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Lost and Found (Collage)

Hello everyone and Happy Hump Day!  Aren’t the weeks just flying by?  One minute I am whinging about it being Monday, and the next thing I know we’re heading towards the weekend again.  It’s a sure sign of getting older – the time slipping by at a rapid pace.

This collage was made using a wooden board from a puzzle.  I bought some little wooden puzzles from an op-shop a few weeks ago – they were brand new and still in their plastic wrapping.  The puzzle pieces were held in place by the recessed wooden board, and I thought it would make a great “framed” collage piece.

So, I painted the board with black gesso on all sides and tried in vain to remove the label on it that showed the image of the finished puzzle.  Gah!  Non-removable stickers and labels are the bane of my crafting existence.  This one WOULD NOT COME OFF.  I didn’t dare to use any kind of  label remover, for fear it would leave an oily residue.  So, what to do?  Desperate times call for desperate measures so, rummaging through my “bits and bobs” box, I found a child’s wooden block that was the perfect size to cover the label.  It was painted black and stenciled with the same brick design as the rest of the piece.  after completing the collage, I carefully glued the block to the front, over the label, and made sure it was level with the edge of the board, so the board would stand up on its own.

I think it worked out pretty well.  The block at the front almost looks like a bit of garden wall, or maybe the top of a chimney, and having the whole piece stand up for display is pretty neat too.  I wasn’t sure what words, if any, would suit the theme and so, stuck for ideas, I just used the words “Lost and Found”.  I added the little wonky sixpence to  tie in with the theme (well, vaguely…) and it was all done.

I will be making more of these pieces, as I bought several of the puzzle sets.  It’s great to upcycle things, and the puzzles themselves I have re-thrifted, so they weren’t wasted.

Hope you are all having a good week – thank you for stopping by 🙂

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Being Yourself

Belated Happy Easter to you all 🙂  Did you indulge in a huge chocolate-fest, or were you restrained and just had a few little treats?  Did you spend time with family and friends, or take part in religious events?  Whatever you got up to, I hope you enjoyed yourselves and had a nice break.

I spent a lot of time with family and friends over the weekend, cleaned my house so it was fit for my Mum to visit and stay in for a couple of nights, and did some crafting.  I am still loving the Kelly Rae Roberts Unscripted series I have subscribed to.  It’s just makes me want to craft and create and DO STUFF.  I am nowhere near her standard of creativity and art, but it is very enjoyable just mucking about with paints and paper and having a go.  I am still rubbish at faces, but I keep trying and hope that some day I will get them just right!  If only people didn’t have eyes!  It would make everything so much simpler for me, at least in terms of drawing and painting (maybe not so much in real life though…) and I wouldn’t end up having tantrums, or just drawing a lot of people with closed eyes (which is my default position these days).

I had this little communion plaque (bought on a recent op-shopping trip for 50c) and I thought it would be perfect to paint over and repurpose.  It’s quite small – a little bigger than an iPhone – so perfect for me to do some crafting on!  Plus it had the little hanger on it so I didn’t need to worry about adding one myself.

I removed the picture that was already on it ( a communion poem and prayer) and sanded the wood back, then slapped on a layer of white Gesso, just to seal and give it a good working surface.  I then added paint in various colours to create a distressed, rubbed back look.  I used a soft green, some burgundy and a little bit of yellow – just dabbing and rubbing it on with my fingers.  When I was happy with the effect, I let it dry whilst figuring out what I was going to put on it.

I decided to draw my little lady on a separate piece of paper, paint her main features and then cut her out, to be glued and finished on the plaque itself.  I didn’t trust my drawing/painting skills to just add her straight to the wooden surface.  I adhered her with gel medium and then added flowers and wings cut from scrapbooking paper and vintage books.  The words were cut from old books or stamped (when I couldn’t find the word I wanted!) and I’m not quite satisfied with them, but they’re stuck on there now!  I might go over them with a bit of colour, just to make them look less “new” and pale.  I outlined here and there with black and white pencils to give some definition.

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I was a bit heavy-handed with the lady’s features – I was using a very fine black marker, but it was still too heavy.  I will do better next time! I’m happy with her top though – it came out very rustic looking and picks up the red colour in the background – and I’m glad I added the “me” heart as it needed an extra little something.

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So, all in all, I was pretty happy with my little lady.  I am trying to be myself and be ok with who that is.  Even if it means I am not the world’s greatest artist 🙂  I am still trying to find my “niche”, artistically speaking, so this is another part of the journey.  I will keep practicing faces and different techniques with paint and drawing and, in the meantime have a lot of messy fun doing it 🙂

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Thanks for stopping by – may you enjoy the freedom of being yourself,
whoever that is, today and always x

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Thrifty-Happy

Op-shopping (thrifting), as I have said many times before, is one of my favourite things to do.  Probably THE favourite thing to do, if I’m honest.  I love the element of surprise, of never knowing what you’re going to find.  I have learnt not to actually go in seeking a particular thing, because I won’t find it.  It’s more of a treasure hunt – and sometimes you don’t find any treasure.  Which can really suck 🙂

Recently, on my birthday week, when I had some time off work, I did a bit of solitary op-shopping.  I had nothing to do and nowhere to be except in the rows of second hand goodness.  The weather last week was dreadful – it’s the middle of Summer and it has been cold and rainy and blah.  Which is probably the best kind of weather for trying on clothes because you don’t get hot and sweaty and cranky.

I have recently put on quite a bit of weight which, aside from being really upsetting and depressing, means that a lot of my clothes don’t fit me.  Ugh.  Is there anything more blues-inducing than trying to squeeze into a skirt that USED to be baggy on you but now makes you look like an overstuffed sausage?  No, there is not.

So, I needed to buy a few more items of clothing that would a.) fit me and b.) be suitable for the weird weather we are having.  Longer sleeves were the order of the day, because it’s too cool for short ones, and my arms are hideous.  That’s right, I said it – HIDEOUS.  They should be hidden away in case they scare someone with their white flabbiness.  There should actually be a law against my arms – seriously.  They could incite people to revolt.

Anyway, I went op-shopping.  I found a really nice shop that I hadn’t been to before and it had a great selection of clothes – so much so that I found myself with a basketful just from the first rack.  Reasonably priced and in my size – what could be better?

So here’s what I got :

  1.  Nice, lightweight top for Summer days.  Beachy and bingo-wing covering!

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Beachy!

2.    Cute little jacket that is still cool enough for Summer, or I could even
wear it as a top – it’s a blousey sort of material.

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Hearts!

3.  Super-soft checked shirt.  I don’t normally get these because I can never find one that looks ok on me.  But this one fits perfectly, is SO SOFT and I loved the blue tones.  It’s good as a cover-up over a t-shirt, or on its own.  I channel Madonna in her “Don’t Tell Me” video when I am wearing it.  Don’t judge me.

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Checks!

4.  Was lucky to find this lovely Review top.  It probably retailed for at least $100 originally, and I got it for $7.  Can’t beat that!  A good one for work.

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Ladylike!

5.  At $10.25, this was perhaps a tad more expensive than I would normally go for in an op-shop.  But it was so pretty, and just what I need for my craft room to organise my paintbrushes, pens, papers etc.

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Shabby Chic!

6.  I found this teeny-weeny religious thingy for only 50c.  It’s about the size of two postage stamps.  So dinky!  I am going to cover it and collage over it and make it completely non-religious, but hey if it has some built-in blessings or divine protection, I won’t argue!  I wish I had been able to find more, so will have to be on the lookout for them.  I guess maybe they are a little travel thingy so you can take your faith with you or something?  Whatever, it’s cute.

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Upcycler!

7.  I snagged this cushion cover for a dollar.  Although it does have a store label on it, it is obviously handmade which neat, little stitches and imperfections.  It is very large so will actually make a nice table mat or it could hang on the back of my couch.  I liked the colours and the slightly rustic quality it has.

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Patchworky!

8.  Shoes!  I have wanted a pair of these chunky heels for ages but have never been able to find exactly the right pair.  So I got these.  They’re a tiny bit small so I might need to stretch them out just slightly.  I got them for $5.  I am a mega klutzoid so I need chunky heels if I am going to wear heels at all.  Otherwise there is falling down and general embarrassment and humiliation.

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Chunky!  I mean the shoes…stop looking at my ankles!!!

So, a good day, and I have already worn a couple of the items which shows they were worthwhile purchases.  I Especially like the checked shirt – I think I will be snuggling up a lot in that in the Autumn months.  And pretending I am Madonna.  When she was still cool and making good music and not gadding about in leotards and pretending she’s 25.

Hope you are having a happy day 🙂

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Antler

Forgot to post this before Christmas…  Just another ornament thingy I made for my handmade stall in December.  I had made a few of the baubles and wanted some less glittery versions, that could maybe serve as all-year-round decorations.  So, I found these lovely little ceramic antlers in Target and thought they would be perfect for embellishing.

I used, as always, recycled beads from old jewellery, including some rather tarnished and battered metallic ones that I really liked the look of.  There are also polished stone, clay, and wooden ones in the mix.  Strung onto some beading wire, attached to the antler and voila!  I was pretty happy with it and kept one for myself (which is now hanging on my wall next to my faux stag head). The ornament itself only cost $2.40 and I used beads I already had in my ridiculously large stash, so it was a pretty cheap creation all round.

Hope your day is a happy one – thank you for stopping in.

x

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Rhino

Coffee shops are awesome places.  They have delicious drinks and yummy cakes and you sit and watch the world go by whilst contemplating having another cup of tea or coffee (and possibly another cake, let’s be honest).  They also often have amazing craft supplies.  Ok, so they’re actually postcards used for advertising purposes, and you’re supposed to take ONE not a handful, but hey, it’s upcycling, right?

My local haunt has a nice selection of postcards ripe for the picking.  Example : these gorgeous Dürer rhinos.  Just delightful.  Advertising an exhibition at our WA Museum, these rhinos are actually little pop-out, stand-up models you can make yourself.  I saw them and thought “Hmmmm, I know what I can do with those…” and so I popped a few in my handbag.  And then promptly forgot about them.

Weeks later, rummaging around in my craft supplies, I came across them again and immediately set to work using them on a card.  They’re so detailed and gorgeous and perfect for a vintage-look design.  I admit I didn’t pop them out very well- in the second photo I can see some little tabs that need trimming off – but I will sort that out later.  This card took no time at all, except for choosing the text.  THAT took forever.  I mean, what words or sentiments go with rhinos?  Plus, I was dumb and stuck the rhinos down first without leaving much room for positioning anything else on the card.  But the “You’re so special to me” sentiment seems to work.  Rhinos are special, right?  They’re nearly extinct!  How much more special can you be???

I thought I was finished, but then felt compelled to add some diamantes to the shoulders – as you do.  They needed a bit of bling to stop the card from being too sedate and beige.  But, all in all, I am pretty happy with these guys.

Hope your day is special – thanks for stopping by x

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Teeny Pendants (aka How to Give Yourself a Migraine)

I have a problem.  I call this problem “Why the hell do I have to make teeny-tiny things that give me a headache?”-itis.  It’s true – I always tend towards the ridiculously little when I am making things.  Give me a postage stamp-sized bit of paper and I will attempt to draw/paint/collage a masterpiece on it.  Which was fine when I was younger and had 20/20 vision.  Now, I hate to admit, my eyes are getting just a wee bit squinty.  My arms are getting longer, just because I have to hold everything at arm’s length in order for me to focus on it.  So sad. Sigh.

I know I need my eyes tested but I keep forgetting to do it.  Or, more accurately, I keep putting it off.  I have always had really good eyes but, now I am in my forties, I will have to face facts and accept the downward spiral that is my diminishing vision.

But, dodgy eyeballs aside, I decided to go with my usual penchant for teeny things and make these little pendants.  I had bought an old necklace from the op-shop earlier in the week for a couple of dollars.  It was pretty ugly – I don’t know who would have worn it but apparently someone did.  The bronzey/brassy plates on it looked like they were missing something, as though a large glass dome had been removed from each one.  At any rate, they needed rescuing, pronto.

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I took all the plates off and set them aside.  I will figure out what to do with them all as I go along.  The space inside each one is about the size of an Australian twenty cent piece.  I took two and painted and collaged on them – very simple, naive designs.  The bird one just about gave me a migraine – all those tiny little bits of text around the edge – ugh!  The flower one was simpler and less headache-inducing but still left me a bit squinty.  I am reasonably happy with them.  My new thing for this year is to just DO instead of worrying about how something might turn out.  I often don’t do things, just because I think I will do a bad job of it and it will suck.  It might still suck, but it is better, in my opinion, to give it a try.  I am not the world’s best painter – I am not my Mum or brother, but then I shouldn’t try to be.  I need to be less judgemental of myself.

So, I managed to get these two wee little pendants done in an afternoon.  I will varnish them tomorrow and then string them on some ribbon or cord.

What do you think?  If it helps, and will make you less inclined to say they’re rubbish, you can squint or hold the picture at arm’s length.  That’s what I’m doing 🙂

Happy Sunday everyone x

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Houses for Birdies

Houses for Birdies

Just a quick post to show you the bird houses my brother has been making.  He’s been using old wooden pallets – great idea for recycling!  He has added bits of fallen branches and painted the houses in rustic colours or left them plain and unpainted.  They’re more decorative than functional, but maybe some little birdies will be looking for just such a house to hide in or raise some babies.

I love these, and my brother 🙂

PS  I have been fiddling about with my blog’s theme/appearance as you may have noticed if you’re a regular reader… I haven’t settled on one that I really like yet, so please bear with me while I chop and change, and hopefully I will get it right soon! x

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