Mixed Media Bird collages

I found these two wood Easter plaques at Goodwill, but they had come from Target’s Dollar spot.

I like the using ‘box type’ design for making collages.  The sides of these were already colors and designs that I liked and could work with!

I had some pretty new paper napkins with bird eggs on them that I was itchin’ to play with, so I decided on a bird theme for these two plaques.

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A few layers of book pages, then the napkin, then a couple more book pages cut into ‘fancy shapes’, then a rectangle from a Chinese magazine and a bird illustration from a bird book.  A quote from a book and of COURSE, a crown!

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What do you think of my new photo backdrop?

With all the warm and dry weather we’ve been having I got a few ‘personal’ painting projects done.  One of which was this shelf and the table it sits on.  This ‘shelf’ is actually 1/2 of an old coffee table that was once a display shelf in my booth at Stars.

These are the pictures from ‘back when’ I used them as display shelves in my booth.   I’m now using the half coffee table as  a shelf atop halr of a dining table that is in my ‘office’ (which should be the dining room!)

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The lamp has always been in this spot.  I bought it to go with this collection of similarly shaped bottles; which used to be on a shelf in my living room.  I had hoped to figure out a way to display them all together in the living room; but I just couldn’t make it work.  So I settled for this set up; which I like just fine.

And the second collage; styled fairly similarly to the first one.

I extended the napkins over the edges, and they are sheer enough that the original side color and design show through.

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This is really my FAVORITE part of them!  hehe

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Since the pieces were rectangular in shape, I oriented them in different directions.

They are available for purchase in my booth at Stars.

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New ‘fauxzen Charlotte’ project

I’ve been trying to think of a new way to use my faux Frozen (fauxzen) Charlotte’s.  So, I decided to look back in my blog to see what all I had done with them in the past.  I honestly FORGET about some of the projects I’ve done, until I SEE them again!

Wow!!  A lot more than I thought I had done!  I’m not sure there IS anything NEW left to do with them!?!

P1260811And then I come across some square shaped brown glass jars that are the perfect size for a mini Charlotte collage!

It was a pretty quick and simple project.  Vintage book pages background and wings; die cut crowns from metallic paper.  I tied some tea stained cheesecloth on the top and added some cute little charms.  Bam!

Mini mixed media easel collages

I did the ‘backgrounds’ on these a while ago, along with several others.  Set them aside for a while until I decided what MORE to do with them.

Assorted scrap papers, book pages, sheet music and pattern tissue papers.  No real ‘method’; just layer upon layer upon layer until it ‘feels’ right.

This is what the easels looked like when I bought them at Dollar Tree several years ago.

I decided they would make cute backgrounds for the Fimo fauxzen Charlotte’s that I make.  It’s really handy having the attached easel.

This first one I added just a ‘bust’; with kraft cardboard wings and cut one of my mini sheet music crowns in half to glue the flat side to the backing.

Some Monarch butterfly wings and a paper crown on this one.

Monarch butterfly wings #2; the other half of the previous sheet music crown and letters cut from a book.

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I’ve only taken this one to Stars; saving the rest for ?????

Another mixed media collage

I bought ‘a bunch’ of these wire topped wall plaques at the dollar store, YEARS ago!
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I didn’t really like them for what they WERE; rather for what they could BECOME.

That’s what I did with them ‘back when’ we had our own gift store.  I found ONE last one recently and decided it was time to use it up.

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First I covered with assorted papers; including some vintage pattern paper as the last coat.  Using them as the last coat adds a nice ‘softness’ to the look and sort of ‘blends them all together’.

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I painted a heart with wings; glittered the wings, and cut out words form a old book to put on the heart.

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NOW I just need to figure out what I want to do with the rest of these backgrounds that are ‘ready to go!

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Upcycled soap box

Hello, my name is aj; and I’m a ‘soapaholic’. 

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve probably already figured that out!  I must confess that my addiction goes further than that.

I can’t resist ‘sniffing soaps’ at the store.

No, not the soaps in the soap aisle at the grocery store.  The ‘fancy’ soaps that come in pretty boxes.  Marshall’s is my favorite store for ‘soap sniffing’.  But I don’t sniff just ‘any soap’!  No ‘floral’ fragrances for me (except Lavender).  Other floral scents make me sneeze!  And I only like ‘neutral color’ soaps.P1260297I I was attracted to this box of soap because of the pretty box.  When I opened it and saw that it was PINK, I quickly put the lid back on and replaced it on the shelf withOUT even smelling it.  Because I don’t like pink soaps!

Just as I was starting to reach for the next box to open and sniff; the fragrance from that box with pink soap gently wafted by and it was AMAZING!  It smelled like a fresh strawberry pie.  I could NOT resist a full on sniff.  I HAD to buy it!

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The soap itself went directly into my shower and the box to my craft table.  I especially like how the box was decorated with the baker’s twine.  (will have to remember that trick!)

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I love upcycling these pretty soap boxes.  Usually I have to re-cover the entire box; but this one was already decorated so nicely that I only had to cover the ‘soap’ information.

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I found some print scrap book paper that coordinated with the paper on the box to cover the front label.

Used a piece of the same paper to cover the bottom of the box.

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There was a removable ‘riser’ in the bottom of the box that I wanted to leave in place because it SMELLED so good; so I added some of the same paper to it.

Easy peasey pretty (and fragrant!) little gift box ready to go!

Trying my hand at some mixed media art

Mixed Media Angel Plaque

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Still ‘sorting and purging’ the craft supplies that I didn’t get rid of before I moved.

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Came across this ‘thrifted’ plaque (which originally had a simple abstract design) in a box of frames,  It was either ‘USE it or donate it’ time . . . . I decided to use it.

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I had NO IDEA what I was going to make of it when I first started.  I applied a page of sheet music; then layers of old clothing patterns, extending over the edges.

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I ‘tested’ some assorted papers and thought about making it a ‘vintage key collage’; but I’ve dome LOTS of those.  Forcing myself to do NEW things right now . . .  and I settled upon painting an angel.

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It took two coats of acrylic craft paint to cover the paper.  It’s been a while since I’ve painted eyes . . .and does it ever show!  sigh.  Then I outlined everything with a black Sharpie.

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I glued a piece of gold pipe cleaner for her halo; and some little gold metallic stars on her wings.  I thought about giving her a tiny ‘key charm’ necklace, but the chain didn’t look quite right; so I settled for painting a heart on her chest.

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Painting OVER the edges was new to me, so I only attempted it with the wings.

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Here you can better tell the size, fairly smallish at just 8″ x 8″; even though it’s not a very good ‘photo’.  The flash made a lot of glare and the lamp is reflecting in the glass in the lantern on the right, completely obstructing the ceramic bust.

SO, that was my new adventure for now.  I’m TYING to ‘ease my way’ into less ‘physical labor intensive’ projects.  I’m not getting in younger, after all!

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.

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

SAID COMMENTS HAVE BEEN DELETED AND COMMENTER BANNED FROM FURTHER COMMENTS.

STILL in ‘collage mode’ . . .

P1110043Getting a few ‘Valentin-ish’ ones made.

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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.

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More layers of papers and paper lace on this backing.

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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.

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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!!!

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