Author, Author Challenge: Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas

Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas for Author Author Challenge at Frilly and Funkie


Hello, Friends!  It’s time for another fabulous challenge at the Frilly and Funkie Blog.  The crazy creative Suzz is our hostess this time around, and she chose the theme, “Author, Author.”  And that, my friends, is how this Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas came into being.  Let’s see what Suzz has to say about this inspiring challenge:

I  (Suzz) have a great love for reading and was a permanent fixture at the library growing up.  I decided it would be fun to host a challenge inspired by books.  There are so many wonderful books that inspire the mind to imagine the worlds created within them.   Think Fairy tales, mysteries, romances or even science fiction and use that to inspire your art. Your challenge it so create a shabby chic or vintage styled project inspired by a book.   Provide an explanation of how the book and author inspired your project.

Like, Suzz, I loved the library growing up.  Sadly, I was a sickly kid, and spent weeks on end in bed with bouts of pneumonia and other ailments.  Books were my constant companion, for by reading, I could escape my illness and confinement and have all sorts of magical adventures.

When in high school, I discovered the American short story author, O. Henry and fell in love with his ironic style and keen insights into human nature.

O. Henry and the Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas

The Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas by kathy Clement for Author, Author Challenge at Frilly & Funkie photo 2This 5″ x7″ Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas was inspired by one of my favorite O. Henry short stories entitled….The Last Leaf.  It’s a moving story about friendship and determination. Like all O. Henry tales, it has an ironic twist at the end.  (You can read it for free HERE.)

Where’s the Patterned paper?

The Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas by Kathy Clement for Author, Author Challenge at Frilly and Funkie-photo-1

I would normally share a lot of details and “how tos” about the Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas.  Instead, I am hosting the Saturday Step Out post on the Frilly and Funkie Blog later this week.  That’s when I’ll share a tutorial with you all.

The Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas for Author, Author Challenge at Frilly and Funkie photo-3

I will tell you, however, that not one scrap of patterned paper was used in this composition.  Gasp!!!!!  That is a first for me, I think.  I am the patterned paper queen!  Everything you see here was achieved with watercolor paper, ink, stamps and dies.  With a few embellies thrown in, of course! Instead I’ll share some interesting tidbits about O. Henry.  I think you will enjoy his story as it echoes his life.

All About O. Henry

The Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas for Author, Author Challenge at Frilly and Funkie photo-4

You might recognize the name O. Henry as a candy bar. But there is no connection between the author and the confection.  O. Henry’s life was anything but sweet.  Born in my dear husband’s home town of Greensboro, NC in 1862, he started life as William Sydney Porter.  After a brief time in school, he became a clerk in his uncle’s drugstore.

The Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas for Author, Author Challenge at Frilly and Funkie photo-5

When he was 20, he went to Texas to work on a ranch.  Later, he became a bank teller.  He fell in love and married, and started a humorous magazine called “The Rolling Stone.”  The magazine failed, and he found work as a newspaper reporter.

The Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas for Author, Author Challenge at Frilly and Funkie photo-6

Through a series of unfortunate events, he was wrongly accused of embezzling funds and fled to South America to avoid arrest.  When he received word that his beloved wife was dying, he came back to the US to say good-by, was apprehended and sent to prison.

The Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas for Author, Author Challenge at Frilly and Funkie photo-7

For three years, he wrote short stories from the confines of his prison cell under the pen name of O. Henry.  He chose to write about the common working man and woman and their everyday struggles.  His heroes or heroines were always somewhat down on their luck.  Some of his stories (The Ransom of Red Chief is a favorite of mine) will make you laugh until you cry.  Others are poignantly romantic (like The Gift of the Magi.)  And some are so full of tenderness that you will shed a tear.  The Last Leaf falls into that category.

The Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas for Author, Author Challenge at Frilly and Funkie-photo-8

After being released from prison, he made his home in New York City.  He continued to write short stories until his death in 1910 at age 47 .


The Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas for Author, Author Challenge at Frilly and Funkie photo-9I’ve read and re-read his stories both aloud to others and to myself.  If you haven’t yet discovered O. Henry, I hope this will send you to your local library to search for his warm, witty and wonderful writings.

Now it’s YOUR turn

Who is your favorite author or story?  I hope you’ll take this opportunity to create a vintage or shabby chic project for this challenge and link it up at the Frilly and Funkie Blog before midnight on Tuesday, October 18th.

The team will choose their top four picks with the winner being invited to  a Guest DT spot at Frilly and Funkie Three other participants will receive badges to display on their blogs. Everyone who enters and follows the rules will be entered into the draw to have the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique.

I’ll be back on Saturday with a Step x Step tutorial for this Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas.  I hope you’ll stop by then!

I can’t wait to see what YOU make!

Thanks for stopping by,




13 thoughts on “Author, Author Challenge: Last Leaf Mixed Media Canvas

  1. searcyme

    So amazing Kathy. I honestly did not know that O Henry was born here in NC! I also did not know that his short stories were written from prison. Wow!! Incredible. I love the Gift of the Magi. I’ve never read the Last Leaf. I’ll have to pop over and do so. Spectacular colors on this. The teals and blue just shimmer against all of the autumnal glory. What a fantastic make for the Author, Author Challenge. Oh … and congrats on being named to Tammy Tutterow’s DT! What a great year! Hugs — Mary Elizabeth

  2. Cec

    What a stunning canvas with so much texture and an explosion of wonderful colour. Love all the varieties of elements you added from soft ribbon to metal, to cardboard and they all work beautifully together.

  3. Pattie Jns

    Hi Kathy, what an awesome creation. fantastic, First , I must say that I am concerned you may in the area for this terrible hurricane. I do pray you and family are safe.
    Thanks so much for the info on O”Henry. I had forgotten I had a book of his short stories and all the ones you mentioned is included. I didn’t know about his life, but knew he is one of classic authors to read and enjoy. I think these stories were done on TV;s Omnibus, a program that
    dealt with famous authors and composure’ s. It came on every Sunday, and was wonderful for
    drama, music, and classics. many people like Helen Hayes appeared on them.
    the Lord used your time of illness to develop the wonderful person you are and has given you this great gift to share with us. I thank Him for your friendship and talent a gift to us.
    thank you for sharing all your information. This brings things personal to us.
    God Bless You.

  4. LuvtoKraft

    Well that tears it. We ARE sisters from a different mother!!! I just took my very old copy, (1937) The Complete Works of O. Henry off the bookshelf last week and set it on my bedside table because I felt the need to revisit an “old friend”. How funny!!! The universe works in mysterious ways. The gift of the Magi was the first O.Henry story I ever read and Della and Jim and their Christmas remains my favorite. Your canvas is WONDERFUL!!! It will take some time to pour over it and discover all the goodies it is so chock full. I look forward to your tutorial and from now on whenever I see my O Henry book I will think of my very, very talented and kind friend on the other side of the country. Ain’t the Internet grand?!!!

  5. Judy B

    What an awesome project Kathy. I loved your little short bio on O Henry. Thanks for sharing his story and this fun project.

  6. Jenny Marples

    Well first up Kathy, your canvas is gorgeous!!! All that inky deliciousness, layers of leaves and bead festooned brass flowers make for a treat to gaze upon. Can’t wait for the tutorial. And then the story of O. Henry. I can’t say I’d heard of him here in the UK but will definitely make a point of searching out his tales after your enthusiastic endorsement xx

  7. sewpaperpaint

    Kathy, your project and description of O. Henry are both heartfelt and inspirational. I can’t wait to read the short story and come back for a second visit, with thoughts of the story in mind. The mixed media layers here are unbelievable and I’m glad you broke free and did some DIY. It’s quite refreshing and so beautiful! Biggest hugs! I’m honored to be creating with you on the F&F blog today. – Autumn

  8. stampersuzz

    Wow Kathy! Your art is gorgeous and you really embraced the challenge with a beautiful narrative about O. Henry! I never knew all of the great details you shared and really enjoyed learning about him! Fabulous leaf mixed media canvas!

  9. Carol

    No patterned paper, wow, what is happening my friend? Kathy what an intriguing story about O. Henry and the Last Leaf. I loved reading it!. Thank you for sharing not only your earlier years but this wonderful insight to a simple story. Love everything you have done here and look forward to Saturday to see how you achieved it. Xx

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