Tuesday, September 1, 2009

the portrait revisited

i have been meaning to change up my mantle for a while. i like to change it every 6 months or so because i get sick of looking at the same arrangement. is this normal? i dunno, but for me i like to have an ever-changing centerpiece for our everchanging family and wanted to start documenting it...as long as we have a mantle at least! i have had an idea kicking around in my head for some while, but with the summers and all the pressures on our family that our business brings, i have curtailed all creative endeavors.

i am really loving silhouettes and the simple beauty of the dark silhouette that can capture a person without cheesy smiles and poses...so i had this idea of a "family portrait" of each of our silhouettes on a canvas with our own personal touch. in the beginning my IDEA was very complex - an intricate pattern and hand-embroidery and the silhouette and a mixture of textiles and personal touch. in the end, i decided that all of that would take away from the simplicity of the silhouette that i love, so i settled with the silhouette on a textured backdrop with a simple picture that personalized each of us. i think it turned out quite neatly, without overdoing it!

for each of us i tried to picture what is on our minds...for bryan...aka Left Brain as he now shall be named :) i used hearts to symbolize the three of us on his mind...i played around with a lot of different images and he wasn't happy until i used the hearts...so i am glad i nailed his! for me i used birds - inspired by this iron bird collage circa 1965 that i saw in a shop window - to epitomize my 3 boys constantly circling my thoughts. for bryson he told me he wanted golf balls, so i put 3 "golf balls" how i did to show a sorta "whats to come" because with bryson we are ALWAYS wondering what is to come with him! For bodie i put a footprint because that is a sight we are constantly seeing now with his super crawling abilities, but also because he is starting to leave his footprint in our family with his BIG personality starting to show through.

the only "true" silhouette" was bryans. I took his profile (babies and todders are impossible to photog a silhouette it turns out) and printed it out...i messed with the size on my printer and printed out his silhouette. for the rest of us i found images on the internet and messed with the sizes and printed out. then i cut out the silhouettes, traced them onto heat n bond paper. I then ironed the heat n bond onto the blue velvet backing. i carefully cut each silhouette then ironed them onto the fabric. for each of us i did the same steps for our images. then i staple-gunned the fabric onto cavases from Michael's and that was it!

i am very happy with how this turned out and it cost me all of $5 for the canvases. i already had the fabric for the canvases and the velvet for the images plus the heat n bond to apply the velvet silhouettes and images to the fabric. MUCH cheaper than a true family portrait and much more personal since it was all handmade!

i had a ton of fun re-imagining the family portrait! hopefully this inspires someone to reinvent the portrait as well!

1 comment:

Punky said...

This is a great idea carlee. We used to have those black silhouette's in our house growing up but we got them made at disneyland =)