Hey, everybody! I decided to finish up a project I started over the weekend for Gingersnap Creations challenge, GC53, Read. The challenge was to, “Use readers, reading, books, familiar stories and text as your jumping off point for this one!”
Let me just say that I had a great idea that didn’t translate very well in the execution. I think we’ll write this one off as “a learning experience.”
My mom’s oldest sister, Aunt Sissy, had polio as a child, which left her increasingly debilitated and unable to walk. By the time I could remember her, she was paralyzed and required complete care. But when she was still able to function on her own, she was an avid reader. She belonged to the Book of the Month Club for years, and had quite a collection. Out of all her nieces and nephews, I was the only one who liked to read, and she gave me all her books. One that she insisted I read was a book called A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. I fell in love with that book, and it became a summer reading tradition for me from about the 5th grade all the way through high school. It was very romantic—Elnora Comstock was an awkward girl with a cold mother who ended up finding romance. The story takes place in the swamps of northeastern Indiana, where Elnora hunted butterflies to sell to collectors as a way to put herself through school. The whole idea of it seemed so romantic to me—catching butterflies, wandering through the swamp, and especially the name—Limberlost. Isn’t that a great word?
So—on to my project. I decided to use this book as my inspiration. First, I tore some pages from an old paperback and glued them to a piece of grungeboard. I then went over them with DI in Rusty Hinge, Wild Honey, and Walnut Stain. So far, so good. But this is where I ran into trouble. I’ve never been a vellum kind of gal so really have no experience with it. However, I have this pack of luscious Webster’s Pages paper that had a piece of vellum in it that happened to have butterflies on it, so I thought I would put this over the glued down text. I used a pretty ordinary technique—cut the vellum to size, covered the text pages with matte medium, and glued down the vellum, which promptly proceeded to curl up into a little roll. Now what? Well, I covered the top of the vellum with the matte medium, too, in hopes that would even it all out. It kind of did, but not very well. The vellum proceeded to get a little misshapen and wrinkled up. In addition, the grungeboard also started to curl. Great. I set it all aside to dry for awhile, then glued a collage image on top of the vellum. There were also some sticker letters in the Webster’s Pages pack, so I used them to spell “limberlost” across the piece. I put it inside a phone book to hopefully flatten out, but when I got it out tonight, it was still kind of curled. There are still wrinkles in the vellum, too, so I decided to cover some of those up with lace trim, which is really too light, I think. I used the same lace to make a rosette, and put a Basic Grey brad in the middle. It doesn’t look very good, but I think I’m going to stop before I waste any more supplies!!! So—here it is, in all its pitiful glory!
If you’re still reading after all of this, I’ll share some more info with you. Gene Stratton-Porter lived in the swampy area of northeastern Indiana where this book takes place. Her home is an Indiana historic site, and I believe the property surrounding it is a nature preserve. I’ve never been there, but have driven past the signs pointing the way. I think I’m going to put it on my list of things to do this summer—I’ll read the book again for the first time in years, and then drive up there for a visit. I’m planning to go to Shipshewana, Indiana, sometime this summer for their weekly flea market—I can make Limberlost a stop along the way. Stay tuned—I’ll tell you all about it when I go!!