Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Altered Vintage Watercolor Set"

This is a bit of a departure from my usual Altered Art Books, but for some time now, I've wanted to alter an old watercolor paint set.  I contacted Trina at The Paper Flea Market and she just happened to have what I was looking for!  My lucky day! 
The first two photos show what the set looked like when it arrived from Trina.
The final two photos show the set after I altered it.
As always, click on the image to enlarge it so that you can see it better.
This was a VERY fun project!
This is the outside of the vintage watercolor set from Trina at  (Check out her Web site for some really wonderful goodies at very reasonable prices!) 
I left the outside of the set unaltered, as it wouldn't show anyway when opened - and besides, I think the real thing is pretty charming all by itself.
This photo is of the vintage watercolor set as it appeared before altering.  The round pans of watercolor slide in and out on the tin tracks.  Whomever owned this set really used it, as watercolor paint was pretty much everywhere.  I cleaned it up a bit so the paint colors wouldn't detract too much.  Still, some staining remained, but it added to the authenticity.
Pictured here is the inside of the watercolor set that was used as a palette.  I've added vintage ephemera from old advertising that depicts drawing and painting. "Learn To Draw From Home" was a popular ad back in the day. 
Here is the final altering of the vintage watercolor set.  Included are tiny tubes of watercolors that I've collected over the years that were dried up, but I couldn't bear to part with them.  Other old items include an old eraser, pencil sharpener, watercolor brush, and miniature pencil.

Monday, April 9, 2012

" SEW (long ago) "

"SEW (long ago)"

An altered book containing a collection of vintage sewing notions.

The following photos of altered pages end with an explanation of the book and what is on each page.

Inside back of book cover contains notions and salesmen samples of buttons.
Needles and Snaps.
Zipper, Sewing Machine ad, and Baby Buttons.
Thread, Measuring Tape, and Advertising.
Buttons, Hooks, Eyes, Cross-Stitch.
Buttons, Snaps, and Binding.
Fabric Swatches, labeled.
Quilting, Thread, Buttons, and Needles.
Buttons, Needles, and Measuring Tape.
Men's Shirt Buttons and Patterns.
Vintage Assorted Needle Packet and Advertising.
Inside Front Cover has Salesmen Sample Card of Buttons.

The great majority of these vintage sewing notions, buttons, and various advertising samples belonged to my maternal grandmother and were passed down to me.  A few I have added over the years when I found them in antiques stores and couldn't resist including them in my collection.  Back in the day, advertising graphics were (at least to me) miniature works of art.  Their colorful illustrations really caught the eye, which is why I believe many of them have survived.  They were just too pretty to toss out.

This altered book is about 11" x 8" and considering all the 3-D items I have included in it, unable to close completely.  Nevertheless, I like having this sewing collection from long ago all in one place and not simply loose in a sewing basket, as it was before. 

The cover was my favorite part to create - it almost always turns out that way.  I saved the best for the cover and it includes an old pair of embroidery scissors, an antique bobbin with thread, a needle threader, tape measure, two cards of vintage buttons, very old snaps still attached to binding, thread, ribbon, cross-stitch, and several pieces of old lace and rick-rack.  Small and not seen very well is a ribbon bookmark with a thread card and a miniature silver thimble hanging from it.  The book also has tabs on each page - these are marked with the various sewing vocabulary.

*Click on any of the photos once or twice to enlarge and see them better. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Verdigris and Sepia" Tags


The patina formed on rusted copper and some other materials such as brass and bronze that are exposed to the elements is called VERDIGRIS for its lovely green-gray color.  Often a turquoise shade that develops due to outdoor weathering can be seen as well.  This is one of my favorite colors, and nature herself creates it!

The vintage photos of olden days in SEPIA tones also intrigue me.  That distinct yellowish-brown-gray color found in ephemera of times past is another color I gravitate to quite often.  There is a *stop and take a look* calmness and serenity to sepia-toned photographs. 

To celebrate these favorite two colors of mine, I created the "Verdigris and Sepia" Tags which are displayed on a burlap-covered board.  This is third in a series - the first being the Christmas Tags, and the second set being the RED tags. 

                                                        "Verdigris and Sepia Tags"

*Click once or twice on any of the photos in this blog to see an enlarged image.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

~ Vintage Altered Books ~

~Vintage Altered Books ~

These are bundles of old books that I saved from the landfill ... they still have their charm and beauty, and with a few touches of ephemera and some antique additions, I believe they deserve a place of honor. 

Books truly are forever if you want them to be!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

RED Tag Board


click on photo for larger view

The RED Tag Board project came about simply because I had so much fun creating the Christmas Advent Calendar Tag Board, and I didn't want to stop making tags.  Being the overly-ambitious type, my first thought was to make a new and different Tag Board for each month of the year, and each month using one of my favorite colors, or color combinations for the tags.  I decided to start with red, my most favorite color, with turquoise following close behind (and no doubt coming up next.) 

Using the same board as my Christmas tags were pinned to, I simply turned it over and added a layer of polyester batting, a layer of flax-colored burlap, and a final layer of off-white burlap.  Then I stapled this down all around the edges, and finally hand-sewed a thin edging of crocheted lace in off-white to hide the staples. 

The tag board itself could display only 30 tags, not 31.  For purists, this means the months with 31 days are cheated.  Nevertheless, somewhere into the project the exact number of days and the idea of a tag calendar was lost, and the emphasis was instead on the display of the tags themselves.

Each tag is a miniature collage using my personal collection of ephemera and found objects.  Making these tag collages is such a fun and satisfying process ~ I'm already eager to begin the next batch.

*Click on the image to make it larger for viewing.