Hello again!! :)
How are you all? I hope you had lovely weekends doing something fun... like crafting!! :D Well, I’m back again and so soon, too... but there is a very good reason!! :)
A few weeks ago my lovely friend, Elaine, asked me if I would like to be a guest designer for her fabulous All Crafts Challenge, which she hosts on her blog Craft My Life to give all of us who enjoy making things other than cards a place to share our projects and find inspiration... well, of course, loving my different crafts as I do, I said yes and so here I am today with something very different to share...
This is the ‘proper’ gift I made for my sister’s 18th birthday and is a Japanese-style lantern using co-ordinating Lili of the Valley Geisha Girls stamps (as I used for her card in my last post)...
It began life as a kit- which I very happily discovered forgotten on my crafty bookcase after much head-scratching and scouring of t’internet for ideas for something extra special and just a bit different that I could make for her!! :) – with six bare-wood pieces (four legs/sides, two square pieces for top and bottom and a plywood base), which I covered in Tim Holtz Distress Stains in Black Soot, for a traditional Japanese black wood look, and Walnut Stain for a bit of warmth. I have to say that I lost count of how many coats I had to give the pieces to get an evenness of colour I was remotely happy with... suffice to say it was an awful lot and the pieces took up residence on my desk for a loooong time as I was doing it!! Then I added a couple of coats of Mod Podge but that still seemed a bit sticky and like the stain might leave marks so I added a coat of Artiste Acrylic Matte Varnish. I honestly thought I had ruined the whole thing several times during this but got away with it in the end... phew!!lol
Then it was on to making the decorative panels. I used some lovely white marble vellum I have had for years to do this and stamped and heat embossed images from the LOTV Japanese Companion stamp sheet for all four sides and then coloured the images on the reverse with Prismacolor pencils and OMS. I took some pics of the colouring just to show how much brighter and stronger the colour looks than on the outside :)
I used a fine detail gold embossing powder with some added gold glitter, masking the house, bridge and tree stamps on the second panel and stamping and embossing in three stages to get a full scene :)
Then it was time to assemble it all... and boy, was that fun... or not!!lol It was actually extremely tricky and even with another pair of hands (thanks, Mum!!) on hand to help, I was not at all convinced I’d manage it for a while... but we got there in the end and this is how it turned out...
I used super-sticky tape to attach the panels (tried the first one with silicone and nearly made an unsalvageable mess!! :S) and silicone to attach all the wood pieces together... to be honest, I can’t even remember now what order things went together in but since it was so much hard work that I doubt I will ever do it again, I can live with that!!lol
This pic gives an idea of the construction with four L-shaped legs and top and bottom which fitted between them, if that makes any sense.
Then all that was left was to add battery-powered LED candle inside... and spend ages taking pics from all the different angles!!lol
A couple of shots with the lights dimmed and the candle ‘lit’... you can’t really get a sense of the light coming through the coloured vellum here but it was quite pretty in real life, especially witht he marble effect on the vellum!! :)
This was a long and rather stressful project, which I suspect I will not try again for a long time to come but I am very happy to say that my sis’ really loved it and I was so happy to have been able to make something so very personal to her passions- the more usual purely selfish enjoyment of the process aside, aren’t those moments of making people feel happy and special what we do all this crafty stuff for?!! Lovely feeling :)
I’d like to enter this in the following challenges: Inspire Me Fridays - #95 :) : Happy Hour Fridays - 02.08 :)
Okay, so if you have made it to the end of this post- and especially if you actually took the time to read all the way through!!lol- then thank you and well done!! ;D Please do pop over to Elaine’s blog and check out her fabulous All Crafts Challenge for some wonderful inspiration... and if you make anything other than cards- altered or upcycled items, jewellery, fabric or yarn crafts or anything else- then do stop by over there and share it with her and the rest of us!! :) Have a lovely week folks!! :)