Vintage Postcard Ornament Tutorial

| December 15, 2012

If you are looking to make a unique Christmas tree ornament, this Vintage Postcard Ornament tutorial is just right for you! It is pretty quick and truly charming!

Supplies:

  • (Vintage) Postcards
  • Glitter Glue
  • Hole Punch
  • Ribbon

Pick your postcard. Punch a hole in the center near the top. The ribbon will hang from this spot.

I prefer vintage postcards, of course! (The date on the back of two of these is 1910!) Make sure to use a hole punch just wide enough to fit the ribbon you will use to hang your creation from the tree.

Apply Glitter Glue

Apply glitter glue to the edges of your postcard, and to any spots you’d like to highlight. The glitter may look a bit thick and goopy but it should dry flat and perfect! There are many color options, available.  Choose what works best for your postcard and according to your preferences.

When the glue dries, add the ribbons of your choice.

After the glue has dried (time will vary depending on how thick you apply it and what brand you use), then you can attach the ribbon of your choosing. I like to put the tied bow right in the front as part of the decoration.

Finished Ornaments with the Red Glitter Edging

Here they are! Don’t they look adorable?! Each ornament is a unique work of art, with it’s own special message on the back. These were written long ago and sent at Christmas time to loved ones. As I give these as gifts, I like to imagine a wonderful cousin or sister-in-law writing their note near candle light, never guessing that I’d be passing their Christmas message on one more time, today. Just think how far off 2012 must have seemed to them, over 100 years ago!
Oh! Isn’t it just marvelous to make old things into new treasures!?
Merry Christmas!

 

Spencer Lake’s Taste of Christmas 2012

| December 10, 2012

This past Saturday, December 8, 2012, some friends and I traveled to nearby Waupaca, WI. We wanted to check out a holiday arts and crafts show at Waupaca’s Taste of Christmas at Spencer Lake.
The event had a number of local artists and vendors. From garden decorations to Christmas goodies to jewelry and fabric arts, the show had a nice variety of items.
I had the privilege of meeting Kaycie from K. Rose Design. She makes the cutest little vintage paper earrings. I snatched up a pair that will be perfect for a Christmas party I will soon be attending! Make sure to check them out at her shop on Etsy.

Kaycie sitting by her lovely display of vintage paper earrings.

One of the best parts about the show was meeting Ashley Gordon. She is an encaustic artist with such a sweet personality. Isn’t she such a cutie?

Ashley Gordon is a talented encaustic artist.

I discovered this art form, also known as hot wax painting, earlier this year. But, she’s the first local artist that I’ve discovered who does encaustic. It involves using heated wax in which pigments are added. It’s truly a beautiful form of art, and I’m hoping to meet up with her again, maybe at one of her workshops, to learn more about it! I’d love to use this technique in mixed media creations. Oh! The possibilities!

Encaustic Paints are actually melted wax with colorful pigments.

What was especially neat about the event was that it wasn’t just an arts & crafts show. The day offered something for the entire family. From Christmas movies to a bakery filled with desserts. From meeting Santa to eating Jamaican, Mexican, Chinese and all kinds of yummy foods! We especially enjoyed the FREE rummage sale (I found a few vintage plastic flowers to use in future creations and some T-shirts to try out a crafty idea I found on Pinterest.) Madrigal singers that looked like they belonged in “A Christmas Carol” walked all around the grounds and sang songs of Christmas delight. But, one of our favorite things was the living nativity scene and petting zoo.  We got to pet those lovely barnyard animals!

Here’s the petting zoo at the backside of the living nativity scene.

Did they have turkeys in Bethlehem? :)

All in all, it was worth the small trip to this neat event! With a lake view like this to enjoy among all the other wonderful aspects of the day, we were all happy we attended this year’s Taste of Christmas!

Vintage Storybook Star Wreath Tutorial

| November 30, 2012

Here’s just a glimpse of the awesome star wreath project, below!

Inspired by a star wreath I found on Pinterest months ago, I decided to use vintage pages from two nursery rhyme books to put my special touch on this lovely project. Here’s my tutorial, just for you, in case you are interested in creating your own vintage storybook star wreath! Of course, you could always just go to Altered Story Handmade Goods and snatch one of these up… that’s a little easier!
Make sure you start with all your supplies, and cover your working area with newspaper or anything else you don’t mind getting all glued up!

  • Vintage Storybook Pages – images/text cut out
  • Cardboard piece – any size  (will determine the size of your wreath)
  • Cardstock – complementary color to your images/text
  • Star Templates – either printed onto cardstock from the internet or hand stenciled directly on your card stock
  • Mod Podge (lots!)
  • Paint brush or foam brush (for the Mod Podge)
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Ribbon – for wrapping around circle and/or for hanging
  • Scoring tool (an awl or a bone folder will do just fine)
  • Martha Stewart Scoreboard or soft cardboard for scoring
  • A sink nearby! This project gets messy!

Step 1 – Print out star images (found on the internet) onto cardstock of your choice. This will be the base color for your stars. The paper color can be seen from the backside of your finished wreath, so make sure to pick a color that suits the project!

Step 2 – Mod Podge your images onto the cardstock, ensuring that you adhere your image to the exact opposite side of the paper from your star image (basically: do not glue images directly onto your star image or you will not know where to cut!)

Step 3 – After the Mod Podge dries, cut out star images. Using the Martha Stewart Scoreboard (or a soft piece of cardboard), score your stars from each point to the opposite side. Make sure that your image is facing down when you do this, so your stars “pop” outward, not inward.

Step 4 – When each star is scored properly, you will be able to push into the middle of the star, making it 3 dimensional. If the center juts out from the points, you’re on the right track!

Step 5 – Fold each line with your fingers to achieve the desired depth of your finished star. (You will have certain control over the “oomph” you give your star, based on this step and how you hold it as you hot glue it to the base.)

Step 6 – When you’ve achieved your desired star “zing-zang”  (height, depth, pop… whatever you choose to call it!), then you can slather it with more Mod Podge. I wanted mine to have a really lacquered look. I used matte Mod Podge, but you could use glossy or even glittery or metallic… there are lots of options! This will help to secure the shape of your stars and make them more durable.

Step 7 – Now for the Base! I just used good ‘ole cardboard! Decide what size you want your base to be and find something around the house that you can use as a circle template (or square or whatever shape you decide is best!) I found a big bowl and a cookie jar cover. Cut this out. You’ll probably want your stars to protrude outside the edges of the wreath. 

Step 8 – Now you’ll want to do something sassy with your circle base… so nobody even knows it was just a piece of cardboard! I used more Mod Podge to decoupage hand-cut strips of the text from the nursery rhymes onto this wreath. Just slather, adhere your paper and slather some more!

Here’s a finished product! Getting to this point was just a few more steps. Step 9 – Decide how you will hang your wreath. I used some durable metalic cording and tied it around the top and then hot glued it to the front of the wreath to keep it secured. Step 10 – I picked out the cutest polka dotted ribbon I could find and hot glued it to my wreath across the front (with a little “give”). Then, I glued on the previously Mod Podged Mother Goose text from the book across the front like a banner. Step 11 – I experimented a bit in deciding which star I wanted to place at which spot, and then attached each star with hot glue just along the edges that touched the base. This is a bit tricky to ensure that the backside still looks tidy. So, I suggest you either make little pencil marks where you want to glue, or do your best at eyeing it up!

Here’s the front side of my yellow-ribbon wreath. I like the colors! I feel like dancing with the dishes! This one is now available at a local gift shop in my area.

On this wreath, I wrapped ribbon around the circle a million times (well it seemed like it!) to cover the base. I hot glued it each time around. I admit, I had a little more control with the paper decoupaged wreath base. And with the ribbon one, I didn’t like that I could tell where it was hot glued through the ribbon. But, both are very cute!

Here they are together! Which one do you like best?

I must admit, this was a satisfying project. There were a lot of steps, but the end results were so unique and beautiful! However, I would only suggest spending most of  your day to make this for a loved one or to liven up your own space. It’s definitely not a project that I could justifiably continue to make for the sole purpose of selling through my handmade goods business. Although it will not end up a financially profitable project, considering all that went into it, I know that whoever takes these home will surely feel blessed!
Do you have a little baby in mind who would love to grow up with these keepsake treasures?
Each vintage storybook wreath is surely one of a kind! If fact, I give each one 5 stars!

 

Good Gifts

| June 15, 2012

Don’t you just love getting snail mail? Especially when it’s a BIG package?
I just got a box full of crafting goodies! My husband’s Aunt Cindy has been a wonderful encouragement to me since I started trying to make a business out of arts and crafts. She made the first purchase ever from my Etsy shop. She’s creative, herself, and has a good eye for cute stuff! The box she sent was filled with things like vintage books, plastic scottie dogs, colorful buttons, semi-scary circus creatures and even a teeny plastic baby in a box with a creepy phrase on top. Just the sort of off-beat stuff I like! There were lots of little doo-dads that will be perfect for some mixed media creations! I’m so thankful!
I’m so blessed to have many generous loved ones! As they hear about my passion to help fight human trafficking by using the old to create new, they have helped the cause by giving generously to me. My mother in law is my greatest “buyer”, finding things at thrift stores and rummage sales that have years of history waiting to be showcased. My friends have given me Golden Books, Elementary School Primers, little figurines and rick rack – my favorites! Anything before 1985 is right up my alley! The older, the better.
Recently, my friend Roxanne blessed me with things she had saved a long time. Many things are from her grandma. Granny things are the best! Here they are, layed out in my craft studio, photographed as I was filled with winsome glee.

Thanks to these gifts from a friend, I have a bunch of new things to create with! I’m thinkin’: mixed media inside the huge golden frame & an interesting shadow box assortment of medical supplies.

What are some of the best gifts you’ve received? Why did they mean so much to you? Are there every-day objects that you’ve used to make art? I’d love to get inspiration from your stories!

 

 

First Annual Highland Church Arts & Crafts Show

| June 7, 2012

I really enjoyed an amazing first art show! It was the first annual art show for Highland  Church AND the first art show selling my handmade goods AND the first art show that I co-organized!  Together with many others, we raised almost $3,200 for Project Rescue! Project Rescue is a ministry to women and children caught in sexual slavery, and one of the organizations that I already support through Altered Story sales. Part of the fun and my responsibility was pulling together my first art show display! Here’s some pictures of my Altered Story booth. What do you think?

Wall Art, Magnets and Other Goodies at the Altered Story Booth

Mixed Media Art, Photo Mattes and Altered Story Bottle Cap Pins

Origami Heart Bookmarks, Birdhouse Block Decoration & Jewelry Galore!

Mixed Media, Decorative Photo Mattes, Game Board Wall Hooks & More Check out Etsy to find more goodies like these!

As the art show co-coordinator, it was a busy and fun experience to also pull together seasoned and emerging artists for a cause so close to my heart. Gathering artists for the show who do such beautiful and unique work was such a great aspect of the experience! Here’s just a sampling of the 18 artists who shared their treasures.

Photos By Rox - Roxanne Kauth was our show co-organizer! We made a great team!

PS Collections by Naomi Seiben Like her on facebook for updates on her photography and artwork!

 

Vintage Charm Creations by Nancy Hoover - One of my favorite Handmade Goods Artists! I bought up her spy owls for my wee ones and some great little decorations.

The Pink Petal Designs by Trudi Wilbur - SUCH cute garden art! I snatched up a Ting Bottle Bug!

Children's Art Showcase - 100% to Project Rescue! Kids CAN change the world! Both of my children sold their art in the show... thanks to Grandpa!

As artists continue to sell custom creations, we continue to fundraise for Project Rescue. It’s so amazing to use our talents to truly make a difference in the lives of those who need our help the most! I can’t wait for next year! I hope you’ll be able to join us!

 

Highland Church Arts & Crafts Show

| May 12, 2012

I’ve been SO busy getting ready for my first-ever Arts & Crafts Show! Not only am I one of 18 artists, but I’m coordinating the entire event with some very special people.
My new & forever friend (Roxanne) and I have been leading the “Arts & Crafts For Hope” small group every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, since February. At each meeting, we teach on and discuss the issue of human trafficking. We also provide helpful information to emerging artists to bring success beyond our hobbies. We’ve offered tips on using Facebook, Etsy, blogging, Twitter and other modern day ways that artists can sell their wares beyond a “brick and mortar” store. We’ve also given lots of helpful ideas that we can all use as we participate in this art show! This group has helped Roxanne and I plan the entire show. We’ve done so much: inviting talented artists, planning and promoting the show, setting up, and coming up with many creative ideas for fundraising.
It is our goal to raise $5,000 to donate to  Project Rescue, an amazing ministry to women and children found in sexual slavery. We’ve gotten children involved by asking them to donate their artwork -100% of each sale will help children victimized by human trafficking. Our artists are donating items for a silent auction and they have all agreed to give 10% of their sales to Project Rescue. We are excited to see emerging artists selling alongside seasoned artists… all to fight modern day slavery. Wow! I invite you to join us for this spectacular event. It truly is Art with Purpose.

Photo Mattes For Framing

| April 27, 2009

Friends Photo Matte

"Friends" Photo Matte

I’ve been making cards since I was child, sending love to others through things I colored or painted. In my adult years, I’ve stamped and used colored pencils and blending pens to do just the same. However, in recent years I’ve been using pages from old children’s books and unique rub-ons to express my thoughts through cards.

For my recent projects, though, I decided it was time to try something a little different. I put some neat old-fashioned pages to use to make interesting photo mattes for friends, girls, boys, and babies. Check them out on my flickr page.

Now, I need to get to the thrift stores for some matching frames! I’m hoping to sell these at a local hotspot of creativity, someday.