Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wynken, Blynken & Nod Wreath

The Concord Museum has a wonderful collection, including Ralph Waldo Emerson's study, Henry David Thoreau's desk from his Walden cabin and the Paul Revere lantern from 1775 ("one if by land and two if by sea...").  You can find the museum website HERE.  If you live in this area and have never been to the museum it is well worth a visit and from now until the end of the year you will also be able to see the Family Trees exhibit.

Family Trees is a special event that has been held at the museum for the past seventeen years.  Volunteers decorate trees with a children's book as the inspiration.  Some of the trees are decorated by the author or illustrator of the book.  This event is a fundraiser for the educational initiatives at the museum.  You can read more about the Family Trees event HERE.

Over the years I have decorated quite a few trees.  The photo above is from last year when I decorated a tree with my neighbor.  The book was called Dear Mermaid and you can read about that tree HERE.

This year I did something different - a wreath for one of the passageways.  I thought it would be easier to do a wreath but I found it a bit challenging to include everything I wanted to include in such a small space.  I had to edit my ideas to focus on the highlights of the story and skip some of the minor details.

The book I did this year was the poem Wynken, Blynken, & and Nod, written by Eugene Field and beautifully illustrated by Johanna Westerman.  The wonderful shades of blue throughout the book appealed to me and the poem is an old favorite.  The poem was published on March 9, 1889 and was originally titled Dutch Lullaby

The moon is quite prominent in the book illustrations and I knew that I needed to make a similar three dimensional moon.  Of course, the most important item was the wooden shoe to turn into the boat.

It took some searching but I found a small pair of wooden shoes in a local antique shop.  I'll have to think of something to do with the extra shoe!  My husband drilled a few extra holes for the rope and the mast and I set about transforming the shoe into a boat.

I made the mast from a small flag stick and added a skewer as a crosspiece (I think this is called the spar?).  Then I sewed a small sail and stitched the loops at the top.  The small red striped flag is actually going the wrong direction in this photo - it should be headed to the front showing the direction of the wind as it fills the sail (I learned this from my friend at the museum - can you tell I am not a sailor!).

I didn't have a lot of room inside the wooden shoe boat so I made the three children from pegs.  Here they are part way through the painting process.Their hair is doll hair that I found in one of many boxes of craft items that I have been saving.  I "dyed" some of it with spray inks.  I added red dots and blue stripes with ProMarkers afer the white paint on the boys had dried.  I also added some Frosted Lace Stickles to the little girl's dress.

I drew the fish shape using a photo as a guide and cut out lots of fish in two sizes going in opposite directions.  I used the Silhouette software and Cameo machine to do this.  The blue holographic paper helps to catch the light.

The mesh I used to make the nets was in the holiday section at Costco - I had to buy two giant rolls so I'll be thinking up some other crafty projects to use it up!  The open weave looks a lot like the book illustration and I liked the strips of silver woven through the mesh.

The fish were arranged in "schools" and I used Scor-Tape to attached the securely to the mesh.

Here is the wreath "in progress."  I dyed some shimmery light blue fabric with Adirondack spray ink to make it a shade similar to the blues in the book.  I wove it in and out around the bottom of the wreath to represent the sea.

After I had the wreath in place in the museum, I added some small gems positioned to catch the light and sparkle.

I used a piece of gold sequin waste mesh to create a sort of "bridge" for the boat to sail across.  The sequin waste is wired to the two sides of the wreath and the shoe sole has two pieces of two inch wide Scor-Tape to hold it on the mesh.  The gold circles make an interesting reflection on the side of the shoe in this photo.

If a visitor is following the normal sequence of rooms, this is the first view of the wreath.

From the opposite direction you can see through to the period room beyond.

I cut a styrofoam ball in half and dyed some old white pantyhose with distress stains and white metallic mixative alcohol ink to create the craters.  Then I sprayed the moon with perfect pearls to give it a shimmery shine.

I cut the face from vinyl and applied it to the moon, adding some gems for the eyes.  You can see one of the additional iridescent cubes just to the right of the moon - these are meant for flower bouquets but I added anything I could to get a lot of sparkle on the wreath.   At the last minute I found the tiny seed lights.  They are LED and run on a battery pack with a timer so they will light up the wreath six hours a day during the exhibit.  I'll have to check the batteries every so often.

It was very difficult to take a straight on photo since the passageway is only a few feet wide.  This is the final wreath.  The lighting from above makes odd shadows but this was the best I could do.

I'll explain how I created the moon face and the fish in a future post.

Here are a few more photos of the wreath.  The star garland at the top is made using the DCWV Dazzle cardstock.  No glittered objects are permitted in the museum but this paper has a great sparkle with no risk of glitter shedding on the floor.

Do you ever decorate with a very specific theme or are your decorations more "generic."  It's fun to try to make a tree or wreath represent a book and it would be a great project to do with children.  Some of the trees at the museum are done by school groups.

Don't forget about the Creative Memories "Stuff Your Stockings" sale - you can read all of the details in yesterday's post HERE.

I'll be adding some of the blue holographic paper and some of the sparkly mesh to the box that one lucky reader will win at the end of the month.  (sorry the photo is not updated yet).

in the box so far...

1.  2 sheets of the sticky paper I used for the glittered ornament card
2.  A new set of the same Inkadinkado Autumn Leaves stamps I used on the card
3.  An 18 inch piece of the brown leaf ribbon - enough for a few cards.
4.  A small bag of plastic gems.
5.  A piece of blue holographic paper.
6.  A small piece of the white and silver mesh I used for the nets.

All comments on posts in the month of November will be eligible for a random draw at the end of the month.  One lucky reader will receive the small priority mail box full of bits and pieces.

You can leave a comment on every post to increase your chances but please just leave one per post and make sure that you give me enough information so I can contact you if your comment is drawn.

I hope your Thanksgiving preparations are well in hand - I still have lots to do but it will all be done in time (fingers crossed!).  Have a great day!

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  1. WOW DIANE! THis wreath is so imaginitive and beautiful. It makes me want to go out and find that book. I just love the colours, the fish, the moon face, the clog...well everything about it really. I wish I could be there and see the whole exhibit.

  2. Great job transforming a book into a single wreath -- but all the elements of the story are there! GREAT IMAGINATION & CREATIVITY MAKING IT ALL COME ALIVE!

    I live in Nebraska to I probably won't make it now, but I'll put it on my list. Would love to see the Museum - especially this item of year! We do plan a trip to the East...just not sure when!

    Getting ready for Thanksgiving since I'm hosting the Family! 20 of us. But I have taken time everyday to see your post & newsletter!!! Love it!

  3. Oh Diane this is stunning. I always love how you pay attention to details and this is outstanding! I love all the elements you used. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Hugs~Mary M
    mmontecalvo at verizon dot net

  4. Wow - this is an amazing wreath! You are so creative. I would love to hear all the wonderful comments from those who see it at the exhibit. Thanks so much for sharing all your hard work. It's beautiful.

  5. Incredible! The wreath is perfection. Your talent never fails to amaze me! Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Your wreath is amazing! You have really captured the feeling of the illustrations. The use of an actual wooden shoe is a wonderful touch and your "peg" children are darling.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Wow! You did an awesome job. I love that story, and the wreath captures it beautifully. I never realized that gold ribbon was sequin 'waste'. It makes sense, but somehow that concept missed me. I love your interpretation of the water - beautiful!

  8. Without you describing the wreath I would know what it was depicting. Great job!!!

  9. Your wreath is gorgeous and the attention to the glitter-free detail turned out even better, I think, than having glitter anywhere on the wreath. Your work is always inspiring. I am sure the museum is delighted to have your work hanging there. Thank you for sharing all the details with your "followers." We thank you as always.

    Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.
    MCF's Mimi

  10. What a cute idea, I know at one time you could buy min wooden shoes in Holland, Michigan, a large Duth area. They were made for the American Girl Doll, I beleive tyou could find regular size shoes there too. A feind bught me a pair years ago for my doll. It would be small, but would make a cute small wreath.

  11. I looked up a link in Michigan to buy shoes, the plain ones are about $20 a pain, not that bad, you could share a pair or make 2 wreaths.

    Karen in Michigan

  12. What a fun project! Your attention to detail, as always, is just perfect! The museum sounds like a Christmas wonderland! TFS!
    Shellee--srobisonat brown-strauss.com

  13. I love this poem. What a cute idea for a wreath.
    marilyn2222 @ hotmail.com

  14. Diane
    You always amaze me with your talent. However, this wreath is beyond beautiful. It just transports the viewer to the land of W.B. and Nod.
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us and everyone there.

  15. Your wreath looks AMAZING! I can't believe how much talent you have! I put a little thank you note in your dad's card....just for having such a wonderfully creative daughter!

    rissaflor atyahoo dotcom

  16. Your wreath is adorable! We have a W.B. and Nod fountain in our city park that I just love. Thanks for sharing your creativity!

  17. That is a great wreath!! I love the moon!

  18. I L-O-V-E your wreath. The whole idea of decorating to the theme of children's books is wonderful. It has to encourage the kids to read after viewing the trees.

  19. My,my, Diane. Your wreath is marvelous. I love the idea of decorating according to a children's book.

  20. I always look forward to your daily posts. I like your wreath - very creative.

  21. I love how you think Diane. Every detail is perfection. When I make a project I always try to imagine I'm you putting it together and wondering how you would make it. You have influenced me so much over the years. Your wreath is so beautiful.

  22. what a beautiful job you did. very creative. tfs.


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