Thursday, 31 May 2012

Challenge of Literature big reveal day is here!

When Erin Prais-Hintz posted this challenge I knew, before I even finished reading, exactly what book I should design around.  It’s a children’s book by the name of Sandman in the Lighthouse by Rudi Strahl, illustrated by Eberhard Binder and translated & adapted (from the German) by Anthea Bell.  I’m sorry I don’t  have a link to add for you to buy this lovely, as it is out of print. 

Let me tell you a bit more about me to make give this selection some context.  I’m the youngest of four, with three older brothers.   Those of you at the end of the line, like me, can relate to the idea that nothing is the house is really yours, especially when it comes to the books.  There were many Richard Scarry books which were regular bedtime stories, but when one brother in particular would read me a story we always chose Sandman in the Lighthouse.  It certainly got to the point where it was just understood this would be the book.  Fast-forward twenty some odd years and I’m pregnant and weekly asking my parents to dig apart every bit of storage to find this book so I can read it to my own little one.  My mum insisting that she had already given it to me years before when they had moved.  I knew that wasn’t the case, but we’re both stubborn so the dance continued with me, every few months, saying “find it yet?” A night a couple of months ago I asked again and caught the smile on my brother’s face from across the room.  Yup, he had quietly taken the book himself long before I asked for it.  I really should have thought of that!  But at least with the location of the original known I was free to go ahead and find my own copy.  Sure enough, I found a copy of ebay in short order and it arrived on my doorstep the day before the Erin presented the challenge. 

The story itself is good, but frankly, reading it now I think I was much more attached to the artwork.  Perhaps most attached to the experience itself of sharing the story with my brother.  Here’s the rundown: the Sandman crashes his boat heading to the lighthouse to put little John to sleep. A shark eats his sand and he is stranded in the lighthouse while all the world’s children stay awake and look for him.  A pilot with a sharp eye spotted a signal that he was stranded and all the ships raced to save him, but the sea was still too rough.  The sailors tried to rescue him with a breeches buoy over a cable but the breeches were too big.  The clever pilot had a tailor parachute in to make the Sandman a new pair of breeches. Success! Off he went in his breeches on a cable over the sea to a cargo boat.  Once ashore we got a new supply of sand from the wind and went around the world putting all the children to sleep.
I had many an idea of how to capture the story.  Ultimately I decided a clean and simple approach would be most in line with the book.  I created polymer beads, with ultralight polymer as a base, and surface detail with alcohol ink.  Let me show you!
Now each of the beads represents a pattern from a part of the tale.  They are not in order above, nor in order in the necklace itself, which I’ll show you last.
First up is the rough sea bead.
Searching the Indian jungle for the Sandman.
The ships getting as close ad they can in the rough, dark waters.
Jack Tar contemplating the Sandman falling through the original breeches.
Tailor to the rescue! These beads are his parachute and iron steam.
The last page, Sandman on his way.
It was a real challenge for me working in such a loose style with such clean colours but I’m very happy with the results! I kept the simple going by stringing this very long on cotton cord with a twist of silk.   I’m sorry for the last picture here, the daylight was long gone. I think this is will be finding the sun in many a summer outfit though. 

Thanks so much for stopping by and making it all the way through my story, about a story, about a story!
You can see all the other creations by following the links on Erin’s post as this rookie blogger has no clue how you add such a thing :)

**oops It looks like I also don't know how to schedule a post! Sorry to those who may have missed it, and many thanks to those who came back

But I'll take the chance to add a daylight shot


  1. You are so creative, I love each bead and together they make a gorgeous necklace! Great job!

  2. Such a colorful and fun piece! I ablsolutely love that your beads were inspired by the artwork in this book! I would have never thought of that!!!!

  3. WOW that is amazing. so creative! Love it!

  4. I love how the artwork inspired your necklace which looks really fun to wear. The tale of your memories was an absolute delight and I love how you are carrying on a family tradition by planning on reading it to your little one.

  5. Cute and creative. I don't think I would have managed it. Nice job :D

  6. Very creative and quite lovely!

  7. Absolutely delightful!!! I love your book selection - and I agree that so often we (as young people, or adults) are drawn to the artwork in children's books. The story behind the book is quite lovely too - I'm glad you located the book and you can shrae it with your family!

  8. Such a very clever idea...I loved your storytelling approach and how each bed represented a part of the story and artwork. This is a piece to be treaured.

  9. Hi Emma,
    I enjoyed reading about how your brothers would read you bedtime stories and that the story of the Sandman became your favorite. I love your idea to make big pretty beads that represent the different scenes in the book.

  10. What an excellent way to interpret the tale! Not too literal, reflecting back on your memories of the book... Brilliant idea!

  11. I can see why the art work was so impressive for you! I had beautifully illustrated children's books, too. Have you seen what they have for the young minds now?! Appalling in most cases! Your story of the necklace and bead creation is delightful! And it surely is a summer, fun look to be worn often!

  12. I think it's totally unfair that we "adults" can't have our own beautifully illustrated books (NOT referring to graphic novels here LOL)! Oh well, it's off to the library children's section for some colour inspiration... I think you totally rocked this challenge. Fabulous choice!

  13. How much fun is that!? I love the story of you and your brother reading this tale. I have a book like that, one that the pictures hold so much memory for me. I will have to dig it out and see what I can create. I am so inspired by what you did to translate the shapes and colors and images into these abstract designs. Truly inspired! Thank you for playing with me in this Challenge! Enjoy the day. Erin

  14. Enchanting, exciting, and oh so elegant in its styling. Great job, on the story as well as the necklace!

  15. Love the way you used the beads to capture the story - awesome work!

  16. I love your beads and they way you captured the story with them. The necklace is so happy too. Wonderful job!

  17. What an amazing group of beads you created for your story and I am sure that when you read it to your babe you will wear this precious piece of art!

  18. I really enjoyed reading about your brother and the book, and how it all came together in a beautiful necklace. Love the way you used the illustrations to inspire the beads.

  19. I think this may be one of my favorites from this hop, I loved your story within a story within a story... and all the other stories as well :) The beads you made are magical, I loved being able to see them next to the illustrations! Thank you so very much for sharing!


I'd love to hear what you think, thanks for taking the time to join in the conversation