When Anne originally asked me teach a collaboration project class with her at China Phoenix 2, I was honored and a bit intimidated. Anne is a book/box making expert and she has an unbelievable love for paper. She runs her own online craft company, Craft Fantastic, and in the past, she's owned a number of paper specialty stores around Albuquerque. If you've ever seen her work up close...it is impeccable. Every detail is perfect and her skilled craftsmanship is unmistakable. Oh yeah, and it's BEAUTIFUL!
This is our third collaboration project and let's just say, she continues to amaze me, AND I am still intimidated. I chose the theme for this go round, so I decided that this time of year called for a Dia de los Muertos type piece. I was absolutely not prepared for what she gave me. It was exquisite and absolutely did not need any altering from me. She constructed a shrine/stage completely from scratch, covered it in gorgeous dictionary text and Mexican lottery themed paper. On the front she created a metal piece to frame the opening and embossed a Spanish design around it to emphasis our decidedly Hispanic theme. The scallop design along the edge really adds to the Mexican Art feel and a couple of ribbons fastened to the back make it perfect for hanging on a wall for display. This piece truly took my breath away.
At first, there was no way I was going to do anything to the gorgeous metal frame. It was perfect the way it was. As I started to work with the inside design, my partial Mexican heritage kept urging me to glue a few gemstones to it. "No, I couldn't!", I argued with myself, because I'm a bit of a loon. Cats are not very good conversationalists, so I frequently have a bit of dialogue with myself throughout the day. I finally mustered the courage and I knew once I got that first gem down, the rest would be easier. Well, it was and before I knew what had happened, I had gems glued to the entire perimeter. Too much? Not sure. Next I decided to get even bolder and used my Copics to color in the corner flowers. I knew this could get messy if I flubbed it up, but a careful swipe of a colorless blender took care of any stray lines. Okay, not too shabby.
Time to go inside. I tried a few different things on the inside, but finally decided that this shrine definitely reminded me of a stage and went that route. I took a flat canvas, covered it in text papers and used that as my base. I added a couple of rows of Anne's colorful Mexican Lottery themed paper down one edge and then wrapped it in a few rows of twine. I took a few wooden hearts in varying sizes, painted them red, and then added Crackle Accents to give them texture. I added a pair of die cut wings out of grunge board to the the largest heart, hoping it would convey life fluttering away. My stage stars are a couple of images by Bombshell Stamps from the Calaveras Fiesta set. I added an eyelet skirt to my lead "actress".
On the outside, I added an MC using the Muertos Doll set, also by Bombshell Stamps. I knew he needed to be a bit sturdier, so I stamped him on paper affixed him to grunge paper, colored him with Copics, and then cut him out. I coated him with a bit of Anne's amazing dimensional lacquer glue to give him a bit of shine. He is assembled with brads at each of his joints. Bomshell Stamps has an excellent array of muertos themed images perfect for Day of the Dead art projects.
I'm not sure if I did Anne's beautiful piece justice, but I really enjoyed decorating it once I got over my initial fear of destroying it with one too many gems. Phew! I think I held my breath during this whole process...LOL!
Catch you later this week with something new! Until then, stay crafty!