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.


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!


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!)


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.


This is really my FAVORITE part of them!  hehe


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

They are available for purchase in my booth at Stars.


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.

Feeding the addiction. (old book pages and sheet music addiction, that is!)

I sure hope the BUYING public loves this stuff as much as I love making it!  It’s so much faster than just painting everything.  Here are the latest additions:

Funky little shelf with a drawer. 

 I’m thinking maybe this was originally used for a record player.  See the little hole at the back?  Just right for running an electric cord through.

This piece got a quick once over with the orbital sander, then flat black spray paint.

Then vintage hymnal pages on the flat surfaces.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to distress this piece or not, so I sanded ‘just the drawer’ and mulled it over while I worked on other projects. STILL not sure if I liked it.  Got out the camera to take pics and the SECOND I looked at it through the lens I KNEW the distressing had to GO.  So I quickly repainted the drawer.  And promptly fogrot to take another picutre!  DOH!

My next ‘victim’ was this little 3 drawer chest.

You can see on this side where it used to have a DESK attached.  Desks don’t sell as well as little chests, so Michael just cut off the desk side!  This one needed a lot of sanding and the drawer fronts were especially scratched up; really DEEP scratches too.  Gave it a base coat of black spray, a top coat of black latex, and ‘papered’ the drawer fronts with hymnal pages.  Painted the handles black and re-used them.  No after pic of this one!  Sorry.  Michael got home from work early and we had to dash off to our storage garage to empty the trailer full of finished furniture; and re-fill it with the bins of product smalls that were in the garage.  Gotta sort through them all in preparation for the upcoming fall show.

I was almost tempted tp leave this table ‘as is’.  The colors are SO close to ‘my’ colors, just a bit brighter.  Considered softening the colors a bit by sanding, or adding some white detailing on the top.  Ultimately, my addiction got the better or me and it ‘got papered’!

Spray paint was definitely the way to go one these swervy-curvey legs!  You can’t quite tell in the picture, but the legs are notched about half way; apparently a middle shelf is missing.  But I kind of like the long legedness of it without the shelf!

And then the vintage song book pages applied with regular ole liquid starch.  Had one blog reader ask “Where or WHERE do I find liquid starch???”  I get mine at WinCo.  Which really only helps those of you in ‘my part’ of the country.  I’ve never seen it a Dollar Tree, or Grocery Outlet, Safeway or Fred Meyer.   And most ‘fancy’ food stores don’t carry it. I wish I could find some in POWDER form, so I could put together KITS, with pages and starch packets to sell in my etsy shop!  (do you think people would buy JUST the book pages, w/o the starch included???)

Next I want to get some more lamp shades covered to display on top of all these papered pieces.  Most of these pieces will go to the fall show in a few weeks.  Then what doesn’t sell will eventually make it’s way to our mall spaces.  IF you are interested in a piece, let me know; and I can take it to either mall for you to purchase.

Vintage gate leg table with missing severely damaged veneer

I asked Michael to ‘keep an eye out’ for a gate leg or drop leaf table.   SO, THIS is what he dragged home:

You can’t really SEE in this picture, because of the glare from the sun, but the veneer top is HALF missing!  It has been sitting for MONTHS while I racked my brain trying to think of HOW I can fix this much damage.  What was he thinking?!?!

But, in his defense, I must say that  I always tell him “It doesn’t matter how badly damaged a table top is, I can fix it (or work with the damage for a primitive look!).  Just be sure the LEGS are in good condition; because legs are hard to sand, and have to be done by hand.   I just didn’t ‘qualify’ that criteria by stating SOLID wood top.

And I did once fix up a damaged veneer top oak pedestal table.  But this current table is different.  One entire leaf of it had to have the veneer removed, which Michael did for me.  Then there were several ‘stripes’ of missing veneer.  Just sanding and re-staining was NOT going to cut it on this table.

I couldn’t really even just PAINT the top, because that just wouldn’t ‘go’ with the ornate legs.  AND you’d still be able to SEE how one side was slightly lower than the other when both ends are up.  If “I” were just going to use it myself, I wouldn’t care.  I’d just leave the bad side down and against a wall.  But we need to SELL this stuff!  What to do??? WHAT TO DO!?!?!

As I prepped the top by sanding, even MORE veneer peeled off!  YIKES.  This table top just may have to go to the dreaded ‘burn pile’;  salvage the legs  and add a new top.  Then it hit me!  COVER the top!!

With old book pages!  The above photo was taken while it was still a little wet.  Just use liquid laundry starch as your adhesive.  For a big job like this I use a paint brush to apply my starch.  Apply it to the surface, then to the back of the paper.  Place the paper and brush over it again with the starch.  The older the book, the more yellowed your pages will get.

Most of the small bubbles and buckling will diminish as the piece dries.  But you can always pull the paper back up if you need to reposition it or get big bubbles out.

Along the curved sides I just used the handle of my brush to ‘gently scrape’ along the curve, and tear away the excess.  Be sure your paper is very WET with starch while doing this, and tear VERY SLOWLY.

This picture shows how much more the paper yellows with the starch.  That paper is still wet, hence the blotchiness.   As you apply your paper, be mindful of the ‘pattern’ you are creating.  Try not to have it too matchy-matchy, but not TOO haphazard and busy either.

And here’s the finished table!  Lookin’ GOOD!!!  I haven’t added a sealer on top yet.  While it’s not ‘necessary’, for things like table and dresser tops that will get a lot of wear and tear, it’s a good idea.  Be sure to use WATER based MATTE varnish. You don’t want any SHINE.

This really is a pretty ‘quick and easy’ process.  Tear out all your book pages before you start the papering process.  I left the torn edge, but you can trim it away if you prefer.  You can ever trim away the entire border if you wish.  OR add some additional pages on top at different angles, like I did with the picture pages on this desk.   *(Notice the difference the AGE of the book pages makes!)

This is a very ‘flexible’ look.  Soft enough to be blended in with shabby chic.  And ‘heavy’ enough to go with the primitive look.

But be forewarned!  It is ADDICTIVE!  Once you finish your first project, you’ll be wandering around the house looking for MORE things to paper!

I used pages from an old church hymnal for this cylinder storage box (almost a foot stool size).

SPECIAL HINT FOR LAMP SHADES:  Paper the INSIDE as well as the outside.  When the light shines through, all you seams and overlaps are OVERLY obvious.  By double layering your paper (one layer outside and one layer inside) it will minimize this.