Sunday, 2 November 2014

Cosy Challenge - A Book of Hours.

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven! It's been unusually warm here for the end of October; but I suspect now that November is here we'll be feeling the chill and looking for ways to keep cosy! Over at Finnabair's blog there's a fabulous Cosy blog hop and challenge with some stunning projects to see from Finnabair and the Design Team. Click here to find out all about it. I just had to join in, so I've waved a sad farewell to autumn and started to think about the coming winter with its glittering frosts; snow flurries and roaring fires. An image that suggests 'cosy' to me is this page from the medieval book of hours Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.
I loved the contrast between the chilly outdoors with its bare trees and snowy landscape and the cosy little house where the Lady is warming her feet by the fire. I decided to adapt this image for a canvas: the final one in a series I've been making for my Mum. Here are spring, autumn and summer, which I have now completed.,,
For the main part of my canvas, I blended layers of PaperArtsy  Frescos in Snowflake, Antarctic and Mermaid - and here is my Winter's Tale.
I decided to create a Master Board to cut up for trim and I had great fun with this, layering and brayering  (unintentional poetry there!); stencilling and stamping. I used a Jofy stamp of snow flakes and a Rebekkah Meier doily stencil. 
It's always such a shame to cut up backgrounds, but I did have fun playing around with Sizzix dies - 'On the edge' snow flakes and the decorative strip lace die. I used an arch die cut from cardboard packaging to suggest a window into my lady's cosy house.
 I painted both the border of my arch and the inside with Little Black Dress and then Crackle Glazed over them with Turquoise for the border and Tango for the interior. The dome is created by snipping off the top of the arch and placing it above the lacy die-cuts. I then used Grunge Paste, tinted with Antarctic pushed through a Prima flourish stencil to create the relief pattern on the frame. I used Prima Mechanicals, rusted and painted with Snowflake and or highlighted with Sapphire Treasure Gold.
 The portrait in the red and gold Prima frame was stamped onto Shrink Plastic, painted with Blush Fresco and then heated to fit the frame.
 The little Prima metal nut is painted and then Treasure Golded with Sapphire, and it nestles among resin roses painted with Snowflake and then sprinkled with Tim Holtz glitter. I used Heavy Gel Medium to stick down the lace and then painted over it, doodling a border with a Posca pen. I am saving up for some Finnabair basic materials, as I think these will make such a difference to future products, but until then I'm improvising with what I have!
 I also added some snow-dusted Shrink Plastic leaves, and punched out snowflakes with a sprinkling of Frantage  in Shabby Blue. A tissue snowflake floats past the lady's cheek. My final touch was to give her a necklace of a golden charm, maybe an angel or the god of Love!

Winter is not an easy time for birds, but if this lady is warm-hearted - and  I'm sure she is - she will share some crumbs of freshly baked bread with this little blue shrink plastic bird and the Prima robin who is singing his winter song for her.
All the leaves are frosted over and turning to skeletons in the bitter weather. I used leaf charms painted and highlighted with Treasure Gold and some leaves stamped onto the background with Snowflake paint.  But my cosy canvas needed something more! We still have not lost that love of a cheery fire, even though most of us now enjoy the luxury of central heating. For years my Mum lived in a cottage where she made up a coal fire each day during the Winter months. At Christmas my family love the open fire that we light especially on Christmas Day, so I decided to add one word to my canvas...
And, although the wintry weather does it best to freeze everything in sight, the sun still shines bravely on some beautiful winter days, making the snow glitter and reminding us of past summer days!
I used Paper Clay to mould a sun and then hand-painted a face. He's doing his best to melt the ice on the leaf close by: the droplet is a 'glass' nugget. This post has been so picture heavy, but I had so much fun creating this canvas for my mum and I really hope it will make her feel cosy as the winter approaches. I should like to link it to the Warm and Cosy Blog Hop at Finnabair here. Thank you for your patience, if you've stayed the course! I hope you have a lovely, cosy week surrounded by family and friends!


  1. Masterboards are so useful - and I love this frosty end to your Mum's book!!

  2. A another fab piece of art Julie Ann. Textures, shapes and colours meld beautifully. As usual I love your story. Freshly baked bread, cosy fire etc. like the inclusion of the sun as he thankfully plays an important role in our Winters. Must get out my frantages! Once again you have inspired me! Xx

  3. Hello Miss Julie Ann, wow that master board is GORGEOUSSS, love the colors which you are a Master with and I love the circles and the snowflakes, the arch is SPECTACULAR, the crackle is down right STUNNING, love how you added the piece on top, your improvising is perfect, there will be no stopping you when you get the products. Your right nothing makes winter better than a roaring fire, I still get to enjoy them at my DS cottage, love the smell, this was a wonderful production, as you do, I haven't been to my desk all week, I needed some inspiration and this has done it for me thanks so much my kindred spirit, you inspire me like no other. It was snowing here yesterday, but will warm up this week, I'm not ready for that yet :). I'm off to make a huge pot of soup, bean and smoked sausage, then I will get to my desk to do the dragons challenge, Thanks honey for inspiring us all. All the creations together are just fantastic, and will look fantastic on your Moms walls, she will have a part of you with her always. Hope you have a wonderful week,(((( HUGE HUGS ))))..

  4. Beautiful creation yet again Julie Ann,you make such stunning works of art 😃

    Big hugs

    Donna xxx

  5. Exquisitely crafted, dear Julie Ann ! So beautiful.

  6. I enjoy how pictures help tell the story ... never too many photos in my view dear Julie Ann. I have always been drawn to medieval times AND the book of hours fascinates me again and again.
    What a treasure you've created ...
    your paper clay sunshine is absolutely brilliant :-) with the face you painted and the warm rays doing their magic.
    Thank you for warming my heart with your beautiful creativity again and again.
    It is very windy and chilly here in Virginia.
    Happy November to you and yours ♥

  7. WOW love how you pack so much detail in - fabulous xxx

  8. Good to see the final instalment in your Mum's books, this one is once again breathtaking and so full of your individual style. I am sure your Mum and the rest of your Family will treasure these forever. Thank you for always inspiring me Julie Ann :-) xxx

  9. Wow Julie Ann, isn't your mum the lucky one. Beautiful project.
    Julie x

  10. Thank you for your beautiful inspiration. Many thanks for taking part in our 'cosy challenge', love Marta xx

  11. This is amazing, julie Ann. I have loved your series of canvases for your mum and this has a perfect wintery feel. I particularly love the Lynne perrella shrink plastic picture on the wall!

    Lucy x

  12. What a gorgeous masterboard Julie Ann! Your sun on this is so warm ,and inviting as well as cheerful!
    I am so happy to see all four seasons now and look forward to hearing your Mum's thoughts on the wonderful series her daughter lovingly made her!! I am sure she will be thrilled!

  13. How lovely! I've really enjoyed reading your post Julie! The four pages are gorgeous and it was really interesting seeing all the processes you've used ! Xx

  14. I am transfixed by the beauty and imagination of this piece of art and your paperclay sun is wonderful. Julie Ann, I wish I had even an ounce of your imagination because there is no boundaries when it comes to what you create.
    I need to study this once more.

  15. Stunning project! I love all layers!

  16. Stunning project! Thank you for sharing and joining the "Cosy" challenge!

  17. Wow wow wow truly stunning amazing canvas. I love all those small details you do so well, the little frame and the bird, the odd leaf still left just as the snow falls, beautiful. Kezzy :-) xxx


Due to high level of spam recently I have enabled comment moderation on this blog, so any comments will be moderated before appearing on the blog.