Friday, November 5, 2010

Italian Inspiration

I want to say "Thanks" again to all of the people who have purchased the exclusive Creative Memories cartridges Cheerful Seasons and Reminisce Accents through my Creative Memories personal website.  Thanks to your support I was able to meet the goal for the first stage of the "Cruisin with Cricut" contest.

I am excited to let you know that I received an email on Wednesday and I have "officially" been invited to the next stage of the Creative Memories contest to win a spot on the Cricut Cruise.  Now I have to create a layout which will be included in a Facebook contest to determine the winner.  I can't decide if I should make a "serious" layout using Reminisce Accents or a more whimsical one with Cheerful Seasons.  If you have an opinion about which would be more appealing in a Facebook contest please leave me a comment!

I couldn't do a snowflake video because I am still suffering from laryngitis so I thought I'd share some photos from my trip to Italy.  I have noticed many variations of gates, grids and ironwork popping up in the papercrafting world. There is even a new Cricut cartridge called Ornamental Iron.  When we were in Italy last month I was fascinated by the ornate grills in the arches over the doors. 

Most of the doorways in the old towns and cities we visited feature large wooden double doors with an arch above. This particular pair of doors was very beautiful, with a clamshell design carved in the wood.

Here is a closer view of the doors.

The more modern doors might have very simple designs like this - I think the horseshoe is for good luck but shouldn't it be hanging the other way around to hold the good luck?

This door has a simple lattice grill.

This is a bit more elaborate with some fleurs-de-lis added.

This one is basically just fat and skinny hearts pointed in opposite directions.

Here are some more hearts.

While the grids are almost always semi-circles, once in a while you see something like this.

Some of them can get rather frilly with lots of extra curls.

The lines in this one are a bit more free form and organic.

This grill is very heavy and ornate, with thick bars and lots of ornamentation.

But at the very next door the grill might be much more plain and geometric in design.

I noticed that many of the doors incorporated initials at the center.  I wonder if these would be the monograms of the original owners.  This grill reminded me of a hand quilting pattern.

This is another fairly simple  one.  I like the teardrop shape and the secondary pattern it forms.

The stonework is also interesting and appears in various styles.


This is the only one I saw that had two separate arch designs with initials at the bases and then a large medallion with another letter added at the top.

The grills are nearly always black.  This is one of the few painted ones and it gives a much more feminine impression with the curvy shapes.

People often ask me where I get ideas and inspiration.  There is inspiration to be found everywhere.  Sometimes it helps to take your camera with you on a walk to "discover" your own town.  You will see so much more if you get out of the car and take the time to really look at things that you pass by every day.

I will be using these grids as a jump start to create some of my own half circle designs for cards or pages.  The repetition of images and the geometric patterns will produce some interesting results.  If you are inspired by these door grills and try to create some of your own designs in paper I'd love to see them.  They would also be good for digital projects.

It has been very rainy here today - I hope the weather is brighter where you are!

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  1. Just like you I snapped lots of photos of the fabulous facades and doors/windows in Italy. Hubby thinks I'm crazy but I love doors.

    Good luck on the next step of the contest. I have no advice.

  2. Either we're a little off center or a growing group. My sister and I came home from Austria with an awful lot of door photos. Not so much arches, but hinges and handles. The ironwork is so impressive. We think of it as hardware, theirs is an art form. Never saw the same thing twice.

  3. Beautiful photos of the ironwork. Get well soon. Congratulations on the first part of the contest. Good luck on the next phase of the contest.

  4. Congrats on winning the first step on your way to the cruise! Love all of your ironwork photos. I tend to snap those kind of pictures, too. Maybe because we see the value in handiwork like that?? Anyway, I'm seeing an awesome couple of scrapbook pages for you here ;D! TFS

  5. Congrats on the Cricut challenge and good luck with the next step and winning a place on the cruise! Thanks for the photos of those beautiful arches - very inspiring!

  6. I love ironwork. Congrats on your selection. For what it's worth, I think you should consider going fancy, elegant over cute in the contest. Good luck!

  7. Love the pics. Do I see an ironworks coffee table book in your future?

  8. I say elegant or "serious" as opposed to cutesy. You have designed so many wonderful cuts, it would be a shame to ignore your incredible creative talents.

    Who gets to vote on this facebook site?

  9. Beautiful photo's and good luck in the contest!!

  10. I love all the ironwork also.

    Congrats on making the first part of the contest and wishing you lots of luck on the next part.

    Hope you get the cricut cruise.

  11. Good luck in the contest. Personally I think you should do a Reminisce layout. You are the master at beautiful pieces, and you should showcase your talent. Let us know when it's time to vote.


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