that time should be
So rich yet fugitive a pageantry.

forsake it then and with us fly
Into the past where nothing now can die:
Where even the young and lovely, old and staid
Live on unchanged - of purest fantasy made.

Prologue - W. de la Mare

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November Scrap Around The World

Because I was so inspired by the November mood board at Scrap Around The World, I created a second layout for this challenge!

Once again, HERE is the link to the challenge, and here is the vintage, nostalgic, beautiful mood board:

For this entry I decided to create a masculine layout. The source of my inspiration was the image in the upper left corner of the sheet music stacks, and also the doilies in the window, the image in the center bottom. Seems I can't get enough of these two images!!

Here is my entry:

The photograph is my Grandfather, who indeed was very elusive for the longest time!! It took many,many years of searching, untold hours of research and painful discovery, to finally find this man and learn his tragic story.

The layout is composed of many heavily distressed and torn layers. Various ink sprays and inks were applied through a stencil. Then with molding paste applied through a stencil another layer of texture was added. Seven layers of torn and distressed papers were used to frame up the photograph. All of these layers allude to the many layered journey to discovery of this man. Ink drips and mica flakes were added to the page. I added pieces of vintage window doilies, as I always like to have something old on my heritage layouts. And I had 2 old lock surrounds that belonged to my Mother, (his daughter), which I used as embellishment to anchor two corners of the photograph stack. It is important to me to use items that actually belonged to the person if possible, and in this case I was able to use something that belonged to his daughter. Because I did not want to use any flowers, I added a couple more pieces of metal, and an old, screen washer. I tied up the page, reminiscent of the photo on the moodboard, with twine, and also added some thread. Then went in with more ink, lightly washing in areas for an old, worn look.

From what I have been able to piece together, I believe the photograph was taken about 1895.

I have followed the ten golden rules for the Scrap Around The World entry requirements. Thank you for looking, and I hope you like my page!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Scrap Around The World November

Happy November to all! This month I am playing along again at Scrap Around The World. The mood board is absolutely inspiring in every way.

Here is this month's board. Is it not beautiful?? My very favorite vintage look. Love every bit of it! I could look at this board all day long and be inspired by so many different aspects of it!! If you would like to play along, here is the link.

And here is my layout.............

Zest For Life

I knew I wanted to use this photograph taken of my Mother in 1946 for my layout. Inspired by the mood board's sheet music stack, in the upper left, this was my starting point. I layered up under the photo using sheet music paper, script, and a scrap of vintage silk velvet, which is a nod to the velvet dress my Mom is wearing in the photo.

Very much inspired by the center photo on the bottom of the board of the doilies in the window, with sun gleaming through them, I created a textural background using  gloss gel medium, and also molding paste.

After this was dry, I applied spray inks of various colors.

I was also very inspired by the beautiful bouquet of flowers, especially the colors. I used some very vintage embroidery floss, that was the perfect softness of color, to fill in under and around the photo. The pinks and oranges were perfect, though not as bright as the colors on the board. Adding bits of old beaded bracelets in the same area also, to give a bit more glinting light effect. The flowers were lightly touched with silks paints, then swabbed over with fluid acrylic in a natural tone. I also added 2 tiny feathers that I found in my garden, they are the palest orange, a gift from a cardinal bird!!

Behind the photograph are 2 vintage doilies, and various pods from my garden are scattered around on the page. And of course, twine! I love using twine on my pages, it gives a very organic look that I adore. And as a final touch, ink splatters.

I titled my page "Zest for Life", which I felt embodied the spirit of the quotation in the lower right, "life is beautiful," My Mother surely had a most wonderful zest for life, and was a very inspirational and strong woman.

I believe I have followed the 10 golden rules of the Scrap Around The World challenge site. I hope you like my layout.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Altered Book

Throughout the past several months I've been working on a little altered book project that I intend to give as a Christmas gift to my cousin. It's been a lot of fun! As the book is quite small, only 7 x 5 inches, it is like working in miniature. Not having to stress out about filling up a 12 x 12 space frees up my mind a bit and relaxes me in a way that making layouts does not! And I get to use up little bitty scraps that I can't seem to throw away.

The theme of this book is the family history, and it is titled "Portraits." Since my cousin and I naturally have the same ancestral family, and she very much enjoys our joint history, I wanted to make something special for her so she could record her thoughts, etc.  I left the "journaling" spaces blank in some cases so that she could write in her own words and handwriting.

I found the most difficult part to be the cover, and I can't say I am entirely happy with it! It was a huge learning experience - lots of pulling things off, wiping ink off, starting over - but at least I got something! It is my first ever book cover! Hopefully I will improve the more I do!

To make the cover I first gessoed the entire book. Then I applied molding paste through a stencil. After this I sprayed the whole cover with inks, many times, building up layers of transparency. I then positioned my title and main floral element (which was first colored with inks) and laid that down over lace scraps. Everything was secured using mat gel medium. Through much trial and error I proceeded to add more ink, spraying on and wiping off, to achieve the look I was after. I must have wasted a ton of spray ink doing this, and have now learned that applying the ink with a brush is the best way to go as I can slowly build up color intensity without wasting a lot of product. I finally secured the buttons and the roman numeral, with gel medium. The button serves as a wrap -around for a piece of twine which secures the book closed.


First entry is our illusive Grandfather, whom we never knew, and our parents did not know him either. He died when his children were very young, and his story is a tragic one, which I will not get into here. The individual pages were first given a coat of gesso, then modeling paste was applied through different stencils. The page was inked and elements glued down, and various touches of spray were applied, along with thread and ribbon.


This page, done in the same manner with gesso, laces and wallpaper is about our Grandmother. It also includes a photo of her tea set, as the page alludes to a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, "A woman never knows how strong she is until she gets into hot water." Our poor Grandmother was in hot water an awful lot, and she was very strong indeed!!

Now we go back to the old country, to this lost place in Poland, and some of my Grandmother's family. The old woman on the blanket is my Grandmother's Mother, and the woman kneeling is one of her sisters. Those are her children alongside her. Again, the same technique, layering strips, gesso, inking through a stencil, applying paper strips and fabrics, some stamping.

Another page featuring Grandmother's family in Poland. I wanted to keep some of these early pages similar in feeling, so I stuck with a neutral, earthy palette, as I felt it suited the place and time.

This page features my cousin's Father as a little boy. He was my Grandmother's 4th son. He and my Mother were very close.

And this is my Mother. She was my Grandmother's 5th daughter, her 9th child.

Here we have my Mother with my cousin's Father, together in their first communion photo. Can you see how close they were?!!

That's it for now, more to come!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Scrap Around the World September 2014 Challenge

This is the delightful moodboard for the month of September 2014 at "Scrap Around The World", a wonderful challenge site. I am playing along in the challenge this month after a too long break away from scrapping! Here is the link to this month's challenge at Scrap Around The World.

I was inspired by the image in the upper left corner of the moodboard of the gossamer winged fairy in her lovely draped dress, and by the fairy tale quotation in the upper right corner of the moodboard. Also, the whole magically charming atmosphere of the board and its sweet pinks and blues really captured me!!

Here is my layout, entitled "Their Own Special Fairy Tale":

I took a vintage photo of my Mom and her little sister from 1930 and placed it in a little Fairy Garden I created. The photo was taken during the height of the Great Depression. Mom and her sister were the youngest in a family of 10. They were very poor, and their mother was a Polish immigrant, so there were no toys and no luxuries. But they created their own little world that sustained them. They were children of the meadows and forests that surrounded their hometown, and their childhood was spent outdoors. The private world they created included lots of "make believe" amongst the streams and flowers and trees. They loved to make up fairy stories with themselves as the main characters, and were free to spend untold hours outside in the summertime, playing and dreaming.

I found a poem that was written by my Mom when she was in her late 70's. It is so clearly nostalgic and filled with yearning for the lost days of her childhood. So I carefully altered this fragile bit of paper to fit into my design by tearing and distressing the edges, inking it, and tracing over her own handwriting (which was written in pencil) in ink. So what you see is truly a piece of her!

After I applied molding pastes and sprayed various inks, I layered on pieces of an old, vintage bureau scarf and a piece of old lace, along with the chipboard piece, which was inked and applied with crackle paste. Then I built up the "fairy garden" with lots of fussy cut elements. I tried to include some of the favorite flowers of my Mom's, especially ones she may have encountered on her walks all those years ago. Along with the gossamer flowers there are also dried elements, pods, dried flowers and a stalk of a pressed weed, which seemed fitting!

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of my family story. And even though my Mom and her sister had nothing and lived in poverty as children, their "fairy tale" dreams eventually came true! They made beautifully satisfying lives for themselves as adults, married handsome "princes", had lovely homes, many children, made some money, traveled and lived to old age. So......fairy tales can come true!!

I believe I have followed the 10 golden rules of The Scrap Around The World challenge site, and I hope you like my layout.