Stage Door Johnny

Published April 11, 2014 by isisimaginings

Evening, I hope everyone’s had a great week. I can’t believe I’ve got something finished for the PaperArtsy challenge & it’s only Friday. Julie Ann was the GD this week & created an amazing stage set from her PA art journal & I had an idea almost immediately, because coincidentally, I am currently reading a biography of Ellen Terry, who was an English actress in the late 19th & early 20th centuries (1847 – 1928). She was incredibly famous & popular & people flocked to see her, wherever she appeared.

Miss Terry had numerous ardent admirers, one of whom was a Mr Stephen Coleridge. I mixed fiction with fact & imagined Mr Coleridge having a wallet in which he kept souvenirs of his relationship with Miss Terry.  Mr Coleridge kept the wallet in his pocket, attached to the chain of his pocket watch. If someone were to steal it the contents would have been very damaging to Miss Terry’s reputation………..





In  the pocket are Mr Coleridge’s tickets from the many times he attended The Lyceum Theatre in London to see Miss Terry perform. She was a nightly sensation where, together with actor/manager, Mr Henry Irving, she performed many classic roles, including Shakespeare’s heroines, such as Portia, Juliet & Beatrice.



Despite being married to Mr Wardell Kelly, Miss Terry was not averse to flirting with Mr Coleridge & the two were known to exchange ‘secret kisses’ in her dressing-room at The Lyceum. She gave him souvenirs; pieces of her costumes & bits of sewing with which she kept herself occupied in the wings while awaiting her cue – Miss Terry would be the first to admit that her sewing skills were rudimentary at best.


Perhaps these were Mr Coleridge’s most treasured possessions; a daguerreotype of Miss Terry as Ophelia from Hamlet & a flower which she kissed & returned to him. He then pressed it before putting it in his wallet.



A smaller daguerreotype, this time of Miss Terry as Lady Macbeth.


And finally, although he knew he should not keep them, he could not bring himself to destroy Miss Terry’s billets-doux. Her words of affection to him were too precious. He kept with them a record of Oscar Wilde’s words to Miss Terry;

“No woman Veronese looked upon

Was half as fair as thou whom I behold.”


Sadly, Miss Terry & Mr Coleridge were not fated to be together. Miss Terry divorced her husband & began a long lasting relationship with Mr Irving. Mr Coleridge eventually married & his wallet of souvenirs was always kept hidden from his wife.


 The End

Wallet; faux leather technique, TH cabinet card die, TH Collage embossing folder, Fresco paints, Grunge Paste, Treasure Gold & Gloss Glaze.

Fresco paints; Toffee, Brown Shed, Chocolate Pudding, Smoked Paprika, Cheesecake, Spanish Mulberry, Nougat, Blood Orange, Little Black Dress, Pea Coat, Mermaid, Bora Bora.

PaperArtsy stamps; LP007, LP028.

Thanks for looking & thanks to Julie Ann for being so creative & inspiring. I had fun making this & I hope she likes it.

See you next time.


21 comments on “Stage Door Johnny

  • Oh, what an enchantment, Kirsten! The whole thing is wonderful – history, imagination, theatricality and beautiful crafting… I was lucky enough recently to see Eileen Atkins’ one-woman show based on Ellen Terry’s lectures about Shakespeare’s women – a tour de force, just as your creation is!
    Alison xx

  • Kirsten! Loved the story…wondering did mr,Coleridge ever get an autograph from miss terry? Did she stand at the stage door and give autographs?! Those can be such special items to keep.:-)

  • Your story telling skills are amazing Kirsten, love how you have woven fact & fantasy to create something exciting, eventful & exquisite…

    A beautifully crafted faux leather wallet, a fantastic project with so much intrigue. When is the next part please, want more stories!

    IMHO one of your best projects so far in 2014, stunning 🙂 xxx

  • Enchanting, exquisite and informative. In fact, quite a lesson in what goes on in the theatrical world. Fab story Kirsten and the artwork was brilliantly executed. Clever lady, absolutely love it. Xx

  • Kristen, FANTASTIC, love the story and all the design elements to demonstrate the story, I’m just blown away with all of it. The concept has so much potential, love it, love it, LOVE IT! Jo xx

  • Fantastic, Kirsten, I love it! I have visited Smallhythe Place many times, have you? It’s crammed full of amazing ET possessions and it’s like a casket of treasures Itself being a rickety old place made from ship’s timbers! I reckon your creation would look just right in among all the beautiful and quaint memorabilia! Your interpretation of the theatre project is just the best response I can imagine – a masterpiece in every way! Thank you for playing along this week! Julie Ann xxx

  • Oh wow, this is completely amazing! What a fabulous tribute to Ellen Terry! You have woven magic both into the wonderful creation here and into the story! Stunning, both the cover and the inside pages, love it!!!

    Really sorry to have missed you at Ally Pally’s too!!! :o(

  • Wow Kirsten, your story is as wonderful as the beautiful wallet which I have been lucky enough to see in real life! It was lovely to meet you at Ally Pally, just wish it could have been for longer. Your wallet is a beautiful work of art and I so enjoyed reading your post. I would love to be able to weave stories like you and Julie Ann but I can’t so will leave that to you two talented individuals ;D!

    Lesley Xx

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