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Altered Clip Board


May 23, 2016 Altered Art, Tutorials, Vintage Comments are off

Today I wanted to share with you how I altered an inexpensive clip board and added a vintage illustration to make a decorative wall art piece.  Altering clip boards is all the rage right now. They have that vintage feel and really dress up any altering or art you add to them. I wanted to keep mine simple and when I found illustrations from a 1921 German agricultural textbook, I knew they would work perfectly. I like sets of three, so I made them from different prints and different backgrounds.

  1. I started by staining the drab silver clip with Alcohol Inks. I did this first so that I would not spill the ink on my finished piece (which I have done before). I just taped off the board to keep over-spills to a minimum.
  2. Next I painted the board white (I used up some old white paint, but white gesso would work too). I also painted the edges of the back of the board white.  Depending on how you are altering the board, you may not have to pre-paint it white.  But I wanted a really crisp white background so that the tissue paper I use next would stand out and be a nice contrast to the print.

altered clip board 1 altered clip board 2 altered clipboard 3

3. Once the paint dried, I decoupaged on some of Tim Holtz tissue paper, using a different background for each of the three prints I did.  I made sure to have enough to overlap a bit on the back edges of the board. I prefer to have both sides of my art pieces to looked finished if I can.  I stained the edges with Vintage Photo Ranger Distress Ink.  I love the weathered aged look that distressing the edges with brown stain creates.

altered clip board 4  altered clip board 5  altered clip board 6

4. I created a background layer of green card stock for the illustration to go on.  The edges were torn and inked to give it a distressed look. To adhere the illustration to the board I used gel medium.

altered clip board 7 altered clip board 8 altered clip board 9

4. To finish the back of the board, I cut a piece of card stock so that the tissue edges could still be seen. I wanted to share a little history of where the illustrations came from, so I wrote a little note to explain. I also photocopied the inside cover of the German agricultural textbook to give it some authenticity.

Altered Clip Board 10

5. Here are the three finished pieces. All different, but I think they coordinate nicely. Bye for now…

altered clip board 11  altered clip board 12  altered clip board 13

Scrabble Board Sign


May 5, 2016 3D Art, Altered Art Comments are off

Did I make any typos?

I love scrabble tiles! So, I am always on the look out for them when I go on our junking trips.  I have collected a LOT of them over the past while. Last year I saw this fantastic idea where they filled a scrabble board with words of encouragement. We saw it at a local vintage market, and I now wish I could thank the vendor for her inspiration. Like I said, inspired by the idea, my hubby and I sat down one night for a game of scrabble – but not just any old game. We decided to fill the scrabble board with as many “vintage” words that describes our point of view and we made it into a sign to use at our markets. Hope it gives inspiration to others as well.

Hope you enjoyed!       Val

Vintage Butterfly Cards


Mar 12, 2016 Cardmaking Comments are off

Hi There – Happy Spring…

I love these vintage styled cards with butterfly designs –  remind us of spring, right!  I recently went to a card class at a local Scrapbook store and made some awesome cards using Hunkydory – Flight of the Butterfly card kits. The class was fast paced and fantastic – we made 29 cards in a few hours. With the “left overs” (from our generous store owner), I made another 31 cards!! I usually use more “handmade” techniques when I make cards.  But these were so beautiful and vintage looking that I couldn’t resist. Here are a few of the cards I made at home with the remainder of my kit…

Butterfly Card 1  P1040267

Butterfly Card 2  Butterfly Card 10

I have to say that butterflies are one of my favourite designs. I have a lot of butterflies in my studio – card stock, dies, stamps, art work, you name it. So I could not resist taking this butterfly card class.  The background paper in this kit is to die for – check it out on The cut-out sheets of sentiments and butterfly designs were easy to “make” the card.  I loved the layering, using the copper glitter and gold foil card stock, it gave the cards lots of bling with a vintage tone.  And to add dimension, I used foam tape – a lot of it!  I hope the close ups help you see the dimension and depth of the cards – although much more dramatic in person I have to say.

Butterfly Card 9   Butterfly Card 4

Butterfly Card 7   Butterfly Card 8

Butterfly Card 5   Butterfly Card 6

If you are like me and make a lot of cards, it becomes expected from friends and family that they receive a hand made card (with love of course). But sometimes, life rushes along and you need a card like – now! So these quick cards will be perfect for those times when birthdays and holidays creep into my creative time.

Hope you enjoyed!       Happy Spring!     Val

Materials Used…

  • Hunkydory – Flight of the Butterfly card kits
  • Memory Box – Cascadia Butterfly Trio
  • Tonic Studio Butterly sets – Juliet, Felicity, Laura
  • Mark Richards – Nailhead & Gold brad stickers
  • Bazzill Walnut Cream card stock
  • Bazzill Gold Foil card stock
  • Copper Glitter card stock

Steampunk Altered Window


Jan 21, 2016 Altered Art, Home Decor, Steampunk Comments are off

Happy New Year (although somewhat belated),

I hope that everyone is having a great start to the New Year. It’s that busy time when there is lots of planning for the year to come; and a bit challenging to get the creative juices going after all that turkey.

After seeing my Steampunk Altered Window Blog, a lovely admirer asked me to make an altered window for them as a Christmas gift (what a nice compliment). I was thrilled to find that Steampunk was also their style. So, I was up for the challenge and found the time between all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to create one.  I hope they are enjoying this piece….

Rustic Window Picture        hinge

white window  wheel

So…. to start my year off and to get the creative juices started for the year, I did yet another Steampunk Altered Window similar to the one I made a few months back.  The vintage window pane has a lovely patina with a hint of green paint showing through . This is really highlighted with the green steampunk paper (Graphic 45). I love transforming a salvaged window and taking it to the next level, making it a new piece of art. And of course it has to have gears and hinges!  Hope this one finds a home soon…

green window green window side

green window full length  green window gears

green window gears  green window bracket

This was a great kick start to the year – can’t wait to share some more soon!


Heart with Wings


Nov 2, 2015 3D Art, Altered Art, Industrial, Mixed Media, Steampunk, Tutorials 4 Comments

Hello again!

It’s been a while since I have posted. I have been busy creating for an upcoming Vintage Market. It will be our first adventure – should be fun. Reinventing lots of vintage and rusty treasures. Here is an art piece I made from an old picture frame. I call it Heart with Wings.  I have entered this piece into SanDee & amelie’s latest Steampunk Challenge.

I started with a salvaged frame that had seen better days.  I liked it because it was one solid wood piece, with a raised centre where an old print had been glued on.  After striping the print off the centre, I painted the outer frame with chalk paint, sanding the surface back to show some of the wood before I waxed it to seal it, (being careful not to get wax where I was going to glued down the music sheet in the centre raised part).

Years back, during one of our “junking” trips, I found some awesome sheet music that ranged from 1902 – 1938.  I used gel medium to decoupage the sheet music from 1935 onto the centre raised area.  I used Distress Ink to age the edges of the music before gluing it down. Even the song title resonated with me; “I’m in the mood for love”.

Heart - chalk paint Heart - frame detail

Now it was time to add a focal point to bring the piece together.  I combined Sizzix’s Tim Holtz – Feathered Wings die with Prima’s Sandra Evertson’s – Relics & Artifacts Heart and Flame. (did I mention that I love her stuff – and his too!)

Heart - supplies

After gluing the wing layers together, I painted a few coats of gesso on them.  Then I painted them using tips I had learned from Andy Skinner (Easy Rust Painting tutorials). First I painted the wings with Paynes Gray, then a coat of Quinacridone Gold.  I found it too light and a bit too yellow, so I sponged on some Transparent Red Iron Oxide.  To bring back some of the Paynes Gray; I gave the wings a wash of the gray watered down.  I hi-lighted the tips of the wings with Red Oxide because it is very opaque (I used Golden paints – my favourite).  I did the same for the flame, and I rubbed on some Inka Gold (yellow gold) on the tips of the flames and feathers for more layers and hi-lights.

Heart - closeup 1

For the heart, again using some of Andy Skinner’s tips, I painted on sand texture (pumice gel).  A layer of Payne’s Gray was painted before sponging on Quinacridone Gold. I love Ranger’s embossing powder “Brick” for rust effects, so I sponged on some embossing gel ink, sprinkled on the powder, and embossed it.  I was worried about using a heat gun on the paint – but it actually worked!  I found the powder too dull without enough texture, so I experimented again.  I put on a layer of Deco Media Ultra-Matte Varnish, sprinkled some Brick embossing powder over it.  After it dried, I painted on another layer of the matte varnish to seal the powder.

Heart - closeup 3                 Heart - full view

The pieces were arranged and glued down with Golden Extra Heavy Gel Medium – and it was done.  I loved how it turned out!  Thanks again for tuning in.


Steampunk Lamp


Aug 24, 2015 3D Art, Altered Art, Industrial, Steampunk Comments are off

Hello again. Lately I  have found myself altering 3-d  pieces, much like this old simple white lamp that my hubby  asked me to “Steampunk” for him.  So, inspired to make something industrial, I transformed the lamp with gears, metal, and rust looking finish to make it my own Steampunk Lamp. Here are the before and after photos; and below you will find a few photos of the steps I took along the way.

Lamp - before Lamp - after

First I wrapped the lamp with metal foil tape that had been embossed with rivets (Sizzix Texture Fades), then painted it with black paint (Ranger – Distress Paint). To give the lamp some  dimension, I cut out gears and sprockets. Since the Spellbinders Sprockets are thinner, I glued 4 together that had been cut from 130 lb. card stock. The Sizzix Bigz Gears Die were cut from Grunge board, so one layer was thick enough. After gluing those onto the lamp, I rubbed a variety of Inka Gold to give it a metal/rusty look. I finished it off with a few coats of Workable Fixative to seal the Inka Gold and painted surface.  My hubby added his Edison Vintage light bulb, and now we have a working Steampunk Lamp!

Foil tape embossed with rivets

Foil tape embossed with rivets

Sprockets and Gears painted with black acrylic paint

Sprockets and Gears painted with black acrylic paint

Inka Gold rubbed onto lamp base

Inka Gold rubbed onto lamp base

Close up of front of lamp

Close up of front of lamp

Close up of lamp

Close up of top of lamp

Finished lamp

Finished lamp

Have a great day! Hope you enjoyed my piece.

Altered Window Pane


Jul 20, 2015 Altered Art, Home Decor, Steampunk, Tutorials, Vintage 4 Comments

Today I wanted to share with you a home décor project I designed from an old salvaged window pane.  At first I was content to simply hang it on my wall, enjoy the patina, and wonder about who had looked through that window for all these years, and what view did they gaze at. But alas, I had to do something to make it my own…

So, again inspired by Sandee & Amelie’s Steampunk Challenge Blog, I altered the window panes with some distressed Vintage/Steampunk/Industrial paper, made some rusty gears, hardware, pulleys, and generally distressed the look a bit more. I used quite a few of Tim Holtz products to distress and alter my piece.

This challenge was unique because you had to choose 3 ingredients from a tic-tac-toe grid. For this project I used; Rust, Top Hat, & Metal as my 3 ingredients. Here are the steps I used to alter the window pane…

1. I started with a vintage window frame that I had salvaged, cleaning it up just a bit.

window pane

2. I used vintage, steampunk papers, tore the edges, and inked the paper with a variety of Ranger Distress Inks. I love this paper from Tim Holtz and was happy that I found a way to display the Industrial images. The paper was adhered to the back side of the window panes (facing forward), I brushed on a very liquid decoupage glue that was safe for glass surfaces. Because it was very fluid, there was only a thin layer on the front of the paper – which made sure that the image wasn’t clouded with the glue between the glass and the image.

distressed papers

3. For the gears & hardware, I used Sizzix Gadget Gears and Hardware Findings die cut from grunge board. Then painted, embossed, and inked the grunge pieces (using Distress Embossing Ink & Powder, Acrylic Paint, Distress Inks) to look like rusty pieces of metal. I glued the gears and hardware to the wood using Glossy Accents.

Die-cut Gears

Gears rust effect

Gears on window

4. The rope was aged by soaking it in freshly brewed coffee and the grounds (oh, the sacrifices we make for art).

rope coffee stained

5. I used Tim Holtz pulley wheels (Idea-ology pieces) and distressed the color them with Alcohol Inks. I fastened them to the top of the window frame (I am a bit handy with a drill) with screws. The rope was used to loop around the pulleys and attach them to a salvaged small barn pulley that was cleaned and polished up.

pulley & ink

Pulleys before and after adding Alcohol Ink

pulley & hardwar

Pulley screwed into top of window

Altered window pane

Finished altered window pane

And Voila! the newly transformed window has found a new home on my wall. It enjoys a view out of my windows, and hopefully many will enjoy viewing it!

First things first…!


Jul 20, 2015 3D Art Comments are off

The “Wheel”…

I have been doing lots of planning and organizing – and most importantly creating – to start up my blog. Recently I have been inspired by Finnibair’s style  after having taken her class last year. Wow – do I love this dimensional technique. I so wanted to do something more industrial/steampunk (with bolts and rust of course). While looking about for inspiration, I came across a fabulous blog dedicated to all things Vintage and Steampunk, Sandee and Amelie’s Steampunk Challenge. Loved the creativity I came across from their artists and followers, so I decided to enter their June contest as it fit in with the project I was planning. Well low and behold; I was honoured to receive “Top 5” for this piece…

The Wheel    the wheel detail

I called this “the wheel”. It’s done on a 8×8 wood panel. Gears and textured circles with gel medium on the base, covered with black gesso. The center piece is Tim Holtz Gadget Gears cut out of grunge board, building up layers to give it depth so that the screws and bolts could jut out from underneath. Then more small bolts and widgets are glued down with gel medium, graduating out the depth. All of it is covered with more black gesso before colouring with Prima Color Bloom, Silks Acrylic glaze, and Golden Acrylic paints; all to create a rust look. It was fun to create and I hope you like it.

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