I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 23 January 2015

Love is in the air


... or is it?  Hello all and welcome.  It's challenge time.

The amazing Astrid is our host this fortnight at A Vintage Journey and, according to the challenge theme, Love Is In The Air!

As usual, my wonderful team-mates have come up with a wealth of inspiration for you, all with a Tim Holtz twist (we certainly all love Tim Holtz at any rate!), but before you hop off to check it out, here's my offering for you.

And love is in the air... but it's under considerable pressure, I'm afraid.

I thought I would use an old hardback book cover as my substrate.  I have a bunch of them, removed and preserved from disintegrating books during our big house move just over a year ago.

I happened to pull this one out of the shelf, and was delighted to find that, unusually, there was some ephemera on the inside leaf... and that inspired the direction I took with the piece.






The book was a copy of Six Months in Red Russia, by Louise Bryant, first published in 1918.  She was an American journalist who spent time in Russia before and during the revolution.  (If you've seen the film Reds, partly based on her writings, she's played by Diane Keaton.)














On the inside cover there's a Russian letter - a permit to travel, according to the blurb underneath - the perfect ephemera to provide a background for this pair from the Idea-ology Found Relatives (I've just re-appropriated it from Louise Bryant and re-written it in their names - in my head, that is, not actually!).


Suddenly they started to talk to me...







Here they are... a young Russian couple, caught up in the maelstrom of events.  The arranged marriage had to take place in a hurry to allow the two of them to travel together out of the country, to try to find a safe refuge from the turmoil.

The young man is filled with the excitement of the adventure, optimistic about the future and what it holds.  His slightly older bride looks considerably more wary, unsure about the wisdom of what they're doing.










The book page hearts echo the letters in the background, but the crackle and rusty wire perhaps show that all is not simple and straightforward between these two.










They have a long and dangerous journey ahead of them, even with the letters permitting them to travel through the country and across the border.














You have to wonder how much it cost their respective families to get those letters signed, and who they had to bribe for the travel tickets.










Although she has now committed her life to her new husband, and they must depend upon one another, obviously she still thinks about the family she has left behind.

Her thoughts are bound up in the letters she writes, never knowing if they will reach their destination.




She has brought mementos from home: a piece of her childhood bedroom wallpaper, snipped from behind the headboard of the bed, so nobody will notice it's gone; a portion of the lace her mother so carefully chose to adorn the wedding dress - already torn and stained with travel.

The dress itself had to be left behind - there's no room in the luggage they carry for anything but absolute necessities.









His constant urging is that she should look on the bright side, encourage her hopes not her fears.














He has promised to take care of her, to cherish her, and he will find a way to do that however far from home they have to travel.












I hope the distressed state of the book board is not a sign that their marriage is already fraying around the edges...













I hope that he is right to indulge in his high hopes for the days, months and years stretching out ahead of them...











I hope that love will strengthen them as they journey together through the world and through their lifetime together...

I hope...

(You may have noticed in the past that Valentine's Day is rarely pink and fluffy round here at Words and Pictures!!)








In any case, I do hope this hanging has offered you some inspiration for the challenge.  Do hop over to see what my team-mates have been creating for you, and we'd love to have you join us for this leg of the journey now that Love Is In The Air.

Check out all the challenge details as well as our Travelling Instructions to make sure you qualify for the prize voucher, generously sponsored by Country View Crafts.



Apologies that I'm somewhat missing in action again at the moment - it's a busy start to the year work-wise and crafting-wise, and there's the dreaded tax return still hovering.  I hope to be back visiting very soon.  Would so much rather come and see you all than do my tax return!!

We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word is spoken.
Fyodor Dostoevsky

Circumstances define us; they force us on to one road or another, and then they punish us for it.
Ivan Turgenev

All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.
Leo Tolstoy

I'm entering the lovely Choose Your Challenge at Craft Hoarders Anonymous - they have a chart and you need to include one ingredient from each list on your project. So I have Colouring Medium - Ink, Fibre - Lace, Technique - Die-cutting, Texture - Distressing and Wire, Embellishing - Eyelets and Ephemera
I'd also like to enter this at The Inspiration Journal where they are looking for A Fresh Start... a January anything goes, really.
And at Anything But A Card they are looking for New Beginnings, and since this Russian couple really are looking for a fresh start, it seems right!

62 comments:

liberal sprinkles said...

The hanging is beautiful and you are a wonderful storyteller, Alison.
grace

massofhair said...

A story full of hopes and dreams which can relate to even todays situations. Thank you for sharing each little element of your hanging, i am rooting for the couple to make it...

Hugs
Mo:-) xxx

Lynn Price said...

Ooohh!! I LOVE your storyline - hopefully we will hear more about this interesting couple somewhere along the line :-) And your use of ephemera and other bits and pieces to create wonderful depth and interest is fabulous. Great make! And good luck with the tax return - ugh! xx Lynn

S@ndy Diller said...

As usual - your project is spectacular!! I love the use of the worn book cover with all the great embellishments. Your style is so beautiful.

Hugs, Sandy xx

Julia Aston said...

What a wonderful base to create your love story on Alison! that book cover is awesome - even by itself - and so much more lovely with the story of the young Russians displayed on it - an enthralling story and beautiful creation!

Rupa S said...

What a lovely story behind that creation...actually very touchy! Loved reading it and carefully chosen embellishments. Truly a masterpiece and a tribute to that hard bound cover! Very inspiring, Alison.

Helen said...

As always, I love the story you weave around your project - I don't know how you do it!! the book cover has made a fabulous backdrop for both the art and the story, (what an amazing find that book was!) Hope you get your tax return filed soon and can get back to your preferred tasks!!

Gio said...

It's so striking, beautiful and sweet. I love all the layers and worn look, G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!

sally said...

Here's hoping their love survives the struggles ahead! A great piece yet again :-) and I know where you get your "family histories" from LOL.

Sally

Kirsten Alicia Sheridan said...

I love the story you've given this wonderful piece & I'm so glad you don't do pink & fluffy. :)

Jane said...

What a brilliant piece and story..that book was waiting for your to pick it up! x

Brenda Brown said...

A beautiful aged, distressed and vintage-shabby creation Alison, I adore all the layers and the fact that you have used an old book. xxx

Astrid Maclean said...

Wow, that was such a lucky find, perfect for this great story! (I have mused several times in the past over the expression on those two faces...:o))

Your layers are wonderful and have come perfectly together, a great make!

chrissies said...

Amazing idea to use tha back of the book Alison-you are so inventive. I like everything about this hanging and that everything on it has a meaning.

The Fyodor Dostoevsky quote is very meaningful.

Love Chrissie x

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

Great alteration of an old cover Alison...again lovely details that make this creation gorgeous!

Nikki Acton said...

If we were ever in doubt why you are 'Words and Pictures'! Wonderful creation both visually and written Alison. I need a creative writing course, my posts are so dull! Nikki xx

Pamellia Johnson said...

Gorgeous Alison! Another perfectly put together project with so many wonderful elements and layers! What a great bit using that Russian letter, creativity at it's best! Just wonderful! until next time, big hugs :)

Sue said...

Wow I love this Alison, I hope there story ends happily xx

Hettie said...

This is just Wonderful Alison. I love the story behind it and what you have done.
Gorgeous.
Hugs
xx

Sandy said...

Beautifully created , both in hanging and in story. I do feel,like it is a peek into your soul. Wonderful!!!
Sandy xx

Candy C said...

Beautiful Alison. Such wonderful attention to detail. The vintage quality of this piece is just exquisite! <3 Candy

Artyjen said...

Absolutely gorgeous and a wonderful story with it too ;)
Busy here too.....not much time for commenting!
xoxo Sioux

Terry said...

What a great story, Alison! I love all the collaged elements and vintage feel in your love story! Great salvaged hanging and oh so beautiful! Happy Weekend. Hugs!

Georgie C said...

Beautiful hanging Alison, love all the elements and I have a surprise for you over at my blog ;) xx

Kay Wallace said...

Such amazing work and such an interesting story, Alison. Thanks for sharing both!

Chrissy said...

Fabulous work Alison..gorgeous project and I loved the story.

Luv CHRISSYxx

craftytrog said...

A beautiful piece of romantic art Alison, I love the story you have woven! xox

Lys Scrap said...

I love this story, Alison ! The detail about the childhood bedroom paper is so touchy ! I would love to see what happens later ... Beautiful hanger!

Redanne said...

This is an exquisite piece Alison and I just love the story behind it, so full of intrigue. I am sitting here now making up my own happy ending for them... Anne xx

Meggymay said...

Awesome hanging, loved the story you told with the photos.I would like to think they had a happy ending..
Yvonne xx

Ruth said...

When I saw this over at AVJ and you asked us to guess the title, the first 2 book titles that popped into my head were very inappropriately ....War and Peace and Crime and Punishment!...so glad I popped across and found it was REDS. What a wonderful romantic story you've invented...much more suitable. Your piece is exquisite and love the idea of using a piece of the book as a backdrop. Gorgeous details Alison. Ruth x

Sophie said...

WOW! Ein Traum von Nostalgie...
Eine wunderschöne Hochzeits-Karte. Diese vielen Details sind umwerfend, es gibt so viel zu entdecken...

Herzlichst Sophie

JackieP Neal said...

This is fabulous and enchanting and I am so happy it is not pink or red! Alison! What a terrific writer you are...I want to hear more of the story of-this young couple... i do hope you continue it! xo

Kathy/NorthCarolina said...

Alison, this is one gorgeous vignette! I just love all the beautiful layers and textures. the little details like the twine wrapped hearts and the special embellies.....just stunning. I enjoyed looking at this for several minutes, just drinking in all the thoughtful, artful touches you added. It's wonderful! I'm so glad you linked this up at Craft Hoarders Anonymous, and hope you will play along on a regular basis!

heather said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful, detailed creation and accompanying story with us at Anything But A Card - New Beginnings !

Jennie Atkinson said...

Such a fabulous piece of romantic art Alison - a wonderful story for that fabulous photograph and such gorgeous details to complete it all. Just stunning! Jennie x

Julie Ann Lee said...

What a beautiful and thought-provoking piece of art. Often the old books and book covers we use speak in unexpected ways. I remember seeing the film Reds in the cinema many years ago. I've been thinking a great deal about Russia lately, having visited a couple of Russian art exhibitions and seen Uncle Vanya with John Hannah and the Young Vic's Cherry Orchard. It's a country that fascinates me. You have really explored the different emotions that must have preoccupied so many young people in the position of this imagined couple. i loved being invited in to the process of this art narrative. Thank you for all you share, Alison. x

Toni said...

This is simply a masterpiece.. I loved every little inch of this... Thank you for all the beautiful closeups of your project and thank you for creating with us at Anything But A Card

Jan Hill said...

I love this hanging Alison. The story behind the photo and all the ephemera is beautiful. You really were inspired x

Shari Trumbull said...

You've swept me away to another time and place, Alison!! This altered book cover is stunning and you also make me want to rip up some hard back books!! ;) :) This is absolutely amazing--every detail, every layer a story within itself! Such a romantic theme at AVJ :) XOXO-Shari

Juliz Design Post said...

Your story is beautiful as is this stunning vintage hanging. What a great idea to use an old book cover.
Julie x

Ruth L said...

You know it is a fantastic vintage creation, and the story that goes the step by step is gorgeous! Thanks so much for joining us at Anything but a card challenges!

Jools Robertson said...

Amazing, love this!
The images and colours are so fabulously romantic and wonderfully vintage using the old book cover inspiring your wonderful story

Jools x

Donna Idlet said...

Beautiful project! Love the vintage look and all the elements you added. Thanks for sharing with Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Love indeed - everything about this! So beautiful and such a lovely story to go with it! Hugs, Chrisx

Redanne said...

Just came back to say thanks so much for joining in at Inspiration Journal. Anne xx

Mrs.B said...

This is such a beautiful hanging Alison and a lovely story too.
Avril xx

Dorthe said...

Alison, you are amazing !! I love your love story and the two soo young sweeties getting merried here.
A beautiful and lovely art piece, with the sweetness of the flowers, and the little accents of wine-red eccoing the "love" between these "Russian " kids - :-) and the word " Lifetime " .
Hugs from Dorthe

cathylynn said...

Alison you are a brilliant story teller and artist. This is a phenomenal piece of art especially with your story beside it. Outstanding as always!!!!
Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

Ana K. said...

Very beautiful post...in words and pictures!

craftimamma said...

Beautiful story and beautiful piece of art! I have thoroughly enjoyed both Alison so thank you!

Hugs
Lesley Xx

Buttons said...

As ever I get caught up in the tales you weave and as ever this is wonderful in every way. A perfect Valentines project which has given new life to this book. Jenny x

Pammejo said...

Beautiful project, love the layers and textures, so beautiful. Thanks for joining us on the Craft Hoarders Blog.

wendipooh13 said...

this is such a a beautiful project!!!! Thanks for joining our challenge at Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

Sara Barker said...

Oh, Alison, I feel a long comment is coming on here. I must go get a fresh cup of coffee! First, my blanket thought is "I must have this!" I often will not look at the inspiration pieces because I find it can affect the outcome of a project I might have in mind. I need to get out of that habit! Since I already had a slew of projects in mind for the Love is in the Air theme, I kind of just retreated to my Closet and haven't had a look. I'm SOOOO sorry I didn't! I had no idea this was a book cover until I visited your lovely blog today! I think we had a similar thought here, but I'm embarrassed by mine, now! I love that you have the same, um...tendency to hoard, I mean-- treasure old books. Secondly, I am in love with your story! You really had me on the edge of my seat! You have certainly pulled the elements from your artwork and woven a wonderful written thread around them. Last, but not least, but it IS later in the day now, your composition and use of some of my favorite new techniques are just fabulous. I really need to study your work to get a lesson in composition! A perfect project!

Ellie Knol said...

That's great!

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Beautiful Alison and the story that inspired your creation is equally beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful project.

Gloria Stengel said...

Your creativity knows no bounds! You are a storyteller yourself, in words and pictures and with your art. I loved this blog post and your project. I am just spellbound. I love books and stories, so this project spoke to me in so many ways! Well done! Thanks for playing along in the Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge!

Dodie said...

So creative, both the hanging itself as well as the couple's story!

Margaret said...

This is amazing! Your story is every bit as fantastic as your beautiful creation! I'm not sure how I missed this during the challenge, but thanks so much for sharing it with us at Anything But a Card too!

Kezzy said...

Wow wow wow super stunning piece of art, I so love all the gorgeous details, but not just that, I love the way you tell the story, showing us what she bought with the lace and the wall paper, it's those details that make your work so unique. Happy Art :-) Kezzy xxx

Sandy said...

Wow! Just looked at this again and reread what you wrote. Amazing!
Sandy xx