In the meantime, back home, and saving up pennies to be able to get hold of some of them, I've been doing some recycling or upcycling or repurposing or whatever the heck we're supposed to call it now - turning something old and unwanted into something useful and, I think, beautiful.
When I met up with the fabulous Buttons at the NEC, I loved her little travelling container she had for her tag samples, and I've been meaning to sort one out for myself for some time. I decided that rather than buy something, I'd convert something instead - so I grabbed an old biscuit tin that had been lying around at work not doing anything for anybody. It was in the shape of a transistor radio, so I decided to embrace the possibilities of this unused and, in my opinion, rather ugly tin... and so here's my new tag storage:
Oh, and in case you were wondering, here's a quick before and after:
The transformation was inspired by the glorious work Leandra does with the PaperArtsy Fresco paints... lots of layers and blending and stamping to create the new look.
I started by giving the whole thing a coat of gesso, to give it some tooth, and then tore up some book pages and applied them randomly over the surface.
I love the Gothic typeface in older German books, and since I'm lucky enough to have friends over there, I'd roped them into the search for some Gothic print books I could rip up in the service of crafting.
The next step was to apply some Ferro through the lovely vines of the Leaf Swirl Border mask from Imagination Crafts, and dry it with the heat tool to make it puff up.
This was another tip of Leandra's at the NEC; what's actually happening is that the paste is blistering slightly, but it gives a fabulous additional dimensionality and shape to the leaves.
Then I started in with building my layers of paint. Rather than a brush, I used squares of Cut'n'Dry foam to apply my colours, layering and blending until I ended up somewhere I was reasonably happy with.
Still on my turquoise kick as you can see... but this time blended with some of my more traditional neutral browns.
I used Versamagic Chalk inks as well as the Fresco paints to create the highlights on the vines.
Even though some of the paints are translucent, this many layers meant that the book text was getting pretty obscured, so I took a baby wipe and rubbed back a little to re-reveal my lovely Gothic font.
Next step was stamping. I started with the Tim Holtz dots from the Ultimate Grunge set with some Snowflake Fresco paint and randomly dotted it around the tin (well, they're dots, they should be dotted around, don't you think?).
The final bit of stamping was the numbers, again from the Ultimate Grunge set, stamped in Coffee Archival, to pick up and echo the brown tones from the background.
On the base of the tin, I did a complete book page collage to cover the space efficiently without using too much of my precious Fresco paint!
The lettering is from the Grungeboard minis, though I had to make my own Y by adding together a trimmed U and a trimmed J, as I'd already used both the Ys ages ago. Anybody remember Only You? Well, there you go, two Ys used up right there in the title...
The letters also got the painty chalky treatment, and then I played around for a while with the placement, before deciding it was silly not to make the most of the shape of the tin by using the "tuning" bar as the place for the main title. I couldn't go over the top with embellishing as the plan is for it to go in and out of bags - it has to be practical - so I left it at that.
In these pictures, you can also see the lovely texture from the original tin casing coming through... the honeycomb of the radio "loudspeaker".
So that's my old unwanted biscuit tin, now a very useful travelling case for samples, and highly desirable... to me at least - which is fine, as I'm the one who'll be using it!
Since it's intended to travel around with me, I thought I should probably seal it so that it has some protection when I'm on the move. It did slightly alter the rather lovely chalky look of the thing, but I'd rather that than have it gradually chip off, which would be very sad!
Sorry that it's been another long post... I really do try to keep it down, but there's always stuff I want to share with you - as well as keep a record for myself of how I've done what I've done, so I do thank you for bearing with me. I wish you a lovely rest-of-Sunday, and hope that you have a great week out there in Craftyblogland!
I'm entering this in the following:
Simon Says Stamp and Show want us to Embrace the Old - I've embraced it and made it all new again
Happy Daze are inviting us to Recycle It for the whole of January
Our Creative Corner are looking for projects which are Shabby Chic Style - I think it is?
Unruly Paper Arts are looking for some Joie de Vivre - keeping my tags in this tin as my "gloat box" will certainly be joyous, but most important is the joy which crafting has brought into my life. And for a little Gallic touch... well the Papillon script stamp should do
Joy is not in things; it is in us.