Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quinceanera Card for Ashley

Warning – I fear this will be a long post so please grab a beverage, make a stop in the bathroom if necessary and make yourself comfortable. There’s a bit of story and photos I’ve provided as back story for my card. I hope the card lives up to the pretense. :o)

I wasn’t that familiar with Latino/Mexican traditions, until I met Mr. Gears. I am honored to learn about my new culture and in love with so many of the ceremonies and traditions. Everything has deep historical significance and family is central to everything. The best part is Mr. Gears familia embraces everyone no matter the color of your skin, the size of your pocket book, or what you can do for them. From the moment I met Mr. Gears and his family, I felt like my cup had overflowed. God truly has blessed me.

One of the traditions in Mexican culture is a young lady’s Quinceanera. This is her 15th birthday and historically signified when she became a woman (and I imagine at one time this was the age she was eligible for marriage). I’d compare it to a mash up of an American girl’s Sweet Sixteen and a wedding. The birthday girl is truly treated like a princess. There is a special dedication at her church, she’s flanked with damas (15 female escorts – similar to bridesmaids), dressed to the nines in a formal and tiara, receives significant gifts from her padrinos (godparents) and everything culminates at a big party – complete with grand march, tiered cake, reception, dance….honestly, it’s like a wedding without the groom.

One of the gifts the Quince receives is her last doll. This is to signify the last toy doll she’ll receive as she leaves childhood behind. Mr. Gears and I sponsored our niece’s doll a few years ago and were asked to do so for our cousin this year. All I really did was have the contact as one of my aunts is a talented seamstress and doll collector. She custom designs bride dolls to match the real woman and gown (I will try to share photos of my own doll later). She created a similar doll for my niece and it was well received.

Next weekend our sweet Ashley celebrates her Quinceanera. She requested a gown be made for her favorite child hood doll instead of getting a new doll. This turned out to be a fun twist in the process. Ashley cherishes her Molly the Dolly that her grandparents gave her. She wanted Molly to have a matching gown to hers for the party. I snapped photos of the doll, the gown, the princess, got a snip of fabric and enlisted my aunt’s talents. In photo summary:

Isn’t Molly adorable? Ashley is pretty amazingly beautiful as well. I can only imagine how she’ll look next weekend at the celebration. The sad news with the celebration is that Mr. Gears and I aren't able to attend. A few unexpected expenses zapped our Texas vacation fund. I know Ashley's mom will take lots of pictures and tell us all about it.

Of course it’s only appropriate that I make a card that also matches. My aunt was sure to tuck in a few fabric and ribbon scraps with Molly so I could create a custom card. So let’s get to it! I used a few awesome challenges to let my MoJo flow.

I was an advertising major and when I saw Pam’s sketch I immediately though of the visual ‘Z’ our eyes make when scanning something. I used the elements and the line of the dress to make a similar pattern.

Color Inspiration ~ CDAC Color Challenge #2 ~ Pink

I don’t have a cartoon character on my card, however Molly the Dolly is part of the Big Comfy Couch family from the 80’s cartoon and brought all kinds of inspiration to the card.
365 Cards Day 97 ~ Super Size It (folded, the dimensions are at least 5.5"x8.5")
I wanted to make an oversized card to allow better manipulation of the fabric and a tighter scale. I didn’t have a dig image large enough, so I stamped the girl from my set and scanned it in so I could enlarge it.

Real Life Inspiration
Other than Ashley, I used the dress as my main inspiration. My aunt had so much fun she made a second dress to fit a Barbie that reminded her of Ashley. AMAZING!

My Creation
I enlarged close ups of the actual dress and printed them in color for custom background paper.

Image Detail
Not a lot of coloring since real fabric is covering the bulk of the dress. Since I'd used a scan of an inked image, there was a bit of graininess in the image.
The dress on the card is made with netting overlayed on a piece of satin, topped with a snippet of ribbon (all scraps from Molly's dress). I had some mini flowers used in corsages that I used to create a 3D bouqet. There's a snippet of netting there as well.

I found a Quinceanera verse online and printed it out. The mat is another custom DP from an actual photo of the dress.
Whew! Thanks for hanging in there on the ride. I usually try to keep my ramblings to a minimum, but when I create for such personal reasons I like to share the story as well. I hope you like the card and would love to hear if you've ever created something similar.
Ins and Outs ~ Quinceanera Card for Ashley
Stamps: Quinceanera (Stampin Up)
Paper: SU Whisper White, Computer Generated, SU DP

Ink: Laser Printer; Memento Tuxedo Black; Copics (RV000, 00, 09, 19, 21; E30, 31; C9); Spicas (Clear, Pink, Pitch Black); Gelly Roll Clear Star, Uniball White Gel Pen

Accessories: Pop Up Dots, Fabric, Ribbon, Flowers


  1. WOW!! girl this is a perfect card and what a talented aunt you have. so sorry you won't be able to be there.

  2. WOW....thanks for sharing the background to the big event...sounds like spectacular! It's a real shame you couldn't make it to the celebration but you have created a fabulous card...perfect to match the dolls dress...i hope Ashley has the time of her life! thanks for sharing all this sweetness with us at Crafty Creations! bx

  3. Ohhh pretty in pink! BEAUTIFUL card, love your take on the sketch!!!

  4. Ah, such a lovely story. That doll is adorable and looks fantastic in the pink dress :-)
    Thanks for joining us over at Craftalicious

  5. Well it was a post well worth reading! That is such a wonderful tradition, and the original dress, doll dress, and your card are all beautiful!!

  6. Mary the Auntie, aka DolldreamerAugust 4, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    Cathy always gives me great challenges. I ususally dress 16-18" fashion dolls so making a formal gown with bustier for Molly the Dolly turned into quite a challenge. I had so much fun shopping for fabric and sewing the gown. Your card is a wonderful tribute to a lovely girl on her special day!


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