The Unbearable Lightness of Being

“Everything we choose in life for its lightness soon reveals its unbearable weight. We face the fear of unbearable weight….The residue of history: the printed page, the flicker of the image, always fragmentary, always saying something less than the weight of experience” (Richard Serra, quoted in A. and D. Lefferts, Richard Serra 2013, New York, 2014, p. 14).  Source: Christies

My latest piece certainly weighed on me, despite its ethereal lightness.  I couldn’t stop looking at the inspiration image from Runway Inspired Challenge–that fabric, that dress!–and feeling that nothing could quite do it justice in the form of paper, in the time I had.  Really the image had me re-measuring my dress form and stuffing its bra full of poly-fill so I could finally tackle bust alterations (but that’s another post for another time!).

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Despite the gorgeous floral pattern, I didn’t want to do flowers, but all my other ideas lay half-formed on my work table throughout the week–one which left my brain a bit gummy and my lids too heavy.  So flowers, or rather a flower, it was.

I’ve been altering and manipulating die cuts, though, for a few weeks and working with some 3-D and geometric patterns, so that worked its way into this piece, echoing the geometry in her dress.

I’ll let the piece speak for itself because try as I might the words are just not flowing tonight!

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The Lil’ Inker’s background die, Faceted, and card base are a lovely “Arctic Ice” blue watercolor paper that is decades old.  The sentiment and rose are both from Paper Smooches.

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The banner is a dark grey, and I loved how the frosted grey Co’ordinations paper looked atop it.  Subtle, and beautiful indeed!  It pulls in the grey of the lines and her belt.

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I watercolored some paper with varying shades of yellow and then cut numerous roses to attain a shading I liked along the outline.

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Here are a few views from the side and top.  I am really excited about this die; I have deconstructed it further and plan to manipulate it and Mod-Podge it for some other pieces.  I love its architectural nature–reminds me of Rem Koolhaas and Gehry’s work, both of whom have prominent buildings in Seattle–the Public Library and EMP respectvely.

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I chose the background paper from DCDW to echo the diagonals on her dress.  Here are a few more images to leave you with.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to head over to Runway Inspired Challenge where there’s always something to get your juices flowing!

UPDATE: Lil’ Inker Designs is having a monthly meet-up challenge over at their blog as a way to share projects designed with Lil’ Inkers’ products.  I just happened upon it today, and there are 9 days left to submit.  Lil’ Inker’s background dies are some of my absolute favorite, and Laura provides excellent customer service.  Head over and check them out!  There are prizes to be won!

And please check out my PORTFOLIO pages, which are a bit more thematic and image focused.  I have some new entries of holiday thank you cards, and more backlogged work to be added this coming week!

Have a beautiful Valentine’s weekend!

1920s Orange and Black: Not Just for Halloween

In my recent post featuring a sympathy card I commented on the inspiration of Downton Abbey’s ruddy and wine hued dresses for my piece; the year is 1924 in Season 5 and I had been noticing the frequency of reds, oranges, as well as deep blues in the long, tubular, Grecian-style dresses worn by many of the characters. Curious about this and knowing that the fashion will change pretty dramatically by 1926 (including hairstyles), I decided to seek out some historical photos and information about the designs of the time. That search led me to this wonderful website, Witness2Fashion. It is beyond exciting to find this wealth of research and these primary source images, including patterns, covering a variety of eras. I just had to reblog the entry that follows as an addendum to my most recent post. Enjoy and do check out this fabulous site if you love history and fashion!

All photos below are found on Witness2Fashion’s post with specific information about the sources.

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It isn’t news that certain colors — and color combinations — go in and out of fashion. But the combination of orange and black is now so strongly linked to Halloween that it’s a surprise to find it on dresses for spring in the mid-1920s.

Dresses for women aged 14 to 20, February 1925. Butterick pattern illustrations from Delineator. Dresses for women aged 14 to 20, February 1925. Butterick pattern illustrations from Delineator magazine.

These young women are enjoying a box of Valentine’s Day candy. Early twentieth century color printing was not based on the CMYK [Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black] inks we use today, so illustrations from the twenties often have an autumnal quality compared to the bright colors we are used to. Nevertheless, the red valentine hearts show that the dress on the right, above, is definitely orange, with black trim. The same color combination was suggested for older women, too:

Fashions from Delineator, April, 1924. Butterick pattern illustrations. Fashions from Delineator, April, 1924. Butterick pattern illustrations.

Orange was also worn with…

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Sympathy, Fashion, & A New Stamp Company

Good evening! Here we are in the last week of January, the month that seems to never end! Does it seem like that to you? The New Year and holiday season always feel like ancient history by the time January winds down.  I don’t mind a slow month, though, as I need the time to get myself in order for 2015, and since my birthday kicks off the month of February, I plan to formally spring my new year objectives into action then!

For now, I have some catching up to do here and in physical reality!  Be on the watch for  portfolio entries this week showcasing some holiday cards and seasonal thank you’s (all of which I need to finally get off my desk and into the mail!).

On a more somber note, I have a sympathy card to share today.  There were a few inspirations for this card: my Savvy flower dies, an oval shape, Downton Abbey, and the current Runway Inspired Challenge!  I wanted to play along with their last challenge, but time wasn’t on my side.  It’s funny that I’ve never played along, since I sew, love fashion, and often visit their site.  Well, I’m throwing my hat in the ring now, and plan to more often in 2015!

So here is the inspiration photo, outfit courtesy of Carven, a designer entirely new to me!

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And here’s my take:
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I wanted a lot of open space and texture, but I deviated a bit from the ivory of the model’s pants, and went with white instead.  I pulled the orange-red of the belt buckle into my card base, and positioned my floral paper so the red flower would be visible.  The MME Market Street Collection, Nob Hill, is full of delightful floral papers, and this one not only seemed to echo the patches on the model’s blazer, and the obvious prominent black, but was also influenced by this season’s episodes of Downton Abbey.  If you are a fan, you may have noticed the ladies donning quite a bit of ruddy-hued and marsala dresses, as well as delicious florals, ivory and jet black.  This week’s episode 4 (state-side) even featured a fashion show!

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The texture of Ranger’s watercolor paper is divine.  I think I will be using quite a bit of it this year!  And I’ve not yet done justice to my Savvy floral dies– they will be getting quite a bit of use as well.

I used heavy vellum from PTI to emboss my Verve stamp sentiment.  The flow of the font echoes that of the die cuts and underlying pattern.

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A sampling of Downton fashion–boho, glam, and lithe flapper!

And speaking of fashion on and off the runway–

Have you heard of The Ton?  I recently purchased some stamps from them as they have just launched, and I am thinking their focus would be perfect pairing for Runway Challenges.  Here’s a little bit about them:

“Established in January 2015, The Ton was born out of a combination of one new crafter’s passion for card making, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.  Our stamp designs are inspired by haute couture fashion and modern decor.”

I am really excited to get my shipment of “Round Diamonds” and “Vintage Frames”!  Check them out, as they have some unique offerings!

That’s all for me this evening!  Head over to RIC for some inspiring paper and fabric art!  And if you are looking for other challenges, check out my links page in the menu header!

Have a fashionable week!