Friday, 11 October 2013

New growth

We've been patiently (HA!) awaiting a new arrival in our family, as my niece gestated her second child.  It's always  fun to determine what will make the cut for gifts when a new baby's involved.  Alice Saltiel-Marshall was the one who came up with the idea for a grow chart, bless her.

Since I'd had a piece of musical ear-worm going on since I first found out about the pregnancy, I knew the chart would need to have a musical basis.  I started with a six or seven foot long piece of mulberry paper for the base so I'd have lots of room for error.

I coated both sides of the paper with a layer of gloss medium, just as though I were going to make crystalline paper and there the method takes a side-swipe.  Along the left-hand side of the sheet, I painted a set of piano keys with titanium white mixed with a beautifully subtle pearlescent glitter power given to me by Meg Nicks at Sunny Raven Gallery.

And then came the very tricky part.  Not only did I need to add a curving musical staff from top to bottom, I had to transcribe that crazy ear-worm music.  I'd not written music for some years, so it was a challenge that had me trucking back and forth between the downstairs studio and  upstairs piano for a couple of hours. Glad that part's done!

Once the first layer of the background and  music was added, it was time to play with placement of other musical elements,

and then cut some out.

 Here I've placed the musical elements and weighted them to the grow chart to ensure a solid adhesion.

I was so pleased with the 'black' keys made from scraps of painted paper that I told John I wanted to paint the keys that way on our real piano.  He was underwhelmed by the idea.  I had to content myself with adding appropriate measurements in French and English - sorry, make that feet and metres.

I'm happy with the final results, here from top,

moving down,

 in segments,

 so you can each section,

 and the completion.

It's a musical welcome for Mara Jean Hand, born at 8:20 am, October 9, 2013 and tipping the scale at 6 lbs, 14 oz.  Already 19 inches tall, she'll be up to the two foot bottom of this chart faster than her mom and dad can say 'stop that'!

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