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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Mandala Monday

Shoot!  I thought I uploaded this before but it didn’t take.  Better late than never…

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Here’s my contribution for today.  I was expecting a long day at work and then had to go get a new phone (an excursion that I had no idea would take 3 hours!).  So, I decided to try to make an electronic mandala on my phone.  I opened up my Pic Collage app (a favorite) and imported some pictures.  I started with 4 ICADs I’d done last week  with similar materials/techniques (all starting with a failed attempt at using a 3D stencil with gesso).  I used those as the 4 “corners” of my circle.  Then, I cropped a photo I took yesterday and made a kind of star design using several copies of it.  The photo is kind of a funny story:  I got this pinata for my parents’ surprise 50th Anniversary party at church.  When I went back the next day, I happened to notice it hanging from a stick outside the dumpster.  I guess the sexton couldn’t bare to chuck it.  I call it “Resurrection of the Backyardigan”.

The mandala came out somewhat psychedelic looking, but the shape is strangely appealing to me.  And I was able to use images of a few cards that I didn’t really like to make something pretty interesting.  Mondays are always so hard to find time to really concentrate on anything, I’m starting to think I should actually plan ahead a bit and make my mandala on Sunday (and then just post it on Monday).  That wouldn’t be cheating, would it?