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March 31, 2014

Happy 125th Birthday to the Eiffle Tower

As most know, I am obsessed with the Eiffel Tower and all things French. In fact, I love it so much that my next tattoo will be the Eiffel Tower on the back of my neck. Ok, maybe that was TMI. I even have my cute Eeffel Tower mouse cursor. Sadly for me, my husband is currently on a business trip. To where you ask? Like we don't really know the answer. That one place that I so want to go back to....  Paris. I know, his job really sucks having to travel to places like Paris. But he hasn't been and I told him he MUST go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It sways, it's huge and it just had a birthday!!! So in honor of it's big 125th, here are 10 facts that you might not of known about this majestic beauty, courtesy of Christopher Klein at Included within are pictures of my father and I when we visited in 1996.
On the lawn with a timer on my camera.

On March 31, 1889, workers riveted the last of more than 18,000 iron pieces into place to complete construction of the Eiffel Tower. To inaugurate the magnificent metallic structure, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s designer, climbed its 1,710 steps and unfurled a French tricolor flag from its pinnacle. As the Eiffel Tower turns 125 years old, explore 10 surprising facts about the Parisian icon. eiffel tower.

1. The Eiffel Tower was once yellow. In fashionable Paris, even the Eiffel Tower must keep up with style trends. Over the decades, the “Iron Lady” has changed her looks with the application of a spectrum of paint colors. When it opened in 1889, the Eiffel Tower sported a reddish-brown color. A decade later, it was coated in yellow paint. The tower was also yellow-brown and chestnut brown before the adoption of the current, specially mixed “Eiffel Tower Brown” in 1968. Every seven years, painters apply 60 tons of paint to the tower to keep her looking young. The tower is painted in three shades, progressively lighter with elevation, in order to augment the structure’s silhouette against the canvas of the Parisian sky.

2. It was built to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Organizers of the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the fall of the Bastille and the launch of the French Revolution, staged an open competition to design a spectacular centerpiece to their world’s fair. Out of 107 proposals, they selected the design submitted by Eiffel along with architect Stephen Sauvestre and engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier.

Yes, I am a dork and my eyes are closed. We didn't have cameras that you could instantly see your picture on back then. We had to actually develope our film, lol. Under the Eiffel Tower. I had to buy a wind up bird that flew. My parents had gotten one for me there when I was little (and stuck in America) and I found one at the same spot.

3. For four decades it was the world’s tallest structure. At 986 feet, the Eiffel Tower was nearly double the height of the world’s previous tallest structure—the 555-foot Washington Monument—when it opened in 1889. It would not be surpassed until the completion of the 1,046-foot Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. Although the Eiffel Tower eclipsed the Chrysler Building in height with the addition of an antenna in 1957, it still trailed behind another Gotham skyscraper, the Empire State Building. Citroen advertisement on the Eiffel Tower Citroen advertisement on the Eiffel Tower.

After being stuffed in the elevator like sardeins, we made it to the very top of the Eiffle Tower. It was beuatiful, seeing Paris all lit up at night. I didn't like the way it swayed though. Was very unsettleing.

4. The Eiffel Tower was once the world’s largest billboard. When dusk fell across Paris between 1925 and 1936, a quarter-million colored bulbs attached to three sides of the tower’s steeple illuminated to spell the 100-foot vertical letters of the French automobile company Citroën. The advertisement blazed so brightly that it was visible from nearly 20 miles away, and Charles Lindbergh used it as a beacon when he landed in Paris on his 1927 solo trans-Atlantic flight.

5. Eiffel designed part of another famous landmark. When the initial designer of the Statue of Liberty’s interior elements died suddenly in 1879, French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi hired Eiffel as his replacement. Already renowned as a structural engineer and railway bridge designer, Eiffel designed the skeletal support system to which the statue’s copper skin is affixed. (Today, a scale model of the Statue of Liberty stands on an island in the River Seine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

6. Parisian artists petitioned against the “monstrous” structure. Although now a worldwide symbol of romance, the radical design of the Eiffel Tower inspired anything but love in the hearts of 300 prominent Parisian artists and intellectuals who signed the following manifesto that ran in the Le Temps newspaper on Valentine’s Day in 1887: “We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects, passionate lovers of the beauty, until now intact, of Paris, hereby protest with all our might, with all our indignation, in the name of French taste gone unrecognized, in the name of French art and history under threat, against the construction, in the very heart of our capital, of the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower.” The screed even said that the “gigantic black factory chimney” was so loathed that “even commercial-minded America does not want” it.

My father and I always find a spot to draw. We have so many sketches of the same spot, but with our own perspective. Problem is, my father is an engineer and VERY specific. It took him FOREVER to finish every perfect line of his Eiffel Tower. So when we went to draw the Arch de Triumph, I told him he had 30 minutes and then we were done.

7. Radio saved the Eiffel Tower from destruction. Since Eiffel footed 80 percent of the tower’s construction costs, he was permitted to have the structure stand for 20 years in order to recoup his investment before it passed into the hands of the Parisian government, which planned to disassemble it for scrap metal. Seeking a way to prove the structure’s strategic utility in a bid to save it, Eiffel erected an antenna atop the tower and financed experiments with wireless telegraphy that began in 1898. The value of the tower in sending and receiving wireless messages, particularly for the French military, caused the city to renew Eiffel’s concession when it expired in 1909. Today, more than 100 antennae on the tower beam radio and television broadcasts around the world. An early sketch of the Eiffel Tower An early sketch of the Eiffel Tower.

8. The Eiffel Tower contributed to the capture of Mata Hari. During World War I, the French military used the tower’s wireless station to intercept enemy messages from Berlin. In 1914, the French were able to organize a counter-attack during the Battle of the Marne after secretly learning that the German Army was halting its advance. Three years later, the station atop the Eiffel Tower intercepted a coded message between Germany and Spain that offered details about “Operative H-21.” Based in part on this message, the French arrested, convicted and executed Mata Hari for spying on behalf of Germany.

9. The tower housed a scientific laboratory. Eiffel engraved the names of 72 of the country’s scientists in the tower’s first-level gallery, and atop the structure he installed a laboratory that was used by himself and French scientists to study astronomy, meteorology, aerodynamics and physiology and test experiments such as Foucault’s Pendulum. In 1909 Eiffel installed an aerodynamic wind tunnel at the base of the tower that carried out thousands of tests, including those on Wright Brothers airplanes and Porsche automobiles.

10. Daredevils have died attempting aerial feats at the tower. Using everything from parachutes to bungee cords, adventurers for decades have used the tower to stage daring stunts. Not all the thrill-seekers have defied death, however. In 1912, French tailor Franz Reichelt attempted to fly from the tower’s first floor with a spring-loaded parachute suit but crashed 187 feet to the ground instead. Fourteen years later, aviator Leon Collot was killed attempting to fly his plane beneath the span of the tower when it became entangled in the aerial from the wireless station and crashed in a ball of  flame.

Hope to see you soon Eiffel Tower!

March 19, 2014

Alpha Stamps French Corsets

You know if the word "French" is included, I am in with bells on! This months Alpha Stamps kit has a theme of French Corsets. I went a little bit overboard with this first project. I had decorated one of the new Die-Cut Chipboard Corsets with the new Rose Burlap Ribbon and suddenly decided to attach it to a paper mache dress form that I covered with French Heritage Pink Ticking Linen 12 x 12 Scrapbook Paper. Next thing I know it has a light pink tulle netting skirt and a Vintage German doll head. What could be better now, really?
This little Victorian Cameo Button made the perfect accesory for her neck.
Supplies Used:
Die-Cut Chipboard Corse
French Heritage Pink Ticking Linen Scrapbook Paper
Tulle Netting - 6 Inch Wide - Light Pink
Printed Burlap Ribbon - Roses
The Garden Boudoir Scrapbook Paper
Pink Sweeper Fringe
Crushed Velvet Ribbon - Dusty Rose
Seam Binding - Medium Pink
Victorian Cameo Buttons
There are so many things you can do with these two styles of corsets. 
Die-Cut Chipboard Corset*    Fancy Corset Chipboard Embellishment
This next piece actually took longer for me to make then the doll. I used three colors of seam binding and wove it into one large piece. Then I adhered it to a piece of Garden Boudoir 12x12 scrapbook paper, then attached that to another chipboard corset. After I cut it out, I added a tad of glue to the edges and then decorated. I would so wear this corset in real life. It is one of my favorite color combinations and would be very flattering. Maybe I should start desighning corsets, lol. 
Supplies Used:

Die-Cut Chipboard Corset
The Garden Boudoir Scrapbook Paper
Teardrop Fused Pearls (Strands)
Cream Seam Binding
Seam Binding - More Pinks - Vivid Pink
Black Seam Binding
Stitched Leaf Ribbon - Moss Green
Old Fashioned Roses - White
Distress Paints - Peeled Paint

I hope you like my French Corsets. Head on over to Alpha Stamps to check out the new kit for March and let your imagination go wild. You will love how it all falls into place. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by! 

March 8, 2014

Bird Shrine of Spring

Hope you enjoyed my Bird Barber post! Here is the other piece I mentioned. It's my little Bird Shrine of Spring. You can find the Alpha Stamps supply list below!

It is my call to Mother Nature to PLEASE bring us Spring! I have had these little tins for the longest time and love how they fell into place. It all fell into place and that is why I love to find old treasures and create art.

Supplies Used:

March 5, 2014

Alpha Stamps Bird Barber

Even an odd bird needs a haircut, right? Whenever my father sees the art I created he says, "How do you come up with this stuff?" I don't know in all honesty. I start with a few elements and then it just seems to flow together and the process of it all brings me great joy.

For my recent design team work with Alpha Stamps, we were given some fabulous chipboard birdhouses and bird shadow box shrines (which will be another post as I still need to get photos of that piece so be sure to come back soon). I didn't want to go with a flat piece and somehow my brain decided to use these precious little paper mache house boxes so that I could make a shadow box of sorts. I love how it all flowed together, how I was able to find vintage treasures that worked as if made for my project and the end result. Don't you?

Oddly, I purchased this milk glass container two days before. I looked up what it said on the internet and found that it was an old bottle of Italian face cream. How odd is that, right here in the mountains of Tennessee? It was perfect. I cut a hole in the bottom of my house box and it fit right in. We wouldn't want any varmints getting into the bird barber shop now, would we?

While I was photographing my work, my oldest had the excellent suggestion that this should be done in the woods. I wonder if the patrons and employees in the Bird Barber Shop are as ready for spring as I am?  Be sure to pop by Alpha Stamps to see more work by the amazing Design Team I am so honored to work with and to see the creatively new goodies to use in your own artwork! 

 Supplies Used:

Robin Red CS
Mad Hatter Clones CS
Chipboard Birdhouse Shapes
Small Paper Mache House
Curiosity 12x12 Paper Pack
Copper Dresden Border Sampler Set
Bird On A Branch
Large Fancy Scissors
Alphabet Baby Beads
Thin Looped Dresden Borders - Black
Mini Pom Pom Fringe - Black
Metallic Distress Paints - Set of 3 - Antiqued Bronze

 February 2014 Kit - An Odd Bird
 February 2014 Kit - An Odd Bird

February 21, 2014

Character Constructions Valentine Tag Swap

I absolutely LOVE doing the Character Constructions tag swaps! This is my tag for the Valentine Swap, hosted by the amazing Cathy Arnold. This stamp is from the new Cirque set that the fabulous Catherine Moore has gifted us with! I LOVE the design of her stamps.  They are so unique and tasteful, vintage looking and perfect.

A huge thank you to Catherine Moore for her inspirational creations and to Cathy Arnold for working so hard to make these swaps the huge success that they are! I have loved every single one of them! 


January 30, 2014

The Circus Is Coming To Town

What a wonderful way to start my year! I have always loved the stamps from Character Constructions. Everything Catherine Moore designs is just magical and charming. I fell in love with her Queen of Tarts (Marie Antoinette themed) collection but upon seeing other sets, I was hooked. I discovered a yahoo CC tag swap hosted by the amazing Cathy Arnold and have been in every tag swap since. You could make the ugliest tag ever, but if it has an image from Character Constructions it is nothing but beautiful. I'm totally serious!

One day, I saw a post on facebook where Catherine showed a sneak peak of her new stamp set Cirque. The second I saw it, the ideas started flowing through my mind. I contacted her and long story short, I am honored to be a new addition to her design team. Thank you so much Catherine!

I had made a paper-mache balloon over the summer with my kiddos and had recently painted it red and tan. But it just sat there waiting for a project. What a perfect way for a town to know that a beautiful circus is on it's way!

The Circus is Coming to Town!!!





I love the end result of my balloon!

Come back soon to see the other fun things I will be making with this stamp set and be sure to check out Character Constructions for this set and more.

January 6, 2014

Romantic Women

The year has started off wonderfully with Alpha Stamps newest January Romantic Kit. The romantic women that I created look very elaborate yet were super easy to make. Below is one of the dolls that I created using the new Chipboard Torso Die-Cuts, new trims and the wonderful image from the collage sheet The Lady In Blue.

I started by cutting a slit in the center of a vintage doily, just big enough to slip over my chipboard torso so the doily hit on the "waist" and hung like a skirt. Then I added a smaller doily and a third smaller doily.

Then I attached my collage sheet image to the torso. I had covered the back of both the image and the chipboard with the designed paper from The Avenues 6x6 Paper Pad.

Next, I laid out sections of some of the kits beautiful trims, seam binding and vintage lace. I simply hand sewed them to the doily both in front of and behind the chipboard torso. Just a few pass throughs to make a couple of loops to attach. I used some thinner pieces of trim to thread some Glass Window Beads and Brass Flower Charms to for some added charm, lol.

When I finished attaching the trims, I was able to glue the lower part of the image to the front of the doily and trims to make her more secure along with the trims. This also created  about an inch of height under her "skirt" so she could sit or be place over a small container to look like she is standing.

And voila..... 

Below is another doll that I made using this image from the same The Lady In Blue collage sheet, more wonderful trims and a 4 inch Paper Mache Cone.

I hope you have had a wonderful start to 2014 and that it delivers many creative projects for you. Be sure to check out Alpha Stamps wonderful kits. Kits are announced the first weekend of each month. However, if you sign up for a subscription, your kit will probably have already been mailed to you.