Found poetry

I posted a couple days ago about getting a Gelli plate, which I’m totally thrilled with.   I used my art journal to try it out and made a couple really neat backgrounds, which I used tonight.  Here’s my post about making them:  https://craftymadre.com/2013/09/11/gelli-madness/.  This month, Stampotique Designer’s Challenge is challenging people to “Try a new technique” (http://stampotiquedesignerschallenge.blogspot.com/2013/09/sdc116-try-new-technique.html), so I did.

Not only was the gelli plate background new to me, but I also tried my hand at “Found Poetry“.   I first heard about it on this blog, http://slowdownsunday.org/2013/08/06/color-this-quote/, but have seen it a few times since and been really intrigued.  She kindly included this really great guide on how to write them, as well:  https://secure.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Books/Sample/18488chap1.pdf .  It’s basically taking words from an existing piece (a book, a newspaper article, a magazine cover, the bathroom wall) and rearranging them to make your own poem.

My first attempt at found poetry was on my new prayer journal, an idea I got from one of my favorite bloggers:  Molly Lolly Loo (http://mollylollyloo.blogspot.com/search/label/Art%20Journal).  I’ve been reading Jan Richardson’s “In the Sanctuary of Women” (http://www.sanctuaryofwomen.com/) in preparation for a retreat I’m attending that’s being led by her at the end of the month.  It’s such an inspiring book that I wanted a dedicated place to keep my thoughts as I’m reading.  So, I took a plain old Composition Book (thanks to the $1 back-to-school sale at Staples) and decoupaged some pictures from National Geographic on it as my “canvas”.  I used words from the catalogue of the retreat center to create “poems” on the front and back.  The whole process was really amazing.  Here’s what I ended up with:

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Well, I loved the process so much that I tried it again in my art journal on top of my gelli prints, this time with cut out words from “The Wisdom of the Hindus”.  (I created an altered book with it about a year ago but had several pages left over that I cut out to give myself more room for embellishments.)  Here are both pages in tonight’s gelli plate spread:

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I decorated them both with black Sharpie and White Pitt Pen after, and I really like them.  The sun was actually ANOTHER new technique.  I used my new brayer (gotta love 40% off at Michaels) to put yellow acrylic craft paint over a piece of scrapbook paper to kind of “alter” it.

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I cut out the sun and glued in on the middle of the page, pasting the cut-out word “grace” in the middle.  So simple yet so satisfying.

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Family Reunion Fun

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We had a family reunion this past weekend and I made some “souvenirs” for folks.  I printed photos that my brother had taken at our last 3 reunions and made them into wall hangings for each family.

The first one I made for my sister and her family.  She and her husband and are both teachers so I used the cover of an old picture book I’ve had sitting on my craft shelf for just such an occasion.  I took off the front cover to use as a “frame” and then glued down the photos with my handy-dandy Mod-Podge.  I had picked up a bunch of napkins with lacy edges at a local thrift store recently to use in crafts, and it seemed to go with the shabby-chic look of this cover.  I glued them all down with Mod Podge, making sure to let the layer I used to glue things down overnight before putting the layer over the top.   This really helped avoid bubbling, which is always a problem when I decoupage (impatient much?).  I also used a little plastic bag to smooth out the glue around the edges of the photos to avoid getting it on my fingers and then getting gluey fingerprints on everything else I touched.

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I found some cute little knick-knacks in my “miscellaneous metal” and attached them with UHU Twist and Glue.  I love that stuff.  (This binder clip is holding down the fancy paperclip while the glue dries.)  Finally, I glued a piece of bric a brac on the back as a little hanger (and duct taped it down, as well, for good measure).

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This one was for my aunt and her partner.  I used the back cover from the book, above, because it had a really neat, small town drawing on the inside of the cover and they live in a small town in Vermont.  I colored in a few parts of the picture with colored pencil and glued on a couple little clay button hearts and a little yellow flower.  I glued (and taped) on a piece of cotton hem tape as a hanger.

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For the one for one of my cousins and her family (who also live in VT), I used part of a “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”  LP jacket as the background.  (I’ve totally been saving that for something special).  I made sure to  place the photos so you could still see some of the great artwork on this album.  I added some ribbon and some little plastic flowers as embellishments and then glued a picture hanger on the back. To keep the jacket closed, I put a couple little brads on the side.

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The last one was made for my other cousin and her family who live in Long Island.  They’re the much more cosmopolitan group of the bunch (a professional dancer and a neurosurgeon) so I tried to make it a little more contemporary.  I used a piece of mat board and then some little square note-papers glued on randomly.  I embellished it with washers to keep with the geometric theme and then glued   a picture hanger on the back.

Here they are all drying on my craft-table (it was insanely humid while I was making them and Mod Podge and humidity don’t necessarily go well together).

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I love how each collage is totally unique and made really specifically to try to fit with my perception of that family’s aesthetic.  It was so fun to see how much the kids, especially, grew and changed from year to year.  I’m envisioning making little additions to each one each year that can be brought home and attached.  (We’ll see how that works.)

Oh, and I also made this watermelon shark bowl.  🙂

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Decoupaged Dresser Do-over (and an Armoire)

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This dresser was my first furniture purchase as an “adult”.  I bought it from a woman in my friend’s  dorm at Parson’s when I was staying with him during the summer after college.  I hauled this thing around NYC to 3 different apartments and then an apartment and 2 homes in Western Mass.  It was desperately in need of a makeover.  (It was probably in need of a makeover when I first got it, but all I did was chop off the legs so it would fit under my loft bed with a clothes hanging rack over the top.)

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So… I spent a couple days decoupaging pages from “Thoreau: On Education” on each of the drawers.  It was actually a really easy project.  I sanded it down a little (mostly just to get the grime off) and then just slapped on the pages.  The hardest part was actually just keeping dog-hair out of the glue while it dried.  I like the little illustrations from some of the chapter title pages that I snuck in there.

 

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This armoire was even more desperately in need of a makeover.  I originally intended to strip and refinish it when I bought it, but as I got to work I started realizing that a lot of the wood was veneer.  IMG_4703

So instead of stripping, I painted and covered it up.  The top is actually a really deep purple acrylic (that looks brown in most light).  The cards are from a set of Penguin Books postcards that I got on Amazon (I found the link in a neat wall-art project on Pinterest).  I laid out a kind of a pattern with the cards, took them off in piles, and then started decoupaging them back on.  To hold them down while they dried (because there was a bit of a relief design that I had to cover up and because they REALLY wanted to warp), I laid my all my wife’s cookbooks on top of them for about a day.  A couple new knobs, a ribbon across the bottom and voila!

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These were both fun, easy projects and it’s almost like having new pieces of furniture.  They’ve really brightened up and added interest to our room.

Dresser Drawer Shelves

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It’s Spring!  That means Spring cleaning and people putting out unwanted/broken stuff on the tree belt!  That means fun new crafting items for me.  My latest adventure:  making shelves out of dresser drawers.

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I’ve found quite a few in various states of “distress”.  I haven’t taken any of dressers that seem to be in good shape (in case someone actually wants the whole dresser).  First, I cleaned them off and took off any contact paper in the bottoms of the drawers (I hate that stuff).  I decoupaged scrapbook paper to the backs of the shelves from my favorite handy-dandy scrapbook pad:

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The good thing about this pad (from Jo-Anne’s Fabrics, I think) is that there are 3 pages of each pattern so I could piece them together to make a single pattern in each drawer.  And I love this “Heirloom” look.  It seems perfect for this project.  For my decoupage medium, I just used a mixture of white glue and water.  It did bubble a little, but I kind of like the creases for texture.  If you want to make sure it adheres more smoothly, I’ve read that you can soak the paper in water to “relax” it first.

So… here’s what I came up with:

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For the dining room.  This one sits on the floor and I added the front from another drawer that was more broken to the top with glue.  Another drawer front sits on the floor, which seemed to give it a little more stability.  I drilled through the bottom of each drawer into the one underneath it and only had long screws so I put in chunks of 2×4 to screw into.  These drawers are a little more flimsy, so I thought that would be helpful, too.

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For the porch.  This one is for grill stuff.  I attached them to each other sideways so the knobs could be used on either side to hang things from.

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Another one for the porch.  This one is for gardening stuff.  I hung it on the wall by just screwing it in.

p.s.  I found the link for my inspiration for this: http://diyshowoff.com/2012/04/04/diy-drawer-shelves/  – I LOVE Pinterest and I love DIY & Show Off!

Here are a couple others I’ve found on WordPress blogs:

http://applesforolive.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/dresser-drawers-turned-wall-shelves-phase-1-installation/ – I love her arrangement and the way she set them up ahead of time using paper templates to get the perfect display.  All in all, one of my new favorite blogs!

http://thepearlowl.com/2012/08/20/drawer-turned-craft-shelf/ – I love this one.  The dowel and the jars make it the perfect craft material display case… and who couldn’t use more of those?

Update:  I just added a spice-shelf to the dining room one at my wife’s request.  Anything that helps her cook more delicious stuff for us is fine by me. 🙂

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