Happy Anniversary, Produce Stand!

I’m not sure of the exact date, but I know it was the end of April two years ago that I completed my first big quilling project without using any sort of pattern… my produce stand.  It all started when I was flipping through a book with quilling photos about 3 months after I first started quilling—I came across a photo of a fruit bowl, complete with an orange, an apple, grapes, and a banana.  That got the ball rolling and, after about 17 hours of quilling (spread out over 3 days), the produce stand was finally finished.  I don’t think that I had ever, in my whole, let my creativity out in such a manner and it was a rush!  I knew I enjoyed quilling, but this project got me hooked and helped me realize that there is a world of possibilities that go far beyond the patterns you find in purchased quilling books.

The real exciting thing for me about this piece is the fact that is has SO much 3-D miniature quilling throughout—my favorite kind of quilling.  This also happens to be the one and only piece that I have not sold or given as a gift.  It hangs in my kitchen in a nice deep shadow box.

As much as I love this piece, I’ve always had some mixed feelings about it because it is the only piece I have done that isn’t “pure” quilling:   I used pieces of toothpick to create the posts for the little signs, the legs of the stool, and to hold up the red and white awning.  The stand is supported from the back with pieces of styrofoam.  And, obviously, the stand itself was created with cut pieces of cardstock.  It would have been possible to do the entire thing out of quilling, but I don’t think the final product would have turned out the way I was picturing it in my head… so I’m glad I went ahead and “cheated” a bit.

I used cheap-o watercolors to paint the green ground and the sky, which turned out better than expected.  The vines on the stand itself reflect more traditional quilling styles and they also serve to soften the piece.  I wanted to make it clear that the stand was being tended, which is why I created the little section with the partially-eaten banana, the open book, and the hat on the stool.  It has sort of that “be right back” look.  🙂

This was also the first time I discovered how much life little bluebirds can add to a piece… which really started something!   Fun fact—the grapes, according to their sign, are sold by the bunch, yet I have the grapes sitting in the scale, as if they are sold by the pound.  I felt that little detail added some subtle humor to the piece… something fun for the viewer to discover.

Finally… I had never taken decent photos of the produce stand (which you’ll notice if you saw the slide show in my first post), so this was an opportunity to do that as well.