Recently (well, not so recently, to be honest) I participated in Karla Nathan's "Farewell to Downton" journal page swap.
Our task was to come up with six 8 1/2 x 11" sheets of card stock, each folded into four pages, expressing the themes, fashion, characters, mood and style of "Downton Abbey." We could interpret literally (using photos of the cast, perhaps) or in style.
In addition, half of each four-page signature had to have some sort of useable space on it so the recipient could actually use it as a journal, rather than simply something to look at.
Karla had suggested people be abundant in the use of lace and trims and not hesitate to extend the width or height of the page by adding embellishment to any of the edges of the pages (except the binding side).
The photos you see here are ones that I received in my journal.
In some cases, the pockets were filled with tea or tags.
Others, including our host Karla, offered coloring pages.
Of course, with the series crossing over from the Edwardian era to the jazz age, there was plenty of style one could work with. And both upstairs and down were fair game.
But then, there were those, like the Dowager Countess, who stayed firmly rooted in the late Victorian age. So that was fun as well.
There were basically two guidelines for this swap -- make it pretty and make it useable! So, some pages were simply a very pretty paper, perhaps with a simple trim, that could be used as a background for your own art or to record a thought or memory.
(One of the nice things this time around was that everyone received back one of their own sets of pages, so their work could be included in their own book.)
I got back the spread above, which I called "Marigold" (left) and "Edith."
The image on the left of the one above is mine, too -- ledger paper with an embellishment. In the book it was placed next to a pretty botanical print.
Here are a few more of mine that were included with others' books.
A few of the spreads.
Above is one of the spreads with the detail. This reminded me of Matthew and Mary when he went to war.
A friend had visited Highclere Castle, where "Downton" was filmed, so I included several pages from a notepad she had sent me in a couple of mine. (And you could color in the Abbey!)
This page and song reminded me of Tom.
Working for a PBS station for so long brought a few "Downton" bits into my life. There were some teabags from a reception and I was able to cut apart a paper cup and convert it into a pocket.
I had a few pages I especially liked. The one above used sheet music and a graphic from another sheet of music given to me by a friend who found a good deal of this in his mother's house. It was perfect!
And I liked the fashion in these, which came from cutting up an old book I had called "Fashion in the Twenties and Thirties."
It was fun to cover an envelope in velvet and include a teabag.
My simplest pages were my favorites. (I'm not as much a fan of the too-lacey, but sometimes it works.
And I was thrilled when this one ended up back in my book. I found this painting (I think Gauguin, but I honestly can't remember now). And she was a dead ringer for the Dowager Duchess! I used a napkin background, a velvet ribbon and a couple of dimensional flowers and let her be.
All in all, a delightful swap, fun to work on and even more fun to receive! Thanks to Karla for pulling it all together! Here are links to some of the pages Karla received, This link has some of Karla's pages as she talks about "using the good stuff," and another on swap etiquette. She talks about building the books here.
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