Monday, 18 February 2008

The Take it Further Challenge

At the start of the month I mentioned that the "Take it Further" challenge for February had prompted me to think about the days before plastic and that I was planning on making my piece this month using paper bags.

Well, I have been doing mental gymnastics ever since trying to decide exactly what I would do - I was thinking about a paper bag quilt using the bags in their unadorned state but this weekend I decided I would just use them as a surface. I decided this would be more challenging for me and would make me think of how to use the surface to good effect.

So I have made four postcards all using paper bags - two (a & b) are made using heaps of torn pieces of paper bag layered and glued to a a whole piece of paper bag. When it was dry I crumpled it up and then lightly flattened it out before spraying it heavily with two different types of walnut ink and some water. It has been ironed flat and sealed with spray fixative. The result is a very leathery-looking surface.

The other two (c & d) are made using one of Beryl Taylor's fabric paper methods - a piece of heavily crumpled paper bag is glued to a piece of flannelette fabric, then dry brushed with green acrylic paint and gesso. This really emphasizes the texture. I have then stamped on the surface (both have calligraphy and one also has flourishes) and sprayed them with a golden Moon Glow Spritz which is really gorgeous but doesn't show up very well in the scan.

To emphasize the connection with brown paper bags I have pleated some torn strips which have been stamped and then stitched to each of the postcards. The stamping is meant to draw the connection back to the printing that was sometimes included on paper bags back in the "good old days" when I was a kid!. I would do both backgrounds again as they were easy and gave a nice textural surface. It was very tempting to use the backgrounds for something "pretty" but I really wanted to keep the connection with the paper bags this time.

24 comments:

Rice said...

These postcards are wonderful! I love the look. We have one small grocery store here that still uses paper bags and I have been keeping them to use for something just never decided what. I might have to try your technique. Thanks for the inspiration. : )

Doreen G said...

Well done Debbi--I bet in the good old days they wouldn't believe what you have done with these paper bags.

Jacky said...

These are great Debbi... amazing what can be achieved with a couple of paper bags!!! Mmmm another technique to try....

Jacquelines blog said...

they look really great Debbi!!!

Pat said...

These are terrific Debbi, love the leathery look,they remind me of aged newspapers as well.

Dianne said...

These are gorgeous Debbi! They have a lovely leather lok to them.

Carol said...

Absolutely gorgeous, I love the texture of them,

Gwen said...

I love these, and that you made a series. Thanks for the info on the technique you used, one of the best parts of this challenge is learning new things from the participants!

I love the texture of paper bags. There are still many stores in our area that have paper and plastic bags, though I carry my own cloth bags for my groceries and other purchases now.

reneorgeron said...

Debbi, the postcards are wonderful! This method of brown bag use was popular in the 70s I think. I know it gave the look of leather. Great project. Rene

Glorious Hats said...

Fabulous, and indeed you have me thinking of school lunches. Yummy!

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing the techniques, Debbi. I shall have to get my Beryl Taylor book out! Your postcards look great and I like the text on them too.

Meg in Albuquerque said...

Oh my, another project that I've got to try. Your postcards are wonderful, I'm going to have try this technique, great TIF this month.

Kristy C said...

HI Debbi! I LOVE your postcards! the texture is just amazing on these!
Come over to my blog, a surprise awaits :)

Jen Crossley said...

Debbi these Paper bag postcards are awesome,you never fail to come up with something different
Jen

sharon young said...

Hi Debbi
Lovely PC's, I really like the way you've stayed 'true' to the paper bags in the way you've interpreted them and thanks so much for the in-depth tutorial, great stuff!!!

Purple Missus said...

These are fabulous Debbi. You have taken paper bags to yet another level. The stamped and stitched embellishment is the perfect finishing touch.
You always come up with some brilliant ideas.

EMBELLISHER said...

I love the texture of your postcards.Plastic bags is all we get here in India except in some places where they have been banned, wish Bangalore would ban plastic bags.

kelsey said...

I just know how fabulous these would be in the flesh! Love the way you've used "a,b,c,d" for them too...certainly makes identifying them much easier! lol

Think a & b really "do it" for me though I'm sure the other 2 would be equally as wonderful when seen irl.

Barbara said...

what a fantastic idea....love your paper bags...
Barbara

neki desu said...

wonderful balance between concept and technique.the results are terrific .

neki desu

Ev said...

I love the look of both of these techs. I will have to have a go at them, I haven't done anything remotely crafty for ages so might use this to kick start me.

audrey h. said...

Debbi........these are gorgeous. Paper bags are so versatile and I love what you did using Beryl Taylor's technique.

jacqui said...

Love these and what a brilliant idea. Its seems that paper bags may be making a comeback with all the bad news re plastic. I know at lot of stores here are encouraging people to take paper or a reusable cloth bag for their groceries.

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.