Sunday, August 14, 2011

What's Your Gilded Cage?

We all have one, don't we?  Some velvet leash that keeps us chained to "the finer things" but keeps us from breaking fee to be who we really should be?  That's the question that came to mind when I started brainstorming about the bling challenge this week at Simon Says Stamp and Show.  Coincidentally, I just (finally broke down and) purchased the TH Caged Bird die and was wondering how I could use it for this challenge.  Caged bird = gilded cage - lots of room for blinginess there, right?  I noodled this theme around all week before I started which lead to an examination of my own life and how sometimes I want to go for the glitter and glamor of "things" when it's really people, community and relationships that matter - and ART, have to add that in, right?  So how do we not get blinded by the flash of the bling?  For me, it's my grounding in my faith and continually questioning what it is that God wants from me.  That helps me break away from the pull of bling - my faith walk tells me he wants us to be concerned for the least of his people - the folks that the systems oppress. (If you are interested in lessening your dependence on material things, here are two great resource books:  How Much is Enough by Luthern pastor Arthur Simon and Affluenza by Degraaf, Wann and Naylor).

Okay, now that you got a glimpse into my heart, I'll get off my soapbox and move on to the real reason I am doing this post - yeah, the challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Show.  First off, I want to warmly welcome two very talented artists who are joining the design them this week - Ellen Vargo and Tracy Evans.  It's so exciting to have them joining us and they are sure to have some wonderful work to share in the months to come.  

This week our theme is all about the bling, baby.  Show us your bling.  We know you've got it so get it out and flaunt it!

This was a very involved piece.  I'm going to run through some of the steps because people tell me they like that. If you don't, just head over to your next bloggy stop.  I started with a piece of nice stiff cardboard, already folded with two like sized panels - perfect for the two lives comparison.  For the bling side, I took a sheet of designer paper and coated it with Claudine Helmuth Multi Medium Matte, then laid a layer of tissue paper over it.  It was dried with a heat tool and then run through the Moroccan Screen embossing folder (had to do that in three passes with my Cuttlebug).  Then I took my Encore metallic gold ink pad and rubbed it over the high spots.  (Oaky, I actually embossed the paper backwards which gives it a debossed effect that worked great here.)  I love the way it came out - very exotic looking.  A crystal flourish from Prima added a nice shot of bling.  I used a bunch of my jewelry making stash on it too - seemed a perfect fit.  

Over on the simple side, my gingham was too bright so I gave it a coat of a mixture of gesso  mixed with snow cap acrylic paint which toned it down nicely.  The gesso is a bit thick and fast drying for my taste and I basically thinned it with the acrylic ink.  All the sentiments were done on my computer, but I did stamp some flourishes and flowers on them over on the simple side.  The bird house was cut freehand from canvas and stamped with plaid and wood grain stamps.  I have to tell you I was influenced with my bird house by Suzanne from Suzz's Stamping Spot.  Check out her post from last week with her seriously wonderful birdhouse tags.  

The music score inside the birdhouse is from the Beyond the Sea set from Artistic Outpost.  My simple bird is decked out in stamped flourishes and hand doodled dots done with an Inkssentials White Opaque Pen.  Her embellies are limited to a paper flower, button and some very pedestrian plastic glitter.  That pretty much sums up this project, but if you have questions, please leave them in the comments or email me directly.  

We have an awesome project lineup this week over at Simon Says Stamp and Show and I hope you will pay us a visit.  Don't forget, our generous sponsor Simon Says Stamp has a $50 shopping spree for some lucky random player this week.  
Thanks so much for stopping by - wishing you a wonderful week!


Scrumplescrunch said...

Absolutely amazing Linda, I am liking the gilded bird cage very much.

Candy C said...

Hello Linda. Love your piece, Linda. Oh my goodness..there is so much to see on this! I love everything about it. Just a beautiful job! <3 Candy

marsha said...

Totally scrumptious! I love all the details on this much "noodling" and hard work! You always put your best foot forward and I love visiting your blog for inspiration dear friend!

Conniecrafter said...

Very cool, neat contrast!

Marjie Kemper said...

This is a beautiful piece and highlights the different sides we all have... I think the contrast is wonderful. Love what you've done with your new cage.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous project Linda, I love the Moroccan EF debossed effect. The two contrasting sides are perfect, and as usual your attention to detail is just stunning !
Sue C

P.S. Any time you want to drop by for a distress ink session, just let me know ;-)

Suzanne C said...

Beautiful and love your thought process of the two sides of the bird houses! Thanks for the shout out and your bird house is wonderful!

Sarah said...

A wonderful post, labour of love and thought. I can see and feel how much you have put into this lovely. It's a tough job getting the dream to come out of the fingers. Fabulous colours and textures and the birds are stunners. Glad you dug deep and challenged yourself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts too. Allowed myself a spree on my hols for once and now I think eeek. Well done Linda!

email: said...

Oh beautiful work, Linda! I love the bronzed cage and all the extra embellishments!

Simon Says Stamp!

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Wow, I'm missing words, that's really outstanding.

Anonymous said...

I love the two sides with different effects you have created here so many interesting elements. Way to work around the sentiment. Such a lovely piece of art!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

I changed my font at