Sunday, January 30, 2011

History preserved

Take a good look at the envelopes above, then think of the Ugly Duckling story and how she transformed into the beautiful swan. Amazing how the eye can see one thing and creativity can completely make it into another.

I used the Dulwich Collection papers by Delish. It's lovely paper isn't it? I have to say that it's not something that would normally catch my eye. Before I go on I have to pay credit to two people. Firstly the idea of the album was from Laura at I love her tutorials they are always great and so full of fun. If you are after some inspiration pop over to her blog and have a look, she's fabulous.
So thank you Laura for the great idea for making an album from envelopes! Yes can you believe it? I used 6 envelopes and followed Laura's instructions to form them into a blank album. She is so clever.
Secondly I must say Thank you to one of the Ladies at my local scrap store Eunice. She is a very very talented lady and showed me that she was about to make these albums with this range of papers. Now I have not seen how Eunice completed her album, no doubt that it will be outrageously exceptional and different to mine. After all, each one becomes an extension of it's creator doesn't it? I would never have picked up these papers. I did look at them when they first appeared in the store and thought mmmmm not for me, but Eunice planted the seed in my head and they actually are perfect for this album that I made for my mum. *clap clap Eunice*

Anyway so I bought the papers home and over the following weeks I gathered supplies. I liked the steel blue type cardstock, it seemed to lift the greyish muted tones of the paper. The white embellishments also help to brighten it up without detracting from the older style of the paper. I bought lots of trinkets and silver charms and had a great deal creative satisfaction putting it all together. I also used the lovely Dark Room door stamps, lots of rubons, Prima flowers, Kaiser diamontes (just have to have *bling* on everything darlingk!), heaps of ribbons, KindyGlitz and my new Carl paper trimmer (oh how I just love that trimmer!).
It's very much a mini recap of my mum's family. I actually photographed the photos so that she could keep the originals and I think the copies came up pretty good considering the originals were a little faded. It's funny but I sort of think that the photos seemed to take on an energy of their own once they found their rightful place in the album. I did a bit of shuffling and moving, cropping and tagging to get them in. I have also left a few blank spaces for more photos or momentos. There is plenty of journaling space on the tags for mum to write and document the mini story behind each photo, a very important thing. I love the feel of the feathers and the hard clinky charms on the spine. The ribbons almost make a nest for them to sit. Mum was really pleased with the result and I hope that I have done justice to the memory of my relatives, some of which I had never met. This is my gift to them.
Just goes to show, even a kid sitting on a tricycle has no idea that they are making a memory at the time. You just never know when you are making a memory (as they say, well so says Ricki Lee Jones!).


Saturday, January 29, 2011

All my paper creations have a story. A memory. (Story No.2)

This is a Recipe Memory Book that I made for my cousin about 3 years ago as a Christmas present.
It is full of my Nan's recipes written in her own hand and traces history and memories through photos and food.
I worked long and hard on this book. It took me hours upon
hours. It had to be perfect. It was a labour of love, after all. I was not going to accept anything less from myself . I think she would have been proud. Well I truly hope so anyway, yes I know she would. I was so lucky to have inherited (most willingly with totally open arms, running and diving in) my Nan's craft stash, well let's say as much as I could store. My Nan 's craft stash was something to behold let me tell you. It was similar to the cartoon when they open the magic cupboard and everything sparkles and tinkles and fireworks go off. There was never ever a time that I asked my Nan for something that she did not have in her stash. It was unbelievable. Using lace and ribbon and buttons (from a selection of a million colours, shapes and sizes), from "the stash", I managed to put together this book. It started off a naked paper bag book that I purchased on eBay. For those of you who don't know, these are made from a bunch (6 or so) of good quality brown (or coloured) paper lunch bags. Yes I can hear you saying "What the....?" They are ironed and flattened and then sewn to form a book. The open edges of the bags form "pockets" and can be used to store and preserve treasures and secrets.
The recipes were copied as there is no way I would use my original cookbook, then they were soaked in tea, coffee, cinnamon and star Anise. My nan used those spices in her cooking all the time and the aromas themselves evoke memories and thoughts. So I infused them into the pages. Then I threw them (the recipes) in the microwave for a few minutes, then ironed them flat. I also added a bit of sewing here and there as of course, my nan was also an expert sewer.

People always ask me "How could you give it away after all that work?" Well I guess that's a fair question. I gave it to my cousin. Willingly. I actually made it for her. She knows what it means and she knows the value of it. I knew that she would feel that way. Only this Christmas gone we had a discussion about it and she told me that this book is a revered item in their house. When they moved it was packed with the "Special" items. You know that "Special" box that you pack all the "Guard with your life" items. I also left spaces for photos of her own and space to record thoughts or memories.
So she is "The Memory Keeper" in this case.

You know what he hardest part was? Finding a title. It wasn't "just" a Recipe book, and it wasn't a photo album, so what would I call it. Nothing seemed to fit. Does giving it a title mean it's a "closed" book, a finished work? It's never finished, memories live on forever so how could it be finished?
I never gave it a title, just a kiss and closed the cover.

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's just one of those things

Yes, it's just one of those things. Consuming, encompassing and linked to your soul. It's unexplainable, addictive and never ending.
I have always loved crafts, ( and stationary) all types of crafts (and stationary *hehehe*). I have tried and loved cross stitch. This became an obsession (also) but became impossible when I had kids. The attention span needed to stay "on track" and follow the pattern made it too easy for mistakes. It's very infuriating to work for so long on a project and find that when you view the whole picture, that the eye is where the nose should be. This could be attributed to one of a million interruptions while furiously marking the patterned squares with a fluro marker. Still managed to stuff it up. I think that I was quite good at it, I managed to turn out some nice pieces that I was really happy with.
I have also tried Folk Art. Now that I also loved. The paint and the colours. Yes I still have a basket full of Jo Sonja's paints that my girls now use for their various painting creations.
Mmmm what else have I tried, oh yes, Quilting, loved that but a bit tedious and I needed a bit more room to be organised than I had. I was never a great knitter (except for footy scarves, I managed that ok) but I was pretty good at crochet. I remember as teenagers my friend Sandra and I would sit and furiously crochet our own bikini's and occasionally the side chain stitch that we would tie the sides together with would "snap" in the surf. Not very often though, thank goodness. We would even crochet at the beach the next cossie while wearing the current creation. Yes, did a bit of sewing too. We would go directly to the leather tanners and buy our hide and make our skirts and tops for partying in on the weekend. They were pretty good I thought. Original if nothing else! *laugh laugh*
I have also managed to paint murals on my daughters walls (Winnie The Pooh's Tree House) and various other things. I dabbled with Quilling too, briefly, very briefly.
Anyway that's enough boring stuff. When I discovered PAPER and scrap booking about 10 years ago I was slow to dive in. One because I had a little toddler to contend with and money was tight. Now though I am pretty much submersed in it and have been lucky enough to be able to start to teach a few classes here and there at my local scrap booking store. This may be as a result of spending way too much time there and the ladies I guess suggested that I should just make official? *chuckle chuckle*. What a wonderful, lovely and sweet bunch of ladies they are too.
So now that I have the "bio background" covered I will star to show you past and present works that I create and maybe someone will be inspired to give it a try.