What do you get when you combine one of my favorite online retailers (The Eclectic Paperie) with one of my favorite artists (Marjie Kemper) and one of my favorite crafting activities (altered art)? The Eclectic Paperie’s Altered Box Challenge, hosted by Marjie Kemper! I just couldn’t resist jumping on this challenge for so many reasons. First, I just adore Marjie Kemper. (Check out her incredible blog, She Who Stamps and Scrapshttp://marjiekemper.typepad.com/my-blog/2013/01/eteam-picks-challenge-altered-boxes.html) Marjie’s work is filled with life, light, color and the most incredible designs. I’ve been following her for a while now, and her work never fails to lift my spirits and open my eyes to seeing things in a new way. She’s one of my cyber friends who strongly urged me to start my blog. And, Eclectic Paperie is a fabulous online boutique for scrappers, card makers, and mixed media artists. It’s not your average online store. You can check it out here http://eclecticpaperie.com/.
I’m always on the lookout for things that can be altered. I love to transform something that’s kind of old and ugly into something that still looks old…but beautiful. So, when I found a stack of cigar boxes at a yard sale, they had to come home with me. They’ve been hanging out in my “closet of shame”. (That’s what I call my crafting closet…which is bursting at the seams with paper and objects that I fully intend to transform. Open the doors of this closet veeeeeery carefully! Do you have one of these spaces in your house?) This challenge was the perfect motivation to unearth this cigar box and get to work. It had definitely seen better days:
I pulled out my trusty Claudine Hellmuth Studio Gesso and a sanding block. In a few minutes, I had it looking like this:
Already an improvement. I set it aside to dry overnight. I wasn’t sure if I was going to ink this up, or cover it in paper, so I began by inking the edges with my gold Zig Painty Pen and then hit the edges with a light sanding followed by inking with Walnut Stain Distress Ink. I decided to cover it with paper from the DCWV Timeless Type Stack. I stitched around the edges of the “Dream” flourish page, then inked the threads with the gold Painty Pen. Next, I cut a smaller piece of the beautiful green paper, stitched around three sides, tore the fourth side and layered it over the “Dream” paper. Now, I have a nifty pocket into which I can insert a tag.
I don’t want to bore you with all the details, but as you can see, I added lots of embellishments. I hit all of them with a touch of Vintaj Patina Ink in Verdigris. I didn’t want them to look shiny and new. I wanted them to look vintagey and aged. I also really liked the way the Verdigris tones played off the dark browns and greens of the paper. I set the box aside to “cure” while I went to work on the tag.
It’s made of two layers. I started with a large shipping tag, which I inked with Distress Ink in Vintage Photo, Evergreen Bough, and Faded Jeans. I “smooshed” the inks directly onto my non-stick craft sheet and spritzed with a mini mister. Then I dragged the tag through the inks, drying each layer as I went along until I was happy with the result. Next, I used the Tim Holtz “spritz and flick” method to create cool water spots on my tag. I used Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Creme de Cocoa to create some pearlescent spatters on the tag. Instead of spraying, I took the applicator out of the bottle and used the stem to flick the mist onto the tag. Finally, I used my dad’s old fountain pen to write the sentiment on the tag. The words are from one of my favorite Michael Card songs, “There is a Joy in the Journey.”
I liked the tag, but wanted to up the ante just a bit. I looked in my “junk” drawer where I keep all kinds of packaging bits and bobs because I know that one day, they will grow wings and turn into art. I had saved an acetate box that had these really cool grid lines on it. I cut a piece to match the size of my tag and inked the smooth side with Tim Holtz’s Journey stamp in Archival Jet Black ink. The side with the grid lines is on the top of the tag, and the texture is fantastic. I layered the two tags together and finished it off with some custom dyed seam binding ribbon, a miniature padlock and key. I also stamped the pointing finger onto this same acetate and secured it to the box cover using Glossy Accents. Did I mention that the texture is really cool?
The plan is to give this altered box to my husband for Valentine’s Day. I’ll fill it with dark chocolate, and when he’s eaten all the chocolate, he can use it to store his guitar picks and capos and other such manly stuff. The box goes perfectly with the Valentine I made him yesterday. It’s masculine, it’s vintage, it’s a little bit steampunk and it was a whole lotta fun to make. I just love it when trash becomes treasure!
Thanks for reading my little blog. It thrills my heart when you leave me a comment. Stay warm this wintry weekend, and find some time to create!