I really enjoyed creating this card... and telling myself stories as I went! From the moment I saw the colour challenge inspiration photo on the Daring Cardmakers challenge site, I knew which papers I would be drawing on - the 7 Gypsies Conservatory collection.
And it wasn't only the colours which led me there; the eggs are also a featured element within the papers; they have an Edwardian nature-collector theme, so there are botanical drawings, fauna and flora, and plenty of birds and eggs around all over them.
None of my Distress Inks really tone precisely to these colours, so I ended up playing lots of blending and layering games, to get combinations of colours which would relate to the challenge colours.
Over at Sir Stampalot, they want to know about my 'crafty passion'. Well, anyone who's visited recently could tell them I seem at the moment to be fairly firmly lodged in the world of Shabby Chic, so what with that and the feel of the Conservatory papers, it was pretty clear, pretty quickly, how the style of the card would develop. So here it is:
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted the green ribbon tab at the bottom - you lift up the front to get a form of what's called, I think, an easel card...
The inside has a more turquoisey feel to the bluey-greens, and some memorabilia.
The story in my head is of the woman in the garden remembering an affair of her youth, and all the mementos she's kept from those halcyon days.
I found both the photos on a Google image search trawl.
There doesn't seem to be a record of the garden lady's identity but Lily Elsie (on the right) was a hugely popular Edwardian actress and singer, renowned for her beauty and charm.
I fell in love with this photo of her, but that of course didn't stop me from taking my inks to both photographs in order to get the newly-printed images from a very 21st century printer to look a little more Edwardian.
In addition to inking with Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink, I did some paper distressing on the edges, as well as giving Lily a good old inked crease too (as though it might have been folded close to someone's heart in a breast pocket; though she demanded the return of her picture in the heat of the break-up!).
All the blue-green papers I created myself, blending Bundled Sage, Tumbled Glass, and occasional touches of Forest Moss and Weathered Wood (Broken China is top of my shopping list when I get home to the UK).
And I've used the little Prima stamp (I think of it as 'the wallpaper stamp' but I think it's actually known as 'Alla Prima Floral 550950') on those papers, including the tag, as well as on the music paper (from an old music book) which forms Lily's background (blending the same colours straight onto the stamp), and as added texture on the front of the card.
As well as the 7 Gypsies, there's a couple of appearances by papers from the Prima Printery collection which I've got in the 8x8 size. It's a lovely collection of ledgers and text-based papers mainly in neutral creams, some with a hint of green.
I used the Tim Holtz Decorative Strip Die Vintage Lace to make the lace edging for the flap and for the tag inside. I love this die and, unable to get hold of any actual lace at the moment, I think it provides a really pretty alternative. I fussy cut (or decoupaged?!) the eggs from the 7 Gypsies Conservatory paper to adorn the tag.
In my head, this affair grew up around a collector's butterfly net, the naturalist sharing his discoveries with the actress taking a quiet holiday away from the whirl of her West End life.
The internal pocket I made from one of my handmade papers, and used some broad cream chintzy ribbon to decorate it. The script underneath is the back (yes, the B side!) of one of the Conservatory papers. You can see why I like them, if this isn't even the primary side!
Amongst the memorabilia there's also one of my mini-postcards (made with the TH postcard and script stamps, and the Prima wallpaper flowers again)...
... and an accommodation invoice (surely they did not share a room, did they?!) cut from one of the 7 Gypsies papers and edged and aged.
And her own final reminder to herself:
When it's meant to be, it's meant to be... they could surely have overcome all the differences between her glamorous life and his studious, academic one. She shouldn't have been so hasty in bringing the affair to a close. And now she looks back and knows that what matters is that you Listen to your heart.
Back to reality, and back to the front now, as it were, just for a last couple of details.
The Special Moments text is from one of the Prima Printery papers I mentioned, die-cut with the centre of the TH On the Edge Brackets die.
And of course, with Lily being in a garden, remembering her salad days, I had to add some of the little mulberry paper flowers. The roses seemed too formal somehow, though, so I used these lovely cream and ivory gypsophila heads - an informal bouquet, picked in the meadows one afternoon as they walked, and carefully preserved with the other mementos of a long lost love.
Oh, come on... I've already confessed to being a hopeless romantic - you're surely not surprised!!
In the hope that perhaps they're being judged by fellow hopeless romantics, I'm entering this in the following challenges:
For the Daring Cardmakers, I've been following their Colour Combination
Sir Stampalot would like to know about 'My Crafty Passion' - for now, at least, very clearly Shabby Chic! - but particularly the layering, Distress Inks, and paper-distressing
The Vintage Artisans have a brand new Challenge Blog, and their first theme is Vintage Shabby Chic
I'm offering another entry to the Crafty Bloggers July Anything Goes challenge
I'm taking a plunge on Crafty Boots, playing their Bingo Challenge - with a vertical win on Blue, Ribbons and Lace (I know you can argue the whole blue - turquoise - green spectrum, but given the fight I had with my mother, you can call it both ways on this card!!)
And I'm adding it as my third and final entry for the lovely Danish site Vintage Urfordring's July challenge Anything Goes (as long as it's vintage)
And there's a Shabby Chic/Vintage challenge at the lovely site Paperminutes (it seems right to be doing all these European challenges as I sit here in the Czech Republic)
I'm so pleased you were able to spend some time here at Words and Pictures today. I really hope I'm not the only one who creates stories at the same time as creating crafting projects, or you'll all think I'm completely barking!
In any case, I hope your own story takes a pleasurable turn today, and I hope to have your company again soon.
It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.
Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.