Saturday, January 7, 2012

Elizabeth-Marie-Gertie-Jean, Birthday Queen

Decades ago, when I was in my 20s *ouch*, I created dimensional stuffed cloth dolls for local art galleries.  One of my favorite series was the Birthday Queens!  These were dolls for women, not girls, and though whimsical, had a little story to tell too.

I decided to resurrect a Birthday Queen in honor of my upcoming birthday-- this time in paper.  I wanted to get back to a little paper crafting after a fabulous time of loom knitting and sewing.  I thought you might enjoy...

 The Birthday Queen

My project was inspired by the jaw-dropping gorgeous figures by George Stewart at the Ventura Museum, photos of which I caught on a blog from MJ Ornaments.  Click here to see them!  You can see all of George Stewart's Historical Figures by clicking here.  They are incredibly fun to look at.

For the crafty how-tos:  Well, I really have to admit that Elizabeth-Marie-Gertie-Jean is pretty much a hand-cut gal.  I did start with a figure from Country Life at 9" on my Imagine, floodfilling her with RGB 250, 229, 210, but my scissors really re-cut everything on her from her head to her chest and arms.  (I know what you are thinking and, no, none of the women-folk on Country Life have bosoms.  Those were hand-cut too with 'droop' and all.)  Her lower body was completely cut off, since it was not needed with the dress.  I did appreciate having the upper body as a guide, but I changed her proportion when I gave her that lean, long torso in the form of a fitted bodice.

In the past, my Birthday Queens were matronly, more than a little thick through the middle, and a little too prophetic for my ease.  I decided that I wanted a lean and long Queen who obviously worked on her core muscles and did a little yoga.  Maybe that would come to fruition too....fingers crossed, yoga mat placed.

Her dress was embossed with two Cuttlebug folders.  The birthday candle trim on the bottom of the underskirt was made from an EK Success edge punch.  The gold paper is part of a paper pack my Santa-Mom gave to me this Christmas.  Tissue paper was used for the collar and cuff flounces.  The gold stars are the waste from a Martha Stewart edge punch; the silver stars were in with the metallic shred I used for her hair... more about that in a moment.  The jewels are self-adhesive rhinestones and pearls from Kaisercraft.  (I absolutely love those but can only find them at Meijer.  What's up with that?  So much easier than hot-fix jewels or using glue.  Each pack has a great variety of sizes coiled together and they have a great hold.)

Her hair is made from twisting Metallic Shred basket fill from Hallmark.  Her head is incredibly heavy.  I twisted the fibers until they curled onto themselves and hot-glued them in place, suffering one of the worst burns ever. (Whininess is ageless don't you think?).

Her crown is a Cricut cut combined with edge-punched gold paper.  I started the crown with a 3" layer from Baby Boutique, printed and cut on the Imagine.  I trimmed it, jeweled it, and manipulated it to curve out.  Then I placed it behind the birthday candle edge cut, that I wrapped around her head.

Her face is hand-drawn and inked.

I hand-cut her gift... and her fingers that hold it.  You know, historically, royalty has given the absolute best gifts, right?  Just a needless reminder:  Birthday Queens bring wrinkles with wisdom so use care (and eye cream) when accepting their mandatory presents. 

So... as I was saying, the background paper was from a paper pack that has been setting, ignored, for too long.  The birthday cakes are from Yummy, printed and cut in various sizes.  The tables are from Serenade at 4" and 3" with hand-cut and trimmed tablecloths.

It's a new year and we are all a little older.  Happy Birthday to all the January babies (you will always be a baby to someone somewhere).

More gifts to me from me in the next few posts!  Can't wait to show you!

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JennyKozar said...

Amazing! I absolutely love this. The time and love that you pour into your projects is fantastic. Thank you for always sharing your creativity.

Sis Patterson said...

Hip Hip Hooray for Your Birthday! And long live the (Birthday) Queen.

Simply amazing project - I am totally entranced with her gorgeous hair!

A stunning and beautiful project with all of the details and more. The sweets table, the arched ceiling, her lovely dress and its embellishments all add up to absolute joy!

Audrey Frelx said...

Oh, Nadia, I am more than justing enjoying this -- I am in such AWE!!! This is beyond amazing!!!

Unknown said...

Nadia, you are one amazing old lady...woops, I meant amazing lady. Happy Birthday!
I love your Birthday Queen. You really do inspire me to give figure making a try.
Thank you.

Ruth G said...

Long live the queen and your passion for papercrafting!! Thanks so much for sharing all your juicy deets!!!
If you've never seen a Lauren Child book, your queen would look amazingly at home there (Lauren does children's stories - a favorite is "Who's afraid of the Big Bad Book?" and "The Princess and the Pea")

**Treefrog** said...

Oh Nadia, absolutely Stunningly Gorgeous as always! Another work of He"ART"!!! I'm speechless! And it may be early but Happy Birthday, what an amazing B-day gift to ones-self, It would be Perfect for me, (mines in Aug. if your taking dates, LOL!)! Thank You so much for sharing!
((Hugs)) and Take Care, Theresa

Carolyn/MamaC said...

Wow! Previous posters have taken the words right out of my mouth! You are all of the above and more!

Diane Hodrick said...

wow...i bet her head is pretty heavy...that hair is fabulous. what an amazing project. She's stunning, Nadia. As always, your posts are so entertaining to read through. Fabulous job..and happy upcoming birthday!

Unknown said...

I'm a "jaw dropper" every time I see your pages! Amazing!

Sheila said...

ABSOLUTELY beautiful!

Sandy from Ukiah said...

Oh Nadia... so beautiful.... you are simply amazing...

Merilee Lane said...

Your work is absolutely amazing! I so love all of the intricate are so talented!! I simply cannot wait to see your next creation! Thank you so much for are an inspiration, to say the least.


Kris in Alaska said...

All of us January birthdays are definitely QUEENS and this one you made is FAB-u-lous! (My birthday is Friday, the 13th!)

Kris in Alaska
funamom at yahoo dot com

Lady Fair said...

I bow to her highness of crafting, Queen Nadia. Simply amazing! And I love your sense of humor, too.

Hrvatica said...

Simply amazing! I hope you have a wonderful Birthday month!

paperANDi - Stephanie Dang said...

Oh my goodness, Nadia!! This is insanely gorgeous!! You are definitely the queen of these altered paper humans! I humbly bow my head.. lol!

Keep them coming!! And maybe I can have the courage to do something like this!! This is awesome!! Tedious looking- but really stunning!

Maria said...

The queen is beautiful and I hope she helps you celebrate your best birthday ever! January is a great birthday month; both of my grandsons are January babies :)

MelodyR aka Ry&MysMom said...

Stunning queen! Love how you made her hair, very clever!

But wait! There's more! Click 'older posts' above!

But wait!  There's more!  Click 'older posts' above!