I recently learned the expression "border trouble", in this case referring not to immigration---nor to illuminated borders, like the one above---but rather to the sometimes-daunting obstacle between the idea for a piece and the point at which it begins to take shape. Since I sometimes struggle mightily to move through that region, it helps me to think of it as just a transition, kind of a bothersome ordeal one has to go through to move into the pleasure on working on the piece once it starts to come to life, not to mention once it is finished.
It's school fundraiser season once again and I created this piece to raise some money for a good cause. Artwork doesn't always do well in a silent auction but this was displayed nicely and went for a pretty penny! The border outline came from the fabulous collection of the Graphics Fairy (you really need to go to that site, and bookmark it!); I was able to take a little shortcut and print it onto tracing paper (rather than actually tracing it) and then transferred it to Arches 140 lb hot press with Armenian bole.
Because of the nature of the quote, I used more colors than I usually would have in the border. The ink is Pelikan (with some powdered gum arabic added); the rest of the design is gouache, pen, and 23K gold leaf. I used a [left-handed] Brause 1.5mm nib; the image is about 7.5" X 10.5". I used my Logan Compact Mat Cutter (which has come in handy more times than I can count) to cut the mat, then popped it into a frame I picked up at Michael's half-price. Ta-dah!