Hello everyone! Ever since I can remember, I have always been fascinated with magazine covers, both vintage and modern, especially by their creative layouts, design, and aesthetics. I know that the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover” is right when it comes to a good fiction story or novel, but it is quite inappropriate when it comes to analyzing what we see on the front cover of a magazine. That’s why the front cover is so very important. It’s supposed to grab your attention, pull you in, capture your imagination, etc. I’m not talking about the paparazzi magazines found at the front end of every cashier booth. I’m talking about the brilliant magazines like National Geographic, Time Magazine, and the more creative kind like Martha Stewart Living, and American Craft. And then you’ve got a whole stack of the different vintage magazines from various eras, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar being tops.
If you’re smart, you will make your magazine cover work for you by having it tell a story with very few words. Its the picture that gives it interest. Its the picture that intrigues you. And its the wordier covers that keep my eyes drifting the rack until I hit a cover that has the one great picture that shares all the information I need to understand what’s going on. No words necessary. Maybe a short description for a bit of extra bait for the hook, line and sinker.
Needless to say, growing up with this kind of fascination led me to shooting my hand up to volunteer as the prop manager for Photo Booth Fashion when we three had our first meeting about our new series. I am in no way an expert at this sort of thing, not by a long stretch. But having the opportunity to stretch my creativity in this way is like opening up that mystery door–you don’t know what’s behind it, or where it’s going to take you, and that’s thrilling to me.
For each P.B.F. a theme is chosen, and whatever look the theme demands Charlotte will create an idea, and whatever prop or background is required, it is my task to manufacture. When I begin, I never quite know what I will use to make the prop, but I have a pretty good notion of what it will be. It takes me about ten minutes of perusing our craft supplies to figure out exactly what I want, five minutes to set up before I am ready to begin. As a perfectionist, I like to take my time, enjoying the process as I go, thus time has no meaning for me. It’s whatever is before me that absorbs all of my attention.
The scissors are a perfect example of my work process. I didn’t know what they would be made out of. I knew they needed to be big, made out of something stiff, and they needed to have a homemade look about them. How happy I was when I found several sheets of black foam core hiding in the corner of our sewing room. All in an instant I knew exactly what other ingredients I would need to concoct a really good giant pair of scissors–aluminum foil, X-Acto blade for cutting, white chalk, and scotch tape. Pretty ordinary, but its using the ordinary to create the extraordinary that is the magic for me! I used my own vintage pair of scissors for my model, and then I set the foam core down on the floor to draw the scissor outline in chalk. I used the X-Acto blade to cut it out (don’t ever use scissors on foam core, it is a useless idea) and got a numb hand in the process. I was so engrossed I didn’t even notice how bad it was until I was all done cutting those things out until I reached for the real scissors and couldn’t feel a thing! Anyhow, I carefully trimmed the rough edges smooth with craft scissors (don’t ever reach for those sewing scissors, even on accident don’t do it. Whoever else uses them will probably end your life with the precious shears 😉 ). With a sheet of aluminum foil I covered the blades, and taped it as tight as I could get it on the back. For finishing touches I used the white chalk for highlights on the handles, and a sharpie to outline the blades and screw.
These paper beauties were a bit of a challenge. To make them I used: two yard sticks, hunter green crepe paper, white, pink, magenta, and kelly-green card paper, white acrylic paint, a brush, and one yellow sticky note (bet you can’t guess where that went) 😉
I wrapped up the yard sticks with the crepe paper cut on the bias (yes, crepe paper has stretch to it, so it kind of has a bias). For the light pink flower on the left I cut out separate daisy like petals, while the magenta flower was cut into petal chains. I even used the pointy in-between-petal chain cut-outs for more texture. On the straight edge of the petal chains I made lots of half inch long cuts that would fold and overlap each other when I glued the petal chains down into a spiral. I then cut out two circles of white card paper, cut a slit into the middle, and then overlapped the edges of the slit on top of each other and taped the circle into a slight cone shape. This gave the flowers more dimension and depth. I then went back to the petals and lightly brushed on the white acrylic paint to the tips of the petal chains, and middles of the daisy petals.
Magenta Flower–I started with the hardest flower first. Painstakingly folding down the fringed straight edge first, I hot glued sections of petal chains down in a spiral fashion, until I worked my way from the center out to the edge of the cone. I went back and used the pointy in-between-petal chains, glueing them in-between the rows of spiraled petals. Now comes the sticky note. I cut off the sticky part, fringed one edge, curled the fringe, rolled it up into a tube with the loopy fringe at the top, and then hot glued it into the center of the flower. Lastly, I used my finger as a mold, curling the tips of the petals around it to give them a natural look. The leaves were cut out of the kelly-green card paper touched up with white acrylic paint.
Pink Flower–This one was by far the easiest. This time I started on the edge and worked my way in to the middle. For each petal, I folded about a half inch of the end under, glued that, and then moved on to the next petal. Having that bit of fold at the bottom of each petal gave them some spring and movement. And just like with the magenta flower I curled the ends under using my fingers. I also created a center using a small rectangle of magenta card paper that had long petals. I painted and curled the ends before finally rolling it up into a tube and glueing it in place.
And now my humble, bumble bee. Really, I have to say I am quite proud of this big guy. He turned out so well! But better still he gave the flowers a truly natural dimension instead of a stale, floral background.
I used the left over pieces of foam core that came out of the handles of the scissors for my buzzy friend’s body, along with pale yellow card paper, packing tape, a fine tipped sharpie, hot glue, and pipe cleaners. I looked up a picture of a bumble bee first thing, and noted the proportions of its body, head, wings, and legs. I then cut into the foam core and trimmed it to a proper shape. I put that shape onto the yellow card paper, traced it, and then cut out the right sized yellow bands for the bee’s body. Next I took two 10″ strips of packing tape, folded them over so that the sticky part was on the inside, and cut out wings. I then drew on the proper veins with the fine tipped sharpie. For the legs I used pipe cleaners, and eyeballed the proper lengths I would need for each leg. He was going to be 2D, so I only needed three.
First thing to do was glue the paper onto the body, and then pen in the little hairs needed to make it look realistic, with the fine tipped sharpie. Next I used the hot glue to create the bumble bee’s very shiny eye, before I moved on to gluing on the wings and legs. For the last detail, I trimmed down the chenille on the feet, and glued on the antennae, which were also trimmed down to proper width.
And that is how the scissors, flowers, and bumble bee props were made.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. It is my wish that everyone, at some point in their life, try to do something they never thought they could. That “thing” could be making something as simple as one of the flowers I made. I believe everyone has a creative spirit inside of them, whether you know it or not, because we were made by The Creator, so how can we not have some little desire to create, replicate, and copy the things we see, interpreting them in our own individual ways? As children, we have all made something with our hands, be it a mud pie, or a play dough castle. But as the world’s fascination waxes plain and uninteresting over the course of our maturity into adulthood, we lost the thrill of the game of imagination, and days begin to run into an hectic, uninteresting blur. Could that be because we really have lost that gift of “seeing things for the first time” due to the trials of life? I really believe that is exactly why, and that is the reason why we need to reach deep down inside of us to bring out the child-like passion and innovativeness we once had to add a whole new dimension to our lives. We were born to create!
I say this as one who has just learned this truth herself, and has found it to be so very helpful in re-evaluating who I am as a person in Jesus Christ. He says for us to be like little children. This does not mean that we are to be irresponsible, self-seeking, or self-satisfying. No. This means that we are to trust in Him and and enjoy with childlike gladness the work He has given us to do. I also think it means that we are to hold onto the fleeting spirit of desiring to be amazed and awed. Look up at the clouds right now. No really, find a window and do it. I am. What do they look like? The ones I see are could be described as flat, uninteresting things up in the sky. But look harder. They are actually great bodies of water divided up into trillions of micro water droplets, suspended fantastically in the atmosphere. Why? Because God told them to. He said, “I want you to stretch over the earth today and cover up the burning rays of the sun.” He did say that. He spoke them into those atoms, those micro droplets, those clouds that shade your bit of earth right now.
You see, the things we see and live through will not hold any kind of joy for us if we don’t stop and take the time to look for it. That is the mission I am on with Photo Booth Fashion. I want to see everything I can with new eyes, so that I can create beautiful things for others to enjoy. Why don’t you do the same?
What did you enjoy most about this post?
Do you like to be creative?
Do you take time to look for the things “unseen” by the rest of the world to take delight in before the Lord?
Blessings to you all!
Jessica, the Eldest Sister & Singer