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, 6 November 2015

Remember, remember...

Hello all!  It's time for a new challenge at A Vintage Journey and the fabulous Nikki would like to see the explosive side of things with Baby, You're a Firework!  Grab your glasses of mulled wine - it's a photo-heavy post!  Yesterday, November 5th, was what's known as Bonfire Night in the UK, when we commemorate the near-destruction of Parliament in 1605.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.


Given Guy Fawkes and his conspirators failed to ignite their gunpowder beneath the Houses of Parliament, I've always found it a bit strange that we celebrate the failure by setting off fireworks... it seems to me that in that explosive symbolism there's a hidden wish that he'd succeeded!


In any case, with our Bonfire Night and with Thanksgiving in the US coming up at the end of the month and with the darkening evenings, November is the perfect time to play with fireworks (always reading the safety instructions first of course!).  So these are my fireworks, in various lights - because once again I've managed to give myself an almost impossible photographic task!!


I wasn't at all sure what I wanted to do for this challenge until I had the bright idea of getting some tiny lights.  A conveniently timed trip to Ikea meant I was able to grab a little £3 set of battery lights so then I had to set about working out how to do what my head had come up with!




I decided to use a reverse canvas so that I could create a dimensional scene - it's a 12x12, so the internal space is about 10x10.  I remembered I would need to gesso the internal canvas since it's not prepped like the front side.  Then I applied Distress Paints in Chipped Sapphire, Wilted Violet (yup, it's here again!) and Stormy Sky to create my graduated twilit skyscape.










I added some of my favourite Tim Holtz wild meadow grasses (and you can see the early stages of the crackle on the frame in these photos - more on that below - as well as some of the clouds I brought in from the edges to create a darker sky).











I had some wrinkle-free distress tags around which were mainly Ground Espresso and Wilted Violet so I used those to cut some of the Artful Dwellings.  There was also some shimmery inky card left from Underneath the Undertakers so I used that too (for the building on the far right of the scene).












I'm absolutely in love with all the new tree dies - so many gorgeous new arboreal die-cuts to play with.  These delicate outline fir trees made a nice addition to the village I thought.












And along the bottom are the tiny trick-or-treaters but with most of the crazy hairstyles cut off, so that they become simply children at the fireworks display.











So what do I "remember, remember..."?

Some of us haven't always enjoyed such things... At my first firework display it took only the first explosion for me to let go of my mother's hand and hightail it out of there.  I was eventually found some distance away, inside the stately home that was hosting the display, cowering (with my little brother) under one of the tables where they were serving hot drinks!












It's well known that pets can become very distressed on Firework Night, so I'm impressed that this cat has managed to stick around, even though he is halfway off the frame - perhaps he's heading for cover as I did!













Around the frame of the canvas I used DecoArt Chalky Finish paints and crackle medium, as I mentioned earlier...












I used the dark grey Relic underneath, then the crackle, then Lace over the top (you can see those first stages in the earlier photos above).













Finally I layered Distress Paints over the top - Chipped Sapphire and Ground Espresso chiefly, so that it would echo the colours of the interior scene.

I love the results.




So much for the scene-setting... now for the fiddly bit.  There are 12 lights on the garland, so I decided to cluster them in groups of three to create the explosive heart of each rocket.















These days I love fireworks - but my preferred colours by far are the white ones, with a few gold ones thrown in occasionally.  I've not much time to spare for all the bright colours, so I make no apology for going for the all-white look here.





I used a bodger to make the holes for each bulb and then removed them so that I could add spatter to create the showers of sparks around the main explosion.













Some of the spattering was done with Picket Fence Distress Paint and a splatter brush (I don't have Tim's new one... I went off and got a Liquitex one when he used it for a tag some time last year!).  I tried to concentrate the splatter around the light-holes.









Then I thought it would be nice to have something which would pick up the light from the bulbs so I used some Liquid Pearl droplets.

You get glossy light-reflectivity and some extra dimension.  I can't remember now whether they are Platinum or White Opal, but those are the only two colours I have the Liquid Pearl in, so it must be one of them!




Once the pearls had set, there then followed a period of much foul language and fiddling with glue and tape and all sorts to try to get the lights to stay in place!



The problem was that the bulbs sticking through were nice and small, but then the body of the lights sticking out of the back were large and cumbersome by comparison, and trying to get them to stay straight in their clusters was a struggle to say the least.

In the end, I gave up trying not to get glue on the bulbs themselves, and went for some Matte Accents (yup, like Glossy Accents but matte - so it wouldn't make the sky all shiny) to glue them in place and some tape to hold the backs in place while it dried.




I also glued down the battery pack - but don't worry, you can still get at the switch, as well as open it up to change the batteries when necessary.

I used some pieces of strong chipboard and a piece of leftover cardboard packaging to create some "housing" for the electrical parts so that they would a) not look so ugly (yes, I know, but even when you can't see it, I know it's there) and b) be somewhat protected so that the lights wouldn't wobble.







You'll notice for once that there aren't any words, but if you look closely at the houses, you'll see that there are at least some letters, and you'll just have to imagine the sounds this one makes...













... the whistle of the rockets as they head skywards, the crack as they explode, and then of course the ooooohs and aaaaaahs from the spectators... There you see - it's Sounds and Pictures today!!











And although there are no words, I'm really rather pleased with the result.  The colours please me no end - that Wilted Violet/Ground Espresso/Chipped Sapphire combination seems to have hit a nerve somehow.  Even in daylight, you get the idea of the fireworks.









But of course it's with the main lights off and the tiny lights on that it really comes in to its own.

It's another project that it's really hard to capture without taking lots of photographs... so much for the simpler life I'd planned for.  We're back to War and Peace length for this post!

But the effect is really pleasing.  I'm so happy I had the brainwave about the lights, though it was somewhat painful making the dream into a reality!






If you hop over to A Vintage Journey you'll find lots more inspiration from my wonderful team-mates for Baby, You're A Firework! - and there are even some new faces on the journey with us, so be sure to offer them a warm welcome.  We're so happy to have them on board!




Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I'm off enjoying a very crafty weekend in Coventry so I'll do my best to catch up with you all soon.  Happy Crafting all!

Perhaps all romance is like that; not a contract between equal parties but an explosion of dreams and desires that can find no outlet in every day life.  Only a drama will do and while the fireworks last the sky is a different colour.
Jeannette Winterson

Blooming under a cold moon, we are like fireworks... rising, shining and finally scattering and fading.  So until that moment comes when we vanish like fireworks... let us sparkle brightly, always.
Tite Kubo

"We thought the fireworks were marvellous," said Mort.  "And I expect they'll soon be able to rebuild the outer wall."
Terry Pratchett





I'd like to enter this in Let There Be Light, the new challenge theme at Frilly and Funkie
With the Liquid Pearl gleaming in the light, I'd like to enter this in So Glossy over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge
The story of that first ever firework display is not so much a favourite memory as a much-laughed over one, but even so I'd like to enter this at Stamps and Stencils where their theme is Remember, remember...
And at Mixed Media Monthly they are looking for Texture as you can see from the image - there's plenty of that here!

67 comments:

S@ndy Diller said...

Love the color you got on the night sky. So lovely and festive. S@ndy xx

JeanFB said...

Wow this is absolutely exquisite! It truly evokes a feeling - the night sky, the silhouettes, the wonderful trees and houses - all under those spectacular fireworks. So very, very clever, and perfectly done.

Annie said...

This is wonderful Alison and the addition of the lights is genius!!!! Gorgeous crackling on the frame and I love the die cut layers too x
Have a fabulous weekend and hugs to you all x I look forward to hearing all about it x
Annie x

Chrissy said...

OUTSTANDING Alison..I love the little lights parading as fireworks..and they do...right from the start I though how on earth did she do that..the explosion was so obvious..love the row of houses and people and of cause the very brave cat..who like my dog, shows no fear..we only lock him up for his own safety as he runs out and catches the blinkin' things..lol..BRILLIANT Alison.

luv CHRISSYxx

Helen said...

You have really pulled out all the stops this time Alison - this is FABULOUS! It doesn't need words, except of admiration from us watching the display! Enjoy your weekend. xx

Dots Dabbles said...

Hi Alison. OMG...I had forgotten all about Guy Fawkes night! I grew up with bonfire night and have so many wonderful memories of fun times (and probably some near disasters lol). It was a great to read all about it here, and I just want to say I LOVE your frame xxx
Dot x

toni said...

What a fabulous canvas and an ingenious idea to use those lights, wonderful colours and effects on the houses and the gorgeous background with the silhouettes . Thank you for sharing this with us over at Stamps and Stencils. Bonfire night was almost on a par with Christmas in our neighbourhood when we were kids, thank you for evoking some of those memories. Toni xx

Deborah said...

Hmmm, not so sure that wish is hidden :-)Have you seen this year's 'guy' at the infamous Lewes celebrations? Cameron plus pig's head!

That aside, your Bonfire Night canvas is genius. Tim Hotlz's cut out figures are perfect for this.

chrissie said...

Fantastic canvas with terrific ideas--thank you for sharing them Alison.

BonFire Night here was more of a damp squid as it rained most of yesterday. I expect they will all be lighting them tonight instead.

Love Chrissie xx

Paper Profusion said...

Genuis creation Alison - LOVE the inserted lights and the reflective impact of liquid pearls. Gotta get me that tree die too - hopefully will receive via your drawing my name yesterday thank-you. The colours, textures and surfaces all look superb. Happy weekend in Coventry! Nicola x

Pamellia Johnson said...

What an amazing project Alison! I would have been impressed with the daylight pictures alone, but then you went and added lights for nighttime, WHAT!!! This is truly awesome!

Hugs :)
My Little Craft Things

Suzanne C said...

Brilliant (ha ha pun intended)! Love the sky you have created with the beautiful scene below!

Sara Barker said...

Alison, this is just spectacular in every way! Your frame itself is a work of art--beautiful color and awesome crackle! As for your scene, I am so impressed with your process, but the night sky is just amazing and those die cuts are the icing on the cake! LOVE this!

JackieP Neal said...

Incredible, Outstanding ,Amazing & Brilliant! You knocked my socks off with this project Alison! Just for a minute I would like to be in your brain to see how fast the gears turn! teehee
Sorry I misunderstood about you teaching- Totally bummed now!"( As someday I wish to either learn from you or play art with you-both for that matter!!
Happy weekend my friend!xo

Marci said...

I love the houses, the sky, the colors, and the spectators. Just magnificent!

Nan G said...

Wow! Brilliant idea and a fabulous result! Love love the colors and the effect of your lights and the reflective liquid pearls. You're amazing Alison!

Shirley Chillman said...

Speechless yet again Alison there is just no end to your talent lady.

I think in another life you were an engineer of some kind, judging by the way you fixed the back.

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x
ShirlsCards.

Hettie said...

This is gorgeous Alison. I love the colours and the idea of putting the lights on is brilliant. When I started buying those lights at Ikea they were only £1!!
I am afraid I only like to see fireworks from the comfort of my living room and/or organised events. Unfortunately our neighbours start their party 5 minutes into Strictly and frighten us, the Girls and Dobby!!
Ho Hum!! Roll on Christmas.
xx

craftytrog said...

Wonderful canvas Alison, very atmospheric! xx

Corrie Herriman said...

How clever and beautiful ! I hate fireworks by the way... Here we have them at NewYears Eve, but usually it starts at the end of November and lasts until the beginning of January (illegal of course) lol.... It can be very annoying...

Corrie x

Monika Gulyas said...

Wow, Alison, I'm totally amazed of your artistic and technical skill!!! This is absolutely fabulous!!!

Julia Aston said...

Great success in getting the 'lights' of the fireworks to stay in the sky Alison! And you've used those gorgeous colors again - love your houses, your line of kids - the wonderful crackle on the frame - a beautiful Fire Works scene!! Julia xx

Juliz Design Post said...

Such a clever idea with the lights Alison and a very inspiring project so beautifully made.
Julie x

Lynn Price said...

Forgive the pun, Alison, but this piece is absolutely brilliant!! Adore your sky, and the lights as fireworks with the corresponding bursts of glimmer splatter are perfect, as is your little village (including the tykes!) Quite lovely - I wish I could see it in person! xxx Lynn

Amanda said...

What a fabulous make and the lights just top it off. Great make
Lov
Amanda x

Astrid Maclean said...

Your fireworks scene looks fantastic in any kind of lighting Alison and the crackle on the frame is just the perfect surround.
A great make and you are really rocking those purples at the moment....

Astrid Maclean said...

Oops, just remembered, - thanks for adding it to our texture challenge at MMM!

sam21ski said...

Love the 3d effect and the crackle frame is stunning xx

Cestina said...

This is completely enchanting......I think probably one of the most inspired things you have created thus far and that's saying something :-)
xx

Brenda Brown said...

You created a fabulous scene Alison (😉) that depicts the darker evenings and then the wonderful bright flashes of the fireworks. Using the little battery lights was a flash of brilliance. Love this xxx

Lys Scrap said...

Brilliant! In all ways. The crackled frame is fantastic and the light bulbs a clever idea. And I love your deaf cat!

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Yet another amazing project Alison, truly inspired to use the wee lights on your gorgeous canvas and your beautiful colour palette is so perfect for the early night sky at this time of year. Perfect in every detail, thank you so much for sharing your process! Deb xo

Meggymay said...

Wow, amazing project, what more is there to say. The lighting was inspirational. Thank you for sharing this stunning piece with us at Stamps and Stencils.
Yvonne xx

rachel said...

Stunning work Alison - really gorgeous! - The children at the front look amazing - I love that die - and the houses and trees - awesome - i love the lights and frame too - a stunning piece of work Alison! Hugs rachel x

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Clever take on the challenge Aliaon, I love that you used lights in your piece very inspiring. The colours are perfect and look,just like a night sky and I love the little trick and treaters along the bottom. Fabulous. Tracy x

Sue C said...

Fabulous project Alison, the little light bulbs look fantastic ! I can almost hear the fireworks whistling up over head from here ! Thanks for joining us at Stamps and Stencils. Sue C x

Dorthe said...

You created such a festive little magic story inside your gorgeous frame, love the colours you used for the crackle effest, and what a wonderful idea with the light showing all the fireworks sparkling against the beautiful sky !! Everything in that gorgeous tone of purple or lavender . You are a genious ,dear Alison.
Hugs, xoxo- Dorthe

Nikki Acton said...

Oh wow - just love this - the crackle, the splatter, the lights - brilliant idea and wonderful created xx

Margik said...

What a clever idea and great effect! The lights look amazing. I really love this fantastic canvas.
Mar xx

Buttons said...

Utterly fabulous!!! Those lights, the dimension, that splatter sky, it's all genius! Thank you so much for yesterday - an absolute joy to spend precious time in your company. Jenny xxx

Buttons said...

Back to say thank you so much for joining us at Frilly and Funkie!!! Jenny x

A Pink said...

Utterly fabulous! Alison and so inspiring with those lights - So Cleverly created . x

Evelyn Walter said...

fabulous, dear Alison! I love your firework in white! And the whole is a canvas texture firework, I really love it!
Hugs!

Julia said...

Alison, your firework picture is just stunning and now I see you have used the little people on this piece! I am glad I did not see this one before posting my firework effort or it may well have hit the bin.
Fabulous work.
Julia x

Sophie said...

Wunderschön, Alison... <3

Sophie xx

brenda said...

I'm a bit late to the party Alison, but could not miss the opportunity to take a peek at this stunning creation.

B x

Anneke said...

This is a master piece of work. It looks gorgeous.
Wonderful seen, beautiful Colors.
Thanks for your effort talking all these
step by step pictures. Very inspiring!

Anita Houston said...

An absolute new favorite! I LOVE that it lights up! Gorgeous scene, and love the houses...stunning! Brilliant frame alterations too!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Brilliant! Now I can see what I have been squinting at on my phone!! Your fireworks look like the real thing - the white ones are best aren't they? Everything about this has made me think of watching my Dad out in the garden letting off 'the pretty ones' right in front of the window for me. Why does everything have to have such loud bangs these days (hurrumph!!!)? Of course then there's that crackle frame to gaze at too! Hugs, Chrisx

Redanne said...

As so many others have already said, this is brilliant Alison. I think it would be perfect for Christmas too. I love how you added the little people - and the cat hiding around the corner adds such fun to the piece. Anne xx

Mona Pendleton said...

Wow Alison! Another stunning work of art! Such a pretty scene! The inky background looks outstanding!

Lisa Minckler said...

What the heck???????? OMG! This is incredible!!! Everything has already been said to compliment this, but WOWEE.....am I blown away. Happy, happy, happy!!
hugs!

Barbara Schiassi said...

Brilliant! I think that's one of the most wonderful idea that I saw! So clever and the project is wonderful! As always you create only masterpieces! Barbarayaya

Ruth said...

Great job on the photos actually, an amazing use of fairy lights. A truly magical piece, the distress and layering is so evocative and beautiful....and thanks for joining us at stamps and stencils, a perfect funny memory to share. Ruth xx

Coco said...

Oh Alison... I almost missed this wonderful project, but happily I rarely miss to open - at a day or another - your blog posts, I'm simply too much fan of what you do, to tell you the truth!
So I LOVE this one... Truly amazing and so dreamful, wow!!!!
Just pinned this onto one of my boards :)
Coco xxx

Shilpa Nagaonkar said...

Wow, this is amazing and very unique piece. Love the way you created background with wilted violet. Beautiful layers with die cuts.

Fliss said...

Trying to catch up Alison and I'm in total awe at this stunning and evocative creation. So much gorgeous detail and such clever design too. Completely amazing!
Fliss xx

Julie Ann Lee said...

Alison, this is brilliant!I've always avoided projects involving fireworks because - unimaginatively - I've visualised garish coloured explosions. This creation is far more subtle and exciting than anything my poor brain could have conjured! Sorry to hear about the frustration over the fairy-lights! As fairies are responsible for so much mischief and trouble throughout history perhaps that would account for the name! Anyway, the effect is jaw-dropping! All I can say is - how do you do it? xx

Lisa H said...

congrats on your win! This is a really cool project!

Lisa - papergrace said...

Alison...WOW!! How stinkin' creative are YOU?!! This rocks! Love all the dimension, the beautiful night sky, the trees, the frame, the village, the EVERYTHING!! I don't know that I'd ever give something like that away as a gift (after all you went through to create it), but wowza what a gift it would make. Those lights are spectacular! Thank you SO much for joining us this month at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge. xo

Donna B. said...

Amazing project! I love all the texture and dimension. Thanks so much for joining us at The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge.

Karen Crossen said...

Oh my goodness!! I absolutely love this!! Absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for playing with us at The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog!

Julia S-W said...

Really beautiful Alison! I just love your description of what happened when you tried to keep the lights in position! I adore the little houses and the crackled frame. Apologies for being rather late with my comment. Julia xx

Rachel said...

how creative!!! i love this canvas and the lights are a fabulous touch! Thank you so much for playing with the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge!

-Rachel
rwkrafts.com

Sandy said...

Good Lord! Has the whole world been here except for me!!!! I am going to have to read through your tutorial several times - I love this!!!! You are so smart kid and talented. Always a pleasure to visit!
Sandy xx

Joi at RR said...

Soooooooooooooooooo glad it doesn't have words Alison - it's just PERFECT without them and yes, yes, yes... I can see the glimmer and glitz of the fireworks - the roar of them flying up thru the air and the people cheering - definitely. Genius to use the Halloween kids that way and the houses are just so "right" too. Your textures - oh dear - I could go on and on but WOW WOW WOW.... truly SPECTACULARLY SPARKLINGLY FABULOUS. j.

A Pink said...

Congratulations Alison on being chosen as the winner over at MMM . So pleased for you - well deserved . xx