Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sweet Hymnal Pumpkins

A quick lesson in using vintage papers... Yes the rage is vintage papers, ledgers, music, french/german writings from long ago, postcards, recipes, journals, the list is endless. Perhaps you even have a few pieces laying around your arts/crafts supplies. I love to find old dictionaries, novels ( I love the covers), sheet music ledgers, but my favorite of all has to be old hymnals. A sweet caveat to working with these papers is that I begin to sing the hymns and can hear my grandmother singing when I was a child and of course my parents (who are still very much alive) voices as well. If anyone passes by the studio during these moments, they can hear me singing "Tell me the story" or "Love Divine" . In fact, as I am writing this, the tunes are in my head. Music is powerful. Yet I digress. Some of you may be enamored with vintage papers until you begin to work with them and then you may become frustrated. I have been there a time or two myself. No one seems to want to say that these papers, albeit they are look we crave, are far less that perfect to work with. So I would love to share a few (certainly not all) tips of the trade when working with these papers...First and foremost, know the strength of the paper. For example, hymnal paper is thin..doesn't hold up to distressing, running through a xyron, and easily sticks to your fingers if you have to much adhesive. Sheet music such as Hanon's virtuosos are printed on heavier paper and can be distressed but if they are too old, they will break if folded. Ledger papers depending on the thickness may take to adhering to flat surfaces but will not do well with curved or intricate details. If there is any sheen to the ledger/journal paper, it will not take ink but some will take paint. Paint will create a stiffness, so adhere to your surface first then paint. Postcards can create great backgrounds but are so stiff that they will not work for rounded curves. They do make great transfers on to muslin or canvas. Some of the colors on the postcards can smear if they become inked or wet with adhesive. For some vintage papers, it is best to make a photocopy and use the copy on your work. As with any vintage papers, try to test a small piece of the paper in the manner that you want to use them. It will save you frustration in the end.

These little pumpkins are a great way to use hymnal paper. Each pumpkin took approximately 2 small hymnal pages. I'll take you through the steps with word pictures as of course (you guessed it), I forgot my camera during the process....
First you will need.. 2 small unfinished plain white ceramic pumpkins (Hobby Lobby last year) whatever thing you want to cover...hymnal pages, modpodge, (2) foam brushes, paint (color of your choice for the stems and the bottom), Ribbon, embellishments, tag, hot glue gun, hot glue.

Let's begin...
(1)Tear your hymnal pages into small sections a little smaller than the height of the pumpkin.
(2) Pour modpodge(mp) onto a palette (my mom did decoupage in the 70's with modpodge and it still has held up)
(3) Using foam brush, apply adhesive to one piece of paper at a time. Begin to smooth the piece with your finger. *tip..apply a small amount of mp to your finger so the paper will not stick to you.
(4) Continue to work the pumpkin, overlapping the paper. After you have covered about 1/4 of the pumpkin, let is dry. IF you continue to work, you will accidentally remove some of the other paper due to the drying of the adhesive and your sticky hands will pull off the paper that is dry (trust me, it happens).
(5) Work in small sections until the pumpkin is covered, making sure you are smoothing the paper in the curves with the foam brush. Once the pumpkin is covered , go over it with one more coat of mp- this will seal it and make sure all edges are secure.
(6) Once completely dry, begin to embellish with ribbon (securing it with hot glue) and other embellishments of your choice...I used shells and an old metal rose.
(7)Adhere tag with burlap string....
To make the tag, I stamped the scripture onto muslin and then stitched it onto a piece of burlap. Adding an eyelet to the corner, I used a piece of burlap string (the frayed piece) and secured the burlap with hot glue.
Here is the back side (Do pumpkins have a backside?)...
And another view....
I hope this will inspire you to use hymnal pages (as well as vintage papers) for your creative endeavors or to soothe you soul through song...this project did both.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good!!! Psalm 136:1

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