Thursday, August 30, 2012

altered box

Hello, my friends.  Wow!  Has it really been that long since I posted?  This week I've had a sore throat and head cold and really haven't felt like doing much of anything.  Today, I started to feel a bit better and did some creating. 

One of the challenges this month at OWSE Yahoo group was to alter a box into some type of art.  I actually started this months ago.  I had seen a way to create a canvas from a box when reading a blog post by Julie Balzer, where she linked to Alma Stoller's instructions.  I used a 9"x13"x2" box from frozen dinners.  To help keep its shape, I stuffed the box with some crumpled newspaper.  On the outside, I covered the box with torn old book pages and mod podge, which I then coated with gesso. 

I wanted the front of the box to have a lot of texture, so I decided to use my homemade gesso (see this post), but I really wanted it thicker than it was, so I knew I needed to make some adjustments.  In my search on line for gesso recipes, I had found several, using various ingredients.  One used baking soda as a thickening agent and since I always have that in the house, I thought I'd try it.  I added the baking soda to the solution I'd already made until I was happy with how stiff it was, and used a palette knife to spread it on my box.  It worked perfectly.  {Next time I need to make thick gesso, instead of adding baby powder to my glue, I'm going right for the baking soda.}

I painted on a couple of colors of acrylic paint and then used some stencils with paint for my background.  My first attempt got way out of hand, so I covered it over with gesso and started over.  My second attempt was much more pleasing, but I was really stuck on what to put on top of the background.  I've been looking at it for a week not knowing what to do with it. 

I finally decided to play and see if I could create some flowers from used coffee filters.  I've been saving my filters for awhile now.  I rinse them well and then let them dry.  A number of them have found their way into my art. 

First, I made a solution of glue and water.  Then I saturated a coffee filter in the glue, squeezed it out and twisted it into a roll that was pretty tight.  I used some office clips to hold and weight the ends and keep them from untwisting while they dried.  One coffee filter was used for each leaf and each flower petal.  Once the glue was dried, I painted them with gesso, let that dry, and sprayed the pieces with Adirondack color wash and let dry.  The ends were snipped off before I hot glued each piece to my box canvas.  The longer stem is made with two coffee filters, but unless you look really close, you won't see where they are joined. 

For the flower centers, I die cut scalloped circles with a spellbinders die and added some buttons from my stash. 

I'm really happy with how this turned out and love that most of it is recycled. 

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Be blessed.


michele hileman said...

This is awesome, Thank you for sharing

PaulaJ said...

so pretty! I love the coffee filter flowers. great job1

Starla said...

CLEVER!! I would have NEVER thought to roll the coffee filters into flowers!

Karen Conner said...

Really cool! The 3 dimensional look using multi media is so eye catching!