Saturday, 23 November 2013

Escape to Narnia - Inspired by Liz Borer

Hello to my very special followers and visitors to Magpieheaven. Thank you so much to all the lovely bloggers who stop by and leave such encouraging and heart-warming comments and who inspire me with their beautiful posts. I feel so very blessed in these wonderful new friends! Today I've been inspired by Liz Borer over at Paper Artsy! I can't imagine who wouldn't be - her work just leaves me speechless. I can't begin to emulate her exquisite creations, but her two projects sparked an idea of what I would like to do with a couple of little blocks of MDF I had.
Sorry about the shadows! They are little models of the doors Kevin is making (eternally!!!) for the Magpie Kitchen. I had been planning to turn these into some kind of diptych and looking at Liz's work, I thought 'I'll try out some of those techniques, but I'll adapt them to Christmas' and I'll play along with the Arty Inklings blog at the same time. Then the doors reminded me of a tiny wardrobe; a wardrobe made me think of 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' and well, I just had to make some doors into Narnia, didn't I?
I remember sitting entranced in my primary school class on a Friday afternoon in December with darkness and sleet outside the window while C. S. Lewis' fantasy worked its magic on my imagination. In the story, the children enter Narnia through a perfectly ordinary, rather dull wardrobe, but I decided to just suggest the world of Narnia on the doors - I turned things inside out, I suppose! The wonderful blues and Grunge Paste of Liz's first piece inspired me, but I also had a go at painting some textured branches, berries and winter leaves with Grunge Paste. Liz made this look so easy, but I have to say I found getting the consistency right and applying very, very difficult! More practice and study of Liz's post needed! Rather than creating the exquisite flowers Liz produced, I went for a more impressionistic look to suggest snowy boughs. I used Frescos in Snowflake, Antarctic, Lake Wanaka and a touch of South Pacific. I coloured the Grunge Paste with a hint of Antarctic. Followers and visitors may know that recently a collection of stamps I designed for a friend came to light in a clear-out. These cannot compare with the wonderful designs from the Paper Artsy artists; but I've had lots of fun using them after all this time. The two little trees in the centre panels are my designs like the winter princess I used on my snowy notebook. I suppose they are a little more Tolkein than Lewis, but the two men were both part of a club they named THE INKLINGS! The berries are coloured with Winter Berries Distress Ink to give just a little 'pop' of colour. I also used Shabby Blue Frantage and Distress Glitter and some Gesso to create a snowy feel to this land where it is always winter, but never Christmas. I should like to think this is a glimpse of Narnia when all that is about to change, especially as the intertwined trees have little faces and are coming to life again!
I added highlights and detail to my 'artwork' with a Posca pen in white and some White Fire Treasure Gold. I was inspired by Liz's wonderful techniques of blending and shading with Frescos. I attached my little doors with two hinges die cut from metal coated card and accented with little pearls. For this I used the hinges from the Paper Artsy Hardware1 die.
And what do we find when we open the wardrobe doors? This Paper Artsy stamp of an Edwardian schoolboy from 'Ink and the Dog', Schooldays Plate 1 reminded me of the young C. S. Lewis. As you probably know he lost his mother to cancer when he was a boy and he spent much of his childhood inhabiting imaginary lands. So many of his beautiful fantasies found their way into 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', so that the dreams of a lonely and unhappy little boy became the material for a novel that would delight and enchant adults and children for over sixty years.
 I wanted to create the impression of young Clive looking out at a snowy world from his window. I embossed these snowflakes from Artistic Outpost 'Snowy Woods' with Wow white embossing powder. The background music notes are stamped in Wendy Vecchi Cornflower Blue and they are from a lovely Paper Artsy Eclectica plate 07 by Sara Naumann. The window is a Spell-binders die-cut considerably cut up and bent into shape. I used Darcy's suggestion from her pillow box and painted Nougat over Old Gold and Little Black Dress. I finished off with some twisted wire painted with Gesso with a tiny frantaged leaf.
I experimented with photographing my 'wardrobe' with the light behind it on my mantel-piece. My goal is to photograph an arrangement with a garland (not yet made), my mini easel and some tags in my vase - also not yet made. I should like to link this make to the Paper Artsy challenge this week and also to the Arty Inklings Challenge to create anything Christmas themed. Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a great and creative week!

22 comments:

  1. Fabulous panels Julie and love your title, I love Narnia!!! Great icy blue colours there and love how you've used the GP and TG

    Fab piece

    Sam xxx

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  2. oooo gorgeous, now that is one wardrobe I would love to go through. beautiful blending of colours, really captured the feel of Narnia.

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  3. Great theme, brrr it's cold on there xx

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  4. Lovely Julie, looks like a very cold day in Narnia.

    Jo

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  5. Your imagination is every bit as good as Liz's - I hope you've applied for the PA DT spots next year! I love your doors to Narnia, they are fabulous.

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  6. I loved that book! This is wonderful, Julie Ann, and I particularly love the way you have put the frame around the little boy. Hope life is treating you well,

    Lucy x

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  7. Oh I love it! Narnia and the sweet boy dreaming of it. Great art work, and great imagination :)

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  8. Love your inviting frosty doors and your wistful young man looking out! Your lovely trees are so brilliantly framed with those lovely textures! Stay warm! Chrisx

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  9. Hi Julie Anne these panels look great, lovely frosy colours. I spotted this technique of Liz's with her flowers and thought oh that looks interesting and easy to do, now you have me wondering but it looks good on your project so I might try it and see how I go on. Hugs Mo x

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  10. Oh, What a gorgeous the wardrobe doors and opposite side, I want open the doors. It is expressed well by grange paste how the trees are twisted in the snow scene. I love the two little trees.I like all winter and snowy stories. Unfortunately I've read the book Narnia when I was adult, but I love the story.
    Etsuko xx

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  11. Gorgeous textures! When Kevin's finished making prototype doors, you can commission him to make something special for you to alter...
    And please do try the bottle cap+UTEE idea I am sure you'll come up with something fantastic!

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  12. beautiful - you've done an excellent job with the GP - I tried and failed miserably xxx

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  13. This is beautiful Julie, I love your icy colours. Your really have created a magical land here xx

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  14. I LOVE this. Narnia was and is my all time fave story. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your encouraging words, too! Valerie

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  15. A wonderful post to read and a wonderful creation too! How exciting to be using your very own stamps... and what an enchanting frosty world you've embedded them into. Delicious!

    I'm afraid I still feel somewhat betrayed by C.S... I was another absolute Narnia fan - I would check the inside of every wardrobe I encountered... but after finding out it was all meant as an allegory of something else entirely, I've found it hard to recapture that first careless rapture. They're some of the few childhood books to which I don't return. Maybe I'll give them a go again after this...
    Alison xx

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  16. Hello Miss Julie Ann, it's truly amazing how you describe what you are attempting to interpret into your work and you always achieve it, you have created a gorgeous magical wardrobe out of 2 pieces of wood. The colors are frostingly beautiful, you weave a wonderful story to all your projects I love that, and you have some wonderful memories you share with us, it makes visiting your nest very special, your mantel is going to be so glowingly beautiful down right magical.. Helen mentioned PA DT spots, I'm not sure exactly what that is, but if it is anything to do with designing, you had better apply, you deserve to be designing, the Parliament already believes you are :O)..Thanks for sharing my dear CUZ, hope you have a special fun loving week, (((( BIG HUGS))))..

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  17. This is such a wonderful two panel piece Julie Ann. I do love those designs of yours, & the story behind your artwork.
    Alison xxx

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  18. Lots of fabulous textures Julie and I love the colour palette. Your choice of stamps is perfect. I never read the book but enjoyed the film.

    TFS and crafty hugs Annie x your newest follower

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  19. How cool, that's a great project, jsut fantastic.

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  20. Wow wow wow absolutely gorgeous, I love the way you have took the wooden panels and made them into such a wonderful fantasy winter wonderland. I love how you have used the grunge paste and your stamp is delightful and fits perfectly. Truly inspirational. Lots of hugs Kerry Ann :-) xxx xxx

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