Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Carnival of the Animals

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I have to confess I've been a hopeless blogger recently! I've said for a long time I'm going to turn over a new leaf so today I'm blogging about a miniature shrine I created especially for June who I first met some time ago via Kim Dellow's Show Your Face on Friday link!

I was really excited when June contacted me at my Etsy shop and asked if I could make her a miniature triptych for her birthday. The brief was to create a piece that was rectangular rather than pointed or domed, featuring girls and cats!

Here are the shapes I measured and cut from MDF. This was a new challenge I set myself. Very often I find that the shapes have a story to tell that suggests itself and then evolves as I work.

I had never worked with side-panels opening onto a scene before, but I had always wanted to.Now was my chance to see where these shapes wanted to lead me! I used this classic painting of a pierrot minstrel, flipping the image horizontally so my 2 little figures would lead the viewer in. Within my magical, miniature world cats and girls play sweet music and it's carnival time!

I love this stage in the process when I can play with the images and scraps, discarding and deciding and then changing my mind!

My favourite paper to play with right now is Japanese Yuzen or Chiyogami paper with its beautiful designs based on kimono fabrics. I was lucky enough to win a little stash of it from Gwen La Fleur in a recent blog hop; my friend Etsuko once sent me some beautiful sheets from Japan and I've also purchased different designs whenever I've seen them - most recently when staying with friends in Brussels.

Here things are moving on a little. There is always something special about the cranes on the Yuzen paper. Are they flying to a world where cats and humans dance together?

.. a land you can find in the masked princess's dreams.

This little couple seem to have reached their destination as the girl in the cat mask leads us through a door to a fantasy kingdom.

Closed, this tiny shrine measures 5 cm x 7 cm so you can hold it in the palm of your hand or stand it on a shelf. I do hope June will be happy with it and that it will have stories to tell her as she holds it. June is herself an artist with animals featuring often in her vivid and imaginative work. Creating this little triptych has so inspired me that I hope to create more. I wonder what stories they are waiting to tell? Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this. Have a wonderful week full of creative fun.


  1. Gorgeous Julie, I adore how,your image draws the reader inside, clever idea. Beautiful colours, background and imagery. Love this. Tracy x

  2. Magical and full of delight! Thank you Julie...your work always lifts my heart. xox

  3. It is such a beautiful shrine- oh I love your princess on the front- in those colors, Julie- and the inside with your fantastic faces, and the story unfolding. A very special gift, to give oneself- I`m sure it will be for ever loved, my friend.
    Hugs , Dorthe

  4. that's fabulous, Julie Ann!

  5. I adore your images Julie Ann. The masked princess is so enchanting. What wonderful stories unfold and maybe June will create some stories of her own.
    Looking at all of the images today took me back to my childhood and a jigsaw that I played with made up of cubes which had pictures on all the faces. I think that your glorious colours took me back there.
    A wonderful creation and June is so lucky to be able to cradle it in the palm of her hand! Xx 😀

  6. Your work is so magical! What a beautiful piece. xo

  7. This triptych looks like a ball scene, very fantastic,
    each panel is very gorgeous. xx

  8. Oh Julie Ann! this is amazing!! And if June is the June W. I know, I am sure she will be overly joyous when she receives this!
    I am so happy to see some of the papers you won from Gwen's- aren't they just the yummiest??A s is all of her supplies!
    sending much love and hugs,Jackie xx

    ps...check your email! <3

  9. This is the most amazing triptych Julie Ann - I'm sure lots of stories will be found here! Your friend will surely be enthralled! Hugs, Chrisx

  10. This is absolutely glorious, Julie Ann, one of my favourites of all your beautiful pieces. I love the use of japanese paper, the strong colours, and the dots of white,

    Lucy x

  11. Woooow!! Julie Ann, your artwork is so beautiful, magical and inspiring!! Love this piece so much!! ♥
    Love, Peace and Magic ♥ Kinga


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