Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How I made the Beauty and the Beast Fabric Scrapbook

The Story Behind My
Beauty and the Beast
Fabric Scrap Book

By Starfirehawk

I discovered Winterfest too late to participate last year. I had just gotten DVDs of both first and second season of Beauty and the beast and watched them and I searched the internet to find other fans of the show to share my rekindled passion with. When I saw the arts and crafts section of Winterfest 2008 I decided to create something unique to display there in 2009. I considered several ideas before settling on a fabric book. I had already been putting old family photos and my own photography onto fabric with my HP inkjet (scanner, copier, printer) and looking through my old videotape box cover collection I decided the photos of Catherine and Vincent would make a wonderful fabric scrapbook I could have fun making and enjoy showing to friends. This project is strictly for personal enjoyment. I have no intention of selling it.
I absolutely love the poetry that was included throughout the series so I hunted down transcripts of the poems and put them into Word, selected fonts I liked and printed them onto fabric too. My idea was to balance the printed word with the beautiful pictures to honor what I liked best about the show.
I read magazines (‘Quilting Arts” and “Cloth Paper Scissors”) and a number of books (see the list at the end) which helped to give me a vision. I rewatched episodes and took notes on themes, key phrases, and symbols that I saw and then I looked through my collection of upholstery fabric scraps, trims, buttons, scrapbook embellishments, rocks, and odds and ends (Yes, I know, I’m a pack rat. Aren’t all artists?) and gathered my treasures into huge piles. I printed pictures of Catherine and Vincent, as well as the poetry onto fabric (I used several different products to make the fabric transfers but the very best fabric sheets for inkjet I found were made by Jacouard (see their website at These sheets ran through my printer just like cardstock paper and the fabric easily peeled off of the backing and could be cut and sewn very easily. If you use “iron on transfers” instead for text remember to set the printer correctly. I made the mistake of printing some of the poems reversed but used them to iron onto sheer fabric so the poem could be read through the transparent fabric. There are two versions of the song “The first time I loved forever” in my book because I used two different techniques to print onto the fabric and I forgot I had made two versions. I like the romantic feel of both pages.
I had originally intended the last page in my fabric book, the one with Vincent looking through a window with fall leaves blowing around, as the cover, but when I was assembling the book I decided to put the page with the combination of the white rose symbol, hearts, white lace, my favorite painting (from episode Season 2, “When the Bluebird Sings” and copied from the cover of “Beauty and the Beast Portrait of Love” by Wendi Pini) on the cover. The toggle to close the book is made from a clear quartz crystal. I also glued another natural crystal on the cover (see season 1, episode Temptation for the white rose and crystal symbols of Vincent’s and Cathrine’s love).
On the cover there is also a tiny metal tag dangling from a flower motif with the words “Life is measured by moments,” which is an important reoccurring theme in the series. In Season 1, Catherine and Vincent note that Father only got to spend a few days with Margaret (“Song of Orpheus”),
In season 2, Vincent and Catherine are inspired to enjoy one Halloween night together, and in “A Fair and Perfect Knight, Vincent complains that “What we share must always be so measured, so limited.” and Catherine tells him that “There is no life without limits.”
Because of the homespun, layered, handstitched, multi-layered textures of the clothing worn by the people in the underground world I wanted the book to have a somewhat shabby look and made little effort to cut off fraying edges and wild threads. I had intended to hand stitch the pages together with a blanket stitch in a contrasting thread but simply ran out of time and used my industrial sewing machine.
As you look carefully through the photos of my fabric scrapbook pages you’ll see:
· A large variety of upholstery fabric, patchwork quilted into pages, mostly in Earthtone colors and soft velvety textures, to capture the feel of the underground world, as well as scraps of imported English Lace curtains,
· celtic knot imported trim and other fancy trims and laces,
· a ribbon with the words “my one and only my heart’s desire forever and ever together forever a dream come true no one else like you” (a lucky find-- designed for scrapbooking and sold at JoAnn’s fabrics and Crafts store), also ribbons printed with “Remember” and :imagine hope believe joy,”
· dozens of wonderful buttons in shapes of hearts, roses, snowflakes, a fan, an art nouveau design, a hat, leaves and acorns, a white and gold angel, a crescent moon, etc.,
· polymer clay pieces in the shapes of a vase, a sleeping woman’s face, a lion’s face, a dragon, a Pegasus, a griffin, a mask, an angel holding a candle, a lion snarling at a striking serpent (perfect to symbolize Vincen’t battle with violent evil men), etc.
· a tiny bouquet of white ribbon roses,
· bits of old broken jewelry and part of a belt buckle,
· stars on a wire,
· an antique rhinestone button,
· a black velvet sleeve ending in a white silk ruffle with ribbons attached at the wrist,
· feathers,
· a silk rose bud made in France,
· braded leather,
· various keys and a tiny lock (to symbolize the secrecy and that love is the key to everything),
· scrapbook word stickers that say “forgotten memories” under a picture of Father and “loved forever” near Catherine and Vincent’s picture, as well as “dream” and “secret romance”
· plastic Renaissance or Medieval themed embellishments,
· metal scrapbook word “believe” under Vincent and Catherine
· a leather “skin horse’” with fringed mane and tail, and a white velour “velveteen rabbit” I designed,
· a metal plaque engraved with the words “It doesn’t matter where you go, it’s who’s beside you that counts,”
· velvety fall leaves,

I thought long and hard about how to create a toggle to close the book and how to bind it. I used a quartz crystal, wrapped with wire and handstitched it to the cover. I used a looped leather strip with a wooden bead to lasso the crystal and stitched it to the back cover of the book. The binding was done by knoting black cord into three loops for each page and sewing them in between the layers of the pages, then lacing leather strips through the loops, tying a knot and wrapping the ends around a wooden wand with a crystal imbedded in the top (I made this) and tying bows in the leather strips. The book can be carried by the wand in the back, like a handle on a suitcase.
The only thing I would change about my project is I would like to have pages with pictures of each of the supporting characters who played such an important part in the story, particularly Joe Maxwell, Elliott Burch, Narcissa, Pascal, Mouse and Jamie, as well as others. I would like to include a greater variety of key quotes from the characters and more literary references. Ah well, maybe that will be a sequel to this project (maybe you’ll see it in 2010 Winterfest). For now, this fabric scrapbook is my tribute to the Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman, the entire cast, to the producers Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas, and the show’s creater Ron Koslow, and Rick Baker, who designed Vincent’s unique look, as well as all of Beauty and the Beast’s writers, artists, and photographers who have immortalized the show in various ways: this project is dedicated to all of you. Thank you.

Idea Resources Book List

Here is the list of books that helped to teach me about photo transfers, creating fabric books and embellishing:
1. Photo Fun Print your own Fabric for Quilts & Crafts from the Hewlett-Packard Company, Edited by Cyndy Lyle Rymer
2. The Photo Transfer Handbook by Jean Ray Laury
3. Altered Photo Artistry Turn Everyday Images into Works of Art on Fabric by beth Wheeler with Lori Marquette
4. Quilted Memories Journaling, Scrapbooking & Creating Keepsakes with Fabric by Lesley Riley
5. Mixed Media Explorations by Beryl Taylor
6. Altered Book Collage by Barbara Matthiessen
7. Collage, Assemblage, and Altered Art Creating Unique Images and Objects by Diane Maurer-Mathison
8. Fabric Art Journals Making, Sewing, and Embellishing Journals from Cloth and Fibers by Pam Sussman
9. Fabric Memory Books by Lesley Riley
10. Creating with Fabric by Jill Haglund
11. Embellished Mini-quilts by Jamie Fingal
12. Art Journals & Creative Healing by Sharon Soneff

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Here are the photos of my Beauty and the Beast Fabric Scrapbook

I did not make this quilt but I did make one square: the one with Jesus kneakling at the rock looking up to heaven. I found it a very challenging project and at the same time very deeply satifying. My beadwork is an extension of my passion to hand stitch to create art. I made the beauty and the Beast Brooch I am wearing in the picture. I will feature the photos of that in my next blog entry. It is not for sale.

This scrapbook is not for sale. It was made for my own enjoyment and to honor the actors, writers and producers of the TV Show Beauty and the Beast. No intention to infringe on copyright intended. I want to thank everyone who brought this unique show to life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Essay on the symbols The White Rose and The Clear Crystal in Beauty and the Beast TV Show

The White Rose and the Clear Crystal

There are many significant symbols in Beauty and the Beast. In the First Season episode “Temptation,” both Catherine and Vincent want to give each other a special and significant gift to commemorate the anniversary of their first year together. Catherine hand sews a leather pouch suspended on a long cord for Vincent and places a carved white rose inside to give to Vincent. Vincent journeys deep into the earth to bring back a treasure for Catherine. He has Mouse assist him in creating a quartz crystal necklace on a silver chain for Catherine.
They exchange their gifts with tenderness and appreciation. Both of them wear their necklaces near their hearts to honor their “dream” of spending a life together. At Winterfest (Season 2, “Dead of Winter”) we see Catherine’s crystal dangling between her breasts: a sensual phallic symbol. Vincent holds the white rose in his hands and contemplates his love for Catherine and the risk they would take by traveling with her to a lake outside the city (Season 2, “Remember Love”).
In the traditional tale of Beauty and the Beast the theft of a rose by Beauty’s father creates a debt to the Beast that must be fulfilled by Beauty staying with the Beast in his enchanted castle. In the Disney version the Beast must win Beauty’s love and commitment to marry him before the last petal of a red rose falls and he dies. Beauty must teach the Beast to treat her with patience, kindness, and respect; she humanizes him while developing compassion for him in his lonliness. Ironically, Vincent teaches Catherine to be courageous, compassionate and loving. He affirms that is what he sees in her and she is transformed from a shallow rich girl into a champion for the weak.
Researching the symbolic meaning of the white rose turned up an intriguing connection to an ancient book of Alchemy with a “White Queen” and mercury, female, lunar, cold energy. “…The two principles of the material prima then reappear as the Red King (“sulphur of the wise”) emerging from the womb of the White Queen (mercury, or the White Rose). They unite in the fire of love and from their union comes perfection, the Philosopher’s Stone: the catalyst for turning base metals into gold and the key to enlightenment.” (from The Secret Language of Symbols by David Fontana, PhD, pages 248-249). If the white rose is the symbol for Catherine, then she takes on a greater significance as part of a transforming miracle, when combined through love with the Red King (Vincent) that combine to create something new and pure. This byproduct of their love changes the people around them and it has changed all of us.
According to Florapedia the white rose is symbolic for purity, virtue, innocence, sympathy, spirituality, and secrecy. It is a traditional wedding flower (true love), as well as used at funerals (honor and reverence). It can signify new beginnings or farewell. Vincent and Catherine long for each other but restrain themselves from making love, maintaining a pure and innocent tenderness towards one another. The unfulfilled yearning heightens their bond and allows them to feel connected even though they are physically apart. A red rose would symbolize passionate love, unrestrained while the white rose captures the significance of their spiritual link. The secret, hidden white rose within the leather bag reinforces it’s symbolism as something precious, rare and withheld privately.
Vincent selects a perfectly clear (pure) quartz crystal from the cave in the depths of the Earth to give to Catherine as the symbol she will have for him. It is suspended from a silver chain (silver is associated with the moon and virgins). In David Fontana’s book on symbols, there is an association between quartz and the Virgin Mary (p. 198). According to the New Age Directory, a quartz crystal can symbolize a person’s inner being, be a tool for meditation, assist in telepathic thought and can be an amulet to be used in ritual divination.
The hardness and the shape of the crystal can also be perceived to symbolize Vincent’s masculinity while the soft petals of a rose opening can be symbolic for Catherine’s femininity. They each wear the symbol of the other bringing them balance, just as the two teardrop halves of the Yin and Yang contain a spot of their opposite contained inside. Catherine and Vincent are both strong and vulnerable, courageous and frightened, hard and soft. The white rose and the quartz crystal are perfect symbols for the unique relationship Vincent and Catherine share.

Thank you to the sources quoted above.

Thank you the the candlemakers of Winterest 2009 who hosted my essay Feb 7- 15, 2009.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Five White Roses I made from Sculpy Polymer Clay

I hand made these roses from polymer clay.
I will make 2 of them available for sale in my Etsy store and 3 in my Ebay store for fans of Beauty and The Beast

These are photos of my handcrafted white roses.

You can compare them to the rose Catherine

gave to Vincent in
Beauty and the Beast

on the first year anniversary of the day they met

shown in the episode

This photo below is a screen capture shared here for enjoyment with no intention of copyright violation.

Beauty and the Beast theme crystal necklaces

I finished making these necklaces Sunday night
and posted them to my
store on Etsy

and today I am going to make white roses
out of polymer clay

I'll post them in the store as soon as I can