Thursday, October 29, 2009

My First Artist Class Project: Homage to a Loved One Box

Well, we were snowed in again today, but this time for real as it's been howling and blowing all day! What better time to begin my first Artist Class project: Homage to a Loved One by Tammy Sprinkle. We were to create a box as a tribute to a loved one. I used a mini Lane Cedar chest that I bought at a thrift store. Because I really liked the wood grain, I washed more than painted it in a combination of browns of my own creation.

I made the box as a homage to my mother, who passed away 5 years ago next month. Lest you think using her initials on the front of the box was unoriginal, I want to say that I put them there because she was really funny about her name. If you wrote it out and forgot the "J", she'd make you go and correct it! I think she'd be pleased to see her initials on there. I used sheet music of a Handel song called, Mercies Numberless; it really suits my mother, I think, who had a difficult life and yet lived to see many of her dreams fulfilled. I put a German paper swallow on the front; my mother really enjoyed birds.

Here's the inside of the box. I hope you like the color combo I used with the red and blue. All but one of the scrapbook papers I used was by Anna Griffin, my favorite!

The elements on the left side are, from top to bottom: a piece of a postcard of San Francisco, and one of Harrahs, Reno; both postcards belonged to my mother. SF is where she grew up, and Reno was her favorite place to visit (and play the slot machines!) I included another bird element; and then a pretty piece of a pearly crown vintage earring to honor her. Below that is a flashcard showing the Spanish word for "heart"; there's also one of her "charms", a yellow dog; a piece of vintage wallpaper; a vintage drawing of a 1960's hostess; a spool of thread which reminds me of how she encouraged my embroidering; and a turquoise-colored bead because it was the kind of jewelry that she liked.

On the right side: a wonderful photo of my mother on her honeymoon. My dad took the photo. She is pretending to throw a snowball at dad next to a snowbank. They were married in Reno, NV in April of 1962 (that date appears on the tags next to the photo) and there had apparently been a big snow! I put some "wedding white" pearly trim in the upper left corner, along with some glasslike beads that echo her snowball.

Below the photo is one of her Max Factor lipstick tubes - red! - and a rose, a chip from Sahara, as well as one of her "OK rose" stones to remind me of how she was a rockhound.

Here's a side view showing antique grosgrain ribbon.

And, here's the reverse. I chose the tag that is stamped "Fragile" because, truly, that was how I thought of my mother, and how her friends referred to her late in her life. My mother's health was never good.

I made some charms from my mother's jewelry box key, some ring charms that remind me of her lovely wedding set, and a coffee pot. She brewed a pot of coffee every day of her life, I think.

Below the tag is one of her holy pictures of Jesus. While she didn't attend church regularly, my mother is of that generation that had a strong faith. I finished the box with a piece of lace and an antique button.

Here's a photo of the top of the box, where I put together a "bow" from the antique ribbon, antique seam binding, a red pin with a heart on top, and one of my mother's own peacock feathers that she saved.

The feather reminds me that my mother grew up in a Victorian house in SF.

I was very happy to make this box to remember my mom. I thought about her all day as I was working on it.I made a collage about my Dad a couple of years ago (he died 10 years ago) and it's been nagging me ever since that I never did something for mom.

I think this is probably the first time I ever made something so involved from a tutorial, and it was a wonderful experience! I'm so happy I signed up for this class. There's still time to sign up, and 11 more projects to try, if you visit the website.

13 comments :

Artist Class said...

This is wonderful!!! I'm so glad you're enjoying Artist Class too!

Pretty Things said...

Oh, that's really awesome. And that's my favorite painting of Jesus, too.

Angela said...

What a lovely, lovely tribute! Thank you so much for sharing it with us, along with what all the little momentos mean.

Sandra said...

Laurie,What a beautiful loving tribute to your Mother. I can see all the love and time you put into it. Thank you for taking the time to explain all of the special momentos you picked to go in the memory box. It's just beautiful!!!

Tammy said...

I love his Laurie. It is so full of meaning and special touches. I love that you explained all of the items to us so we could get to know your mother better, as well. Such a darling homage to your mother. I love the papers and the embellishments you used on top, too. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is beautifully done. You can tell you put your heart into it.
Xo,
Tammy

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

The tribute to your mom is just wonderful! Love the beautiful box of treasured pictures and effects your mom loved so well. I can tell you had a GREAT time putting this together. So glad you are enjoying the workshop! Awesome! Have a great weekend! Hugs, Coralie

Sherri S said...

Beautiful! What a wonderful keepsake to treasure.

bluemuf said...

Laurie, what a beautiful tribute to your Mother. I love all the little treasures that reminded you of her.

Karen

Dorthe said...

Hi Laurie,

You did a wonderfull treasure ,to remember lots of special moments ,and situations about your mother.
A beautifull keepsake for you.
(I`m a member here too, but have to wait till after christmass to create, as I`m bussy in my shop now.)

Dorthe

Christine said...

So beautiful!!! Such an honor!

Blessings,
Christine

Thrifty Miss Priss said...

this is wonderful! I just love the way you incorporated so many little elements that each have a special meaning....I loved the jewlery box key too!

Viola said...

Your box looks so wonderful, Laurie! Really a treasure! Have a great weekend! :-)

Household 6 said...

How fabulous and so full of sentiment! I love the little swallow too :)