Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Heart of Darkness Trunk

It's April, and you know what that means- new kit from Alpha Stamps! Oooh, it's Vintage Vagabond, a collection of old-world imagery that's sure to set your heart afloat to some distant, intriguing landAre you excited yet? Before I get too enthusiastic about telling you of all the goodies included in the kit, I'll explain a bit on how my project developed.

Shortly before receiving the monthly kit I had finished reading Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"  (psst...that link goes to Project Gutenburg where you can read it for free), by suggestion of my dearly beloved. All I can say is that this is a must read. I couldn't put it down. It is in fact dark; a struggle between good and evil, right and wrong, sane and coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. In summary, it is the late nineteenth century and our main character, Marlow, sets out from Europe in search of this man named Kurtz, who's been secluded in the African Interior for a number of years. Kurtz is employed by an ivory trade company and during his time in Africa he goes bonkers and I won't tell you any more just go read it.

On to The Heart of Darkness steamer trunk project! It is my interpretation of the story with the steamer trunk belonging to the loony bin Kurtz, and the photograph representing Marlow and his personal discovery of humanity's darkness during his voyage down the Congo. 

I started with a Configurations box and sheets from the Serengeti 8 x 8 paper pad, which were torn and aged with ink, then adhered to the inside of the box. Before gluing in a vintage photo of "Mr. Marlow" I swiped on some red acrylic paint and drew on a few random black hearts. The photo was adhered and dried before scratching around its perimeter with a craft knife.
 I assembled the chipboard steamer trunk, covered it in paper from the Serengeti 6x6 paper pad, and then used this really spectacular faux suede paper to simulate edge slats. The same paper was used to make itty, bitty straps and I bent a wire in the shape of a buckle. (Save yourself a lot of trouble and just buy these tiny gold buckles instead). The trunk is battered and beaten, and holds all manners of things such as ivory tusks, a journal, letters, and...a shrunken head? You never really know what you might find!

The journal is a miniature book and the letters were cut from the Tiny Vintage Letters and Postage collage sheet. They received a good scrubbing of antiquing fluid and the letters were bound with simple sewing thread. Man those letters are so tiny and cute!


 I couldn't get enough of these brass studs! They were exactly what I needed for tacks on the trunk. Doctor Shrunk dangling up there is a small resin skull  covered in crepe paper, painted with acrylics, and given a tuft of wool roving for his 'do.

The contents of the drawers include more correspondence (from the Tiny Vintage Letters and Postage collage sheet and from the Vintage Travel Tags and Hardware collage sheet) as well as books and a photo album. The bottom drawer houses some bloody rope, a resin skull, and a few bones...the horror! The horror! I told you that guy Kurtz was a weirdo.

  In conclusion, Heart of Darkness was a good read but I enjoyed crafting it a great deal more. 

Materials list:

Configurations Box- 6.75 x 8.75
Chipboard Steamer Trunk
Serengeti 8 x 8 paper pad
Serengeti 6 x 6 paper pad
Faux Suede Sheets
Crowded Attic 12 x 12 paper stash
Tiny Vintage Letters and Postage Collage Sheet
Tiny Vintage Scrapbook Collage Sheet
Vintage Travel Tags and Hardware Collage Sheet
2mm Brass Flat-Back Studs
3mm Brass Flat-Back Studs
Set of Miniature Books
Small Square Brass Hinges
Resin Skull Beads
Small Resin Skull Beads
Miniature Carving Knives
April 2015 Kit - Vintage Vagabond