Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Day

Happy May Day!
 When I learned that my first post for this month was on May 1st, the thoughts that came to mind were centered around May Day Celebrations. Memories from my childhood of dancing around the Maypole and crowning the May queen; as well as the tradition of hanging May baskets, are the inspiration behind todays project.
I begin with a Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Bagatelle Box 1.5 x 4 (coming soon). There are many size options available for this box. I chose this size to accommodate a basket handle that would be able to hang from a door knob (as is tradition) when complete. I paint the top and bottom edges of the pieces with antique linen Distress paint and allow to dry. The interior faces of the box sides are then covered with decorative paper to mimic a pretty spring lining for the "basket." I prefer to adhere the decorative papers prior to constructing the box. When this method is selected, be sure to keep the interlocking tabs free from paper. The photograph below shows how I have covered some of the surfaces.
Once the adhesive on the lining pieces is dry, I glue the box together and set aside. 
Next, I ink pieces of Distress woodgrain cardstock with Distress Oxide ink in scattered straw and fossilized amber. Drying the inks with a heat tool between layers. When I am satisfied with the coloration, I then use Distress Ink in brushed corduroy and walnut stain to give the cardstock the look of real wood by accentuating the wood graining.
These pieces are cut into strips that will be woven together to create the "basket."
The edges of each strip are inked with coordinating inks to hide the white core that is exposed when the strips are cut, then I begin to weave the pieces together, using the bagatelle box sides as guides.
I continue the weaving to completely surround the box base. 
With the basket portion complete, it is time to begin filling it with flowers. Tradition has it that May baskets are filled with the blooms gathered at the end of April's showers. To start, I use the fringing method to cut a piece of peeled paint colored card stock, creating a serpentine of "grass" that will assist in filling the basket. I add a thin line of quick dry glue along the bottom edge of the grass piece and secure it into place.
With the grass in place, I begin arranging the flower pieces that have been colored with Distress inks in shaded lilac, wilted violet, and bundled sage. I also add some leafy stem diecuts that have been painted with peeled Paint Distress paint. All of the various pieces are glued into place. 
The final step is attaching the basket handle. Due to the length of the basket base; as well as wanting the basket to be able to hang from a door knob, as is tradition, I cut two strips of the same width from the remaining inked piece of woodgrain cardstock. (Note: I have inked both sides of this piece of woodgrain cardstock so that when viewed, the underside of the handle looks the same as the top. This is important since the handle bends and slips into the sides between the box and the woven paper giving exposure to both sides simultaneously.) These two pieces are overlapped and glued together at the top. I add a stamped and colored butterfly to the handle to complete the project. 
I am off to deliver this May Day Basket to its special recipient, and carry on this wonderful tradition.
I hope that the coming days are filled with May flowers and perhaps they inspire you to create something beautiful. 
Thank you so much for stopping by, I truly appreciate it.

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts used:
Bagatelle Box 1.5 x 4 (coming soon)

1 comment:

  1. I love the May Day traditions you speak of, this is a perfect basket to usher in these festivities. So intricate and gorgeous