Monday, August 15, 2011

Keep Calm [and Ride On]

[This post originally appeared as a guest blog on Positively Splendid.]

Being a student in a small college town has its perks -- like riding your bike from your apartment to class, meeting friends downtown for coffee, and stopping at the library for a study session, and then cycling back home, all while exercising your brain and your body. 

In June, our older daughter graduated from this bicycle-friendly academic world that she enthusiastically embraced for four years.   Is she ready to go out and make her mark on the world?  Well, ready or not, here she comes!  And in this day of high unemployment and economic despair, I am happy to report she just landed a professional job in her field of study. 

As a mother, it is nerve-wracking exciting to cheer from the sidelines, as one's children take their first steps towards becoming self-sufficient in the "real" world. I know she'll be fine. I'm not so sure about me. Thank goodness I have my creative therapy. Thus, I present my altered art canvas entitled, "Keep Calm and Ride On."

This two-piece canvas uses the college graduation announcement and one of my favorite photos from that special day.  The photo captures her walking away, while taking a quick glance back.   I love how this represents her moving forward with her life, while always treasuring her wonderful college days. 

The supplies:

12" x 12" and 12" x 4" artist canvasses
four eye screws
acrylic paint
cardstock - two solid colors and coordinating paper [I used the college colors]
chipboard letters
large and small Prima flowers
Buttons and hemp cord or embroidery floss
2011 tassel (found at Dollar Store)
decorative pearl brad
3 different coordinating ribbons, 16" in length
acrylic parentheses
bicycle stamp and black Staz-on ink
college announcement

The process: 

Paint both canvas pieces.  Let dry.

Cut solid color cardstock 1/2" smaller than larger canvas.  Cut coordinating papers to fit accordingly.

Decoupage cardstock and coordinating paper to canvasses.

Stamp [bicycle] image onto printed paper.  Trim and mat with solid paper, adhere to canvas.

Mat photo.  Position in place, but do not yet adhere.

Apply chipboard letters [I looped the tassel to one of the letters] and acrylic parentheses.

Using hot glue, adhere buttons to wheels on bicycle image.

Decoupage announcement and text onto canvas.  Hot glue layered flowers and small button, slightly overlapping onto announcement and text.

When dry, decoupage entire canvas which adds luster and holds chipboard letters in place.

Using 3D foam squares, adhere matted photo to canvas and hot glue pearl brad.

Measure and mark 3" in from sides on canvas edges [bottom edge for large canvas and top edge for smaller canvas].

Twist eye screws into canvas at marks, so canvasses line up.

Cut ribbon into 8" lengths. Tie three ribbons together, inserting ribbon through matching eye screws.
This connects the canvas pieces.  Trim ribbon ends at a diagonal.

The altered artwork canvas is now ready to display and can easily be mounted on the wall using one nail.

Now one question remains: Who gets to keep it? The proud Mom [me] or the new college graduate [her]?

Linking to some of these crafty blogs and:
That DIY Party
Creative Jewish Mom
Three Mango Seeds
Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading
its so very cheri /its-party-time
homemaker on a dime creative-bloggers-party-hop
a bowl full of lemons
Making the world cuter Monday
Just Something I Whipped Up
Today's Creative Blog
savvysouthernstyle wow-us-wednesdays
Flaunt it Friday


  1. Hi, Doreen! You've got so much creativity and I'm admiring them all. Can you share your creative posts at my Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there :)

    Btw, every Tuesday is my Market Your Biz and Giveaways blog party. Please feel free to link up your etsy for free promotion :)

  2. Thanks for coming! Yay! Really appreciate you linking up this fantastic post at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop. Hope you'll continually share your creativity with us at the weekly party :)

  3. fabulous doreen! great to see you on craft schooling sunday!


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