Thursday, 16 September 2010

Memories of sand and surf

It has been quiet around here lately and when I think back over the last couple of months, I haven't managed much crafting at all, in spite of a six week break from work. There has been no lack of inspiration though. Quite the contrary. My visits abroad have given me a wealth of ideas to follow up but when I found myself with a couple of free hours today my priority was to finish this project. Earlier this year I was delighted to be invited to spend some time with my crafting friend Elaine. Together we are half of Craft Stamping Quartet. Elaine has the most fantastic craft studio set in her own personal woodland. It really is like something from a folk tale. She also lives in the most idyllic location, not far from crashing waves but with red squirrels popping up on the window ledge and wild rabbits hopping into the garden to tentatively take food from our hands. What better place to inspire me? We had planned in advance to each create a sea canvas. We had planned them separately but also had some resources to share. Amazing that we created such totally different pieces.

I painted my canvas with Adirondack Dabbers and then prepared two Grungeboard flourishes as my 'surf'. I can't remember how many layers they needed before I got the effect I wanted but there are various paints on there and also stamped texture, white embossing and Stickles.

The main focus of my canvas was to be a miniture reproduction of a 'collage' created by my sister. Karen is a real artist and creates the most amazing mixed media land/seascapes. I did ask her permission to use the picture, of course and I think she was curious as to what I intended to do with it. I've put the picture in a Memory Frame and added a ball chain.

Another important feature is the glass bottle. This came with no cork so I stole an idea from our Quartet buddy Lesley and made my own out of rolled up Grungepaper. I had planned to use a spiral of paper to suggest a shell but it looked too unusual on a seascape so I trimmed it level.

Inside the bottle is sand from Freshwater Bay which Elaine and I collected when I visited.

It will always remind me of my magical time with her. Until the sand went into the bottle today I had been carrying it around in a little sealed bag in my handbag, along with the little lollipop stick we had used as a spade. Each time I glanced into my bag it made me smile to remember that lovely sunny day by the sea. I felt sad at the thought that there was going to be an empty space in my bag now so I have saved the rest of the sand and put it back. I just need to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't split or I will have a handbag full of sand. Weird souvenir huh?

The little file folder is stamped both inside and out with a B Line Lighthouse diagram stamp I really love and had wanted for ages.

I finally need to credit the very talented Penny Bearcroft. When I was first crafting I came across a wonderful sea canvas she had made in Craft Stamper. It has stuck in my mind ever since and I hoped one day I might have the skills to make something similar. Well, this is not as similar as I intended but I have used her inspiration to make something that has become very special to me for all its associations.