Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Heart Strings

Funny how things go.
Sometimes you never intend on going down a path, but feelings or events seems to take your hand and lead the way.  Let me tell you what I mean.
The 30th of April is my mother’s birthday, something that has been on my mind all week.  She has been gone for 20 years now.  Seems unimaginable to be without her beautiful smile, her chatty nature, and her kind heart for so very long.  I have a hard time remembering her voice now, but I do know I will recognize it when we meet again.

Today I was working on a project to share and was almost done, when I got some news that a good friend of mine’s father in law passed away.  In my sentimental state of mind the entire theme and feeling of the project changed (for the better) and I was able to create a piece that evokes the memories of my mother and the passing of a loved one.  The “thread” between the two places is so very thin that sometimes I think we can catch glimpses of their hand in our lives. 
Follow along and I’ll show you the elements that make this piece complete.

I bought this little balsa wood house at Joann Crafts.  It measures about 5 x 7”.
I took it home and sanded the edges till smooth with my Sanding Grip.
Next up I painted the little house with Dina’s White Gesso.  At this point I had no idea what I wanted to create so I thought using the Gesso was a good place to start since it adds the “tooth” for paper and paint, plus seals the wood.
I like the grayish papers included in the Correspondence pack so I picked one for the background.  The ticket paper on the sides was a little bit brighter so to meld the two papers, I painted a wash of Multi Medium and Iced Spruce Distress Paint.
Blue patterned paper from the same pack was added to the top portion of the house with Multi Medium.  All the papers used in the projects are 6 x 6”.
Now for the outside of the house. 
Tim created a new cardstock that was released at CHA and is now in stores.  The cardstock is metallic on one side and kraft on the other.  The pad has copper, gold, and silver, which is what I’m going to use today.
side note: the metallic cardstock also comes in pre-folded cards with envelopes for all you card makers out there!

I cut 4 pieces for the sides of the house and ran them through my Vagabond machine using the "Tiles" texture fade.  The Texture Folder worked perfectly.  It may be hard to see in this shot, but in person they look just like metal. 
I used a thick coating of Multi Medium on the box before adding each piece to the sides of the house.  It looks like a vintage tin ceiling!
I know I could have gone with black or brown to color the “tile” but I decided to punch it up and use Chipped Sapphire, more of a Moroccan feel I guess.  I just used the dapper top of the bottle, pouncing it onto the surface in a random manner.  I rubbed it in with my finger (your hands are your best tools) and then wiped away the excess with a paper towel.  The metallic surface is slick so the paint easily wipes away, leaving the paint in the recesses of the pattern.

I painted the front of the house with the same color paint.  Once dry, I sanded and inked with Gathered Twigs.
I also took the Sanding Grip to the sides of the box and lightly sanded the silver cardstock.  This gave me the opportunity to add a bit of Distress Ink over the surface.  Of course if you want the shiny silver finish, then just skip this step.
I cut out the children from the Found Relatives pack to use in the house.
I know I have said this before, but Pumice Stone is the perfect ink color to get rid of the white cut edges.
Even though the children fit nicely into the box, I decided to cut away the little boy on the end.  I thought maybe I could use him as a layer in the box or remove him all together at this point.
My husband cut me a bunch of wood pieces for a class I am teaching in stores.  I snagged two from the bag to use as risers for the main image.
A little hot glue, and now the image can be easily glued to the back of the box.
I colored the girls dress with Fossilized Amber (terrific new color).
Then wiped away most of the ink with a bit of paper towel, leaving just a hit of the Amber.
The Trophy Cups are fun to use in assemblages.  They come very shiny but can easily be altered to suit your needs.  Here I sanded the cup with Fine Grit Steel Wool, then painted it out with a light coat of Iced Spruce.  Once dry, I added a light layer of Slate Alcohol Ink.
A 1” Styrofoam ball, moss, and a word from the Big Chat sticker book.
I added a bit of Crinkle Ribbon and a vintage earring.  The clip back is still on and helped to tilt the earring up from the moss.  I have had that set of earrings for 4 years, and it finally came in handy today.
I stamped one of the butterflies from the Watercolor set onto Specialty Stamping Paper.  Adding the marker ink to my craft mat, I picked up each color with my Detailer Water Brush and colored the wings.  Love the subtle color of the inks - and the Fossilized Amber works well with Worn Lipstick and Peacock Feathers. 
My intention was to use the butterfly in the background somewhere but that is when a thought came to me... add the wings to the boy (sometimes it’s good to listen and just do) and the whole trajectory of the piece changed.

I filled the bottom of the box with some cheesecloth before adding the pieces I had created.  Once everything was in place, I added the small spool of thread that had been sitting on my display shelf (been saving that spool because of the size and color).   
I added the boy with the wings to the top of the house, as if he’s ready to fly away.  To keep him figuratively “grounded”, I poked a hole through his fist and threaded the string, pulling it taut and securing with Multi Medium.
I made sure the thread in the piece is pulled tight, since I believe we want to hang on as tight as possible to those that have gone on before. 

What a lovely time I had making this simple piece.  I love the delicate detail of the Texture Fade on the outside of the house...still can’t believe it’s PAPER, because it appears as metal to the eye.  I also like the simplicity of the piece, not too many messages, just a thought, a feeling of wanting that is in all of us when a friend or loved one moves on without us.  And that’s enough for me.

now carry on,

Monday, April 20, 2015

Junk Bonanza

I know, I know...I just got off a plane and here I am, off again on another adventure. 
 This time the destination was Junk Bonanza in Minnesota. 
I met up with Richele in Phoenix for the second leg of the trip.  Always a good time when I'm with her!  She is such a lovely woman inside and out. 
We got in just in time to have a good dinner with a couple of guys you might know and then we were off to get some sleep before the day of junking.

We had early bird tickets (which I highly recommend) to get in which gave us 2 hours to shop before the crowds poured in!
We saw lots of fun stuff...and this time, a lot of DIY stuff.  Not sure if I like that or not since I like the stuff before it becomes something else. 
I am always on the hunt for group photos and used red tomato pin cushions but there were none to be found.  Lots of other things though!
This stack of vintage suitcases got quite a lot big response when I posted it on Facebook.  I admit it they are wonderful.
 Mario stood watch by all our stuff while we shopped in a few booths.

 Letters, letters, letters...
 and metal number tags galore!
And the cabinet Tim spotted...a great deal (of course) and wow can you imagine all the stuff you could get in all the little drawers?  this one was a YES!
Love this idea for using crate to create a display.  I could see us using this idea for the CHA booth.
 There were clothing booths...
 and booths with salvaged materials.
 Some things come framed (lol) and yes, I took the silver frame home with me.
 And some were way to big to fit into my suitcase (insert sad face).
We wanted these black shutters but we were not sure how to get them home.  Probably should have said yes and figured it out later.
 Cool signs and displays.
 And small junk stuff to dig in.

 Well, the cabinet needed two people to get to the van.  Not a problem.
 It fit right in with the last row of seats folded down.  Stunning right?
Then into the elevator with our TWO carts for packing (I got the little suitcase Tim is holding). 
And where is Richele you say?
Well, right here behind the luggage cart.
We needed someone to be able to push the buttons on the elevator!
Later that night, Mario is done packing and labeling for pick up (should have got the shutters I tell you).  That is the cabinet all wrapped up like a cocoon!  Genius packer - seriously nothing stumps him.  Well maybe a stunning 8 foot curved balustrade that Tim really wanted.  We decided it would never get home in one piece so it stayed at the show. 
So that is my report on Junk Bonanza.  The next one is in Sept - you can check out their website for the dates.
I would love to hear if you have a favorite show you go to!
now carry on,