Despite it still being cold (very for some of you and not at all for some too!), February has a lot going for it...for a start the dreariness of January is behind us and we can start looking forward to Spring! Already I've noticed that the days are getting longer and bird song is starting to awaken me before the alarm, our hens definitely have a certain spring in their step when I open their coop and they bound into daylight!
There is something else about February of course and that is 'Love' - it's the month where our attention is turned to romance and looking at some of the fabulous creations on your blogs this past week really shows how crafters embrace this celebration. As a I explained yesterday, as I was laid low with a bug and before that busy at work, my romantic offerings are going to be across this week.
I'm starting with a bit of a labour of love, as this took a little while, made in various snippets of time, but I loved making it. Some of you know what a lucky gal I am...whilst many of my family are Californian and I've had the pleasure of frequent visits since I was a teen, Tom's family on his Dad's side are Venetian...said by some to be the most romantic city in the world. I have to say when Tom and his parents first took me there many years ago, I fell in love at first sight and have never stopped loving it.
February in Venice is Carnival time (I have put a potted history of Carnevale at the very end of this post). Venice is so heady with colour, decadence and extravagance during this time...so many people in costume and of course masks. Some of Tom's family run a costume business. They make, sell and hire everything you could imagine wearing to a ball. They spend the festival time at one of the best hotels serving the guests. A few years ago Venice Atelier (their name) had their costumes on display at a Mozart exhibition in the Salzburg Museum.
I decided to make a mask and purse matching set...lol if you are going to stand around in St Mark's Square being photographed by tourists all day, you really would need a purse filled with chocolates methinks!
I'll describe the two items separately:
For the purse:
Sizzix Scoreboards Heart box die by Eileen Hull
Sizzix Butterfly die
Sizzix Flourish dies
Sizzix Doily and Jewel heart die
Spellbinders Bitty Blossoms dies
Indigo Blu English Cottage paint: Goldfinger and Aladdin
I die cut the box using plain card and before putting it together painted all parts with the purple Aladdin paint using a sponge. When it had dried I put the box together and then with a dry sponge and little paint, I dabbed the sides of the box and more randomly the front and back, just to have a hint of gold showing through.
I die cut the heart from the doily die set, the butterfly, the flourishes and the roses and painted these in the same way.
To finish I tied a bow with dark purple ribbon through the heart charm and added a gem. Once the box was complete, all that was needed was some tissue paper and chocolates.
Paper light air dry clay
Plain white drinking straw with bendy top
Sizzix Flourish dies
Paints as above
Butterfly stamps - Kanban
I drew the basic shape of a mask on some card, cut it out and used this as the template for my mask, modelling my clay around it. I made a hold in each top corner for ribbon. Once the clay had dried I painted the mask with a coat of gesso and then gold.
I stamped about 20 butterflies, heat embossed using clear powder and coloured them with Promarkers. I cut each one out and added some sparkle with both clear wink of stella pen and embossing glitter.
I painted the drinking straw with gold paint, it's not intended to show but in case any of the straw did peek through I wanted to conceal the white. I used permanent glue dots to attach the butterflies to the straw and wound ribbon around the part that is used as the handle below the mask, finishing with a bow.
I decorated the mask with gems and threaded ribbon through the holes. Lastly I glued the remaining butterflies to the front of the mask and flourishes and feathers to the side
I would like to enter this project in to the following challenges
Eileen Hull - Art with Heart - theme: Projects to Love
Artful Times Challenge 74: Romance
Thank you so much for stopping by, I really do appreciate it...if you'd like to read a little about Carnival, please see below by signature!
Love and Hugs
Carnevale di Venezia...
The Carnival is held annually, ending on the first day of Lent and today is most famous for its elaborate costumes and masks. It originally began in the 12th Century when citizens came into St Mark's square to celebrate their victory over the Patriarch of Aquileia (1162). It became very popular during the 17th and 18th centuries as a way for Venice to show its prestigious image to the world. When the Austrians took over the rule of Venice in 1797, the Carnival and masks were outlawed and only crept back in during the following century through private parties and a way for artistic creativity.
The Carnival was finally brought back officially in 1979; the government wanted to bring back the history and culture of Venice and today the festival period sees the City teeming with about 3 million visitors...one of the highlights is at the end of the first week, when they hold the 'Flight of the Angel' in St Mark's Square. The winner of a beauty pageant zooms across the square on a zip wire (rather her than me). This year's grand finale is February 17th, when prizes are awarded for best costumes at a special celebration ..a fashion show for the 18th Century! If you do go as a tourist some time, be prepared to wear a mask at least, possibly a Venetian cloak or even a full costume. It's even more crowded than summer, but great fun!
Unfortunately it's been a while since we went for the event, so I haven't been able to find my photos, which are probably on a CD somewhere!