Decided to take a break from holiday preparations and get my hands messy. After a few false starts, I chose to simply gesso a bunch of old dictionary pages, stick in a strip of muslin and a leftover piece of star-printed mulberry paper and fiddle around with it. Also wanted to use some of the wonderful images by Crafty Individuals that my dear friend Kate recently sent, so I tried a contact paper transfer and used a portion of it for my focal image. Got a bit heavy handed rubbing the back of the paper away. Hence, the partial image. But I wasn't going to abandon it entirely, so I motored on. Shuffled the paper arrangement a bit until I liked the way it stacked. Tried to roll it like a scroll and wrap the image around it, but that didn't look right. So I folded the left side inward and was pleased with the way the paper edges overlapped. Then I stitched an arch of sorts to bind the pages and provide a border for the transfer image. The image was sewed on and the piece began to take shape.
The sides needed something additional, something other than a little more stitching. Finally decided on a swath of sheer ivory, decorative ribbon which I stitched to the paper composition with a coordinating thread. It still needed further embellishment to balance it out. I dug through quite a few doo-dads before settling upon the small brass crosses from Ashes2Beauty. If you have not seen this selection of embellishments, check out the website. Hands down my fav. Initially, I tried hand-sewing the crosses to the whole thing, but the threads were actually a bit distracting. Just looked out of place. Ended up using red-liner tape to fasten them. Gotta love red-liner tape. Couldn't live without it.
The piece had, by then, sort of taken on a theme. Just had to find the right words to express it. As is my custom, I turned to my stash of beeswax dipped, vintage text pages and went on a word hunt. Ah . . . there it was. The fundamental meaning of Christmas parsed down into four simple words . . . "Covenant of Thy love". Didn't I just do something similar? Oh well, that's how this art stuff works. Variation on a theme.
Ordinarily, I would have considered the piece done. It looked like a sort of oversized ATC. Maybe a slightly disproportionate skinny card. But it did not FEEL finished. I have discovered that you do not dictate what will result from your artful endeavors. The art dictates itself to you. It lets you know when it looks right or wrong, needs tweaking here or there, and above all, it tells you when you are done . . . or not. Thus, a backboard or mat was needed, and something substantial, hefty. Fortunately, I'd recently stumbled upon a hoarde of old, $1.00 books at an antique store and had purchased a few to have on hand. The brown cover of one of those old books serves as the backboard for this piece. I love the splotches and the naturally distressed edges of the cover. The dark background sets off the neutral colors of the assemblage quite nicely. And, thus, it is "done". . . at least for now.
Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and time with their families !!
Ciao for now,
Ciao for now,