Possessing the technical knowledge (and tools) necessary to build a collage piece hasn't really been my issue. The process of finding just the right vintage illustrations to combine together just always seemed daunting. I just didn't believe I could actually do it. I finally decided last night I should just try it--determining that if I failed, I could fail privately and no one would know the difference.
I really wanted to do something Christmas-y. I found a lovely antique fashion plate of a woman in gown trimmed in red. That was a good start.
Then I had to put in her a setting. I wanted something a bit on the whimsical and fanciful side. I thought it would be neat to have her walking through a snowy forest. I went over the Graphics Fairy blog to hunt around and see if she had anything I could use. She did! What I found was a bonus, because I had also envisioned incorporating a reindeer or moose image too.
As I set to work on the long process of digitally restoring, enhancing, and altering the antique images, a story began to form in my mind. Here's the story that unfolded as the digital collage came to fruition...
On Christmas Eve, the annual festive holiday ball was being held at the estate of one of the wealthiest families in the county. Close to midnight, the belle of the Christmas ball walked out onto the veranda for some air.
Just off the veranda was a pretty-ish sort of wilderness. The newly fallen snow reflected the light of the full moon and glistened back at the twinkling lights of the ballroom.
As the belle stood alone at the edge of the veranda, she thought she heard the soft jingle of sleigh bells coming from within the forest. Her ears must be deceiving her, she thought. The horses and sleighs that had carried all the guests to the ball were housed in the stables far away on the other side of the estate.
The belle was flushed from dancing and the glowing fire in the hearth of the ballroom. She didn't feel the chilly nip in the air on her bare arms as she stepped off the veranda into the edge of the woods to investigate.
Only a few steps into the snow-covered thicket, she was greeted by a timid yet curious reindeer. She should have been frightened, but she was not. Why she wasn't, she didn't know--she just knew she was enveloped by a calm serenity. The reindeer lowered its head and gently nuzzled the belle's outstretched gloved hand.
Just then the belle heard a rustle and the faint jingle of sleigh bells again. From behind a tree not far away, she thought she heard a soft and jolly baritone chuckle.
"Could he really be real?" she asked herself, "Can I really believe?"
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