top, decorate with some of the miniatures.

  54. Michelle Toops says:

    Wow these are cool projects.I would love to make one of these.

  55. Lisa Mills says:

    I would have to try to make an “Oddities” store. I would need stuffed animals a two headed cat, straight jacket, lots of jars with all the good gooy things to put into them, skeletons in a box, and of course the skeleton heads. Oh boy! My list would go on and on!! This would be fun to try and make!! Thanks for the great giveaway! Lisa

  56. Gail S. says:

    I would like to make a mini Halloween gathering and put it inside one of the artificial pumpkins that you can carve. Cut an opening in the front; and I want to a coffin as a table!

  57. Ginette says:

    My nephew would love to see Merlin coming back to fife.

  58. Marilyn H says:

    Since it the coffin is part of it, I would decorate it with the collage sheets (after painting it black), and then put the large starburst in the middle and stars on the side of the box itself. The inside would have one of the dragons in the lid and the ravens would be around the inside of the coffin. I would need a skeleton to go inside the coffin or at least some bones and some potion bottles. Oh, and I would line the coffin with red velvet.

  59. barb says:

    This is another great giveaway. A store for halloween with all these things in the window!!! really cool!

  60. Kathleen says:

    I’ve been wanting to make a new Book of Shadows, and these books give me great ideas. If I won the coffins, I think one could be a strangely-shaped book, and the other would have a small skeleton inside, sitting at a bench, working on all kinds of alchemy to attempt to become alive again…. Or, of course, a Wizard’s lair, complete with dragons and coffins and jars and potions…in other words, what CAN’T you do with all these things? THAT’S what you should be asking! haha! If nothing else, a Cabinet of Curiosities – I’d fill the coffins with all kinds of miniature skulls and tiny bones and jars and potions, complete with teeny shelving…..oh, the list is endless, because Halloween stuff is so versatile!

  61. Linda Marie says:

    I have a million and one ideas for the coffins. I can see the coffin slightly ajar with a hand sticking out. The surrounding room would be in deep purples, black and a touch of gold…..

  62. LeAnn says:

    I would make an altered coffin using all of the products. The only thing I would need is a skeleton.

  63. Lori D. says:

    I’m seeing a travelling gypsy caravan and using all the giveaway items for that. I would make the decorated wood wagon. It would be parked in a cemetary where a couple of coffins were dug up and opened, revealing the robbed corpses that I would sculpt.

  64. Sue Young says:

    Once again,Laura has totally blown my mind!As soon as I send this message I’m ordering supplies for the dragon eye book! Laura,you are SOOOOOO bad for my savings account!!!

  65. Kimberly Barcello says:

    … a hard question to answer, but something fun will come I’m sure!

  66. Diana Bittaker says:

    I just see mad scientists creating poisonous concoctions – I see a hauncback assistant in a dark and creepy lab! Lots of bottles, books, crows, and skulls – oh don’t forget anatomy posters and possibly a random creepy crawling hand in the lab!