This dress is the first piece in a Contemporary Craft Collection in which all pieces begin with a garment. My intention is to push Mixed-media Stitch beyond its limits by combining concepts of Altered Couture, Journaling and Altered Books. This garment is a "Dance Dress" and its theme tells the story of joy and happiness. I have sewn in fabric "pages", numbered them and hand printed my story, letter by letter, using Stazon Inks and rubber stamps. Bits of music scoring from a vintage hymn book are collaged into the pages of this "book". The bodice of this dress has more hand-stamped text, antique buttons, game tiles and other found objects including sequins and beads. I actually wore this dress (before altering it) about 10 years ago and enjoyed going out to dance in it! Ultimately this Collection of Garment Books will include a Gothic Leather cape which will tell a story of Grief and Loss, a Wedding Dress, a Vest, a Cap and Gown, a Vintage Negligee and a variety of other pieces. A common element of my work is that I start with a piece of clothing as my inspiration and 'canvas' since I am an avid fashionista. From there you will see text, vintage papers and all kinds of found objects incorporated into the altering of the couture along with a healthy dose of hand stitching and embellishment.