Hello everyone and welcome. Today's offering follows a similar theme to many others today. Sunday 11th November 2012 is Remembrance Sunday here in the UK when we remember all of those around the globe who served and died in two World Wars and many other conflicts since.
This tag has been created in part to meet the requirements for the following two challenges;
I had no idea until completing some research on the First World War that so much machinery was used, and that got me thinking about how to depict this in a tag. The background was the biggest challenge, both to create and then to photograph effectively - not sure even now that I've achieved the second of those! How to get a mechanical background into a poppy field? The wonderful Sandra came to my rescue, as she has so often, with her brilliant use of the Tim Holtz whitewash background technique from Compendium of Curiosities 2. See her tag HERE. Can you see the little cogs in the background of the sky? Note to self; use white acrylic paint in future rather than Picket Fence Distress Stain!
My second idea was to depict poppies rising from the buried remains of those bits of machinery - mechanical poppies with cogs for centres. They have been embossed and covered with Rock Candy Crackle Glaze, with the metal centres inked over with Black Soot and Red Pepper alcohol inks. The butterfly represents a fallen soul being freed to fly, carrying the key to the future - WW1 was supposed to be 'the war to end all wars'. If only that were so.
Having stamped the TH grasses I added clear embossing powder to stop them fading completely into the background. Again, not sure if the light was good enough today to show the blend of Stormy Sky to Peeled Paint to Walnut Stain, but it works in real life, trust me.
As I mentioned a little while ago I got into this crafting lark after beginning the (unfinished!) task of scrapbooking the family tree research I've done. One double page spread I did manage complete told the stories of two members of my OH's family. The first story concerns GB, a young man of 23 years who left his small village in Derbyshire to go to France. Having only been there a month his regiment was involved in the Battle of Loos, close to the Belgian border. This battle marked the first use of poison gas by the British forces, as they released 140 tons of chlorine gas immediately before engaging with the German lines. In places the gas was blown back over the British trenches and as the troops had inefficient masks many were killed on that first day, amongst them GB.
The second story concerns GM, a bachelor of 39 years who left his family and friends behind in another small village in Derbyshire to start a new life in Australia. Having served a 7 year masons apprenticeship back in England he took the long journey by ship to Waterloo, Sydney in 1912 and set himself up as a bricklayer. Just as this adventure began the war in Europe changed everything. On 13th January 1916 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, claiming to be 35 years even though by now he was actually 42 years. Less than four years after landing in Sydney GM left for the battlefields of the Somme, where he was killed in August 1916 battling for control of a 'strategically important' farm.
I'm sure many of you will have equally sad stories about loved ones from all over Europe, Australia and the rest of the World that you know or are yet to uncover. It seems so many lives were and continue to be wasted. We can't change the past, but we all have the ability to choose to love and respect all of mankind in the future, accepting and embracing our differences so that those who gave their lives didn't do so in vain.
Please take great care of yourselves and each other,
with much love, Jenny ('Buttons') xxx