Friday, May 18, 2012

Shadowbox for My Niece

Good Morning! I don't know about you, but I am very happy that the weekend is finally here. My birthday was Wednesday and Kip gave me tickets to see the musical Little Shop of Horrors, and the performance is tonight. I have seen it live before, but I adore musicals and can watch them over and over and over again. 

I have been working on this shadowbox for my niece for a couple of weeks now. I went back to my hometown while she was on spring break to spend some time with her, just the two of us. She is almost fourteen and still thinks hanging out with me is kind of cool. She definitely has a creative streak in her and that is something she identifies with me as something that we have in common. In the course of that visit she told me that her dream is to one day go to Paris. {A little background here, I grew up in a small town with very limited views of what could and could not be accomplished in one's life. I moved away and have been gone for many years. Everyone thought I was crazy for picking up and moving to a city where I knew no one and no one thought I would make it on my own. Add in the fact that I moved to a "big city" and that further cemented me as crazy}. Anyway, back to the shadowbox! Zoie also mentioned that she didn't think that was something that she could ever achieve and could never make happen. I asked why and she said that people laugh at her when she tells them that. I am a pretty laid back person and will almost never say anything negative about someone else, but that infuriated me! Basically I told her that they only reason that people laugh at other people's dreams is because their imagination is not big enough to dream and that if she can dream it, she can make it happen.

She is in the process of redoing her room so that day I took her shopping and we bought several Paris themed things. I had bought this shadowbox from Michael's a while back and decided it would be perfect as a type of dream board for her.

I started with painting the box in the colors of her room. I knew I wanted to include things about travel and Paris, but it took some thought to fill out all ten of those squares. 

The top one has a wooden Z that I painted black and a couple of fleur de lis, because she likes those and I thought it framed her initial nicely. and going left to right, there is a wooden word "believe" that I found at Jo-Ann's and painted black. That center square is the one that took me the longest to decide on what should go there. I wanted something that encouraged her to keep dreaming those dreams. I settled on this paper box that I painted black and added some pink and black paper to. The box had a frame so I popped it out, put in some pink paper and a sticker that says "dream". The box can pull out and open and is intended to be a space that she can write down her dreams and keep in one spot. The final square is a photo from a cafe in Paris that I bought at a craft fair a couple of weeks ago.

The three sections on the right side have a cross that is a charm from Blue Moon. I picked this because it was black and because Zoie likes ornate crosses. the section below that has a world map that I found on the Free Vintage Digi Stamps blog. The rectangle has a glass jar filled with pink, black and pearl beads.

These three sections contain a vintage postcard of the Eiffel Tower that I also found on the Free Vintage Digi Stamps site, there is also a mini canvas that I painted and a little flower picture that I just liked.

I took a close up of the canvas I painted and made. I knew I wanted to include some kind of encouraging quote. I decided to just go with what I told her in the beginning, "if you can imagine it, you can achieve it". I also knew I wanted something with texture and different colors. For some reason, I wanted to create something that vaguely reminded me of an old leather map case. To do that I knew that I needed different tones of color, but since I was making this for my girly niece, I decided to include a little pink and some glitter. It ended up looking like that picture I had in my head, and that doesn't always happen when I am painting! I had the map and passport from a Joilee's set and the Eiffel Tower brad from Hobby Lobby and added some silver rhinestones to set off the map.

If you are still reading this far, thank you!! It was important to me that make her something that would remind her to dream and that if she believes she can do it, she really can make it happen. I also wanted to share part of the story behind the making of this project as well so that you could understand why it was so important to me. 

Have a great weekend!!


Kathy and Lucky said...

I may have said this before, but you are one special lady :) I just love what you said to your niece and how true that is. Your shadow box is just wonderful and will remind her to achieve her dreams. Happy belated Birthday to you have a great time at the show and wonderful weekend.

Pat (mspfd) said...

You are so clever, and such a wonderful aunt, Gina! This is a fabulous creation. Your niece is going to flip when she sees this!

jimlynn said...

Gina, this is just super fantastic!!! I KNOW she's going to love this and tell her that every day when she looks at it, she's just one step closer to being there!!! What a fabulous and beautiful gift.

Annette Bowes said...

Hi Gina, STUNNING project and with so much special meaning behind it to! Love all your beautiful detail, I am sure Zoie will treasure this forever and will call back on you to help make the scrapbook pages of her trip to Paris (I am sure she will go one day). Some people really miss out by not stepping out of the comfort zone, people said we were crazy moving half way round the world, what an exciting adventure it has been. Happy belated Birthday enjoy your show. Take careX:)

Lorraine said...

What a special and beautiful piece, Gina! I love the pink/black and all of the special pieces you made or incorporated! Your niece is lucky to have you for her Aunt! I am sure that this will encourage her to keep her dreams alive!

Dell said...

Wow! I wish I had you as my aunt! Lucky girl and beautiful box.

Maria@Crafty Cre8tions said...

First off - Happy Belated Birthday!!!

I hope you enjoyed the show!!!

What a great gift you made for Zoie. She is sure to treasure this and keep her dreams in mind everytime she looks at it!!!


Scrapping Julie said...

i bet you are her favorite aunt!!!
this is such an awesome gift gina

Tammy said...

This is gorgeous Gina!! I'm so glad your niece love it! Nieces are the best! :)
Hugs, Tammy

Karin said...

What an awesome gift! Love that little passport in there :) You are awesome for supporting her dreams too and I know that your words to her will stay with her as she grows up :)

calamitypam said...


This is such a wonderful tribute to your nieces dream. It's terrific that you encourage her to dream and not be limited by other people's expectations for their lives.

See you in a few weeks!!!


Cheryl said...

This is so fabulous! I think you are the coolest aunt ever!