I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Thursday 12 July 2012

Al Fresco

Hello, so glad you decided to drop by today.  I'm in the mood for a party... that's pretty rare for me!  I'm gazing out of the window at yet more gathering storm clouds, and wondering when the summer is going to arrive - or should that be 'if'?  My idea of summer is to be able to laze in the garden with a book, to swim (wish there was a pool in my garden!) when it gets really warm... but best of all, I like to eat al fresco, outdoors on a summer's afternoon or evening, with good friends, good wine, and good conversation.

Round our way it was always my job, on festive occasions, to "make the table look nice".  So for Our Creative Corner's challenge to come up with something for a party, and with the 'Summer' challenges around all over the place, I decided to create something for my ideal party on a summer's day:

I believe party crackers are not as common in the US as they are in the UK; and I'm afraid mine doesn't have a cracker in yet - it'll have to wait until I can source some, but there is room to slide it in when I do.

I used a toilet roll (yes, you see, they're not just good for albums!) and papers from Prima's Botanical collection - they're gorgeous in themselves, so that's a good bit of the job done right there.  I cut the overhanging edges into  strips so that I could bend and manipulate them to form the ends of the cracker.

I'm usually a paper-tearer, but this project required my paper-curling skills.  Of course, once I started to get curly, I realised I needed to do something with the reverse of the paper, so I blended on some Bundled Sage Distress Ink (Tim Holtz), and then stamped with my little Alla Prima Floral stamp (it's been getting quite a workout recently) in Aged Mahogany (but as a second printing, not full-on colour).

I cut some of another paper from the Botanical collection using the Tim Holtz Decorative Strip Die Vintage Lace to give me some additional detail for the body of the cracker, and then cut very thin strips of the same page to create the ribbons for the ends.

Again, I had to colour the reverse using Bundled Sage, and because I'd been doing some curling using the scissors, it gave it this great distress crackle look on the back... happy accidents - we love serendipity!

I used some of the paper doily left over from another project to create an extra little pleated flower within the end of the cracker, edging it with the Bundled Sage again to tie it in with the rest.

For the top, I made a flower using the first paper again.  This time, as well as Bundled Sage on the reverse, I used a spritz of my home-made Bundled Sage pearl mist, so that there'd be a bit of a gleaming lustre in the sunlight.

The ribbon was white gauze to start with so I played the mucky finger game I've played before, sliding it across the surface of an ink pad (you'll never guess which one...) until I had the depth of colour I wanted.

So now all I've got to do is make enough for everyone to have one... hmm, maybe I'll eat alone after all!

I'm entering this for the following:
The Party challenge at Our Creative Corner
Summer Days at Sugar Creek Hollow
Summer at Everybody Art
Paper Crafting Journey are also playing a Summer challenge
Totally Paper Crafts have one called Here Comes Summer - I do hope they're right!

I hope your summer weather is good enough to let you have at least the occasional meal out in the sunshine.  And I hope you're having a great day, whether the sun is shining or not.  Thank you so much for spending some of it here with me.  I'd love to know what you think... or what your favourite summer's day includes, so do leave a comment if you have some time to spare.

I always think food tastes so much better out of doors.
Said by Anne in almost every single one of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books!

Seating themselves on the greensward, they eat while the corks fly and there is talk, laughter and merriment, and perfect freedom, for the universe is their drawing room and the sun their lamp.  Besides, they have appetite, Nature's special gift, which lends to such a meal a vivacity unknown indoors, however beautiful the surroundings.
Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin


pinky said...

Oh wow this is way too fabulous to be pulled apart. I love your papers and love the elegance of it all. I also love your quote from the Enid Blyton's famous five. I was a big big fan as a kid.

Chrissy said...

I could not pull this apart either Alison, way too beautiful, mind you after a bottle or two, I suppose I could..lol..really gorgeous...my summers get so hot here in NZ, I sit in the shade, but do like being outside eating my dinner in the evening, and just leaning back later at night and watching the stars..always so warm at night...


sue w. said...

This is a fabulous cracker, one I wouldn't want to pull apart! Beautiful papers and detail. Thanks for joining us at Totally PaperCrafts.
Hugs Sue W.

Tracy said...

I think your cracker is gorgeous especially with all that wonderful distress ink. :-) Makes a really lovely addition to the table setting. We definitely have summer here. Heat and the thunder storms it causes. Thanks so much for your visit to my blog! Hugs!

♥ Doreen ♥ said...

Wow, sehr schön.
Danke, dass du bei uns mitgemacht hast.
Viele Grüße Doreen EAC-Team

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Just beautiful....and the whole write up as well! I say you really have this whole blogging and creating thing down! I have enjoyed your work so much!!!

Meihsia Liu said...

Wow....such a fantastic creation! You are such a talented lady... :)

Kathy said...

Wow! I love your party cracker. I'd be thrilled to bits to find something like that with my name on it! I hope it's easy to get into without having to destroy it!

MarcyK924 said...

OH how gorgeous! I LOVE party crackers! I always had them at my birthdays when I was a kid! Love your pretty pp! Thanks so much for joining us at Our Creative Corner! Hugs, Marcy

indybev said...

Beautiful shabby chic! I've never heard of this kind of cracker. Thanks for educating me!

Daniele said...

I love the idea of crackers at a summer party, just loving the flower so glad you joined us at Sugr Creek Hollow this week

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Oh yeah...thank you so much for joining us at Our Creative Corner this week!!!!

Kate Yetter said...

I am having some fun looking about your blog. Your creations are beautiful and shabby. I am now a follower. Thank you for commenting and visiting my blog.

Christy Beans said...

Crackers are a little more known this side of the Pond after the Harry Potter phenomenon, but still not very common. This one, however, is too pretty to pull apart! I love the muted, shabby-chic colors and the special details (even the accidental ones)! A very elegant summer dinner al fresco, I think... =) Thanks for joining us for the Summer challenge at PCJ!

If you're interested, I have some Christmas-in-July Cash Candy on my blog: I Never Went to Kindergarten Come join the fun! =)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful creation and LOVE the colours you have used and the matching napkins too! fabulous! hugs me xx

alethea said...

Wow, this is really beautiful! What a perfect idea for a summer lunch!! Thanks for joining us at PCJ for our Summer challenge! Hugsxx