Thursday, February 24, 2011

Princess of the Valley of Butterflies

It has come to my attention that creating art lately often means that I'm also writing - just not writing it down.  This weekend I took time off from the novel to crate a handmade book for my granddaughter.  I've made a number of these mini books, photo albums, journals, what have you, but not one of her, for her yet and I have so many photos of her.  However, like many with digital cameras do, I've let them stay on the computer.  So I took this spring like weather (my daffodils are blooming)  and started her book which revolves around butterflies since her name. Kendall Vanessa, means "Princess of the Valley of Butterflies. 
It became a two day marathon session, most of it in the zone, a tiny bit replenishing supplies, which I did more than food, and a completed 10 pages so far. This type of book, making everything, including the book pages, the letters, and many other items. Perhaps, because I've done so many I come up with the various stages working on one page at a time on many of the steps, i.e., choosing the photos, color theme, accents.  But then I start a second round where I go back in one fell swoop and add all the lettering and wording, make the tags, add bling such as Swarski crystals and both Prima and handmade flowers.  Additional add-on embellishments were K & Company butterflies and dragonflies, Tim Holtz tickets and metal charms.   I used my new Sizzix machine to die cut Tim Holtz grungeboard letters and accents and also used pieces form his elements collection and embossed many of the pages with Tim Holtz, Sizzix and Cuttlebug dies and then accented them with Distress inks and Perfect Pearls embossing powders to get that 3-D look. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine Wolfe mini album

I made this mini album back in the fall of 2010 but couldn't show it until I handed it over to Sarah and Braxton, the singer and double bass player for the goth/steampunk macabre musical group, Valentine Wolfe.  This duo has appeared in a variety of venues including clubs, steampunk and other conventions and even are booked for an upcoming tea house.  By day, Braxton is a double bass player with the Greenville (SC) Symphony Orchestra and Sarah is a costumer at Costume Curio. Sarah also has her own specialized costume and accessory business on Etsy, called Valentine Wolfe,  focusing on corsets, shrugs, top hats, tri corns, wrist cuffs,  and many many more amazing items which are especially desired in the goth and steampunk arena.
Sarah and Braxton are an incredibly talented couple.  And because they were so kind as to give out free Valentine Wolfe Cd's at one of our local gatherings of the Upstate Steampunk Dining Out Society, I felt inspired to make them a mini album. I haven't shown the photos before this due to time, other things going on and the fact that I couldn't reveal it until I delivered it to them late last year.
Because they do goth and steampunk, I went for an elegant but grungy look using a lot of black, browns and reds, for some reason the butterfly hits me with them because of how light and airy Sarah's voice is.
I used a lot of different products some from Tim Holtz, 7 Gypsies, Graphic 45 papers and tags, the Once Upon a Time papers photo mats and journaling cards.  Of course, I added a lot of musical symbols and elements and lots of journal pages and journaling tags because they travel to a number of performances each year and perhaps this will help to capture some of those memories.
I added fold-out photo books too. As a  special tribute, in one of the envelopes, I stashed the lyrics to one of their songs for remembrance.  And used keys words such as dream because they are doing just that - following their dreams. They are so photogenic and wear such amazing stage costumes, it was hard to choose what photos to include. Some of the photos were accentuated by the artist, James Nimmons. Hopefully they'll find places in this journal to add more as they continue on their lyrical journey. I bound it with three book rings and added handspun yarns, ribbons, charms and bling to the binding rings.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Titling Dilemma

The current novel is progressing faster than I expected, with a number of chapters and a lose framework for the ending in my head.  The social calendar since Christmas has been heavy, in a time period I usually acquaint with hibernation and I've been eating out way way too much for both my waistline and pocketbook.  So I'm looking forward to some time for hibernation prior to the full rush of spring, if only to come up with a suitable title, and if lucky finish the novel which now weights in at a good 37,000 pages, past the hump. and heading to the ending,.
The book, first titled The Foxglove Broadsides has now flown through three different titles and is now settling somewhat on Orchideliruim. Perhaps this last one will stay despite the fact it's a Victorian, not steampunk term. But it fits the subject matter. There are a number of steampunk aspects to the book but the plot revolves around the fever which took hold of many previously calm British citizens who turned into thieves, brigands and criminals because of their fascination with this botanical prize. The orchid in the book is a rather special orchid over and above any found during the Victorian era or since, but the title still fits. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Giddy days ahead

I feel like a crazy fan girl - but the new Tim Holtz products have been previewed andI'm so excited.  Not that I don't have enough material to work with right now, as my stash boxes are full, but it's as if Tim has read the collective mind of altered artists who like offbeat, grungy, dark side, steampunky gear. From the mini vintage artifacts such as real glass bottle and watch cases to the Sizzix dies and the Stampers Anonymous stamps. His booth at Cha was like a Disneyland for paper and 3-D artisans!  I can't wait til these become available.  I haven't drooled over previews like this since waiting for the last Apocalyptica album.  And while I'm working on some mini albums with a light spring flavor, I have constant visions of the darker 3-D boxes and assemblages I want to create.  Now I don't have to hunt antique shops or flea markets for some of the oddball items I need. 
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