This is SO me!

This is SO me!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WWII Nose Art and a Challenge

During World War II, and again in the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars, colorful images appeared on the nose sections of American military aircraft. Loved and hated, photographed and censored, the paintings known as nose art have been a controversial tradition.

Not to be confused with official markings or insignia, nose art personalizes a plane for its crew, because it is the crew members who name the plane and create the art, giving the plane an identity of its own. Although some examples of nonregulation art can be found on the military aircraft of other English-speaking countries, the phenomenon is predominantly American, perhaps due to the streak of rebellious individualism attributed to American culture. Nose art is important as an historical and societal indicator over time, an example of folk art or popular expression, and a record of the past.

Our family has visited several museums over the years, and I was thrilled to see some fabulous nose art while we were there. Here are a couple of my favorites...

The following 2 pictures were taken at the Yankee AF Museum in Ypsilanti, MI.

This next photo was taken at the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH. Unfortunately the lighting isn't very good there.

Aren't they fun??

OK, that's your history lesson for today...but I LOVE nose art. For some reason, I'm fascinated by it...maybe it's my upbringing as an Air Force brat, I don't know...but I love it! When I first saw Bombshell Stamps' images, they reminded me of those painted ladies...and I knew I had to have them!

Shannon, who creates these fabulous Bombshell images, assigned me to come up with a Design Team only challenge...and I knew what I wanted to challenge to the girls was "Playing Favorites". I wanted them to create a project using the very first Bombshell set that they got. My first-ever Bombshell Stamp set was Bombshell Angel...and she is a beauty! If you've been reading my blog for a while, you've seen quite a bit of her.

For this challenge, I wanted to create an album to put some of my favorite nose art photos in.

It didn't come out quite like I had planned, but at least it gets the idea across. Here it is:

I drew the shape of an airplane nose onto a folded piece of silver metallic cardstock to make a card. I scored the front about 3/4" in from the left side and inserted silver brads to simulate rivets. I stamped the Bombshell Angel image onto GP110 white cardstock and colored her using Copic markers. I then cut her out and adhered her to the "plane". I stamped the word "Bombshell" above the image. I wanted to add the tally marks that pilots would put on their planes showing the number of bombs that they had dropped, so I used the tiny skull image from A Pirate's Life and stamped it several times using Stazon black ink. I adhered the "plane" to a piece of chip board that has been covered using a star pattern DSP. Inside of the plane card I attached a brief blurb about Wright Patterson AFB and the Yankee AF Museum. The album contains 8 pages of vanilla cardstock to put my favorite photos on. The book was bound using my brand new Cinch binding machine with a spiral coil...and I DO love my new Cinch!!! It's SO easy to use!
Please go to the Bombshell forum here and vote...and if you vote for me...thank you!! :) The design team member with the most votes will win a fabulous prize from Bombshell Stamps!
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. awesome project, you did an amazing jog with this!! Hugs, Ronnie

  2. Mary, fabulous history lesson on nose art! You're quite the writer. Thanks for sharing the pics, too. Love your homage to this fascinating and artistic tradition. Bombshell Angel is timeless and perfect for so many projects, and she really brings your narrative to life :)

  3. Clever project Mary and thanks for the little history lesson, I had never heard of Nose Art.

  4. I have never heard of Nose Art ever before! Thanks for that little history lesson (I love history!). Great project and I bet you have lots of great images to embellish the pages. TFS


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