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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Classy Silhouettes

Black is such a classy colour. I mostly wear black (apart from my trademark red), but I do not really use it much in my interior dreamings. But I have noticed that an awful lot of re-dos that I see in blogs is done with black paint. Well, here is a little idea that might appeal to all you lovers of the colour black out there. 'Cause today I made a couple of classy silhouettes.

 

The inspiration for this project came from a whole wall of silhouettes. These are two silhouettes of ancestors. I think they are late 18th and early 19th century respectively. Before the invention of photography in 1836, the cheapest way for the burgeoning bourgeoisie to have a portrait done, was having a silhouette cut. If you look closely at the lady on the left, you will notice the fine detail and care that went into these "likenesses". This silhouette was not cut, though, but painted. The outline of the head was painted black and then the details such as the hair and the ear were added. They even included the eyelashes. Isn't this lady beautiful? (I am thinking Elizabeth Bennett, here...)
Here is another silhouette, which I believe is pre-19th century, just based on her hairstyle. Again, this is a painted silhouette. The fine details of hair and bows would have been impossible to cut. Both miniatures are about 3-4 cm in size (approx. 1 - 1.5 inches). - Isn't it wonderful to think that these likenesses are still around, long after the two ladies are gone? They certainly we held very preciously and are mounted in sweet little wooden frames with gilt edges...
I decided on a slightly more modern version of the silhouette by inverting the colours - light silhouette against a dark background. The paper I chose for the silhouette came from my stash of security envelopes. I haven't been able to stop collecting those ever since my ill-fated "Material of the Week"-adventures last year... (See some other projects with security envelope paper here: paper beads, a little garland, card decorations and mini-envelopes.)

Sorry, no photos of the individual steps, but it is pretty self-explanatory: I printed a photo of my own, regal head in profile onto the back of the security envelope paper. Then I cut it out with small scissors. (Brrrr, hate using flash - leaves very ugly shadows on the pics. Obviously, the frame is perfectly round, not oval...)

The idea for the frames came to me the other day when I was doing the recycling. While taking the lids off all the empty jars that were going into the glass recycling, it occurred to me that they make perfect little frames. So out came the blackboard spray (proper black spray paint would do much better, but I haven't got any), and I gave the two chosen lids a good spray. Make sure you choose lids that are not of the "twist off"-variety. Those have irregular rims and do look too much like lids...

Be patient until your spray paint has dried and then stick your silhouette into the lid. (As usual I was impatient, scratched the not-yet-dried surfaces and had to touch up with a marker *tstststs*.) Since my ribbon collection is newly organised *yoohay*, I quickly found a length of black velvet ribbon onto which I stuck the lids miniatures. It looked a bit too bare like that, so I embellished a bit with bits of pieces in my "miscellaneous" box. To hang the length of ribbon, I made a bow. Cheapskate that I am, I had some little silver beads on thin wire (dismantled from a Christmas cracker... I know, I am a total crackpot, saving fiddly bits like that...). And guess what the silver star/snowflake ornament on the bow is? .... It's the hanger from a Christmas bauble!!! When taking down the Christmas decorations, one bauble smashed and I kept the hanger (yeah, definite crackpot, Sonja!). I simply flattened it. Then I put the wires from the beads through the star and pushed it through the velvet bow and the ribbon. I also attached a small satin ribbon to hang it up

Lastly, I glued the lids onto the ribbon. Continuing with the tradition of keeping the ladies' likenesses, I also made a silhouette of my daughter. And here it is, my silhouette display - preliminarily hung above the shelf beside my desk.

  
So, there is a classy little project for you - that will cost you nothing, but is priceless

Best,
 


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16 comments:

Jan @ bobbypinsboardwalk said...

Those turned out so lovely, Sonja. I agree with you about black. It can make a dramatic impact. Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I'll let you know when I try to make one. Happy Valentine's Day

Low Tide High Style said...

Your silhouettes turned out beautifully and I love how the black backdrop really sets them off. Your hand painted silhouettes are also really lovely, I've never seen painted ones before. I have silhouettes of both of our children, but they are the usual black head mounted on white paper, yours are much prettier!

Thank you for stopping by my blog!

Kat :)

Sonja @ Craft-Werk said...

Thanks for you nice comments, Jan and Kat...

Eva Girl said...

These are lovely! I didn't know the history behind the silhouettes - thanx for sharing it! Yours came out great : )

Kat @ BlackKatsDesign.blogspot.com said...

Love the patterned paper on the black background. They turned out very pretty. I've been wanting to make some, and if I ever get around to doing it, I'll definitely use your colors instead of the traditional ones.

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

Love that these are in a jar lid!! :)

jenjen said...

Lovely! You did a great job. I love silhouettes!

XOO
Jen

Sonja @ Craft-Werk said...

Thanks, Ladies, for your comments. I find they are the best way of finding new blogs - I always try and return the visit. This time I have found 2 blogs that I had to immediately sign up for and a project that I bookmarked for a later project. Cooooooooool!

Delightful Dwelling said...

I love these! I like how they are different from the regular, plain plack silhouettes because you used colored paper. The way you used the ribbon to hang them is so pretty too.

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

I saw these the other day when I was cruising your site! Super cute and I love the black! Looks great! Thanks for linking up to Whatever Goes Wednesday. I hope to you back next week!

Rockie said...

Those are very nice. Check out my family silhouettes at Something Wonderful.

http://rockiescrafts.blogspot.com/2010/02/family-silhouettes.html

concretenprimroses said...

An interesting post and a lovely craft!
Kathy

Kim said...

This was such a nice idea - and for free! The printed paper really gives them a modern twist.

Tonya said...

Too cute! Great idea!

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

I love this idea! The silouettes are darling. Great project.

I wear black all the time, too, btw.

Heather@ My Frugal Family said...

They turned out great!

Thank you so much for linking up with the Talented Tuesday link party at My Frugal Family, which is hosted every Tuesday. Please feel free to stop back in every week and post your newest projects!