Birds & Words

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Collection Folio - CC3C#23

Hey, there Artist Friends!  What a week!  I truly hope you all enjoy this challenge as much as I have.  This time we're going to alter Tim's awesome Collection Folio.  You'll find this one on page 34 of Compendium of Curiosities III, which you really must own.  No, really.  You've got to own it.

Just to be sure you include everything you need to be be eligible to win, please visit Linda Ledbetter's blog for your guidelines.  Be sure and visit all the Curiosity Crew blogs and leave a little love!!  We sure appreciate it and appreciate you participating in these challenges with us!!

Our generous sponsors for this challenge are Inspiration Emporium and Tim Holtz.    IE has a $50 gift certificate for a lucky randomly chosen winner and the Curiosity Crew Choice will receive a fabulous collection of Tim Holtz signature products donated by Tim & Mario for these challenges.   Everyone has a chance to win!!

All that being said....   Wanna play?  Let's go!!

I sit before you exhausted, but happy.  I don't know if I've ever worked so hard on an art project.  The possibilities know no bounds when it comes to Collection Folio.  I had a plan in my head for this challenge.  But everything, EVERY thing changed when I heard about a new book from the beloved Harper Lee.  To Kill a Mockingbird has long been a literary treasure for me and for many people.  When I heard the news of a new publication (its not really a "new" book, but rather a manuscript that predated the writing of Mockingbird), I knew instantly my love for To Kill a Mockingbird had to be the focus of this challenge for me.  My passion took over!

This blog will have more pictures and text than most of my posts, so please forgive my self indulgence and join me in celebrating this great book!

My passion for this theme made this project both easier and harder.  Easier because there are so many iconic images, ideas and symbols associated with this book that I had an abundance of material to work with.  Harder because this book and this author are so important to me that everything had to be just right.  I worked and reworked tags, elements, messaging, over and over.  Truthfully, I wish I had another week (MONTH) to work on this, and I may continue to work on it after the challenge is posted.  But it is truly satisfying to work very hard at your art and this one brought me great joy.
The cover includes many essential symbols from the book, and even includes a "miniature" of the book itself, which I describe below.  This project is absolutely full of symbols.  If you've read this book, and most of us who attended school in the U.S. have, you'll recognize many of these symbols.  I encourage you to click on photos in this blog and see some closer pics and so see some of the subtler messages from TKAM, interpreted through mixed media.

I used a paperback copy of the book and tore pages and quotes to use strategically.  I made a small "book" by gluing bits of the pages to Wendy Vecchi's Clearly for Art Blackout.  I stamped an open book stamp from B Line Designs, cut out three of these images, and then heated them.
I thought I had a better picture, but you can see above in the top right a little form I created.  I used two paint brushes and taped down a scrap of card stock over them to form an open book shape.  After heating Clearly for Art, I laid the soft modeling film on my form and held it till it cooled.  I did this with all three layers, glued them together with Glue n Seal and then clipped them till they dried.

My project is essentially a story board of the story.  I used sticky notes to prepare my layout and the images I would need to find.  Even though I freely borrowed pictures from the movie, my project is really focused on the book and my appreciation for this wonderful work of literature.
This whole project proved really difficult to photograph.  I've tried to give you a shot of the open flaps and layers and then a close up of each page as its revealed.  Thanks to my sweet huz, Rick, for a couple of extra hands holding things open while I photograph.  
Below is a close up of a woodgrain tag with some of the trinkets Boo Radley left for Scout and Jem in the tree in front of the Radley house.
Jem, Dill and Scout.  When the book begins, Scout is 6 years old.
One of many inspiring passages.

The next page introduces the relationship between Scout and her father, Atticus, and to Harper Lee herself.   The book was published in 1960 and is set in fictional Macomb, Alabama.  This shot was taken near that date.  Harper Lee's first name is Nelle, which is what her family and close friends still call her.  And she still lives in Monroe, Alabama, where she grew and which inspired the setting for her book.
I wanted to include mockingbird symbols, birds, feathers, etc., on characters that I think represent that in the book.  Tom Robinson is one.  Oh, by the way.  All birds in this Collection Folio are mockingbirds.  Even the ones that don't look like it.  Artistic license.  ;-)

Incredibly, the opposite side of the flash cards for "brave father" say "little glory".  This image of Atticus leaving the court room defeated but honored, incorporated that sentiment well.
This is one of the most moving passages in the whole book for me.

 My book closes with a modern day picture of Nelle.
And my blog closes the way I think might please our author, with her words.  These are the closing sentences of To Kill a Mockingbird.  I'll let them speak.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dimensional Cutting Pad

Leave it to Professor Holtz to come up with a different way for die cutting.  You run your die and your paper through the machine and it cuts, right?  The Dimensional Cutting Pad does this, but with a twist....  And therein lies our CC3C #22!  Check out page 62 of Compendium of Curiosities Volume III (click here to get YOUR own copy) for all you need to know for this challenge.
I was inspired by several things for my card for this challenge.  I knew I wanted to use Movers & Shapers Mini Butterflies, Tim's new Flourish stencil, and the lovely sentiment from Wendy Vecchi's Art and You set.  
 I spread a layer of Ranger Matte Medium on a scrap of Wallflower paper, laid a wide piece of lace over it, and the spread Matte Medium over the lace, and set it off to dry.
Once dry, I die cut the butterflies and then painted them with gesso.  I spritzed it with water to thin it a little, and then set these off to dry.  
I wanted the butterfly wings to stay a little open, so I snipped some little paper scraps to glue under the wings to keep them separated.  You could do the same with a bit of chipboard or grungeboard.
You can see here under the butterfly wings, they stay spread a little.
 Using my Wendy Vecchi Archival ink pad in Dandelion, I deposited some color on my craft sheet and mixed it with a dollop of WV Embossing Paste.  Creamy sweet buttercream embossing paste.  I didn't eat it.  Yay me!!

 Do you ever think "what in the world did I do before I had Embossing Paste or Distress Paint??"  I think that all the time!!
I need to balance the left side of the card and Tim's Spring Greenery strip die is just the thing.
My gesso butterflies get Vintage Photo edges, of course.  Also couldn't get by without this, but since I've lived in TimHoltz Land, I've never had to.
Ready to try it?  Grab your copy of Compendium of Curiosities III, turn to page 62  and get crafting!  This challenge is hosted by Funkie Junkie Boutique with a generous $25 gift certificate and a whopping oh-my-gosh-I-gotta-have-that prize package donated by Tim Holtz, who apparently has access to an enormous amount of his own signature products.  Enormous.  Amount.  Enter, you want to win this!!  Visit Linda Ledbetter's wonderful blog to get all the guidelines.  Not a lot of rules, just a few for fairness, easy to be eligible.  Visit all the Curiosity Crew blogs and leave a little love.  They'll all love you right back.

Happy Valentine's Day!!