Prettied up prayer candles

Here’s my newest batch of prettied up prayer candles.

P1230512In the past I’ve used vintage sheet music for the background paper.  This time I decided on old dictionary pages.

P1230514There are SO many pretty colors and styles if paper doilies available now.  I love this turquoise and kraft combination.  The center medallion was punched from some wrapping paper I bought that has assorted vintage looking handwriting on it.

P1230650I don’t care for the look of the plain white paraffin wax that these are made of, and they always have at least an extra inch of wick.  So I top them off with some scented candle was.

P1230649I tied a couple of reproduction keys around the rim with some turquoise/white bakers twine.

167532You can find prayer candles at just about ANY grocery store, but the plain white ones like this can sometime be more difficult to find.  Dollar Tree always has them in stock.

P1230513My booth at Stars is SOOOOO packed with Christmas stuff right now that I am probably going to set these aside until the first of the year, or maybe spring.
P1230521I made this altered bottle at the same time as the candles.  Just an old glass bottle and some of the wrapping paper glued around it.

P1230520The ‘padlock’ came from the craft store.

P1230519As did this key with ‘MEMORY’ stamped into it.  (I think the key was from a Tim Holtz set.)  I put a band of tea stained muslin around the neck of the bottle, and tied the key on with bakers twine.  I’ll set this one aside too, until I get a whole batch of altered bottles made to take in.

Now, back to watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel, and ‘resting up’ for craft show delivery and set up.

Every Husband’s Nightmare at the Washington County Fairplex; Tuesday – Saturday.

One last Valentine craft!

I thought this flat back ‘half bottle’ was interesting and would led itself to an interesting alteration.


My initial thought was to decorate the flat side; then I had this idea!

P1180257I glued some paper to the flat side with the design facing toward the INSIDE of the bottle.

P1180251It’s quite IMpossible to photograph it well because the flash glares on the glass in the front.  You’ll just have to trust me that it looks pretty cool when you see it in person.

P1180259I really did try taking pictures from EVERY angle!  You can at least SEE the paper in this one (it just has some scribbled writing on it.)

P1180260Still trying to get the ‘perfect picture’!  To no avail!

P1180252I did the flat glass things on top of this one.  BUT I had to use three of them, because the neck on this one was very concave, so I glued (e6000) the first one curved side down.  Then the second one ‘flat side to flat side’, then a small one on top.

P1180253Tied on a little key with some sheer white ribbon.  Made this one all white, so I can leave it out AFTER Valentine’s day.  Would make a cute little wedding or anniversary gift, no?

P1180255You can see the topper better in this picture.

And that is the last of the Valentine themed items for me.  My Valentine craft supplies have been packed up and taken to the storage garage!

Time to start on spring the Easter things!

Old book love – new chapter: Itty bitty books!!

You KNOW how I love old books.  Crafting with the pages and decorating with them.  I found this cute little shelf with itty bitty books on it several years ago:

P1110321I really just wanted the BOOKS, but they were glued to the shelf so I had to buy the whole thing.

P1110322I had never seen books that small (other than the ‘novelty’ type friendship and love books you find at Hallmark stores) so I was inspecting them closely to see if I could find any clues as to where or how I might find more of these precious little nuggets.

P1110323To my amazement and wonderment I realize that they are REGULAR size books that have been ‘chopped down’!!!  Whoddathunk?!?!?  They were VERY well glued in place so I succumbed to selling them ‘as found’.   But they never sold.  So I bought them home and decided I’d again attempt to get them off the shelf so I could remove the covers.


About an hour (and a few curse words) later, I had some beautiful NEKKID itty bitty books!!!  I love them so SO much!  I want MORE.  Oh Michaellllllllllllllllllllllllllllll . . . . “Do you think you could chop down some old books for me?”


I showed him the ones I had bought and we pondered how they might have been cut down.   I finally concluded that it was probably done on a commercial paper cutter; like a book binder would have.  So then we mulled over the power tool options that we thought might work, and he decided to try the chop saw.  With no guarantees.  I was more than willing to sacrifice a book or two if it ultimately meant I could have more itty bitty book bundles!

P1110362We decided to try paper backs first, so I gave him two of them to have a go at.   They cut in half just fine, so I had him make a secondary cut; ultimately cutting them into about 1/4 of their original size.  They were a little too ‘fat’ now that they were smaller, so I tore them in half.  Now to make them look like they were originally hard bound books instead of just paper backs.  This is where the FUN begins!

P1110363This is how they ended up looking.  I bought the skeleton keys wholesale a few weeks ago and decided they were a nice compliment to the old book bundles.

P1110365The keys are GLUED & TIED ON, btw.  Otherwise they might mysteriously ‘disappear’.

P1110366I tea stained some old dictionary pages to use, as well as some plain paper and used bits of tea stained cheesecloth here and there.  (because on REAL old hard cover books there is a cheesecloth looking fabric in the binding when you tear it off)

P1110367Natural just twine to bundle them up with.

P1110368In the aftermath of those I was left with the partial pages that had been cut away.  Hating to waste it, I bundled it up to sell too!

P1110369Tea stained the edges a bit (sponged on) and bundled them with tea stained paper.

P1110370Really only spent about 5 minutes on each of these bundles, so it’s not biggie if they don’t sell.  I can always use the scraps for crafting with, right?

P1110372So then I was in the mood to do MORE books!  Dug out every old book I had; paper backs and hard covers;  and started ripping off covers.

P1110374Decided to use some real old keys and tags on this batch.

P1110375Some of the torn away covers had ‘interesting back sides’, so I saved whatever looked reusable and repurposed it on the spines of the paper back books.

P1110376Found an old library card to reuse on the top book of this stack.

P1110377Gotta LOVE when the inner pages are old and yellowed enough that I didn’t have to add anything.

P1110378Some scraps of printed tissue paper worked well for a book end.

P1110382Fat bundles, skinny bundles.

P1110384Big books and itty bitty books.

P1110398All of those bundles went to my booth at Stars.

P1110399Displayed them in some weathered wood shadow box shelves on the back wall of my booth.


Added some other things is the same color palette from elsewhere in my booth.

P1110401Plan to ‘finish off’ that entire black wall with ‘neutral tones’ next trip.



I’m thinking these books need to come home for a make over next trip!  Now that I have figured how to BETTER make them look old! (and have accumulated a lot of old keys to embellish them with!)  A little more time and effort spent on them will yield a better selling price.


I have several nests under cloches right now, but the old book bundles are prefect on the cake stands and under cloches too!

P1110389Just tossed a couple of the little ‘cut pages’ bundles in with an old wood bowl full of vintage show brushes.

P1110413Cages filled with books are a nice display too!

P1110411So, what have YOU been working on lately???

* * * * * EDITED TO ADD * * * * * If you normally don’t read or leave comments, I hope you will read the second  comment left on this post and share your opinion on it with me.  Not trying to start another big debate, but I’m sincerely curious as to how you view this kind of thing.  And PLEASE know that these are OLD books that were already very tattered and worn and torn and tossed out by others.


STILL in ‘collage mode’ . . .

P1110043Getting a few ‘Valentin-ish’ ones made.


P1110040These wood hearts with wings were purchased unfinished from Dollar Tree several years ago.  Glued vintage sheet music to it first then embellished a bit.

P1110045Just slightly altered gift box.  Such a sweet faces little cherub on this thrift store box, I HAD to buy it!  I filled it with my custom blend of paper shred (as I do with ALL my gift boxes) and added the love definition on the left side, the stamped ‘bliss’ tag and gave her a hand cut gold glittered crown.

P1110050Super simple bird collages.  Scrap book embellishment birds mounted on old book pages in repainted and antiqued thrifted frames.

P1110054More birds in similar frames but with a more layered background.

P1110056The birds have a little bit if shimmer to them.

P1110058Old dictionary pages and scrap-book paper with script writing for the background.


More layers of papers and paper lace on this backing.


Having used up all the birds I had, it was time to move on to the sea life embellishments.  Seahorse in a tiny frame and pair of starfish on dictionary page with tea stained backing.


Seahorse and starfish.

P1110145Seahorse and sand dollars.

P1110141Sea shells.

P1110142In the past, I have also done assemblages like this using REAL shells.  Leave the glass out and use a sand paper or burlap backing to glue the shells to.  (for gluing on bulkier things like that I use e6000 adhesive)

P1110171Another KEY collage?!?!?  This one is just a sticker though.  I’m really trying to USE UP a lot of the scrapbook paper and embellishments I have ‘invested’ in over the years.  I buy a lot of this kind of stuff but so seldom actually USE it.  And I am NOT even a scrapbooker!  I just love the STUFF!!!!

P1110173Paris chic fleur de lis.

P1110174These metal fluer ‘charms’ (BIG charms!) I bought at the craft store.

P1110175Wishing now that I had bought more of these when they had them.  Thinking they would be neat to use on furniture.

P1110176Metal pocket watch ‘charm’ bought same as the fleurs.  Wonder what they were intended to be used for???

P1110178Bought these glitter crowns a while back from a wholesale website and had NO IDEA how I would use them.  finally came up with this.

P1110179I hand stamped the saying.

NOW, I really have to start doing some OTHER kinds of crafts!!!

Key collages

So, I had all the scraps of papers left from the altered tins and was in a ‘collage kind of mood’, so the next night after I altered the tins, I made these key collages:

P1100830Most of these frames are thrift store/estate sale finds that I have repainted.

P1100831Scrap papers are vintage keys.

P1100832ACK!!!  Sorry ’bout the blurrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  These are two of the ‘flat back’ keys and the big one is a vintage repro from the craft store.

P1100833Three vintage keys.

P1100834Vintage repro key from craft store.

P1100835Both flat back craft store keys.

P1100836Craft store vintage repro key.

P1100837Another craft store vintage repro, oriented to be displayed vertically.  Most of the others are horizontal or square.

P1100838Another vertical, craft store repro.

P1100839And I found one MORE tin.  A lone round one.

P1100840The bird design was already on the paper I used.

P1100841I glued a stack of graduated sizes of buttons to the lid.

The fruits of another evening in front of the TV!


Some of these have gone to each of my booths at Stars and Curiosities.

Altered tins

Got these cute rectangular tins EONS ago; when we were still doing primarily primitives in our store in Hillsboro.  I think they had repro vintage laundry detergent labels on them.  They were on clearance and super cheap, so I bought a CASE of them; in sets of 3 graduated sizes.  The smallest about the size of a box of band-aids.

P1100939I did sell a few of them ‘as purchased’ in a little laundry vignette in the store with old wash tubs, wash boards, old clothespins etc.  (the above three are currently at Stars)

STILL had a lot of them left.  So I made primitive tea stained labels to put on some of them to sell alongside the vintage bottles that I similarly labeled.  (photo from Stars 2010)

You can see the can a little better in this picture.  So I did that with a bunch of them and sold them as such.  Then I started working on more of them and got as far as covering the original label with dark brown or tea stained paper; then I stopped.  Recently found that box of them; and with those ‘blank canvases’ made these new altered versions:

P1100842So I dug through my piles of scrapbook paper and embellishments and started layering stuff on!

P1100843even did the sides of some of them!

P1100844And some had to be covered on the backside too because they were all scratched up.

From my previous experience with selling these in our store, I knew that people would HAVE to take the lids off.   That’s the first thing they did when they would pick them up to look at them.  Take the lid off.  Even though they are obviously EMPTY.  It’s just human nature.  We want to SEE what’s inside.  But the lids were a very snug fit and it took time to get them back on.  Hence, at the end of every day at the store, I had to walk around and puts the lids back on all the tins!  sigh.  Since I can’t ‘be there’ to replace  the lids at the malls, and don’t want them to ‘go missing’  (you’d be amazed at what ‘walks out’ of those places!?!) I GLUED them on when I started this project!  (which does NOT necessarily guarantee that I WON’T find them with the lids taken off!)  double sigh!

P1100845I just sat at my coffee table in front of the TV one evening, glue bottle in hand, and altered away! (Aleen’s tacky glue is the ONLY glue I use!)

P1100846The ‘fauxen’ (faux frozen!) Charlotte’s are ones I molded with Sculpey clay.  Bought the mold to make them on etsy.

P1100847The moon face is molded clay too.  (Got this mold at the craft store)  The key is from a pack designed for paper crafts; flat on the back side so they glue down nicely.

P1100848And the top of that one.

P1100849Another face from the same mold set.  Embossed butterfly bought in a package at craft store.  You’ll notice that I also used these as wings for some of the Charlottes.

P1100850And another flat back key.


Vintage looking photos from an embellishment pad.  TONS of great stuff in that thing!

P1100852Bingo card from the same pad.  Tiny clay moon face on butterfly.

P1100853These particular crowns are made from a paper die cut.  (not a die cut MACHINE; don’t have one of those YET!  But the little single ones you can buy at the craft store)

P1100854Another (smaller!) Charlotte.  I used my Ralph Lauren tobacco glaze to ‘antique’ the Charlottes and moon faces.

P1100855The biggest Charlotte of the bunch.  These wings I cut myself from scrap paper.

P1100856The top.


P1100858Vintage dictionary page is from an actual old dictionary.  I use the paper from it a LOT.  Really inexpensive to buy at a thrift store.  Another ‘flat back’ key.  The vintage post card images are cut from a 12×12 sheet of scrapbook paper covered with them.


P1100860Half a Charlotte???  Well, I didn’t have enough clay left to make a whole one and I didn’t want to waste that last little bit of it! (what can I say?  Waste not, want not!)


P1100862Bird cage die cut from an embellishment pack.


P1100864Just layers of papers and a single embellishment.

P1100865Top.  ALL the tops have at least a strip of paper on them.  I only took pictures of the tops that I added MORE than just the paper to.

P1100866Another vintage look picture from the pad.


P1100868Funny cartoon image from the embellishment pad.

P1100869And another one of those flat keys.  Now that I’ve actually USED the keys, I’m wishing that I had bought MORE of them!

But more often that not, I buy stuff like that ‘when it catches my eye’ and it’s sometimes YEARS before I actually USE it.  And by then, if I decide I want MORE, they don’t have them anymore?!?!  But maybe that’s a GOOD thing!

I did all of these in one evening, in front of the TV.

Taking the book pages and sheet music wreaths to the NEXT level

I’ve done several posts on wreaths made using old book pages and sheet music, here’s the link  to all the previous posts just in case you want to review.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 003

These are the latest ones that I had worked on.   The one on the left is FLAT, mounted on a cardboard base.  The one on the right was mounted on a paper covered styrene wreath form; which are just getting TOO expensive to buy new anymore.  Having not been able to find any of them at thrift stores, I had to try making my own forms from cardboard.


So I looked at those hanging on my pantry for WEEKS, trying to figure out what ELSE I could do to them.  Michael mentioned that I should add glitter.  Agreed.  but I only added it ‘here and there’.  (maybe I’ll FULLY glitter the next batch!)  Then I found a few printed up tea stained banners left over from a few years ago and VOILA!!

P1090540The perfect finishing touch!

P1090541On to the flat ones.










P1090546I had run out of banners when I got to the smallest wreath, so I added one of the ruffled crepe paper ornaments I had just made to it.




P1090548I’m quite pleased with how they turned out! 

These have been divided up between both mall booths.

I’m thinking that I can make them with different sayings for year round use and other holidays too!


Birds of a feather . . .

P1080494But these two ‘thrift store bought’ birds are NOT going to flock together!

10.1.13 pics 009The white one was a salt shaker, so to hide the holes on top if it’s head, I globbed on a bit of spackling.  Then I noticed this other salt shaker and how perfectly sized they were for each other!

10.1.13 pics 010I glued them together with e6000 and let the glue cure overnight.

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Once the glue was set, I spackled the base also and let that dry.  The top and base were both slightly different shades of white, so I spray painted the whole thing to make it cohesive, and, of course, added a crown!

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This ‘pre-crown’ picture shows how petite this little guy is.  Will probably save him for spring.

10.1.13 pics 011I was in ‘Halloween mode’ by the time I got to the other bird, so it got painted black.

10.7.13 stars etsy projects 083

Gave the bird a sheet music paper crown and glued him atop a little wood box (opening facing to the back); dug through my stash of Halloween embellishments to find this head stone shaped one to glue to the front of the box and added a little glittered spider.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 106It’s quite petite, as you can see here in my space at Stars.


Altered jars

P1070393Finished another batch of altered jars.  


Two layers of scrapbook paper and a vintage prescription label (bought on etsy) on this one.

P1070396Sheer ribbon and a vintage key around the top.


Very vintage looking.

P1070398Two layers of papers and a ‘flat key’ embellishment.  I found these flat keys at the craft store in the scrapbook section.  I think it was a package of 8 assorted sizes and styles.  PERFECT for projects like this as they are flat on the back and easy to glue to a flat surface, but still ‘raised’ enough to look fairly realistic.

P1070397And some ribbon around the neck.

P1070400A little chipboard bird-cage on the label of this one.  A tiny repro skeleton key around the neck.

P1070399Added a vintage white ceramic knob to the lid of this one. (glued on with e6000)

P1070402These have all available for purchase in my booth at Stars.

P1070401Stars is open seven days a week; 11am – 6pm.

Summer HAS arrived in the Pacific Northwest!

And with a VENGEANCE!  Hoooooo-EEEEEEEEEE it is ever HOT!!  I have been waiting ever so patiently for ‘good painting weather to arrive’ and it just NEVER came?!?!  We went from WET spring weather to HOT summer.  A few sunny days here and there prior to this, but never long enough to drag several projects outside to work on at the same time and not have to put them back in every night.  

I just do NOT do well in the heat anymore.  I’ve been keeping wet wash cloths in the frig and grab one to wrap around my neck as I head outside to do a little painting.  I last maybe 10 minutes, head inside for a new cold cloth and cool of for 15-20 minutes before I venture outside again.  

The paint sure DRIES fast in this weather; that’s for sure!

6..25.13 projects big chair 016So I’m trying to finish up a bunch of little projects inside until it cools down a bit.  I made this fauxzen Charlotte in the gold oval frame a while back.  Decided to attach it to a black frame.

6..25.13 projects big chair 017And made this framed key to coordinate with it.

6..25.13 projects big chair 015Cute little duo.  Not sure where they are headed just yet though.  Time for more lemonade!


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