Thursday, 23 January 2014

Venice and The Warmth of Winter.

Welcome to Magpieheaven. The sun is out today, interspersed with dark clouds and heavy rain showers - sorry if I sound like the Weather Report - but those wintry beams had me thinking of sunlight on the stones of Venice where February is Carnival time and rich masks and costumes add warmth to winter. My daughter Matilda has been working so hard finishing her college project and she's had a nasty flu-like cold. As she's been journeying to college every day in driving rain and cold, she's been longing for a bit of warmth. She's always been feisty and independent, and I won't say we don't have our ups and downs, but she is warm-hearted and a great pal. At the wonderful Frilly and Funkie Challenge the challenge is to create some warmth in winter for one you love, so I decided to create a little assemblage for Matilda, my daughter and my friend.
 She is going into a shared student house next year and I'm really going to miss having her around with her quirky sense of humour. She has already decided a colour scheme for her room: blue and gold. I started with a little hanging board from Paper Artsy and a tiny mask I'd had for years. It was a charity shop buy and I had always thought it rather garish compared with the genuine Venetian masks I've collected since I first visited Venice. Would it be possible to alter it and create something that evoked something more Venetian?
 I began by giving my board and the mask a good few coats of Gesso. It was satisfying to see the glitter and the pink on the mask vanish!
Next I tinted some Grunge Paste with Paper Artsy Lake Wanaka and applied it with a palette knife through stencils: Prima flourishes and Crafters' Workshop diamonds to give a Venetian feel to the background. I then sponged and sprayed with different Fresco blues: Antarctic, Lake Wanaka and darkening around the edges with Inky Pool then Chocolate Pudding and French Roast to add contrast. I fixed on my mask with Golden Heavy Gel Medium pressed into the Grunge Paste while it was still wet and painted this with several coats of Antarctic. This blue is so pale it could be white, the colour of a Pierrot mask yet the hint of blue blends with the other stronger blues. I liked the way the chalky finish of the Fresco paints made the mask look a lot more like the authentic Venetian ones.

I then went to town, making and finding embellishments to add to my assemblage. I took some Heavy Card and die-cut some Paper Artsy and Tim Holtz flowers from it. I painted them on both sides with blue Frescos and using Paper Artsy Mini 75 and some Hot Picks flowers designed to go with the die-cuts, I stamped them with Wendy Vecchi Potting Soil Archival. Using my Heavy Gel Medium, I stuck them around the mask to give the appearance of it emerging from the petals of a flower.
 I made a paper flower with a curly wire stamen, gessoed and frantaged with Shabby Blue. The butterfly, a symbol of good luck on Venetian lace, is stamped in Ranger Black Archival ink on blue painted card and clear embossed, edged with Frantage and fussy cut to perch with his tiny legs on the flower petal. The stamp is from Paper Artsy Hot Picks 1204. Unfortunately it is impossible to pick this up in a photo but the Frantage inside the flower really glitters!
 The Venetian ticket is from a Stampington Clearly Impressed set called Butterfly Girl, which I bought when I first started crafting. Other embellishments include a key given me by my crafting friend Kerry, which I painted and then gilded with Aquamarine and Green Amber Treasure Gold. There is a a shrink plastic heart which I coloured with Fresco in Vanilla and then stamped and glazed with Glossy Accents. There is an old leaf earring, a Prima wooden butterfly from their Birds and Butterflies collection and a little fabric rose from Kerry, painted and gilded. To suggest the ribbons attached to the mask, I added curled white card.
 I accented the corners of the hanging with Treasure Gold and just slightly picked out the raised design on the mask. The hanging gleams now with a warm, vintage glow rather than the harsh sparkle of the mini-mask. I hope it will evoke just a little bit, the watery shadows and sunlight and the faded mellow, light of Serenissima. I think the gift did warm Matilda's heart too, as she gave me one of her lovely big beams when I said it was for her new home! I should like to enter my Venice hanging for the Frilly and Funkie Challenge ' The Warmth of Winter' and for the letter 'A' challenge at Simon Says Monday Challenges, as this piece could also be called 'A for a Venetian Assemblage'.

30 comments:

  1. Gosh, lucky Matilda. It's so beautiful Julie Ann. There's the butterfly again. Bit symbolic as your daughter blossoms and moves on in her life. It's gorgeous. Well done you!

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  2. I'm not surprised Matilda gave your big beam of a smile, who wouldn't be delighted to be having this as a reminder of her Mum when she's away from home. It's beautiful Julie Ann. The little mask is delightful especially surrounded by petals!

    Hugs
    Lesley Xx

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  3. A gorgeous Venetian creation - glorious baroque gilding, and the mask looks stunning (minus pink and glitter)... this will be a stunning addition to Matilda's new abode!
    Alison xx

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  4. Wow, what a fab idea to up-cycle this mask. Your colours are stunning and Treasure Gold, I'm addicted to it !! Stunning project which I'm sure Matilda will look at every day and smile as she thinks of her mum.

    Julie x

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  5. Your Assemblage piece is glorious Julie Ann (do you follow Micheal De Menge?) can appreciate how much love went into your ArT. Glad your Daughter has such a stunning piece of you with her:-) xxx

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  6. How cool, a fantastic idea and a wonderful tag. Love every detail.

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  7. Wow this looks fantastic, no wonder she was beaming, great reminder of you and home every time she looks at it

    Sam xx

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  8. What a great piece of art I do love the colours and the mask looks great xx

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  9. Such a beautiful and personal gift for your dear girl.
    Venice, to date I haven't visited (I was very nearly but that is a long story!) but it is No. 1 on my list, how I dream of visiting the sights of Venice, exploring and experiencing with all my senses.
    Masks frighten me ever so slightly but putting my phobia to one side, this is a most beautiful hanging that I have absolute no doubt, evokes Venice.
    You would no doubt say you are lucky to have her but I would like to add that she is so lucky to have a Mother such as you creating art this beautiful for her shared house.
    Wishes
    Lynne

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  10. Love it :)
    Happy craftin
    Rebecca

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  11. EEEKKKKSSSS, this is MAG- NIF -ICENT ...., you've flown over to Venice, that's my dream place, I'm a Loney bird over masks. this creation made with LOVE is "THE BEST"... That grunge blues past is venicealicious, with the cool Antarctic blue mask, brilliant, and then you went to town, obviously that town was Venice, I truly appreciate how you make almost all of your embellishments from scratch, and they are gorgeous, then add embellishments you have and make them gorgeous too, it's that attention to detail, it's BRILLIANT. Those white swirls on the side, those are fantastic, love your heart signature piece, I just keep looking back at it, there is so many enchanting things on there.. Miss Julie Ann you have out done your self and Matilda WILL smile everyday as she feast her eyes on it, and showing it off to all her friends... Thanks so much for sharing all this LOVE, inspiration and creativity, wow it blew me away, have a wonderful weekend my sweet Magpie Cuz, ((( BIG HUGS ))) I'm flying off to visit our friends...

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  12. So much better than the original! No wonder your daughter gave you such a beam - it will be a wonderful addition to her new abode! Hugs, Chrisx

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  13. You certainly have outdone your self this time Julie Ann. Your make is stunning - really quite remarkable. Matilda is going to love it and will proudly have it in her room. You have made her a forever keepsake. Beautifully done Sugar.
    Sandy xx

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  14. Julie Ann this is fantastic! No wonder Matilda is beaming. I envy you Venice too, I'd love to visit... oh well maybe one day!

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  15. If Matilda ever tires of this ( like that will ever happen!) I'll gladly take it, it is spectacularly gorgeous. You did a brilliant job.

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  16. This is amazing, I wish I had brought back one of those little masks from Italy to try this out!!

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  17. This is so beautiful and original, julie Ann. You and Matilda are lucky to have each other other,

    Lucy x

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  18. Julie Ann this is gorgeous, I am waiting for my treasured gold and some new Frescos to arrive (i live in Shanghai so it may take a while) and seeing this has made me even more impatient for my goodies to arrive. I have only just discovered both of these products despite crafting for 9 years and cant quite understand whats taken me so long!! Truly lovely, thank you for sharing!

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  19. This is jaw droppingly wonderful Julie Ann, I must admit my love of all thing sparlky took a hit when you covered your mask in gesso but the frantage more than makes up for it :-) It's a beautiful piece, but having seen my sons uni shared accomodation I wouldn't let Matilda take it with her (not that she's sharing with my son - maybe girls are better) :-) xx

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  20. This is beautiful and can see why Maltida gave you a big smile when you gave it too her.

    Jo
    x

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  21. Matilda is so fortunate to have such a clever & talented Mum! This is stunning Julie Ann!
    Have a great weekend,
    Alison xxx

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  22. Gorgeous Venetian piece of art. I love how the mask appears to be embedded within the backdrop. The colours are gorgeous and add to the wonderful design. Beautifully embellished too. Thanks so much for joining in the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. Tracy x

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  23. Gorgeous work I can see why Maltida was so happy... The detail is amazing & I adore the design & colours... Have a happy weekend Hugs May x x x

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  24. Wow.. this is such a gorgeous creation. I really love the blue color scheme and those beautiful embellishments. Fantastic! :)

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  25. This is fantastic! What a special way to show how much you love your daughter. Your idea of mounting the mask in this way is so clever and I love the way you've built up the layers and added the colour scheme to this. Thanks so much for joining us at Frilly and Funkie. Jenny x

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  26. Wow, this is stunning and so special for your daughter. I love the mask and all the wonderful elements you added with it. Thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funkie.
    Hugs!
    Cec

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  27. wow some really gorgeous details here x sorry for the lack of comments life has been a bit hectic so playing catch up! hugs trace x

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  28. Gorgeous project Juliy Ann! Fab every details I love it. My imagination is growing up, and the ticket will Invite me to the Venetian Carnival. xx

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  29. back to say ... thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funkie this time x trace x

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  30. Wow wow wow absolutely gorgeous stunning hanging, the mask is beautiful. I love how you did the background, the coloured grunge paste is amazing. Everything you have made to add to the hanging is awesome. My daughter is 18 this year and I am like you, when she does move on, I'm going to miss her so much. When your daughter is in her new room, this will always be on her wall reminding here what an awesome talented mum she has. Lots of hugs Kerry Ann xxxxxxxx

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