2021 Topic 9: Baubles & Bling
I'd already been thinking of creating some jewel-like Elizabethan miniatures with the intricate Lynne Perrella images full of natural imagery, and then I thought I would surround them with more of nature's treasures - moss, eggs, feathers and so on.
When I realised I was going to have to bling it up, I had a slight panic attack, until I remembered some clear plastic baubles which I'd ordered one Christmas, full of plans to make decorations with them. Happily, I didn't get round to that at the time, so there they were in the stash just begging to be used.
I couldn't see any reason why I shouldn't still have some of nature's treasures... the moss and some flowers, but I exchanged the eggs for shiny pearl baubles and some beaded stamens nestled in the moss.
But there's work to do before we get to all that... first of all, my Elizabethan miniatures. I chose images from one of Lynne Perrella's latest releases, LPC47.
I stamped them using my stamping platform so that I could paint them and then re-stamp for the detail.
You can see what a difference the final stamping makes (done in Archival Ground Espresso) and it also means you relax while you're painting if you know it can all be retrieved later!
I used a simple palette of fairly bright colours of Fresco Chalk Acrylics, along with some Salvaged Patina Distress Ink, sometimes mixed with the paints, to create the translucent glow of the background skies. Here they are - Vintage Lace and Peachy Keen, mostly for the skin tones, Scottish Salmon, Banana, Pistachio, Lawn, and Pool.
I've been hoarding some Idea-ology Memory Frames, and they came to the surface as I was unpacking into my new craft space. Perfect for framing the tiny portraits - I just had to choose exactly where to make the cuts.
I was sad to lose so much of the imagery, but I do think they look delicious in the metal frames.
And for the reverse of each frame, I used some printed papers and added snippets of the quotes I was planning to use around the outside of each bauble. (It also meant that if the round-the-outside plan didn't work, I would already have some words in place to go with my pictures... talk about hoping for the best while planning for the worst!)
The words are all from one of my newest quote collections EAB21 Nature Edition.
I used some very fine wire to hang up the frames within the plastic baubles. I experimented to make sure the baubles would close even with the wire in the way. It took a bit of persuasion, but once I knew it would work, I set about filling the baubles with nature's treasures... oops... I mean, with some more baubles and bling.
So how do you make sure that your round baubles don't roll all over the place while you're trying to work out where the baubles and flowers and beaded stamens should go? Easy... (after half an hour of trying to balance them and lean them against things and cursing loudly when they roll away). You cut slices from the inside of the paper towel roll you've just used up and use them as egg cups.
Around the rim of the baubles, I wanted to have the full versions of the quote snippets on the inside.
I stamped my three quotes in Archival Ground Espresso and trimmed them to single lines, then applied them over "ribbons" of this lovely green washi tape to give them a bit more presence.
You have to lift and turn the baubles to read the entirety of the quotes, but they are very tactile objects - and sturdier than they look - so that's not a problem.
But because you can't see the whole of a quote in one photo, let me share them with you in turn so you know what words go with which pictures... the first is Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.
Next there is Nature's music is never over; her silences are pauses, not conclusions.
And finally Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. You'll notice that in the end I did glue some supports to the bottoms of the baubles, subtle bases which mean they can stand as well as hang.
The toppings echo nature's bling from inside the baubles, with some extra wire added to augment the wire used to hang the frames inside.
The wire is both sculptural and structural - you can hang these up by those wiry handles.
And of course there had to be some white spatter to finish things off!
My original Elizabethan miniature portraits are still there, and the moss and the flowers, but the upgrade from eggs to pearls, and the hanging of the portraits inside the baubles would never have happened if I hadn't had to change horses in the middle of the race.