From my pile of available books I chose the Charlie Brown Encyclopedia to alter. The theme of the book is Stars and Planets which complements my chosen theme , the Moon.
I keep a box stuffed with files full of pictures that I have torn out of magazines, newspapers, and brochures plus postcards and greeting cards. While organizing and adding items to the files I discovered that I had a number of pictures that featured the full moon. So naturally the theme presented itself.
I find myself creating my covers first. My reasoning is I like to attach items to my covers and that may mean holes with eyelets or brads, wire or ribbons. If I wait til the end to do the cover it also means my first spread must wait as well. Particularly if I have added items to the cover that will require brad ends or eyelet holes be concealed.
I have had very good luck creating my covers first with one exception. I had used an old piece of costume jewelry on a cover and halfway through the alteration process it broke apart into several sections. It caused me to go back and rethink the cover and redo the first page spread.
For this book's cover I began by painting it using black, slate and quarry pebble acrylic paints. On the cover was a picture of a half moon which I chose to retain. The cover ended up requiring two coats of paint. I am planning on painting a Full Lady in the Moon on the cover next