Friday, November 30, 2012

Corset Diaries and Sugar Plum Fairies

I have a friend who made a suggestion for December's corset which included something red with fur. Hmm . . . I did ponder it for awhile and while the "Santa Baby" look could have worked, I've decided to go with something more elegant.

The National Ballet of Canada
Feathery, light, a magical delight, what would Christmas be without the appearance of something Nutcracker-ish in our corset diaries? December's corset inspiration comes directly from the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.

sugar plum fairy costume
I can see this corset with lots of torn, papers for that gorgeous, flared tutu. Perhaps even a bit of feather could go up underneath it just to give it that extra airiness. November's corset is on the craft table this weekend so look for your template and video in the next few days. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Graphic 45 Curio Cabinet

I've become a fast fan of Graphic 45 paper craft. WOW! So many gorgeous ideas especially this curio cabinet. Unfortunately I'm unable to find the artist who actually put this particular cabinet together but the pattern was created by Laura Dennison and is constructed entirely of chip board.

Laura Dennison curio cabinet created for Graphic 45
This would make a great setting for all those little paper dresses and corsets we've been creating. The pattern PDF is actually an instruction book with all the measurements given and a list of supplies needed for you to make this so if you're looking for an actual template you won't find it. Bummer! I'm still going to make one though. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vintage Ephemera Freebie

Speaking of public domain, I was recently introduced to Ackermann's Repository which was a British periodical published from 1809 to 1829. It contains beautiful illustrations some of which I hope to present to you in the near future.

vintage ephemera freebie - no collage sheets please
click to download at full size
In the meantime, this is a portion of text extracted from one of the volumes. I have cropped it, distressed the edges to give it an aged look, added text and changed the color. I'll be using this in a couple of projects later this week but feel free to grab a copy of it now.

page from Ackermann's Repository
The unaltered text as it originally appeared in the Ackermann's Repository appears above. This is yours to alter and do with as you please. Idea: text is great to cut your corset templates from or for adding layering effects in collage projects. Enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Okay to Copyright Public Domain Images?

If you're a collage artist using public domain images in your work, eventually you're bound to hear from the morality police if you blog long enough. These would be those gutless, anonymously commenting, cowards who have somehow made it their business to point out the error of your plagiaristic ways but is it plagiarism?

What does public domain mean? The below is extracted directly from Wikipedia, one of the largest online resources for public domain material. Further explanation can be found by reading the article Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States.

The public domain is generally defined (e.g. by the U.S. Copyright Office) as the sum of works that are not copyrighted, i.e.
  • that were not eligible for copyright in the first place, or
  • whose copyright has expired, or
  • that were released into the public domain by the copyright holder

That said, what can you do with public domain works? Public domain means the work is 100% free for use, including private and commercial use. Let me tell you, writers do this all the time. Some of those self help books you're so fond of reading? Yep, altered public domain material. This also means that the average Jane can shamelessly slather unaltered, public domain images with a copyright or watermark and claim it as her own.
original, unaltered vintage ephemera
The perfume image above can currently be found on at least two blogs. Altered Artifacts claims full copyright to her image while Vintage Feedsacks offers this public domain image to us to use as we please. I guess that would include digital downloads of any kind. Hmmm . . . Which one should I choose? I've seen Etsy sellers offer collage sheets for sale that are filled with unaltered, public domain images that I've been able to find on Wikimedia. Guess what? Like it or not, it's legal!

From my observations, the internet is riddled with similar examples and all are considered legal in the United States although one could argue that the former example is considered plagiarism since it is unaltered and the original source is not cited.

Anywho, if others can can claim copyright and/or sell their unaltered public domain images, I'm certainly not going to suddenly get religion about altering public domain images and incorporating them into a nicely designed and yes, original piece of digital collage. It's not for anyone else to decide how they, you or I should use the public domain images so keep calm and collage with confidence my friends. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

Kell Belle Studio wishes you and your family 
a blessed and bountiful holiday. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Paper Clay Art Dolls

In my quest for paper mache beauty I stumbled upon Tatiana Gurina who creates some exquisite art dolls mostly from Fimo but this one is made from paper clay. Tatiana's site is full of photos of her beautiful dolls. She even offers tips for working with paper that you might find useful. Instructions are written in Russian so you will need a good translator.

The Birth of Venus by Tatiana Gurina
What do I love most about this doll aside from her delicate finish? That wire, oh my! I love the idea of incorporating wire into my paper mache pieces and Tatiana's Birth of Venus doll is a beautiful example. If you like this doll feel free to visit Tatiana and be inspired by the other tasty tid bits she has to offer.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

You Never Looked so Good Pilgrim

This pilgrim is looking downright shabby chic in a corset ensemble made using my own digital collage papers. I like this look a lot although I do think it defies that simplicity I was going for originally but what the hey! The muse says go with the pink roses.

I haven't cut this to the final shape yet as I'm still waiting for the inside to dry before I start carving into this beauty. This corset was made a little bit longer to allow for the panties and garter straps at the bottom. Oooh! Isn't this gonna be fun!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Humbled by Incredible Paper Art

Occassionally I come across an artist who just blows me away with what they can do with paper. Laetitia Mieral is one such example. She is a french artist so I can't read her blog Merveilles en Papier but I speak paper passion fluently.

visit Merveilles en Papier on Etsy
Would you believe these pieces are all done with paper mache? Standing head and shoulders above a sea of paper mache mediocrity and folk art, Laetitia takes mere child's play and transforms it into the awe inspiring work you see here.

Alice in Wonderland
It is moments like this that drive me to want to push my art beyond the confines of my limited thinking. Of course such an endeavor would require a healthy dose of "fear be gone." Can I get that at Home Depot? Ha!

Image Credit: Images remain the property of Laetitia Mieral and Merveilles en Papier.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Corset Peasantry or Bust

Not to drive the poor horse into the ground or anything but I did find more examples of that bust line I've been trying to illustrate with some difficulty.

graphically designed corset by Rotten Toe
November is all about Thanksgiving and since the original guests of that first holiday celebration were, well, peasants I really wanted to emphasize that peasantness with the bust line.

Woodstown Whimsy clay corset
Did pilgrims even wear corsets? Probably not but who knows. Anywho, the point I'm trying to make is that we're going for a simple, more plain look in our corset this month. That's all. Thoughts?

Note: Images have been altered slightly to remove backgrounds or text. Images remain the property of their respective creators found in the links below each photo. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Favor Box Template

What do you get when you combine distressed edge craft paper with raffia and pinecones? The answer is the cutest li'l Thanksgiving favor box ever! These have such great rustic appeal that I thought you might like them as much as I do.

get the favor box template instructions
These favor boxes can be found on the Spotted Canary where you can also get instructions on how to make your own favor box template. Newsletter subscribers got a free, patterned template created by me that will go on sale to the general public. Just sayin'!

Kittie Kraft's paper pinecone tutorial from 
Are you short on pinecones? Your problems are solved! I found a paper pinecone tutorial over on Kittie Kraft blog that you can use to embellish your favor boxes. These could actually work out even better than the real ones because your paper pinecones are guaranteed to be critter free! (tee hee :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Confections of a Dusty Rose Corset

Whilst ravaging the internet (as I often do) for vintage corset inspiration I came across a most gorgeous delight. This corset was found in an antique store by Kerry who publishes a blog called I Love My Home. Couldn't you just look at this for days?!

vintage corset
The wheels are spinning, ideas are formulating, and paper corsets may soon be evolving yet again. Dusty rose, vintage satin and aged tulle beaded with pearls. Couple all that with the flowering vines and I can't help but see the makings of a fine art piece in this divine little confection. We've GOT to make one of these.

Image Credit: Kerry of I Love My Home

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Corset Diaries: Salivating Over Vintage French

Vintage and French are two tasty bait words most likely to make me salivate these days so it's no surprise that I would want to create something in that style. Presenting the Kell Belle version of vintage library cards (are there any other kind?) slash printable journal cards.

french inspired corset collage 
Consider this my first official corset diary journal offering outside of the template pages. These are great for adding little notes about your creative discoveries along the way or for keeping track of what worked and what didn't work for a particular project.

printable journal cards 
Two corset designs, two plain library card designs, two pocket front styles and one gorgeous pocket back are sure to class up your journal pages. Visit Le Charmed Life for a closer look at what you get with this package.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November Corset Inspiration

Fall is all about those muted earth tones and even though I've never been wild about fall colors who says I can't turn my orange and rust into dusty rose and annex it as part of my fall pallet? Of course it helps that dusty rose lends itself very well to that antique, aged look that we all like so much.

Fred & Ginger corset
This month I'd like to try something a little different. I'm going for the one piece look, just a slight hint of panty at the bottom of the corset. No skirt this time because I want to play around with adding some garter straps instead. (love the lacy panties in this illustration)

vector stock vintage corset illustration
You know me, I like combining what I consider to be the "best of" qualities in each design and coming up with something new. With these corsets it's mainly the one piece look combined with the low cut bust line of the red corset below that really excite me for the November corset of the month.

from Wilhelmina's Antique Fasion blog
On a side note, looks like interest in the dimensional corsets is gaining momentum so I think a tutorial on how to make those could perhaps be coming sooner than expected. I'm still undecided but I'll keep you posted. Toodles for now.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Corset Diaries III: Vampire Corset Template

I'm a little late with October's corset but better late than never. Sometimes even the creative muse drags her feet or maybe I just resist listening to her guidance. This one is called Francesca. She's an old world, original vampire with lots of deeply ingrained quirks.

vampire corset template - 10 x 7 inches - click to download full size
Explore your shadowy side. Try something you might not otherwise have considered. The result could be better than you imagined. As a journal prompt, what shadowy secret did you learn about yourself during the creation of your vampire corset?

It goes without saying that the template and video appear above. I want to say thank you to those who take the time to say hello by leaving positive and uplifting comments. They are appreciated and I am truly grateful. Please enjoy your template.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please refer to this Formal Paper Corset video to learn how to assemble this type of corset.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Francesca: Mistress of Shadow

Miss October, mistress of shadow makes her presence known in subtle, mysterious, style. An old world girl with a distaste for the Halloween frenzy, Francesca reveals herself today yet she remains ever on the edge, always one step beyond the reach of light.

paper mache vampire corset - front
The corset diaries proudly presents the tattered, old world charm of October's vampire corset. An original beauty in more ways than one, she is made mainly of paper with crushed black tulle and glittered red tulle accents at the bust and skirt line. Satin ribbon is used for the straps and lacing.

paper mache vampire corset - back
For being so uninspired at the start of this project, I'm really happy with how this corset turned out. Of course y'all know what this means. Your template and tutorial video are forth coming so look for those to show up in the next day or two.