For the past three years, Craftster.org member “alteredmommy” has invited artists to participate in a special “chunky page” book to raise funds for her participation in the cancer fundraiser, “Relay for Life.”
If you’re not sure what a “chunky page” book is, you can see some beautiful examples from previous years at the following links:
The dual themes for this year’s pages are “hope” and “birds.” When I heard that I knew, just knew, I was going to use a quote from an Emily Dickinson poem. And even when I saw that someone in a previous year had the same idea, I wouldn’t be dissuaded.
It’s a really good idea.
In the end, I didn’t use a direct quote, but rather an “inspired by” phrase. Here’s the poem:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
I ask you, with the given themes, how could I chose anything else?
I started with an engraving of the Booted Racket-Tail, a South American hummingbird. I chose these little lovelies because, while beautiful, they look a bit like something out of Dr. Seuss — and what better combination to represent a mystical bird metaphor?
Using photos I found on the web for reference, I digitally painted the hummingbirds in Photoshop.
The hanging beads (oh how I love these beads) are from a (very broken) vintage necklace that I’ve been holding on to for, erm, ahem, 25+ years. I was certain I’d eventually find the perfect project for them and I now know it was worth boxing them up every time I moved.
And I only used a handful of the available beads so I can
hoard hold onto the rest of them for the next Perfect Project.
The hanger is a bit of chain from another old broken necklace (yes, I do have a lot of old broken jewelry). As this page is to be part of a book, the hanger is more decorative than functional. Just a nice bit to drape down the back of the page… and it amused me to add a feature that makes it seem like this was a found wall hanging re-purposed as a page in a book.
(Note to alteredmommy: I promise, the piece really is square. I didn’t notice how un-square it looks in the photos until after I already packed it up for shipping. lol)
I’m just addicted to using these tiny little grommets from Dollmaker’s Journey. I love the finished look and added stability (better than just a punched hole) and they take a coat of paint (Polly Scale by Floquil) beautifully.
The tiny chain (40 links per square inch!) is pre-blackened brass chain that comes from the world of Model Train supplies.
I loved doing this piece and I hope it’s a worthy addition to what I know will be a stunning “Book of Hope”!