Thursday, January 15, 2015

Paper Artsy 2015 Challenge #1 Fragile Papers

Never did I imagine I'd have a blog.  Thanks to Paper Artsy, a blog was needed to best enter challenges.....Thanks Paper Artsy....I like new things and I'm sure I'll enjoy blogging!

backs/fronts of hearts drying
I decided to enter Paper Artsy's 2015 first challenge:  Fragile Papers.  I love working with paper and have made many pieces of quilling that I sold at art shows 5 to 10 years ago.  I have been quilting and creating with fabric for the past 5 years and was itching to get into art journaling, and all the fun stuff that goes with it.
fronts/backs together

A Valentine piece would be my challenge project and planned on something to hang on a wall.  This process brought about many firsts for me!  I found a music book that had my Mother's name on it (she passed away when I was 13).  The book was very fragile and I knew this was be a wonderful way to start as a tribute to my Mother as well as music, since I play the piano.

large heart
Gesso would be my first new substance to use!  I cut 10 large hearts out of the music paper and 10 medium hearts, and also a couple of smaller "test hearts" for practicing on.  After first carefully brushing the gesso on a test heart, I realized that the gesso was not transparent, both with the lovely golden music pages and the lovely music notes!  So I tried again and put on a Very Thin layer of gesso and could see the music notes.   Losing the golden color of the hearts, I decided to use Golden Mist spray on the pieces, and this worked great!  It still took some getting used to, but with the bonus of glitter in the spray (!) I love the look of the base of my hearts!!

small heart
Having just learned to carve stamps, thanks to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's technique, I was able to use 4 heart stamps.  Not very happy with them, so I did other things to sort of mask them, like outlining.  I also used stencils and stamping inks and markers to transfer heart shapes to my paper hearts.  This was another interesting first!  I used a dauber at first with the stamp pads/stencils, but it just didn't work well.  Remembering a recent post on some blog?!  I dabbed ink on my finger and then onto the stencil.  Perfect!!  I really enjoyed this part of the process!!

hearts hanging in entryway
Then I added some words and short phrases to each heart... some loving sentiments...with markers.  Next came decorating with buttons, beads, ribbon, and a little bling.  I don't like just gluing, so, being a hand embroiderer, I stitched most of these items on.....not the best for my fragile paper!, but it worked. 

view from the side
The pieces dried overnight, and then I put two hearts together with batting in between and used my sewing machine to stitch around the hearts.  I felt if would be safer than hand sewing the edges.....not too bad, but had a few tears to mend!  I also added a few more touches after sewing.

close up of hanging fragile paper hearts
Then it was time to sew on ribbon for hanging the hearts.  Tricky! ....more tears even with hand sewing the ribbon onto the Very Fragile paper hearts.  I was glad to see them hanging up!  And, especially like the way they move and that they can be individually  easily flipped to the other side.

I was inspired with Golden Hours, Lynne Moncrieff on Jan 7.  Instead of vintage book pages, however, I used a vintage piano book.Julie G
Thank you Paper Artsy for this challenge!



  1. Wooohooooooo!!! You DID it!! Not only did you start a blog, but you blogged an amazing project, and linked it to a challenge! That's a triple whammy! Fabulous project! Well done!

    1. thank you, thank you, thank you for all the encouragement!!

  2. Fabulous project, and welcome to blogland. I started mine 2 years ago, and it is addictive!

  3. Lots of firsts here so very well done. I love these hearts and the music that you used was very special too. beautifully delicate and something to remind you of your Mum. x

  4. Lovely! Well done, keep going!

    Lucy x

  5. Thank you Kaybee, Hazel and Lucy!

  6. What a pretty project and a lovely tribute to your dear Mother.
    Your process description did sound very fragile and tricky, but the end result was well worth it.

    ps, welcome to the world of blogging - it can be addictive! xx