Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Vintage Altered Art & Terrible Wordplay

Remember these white boxes from a few posts back? Well, slowly but surely, they've been coming together and have now been transformed into these:

Not bad for a charity shop find. And you know what else? Upcycling, I've realised, is one of my favourite ways to craft and I don't do it nearly often enough.

I began by coating the bare wood of the boxes with gesso before painting over, with my chosen colours, in acrylic paint. I then watered down more gesso and whitewashed over the paint to give it that aged style.

The next part was the creative, fun stage; adding the decoration and embellishment. It's at this point, I can really lose track of time as I pull out my hoard of stash and start arranging it. I don't have a plan, beforehand, I just go with the moment and start adding what I think will be the focal pieces. Then I build around them. This is where serendipity wades in. For instance, I had the oval frame placed on the smaller box and was trying to come up with a small word I could spell out within, using chipboard letters. Influenced by the image of the lady in the hat on the patterned paper, the word style came to mind. It fit perfectly.

Then, in a flash, the expression, Style over Substance popped into my head. Then it occurred to me - layer the embellishments so that the smaller box can be rested on top of the larger one. Use lettering to spell out the word Substance on the bigger box and I can literally place Style over Substance. I know, it's awful wordplay isn't it? But once the fuse was lit, I ran with it. It wasn't something I planned at the beginning. It's that beautiful moment when your creative muse gently guides you.

The flowers are all handmade. The ones decorating Style were done using Tim Holtz's Tattered Flowers die. The large one on Substance was created using a white ribbon which I dyed pink and then spiralled around a punched out 2" diameter circle, coated in tape adhesive. The peach flowers are from a batch of Prima ready-made.

The papers I used to decorate the boxes are from GCD Antiquities collection.

Hope you like the results :) I'm now just waiting on Nick to return home from work and the pair of us are going to tackle a recipe which has so far challenged us, in it's making. We've had four attempts to date, so cross fingers for endeavour five. I'm not going to say what it is yet because the moment we have success, I'll blog it. It's also going to be one of my New52s. Speaking of which, I've booked a New52 experience for my upcoming birthday in a few weeks. It's something food related (as always) and I'm really looking forward to it.

Hope everyone else is finding time to indulge in their creative, crafty passions. Pxx


mustavcoffee, Gay Peplow said...

Love your boxes Paul, so elegant, beautiful colours and flowers! The wordplay, oh yes, it's great!:0)
Good luck with your recipe, sounds really mysterious, Gay xxx

kjjc said...

these are fantastic. Love them Paul. Very elegant. Bring them in September so we can have a good look please.Pretty please. with sauce on.

Michele said...

O wow, Paul - they are absolutely gorgeous, you've done an amazing job transforming them. What a find! Lovin' the word play too :) x

Neil said...

I love how your boxes turned out! I love scouring charity shops and bootfairs for stuff to alter! Grand job. Thanks for sharing. Must be a heck of a recipe if you haven't cracked it yet so best of luck!

Neet said...

Love your new style Paul. You do it so well and these boxes are stunning.
Memory is suffering with colanderitis and I have forgotten what the word play was. Oh heck! Hope to see you Saturday I've missed you too long.

JoZart said...

Hi Paul, your boxes are exquisite and such a find but you've certainly made them special. Love the play on words too... it's YOU!
Look forward to seeing you Saturday with me Baker's Twine!!
Love Jo x

Andrea Ewen said...

Whoa....I'm hoping that you've patted that creative muse on the back! These boxes are stunning and just think that 2 short weeks ago, they were some plain janes just waiting to be transformed into this fabulousity! And I do love your wordplay as well, you've got quite a knack with words/commentary!
These are absolutely lovely, you should be so proud of yourself!
Good luck with your recipe...hope it turns out as well as your project!...In that case you'd have to become a Master Chef!

alexa said...

Aren't these lovely! And I really like your word play: clever. :) I'm trying to work out whether the recipe involves squid or macaroons ...

Alisonph said...

Absolutely gorgeous Paul and loving the new look blog too. Good luck with the recipe - v intriguing.

Karen said...

Wow. Beautifully decorated. xx

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

These are just absolutely gorgeous! I never seem to find anything at our charity shops. Your shabby style is phenomenal and I'm drooling over your handmade flowers! This project makes me want to go alter something - bravo!