Friday, February 9, 2018

Listen to Your Heart

** Warning - this post has a lot of pictures! Grab a drink, and a snack; it may take you a while to get through it.  Enjoy!

My parents were married for over 30 years when they divorced.  It was a very civil separation and both my parents worked very hard at not letting their divorce effect our lives {the kids} in a negative fashion. The entire family would get together on holidays, my parents sat together at weddings and they actually got along much better.  About ten years after the divorce, my mother found herself in a situation where she needed to find a place to live.  My father asked her to move back into the family house.  He had made the top floor a mini apartment and my mom had her own bedroom, a living room, and her own bathroom.  So mom lived upstairs and my dad lived in the basement {a whole other story} and they would meet in the middle, watching TV together, going grocery shopping, and sharing meals.  They lived like that until my dad passed away in 2008.  This is a testimony to the love they shared, married or not.

** Typically I link to where you can find information on a product, or the actual product.   Because Tim Holtz' items are so popular, I'm not linking his items to anywhere. I am only linking if a product is difficult to find, or to a product information page.

 What I Used to Make my Project:
Tim Holtz Vignette House, #TH93339 {discontinued but available}

Tim Holtz Paper Dolls, #TH93555
Tim Holtz Beaded Berries, #TH93666
Tim Holtz Quote Chips, #TH93563
Gesso, Blick Artists White Gesso
The Following Items are From my Stash:
White Pearls, Studio G, 60 Assorted
Paper Flowers
Fabric Flowers
Heart Charm
Shamrock Charm
Snowflake Mini Button
Key Charm
Watch Face
Rings Charm
Studio Katia Sparkling Crystal Mix, #SK2411
Parents Wedding Photo
Dimensional Dots
Krylon Leafing Pen in Silver
Plastic Angel
E6000 Adhesive

I've had this Tim Holtz house for quite a while; longer than I thought since it's already discontinued!  I see my collection of Tim Holtz goodies every single day and I finally decided to make something for myself - my own keepsake.  I wish I could give it to my mom, but her eyesight has begun to worsen and I know she'll just get frustrated at not being able to see it.  So, mine it is!

Mom was 18 & Dad was 24

The first thing I did was lightly gesso the house to give it a worn appearance, almost a weathered look.  Once that dried, I started working on the wedding picture of my parents.  It took me a while to get the sizing correct and to learn how to erase the background.  This was the first time I manipulated a photo {aside from the typical enhancing; like brightening} and I think I did pretty darn good!  Of course, I see all sorts of things I should have done differently, but I refuse to let that little voice talk to me and make me think this project is a failure.  It isn't a failure if for no other reason than I made it for ME!
Bottom Detail: you can see the key & the clock face 

After letting the house dry overnight I started picking through my stash.  I've collected junk items for 3D projects for years.  One of my favorites is an object board that I made by gluing all sorts of goodies onto a piece of game board, then gessoed it all up and painted it.  If you're interested, you can check it out by clicking here {The Courage Board}.  I found some ribbon and a bunch of fabric flowers and put them aside; I had a vision of a black, white, and cream project so I
Mom's Dress
wanted to stick to those colors.  I fussy cut the wedding picture and chose a few Paper Dolls to attend the wedding.  I glued the Paper Dolls to the back of the house and used dimensional dots to pop out my parents; I wanted to ensure they'd be the focal point of the design.  I had to fold my mom's gown a bit, if you look on the bottom of the box you can see the ruffles from her dress.  I added a strip of lace where her dress met the bottom of the box, then attached the ruffle lace to the roof of the house.  The lace with pearls was perfect for the very bottom of the house.  In
Top Detail

my florals made of fabric, I found two large white flowers {I want to say they're carnations, but I know nothing about flowers, so I'd probably be lying!} and four small cream colored roses, then fiddled around a bit with placement.  I ultimately decided to put each group of three in the lower corners.  I also came across a tulle rose with green ribbon leaves that I centered in the middle.  In back of the large white flowers are some Beaded Berries.  Above the centered flower is a wedding ring set and I glued a Studio Katia Crystal to the engagement ring.  It's very difficult to see the crystal, unfortunately.


Moving up the house, on the left side is a key; the right is a watch face.  Each charm has a reason to be there and in this case the key stands for the house they bought.  My dad finished the house and added on many amenities. The key also symbolizes the house {the same one} where we all grew up and where my dad chose to pass away.  I then put white pearls on the sides, using the same size on the top and bottom with a smaller one in the center.  Where the house meets the roof, I used a paper rose on each side, with a Beaded Berry wrapped around the flower.  If you look closely, you can see under the right side, under the paper rose, is a snowflake button with the shank cut off.  My parents were married in the month of February.  On the left side you'll see a shamrock.  This charm speaks to our
Irish history as both my parents' relatives came from Ireland.  All the charms I used, except the clock face, were originally gold; I just painted them with the Leafing Pen to change the color to silver.  Leafing pens aren't cheap - they run about $7 each - but they last for years! If you find you aren't using some of your materials because they don't match your project, I highly recommend getting one {or two!} as they come in very handy.  They can also be used to edge your cardstock, which gives it an elegant look.

The Chipboard Quote I chose fit the situation my parents were in perfectly.  The whole time they were divorced and not living together neither one went out on a single date or attempted to find another partner.  They were meant to be together. I honestly believe they were Listening to Their Hearts.  Above the quote is an angel that started out as a Christmas ornament, I just snipped the string off and glued her in place.  And the final touch is the heart at the very top of the piece.  This was just in my stash and I thought it fit perfectly as I didn't want a heart that was too cutesy. 
Just another look from a different angle 
I am thrilled with how this came out.  I'm very proud of myself both because I think I did a good job and because I actually made myself something.  It's funny, I rarely make anything for myself or to decorate my house and craft room.  I think we are all like that in some way.  Thank you for hanging in there; I know the post was long, between my explaining and stories, and then all the photos.  If you like this project, please feel free to share it {but please link back here!} and I'd be grateful if you'd consider following me {if you do, please leave me a comment with your blog info so I can return the favor!}.  This piece is going to help remind me to Listen to My Heart every day! Have a wonderful day and take care! Christi

I am entering my Listen to Your Heart in the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - It Must Be Love

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Love is in the Air
Rhedd's Creative Challenge -M,  Anything Goes {altered art}
Creative Artiste Challenge Blog - M, #35, Anything Mixed Media Goes
The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge - M, #45, Inspiration Photo


  1. Oh Christi - what a beautiful post and your work on that beautiful house is really lovely. I think your parents did love one another, always. There's a saying about not being able to live together yet not being able to be apart that sort of sums it up. Bless them, and you.


    Di xx

    1. You are so kind and sweet Di - thank you so much for your comments & support xoxo Christi

  2. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful story.

    1. Jane, you are so kind! I'm glad you enjoyed the peek into my family ~ xoxo Christi

  3. This is just stunning and I love that you shared the story and love behind it xxx

    1. Awwww, you are just too sweet Cara! Your continued support means the world to me! xoxo Christi

  4. WOW! I am a fan of good literature and stunning art and your post had both! What a wonderful love story you shared about your parents!! I like how their hearts stayed together in totally extraordinary circumstances. What an amazing tribute this is and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every word. And the way you created the house is remarkable. You not only created an endearing vignette, but you filled it with emotion and things that were important to you. Yes- you should definitely be proud of yourself for this beauty! It really is incredible and I'm so glad you shared such inspiring words and art with us here at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog!

    1. I am speechless - to have an artist you admire leave such a lovely comment is like a dream come true! Thank you SO much Andrea - you will never know how much this means to me ~ xx Christi

  5. Christi ...What a heartwarming story and lovely piece of art with such wonderful layers of meaning you have shared with us. I'm so glad you listened to your heart and in the process created a treasure for yourself. Thank you for linking to RHedd's Creative Spirit this month. Truly Art from the Heart!

  6. Wow! I have tears in my eyes now. Beautiful in every way. Thank you for sharing with us at Creative Artiste Mixed Media Challenge blog for our anything goes challenge.
    Good luck
    Lynda x

  7. so beautiful!!!! thanks for playing along with our love them at Mixed Media Monthly Challenge!

  8. This is so lovely..a beautiful piece of art..Thank you so much for sharing with us over at Rhedd's Creative Spirit..x


Thank you so much for your comments! I read each and every one :)