This is a birthday gift for a girl who is fanatical (way beyond being a fan) of Mickey Mouse. She makes me laugh even while I’m crying, which is just one of the magical things about her.
Here’s how I started Mickey: 1) Traced and cut Mickey’s outline. 2) My sketchbook of how I imagined shooting out fireworks from his hands. 3) As I curved each strip with 80lb cover thick quilling paper (I cut my own), I’d put it aside to glue at one time. 4) Using a light table helped me see where some lines travel from outside into his body. 5) Even a small amount of error would show. 6) Had to cut the corner to trim off excess to fit. 7) Completed Mickey outline. I had left the hands undone, to allow fireworks dictate paths. 8) Side shot of outlined Mickey. I used a black felt to shade in the thin white backing that sometimes peeked out from the side. 9) Just a few scraps of paper from the “cutting room floor” as each strip was made to fit.
I had initially hoped to quill something remotely like Yulia Brodskaya’s with movement, but as I went along I realized Mickey is so definitively Mickey, and to insert lines where the artist did not draw them kind of took away from Mickey – especially his shorts, which just kept looking like striped pjs! It took an hour just to fill the left shoe with her initial “B”.
As I finished his shoes I realized how much the color along the sides glowed almost neon-like into the white backing and realized I didn’t need to fill in his face or shorts after all. I decided not to quill in them at all, and instead applied glue to each “wall” and pressed the quilling paper against the black. Since the black outline was made of thicker paper, it could withstand that much pressure – I don’t think a regular thin strip could manage so easily. I used tweezers to ensure tight corners and pre-softened my quilling paper beforehand by giving it a soft curl.
I formed his nose with a tight coil and squished in between tweezers to form the oval, flipped it upside down and gently pushed it out, then glued in place on the inside. I’ve included a close up of the red ovals in his shorts so you can see my work is far from perfect, and by then my neck said “good enough already!”
Here are some experiments with fireworks. In the end, I cut out long teardrop shapes on my Silhouette die cutter and enjoy the dimension they add when seen from the side. I used a hole puncher to cut a circle from a post-it note and inked in a center dot. This helped me visualize the center as I glued each spark in place. After much debate (my poor hubbie), I decided to have the fireworks stream up on their own accord rather than from Mickey’s hands. I simply ran out of room (I had already bought the 8×8 frame and it was the day of the birthday – gulp!).
Admittedly, Mickey kind of looks like he’s had a tattoo job, but I was really striving for a “magical” kind of outfit – ah well, next year… The fireworks paper was metallic Stardream in a text weight.