Thursday, 28 March 2013

Pencil pot make over

Hello all, sorry I've not been around and missed blogging for a few weeks.  
I had this project saved in draft for a few weeks but haven't gotten around to posting it here. 

Added today:
To briefly let you know my heart and head have been elsewhere as my daughter is just now on life support in hospital. We almost lost her. I have been there every day since she was admitted a week past Monday. She is stable now but still in a coma. 
We did get a wee flutter of her eyelids, and she tried to open her eyes when we said her name yesterday. Baby steps in the right direction. Say a prayer for her please.

Welcome to new visitors and new followers and thank you to older blog friends for your loyalty and coming back to see what I've been up to. Your visits and comments mean a lot to me.
Anyway here's the latest venture into creativity. Inspiration struck when I was in my local Tesco's grocery store when this bargain 40p pencil pot
caught my eye (and my imagination) for a make over. (They also had a wee matching lidded box with flamingo note-let/cards in it with which I plan another re-do this space!)

I started by painting the full box with a couple of coats of white Gesso. Then using the silver embossing paste generously given to me by Anne last month. I stencilled through a V&A brass stencil I've had for "yonks" but never used. As it had such tiny fine detail, I wanted to see how precise the paste would work. I was impressed, as I'd never tried embossing paste before this. I think my first attempt turned out not too bad.
I then used Pebeo paints in two blues, and pink at random occasionally wiping back to soften the look with a baby wipe and using a dry brush to change it where I felt the need. I love the soft colours this produced. I cut and glued 3 x 33/4"square layers of card for a lid then 4 layers 3" square to fit inside the box top. I painted the lid the same way to match the box. I used various Indigo Blu stamps throughout and around this pencil pot project, 

I stamped the flourishes from Indigo Blu "Discover your passion" set on the lid, and added Tim Holtz tattered florals made into roses stamped first with Wendy Vecchi ledger numbers and a couple of her make mine mini art flowers covered with tissue tape, cut out and coloured with DI's. The bead in the centre of these wee flowers was shiny silver, so I coloured them with alchohol inks. the leaves were from Indigo Blu "Live Laugh Love" set as were the words I used. 

"Laugh as much as you breath" was stamped in blended blue-green and pink chalk ink colours which I then found didn't dry too well on acrylic paint... even after blasting with the heat gun, arrrgh! so not giving up, I used a fixative spray that I use for pastel painting, well pastels are chalky too! (hairspray does this job too with pastels, if you need to use this and don't have it) this seemed to do the trick, so I then over stamped this in Rangers white archival. 

I tried same idea using white acrylic paint stamped over (playing safe now) black archival with "Love to Create" from Indigo Blu "Discover your passion" wording stamp set. I like the shadow effect it produced with the lettering. I stamped the flourish in black here too to balance the corners.
The wee dragon fly here is from the "Live Laugh Love" set too, stamped with chalk inks before I discovered it didn't fully dry well and set with fixative as before. It is so pretty and highly detailed, even the tiny veins stamp with such detail. 

The last face of this box started off life very different. I originally had a stamped butterfly on Clearly for art stuck on this side but I bumped the edge of it's wing which damaged it,so when I took it off the underlying paint was well glued to it and peeled off too. I could have cried, but they say there are no mistakes in art so I then had another idea using this "hole" in the paint I peeled back more to create a faux hole in the back of the box then painted inside and around it to create the trompe l'oeil (artistic optical illusion) .
The wee bird "hiding inside" is from the Indigo Blu Clematis flourish stamp. I painted in the shape of the bird with Pebeo paint, then over stamped it in black Stazon to bring back the details of her feathers, I added white Sakura for highlight but didn't like it so colouring carefully in tiny dots and dashes of alcohol pens over this and on the wings and tail to deepen colour between the stamped image. In hindsight I should have picked a different stamp pad to over stamp the bird, but managed okay (holding my breath, lol).  The flowers were painted in alcohol ink from pens then blended with blending solution on felt, to suggest something else tucked inside but to leave the tiny wee bird as the focal point inside.

Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to look.

hugs Alexandra x


  1. what a beautiful project alexandra...I can't begin to imagine the trauma you are going through at the and your family are in my heart and prayers..biggest hugs kath xxx

  2. Hi Alexandra, I was thrilled to see you back and then I read your note about your Daughter. I am so, so sorry to hear that she has been so dreadfully poorly and I wish and pray with all my heart that she comes back to you soon and makes a speedy recovery. Please look after yourself too.

    Your box is absolutely stunning, what a clever and inspired make-over and you have put the paste to excellent use. I love how you overcame the happy accident with the hole too. Big, big hugs, thinking of you, Anne xx

  3. Your box is really gorgeous. I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. I will pray for her. It was good to see a post from you. Sending you a warm hug.

  4. Alexandra, I'm so very sorry to hear about your daughter. Keeping all of you in my thoughts and send hugs to you my friend.

  5. Oh Alexandra, so sorry to hear about your daughter...thinking of you all right now, and wishing her the best! Your box is absolutely gorgeous, good to see you post again! Big hugs!

  6. The detail of your box is absolutely amazing! You make me want to try Gesso and some of these techniques. The "oops" where you placed the bird looks like a real hole in the box. You could have fooled me. I'm stunned by every bit of this. Now, I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. I can only imagine how distressed you must be and I'm hoping a full recovery is very near. Thinking of you and sending hugs across the miles.

  7. I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your daughter, saying a prayer that God will pull her through this and it will be very soon and he will give you peace and strength for each day until she is back and well again!
    Your box is just lovely what a superb job of recycling your box!

  8. My heart is just aching for you & your daughter. I immediately said a prayer for both of you the minute I read this. I know that prayers are heard & answered. As a mother with a daughter who has some serious health issues, I know where your heart is right now. Hang in there & know that there are a lot of prayers being said for you both.

  9. Your box is fabulous!!! I'm so sorry about your daughter... you are both in my prayers!!!!

  10. Wow yes your Box is such an amazing Project!!! And your Blog is such an inspiration - want miss it - so I will follow you from know :-)
    XOXO SanDee

  11. Prayers being said for you and your precious daughter! This must be such a scary and stressful time for you.
    I love your drawings and sketches of flowers, thank you so much for sharing your talent with us.....sure do appreciate it. I can barely draw a box, never mind these gorgeous flowers. Have you drawn dandelions, or Queen Annes Lace. I love the way you shade your flowers, they always look great!! hugs, Annie


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