Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Making Stitch–from my bears&boxes series

After quite a few starts and stops, I have completed “Stitch” and it is currently on the way to its new home.  With my bears&boxes pieces, the first thing I determine is the style, size and configuration of the basic box.  My husband Jay built this box for me.  I’m pretty sure he must have wondered if I was ever going to make anything with it.  Sometimes, these things take time – almost always in other words.


I painted this box with gesso so the paper I used to cover it would have a better surface to adhere to.  It’s often about looking ahead and working backwards.  So after determining which paper I was going to use, I then painted the edges to match.


Painting the edges first and covering the box afterwards helps me to avoid messing up the paper. 


I purposely left the front unfinished for two reasons.  The art I had planned for the front would create an uneven surface when I was working on the inside.  And I was still working out the details of the front artwork in my head.


There are so many parts and pieces to these things.  Often they begin as one thing and end up as another.  This little sewing machine Christmas ornament was perfect – except for the coloring.


Here are a few photos of various stages of the inside details.  I began with the bench I knew the bear would be sitting on – made from small wooden vintage style rulers.


Then I created the shelf for the top part of the box.


One of the main features of the box was a panel of various kinds of scissors.  I love scissors as many sewers/seamstresses/makers/creators do.  I have many variations of them.  I decided it was a detail that should be quite prominent.  Here’s the beginning of the panel covered with coordinating paper.


I cut the wooden frame to size and painted it and added the tiny scissors.


And although it was really stating the obvious, I created a little sign to go above it:  “SCISSORS”  Here you can also see the repainted sewing machine and the shelf supports that are vintage wooden spools.



I cut out these panels and covered the edges with metallic silver tape.


These tiny thimble charms were also part of the plan dangling from this wooden support.



Here’s a peek behind the scenes so to speak.  I fiddled around with the layout of the elements to get a feel for how things will mesh and how they should be spaced.



Once I have a good plan in place I try to sort it out a little more.  Note the lack of paint and details on the spools, jars, bottles and other items.  They will show up later.



The artwork for the front of the box consisted of several steps.  I started by arranging these sewing related bits and pieces.



I took a coordinating piece of scrapbook paper and added a clear texture to it. I gave this same treatment to the board that the bits and pieces will be mounted on which you can in these photos. I made sure everything was properly adhered in place and added some texture with tiny glass and steel beads.


Painting the piece was the final step of this stage – black, a bit of blue chalk-like paint and silver highlights.


I added yet another wooden frame cut to size around the panel and mounted it on the textured scrapbook paper.  Then I mounted both onto corrugated paper.



I had already created “Stitch”, the bear and had to decide on his hat.  A thimble? A button?

          stitch24       stitch25

How about both?


So finally, the piece is completed  Here’s the front:


And here’s the box opened:


The left side:


And the right:


And “Stitch”!


I loved, loved, loved creating this box.  It was fun working with all the so-very-familiar objects in teeny, tiny sizes.  The scissors  I especially adored.  Several of these items were once pins that came from my mother’s jewelry box. She was quite the seamstress and I like to think she would have enjoyed this piece a great deal. Now my next box piece underway and it’s slow at first but I’m hoping to make some headway soon.  Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

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