Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Tales of Poirot -- Guest Design Team Piece for Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog!

Hi everyone!  I'm so excited to be this week's Guest Designer over at The Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog.  I nearly fell over when the lovely Linda Coughlin (the funkie junkie) asked me to design a project for this month's challenge.  What an honor.  Thanks Linda!!

I was truly inspired by Suzz's Author, Author Challenge.    Suzz said,

I have a great love for reading and was a permanent fixture at the library growing up. I decided it would be fun to host a challenge inspired by books.
There are so many wonderful books that inspire the mind to imagine the worlds created within them. Think fairy tales, mysteries, romances or even science fiction and use that to inspire your art. Your challenge it so create a shabby chic or vintage styled project inspired by a book. Provide an explanation of how the book and author inspired your project.

I was so inspired that I chose and entire series of books!  I absolutely love Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot Books.  I started reading them a few years ago and just couldn't stop :)  Dame Christie first introduced us to Monsieur Hercule Poirot in 1920 through the pages of The Mysterious Affair at Styles and bid him adieu in her 1975 Curtain.  Although Agatha Christie was not always fond of him (referring to Poirot as "a detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep"), much of the world loved him.  He even had his obituary published on the front page of the New York Times.  

My project is dedicated to the many tales of Hercule Poirot is a Paper Mache Book Box.  To go along with the 1920's introduction to Poirot, I decided to give my book cover an Art Deco feel.  I painted the cover in a semi gloss black paint.  The spine is decorated with Tim Holtz's Gilded Accent Remnant Rubs.  I just love how they sparkle on the black background.  I stamped Agatha Christie's initials with some Hampton Art alphabet stamps and gold embossed them.

Unfortunately, the cover of my paper mache book started to crack while I was working on it.  I taped reinforced it with some of Tim Holtz's Gothic Tissue Tape.  The front cover is decorated with more remnant rubs and a great Art Deco shape stamp (in the upper and lower corners) by Inkadinkado.  I filled in the shapes with Glossy Accents to really make the black pop.  I've got to say ... I really love the title of my book.  I used some of Tim's Deco Type Industrious Stickers as a mask and pounced over them with Gold Alcohol Ink Mixative applied with a Alcohol Ink Applicator.  I then removed the stickers and filled in the letters with Glossy Accents.

I wanted to make this box look like a real book, so I grabbed some Tarnished Brass Distress Paint to create my gold "page edges".  I used a stiff-bristled paint brush to drag through the paint to make it look like I have several pages in my book.  I added more tissue tape to create a decorative background for my inside front and back "covers". The tissue tape was given a light coat of Tim Holtz Distress Vintage Collage Medium.   

What really inspired me to do this project was Tim Holtz's Evolution Stamp Set.  Every time I saw this profile stamp, it reminded me of Hercule Poirot!  So this stamp graces the inside front cover of my Book Box.

I began with a piece of Glossy Paper and created a stamp collage background with images related to Poirot stories (images related to England, France, tea cups, trains, 1920's females, etc).  The background images were stamped in Tea Dye Distress Ink.  To give the white paper a more vintage look, I went over the background images with Antique Linen Distress Ink and an Ink Blending Tool.  I also added an "evidence" remnant rub to the background.

I tried stamping the Evolution image on the paper in various archival inks and it just did not look right.  I then used Walnut Stain Distress Ink and it turned out amazing!  It gave the stamped collage an amazing vintage feel.  Some of the Tea Dye stamped images came through the Walnut Stain ink.  I was not expecting that!  In fact that, "bleed through" effect was much more pronounced until I glued the Glossy Paper onto my inside front cover (with Distress Matte Collage Medium).  The moisture in the glue may have caused the water-reactive distress inks to mix more after it was glued into the book. Anyway, I love my "Poirot" image.  It turned out so much better than I expected it would.

Of course, to pay homage to the author, I cut out her signature off of one my paperback bookcovers.  I also added one of Tim Holtz's Mover and Shapers typewriter die cuts.  It was painted with the black semi-gloss paint and I added silver accents with gel pen.  The typewriter keys were given a coat of Glossy Accents.  I stamped the word Murder with Martha Stewart's Your Own Stamp Set Alphabet stamps and added it to my typewriter.  I also die cut a pen (from Sizzix's Sewing and Writing Set) out of chipboard.  The handle was painted black and covered in Glossy Accents  The nib was covered in Perfect Medium and gold embossed.  To create my "blood" on this writer's murder weapon, I mixed Glossy Accents with Barn Door Distress Stain

As for the interior of my box, I really added several details from some of my favorite Poirot books.  I used foam squares and foam blocks to put pieces at different levels. 

The background is a collage of various Tim Holtz Idea-ology Paper Stash papers.  You can see an advertisement for a Cairo hotel (Death on the Nile).  Also I have the blueprint from a train's dining car (Murder on the Orient Express).  I stamped one of Tim's trains on Glossy Paper and colored it with Distress Markers (Fired Brick, Black Soot, Hickory Smoke, Walnut Stain, and Mustard Seed).  From The Mysterious Affair at Styles, I have some added a tea cup and some "poison" glitter in one of Tim's Corked Vials.  To make sure we know it is poison, I added a Poison remnant rub to the vial. 

Poirot is often called "the little Frenchman" by people that he meets; however, he was not from France.  He actually had flee Belgium during the war.  He was a Belgium Policeman.  I created my own version of a Belgium Police Shield with a Sizzix die, paint, Distress Markers, Glossy Accents and some gold embossing powder.  The British flag makes an appearance for Poirot's adopted home.  You will notice a lost button in the middle of the flag (a clue from Murder on the Orient Express).

Although many of Poirot's cases take place abroad, he does not travel well.  He gets a bit air sick in Death in the Clouds.  I added a plane and some layered clouds from Tim's Mini Airplane & Cloud Movers and Shapers dies.  Here you can see several words I associate with Monsieur Poirot ("little gray cells", "mon ami Hastings" for his friend Arthur Hastings, "mystery", and "method").  I used a Black Soot Distress Crayon to highlight these words and some of my other images in the collage background.

Thanks again Linda for inviting me to be a guest designer this week.  If you get a chance, drop by Linda's store, The Funkie Junkie Boutique.  I just got some new Distress Crayons to play with from there!  I can't wait to break them in!

Thanks for dropping by!  Mary Elizabeth


Jenny Marples said...

This is GENIUS Mary Elizabeth!!! I can't believe how many Poirot references you squeezed into this fabulous altered book project and to spot that those Tim stamps captured the essence of Hercule is inspired! I even love the use of the deco tape on the cover which for me gives the impression of a well-loved copy - which of course his books invariably are. SO thrilled to have you join us as a special Guest Designer with Frilly and Funkie today xx

Zoe Hillman said...

This is incredible!!! The evolution stamp is a perfect depiction of Poirot! I love the tea dye stamped background and the bleed through just makes it look older. The faux gold book pages are a triumph! So so clever! It's great to have you join us as a guest designer. :)

Suzanne C said...

Brilliant!! I love Agatha Christie and Hercule P! I read every book she has written and your book is fabulous! The image is perfect as Hercule and the different images and embellishments are fantastic! Very happy to have you guest designing with us this challenge!

Cec said...

Fabulous project and chock full of Poirot. Love the silhouette and all the other wonderful embellishments. I love watching the Agatha Christie mysteries when I visit the UK. So glad you are joining us as a Guest Designer.

Team Clark said...

Such a fabulous project and lovely tribute! Biggest congrats on your guest feature!!! Well done! Hugs, Autumn

Kathy/NorthCarolina said...

This is such an amazing project! I was blown away by the interior of the book, but then when I saw the cover...>THUD! I was gobsmacked. The details are so carefully wrought and tell the story so well that I knew immediately who your author/series were without reading a word. I'm so glad you are able to join us as a guest designer. I am truly inspired!

Brenda Brown said...

Oh my gosh this is one amazing project Mary Elizabeth, I love Agatha Christie books and watching the films and series on tv. You have created the most fabulous homage to Poirot, all the details are incredible xxx

butterfly said...

What a fantastic project, Mary Elizabeth - just love every last little thing. Genius use of the gilded remnant rubs to create your Art Deco cover, and of course that TH stamp makes the perfect Poirot to star on the inside "pages". Wonderful, wonderful!
Alison x

Barbara Schiassi said...

Dear friend sorry for my delay to comment your wonderful projects! I start from here! This book is amazing and your idea absolutely brilliant! the details, the design, the whole project is incredible! you're a genius, the use of this stamp is perfect!! barbara

Karen Garrard said...

Love this piece too. A labor of love. 😍 Karen.x