Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Patterns to Sell on Ravelry

Zaylee Baby Blanket (click for pattern)

I have officially opened my Ravelry store! Now you can visit me there and purchase PDFs of my patterns if you like. I will still provide the pattern here on Ginger Peachy first in a blog post as I have done before, but now you will have the option to buy a specifically created PDF of the pattern.

As I said a few posts back (The Ravelry Store Option) after many years on Ravelry, I only recently discovered their store option. Since I already have an account the process was quite simple. What took me the longest was creating the PDFs, not because it is hard but because it is time consuming. At the moment I have three patterns available to sell, the Zaylee Baby Blanket, Teddy Bear Toddler Tote, and Lacet Eyeglasses Strap. Once I give my Floppy Hat and Scarf patterns a remake I will have them available as a set. I plan to redo the pattern and present all new pictures.

Meanwhile I am working on a crochet pattern for a Fedora in multiple sizes, toddler to adult, and hope to have my Secret Agent Stuffie Outfit pattern posted here in the next two weeks. Here's a sneak peek at the outfit.


Because this pattern was designed for a stuffie, I am going to have to make some changes before I offer the pattern for sale. Obviously, stuffie sizes vary greatly so I plan to make sizes available for dolls as well.

In the near future I hope to present another baby blanket pattern, called Sea & Surf Baby Blanket, among other things. There are a lot of creative irons in my fire but I plan to share with you some of them before the Christmas season arrives. (It is not so far away as you may think).

Check out my patterns at Ravelry if you haven't already, and let me know what you think! Depending upon the turnout in the next few months, I eventually plan to open another shop on Etsy. But I will add that I am quite excited to have finally taken a step toward selling my own products. After years of thinking about it and talking about it I am finally taking that step. We'll see what the Lord has in store for me.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Retro Winter Wear | 70's Fashion

Sweaters are my Achilles Heel.

Big and bulky, preferably, but I like tight knits too, just so long as they fit properly. It all has to do with the fiber, that is why I love to crochet. One of these days I'll actually sit down and make myself a sweater. One day I'll actually learn to knit.

But in the meantime, lets look at some late 70's pieces.


If you aren't familiar with these two faces, let me introduce the 70's rendition of the Hardy Boys. Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy played 3 seasons as the famed detectives and I will admit right here and now that I have seen many of them more times than I can count on one hand. Also in the series were episodes of Nancy Drew. The episode I will be relating to has the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew and is called Mystery on the Avalanche Express (Se 2, Ep 19).

Sweaters in the 70's and thereabouts were not often bulky like they were in another 10 years, neither were they as fitted as they are today. Like Frank and Joe's sweaters in the picture above, colors and patterns of the sweaters of this period still held aspects of the colorblocking of the 60's.

Joe's sweater reminds me of one my mother wore in her senior pictures. It has been worn by each of her girls. The only difference is that mother's was navy blue instead of off-white.


The sweater Nancy (played by Janet Louis Johnson instead of the regular actress Pamela Sue Martin) wears here is a turtleneck in neutral browns fading to black. It has a delicate style that makes it both casual and dressy. Although you can't tell by this picture, she wears black dress slacks and a pair of low heels.

One thing I really love about this period is the style of wearing a button-up under a sweater, often with longer points to the collar. The Hardy Boys did this regularly, which is why I have always considered them classy.


George (also played by a different actress) wears a pink, ribbed turtleneck sweater with a short waist. This picture doesn't do the piece justice but I also wanted to point out her hair. George wears her hair short, about shoulder-length, and curled away from her face in flybacks, akin to Farrah Fawcett's style during that time. This is actually a popular style of the period and I would love to see it return.


Here is another splendid and yet different example of 70's hair. Nancy wears hers long and just barely wavy at the tips, and here she clips the front portions back with a brown barrette. Notice also the soft neutrals of her makeup: lined eyes but soft, skin-toned shadow, gentle blush and faint pink lip color.

The gentleman also in the picture is a stark contrast to her carefully manicured appearance, I am afraid. The "shagginess" of men's hair styles were very different from the clean-cut of the many previous eras, though not always a bad thing. I think it is the moustache that ruins the look for me, but alas, it was fashionable.


This isn't the best picture for this example but I simply adore the close knit scarves the girls are wearing. Nancy's is wide and fringed while George's is knotted at the bottom presenting a narrow design. I recall a teal scarf my mother used to wear that was long like theirs and knotted at the bottom. Most of the scarves I have made are bulky but I think I might try my hand at this look sometime this winter.



Shifting from sweaters, I want to point out for a moment the bold color of their clothes. I am not fond of primary colors on anything, but I think the retro charm of these coats and suits appease my distaste. In fact, I would much prefer these colors to the bright neons of today. Of course, Nancy's coat does not qualify but her toboggan is made of at least four primary colors. 

I also would like to add a note on the waists of their coats and sweaters. They are either tucked in or short, coming to just below the natural waist. Ordinarily I would despise short waists, but when they are paired with pants that sit at your natural waist, I understand this wouldn't be a problem.


I have come to the end of my clothing review, except to mention Joe's jacket. I would call this style a Joe Hardy staple. It never fails -- if Joe wears a jacket, this is the style he wears, jersey material, zippered and drawstring hood.

But what really piques my interest in this picture is the room. The group is staying at a lodge in Budapest for the skiing competition and this room bears the old world style of dark wood and white walls. Beautiful!


As a creative person who has a nodding interest in textiles, as well as a fascination with anything retro, I immediately caught sight of the patterns on these books. The address book (as I am assuming it is) has a lovely multi-green circular pattern cover while the planner is a rosy pink floral. A small bag sitting just on top of the two is of shimmery rose gold. Isn't it a contrast how now days the style is to match up each bag or item in your purse but back then it didn't matter? I'm sure you know which I would choose.


Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it and will come back soon. Meanwhile, leave me a comment letting me know what you thought about it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It Takes Commitment


The internet is rife with videos of harrowing ventures, strange talents, jaw-dropping virtuosos, and of course, cats. I normally ignore these for the most part, mostly because they take up too much time, but also because of their sensationalist nature. On occasion a family member will "make" me watch a particular video, usually one they think is in my line of interest. One such video featured a young man playing a magnificent piano variation of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal. His playing looked effortless but at the same time complicated, evidence of years of practice.

I emphatically said the young man had a great deal of character and that I could never be so committed to something. Being a virtuoso at anything takes patience and commitment, and because I have many interests and passions, I have a hard time reaching the point of excellence in one in particular. Only the other day I told my rather amused Mother that I wish she and Dad would have raised us Victorian style. I explained that the strict nature of old era parents would have made me a better person, one more likely to commit and endure. Obviously, I was joking. I have learned my share of accomplishments, and in a worldly perspective, I do well enough. But when you measure your "well enough" up to someone else's, you're most likely going to feel short a few intellectual notches.

Commitment in Prayer

Just the other morning I was chaffing myself for my shortened prayer time when my thoughts on this matter began to connect. Prayer is one thing you shouldn't simply be mediocre with. Never being able to play Beethoven is regretable but never hearing God speak to you personally is devastating.


God's Word Says

Furthermore, reading God's Word will mean nothing to us unless we have the Holy Spirit guiding us in understanding His Word. There are many scriptures that speak of the necessity of seeking God's clarity in scripture. Ephesians 1: 17-18, for instance, where Paul prays for the Ephesians, "the eyes of your understanding being enlightened" (emphasis added). I recall Philip's discussion with the Ethiopian in Acts where Philip asks if he understands what he is reading. The Ethiopian returns with, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" (Acts 8: 31, NKJV).

Simply put, without God at the center of our being, we have no hope of surviving this world we have been placed in. If we expect to have a relationship with God we must speak to Him and listen to Him speak to us.

Our Responsibility

Some may have a responsibility to be proficient in an instrument, a sport, or etc, but we all have a responsibility to be proficient in prayer. I'm sure you have heard the term "Prayer Warrior". Possibly the image that follows consists of a group of busy-bodies prying into the lives of others. Sadly, prayer warrior-ing can have the impression of being outdated, or at best, too difficult.

In an attempt to define the meaning of the term, I would recommend you watch the Kendrick brother's film War Room (2015). This film shows how putting prayer first in your life, aka putting God first in your life, makes a person perfectly balanced and able to survive, no, thrive in this life.

But whatever you may call it or how you feel toward it, we all have the responsibility to pray like a warrior would fight.

Personally

Prayer has been one of the hardest things in my life to make time for. Oh, I pray daily and throughout the day, but sitting quietly and letting God speak to me is another thing. I love my God and dearly want to hear Him speak, but my impatience often wins out. As I said regarding the pianist, I do not think I could ever have the commitment it takes to be a proficient prayer warrior, despite the importance. I am tempted at times to believe it is yet another thing I will never excel at. But here is a good question I remind myself with, would God ask something of us that He knows we do not have the ability for?

We must weigh the importance. How much does a relationship with God really mean to you? If you want the intimacy of a good friendship with God as He intended for each of us, shouldn't you then be ready to sacrifice whatever it requires? Your answer to these questions are crucial to your future. A pat answer only harms yourself.

Commitment in Everything

In general, anything worth doing takes time and commitment. Sometimes when it is a particular interest it can come easy, but often it takes endurance. Tending to your spiritual well-being may seem less important than other things, but it's reward will far surpass any worldly accomplishment. That feeling you get when you receive your degree, finish an elaborate piece at Carnegie Hall, watch your business reach it's newest high, or get promoted in your job to a position you have been wanting, is nothing compared to the feeling you will get when Jesus says, "Well done."

I hope this post has given you some food for thought. Feel free to leave me your thoughts on the matter in the comment section below!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Ginger Peachy's New Header is Complete!

After many months of promises I have now finished my new blog header!

It has definitely taken longer than I expected but I am very pleased it is finished. Do I like it? Yes, though I can always find more that needs done to it. But I am not touching it anymore. It stays as is until I decide to make another one.

However, my blog remodel is still not yet complete. I have a few more little things that I want to change around here but it shouldn't take long. Color changes, font changes, things like that.

I have come a long way, I must say. From my first header over three years ago to my new name header and now my proper header. I've learned a lot too, mostly about digital art.

First Header
Under Construction Header
Latest Header


When was it I began my remodelling? February? I think so. At the beginning of this year I wanted to spend some time giving my blog a much needed makeover before I found other work. And as I have said, I was intent on making money with my blog there for a little while, and I wanted it to look professional.

My plans got changed, or rather put on hold, as hours of studious digital work took my eyes for a ride. Then I finally had my eyes checked and got some glasses, and you know what, I forgot about working on my header, can you believe it? I definitely didn't care for the temporary one I had created but after looking at it so often I guess it kind of blended in.

It was just this week that I actually remembered it, I believe. I was considering what kind of designing I wanted to do with my crochet pattern pdfs I plan to make available on Ravelry and I realized that my header would be good to use and that I hadn't yet finished it.

Well, I got down to business and here is my first try.



I finished this and was ecstatic at how well it turned out. I wisely told myself to wait until I could show it to my brother (and also give myself some time) before applying it to my blog. And I am glad I did. When I looked at it a few hours later I felt it looked cheap, or kind of childish.

At first I thought it was the colors, too bright and child-like. So I attempted to desaturate the colors. I changed the font color as well to a deep green and asked my family what they thought. It was then that my mother asked what it was that I particularly liked about this font, and I realized it was the font that made it look like a kid's story book hour. I told her that I liked another better but couldn't get the layout to work with it.

Lots of family advice later, I made the font I really liked work and ta-da! here it is. One weeks goal down! Next goal is the completion of my pdf design.

So what do you think? Obviously I am excited to have it up, but I want your honest opinion. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Ravelry Store Option

Trying to figure out your next occupational move is sometimes difficult. There are the jobs you want and then the jobs you can get. There are the fears and uncertainties, and then the anxious waiting for a response, good or bad.

After quitting Crochet Spot last October I knew I needed some time to think and gather my thoughts before pursuing any of the other options I had listed. I spent the first few months just relaxing. Mentally, that is, I still had plenty of housework and personal projects to keep me busy. When the new year came I put some much needed focus on my blog and went through a period where I was determined to make money with my blog. I researched and debated for a long time until deciding that at the moment the methods available were not either attainable or pleasing. As with so many things, blogging was beginning to be less fun and more business-like. I realized that I needed to step back if I wanted to love blogging ever again.

But once again I was back to the drawing board asking God, what should I be doing? Lately I have been feeling more and more as if it is time to start seriously pursuing some of my ideas. As I have the tendency to grow impatient and handle things my own way, I am carefully weighing whether this feeling is due to impatience and outside pressure to conform to the norm, or whether this is God saying it is time to get serious.

Recently I have pursued a position on a Christian magazine doing whatever they may need, preferably writing, but open for anything. I am at the present waiting for a response and simultaneously hoping and fearing the answer. What if they expect more than I can give? What if I let them down? What if I let myself down? Fear, as you can see, is winning out. But the hope in me still has a voice and I keep checking my inbox more than once a day. Okay, maybe more than three times a day. Maybe they won't answer me back. I'm hoping they will.


But in the meantime I ran across something that might fuel a thought from way back. Selling my crochet patterns on Ravelry.

I have been a Ravelry member since I started working for Crochet Spot so I have built up a lot to offer. And yet, only the other day while entering my latest crochet pattern, the Zaylee Baby Blanket, I saw that Ravelry offers the option of your own store. There is no listing fee, as is the case with Etsy, and they only receive a percentage after you have made over $30 a month. Plus, they handle the actual pattern delivery. This all seemed pretty cool so I started listing what I had to offer. At the moment there are only a few of my 'own' patterns that I can turn into pdfs to sell. I have so many designs, only they all belong to Crochet Spot. No problem, though, I have many ideas that I am working on, such as another couple of baby blankets, a doll outfit, and a multi-medium project for autumn that I am really excited about.

My first step is to finish the header I have been working on for this blog and use elements of it to design my pdfs. Then up they go and my store with it. I am calling it Ginger Peachy Designs, or Arts, or something like that.

I have seen where people have multiple stores they sell from so Etsy might me the next step. I am even considering getting an instagram to connect with crafters there and further promote my work.

The biggest question is whether I think this is God's will for me right now. I feel like I can say confidently that it is. I have been considering starting my own business for quite some time and at first, the thought of selling actual products was daunting. When I realized I could instead sell my patterns some years ago, I have been courting the idea ever since, without putting any actual effort into it at the moment. Now I think this is a good idea and one that God would want me to pursue. It is a small deal, you might say, and I agree. But even in the small things I want to be following His will, because I know that then and only then will I find true joy in this life.

If you have any advice or comments, feel free to let me know! That is what the comment section is for.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Zaylee Baby Blanket | New Crochet Pattern


There is a lot of fun to be had in crocheting a variety of projects and I've always enjoyed attempting to think out of the box in designing my next crochet project. And yet I consistently return to the easy "monotony" of crocheting baby blankets. Sometimes you just need to sit down without having to continually consult a pattern and just crochet.

Designing baby blankets has always been a lot of fun. For me it is a whole involved process. I want the blanket to be tailored for the specific child who is going to receive it so I try to put a lot of thought into the designing. I pick gender specific colors if the parents already know the gender of the child, but if not, I try to use neutrals like soft greens, yellows, oranges, or mix blue and pink.

Here are some of the past baby blankets I have designed.

Candy Colors Baby Blanket
Sorbet Baby Blanket
Jungle Rhythm Baby Blanket
FourSquare Baby Blanket

This is the first baby blanket for Ginger Peachy though, and I hope it will be the beginning of many more.


I designed this one for my cousins adopted daughter, a cute little princess with the roundest little cheeks. Slightly contrary to my sister, my cousin dresses her daughter in frilly girly things so I wanted to take advantage of this taste and do something especially frilly, although I would consider this blanket about average on the frilly meter. I should have added an extravagant border with large shells now that I think about it.

I chose Bernat Baby Coordinates ombre yarn in Pyjama Party. The yarn has strong purple overtones, rivaled only by yellow, and accents of blue. I have used almost all of Bernat's ombre selection of this yarn and I found this one especially bold and exciting.

In choosing a stitch pattern I ran up against a few walls at first. There are times when I get it right on the first try. A project like that just seems to flow with inspiration and I get good feeling like the pieces are all fitting together. But this is not always the case.

For the next step I consulted my book of 500 Crochet Stitches and started listing potential stitch patterns and edgings. I played with a few, began crocheting, ripped it out and then decided on the Trinity stitch, only I didn't choose an edging just yet.

Because of problems with my eyes (before I got glasses) this project took me nearly 8 months to complete. Baby blankets take time but this one is an exception. I don't know for sure but I think I normally take about two months at the most when I am working on one casually. Thankfully, I have taken care of my eye problem and have been able to resume crocheting.


I picked a hook that would give me a good drape, H/5.00mm, not too many holes but not too stiff, then I set to work. I normally choose dimensions I want to aim for in a baby blanket but by the end I usually have made some changes. This one is a good, average 36" by 38".

The edgings were a bit difficult to choose from. I really didn't want to struggle with a lot of math so I chose an edging with an easy multiple, 2 sts + 1. Very simple indeed. I probably shouldn't have but I did. In fact, the name says it all, Simple Ruffle. But my intentions were not to cut corners with this blanket. I really do like the ruffle and I like how it turned out.

When I was all through I happily took my new project out to my favorite photo op spot, the tree in the front yard. There are many reasons why I like shooting my designs outside. One of them is because I can deal with the lighting better. I don't have to set up all kinds of equipment and pull my hair out trying to understand it all. Of course, I try not to take pictures in the middle of the day or on a cloudy day. Mornings and evenings are usually more optimal. But another reason for choosing outside to take pictures is the lack of good background and lighting inside. Our home, as I have said on many occasions, was designed rather poorly in the 70's. Windows were not planned to give the most efficient air and lighting as they could have been, which presents a problem more often than not. That is also why I do not take step-by-step pictures, but this is something I am going to have to remedy.

And so without further ado, here is my latest design, the Zaylee Baby Blanket.


Zaylee Baby Blanket


Skill Level easy

Finished Size 36” (91 cm) x 38” (96.5 cm)

Materials
Light Weight yarn (approximately 1250 yards)
  or 4 balls Bernat Baby Coordinates in Pyjama Party
Crochet hook H (5.00mm)

Gauge
7 dc = 2’’
4 rows = 2’’
Gauge Swatch: 2’’w x 2’’h (5 cm x 5 cm) ch 9.
Row 1: dc in fourth ch from hook and in each ch across: 7 dc
Row 2 – 4: ch 3, turn, dc in each dc across: 7 dc
Finish off.

Pattern
Row 1: ch 128, sc in 2nd ch from hook, * skip 2 ch, 5 dc in next ch, skip 2 ch, sc in next ch, repeat from * across: 105 dc

Row 2: ch 3 (counts as dc here on out), turn, 2 dc in first sc, skip next 2 dc, sc in next dc, * skip next 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc, skip next 2 dc, sc in next dc, repeat from * across, 3 dc in last sc: 106 dc

Row 3: ch 1, turn, sc in first dc, * skip next 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc, skip 2 dc, sc in next dc, repeat from * across: 105 dc

Row 4 – 82: repeat Rows 2 and 3, ending on Row 2
Do not finish off.

Border
Round 1: ch 1, turn, sc in next 2 sts, * hdc in next 3 sts, sc in next 3 sts, repeat from * to last 5 sts, hdc in next 3 sts, sc in next 4 sts, 3 sc in last st to turn corner, ** 2 sc in next sp, sc in next sp, repeat from ** across, sc in next sp, 3 sc in last st to turn corner, *** 2 sc in next ch-2 sp, sc in next ch, repeat form *** across to last 3 ch, 2 sc in next ch-2 sp, 3 sc in last st to turn corner, **** 2 sc in next sp, sc in next sp, repeat from **** to last sp, 3 sc in last sp, sl st to first sc: 504 sts

Round 2: ch 2, hdc in first and each st around, working 3 hdc in each corner st, sl st in first hdc: 512 hdc

Round 3: ch 2, dc in first st, * 3 dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, repeat from * around, sl st in beg. ch-3: 1280 sts
Finish off.


I am working on creating pdfs for my patterns and making them available on my new Ravelry store for purchase. There is still some to do so I will share more on this later.

Well, what do you think? It is the perfect little blanket for the girly little one in your life, be it daughter, granddaughter, niece or even a friend's daughter. The sad part about my situation is that I never get to see the child's face upon receiving my gifts. I will have to tell my sister, when I eventually get around to making my nephew his second blanket, to send me a video.

Feel free to ask questions or leave me a comment! I would love to hear your thoughts.

Update: You can purchase a copy of this pattern in PDF form at my Ravelry store! Click here to check it out.


This is an original pattern created and designed by Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. You are welcome to copy the pattern for personal use but do not sell the pattern, distribute, or reprint it. Feel free to share a link to the pattern. You can sell products made from this pattern but please credit me, Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. Do not mass produce or factory manufacture using my pattern. Thanks for respecting the wishes of the designer, and be sure to ask me if you have any questions regarding this copyright.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Craft Store Buys, Driving a Lift, and Hauling Branches

It's Tuesday. I have to keep reminding myself of that due to our long weekend. While many families were having short vacations and camping trips, we made like constructions workers and sweated.

Before we got to Labor Day though, I had the chance to visit my favorite craft store, Hobby Lobby. With some of the best items half off, I quickly realized I was going to have to watch myself. Craft supplies are my Achilles heel. I always buy more than I intend despite my attempts at being wise. And right now, having technically been out of a job for nearly a year, funds are growing slim and frugality is of the utmost necessity. So I tell myself.

But I am actually proud of the savings I made. I'll share some of what I found.

Scrapbook Treasures - Paper and Stickers



I've said before how much I love antique themes. I think my choice of paper is testimony to my claims.


Some Victorian textiles here, sheet music print, and rustic winter. I don't have anything in mind for any of these but we'll see what happens.


If I was a squealing girl I would have split the ears of anyone in my vicinity when I saw these darlings. Hedgehog and mushroom stickers! Guys, you just can't get much cuter than this. I just wish there were more mushrooms as well.


The last scrapbook creation, The Dutchman and the Condesa, had two of these lovely little pearl stickers. And that is only because two was all I had. If I had this incredible sheet of stickers then, who knows what would have happened! I wanted more, and I ended up finding a sheet that was three times this amount. But I stuck with this one for various reasons. 

By the way, I'm a pearl girl, not diamonds. Pearls are a girls best friend.

Fun Saturday. But Monday, as enjoyable as it was to be with family, was all sweat and tears. Well, at least sweat.

Long story short, we were cutting branches out of the trees at my Grandparents with a lift and hauling the piles with the tractor. I wish I had thought to take pictures. I'm so bad at that.

During a short break I climbed aboard the lift and my brother took me about three or four stories up. I'm not super at heights. Call it a natural fear. It took me a moment to stem the temptation to panic but when I did the view was awesome. (I'm kicking myself again at not taking pictures of the view and kicking my brother too). I got to take us back down, so I can officially say I have "driven" a lift.

The branches and logs my Dad and Grandpa were cutting off presented multiple, massive piles to be drug back to one central place. The boys worked the hardest and once again received firsthand experience of my Dad's sometimes hair-brained actions. My Dad's brilliant. But sometimes risky. 

I also drove the old Ford tractor of my Grandparents. I'm not used to driving a stick (manual) and although I would like the experience, I have not had the opportunity. But this was an experience, and pretty exciting. 

We usually talk and play games during a get-together, but this time most everyone was too exhausted. Well, except for the little ones. We marveled at their stamina. 

It was truly a "labor" day, but we were together as a family and that was the most important. Maybe October will provide a nice, relaxed cookout. Maybe.

How was your Labor Day? Do you usually relax or work? Or do you celebrate it all? 


One last note, I am putting the finishing touches on my baby blanket crochet pattern and hope to present the pattern here by Friday. Keep on the lookout!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Dutchman and the Condesa | A Mixed Media Project

(Update: Now you can buy The Dutchman and the Condesa art at GingerPeachyStore on Etsy!)

It is sad to see August go so quickly, but September brings with it the beginning of autumn and do I love autumn! The weather is enjoyable and I spend a lot more time outside. I feel refreshed because of it but fall also presents fun seasonal activities. But enough for the moment about that.

I want to spend one last post on #SwashbucklerMonth by showing you my latest scrapbook picture.

The Dutchman and the Condesa



I have been working on this piece of art for a few weeks now and intended to share it during the month of August. But unfortunately, I often take forever on a page. It has to be just right, it has to feel right or I'll hate it afterward, and I didn't want to hate this one.

Antique colors often inspire me, as do old-fashioned things. Some of my favorite scrapbook elements are the antique ones with the cream colors and rustic browns. My recent pages have been of the classics (see here) but this time I wanted to do something adventurous.


If you haven't noticed already, this picture is inspired by my favorite swashbuckler film, The Spanish Main, which I have reviewed here. Maureen O'Hara plays a Spanish countess while Paul Henreid plays the Dutch pirate captain.

It is a fairly simple piece compared to the pages you find from the professionals, but with me, less is sometimes more. I find a simple piece more appealing to look at than the busy ones.


I was given a scrapbook book with a nautical theme for my birthday and have had it sitting around since. Oh, I have admired the pages many times but until now have not had a chance to use one. This ship, as you can see, is pretty amazing. I knew it would have to be the first one I used when I saw it.

The background is a Victorian print in red and cream. I laid the nautical page on top of that giving the background a few centimeters clearance. After putting it in the frame I wish I had given it a few centimeters more. 

The title card took a little time. I don't have the best handwriting so I print everything. But that takes some skill. Getting it the right size, in the right position, trying again, creating a template... I use to guess a lot at sizing but I have realized that measuring and calculating make a project go a lot smoother. 


The ship looked a little plain so I enhanced it a little with a couple of colored pencils. Then a few stickers here and a rose cutout from a greeting card for accompaniment. At the suggestion of my brother, I cut slits into the top paper and slid the ends of the photo in them. Finishing this was tricky because it had to be aligned right with the ends in place while working with the glue. I peeled it off once and had to try again. I am thankful it didn't ruin the photo.

By the way, the photo is one of the most popular promo pictures from the film which I found on the internet and printed off. I tried aging it but ended up liking it better in white. I colored the white border with a brown colored pencil for the finishing touch.


In the film the Condesa angrily slurs the Dutchman's people and he responds by pointing out that though she does not like them, she will wear brabant lace. I had some lace ribbon that made me think of this quote and decided to add it to the top and bottom of the picture. I considered putting the words "brabant lace" on it somewhere but in the end it the idea didn't meld. I usually use a glue stick and Elmers liquid glue for my pages but I have since been acquainted with Mod Podge and found it worked even better for the ribbon.

I bought a simple frame with a distressed appearance from the store and put it all together. Naturally I have a few regrets or reservations, but I am otherwise pleased with the way it turned out. 

How about you? What do you think?