Friday, October 2, 2009

Autumn Art - Ode To the West Wind

I just love the opening stanza of Percy Bysshe Shelley's Ode To The West Wind. It is the perfect Autumn line and one that seems like a good fit for some old and spooky-ish looking Autumn decor.

O Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing.

To make the art fit the old and almost spooky feel, I chose to use a brown paper bag as my base material which will go into this black floating frame I bought several years ago and has been sitting empty.

I start by slitting up the side and going all the way to the bottom of the bag.

Then I cut around the bottom until it is completely off and the rest of the bag lies flat in one big sheet. Then you've got plenty of material to work with. And if the paper is crinkled and wrinkled so much the better!

My frame is 5x7 so I cut my paper to fit that exactly with no room for the "floating" part to show through. You'll see why a bit later.

Then I chose a font from that I liked and tried to copy it as I hand wrote the lines blending the font style and my fourth grade cursive writing lessons into some nearly illiterate scrawl. It just adds to the spooky oldness of it, I tell myself.

Now for the fun part! You'll need an outdoor location free from burnable debris, some soaking wet paper towels and some matches or a lit candle.

I'm house-sitting for some people with a large cement patio so that's where I worked. Using the matches, I lit one then set it to the edges of my paper. Be sure to do this in small sections so it doesn't get away from you! Once it looked burned and had some "charcoal" to the edges enough to look old, spooky and salvaged I tapped and blotted at the burning paper with my wet paper towel to stop the burning from spreading.

Working all the way around this is what I ended up with:

Sandwiched between the two panes of glass in the floating frame it really stands out and looks like some antique salvaged document.

I must have taken thirty photos trying to get a decent, non-glaring shot. Not being at home means I don't have all my cool resources available so making-do and going crazy were all I could come up with.

This one was taken in front of a screen door, that's not the frame's backdrop.

Say hello to me and my wild hair - photographing something just shouldn't be this hard. Ah well.

Remember to be careful when burning your paper so that it doesn't get away from you. And I'd recommend using a lit candle rather than matches, just to save your fingers. :)

Visit DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land for more great DIY projects!

And check out Kara's Fall projects linky party!


Maggi said...

That is a very cool project!! said...

Oooh that does look very cool, I love it! I hope I have time to do this, I've love to add it to my fall display. Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

Jill said...

How creative! The English teacher in me just loves this project. What type of pen did you use to do the writing?

Hattie said...

Nice! I love some crafty poetry. Perfect for fall :-)

Shelley said...

Fun idea, I love it!

Mandy said...

Very cool! Great idea :)

cindy@cottage instincts said...

there's awesomeness right there. Love your blog and will be joining the following...pop over for a visit sometime, I'm having my first giveaway.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love this idea! It would be perfect unframed among my Fall decorations! Love it! Thanks!

Sherri S said...

A really neatO project! I love the recycled paper bag use!

Dresser Girl said...

I love it!!

BusyBeadLady said...

This is a lovely project. Thanks for showing it.

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating said...

This brought back sweet memories for me. I remember when I was little, my mom and I would do little projects, and one of them was writing out quotes or Bible verses, burning the edges, and then decoupaging them onto stained pieces of wood. Looks great framed, too!

Andy Porter said...

That looks really nice. I like the burnt edges. It adds so much character. I like how you framed it as well!
Thanks for linking today!

MotherhoodFilm said...

I really enjoyed looking around your blog! What great ideas!!
*Eliza’s blog*

babalisme said...

vampire bite necklace!! How cute!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for linking up today. :)

This is such a cute and clever project. I know what you mean about trying to photograph glass. It can be so frustrating!