I've been hoarding Graphic 45's Once Upon a Springtime paper collection for some time now. I knew that once I got around to scrapbooking my sister Ildi's fairytale wedding, those adorable fairy images would come in handy...and indeed they did.
Ildi was already in her early 50's when she met her prince and decided to wed, in 2006, so you can imagine that I was quite taken aback when she announced that she was going to have a "Fairy Wedding." But I suppose if the guy you love makes you feel like a fairy princess...what's age got to do with it? Here's Ildi with her beloved Erick on their special day:
I've never seen a more gloriously joyful, excuberant, beaming bride! Ildi and Erick had been both married before, but this time it was different. They found in each other some little piece that was missing in themselves. At the risk of being cliche...they complete each other...and in fact, this really was a fairytale come true for both of them.
As my wedding gift to the couple, I offered to make the wedding cake. I sculpted the cake topper in their likeness (as close as I could get in miniature) of the bride and groom, depicting them as fairies.
Funny, now I see butterfly wings wherever I go...scrapbook stores and craft stores seem to be filled with them. But at the time, here in early October of 2006, it was virtually impossible to find the props I needed to bring my vision to fruition. At last I found some wings!
The cake was a simple little 3-tier... I don't remember now what flavor or what icing, but it was abundantly adorned with painstakingly made meringue mushrooms and marzipan acorns and autumn leaves (thank you, Laura Beckman -once my protogee & today the executive pastry chef at The Black Dog- for your help). The wedding cake needed to be as magical as the wedding...
Here I am putting the final touches on the "Fairy Cake":
And here is a close-up of the finished woodland fairy cake masterpiece:
So I finally got around to creating some scrapbooking layouts of this fun-filled wedding. As a member of the Design team at Let's Scrap, one of my duties is to create layouts inpired by specific scrapbook sketches posted on the site. For this particular challenge, this was our "blueprint' if you will":
Interpreting scrapbooking sketches can be tricky business. At first glance, one might think that this design would be best applied to a children's layout, because of the "cutesy" graphics, but it is important to look past the obvious. The graphics need to be translated into mere elements...they can become an embellishment, a journaling block, or a photograph, for example. I decided to not flip or alter the design of the sketch this time...I thought it would serve my layout well as is, but how to use the fairy paper from Graphic 45? -That became my greatest challenge in scrapbooking the story of the "Fairy Cake".
Graphic 45 papers are very colorful and covered with patterns and images. One of my fellow scrappers commented, "I have G45 papers, and I take them out and look at them, and think how beautiful they are, and then I put them back, not quite knowing what to do with them." I knew just what she meant. Combining busy patterns is not only tricky, but can be outright frightening. "What if it ends up looking like a cluttered mess?"
Since I am a follower of Nathalie's Studio and Balter Designs & have taken their "Second Floor Challenge" -meant to inspire artists to push their boundaries (this week's challenge was to "use something from your supplies that you haven't used before") -so I decided to set aside my fears of "cluttering up" my layout and I started pairing the Once Upon a Springtime papers with wild abandon. Using the assigned sketch as a framework, and photos of the wedding cake at Ildi's wedding as the theme, this is what I created:
The experience was thrilling. At first, the fear of messing-up was palpable, but as I took risk after risk, grouping patterns that I would not normally put together, I began to feel that joy of creation that we, as artists, strive for. The beauty of the color combinations began to dominate over the fear of mixing patterns. I decided to use a cut-out of the cake itself as the embellishment in the lower left-hand corner (where the cutesy graphic of the boy is in the sketch):
I added two fairy tags in place of the cloud (and attached some sparkly metallic fiber for extra magic):
And I placed a pair of G45 "postcards" where the image of the sun is suggested and used one as my journaling block. (The image of the little fairy with the frog is an inside joke...Ildi has a small collection of frogs with crowns on their heads...sort of a reminder of how many frogs one must sometimes kiss before finding her prince at last):
Truthfully, I was still a little scared as I uploaded the layout to the Let's Scrap Gallery, wondering if my colleagues would find it "too busy". But as soon as it was posted, the accolades started pouring in...everyone loved it! ...And even more importantly, I loved it, too...as much for the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone, as for the joy of the finished product.
Go ahead...step out of that comfort zone...you might just love it out there!