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Mixed Media Altered Clock with Wings and Heart


Jun 19, 2017 3D Art, Altered Art, Finnabair, Mixed Media, Steampunk, Tutorials 4 Comments

Wings & Heart Mixed Media Altered Clock!

I had so much fun making my previous altered clocks that I had to make some more. I was asked to make a custom design for a customer with a steampunk/gothic look. Her favourite colour was purple and so she had to have some in the clock. No problem, as my fav colour is purple too – yummm! I plan to enter this one into Sandee & amelie’s Steampunk Challenge, as I think it fits with their design challenge. The vintage market we were so busy getting prepared for is over, so I have a bit more time to play around with some new ideas (coming soon!).

For this clock I used an old clock from the vintage thrift store as my base and my inspiration again comes from Finnabair.  I just finished taking some classes with her when she was here in Canada in April, and I loved all of her new waxes (so I had to buy all of them). I used Antique Brilliance Ruby and Amethyst on this clock.

I distressed and painted the metal clocks with paints from Finnabair’s Prima line and added texture on the surface. Then I glued on an assortment of embellishments (wings, gears, flowers, flaming heart, etc.). With the clock being so deep, I knew I had to make layers to bring the centre piece forward. I adhered layers of the gears using jumbo foam dots that I painted black to hide. Be sure to click on the images below to enlarge them.


I was pleased with how they turned out  – Hope you enjoyed!       Val

P.S. As for organizing my craft room – I did manage to get rid of  lots of supplies I wasn’t using at a garage sale – best they go to a better home than I could provide LOL. Now I just have to make sure I don’t just fill the space with more “stuff” (don’t hold your breath).

Mixed Media Altered Clock with Gears


Apr 4, 2017 3D Art, Altered Art, Finnabair, Mixed Media, Steampunk Comments are off

Mixed Media Altered Clock!

Hi there, I just finished another project that I plan to enter into Sandee & amelie’s Steampunk Challenge. I continue to gather great inspiration from their blog!  We have been so busy these last few months working to make things for our Vintage Market (see events page), these pieces included. I used old clocks from the vintage thrift store as my base. My inspiration comes from Finnabair as I am really drawn to her style. It just so happens that I took some classes with her recently. It was a great class – but more on that later.
I distressed and painted the metal clocks with paints from Finnabair’s Prima line and added texture on the surface. Then I glued on an assortment of embellishments (gears, button, butterflies etc.). With the clock being so deep, I knew I had to make layers to bring the centre piece forward. I adhered layers of the gears and trinkets using jumbo foam dots that I painted black to hide. Be sure to click on the images below to enlarge them.

I was pleased with how they turned out and have already sold one – Hope you enjoyed!       Val

P.S. I know I was going to take on the task of organizing my craft room – but that will now officially be “spring cleaning”. Stay tuned.

Starting off the New Year


Jan 19, 2017 Altered Art, Mixed Media, Paper Arts, Vintage Comments are off

Hello and Happy New Year!

I’m busy starting off this New Year refocusing on what makes me happiest. That will be, rolling up my sleeves and getting messy with paints, gels, and mixed media. All the while staying true to my love of rusty, grungy, abstract, dimensional art (along with altering vintage pieces for our upcoming markets of course).

First, I am going to organize my craft room, which will hopefully include moving my office out of my creative space.  It really is a distraction with unanswered emails, and mountains of paper work calling to me. Look at this mess that accumulated when I put my art on hold over the holidays and used the space for storage and rushed Christmas projects. Ugh – Wish me luck!

craft room 1  craft room 2

craft room 3  craft room 4

Then, I am going to just play and do what ever comes to mind.  I think this Finnibair style altered journal cover I did last year, will be my jumping off place.  As well as the inspiration I get from from art journaling, like these Dina Wakley pieces I did during a recent class with her. Hopefully this all will give me the motivation for a productive and happy year of art making.

create art P1050215

dina 1 dina 2

Have fun this year with what ever makes you happy.

I’ve been seeing this quote recently and it struct a chord with me….

You never know what someone is going through. Be kind. Always.

Happy New Year,

Cheers Val

Steampunk Altered Phone Frame


Jun 11, 2016 3D Art, Altered Art, Mixed Media, Steampunk, Tutorials 4 Comments

Prima Steampunk Phone Frame made into altered art!

Hi there, I just finished another project that I plan to enter into Sandee & amelie’s Steampunk Challenge. Love their blog – all things steampunk, industrial, and vintage – and great inspiration from all the other entrants!  We have been so busy these last few months working to make things for our Vintage Market, so it has been nice to be able to get back making art to share. This distressed metal phone from Finnibair/Prima Marketing was delicious all on its own. So I didn’t want to alter it too much and hide the phone. I wanted to have one of Prima’s Flower Cherubs to be the focal point. With the phone being so deep, I knew I had to make layers to bring the centre piece forward. So I started with a piece of wood (5×5 and 3/8″ thick). First I coated it with gesso, then I spread modeling paste around the edges and sprinkled glass beads into the modeling paste before it dried.  I was happy with the texture it provided.  Once dried, it was painted with various Golden Acrylic Paint (Burnt Umber, Paynes Gray, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Red Oxide).  I set that aside to dry while I worked on the Cherub piece. Be sure to click on the images to enlarge them..

altered phone 2  altered phone 3  altered phone 4

For the Cherub centre piece, I covered a 4×4 art board with gesso, before decoupaging tissue paper with text onto it (Tim Holtz Tissue Wrap – Terminology).  I added texture to the edges of the art board using Golden Fine Pumice Gel, and Fiber Paste. After it dried, I high lighted the textured areas and some of the edges with Lumiere Metallic Paint (Bronze, Rust, True Gold). The white Cherub Flower needed a touch of colour, so I painted the edges with Finnibair’s Steampunk Copper acrylic paint. The cherub was first attached to a piece of foam board to raise it up off the art board to give it even more depth.  I also glued a piece of foam board to the back of the art board so that when it was glued to the 5×5 wood background piece, it would be raised up even more. This also allowed for the metal embellishments to poke out from the different layers.

altered phone 5  altered phone 6

I used Finnibair’s new Prima Mechanicals as embellishments around and tucked under the Cherub piece. I had this old, rusty 10 gauge wire that I wrapped around the Cherub piece before attaching it to the 5×5 board.

altered phone 6 altered phone 13 altered phone 8

Before attaching the entire piece to the back of the phone (I had to take the back off the phone to do this), I realized that the piece still wasn’t brought forward as much as I wanted. So I glued another piece of foam board onto the back the the 5×5 piece before gluing it onto the phone back and inserting it back into the phone.

altered phone 9 altered phone 10 altered phone 12

I was pleased with how it turned out – Hope you enjoyed!       Val

Steampunk Altered Sewing Machine Frame


Jun 8, 2016 3D Art, Altered Art, Mixed Media, Steampunk, Vintage 4 Comments

A 1898 Antique Sewing Machine Frame made into altered art!

Today I am entering this project into Sandee & amelie’s Steampunk Challenge .  I like how the Steampunk assemblage really works well with the antique wood frame.  The frame is from a 1898 New Williams sewing machine.  I love antique sewing machines – they look like Steampunk artwork in and of themselves.  Tissue with vintage styled text on it was decoupaged to an art board to create the background. As for the dress form image, it is card stock from the Timekeeper set from Marion Smith Designs; which is distressed and attached to black card stock to bring out the image. The gears, wheels, and butterfly are from Finnibair’s new mechanical release (love these so much!!!).  A few more metal pieces to decorate the corners (they actually hide the holes where the sewing machine was fastened), and a vintage style key finishs off the piece.

Steampink sewing frame (1)      Steampink sewing frame (3)

Hope you enjoyed!       Val

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

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.

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