One of my favorite "little things" would have to be the Praying Manits. I find these insects fascinating and so chose them for my friends journal book. (I asked her first if wanted insects in her book and she too loves the Mantis family)
I started out with a photo that my daughter took (at my request) of a young mantid in our yard. I had been watering and this creature was looking for respite from my overactive hosing technique. It's not the clearest photo she got but it was the orientation of the body that I wanted. I then placed it on the page & simply filled out with pen around the edges the ends of the plants & sticks. I then attempted to watercolor it. (I say attempted because I've no formal training in this art and really just sort of do trial & error)
Next page were just some interesting facts I discovered about the Mantid family printed on vellum laid over floral paper stitched edges down and glued the ribbon trim over the seams. My machine doesn't like sewing through paper apparently & the tension was wonky so I simply covered up the unsightly seams.
Here's the following pages showing the 'flower mantids'. These insects bodies resemble the flowers or plants which they inhabit and they are stunning!!! Check it out:
Pink Flower Mantis Devil's Flower Mantis
I mean seriously The Devil's Flower Mantis? Check out those wickedly cool antenna!
On the pink flower shots I simply printed those out on paper; sewed them to the piece of silk right through the batting and paper. The cone flowers were fused on. the decorative threads/yarn were laid underneath prior to sewing.
The Devil's Mantis is mounted on painted wonder under. Directly underneath him/her is something really funny. When I redid my sewing room I took my wheeled chair out of the room and then noticed the wheels not really rotating very well. Lo and behold, each wheel was clogged with so much thread scrap I could hardly believe it. Being the weirdo I am; after cutting the globs off each wheel, I kept them in a baggie. I thought they looked cool & could be used for all kinds of stuff I was sure. (birds nest first came to mind) Anyhow; I just took some out of the baggie & glued them down around the paper photo. The background is rubber stamped and then lightly water colored over.
I know we're supposed to do only two pages per journal book but come on with subject matter this cool; these stars really warranted four.
Next theme: "What If?"
I had such a hard time with this theme. I couldn't imagine any 'what if' that was not cliched or hadn't all ready been thought of. I even cheated & googled 'what if' and found all kinds of what I would consider 'situational' what ifs... mostly dealing with morality questions. So that didn't work for me. I even went to who I consider to be the "King of Cool" of what ifs, Neil Gaiman. Well, he was all ready using all his really cool 'what ifs' in his best selling books & graphic novels. I was hoping for a scrap left dangling somewhere on his website journal, no luck. FINE. Finally, (ironically on the subject of morality) I imagined God admitting he/she had made mistakes. Not the 'what the hell is a platypus?' kind of mistake but something more profound. I decided I couldn't get that 'deep' in two pages & I had all ready exceeded my 'page extension' on the prior book so.... I went with something funny. Well, I think it's funny. El just said I was 'so weird' & my theory 'was wrong' (my Science/Math major telling me why rainbows can't be upside down), I simply took the mature approach & after sticking my tongue out at her I sniffed my nose up in the air and harrumphed my way into my sewing room in silence. *inner dialogue: so what if water mimics the curve of the earth or whatever, the title is WHAT IF anyway, I can do whatever I want*
Here's the result: More attempts at watercolor because I knew there would be writing involved & I didn't' want the headache of what fabric to use that wouldn't bleed the ink; and would still be able to 'create the scene' and not be too obnoxious.
The saying is as follows:
What if rainbows were God's way of apologising for putting our eyeballs in upside down?
If our eyeballs were right side up; rainbows would be in the shape of a smile instead of a frown
we could slide down into the rainbow until we were awash in Indigo
would our clothes then taste like grape?
What if God admitted to making mistakes?
As this isn't too philosophical; I used the title "God" instead of the more politically correct 'creator' or 'insert Deity of your choice'. Please make no judgement about the authors spiritual orientation based on this, it was simply a matter of generality.