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