Digital Elements in the blog header from Hidden Vintage Studios and Holliwood Studios @

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Garden of Petals and Metals

Well I don't know about you, but I really have to do something to urge springtime on so I'm getting ready to start some veggie plants from seeds inside.  The planting of the seeds got me thinking about gardening which in turn inspired me to do this collage.

Hortence loved her unique garden of petals and metals!  I created this digital collage from elements by Finecrafted at Deviant Scrap.
It's a steampunk style take on a traditional Victorian garden.  You know how those Edwardians were, pretty uptight? Well not Hortence, her metal petals were all the rage.  She trimmed her flowers with tin snips!  My crafting sista, Tracey at Glitterbug Studios is going to be really surprised when she sees this one!  Check out her Feb 27th post where she interprets "Fly Me To the Moon" steampunk style!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

B is for Bird (in English that is)

"B" is for "bird" and "M" is for the metal tape I created this piece with.  I like the worn industrial look that metal tape gives this piece.

This is the completed piece, it was created on an 8" by 8" piece of canvas board.  It truly is a mixed media piece, here are the materials used on it:  canvas board, chipboard, glass tile, metal key, metal brads, wooden yard stick, metal watch gears, glass bead, leather heart, metal watch face, metal tape, glue, book text, ink, rubber stamp, 8 oz. of Arizona Green Tea, a piece of celery with fetal cheese on it (the last two items are optional, it's what I ate while making this piece!)

 The bird, crown and scrolls were cut from chipboard, glued down and then taped over with the metal tape.

I created this embellishment buy cutting an old yard stick, stamping on it, swiping over it with distress ink and then covering a chipboard book plate with metal tape and then distressing it.  I added the metal piece at the top with 2 metal brads.

A small glass tile backed with a mini collage.....
 This embellishment is a leather heart stamped over with script text with a tiny distressed green leather leaf tied to it.  An old metal watch face was vintaged-up with mushroom alcohol ink and a sanded green metal brad.
How about that cool old rhinestone earring? That would kill the old lobes!  Looks like something Great Aunt Millie would have worn!  I think it looks better as an embellishment.
So you are probably wondering how I distressed this metal tape to give it that "beat-up" look.  It was pretty simple and also personally rewarding to me as I got some frustrations out on it.  After I covered the entire piece with the metal tape I took my Tim Holtz hammer with the nubby end and pounded he crap out of the metal tape (that's what gave it the round indentations), if you don't have one of these hammers then you can use the rounded stylus end of a paint brush, tip of a marker cap or basically any thing that will make an indentation.....just experiment, you really can't screw it up!  Next I used a tracing wheel to make the dotted line indentations and my fingernail to make the random straight indentations here and there, then I chewed on a corner....not really, I was just seeing if you were paying attention.  To get the blackened areas, using a black copic marker, I colored the entire piece (I did 1/4 at a time), making sure to really get around the raised areas, then I took a piece of fine steel wool and sanded off as much of the black as I liked leaving most of it around the raised areas to give them definition.  Lastly, I glued on all of the embellishments and glued a hanger onto the back of the piece.

Hey, let me know if you've used metal tape in a project or if you plan to in the future!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

An American in Paris Altered Book

This is an altered book I've been working on for a week now. There are all kinds of goodies tucked into it, protruding out from the edges. I wanted it to have the feel of a carelessly thrown together scrapbook of an American traveling in Paris in the 1920s. I used a lot of vintage scrapbook papers from the Tim Holtz collection. I also incorporated a few of my own digital collages and I threw in some textiles just for fun.Each individual page is glued together to the one in front and back of it with the papers secured between them so the book lies flat. You could hang it or just leave it open on a table.
How cool would it be to go back in time to the 1920s and really be that "American in Paris"?This book will be posted on Ebay this weekend so check back if you're interested in it for the link!


The winner of the One World One Heart event is.......... Joanne from the Vintage Dragonfly blog.
Congrats Joanne! Thanks to all of the people who visited, left comments and became followers! It was a fun time.
:-) Melissa

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Secret Garden

With all of the seed catalogues I've been getting the past two months, I've been dreaming about flower and veggie gardening. One of my favorite children's books is The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett. Inspired by the book I created this altered book which can be hung on the wall.
The image of the girl is public domain which I colorized as well the door image. I cut a niche in the book about 4.5 by 5 inches and started to build my secret garden.

The leaves and branch are hand cut from book text painted with twinkling H2O paints then embellished with glitter.

I love the little fox looking up at her. There was a brief mention of a fox in The Secret Garden book.Here it is hanging on the's not crooked, my camera angle was crooked or should I say, I was crooked when I took the picture.
The book I altered was a Readers Digest condensed book. They work great because they are thick and you can get a nice deep niche.
Well, I'm off to alter another book!