Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A CHARMING HALLOWEEN TALE...

"A gypsy fire is on the hearth,
Sign of the carnival of mirth;
Through the dun fields and from the glade
Flash merry folk in masquerade,
For this is Hallowe'en!"

~Author Unknown~
I participated in a Halloween Charm Swap hosted by Thespa Mclaughlin of Vintiquities Workshop.  There were all treats and no tricks where the quality and craftsmanship of these spook-tacular charms are concerned.  Not only were the charms, well...charming, the way they were presented was quite wonderful too.  All the charms arrived in a sweet little treat bag... 
On the day of 31, October, All Hallows Eve, strange and wondrous tales unfold upon the strike of midnight old...
 Two little owls mournfully cry "Who Whoooo" while flying by...
A Haunted House upon a hill...
 Where a Pumpkin glowers from the window sill...
 A Skeleton Key opens the creaking door...
 Revealing a host of Creepy Crawlies dangling in the darkened foyer...
The sound of chattering teeth, rattle of bone, and flashing glow of eye emanate from Skulking Skeletons...
 A Ghost calls out a chilling "Boo!" turning ones knees to gelatin...
 And a Mummy moans a message true...
 "A HAPPY HALLOWEEN to you, and you, and you!"

Thespa suggested using these charms to make a bracelet, which is a fantastic idea but I am going to put mine to another use.  I am going to use them as mug charms!   We are having a little get together here at the Quill where cider and cocoa will be served.  I thought this would be a fun, stylish, and holiday appropriate way to distinguish identical mugs.  I have strung each charm on a shimmery copper ribbon and tied one to each of my pumpkin mug handles for a fun touch... 
In case you are wondering, this was my contribution to the swap...
Thank you to all the wonderful swap participants for these fun and fanciful charms and to our hostess, Thespa, for all her behind the scenes work.  I am linking up to Thespa's Halloween Post, so jump a link to see more fright delights!

Monday, October 29, 2012

"THE CHRISTENING GOWN"...

 "The Christening Gown" Mixed -Media: Paper, Fabric, Lace, Paint, Beading, Found Object, Image Transfer, Journaling by Sandy Babb 2012

 I thought it appropriate to begin my Heritage Collection with a mixed media christening gown.  After all, to christen is an act of dedicating something new and I am trying to find new direction in my artwork.  This collection was inspired by an exhibit I stumbled upon by Sarah Mattingly Benson.  While our mediums are quite different the feel of capturing family history is the same.
My collection is based on things that would be handed down from generation to generation incorporating some of my own family heirloom pieces, in this case laces, fabrics, and a photo found in my grandmothers things, with other mixed media techniques to create a narrative piece that depicts a treasured family story. 
 While there is no heirloom christening gown or bonnet in my family, there is a story that involves a baby dress.  I decided to combine my love for paper sculpting, heirloom sewing, and my new passion for beading to create a fanciful ensemble that is aged and tattered to perfection creating something that looks like it could have been around since the 1800's.
 The main body of the gown and bonnet are paper that have been distressed and aged just enough to give character and texture but not enough to break down the paper fibers so there would still be stability to the piece... 
 Vintage French lace and trim mix well with the dollar store doilies, pillow case edging, curtain lace, and mother of pearl buttons that I found at the farm in my grandmothers things... 
 Pin tucked sewn paper adds another heirloom feel. Handmade rosettes were fashioned from a piece of cloth found in my grandmothers rag bin.  Hand made paper, wire, and glass beads appear between the rosettes. All the fabrics and laces have been hand dyed to various hues that give the finished pieces the feel of once pure white now yellowed with the passing of time. Tattered handmade silk flowers sport hand beaded centers.  A hem torn from a tattered sheet is embroidered with a chain stitch, beaded with glass beads, and handmade blossoms that have pearl centers from a vintage necklace.  Curtain lace gives a sheer break between each tier of the gown adding texture as well as authenticity to the design...
I figured out a way to make a faux fabric photo transfer that resulted in a dreamy faded image.  The image is my mother in the 1940's, she is the subject of the journaling...
 Hand beading is present from neckline to hem...
The gown in completely finished on the back also...
 The bonnet has matching elements of the gown design.  Both gown and bonnet are actual size that could be worn by an infant...
 The gown ended up being quite heavy after all the glass beading and metal work so it is mounted on a hand cut wooden  hanger...
 The journaling is at the heart of the piece and tells a snippet of a story of the angst and indecision of a young mother, my grandmother, raising a baby, my mother, on a remote farm in the foothills of the Ozarks.  Until the baby began to crawl and toddle morning chores of feeding the livestock, hauling in wood for heat and cooking, hauling water from the spring, and milking the cows had gone on a usual.  My grandmother would place my mothers cradle near the front window of the small three room home and dash from one chore to the other making a stop on the postage stamp sized front porch to peer into the window and make sure the baby was safe.
Once my mother began to crawl and toddle my grandmothers worries set in.  It was a bitter icy winter morning that my mother took her first steps, both elation and anxiety struck my grandmother.  She would no longer be able to keep my mother contained safely in the cradle and it was an impossibility to take her out into the bitter cold and try to accomplish the chores one handed while trying to keep her balance on the icy slopes to and from the barn and the spring.
The journaling reads, "Milkin' time had come 'round again.  The young mother mother was filled with anxiety.  How was she to keep the baby safe?  She could not leave her unattended nor was it wise to take her into the bitter cold of the barn and the dangers it could hold for a toddler.  Smoothing her hand over the bed covers she glanced at the child sitting at her feet, dress tail splayed out behind her.  In an instant the decision was made.  Hoisting the frame of the old iron bed, she pegged the babies dress tail to the floor.  It was the only thing she could think of to do."
 My grandmother said it worried her to death to leave my mother each morning and that speed and prayer were the only things that got her through the chores and safely back at my mothers side.
 I hope you have enjoyed viewing "The Christening Gown".  This has been an interesting experiment to see how an image, a few random finds, and a story can combine themselves into a piece of art.  I am looking forward to beginning the second piece in this collection!

I hope your day is filled with brightness and beauty!
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin