Monday, November 17, 2014

Material Girl Sewing Shadow Frame Button Bracelet

Material Girl Sewing Shadow Frame and button bracelet

Was this ever alot of fun !!!

 Every time I go into a second hand shop I automatically end up in the frame section and what I usually look for the most are shadow frames. I can never seem to get enough of them and I have quite a few large stacks sitting on my art room shelves and lots of ideas for using them and thought that it was about time to start putting them to good use.

 I created the 2 projects in this post specially for the current challenge over at Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent. Although it has an Anything Goes Theme for everyone else who enters, the Team is doing a  Sewing theme called Material Girl and I wanted to inspire you with more than my art. There are so many lovely things in the world and sometimes we overlook them because they are worn or old. So along with my Art for today, I am sharing some of my collections that are not new which I think adds to their rare uniqueness and even rare beauty.

Material Girl Recycle challenge button bracelet

Going with the sewing theme, I emptied the shadow box of it's previous contents which was just a rather ugly plastic coffee cup. As the main focal point for my Material Girl Shadow Box I used  one of my new Asian Toy digital stamp designs. This is the first time I have used her but she depicts a spool of thread which matches my sewing theme and I also love quirky she is.

Recycled Book Page Paper RosesI colored her with a mix of Bic Markers and Prismacolor Pencil and used two Popsicle sticks on the back of her to give her extra height and give the piece a more 3d look. For the background and various elements I used digital designs from my Material Girl / Sewing Collection.

The Paper Rose at the corner of my Shadow Frame was made from an old book page which I painted with watercolor. I attached the Paper Rose to the top a wrapped Spirelli Shape Piece which is similar to the designs in my Spireli Ready to Print and Cut Kit.

For my second project I created a Sewing Theme Charm Bracelet. I have been wanting to make a bracelet like this for a very long time and love how it turned out.

Altered Recycled Button Bracelet

 Almost all the things used on my bracelet are either things I have had just about forever or fabulous 2nd store finds I have been collecting.

Recycled Sewing Button Bracelet
The little face attached on top of the large blue button is a face I molded out of Paper Clay about 10 years ago. I had a little bag full of these sitting in one of my printer drawers and though my bracelet needed something more arty.

Now that I have found my faces again, I will probably be using them for other projects. I also made the original mold which will also enable me to make an endless supply.Even though my bracelet according to Hubby looks like it has quite a bit on it already, I am sure there is room for adding more elements should something really fabulous and cool come to mind later on.

Vintage Spools & Tatting
For a little sewing accessories basket and to show off some of my moments, I used my little duck basket which I have so long I have forgotten where I got it.

About 25 years ago I was really into cross stitching and the small piece on the wooden hoop is a mini I never did anything with. I used some of my Cross Stitch / Embroidery Thread to wrap around my digital Paper Spool.

Antique & Vintage Powder Puff
To go with the sewing theme, I though you might also enjoy seeing some my of other treasures. I have 4 shoe boxes full of old vintage wooden spools that belonged to my grandmother who was a seamstress, and above are some of my favorite spools.

The bit of tatting at the bottom of the spools was done by my Husbands Grandmother who passed away many years ago. It is frayed and worn but I have kept in in my sewing box all these years to remind me of her as she was a really sweet woman who enjoyed creating as much as I do..

The Power Puff to the top left is as old as the spools and the ornate belt buckle shown below all belonged to my grandmother and I think they must be about 60 years old as I have had them for more than half of that. The powder puff and the buckle look like Art Nouveau designs

Vintage Art Nouveau buckle
Recycled Material List:
2nd Hand Shadow Frame
Book Page for Paper Rose
2 Popsicle Sticks for extra height
Silver Color Sewing Bobbin
Black Snaps
Homemade Paper Clay Face

Bracelet List:
silver garden wire, wire cutters and jewelry tools
Buttons, Zipper Pull, Wine Charm Hearts,
Safety Pins, Seed Beads, black sewing snaps, charms

Other General Material List:
Vintage Thread SpoolCard-stock, double sided tape, Alcohol Pen, Prismacolor Pencils, pop dots, buttons, beads, amber rhinestone, Embroidery Thread, Stick Pin

After all these years, the Spool on the right still happens to have some satin tread on which is rare in-itself. The thread is very fragile but has the most lovey soft texture when you feel it.

The old Singer Sewing Machine I used as a backdrop has been sitting in my basement for about 35 years and although it is missing the cabinet I have the treadle part which my Hubby turned into a table for me. Did I forget to mention that I have a really old typewritten that belonged to my Hubby's grandmother sitting in my basement as well, Hum, I see some possibilities there.

Lastly some photos of my old Singer Sewing Machine. It has seen better days bu I think still quite beautiful.  I love the detail work that the old machines had, and is missing in more modern machines. This was probably an expensive machine in it's time and I bet also very impressive when it was new.


I hope you enjoyed my projects for today as well as seeing some of my collections from days gone by.

I also hope you pop on over to Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent and check out the gorgeous things the rest of the team has made. While you are there be sure to join our challenge.

My Material Girl projects are entered in the following Challenges::
Rhedd's Creative Spirit ... November Challenge
Not Just Cards ... Anything Goes #6
That's Crafty ... Anything Vintage

Update: Top 5 Winner ... Not Just Cards

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fantastic News Altered Eclectics and Eclectic Ellapu DTs

I have the most wonderful news and just have to share !!!

I have been accepted to both the Altered Eclectics and Eclectic Ellapu Design Teams and I'm so excited. I have long been an admirer of the Altered Eclectics challenge blog in particular and it is one of my favorite challenges to play in besides my own Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent Challenge so this is indeed an honor and a treat for me. The talent of both  teams is amazing and I can't wait to work with them.

Just like the song by the Pointer Sisters, "I'm so excited and I just can't hide it" My first challenge with them will be in December 1st and I have been wracking my brain for just the right project for each. It looks like I will be on the Pink Team and hope you will all come check out the challenge.

Life is Sweet and today is a really great day, :) Chris / CS Designs

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Altered Asian Writing Desk Set

Altered & Recycled Asian Writing Desk Set & Going Postal Challenge

My project for today is an Altered Asian writing &  desk set, which I created especially for this months Going Postal Challenge over at Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent.

I have had the idea for this challenge and this project for over a year now and it was fun finely getting to try some of the things I had envisioned.

Everything in my project is either recycled, created from scratch or very, very old. 

 All the digital designs I used are from my new Postage Stamp digital stamp series which you will find in my CS Designs shop later this week.

I have been collecting the pieces for this project for a very long time and although I am extremely happy with how my altered project turned out, my favorite part over all is my handmade  scroll with wax seal and the handmade seal itself. .

My Altered Asian Writing & Desk Set is very detailed so this post is long but hope you will enjoy knowing how I created some of the pieces in my set.  Pour yourself a cup of something and hope you enjoy my latest project.

Lids, Boxes & Containers
The wooden piece I used as a foundation to hold all the pieces for my set is the top lid of an old wooden gaming set. The side that is showing is Chess and Checkers and the side underneath is for Backgammon.

The cylinder Container  I painted black and holds my wood burned chop sticks came from an old wooden spoon set that I have had for about 10 years butt never used in my kitchen, and  instead used it to store extra pens in my art room.

I ‘m not sure what the piece I used for  a letter holder was before as I found it at Salvation a couple of years ago. 

The Wooden box I painted red was a Dollar store find and cost all of  $1.25

Scrolls & Seals.

Some where I have real sealing wax the kind with the wick that you burn and drip, I also have a real  all metal seal, but could not find them when I went to make my project so made my own.

The handle part of my seal came from an old rubber stamp that I no longer use. I ripped off the stamp and painted the wooden handle black to match the rest of my writing set and hot glued an old button which served to make the impression.

 My scrolls. The two scrolls in the black box tied with brown waxed cord are just a letter I printed in the correct size and then rolled to look like scrolls.

 The scroll with the wax seal has been something I have been wanting to make for a very long time and so pleased at how it turned out.  For something to roll my stained paper onto, I used  a piece of thick doweling that came with a huge bag of wooden blocs that I bought at a second hand store about 2 years ago.

 I painted the dowel black using acrylic paint, added gold to both ends and then sealed it all with Mat Gel Medium. I then took a piece of  left over stained and cooked bakery paper and wrapped it around the middle and held it in place with tied red crochet thread.

For the Home made Red Wax Seal. I melted broken pieces of some old red crayon, some paraffin wax left over from the days I use to do canning and some cut up pieces of hot glue. I melted everything in an old clean empty soup can as I did not want to ruin  any of my pots. I had the heat on fairly low as I did not want it to smoke and found that the crayon and paraffin wax melted quickly and well but the glue stick did not even though they had been cut up before hand.  I left the un-melted glue in the can but it could be removed as it ended up being of no use.  If you try something like this be sure to use a pot holder to touch you can as it can end up getting very hot even at low heat.

 Later when I went to use the wax I had melted, I heated it again only this time by applying a little heat from my heat gun to inside the can.  I poured a little bit of the wax mixture onto some tinfoil and let it set up for a bit before scooping it up and shaping it into a ball with my fingers. I then flattened the ball slightly and placed it on my paper scroll shaping it to match the rounded curve of my wooden seal, and made an impression on the wax with the button end of my handmade seal.

Although the seal impressed fairly well, the seal did not really stick to the paper after it was cool, so I used some Tacky Glue to hold it in place permanently.


There might be a couple of reasons why my seal did not initially stick to my paper seal. Paraffin wax is much softer and creamer than candle wax so does not tend to be as brittle. Candle wax is much harder and would probably make a good impression but I was afraid because of it’s hardness it might tend to snap off or crumble with time and wanted my paper seal to last for a long time.

I also used  the big children’s crayons instead of the smaller harder ones and this might also have contributed to the structure of my final seal. I have some beeswax kicking around here some where and going to try that the next time I do this again, although it doesn’t take much to make a seal and I have lots of the red wax left over.

Once my seal was cool, I noticed that the impression did not really stand out as much as I had hoped so added a bit of dry brushing with gold acrylic just on the raised areas and rather like how it looks.

Ink Bottle, Calligraphy Pens ad Nibs
The small ink bottle in the red box is an old  Winsor Newton Gold ink which has been dry for the past 15 years but I though the bottle was too cool to throw away and have been saving it all this time. Because you can still see the gold ink inside from certain angels, I left the bottle as it was and just tied a bit flower charm on the front with red crochet thread to hide the label.

 I have an old Chinese coin my Hubby found on one of his excursions a long time ago and gave to me because I like collecting old coin and added it as an accent to the top of the bottle to go with the Asian Theme.

 Both my Calligraphy pens are about 20 years old and the larger one which used to be be black when it was new was looking rather neglected so I gave it a bit of a face lift by repainting it and giving it a band to match my Altered Domino Jewellery included with the writing set..

Stationary, Postage Stamps and Postage Envelopes: 

The Small Stack of Envelopes tied with a shear red ribbon is delicious. I say delicious because they are made from something similar to deli papers and they come sandwiched in-between the goodies my Hubby buys me at the bakery and we also get similar papers under  our pizza when we order from our local pizzeria.  To prepare the papers, I washed them well with dish soap, and set them aside to dry and stored them for later use. It is surprising especially with the pizza ones that they all came absolutely clean.

For my project I wanted my envelopes to look old so crinkled them up and put them in a bowl of brewed coffee for a few seconds. I then wrung them out and placed them on a baking sheet covered with tin foil and baked them at 325 degrees F for just as long as it too for them to dry.  I don’t remember for how long but if you try something like this be sure to check  periodically because paper might burn if left unattended.

 I experimented with the coffee dipped paper and  tried smoothing some out and left others crinkled and prefer the ones that were scrunched up in a wad as they show more stains, especially where parts touched the tinfoil while baking. The only thing I would do different next time might be to cut out my envelopes first as it was hard cutting perfect straight lines when they were wrinkled.

For the Postage Stamp envelopes, I used real ones. I collect stamps as well and had a bundle of envelops with old stamps still in them. I printed out my own postage stamps designs from my new series and put some in a couple of envelopes  and placed them on top of the piles to make them look more authentic. I then tied the bundles with brown waxed cording.

Altered Postage Domino Pendants
I know jewellery is not usually part of a part of a writing set but  I tend to throw everything on my desks so thought why not; besides I have a humongous collection of old and used dominoes just waiting to be turned into some kind of wonderful art and want to use them every chance I get, if for nothing else to prove to mu Hubby that I’m not just a big pat rat and things do eventually end up in my art. 

To start I used black acrylic paint to cover both dominoes. I left one plain black and splattered painted the other with red and orange which give it a mottled effect. Once they were dry I applied elements from my Asian Love Notes digital and a new Asian Bamboo digital background which will also be in my store soon.

After everything was dry I sealed them with several  of Semi-gloss Mod Podge.The black domino pendant with the red and black Asian Bamboo pattern has a silver commercial bail to run the chain through while the splattered one has a hand made bail made from coiled copper wire. Since I did not have any kind of jewellery glue, I used Glossy Accents to attach the bails.  When the Glossy Accents was set, I added a dollar store jewel to my splattered pendant.

Extras scattered around my Altered Asian writing set:
The shelves in my art room are filled with  old and unusual curiosities and mementos and I thought my writing set should also reflect my love of the eclectic.

I have had the tiny blue vase with the Asian theme for more years than I can remember and it has been sitting in a drawer since the last time we did house renovations and I though this was a good time to take it out and give it a new purpose.

 I have had the Rhinestone Hair Pick shown above since I was 13 and it comes to a sharp point at the end so I thought it would make a good faux letter opener for my set.

The Gold Dragon in the red box, is actually an earring that I got as a freebie when a local shop was going out of business.  While I was talking to the shop owner I told her all about what I do and she just gave me big bag full of the most amazing things to use in my art. When I first saw the gold dragon, I just loved it and think it makes a really nice addition to my Asian Writing set.

 The Rust colored Tassel came from the pulls of my old sealing fan. When we got a new one I saved the tassels and the blades to the old one as I knew they would come in handy eventually. I have not done anything with the blades yet but they are covered in brass and very cool and know they have potential.

Well that’s it. I hope you liked my project and hope this will inspire you to create your own writing set. If you do please leave me a note as I would love to come have a look.

My Altered Asian Writing Set is entered in the following challenges.
Altered Eclectics ... Oh My Word .. Anything Goes as long as it's not a card
Rhedd's Creative Spirit - Anything Goes Altered Art Only
Not Just Cards  …  Anything Goes
Crafting Musketeers ... #19 Anything but a Card
The Crafting Cafe ... Not a Card

Altered Expressive Heart Note Book Pages

It’s time for another fun challenge over at the Craft Garden and the theme for this month is to use 4 of something from the challenge list. For my project I created a couple of new altered art pages for my Altered Mini Smash Notebook. I bought a little writing note book a while back and every once in a while, I add something to it or do a bit of painting in it. Until today I have never shared any of my pages and thought it was about time I did.

The pages are fairly simple for me, but had alot of fun painting the backgrounds.

The Challenge List to choose from includes: A Button, Ribbon, Spray/Mist/White Space, Doily, Polka Dots, Bling and Embroidery

For my altered note book pages I used:  A couple of  Buttons, A Gem for Bling, I drew and punched out Faux Polka Dots and included some Red Embroidery Thread, not quite Embroidery but hope it will do.

To start I painted and splattered all over my pages and addeded some splatter, rings using my glue top and drew random dots and circles in places. The main design I used on the right page is my own original digital stamp design Expressive Heart 1 which can be found on my CS Designs shop. Both the sentiments I used are also from my digital collections.

The green flower on the left page is a punch, and the amber gem on top of the yellow button is my choice of bling from the challenge list.

The little green dots (polka dots) to the left of my Expressive Heart were punched out of text weight printer paper and my choice for polka dots from the list. I also drew random black dots surrounded in white gel pen for more.

The Expressive Heart was colored with Prismacolor pencils and the direct to paper the direct to paper technique used around the edges.

Be sure to check out our challenge at the Craft Garden this month as well as what the rest of the team created and I look forward to seeing your creations.

Kerry, than you for giving me some much needed time off, it's good to be back again. :)

My Altered Mini Notebook Pages are entered in the following challenges:
Creatalicious Challenge #68 Orange and Green
Craft and Smash Challenge ... Autumn Theme (I've used Autumn Colors)
Hiding in my Craft Room ... #172 Fall Colors

Update: So Thrilled, my Altered Notebook Pages project was selected as a Winner at Craft and Smash Challenge