Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Let Me Introduce Rob Heard ...

After his first job in a sheet metal factory left him somewhat cold and uninspired, Rob Heard headed into the woods of Somerset at just 18 years old, to get down to the macho business of tree-felling and a return to nature.

Rob has been a man of the woods ever since, averse to keyboard and pen, at one with chainsaw and chisel – living out a lifelong affinity with timber borne during a childhood where he accompanied his father, a crafter of cricket bats, on his forays to harvest willow.


Outdoor pirate ship playground
 
This career path gradually evolved into building timber playgrounds for children - where Rob became renowned for his trademark pirate ships. During the planning process of each playground project, he developed small-scale working models for his clients to illustrate how the finished play equipment would fit together. Rob found that these models were often ‘lost’ by his clients, whose children no doubt fell in love with these apparent 'toys' and squirreled them away to their bedrooms.
Indoor pirate ship playground

Unexpected inspiration followed when, after injuring his wrist, Rob was forced to stop lugging tree trunks and spent six months recovering from the surgery at home. During this time, he scaled down his focus and began to think big, yet in miniature, creating his first Bough House sculpture for his three young daughters. He has been creating these intricate yet robust pieces ever since.

My only limit is the height of my workshop ceiling and maybe that’s a blessing!”
 

“Once I start creating, I do not know where the structure will end.”  

The wooden sculptures take shape in a music-filled workshop at the bottom of Rob's garden. Each one can take up to four or five hundred hours to complete, including time spent just sitting and staring at the pieces, musing about how they are going to develop.

Inspiration usually starts with a bough of wood - cut from local trees or found lying in the fields close to Rob's home. The form follows the shape and twists of the branch, informing the design. There may be sketches, but no rigid plans and the Bough Houses develop from a sense of how Rob wants the journey within that sculpture to feel, or the way in which he would like one to be able to travel between different areas within the form.


The individual elements of the sculptures are hand cut or carved and fixed using pins and glue - right down to the last roof tile. Rob's attention to detail and meticulously accomplished workmanship mean that the structures are deceptively robust. They are not delicate, they are meant to be played with and are as strong as they are beautiful. 


In effect these are the real deal, not models, but real on a very unusual scale. Rob's children love to play with the Bough House that he built for them and the quality of workmanship has stood the test of time - but they are more than a physical thing - you can spend hours wandering the walkways and turrets and paths in your own mind. These are truly inspirational pieces of art. 

Each of Rob Heard's wooden Bough House sculptures takes several months to complete. Every intricate spiral staircase, walkway and ladder leads somewhere...inviting the imagination on a miniature exploration through an array of turrets and towers.

The sculptures can be over six feet tall and each one is completely unique, taking inspiration from the wood and the surrounding Somerset countryside.

 Follow Rob on Twitter to see how the latest sculpture is evolving.



Thanks for visiting Enchanted Revelries ... now go make something beautiful!

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan
 
 


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Creating Miniature Shrines for ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) ...


When I first discovered ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) about 10-12 years ago, I jumped in head first and joined every swap I could find; the result being that I have hundreds of marvelous little works of art from some terrific artists and craft people. There has always been a question of what to do with them once you've got them! I had a couple of my favorites framed - but that gets expensive in no time flat - AND you can't have hundreds of little tiny frames on a wall; it looks like you have roaches - AND the frames don't really do them justice.

So this month when my design team kit arrived, I was excited to find these little ATC shrine boxes, especially designed to hold Artist Trading Cards (which are ALWAYS 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" - the only "rules!").

I chose a shrine kit to use:  ATC Shrine with Feet
Then I created an ATC to use in the shrine:

I used left over pieces from my Enchanted Forest Castle and Mini Album Project (here) paper pack and covered the shrine with pieces of paper after it was glued together. (Tip: I used rubber bands to hold the shrine square while the glue was drying - worked great!)
Then I used the Gold Leaf Adhesive Pen with Gold Leaf for the edges of the shrine, a piece of gold zig zag Dresden border inked with Mermaid alcohol ink, miniature blue rose buds, and pieces of the Leafy Corners chipboard set
I added Peacock Liquid Pearls and a Round Word Charm. All are from Alpha Stamps. I finished up with a crown die cut from my stash, cut a die cut chipboard frame in half from my stash (sprinkled with micro beads colored with alcohol ink from Alpha Stamps) and glued them to my finished piece.

Now I thought the ATC was properly showcased!

Just as I was getting started on the second piece, I got a phone call from a friend who wanted suggestions for her wedding's bridal party's place setting favors. I mentioned what she I was in the middle of doing right now and asked what her theme was...well, it seems that she's getting married at Christmastime and her theme is Enchanted Winter Wonderland. Sound pretty, huh?! I told her to give me two days, and I'd come up with an idea (I didn't mention I was also going to fulfill my design team obligation!).

First I had to create the base of the shrine: the ATC:
I used alcohol inks and embossing powders to create the background, used and image from the "Castles in the Air" collage sheet, and painted in the clouds myself. I decided it looked wintry enough. Hard to remember when it's 90 degrees outside!

Then I chose to use the shrine kit "ATC Shrine Box"

adding the "ATC Ivy Frame." I covered the leaves with 1mm micro beads, used platinum Liquid Pearls to outline all the straight edges and platinum Stickles for the three
decorative dots on the insert. It was getting more enchanted! I used the middle sized bottle brush tree from the Retro Bottle Brush Tree Set (shaving some of the back branches so it would fit totally into the box flush with the back...also Flower Soft was added to the tree image on the right side for texture. I also added a pair of wings from the Butterflies Decoupage Paper (I love this paper!) to a vintage plastic bride from my stash. I assembled all the various elements, added Silver Cups turned upside down to use as feet and ribbons and bead flowers and millinery flowers buds to the top to finish it up.
My friend was thrilled with it - and asked if I cold make 9 of them - and somehow turn them into placecards.

I'll let you know how that turns out LOL.

If you'd like to try these projects yourself, here is the complete Alpha Stamps supply list: just click here for all the materials and information on each.

Now...go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan




Saturday, May 28, 2016

The 'toinette's Day of Couture and Toilette ...

Now you know I couldn't let my birthday go by without a post about my favorite historical character of them all!
At the end of her life, Marie Antoinette’s cosmetics were reduced to a tarnished mirror, a swansdown puff with some powder and a vial of scented water. As she patted the powder onto her already pallid cheeks, she must have reflected with some wonder and sadness about the fact that not too long ago, her toilette had been one of the high points of the court day, attended by dozens of courtiers, all vying for attention and dictated by an arcane and complex etiquette that had been handed down for generations.
Ironic then that Marie Antoinette’s own tastes inclined towards the discreet and modest. To the ordinary people, she was a haughty, spoiled, pampered creature who delighted in extravagance and ceremony whereas those who were closest to her, knew that on the contrary she preferred simplicity and a total lack of pomp and fuss.
She had an unerring and exquisite taste and the beautiful objects owned and worn by Marie Antoinette still exert a tremendous fascination today. Sadly the ravages of the Revolution resulted in the destruction of Marie Antoinette’s fabulous wardrobe and much of her belongings were either looted, sold abroad or lost forever but enough remains for us to have a very good idea of the luxury that she liked to surround herself with.
 Marie Antoinette’s clothes collection was vast, with three whole rooms put aside at Versailles just to store it. The rooms were open to public so it was possible to visit the Queen’s clothes, just as you could go and watch her have dinner or walk past on her way to Mass in the morning. I suspect that to the fashion mad ladies of Versailles, a trip to the Queen’s wardrobe was viewed with as much reverence, if not more, than seeing her in person.
 Marie Antoinette was given a fixed allowance of 120,000 Livres a year for clothes and accessories, a vast sum that was somehow never quite enough (she spent 258,000 Livres in one year), probably because at some point along the line, etiquette had decreed that eighteen pairs of pastel coloured gloves scented with violet, hyacinth or carnation and four new pairs of shoes had to be ordered for her on a weekly basis. Her weakness for the designs of Rose Bertin was also a problem here as each of her gorgeous dresses which had swooning, romantic names like ‘Indiscreet Pleasures’, ‘Heart’s Agitation’ and ‘Stifled Sighs’ cost around 1,000 Livres, sometimes even 6,000 Livres each, which quickly mounted up when you were ordering dozens at a time along with shoes, perfumed fans, feathers and extravagant hair decorations.
 Strictly speaking, Marie Antoinette’s wardrobe purchases were supposed to be restricted to orders of thirty six dresses for the summer and thirty six for the winter but the Queen adored fashion and so ordered far more. According to etiquette she was only supposed to wear dresses once and had to change three times a day so clearly seventy two dresses a year wasn’t going to cut much of a dash at Versailles. Once worn, favourite dresses were kept and carefully looked after so that they never looked anything less than brand new but others were given away to her ladies in waiting.
 When the Queen’s gorgeous bedchamber was renovated in the last century, several pins were discovered wedged between the wooden floorboards, a remnant of the ceremony that surrounded the dressing of the Queen. Every morning before she got out of bed, Marie Antoinette would be presented with the gazette des atours, a huge book full of fabric swatches from each of her gowns and she would place a pin in the dresses that she wanted to wear that day, which would then be brought down from the wardrobe in vast green taffeta covered baskets.

Marie Antoinette would change three times in the course of the day: first of all there would be a formal silk or velvet gown to be worn to Mass, followed by a lighter, more informal muslin, lawn or cotton dress for the rest of the day and then finally a gorgeously elaborate evening dress to be worn to dinner, concerts or balls.
The Queen’s preference was for light fabrics and pale, pastel colours such as a soft lemon yellow, dove grey, pale green and lilac. Again, Madame Bertin was inventive, taking an almost poetic pleasure in thinking up names for different shades – ‘Incendie de l’Opera’ was a vivid orange red; ‘Cheveux de la Reine’ a soft gold inspired by her hair colour and, most poetically, ‘Caca Dauphin’ was a pale brown.
Marie Antoinette took as much care of her person as she did her clothes and her beauty regime was extensive. At night she would sleep wearing gloves lined with wax, rose water and sweet almond oil and she probably treated her hair with a wash of saffron, turmeric, sandalwood and rhubarb in order to accentuate its strawberry blondness.
 Before she applied her make up, she would carefully cleanse her skin with Eau Cosmetique de Pigeon, followed by Eau des Charmes astringent and then Eau d’Ange, a gentle whitener. After this white paint was carefully applied to her face, followed by a dusting of scented powder then khol around her eyes and a touch of rouge to her cheeks. Sticks of pomade scented with rose, carnation or vanilla were used to gloss her lips, eyebrows and eyelashes.
Marie Antoinette had survived a childhood bout of small pox relatively unscathed bar a few scars but it is likely that she still enjoyed the fashion for black velvet beauty patches – perhaps applying one to the corner of her mouth, which signaled her wish to be kissed or one on the forehead, which suggested that the wearer was haughty.
 There was a definite emphasis on the senses – Versailles at this time was absolutely foul smelling and the courtiers did everything they could to keep the smell at bay. Marie Antoinette’s rooms were scented with a profusion of fresh flowers, melted pastilles, pot pourri, oils and perfumed sachets. She particularly loved the fresh scents of orange blossom, lemon, rose, lavender and violet and her rooms would have smelled heady and sweet as you entered them.
The Queen loved to douse herself with eau de fleur d’oranger (orange blossom water); simple violet, rose and jonquil scents or more complex perfumes made with vanilla, musk, lavender, iris, jasmine and lily or lemon, cinnamon, angelica, cloves and coriander. It seems that everywhere she went, she wanted to be surrounded by gorgeous smells.

Unusual for the time, Marie Antoinette insisted on frequent baths and her bathroom at Versailles still exists with simple dove grey walls and a sloping tiled floor so that the water could drain away. Her perfumer Fargeon invented for her the bain de modestie, which involved donning a flannel chemise so that her body would not be exposed even to the gaze of her ladies in waiting. Once in the bath she would sit on a large pad filled with sweet almonds, pine nuts, linseed, marshmallow root and lily bulb while she washed herself with muslin pads filled with gentle and exfoliating bran and soaps scented with herbs, amber and bergamot.
It’s sad now to walk around Versailles and see these delicately hued rooms, now crowded with tourists, where once the air was filled with the scents of the most beautiful garden imaginable.

Now ... go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan
 Special thanks for information and some photos from "Madame Guillotine."
Photos of Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette from Sophia Coppola's 2006 film "Marie Antoinette"

My birthday present from me to you ... a collage of images of the 'toinette. Click to enlarge and save to your computer to print out. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

... and the supporting cast

Wow! It's been almost a month since I've posted! This is one of the longest stretches I've gone, I believe. But, I've been very busy - making stuff, going to the theatre, lots of doctor visits (nothing wrong!), and generally being run around ragged. But I'm back, and glad to be here!

I thought I'd share with you a project I made for Alpha Stamps design team today.

I've always been a huge fan of "Alice in Wonderland" (as anybody who has been following here for awhile knows all too well - *snicker*), and some of my favorite characters are those minor fellows who only show up for a short time - but help make the story so very enjoyable.

So I decided to make an altered mini altoid tin of the Alice in Wonderland supporting cast!
This photograph shows the scale of the piece - it's pretty small! measures about 6 1/4" high x 6 1/4" wide x 1 3/4" deep.

I took the lid off each of the mini hinged tins
http://www.alphastamps.com/p18196/Small_Hinged_Tins/product_info.html
and adhered them to the Alpha Stamps chipboard triptych frames, keeping them solid by using the 5/8 Inch Wooden Cube Blocks underneath the tin and glued to the back of the back of the frame.
 (Click on either photo to be taken to the item at Alpha Stamps.com)
http://www.alphastamps.com/p20240/Small_Altoids_Tins_Triptych_Frame/product_info.html
Then, I went wild decorating and finding tiny images of my favorite Alice characters!
The first exhibits one of the most important of the supporting cast - the wondrous White Rabbit - all dressed in his court finery and blowing his trumpet to announce the Queen. I covered the frame with ultra fine black glitter and used miniature playing cards, fabric flowers and ribbons to decorate it. The tin is lined with paper and a bright red ribbon and a red-heart tart is displayed behind the White Rabbit. The scroll hanging in the front of the frame and the ivy leaves at the side are from the leafy corners chipboard sheet, and the pocket watch hanging on the back wall are embellishments from the Alpha Stamps collection.
The third niche shows off my favorite characters in the story - the often forgotten frog and fish footmen, who are involved with getting the Duchess her invitation to the Queen of Hearts croquet game. For some reason these two guys have always tickled me and I enjoy images of them, no matter what artist has rendered them! I decorated this frame in much the same way as the first, in order to 'book end' the piece as a whole.
The place of honor in the center is given to the knaves who planted the white roses trees by mistake in the Queen of Hearts garden and must hastily scurry around painting all the blooms red so that she doesn't realize their error. The Queen is way back there behind the rose tree in her famous "Off with their heads!" pose ... and the miniature rosebuds are only partially painted red. The outside was covered with paper and embellished with a tiny miniature key, more rosebuds, and a lucite flower with a bead center. It's all topped with a polka dot bow that my big clumsy fingers took awhile to achieve!
The scroll work and crown at the top of the center frame is part of the chipboard frame - I covered the scroll work in micro beads and used a brass metal pressing of a crown over the crown that is cut into the chipboard.
The arch over the top is a deck of miniature playing cards - the spine of the story, so to speak. The charm hanging has a hand colored image of Alice at the tea party under a layer of resin in a heavy brass pressing of a winged heart.

So, that's my Alice in Wonderland supporting cast altered mini altoid tin triptych! Hope you enjoyed seeing it. Almost everything is from the wonderland of art and craft supplies: Alpha Stamps. If you click here you will find the items that were used in this project, just in case you decide you need to make one for yourself!

Thanks for visiting both Enchanted Revelries and the supporting cast of Alice in Wonderland ...

... now go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan

Mary Pickford as Alice with the White Rabbit - 1925

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"Enchanted Forest" Medieval Castle with Mini Album



I was so excited when I got my "assignment" this month for my Alpha Stamps design team project. I was to make a piece using the newly released Graphic 45 paper line "Enchanted Forest." I love this paper line - I think the prints are beautiful - and, as always, the Graphic 45 papers are of quality and can stand a lot of wear and tear during construction! Because of the Renaissance nature of the collection, I decided to create a large free-standing castle which would also house a photo album mini-album. Lots of work - lots of fun - and lots of paper!

I decided to challenge myself to make the piece almost entirely from the paper collection. With just a few exceptions, I kept to the challenge and am pretty pleased with the results (hearty pat on the back to myself here, haha).

The main structure consists of a set of stairs leading up to double doors and a balcony which is populated with Renaissance faeries. The rooftop is finished off with a royal golden crown with a strand of strung aqua beads, as well as two finials. There are miniature flower pots with greenery, blooms, and crown charms sitting on the stairs, which separate two tower structures which feature double shuttered arched windows and balconies with fair maidens awaiting the return of their knights on white steeds!
This photo angle shows the towers and the castle from the 3/4 side view, allowing you a peek at the photo mini-album stored behind the double doors.

Also, the roofs on each of the towers come off to reveal shelves to store jewelry, love notes, or special trinkets or memories. Having none of those things, I put small battery powered candles in them and they look terrific in the arched windows!
The flower pots are miniature clay planters with saucers (I left the saucers off so they would fit on the stairs) from Alpha Stamps filled with Mini Fern Garland, Tiny Tree with Pink Blossoms, Small Bright Pink Mulberry Blossoms, and Twiggy Leaf Garland - all from Alpha Stamps. The planters were decorated with molds made from paper clay and architectural molds I had on hand.

As you can see, I used a lot of the Gold Ric Rac Dresden Borders Sets to outline the corners of every seam in the towers and the stairs. The red trim balcony railing and door decorative 'molding' is from the Enchanted Forest paper pack, die cut with a Sizzix die. The ornamentation above the door is another mold I made from an architectural mold and paper clay that I had on hand.
Here are the double doors, which are outline with an on-hand piece of leather and trimmed with White Mesh Rhinestone Ribbon that I colored with Caramel Tim Holtz alcohol ink. As door handles, I used the Antique Brass Lion Door Knockers with a dry brush of black paint over them. I used the set of Curved Brass Hinges on the doors with a black paint and steel wool finish.

This photo shows the castle doors open, and the photo mini-album revealed. It is a perfect fit, and again is constructed entirely from the Enchanted Forest paper collection and decorated with a plethora of images from Alpha Stamps collage sheets. They will be individually identified in the supply list!
This is the album in front of the castle, and you can see the fussy cut images from the Enchanted Forest papers on the back wall - they are really lovely graphics and so perfect for this ... or any Renaissance or faery tale project! Let's take a look at the photo album and some of the pages. I'm never quite sure why these are called "mini-albums" - they hold dozens of photos - I'm not clear why they're mini!. This one has a completely closed cover that opens from the front. There are no pages visible from the sides of the outside of the album.
 Each page includes one large area to the left for a larger photo to be placed.
 Each page includes two small flap pages that allow for small or special photos or mementos.
 Also each page has a complete pull-out insert that will allow for two larger photos or journaling or memento/souvenir placements.

 In addition, each page has a flip up feature which allows for double sides for even more display space. There are really dozens of spaces for your photos in this album!
Thanks for taking the cook's tour of my Enchanted Forest castle and mini-album storage. I hope you will check out Alpha Stamps remarkable selection of miniature marvels and craft supplies and create something special from this wonderfully romantic and olde world style paper collection! Everything needed to create this castle and mini-album you'll find by clicking here.

Now...go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan

 Back of castle,with embellishments and a pocket for storing more photos, poems, journaling notes, or the perfect spot for a giver/receiver gift tag.