Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mum is becoming an Altered Artist!

I had a very different post in mind for today but then I received a phone call and email from Mum and decided that it really needed to be shared :)

My Mum is not one to show off her talents so I'm going to do it for her! When we were on the phone yesterday she was telling me about some things she's been working on and they sounded really good so I got her to email me the photos and I was so amazed! She's really taken to stamping and creating in a BIG way and her work is absolutely gorgeous!!! I got her to do a wee write up about what each piece means and I'm not even going to edit it because she's explained it so well :) So over to Mum:

As with many NZ families, my lineage is what we lovingly call "A Kiwi cocktail".

Over the last 20 odd years I have been putting together a family tree. It is very, very interesting and of great satisfaction. Recently I became the proud owner of a china cabinet that is ideal for displaying the few bits and pieces that belonged to my family. As I am the only one who knows what the history of these bits is, I thought I should get it down on paper as a proper record. So, that started the whole thing off. How do I label these items? Idea................ Luggage tags.

Talking to Shelley and getting a starting point and some ideas helped enormously. She did one very quickly for me and showed me what to do. From there, it was a snow ball and as been gathering speed ever since.

I've done four for the moment but there are still more to do of course. These 4 are done with the person in mind. Where they came from, what they did in life etc.
This is for my Mother’s father. His heritage is pure Irish. He was a Musician and use to play for the silent movies. The music is a stamp. The violin is a Christmas decoration that just fitted the bill. I didn’t attempt to remove the “ring” as I thought it may shatter. The colour of the paper was the colour of his Oldsmobile car that he drove himself and Nana to visit us as kids. My Father’s mother. She was of English descent and a beautiful lady. She died when my father was only 16 years old. This tag was fun to make. It is a stamped card with a stamped cut out on top. I “dressed” the cutout dress. It was like playing with paper dolls from years ago.My Mother’s grandfather came from Philadelphia as a whaler. He abandoned ship in the Bay of Islands and went bush until the ship set sail. He even had bounty hunters after him. This tag was photocopied onto the tag from a post card sent to him from America in 1907. Then I rummaged for a stamp to put on. The key represents the fact that he was a carpenter and built houses and halls. My Nana always said he was a Carpenter by name and a carpenter by trade. This tag is for my Mother’s grandmother. She was Maori from the Bay of Islands. This was the most time consuming. It took me 6 hours to weave the strips of paper into a length that I could get 2 tags from. I chose a colour that would represent flax and now that it’s woven you would never pick which paper it was. I then rummaged in a craft shop to find paua shell. I wanted a piece with a hole in it. The rick-rack was representative too. Putting it all together was a fabulous feeling.

I do have a fancy for heritage ink now. It not only helps with the “look” but it can disguise the odd blemish.

Way to go Mum!!! Your work is gorgeous and I'm so pleased that you're doing something creative and really enjoying it! You've got heaps of talent and I'm really pleased that you've let me share it with everyone :)

Just a quick note to finish off... thanks for your email Penny... your RAK will be in the post tomorrow... and Julie I've got your email too (it went to my spam folder grrr) so yours will be in tomorrows post too :) Have a great Sunday everyone... and please leave Mum a comment :)


  1. Yay to your Mum Shell!! These tags are gorgeous!!

  2. 'Mum' - all four of them are absolutely bleedin' G O R G E O U S ... you have rocked them all.

    Wow, what wonderful little treasures.

    Shell, thanks for sharing ... you're Mum is very creative.

  3. Shell's Mum - you rock!! I hope I get to meet both of you at SENZ

  4. Oh wow!!! You must be so darn proud of your Mom Shell! She rocks, loved her work and the descriptions! Amazing that woven one, wow really talented woman!

  5. Shell's Mum does Fabulous work! I loved them all and especially the dress one. And the Maori one. Oh and the American one. So neat to be able to have that in the display!

    Thanks again for the RAK Shell :)

  6. FAR OUT!! I see where you got your talent from they are STUNNING!!! I esp love the old fashioned dress, jsut beautiful, tell you mum please to share more with us, they are awesome!!!

    What a clever family and what a fantastically special and visual way of preserving your family hertiage, just stunning !!!

  7. Oh my those tags are stunning - I love the dress one - its beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Dear Shell's Mum,
    What a talented family your Tags are beautiful thankyou for sharing them with us.

  9. Wow those tags are stunning, Shell!
    Your Mum may like to put them on a new challenge blog that started yesterday -
    All creations have to be on tags or labels.
    Thanks for your comments re: my arch, didn't have any photos or stamps to suit so had to make do with a collage!
    Judy Upper Hutt


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Thanks, Shell xx