Back in October, when on holiday, I visited an art gallery – no surprise there – and while looking at all the gorgeous things, arranged about to tempt and delight me, I spied on the wall going up the stairs little mirrors. The mirrors were about 4-6 inches with frames of about 2 inches decoupaged with cartoon like characters. As I looked at them I thought; Oh, I like them but they wouldn’t really work anywhere in the Rectory. Then I thought they might make a good Christmas/Birthday present, but searching through my mind I just couldn’t link an individual with what was hanging on the wall in front of me. Then I had a thought.
Those little mirrors wouldn’t suit anyone I knew but maybe I could adapt the idea and make our three year old Godchildren something a bit unique for their presents. The seed was sown. I wasn’t totally sure exactly what I would do but I knew how. I would find plain wooden frames, decorate them and put mirrors in them. I just needed the light bulb moment as to what the decoration might be.
Over the next couple of weeks I had ideas and dismissed them all as being not quite right. I was wanting an idea which would be meaningful both for them now and as they grew. Meanwhile Hubby, whose birthday had been shortly before we went on holiday offered to add to the project. One of his gifts had been an adapter to turn his air brush into one which could erase or etch. The mirror could be decorated as well as the frame.
But just what could we do?
I purchased large square frames to hold a 20 inch mirror, which on reflection was maybe not the best idea, but you live and learn. For a while even when an idea which was plausible came along I rejected it due to the size of the frame.
Then something happened, I am not going to go into what happened needless to say the event became the catalyst for these two mirrors, Christmas presents for two very special people.
This frame has a night time sky as the background with some hills complete with sheep in the foreground. Hubby etched the continuation of the hills onto the mirror solid frosted etching for the darker further away hill while for the hill in the foreground he continued the line of it onto the mirror. The words around the frame woven between the stars are the final line from a children’s book called; ‘No Matter What’ by Debi Gliori. “Still they shine in the evening skies, love like starlight never dies.” Indeed the frame is similar to the picture in the book that goes with the words, which wasn’t really meant, but I suppose inevitable.
The other mirror stuck more to the idea in the art gallery. Daddy hails from Shetland and so I got my hands on a map of The Shetland Isles and decoupaged it onto the frame. This was the one point when an even bigger frame would have been better, it was very difficult to decide what parts of the isles to include and what parts to leave in a pile to maybe be used for some other project. After much debating with myself I decided that rather than mix up the map too much I would stick on identifiable pieces. This has led to probably the most ordered decoupage I have ever done. However I thought it might be useful all round if the children didn’t grow up thinking things like Lewis was on Papa Little, or that Foula was a in Sullen Voe. A couple of coats of super tough varnish so mummy could wipe away at it to her hearts content and it was done. But what about the etching, I hear you cry. Well there was only one thing to do, Up Helly Aa. Hubby etched a Viking long ship with the outline of a fire around it.
For now they both need cleaned before being wrapped, although by the time you read this they will have been opened.
Mirrors are very difficult to photograph, so the etching could be seen they are both taking at rather odd angles, however over on his blog Hubby has pictures of them in various stages of production if you are interested or want to see some more detailed pictures pop over there.
ps Daddy who is a whizz with the camera has produced these two photos, which are not only better pictures of the mirrors but also of their rather splendid Christmas Tree.