Sunday, September 19, 2010

What's Your Inspiration?

I know the calendar says it's almost fall, but my internal temperature still hints of summer heat. What better way to cool off than with some creative therapy!

While browsing through Cost Plus World Market a few weeks ago, trying desperately to use my $10-off coupon (before it expired at the end of that day), a bright yellow metal sign caught my attention. It reads: "Life is a process and your participation is required. Life – just show up."

LIfe is a process and your participation is required.

Needless to say, it found its way home with me. As I hung the sign up on the wall, I decided to use it as inspiration for my next art project.

Inspiration is all around us. One just needs to stand still long enough and look around. What inspires you? Is it an antique painting on the living room wall? Your favorite kitchen appliance? Your pet? Whatever it is, place it (or a photo of it) on your craft table, and just look at it. Absorb the textures, colors, rhythm and words. Use this item as your inspiration as you embellish a large wood initial of your choice.

Using the colors of the metal sign, I painted the "D" (which is 9" tall x 6" wide, made from white MDF board) with yellow acrylic paint. I traced the outline of the letter onto an orangy small-flowered pattern paper, then cut it slightly inside the lines. 

I inked the edges, and applied the paper to the letter with Mod Podge.  When completely dry, I stamped flourishes on the "D" with black Staz-on ink.

Then I tore and Mod-podged contrasting paper, and stamped a sentiment with brown ink.  Although it is difficult to tell from these photos, using just a little white paint and quick, short strokes, I added a distressed look to the paper.

Life got busy, so I had to put the completion of this project on hold.  A week later, I found a $1 stamp at Michael's with the word "Life", and remembering the inspiration sign, I thought this would complement my initial wall art nicely.  After stamping the "Life" image on the wood initial, I put one final coat of Mod Podge on it.

I finished the project by gluing on several different textures and colors of ribbon (including ric-rac and toile) and a button.

Life.  It's a Process.  Just show up.

Participating in this Blog Hop:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tennis anyone? Maybe after dessert.

First of all, I want to welcome those of you who have just discovered my blog.  It is filled with fun altered artwork as I "transform the mundane -- one embellishment at a time".  Feel free to scroll down the posts or click on any tags that sound interesting to you.  If you see something you really like, please let me know with a comment! 

And, I want to let everyone know that today I am being featured on a fantastic blog called Paisley Passions.  I am absolutely thrilled, and want to thank Lori, from the bottom of my button jar, for this wonderful opportunity to share my altered artwork with her blogging friends.

And now for today's altered artwork feature: my recipe-in-a-tennis ball can.  Every December, my tennis group gets together for a holiday luncheon, and we swap gifts.  I decided to get each of my tennis buddies a new can of tennis balls, minus the balls! 
gifts for tennis
A new twist to tennis:
Recipe-in-a-tennis ball can!

I removed the cellophane wrap, made my own wrap out of two coordinating papers plus a white strip with "Fudgy Brownies" repeatedly printed across the entire length.  I added a wooden spoon, ribbon, a flower, button, and a tag on which I stamped the word "love".  (You gotta love a sport that uses the word "LOVE" instead of "ZERO".)  Then I glued a silver tennis racquet charm onto the tag.  (This charm can be removed and then easily attached to a necklace chain.)

brownies in a Jar

I found a delicious fudgy brownies-in-a-jar recipe, and adapted the recipe ingredients to fit inside the tennis ball can.  I typed up the recipe, printed it out on a 4" x 6" card, laminated it, and slid the card between the wooden spoon and the can.  (You may need a glue dot here and there to hold the card and spoon in place.)  Then I placed a crisp, clear cellophane bag into the can, and carefully layered the dry ingredients into the bag, tying the bag tightly at the top. 

Not only were these handmade gifts a big hit, the fudgy brownies were delicious.  I included the three brand new tennis balls inside the gift bag with the altered can.  It was the perfect gift.  Now if I can only perfect my serve!  
Tie on a little "love" tag with a silver tennis racquet charm
Thanks for stopping by! 
See you on the tennis courts.

Click here to link to Paisley Passions.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Linking to CSI Teacher Gift Challenge

Although school started a few weeks ago, we are now on a 1-1/2 week break due to teacher furloughs, thanks to our wonderful  (not) state budget deficit.  But don't get me going on this.....instead, we will embrace this late summer mini-vacation with bike rides at the beach, crafting, summer salads, crafting, sleeping in, crafting, and did I say crafting?

This post is a snapshot of a previous post from May 2010 -- when I host workshops for Moms and kids.  They come over and create their own personal teacher gifts.  Of course, these can be made as welcome-back-to-school gifts too!  So, here is a photo of my favorite teacher gift ensemble.  I know so many teachers who start their day with a cup of joe, so this ensemble is coffee-themed all the way! 
Coffee Theme Ensemble:
Coasters, Post-it note frame, large note/photo holder & Clipboard

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

From Mundane Hardware Organizer to Beautiful Button Armoire

Ahhh - I love when I find a few "JFM" (Just for Me) hours.  Today was just that kinda day. 

I left the house early, dropped off The Dog at the groomer's, and knowing it was going to be over 90 degrees today, grabbed a nice, cold iced Venti Latte, then headed to two of my favorite stores:  HomeGoods and Big Lots!  I bought a couple of cutesy kitchen items at HG, but felt like I needed something more....or less.  So I drove a few blocks farther to the neighborhood Big Lots. 

Up and down the aisle I strolled, sipping my latte as I sought out treasures.  Sadly, due to the Halloween decor that is already stocking the shelves, there wasn't too much that caught my eye...UNTIL...I ventured into the automobile & hardware aisle, and there it was:  my $10 treasure:  The Trades Pro 1000-piece Hardware Organizer #836376.   The box read "100% Satisfaction Guaranteed", so how could I go wrong?  Here is what it looked like when I got it home:

I emptied the container of its cumbersome 1000 pieces of nails, screws, thumbtacks, bolts, and whatever else they threw in there.

And here is the mundane toolbox ready to be altered.  Note there are 25 clear drawers!

Then, the fun began.  After a quick bite (really, who has time to eat when there is altered artwork to be done?), I got out everything I needed:  one of my favorite designer 12" x 12" paper (all you need is one piece), foam brush, ruler and a pencil, brayer, label maker, and any embellishments you want to use including (but not limited to) ribbon, label holder, brads, and of course, buttons!

I measured and cut the paper to fit both sides and top of box.  Well, I actually decided to cut the side pieces a bit longer, and overlapped them onto the top to create a nice edge. 

Then I added the top piece, applied more Mod Podge,
and used my brayer to press out any air bubbles that may have snuck in.

I added ribbon along the edges, a chipboard label, brads, a flower with attached button,
and I used my label maker to write "For the love of buttons".
And here is the finished button armoire. 
I am going to "label" each drawer with the colored button, and fill the drawers accordingly. 
I love organization!

Linking up to:
Organize and Decorate Everything

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