Monday, April 8, 2013

Who Is This Man I Call... Paw Paw - Swirlydoos Round Robin Challenge - April

Hi there!  Today I would like to share w/ you a page that I created for the Swirlydoos Round Robin Challenge for April!  I'm up first for my team this month!  That's a tough spot to be in!  My page doesn't have a traditional layout, so I wish everyone luck, and I'm sorry to be so difficult!!  When you get hit with an idea, you just have to run with it!....

We went on a family vacation in 2011 and my grandparents came along.  For some reason, I was pushed to take pictures of my grandparents one day when we were hanging out by the water's edge.  We LOVE to go to Myrtle Beach, so what a fun vacation we had!  I didn't take too many pics of our whole family, but I did take a few w/ my grandparents as the main subject! 
The following February, my grandfather, whom we call Paw Paw {(pronounced Popaw, saying it kind of fast).  My husband still can't say it right!  I tease him (and correct him) all the time!  :D } suffered a stroke in his sleep.  It's not the kind where if you catch it in time, you can right it, and everything will kind of go back to normal.  This was a bad one that has left him paralyzed on his Left side.  He is home w/ my grandmother being the primary caretaker, with nurses who come and help her twice a day.  It's been a L...O....N....G.... year.  And he will unfortunately never be the same.  He can't joke like he used to do, he can't tease, he can't tell stories.  He's a shell of his former power house self.  We always loved when Grandma and PawPaw would come and visit for a week.  They live in WV.  My mom always had a list a mile long of things that needed fixed in and around our house that only PawPaw could do.  Not that my dad isn't handy, but when it comes to things like hanging ceiling fans or electrical, and pretty much anything carpentry related, my Paw Paw was our go-to guy!  He built my sister and I a play house when we lived in SC, and then when we moved back to PA, he dis-assembled it and re-built it in our new backyard!  He is amazing!  And we love him dearly!  It's so sad to see him cut down like this, spending his days in his bed because he can't do anything else.  He can't drive, or take my grandmother to town.  And my grandmother has had to step up and take care of everything.  She had to teach herself to drive into town, how to drive their van period!, even how to pump gas!  She is also amazing for stepping up and taking on this task of caring for her husband.  What amazing role models they are!

The challenge was to use stencils, gesso, texture paste, glass bead gel, or anything texturized that we would have on hand!  Well, I had everything except glass bead gel, which I found before my page was done, so I quickly added that in there too! 

For the stencils, I used my long forgotten alphabet stencils!  I used several different fonts to create the effect I was looking for.  Each piece of paper w/ a word on it is actually part of a ruler (paper).  One of the 12x12 papers that I have been hoarding were rulers all lined up!  I cut them all out, painted watered down white gesso so you could see through to the ruler, but would white it out a bit so that the words would stand out.  Some are darker or lighter, depending on how it was painted.

Then, I took a pencil and my stencils and drew each word that I thought described my grandfather best.  Now the fun part!  With the help of a baker friend, I purchased disposable icing bags (genius!  Thank you Dawn!!!!), and with my icing tips, I filled in each letter with modeling paste!  It's kind of the consistency of icing, but a bit stiffer.  So, I had to go over the letters a few times, as it was kind of inflexible to spread throughout the letters.  Plus, this is the first time that I have ever done this, so this is my novice move!  Next time it will be more fluid!

After I filled in each letter, I thought the words were boring.  So, I used my Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen to outline each letter (and to hide the pencil lines!) and that really made the words stand out!

Here are some close ups so you can see what I did.  It only took me a few hours to do the whole page, with only 1 quick trip to Michael's!  Haha!

This is the  top of the page:

And the bottom of the page:

Here are some more close ups of the stencils and modeling paste...

Here are the ingredients that I used:
Paper: Kaisercraft Sweet Nothings Collection: Cupids Arrow & Devoted; Bo Bunny Market Rulers;
           Bo Bunny Dark Denim Dot  *I used paper from Swirlydoos previous kits: Antiquities (6/2012) &
           Bonjour Mon Doux (2, 2012)

Embellishments:  white gesso; modeling paste; Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen Black 199; assorted alphabet
                          stencils (most from The Crafter's Workshop); Bo Bunny Weekend Market Trinkets;
                          Tim Holtz gears; Glass Bead Gel (love this stuff!) (used on clocks in middle Right page);
                          Prima Decorative Wood Embellishments (clocks); Simple Stories Destinations Flash
                          Cards; SU! Border Punch (Open Scallop?) (around large picture of PawPaw);  cricut;
                          Baker's decorating bag & tip.

Thanks for letting me share my amazing grandparents! 
Have a wonderful day!


  1. What a beautiful tribute *heart*
    I love how you just used words as your main adornment..great idea and nicely done :-)

  2. Erin, this is a beautiful layout and a fabulous tribute to your Paw Paw! There was a reason why you were moved to take those photos when you did! You must really treasure them now. I'm so sorry your grandfather is not himself anymore but so glad you have such wonderful memories to cherish!
    I just got back from Myrtle Beach (Garden City) yesterday. It's a great weekend trip for us here in SC. Where did you live in SC?
    Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful layout and it's background with us.


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