|Fabric art book with the theme of Venice. Ultramarine blue velvet stamped with design in gold ink, gold thread outline stitch for title, and a pair of heavy gold and white bead earrings. Small metal flower shapes covered with gold beads.|
After writing the previous post about not being as creative as I used to be, I thought I'd show some pictures of something I made years ago that still pleases me. At that time, I'd just bought the movie "The Merchant of Venice". It was so well acted and beautifully filmed in authentic-seeming settings that I was immediately inspired to create a fabric book incorporating the lush fabrics and jewels of one of my favorite time periods, the Renaissance.
Using my huge stash of fabrics, old jewelry, and trims of all kinds acquired over years of collecting, I had pretty much everything on hand that I needed, so could set to work right away. But first, I sketched out some ideas for page layouts, then searched for bits of poetry with a theme of Venice, Renaissance, or beauty. Next step was finding images to illustrate the poetry. That was fun, but the best part was sitting down with needle and thread to stitch it all together. So many hours of beading were involved, but I loved it. It actually turned out much simpler than I'd originally envisioned it, but overall I'm pretty happy with the results.
This book took over a year to complete because I could only work on it an hour or two here and there in between other obligations, in the evenings, or sometimes a whole Saturday! What bliss. :-)
Technical notes: Each page is approximately 9-1/2" wide, 8-1/4" tall. The pictures are printed on home-printer-compatible paper, and the poetry is handwritten on cotton fabric. Each page was made like a little quilt, with the main fabric placed on a piece of flannel and the beads, lace, etc. added. Next, two pages were glued on either side of a strip of canvas covered with a silky fabric and stitched together around the other three edges to make a double thickness page. Once all the double thickness pages were made, I added grommets along the length of the canvas strip. A piece of sheer fabric was folded in half and a picture stitched back to back on either side of it, grommets added to the edge, and inserted between the quilted pages. Finally, it was all laced together with a length of chenille yarn.
|The Golden Age of Long Ago|
This poetry is by Percy Bysshe Shelley: "Spirit of Beauty, that dost consecrate with thine own hues all thou dost shine upon of human thought or form."
Again, the poetry here is by Madison Julius Cawein: "Come, oh, come and partake of necromance banquets of Beauty, and slake thy thirst in the waters of Art, that are drawn from the streams of love and of dreams."
Finally, the words of the great Michaelangelo Buonarotti: "My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth's loveliness."
And the back cover, made to resemble the pretty sleeves of a Renaissance woman's dress.
I have a vintage suitcase filled with other fabric books I've made, though only one other is this elaborate. The early 2000's were some of the most creative years of my life, making so many things in a variety of mediums, and though most of those things were made for sale, the books were just for my own pleasure. Who knows? maybe the spark is still there, waiting to be reawakened. Have you ever gone back to an old hobby or interest, and what brought you back to it?
Here's a link to a YouTube video of the movie trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su0-zDsppTU&spfreload=5 . Now I'm inspired to watch it all over again! :-)