Golden Bee Box

My next project was inspired by a Tiffany Solorio video where she altered a papier mache star box. I wanted to try something like that, so I asked my mother, who was heading out of town to Hobby Lobby (our town is too small for its own craft store) to pick me up a similar box. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find a larger one, so she brought home several tiny boxed in various shapes for me to play with. I was immediately inspired by the hexagon box and wanted to do a bee-themed alteration.

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Golden Bee Box

My first step was to cover the entire box in black gesso. Even the insides, because I didn’t care for the brown color with what I had planned for the box.

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At this point, I had planned to stencil some flowers on top and add my bee charm to the flowers, but as you’ll see, I ended up covering most of the stenciled area up when I decided to add more height to the top of the box. I used the Tim Holtz Floral Layering Stencil and some Pumice Stone Effect Paste by Prima/Finnabair to add flowers to the top of the box and three sides. For the other sides, I simply dabbed just a bit of pumice paste here and there, giving it just a little bit of texture. (Basically, I cleaned my palette knife off on the bare sides.)

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It was at this point that I realized I wanted just a bit more to the top of my box, so I found a resin flower in my stash from Melissa Frances and I die cut some leaves using the Prima Forest Leaves die set. I also die cut a honeycomb piece using the Memory Box Honeycomb Corner die. To give the honeycomb pieces a little more depth, I die cut it three times and glued the die cuts on top of one another.

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I repainted my box and embellishments with black gesso. I added a little round metal button from Prima to the center of the flower and a bee charm I had in my stash.

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I also added three smaller bee charms to the sides of the box with the stenciled flowers. On the other three sides, I added pieces from the Honeycomb Corner I had cut apart. All of my embellishments were glued down with Heavy Body Gel by Prima/Finnabair.

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I painted over the bee charms on the side with black gesso, and when everything was dry, I painted the whole box with Midnight Sky Metallique paint by Prima/Finnabair. It is a lovely deep blue color with a metallic sheen.

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When that was dry, I took the Art Alchemy Metallique Wax in Antique Gold and went over the whole box to highlight all the textures.

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I then took some matte medium and added Gold Rush glass glitter by Prima/Finnabair here and there for some extra shine.

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My final step was to add Swarovski crystals in a delicious honey color to each of the bees.

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This was a really fun project that I managed to complete in one afternoon. Sometimes working on smaller projects can be the most enjoyable!

I’m on vacation next week, so I hope to do some spring-themed projects while I’m off. I’m heartily sick of winter. Bring on the flowers!

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Canvas: Hope is Never Lost

I’ve had this idea for a mixed media, steampunk-style canvas in my head for a while, since I bought a three-layered mechanical heart chipboard piece by Wycinanka. But I kept putting it off in favor of other projects. To be honest, sometimes I put something off for fear of ruining a project. Finally, last weekend, I sat down and decided to just do it. I need to learn to be brave when creating. And to not be afraid of messing something up.

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Hope is Never Lost

I had recently purchased a set of three canvases that were 4 inches wide by 12 inches high. They’d be great for doing a triptych piece, but I wanted to use them separately. And it was the perfect size for my chipboard heart. I started by taking the Riveted stencil by the Crafter’s Workshop (6×6) and covering the whole canvas, including the sides, with modeling paste through the stencil. I also added some strips of drywall tape for extra texture and a bit of crackle paste here and there as well.

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After letting all that dry, it was time to add color. I used Light Patina, Mermaid Teal and Royal Blue Metallique paints by Finnabair over the texture, blending them until I was happy with the results. I then took some Finnabair Metallique Wax in Antique Gold to highlight the texture and edges of the canvas.

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Wanting to add a little bit more to the background, I took some twine and dyed it with Prima Color Bloom Golden Walnut spray to make it a bit darker. I wrapped it around my canvas and attached the ends to the back with Heavy Body Gel, left overnight to dry.

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After arranging my embellishments and other pieces on the canvas to the approximate design I wanted, I painted all the metal and chipboard bits with black gesso, let them dry, and repainted with Steampunk Copper and Rustic Brown Metallique paints. I also added a bit of Royal Red to the top layer of the steampunk heart, to kind of get a “bleeding heart” effect.

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I painted the bottoms of some Finnabair Melange stones with Unicorn’s Hair Sparks paint and added them to the canvas as well. When the glue had dried, I added some Glossy Accents around the cogs and sprinkled on some copper microbeads. I also dabbed on a bit of rust paint in places to get an aged feel.

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My final touch was to add one of the Tim Holtz quote chips across my mechanical heart. It seemed to be the perfect sentiment for the canvas. I distressed the edges with a little bit of rust paste to blend it in with the rest of the canvas.

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Thanks for stopping by! I’ll have another step-by-step tutorial in a few days — an altered paper mache box. I’m having so much fun exploring new mixed media techniques and I’m eager to see what I’ll be inspired by next.

Altered Paintbrush #1: A Relic in Time

While wandering down the YouTube rabbit hole recently, I came across several tutorials for creating an altered paintbrush. They were simply gorgeous and I really wanted to give it a try myself. So when my dad had to travel out of town to house-sit for my brother, I asked him to stop in a Harbor Freight and pick up a cheap paintbrush for me to experiment on.

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A Relic in Time

The brush he brought me was a 69-cent chip brush, 3 inches wide. Since I wasn’t sure what, exactly, I would be doing to the brush, I first covered it in some Tim Holtz tissue paper using Mod Podge. Though it ended up being completely covered on the front, the paper made the back of the brush pretty as well.

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I used heavy gel medium to glue my embellishments on, including two chipboard pieces, one by ScrapFX (the lightbulb) and the other by 2Crafty (the wings). I also glued on some metal gears from my stash, a metal flower and a piece of molded paper clay. After letting all that dry overnight, I painted the whole thing with gesso and added some Art Stones here and there.

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My first thought, at this point, was to use sprays to color the brush. I used Fairy Pond and Precious Stone Color Bloom sprays by Prima, letting it dry in between coats. But afterwards, I didn’t really like the color on the metal bits, so I dug through my paints and found Finnabair’s Patina Paste set, which I’d had for months but had never gotten around to using.

I brushed on the blue and green pastes with a small brush, then used the brass paste to highlight the textures. I also used a bit of Metallique Wax in Vintage Gold. When I was finished it started to look like some kind of treasure that had been unearthed from the bottom of the ocean and I was in love.

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My next step was to take one of the Tim Holtz Mini Pocket Watches, into which I glued down a spiral clock face I found on Pinterest. I added a little bit of Glossy Accents at the bottom of the inside of the watch and sprinkled on some gold micro beads, which looked a little like simulated sand when done. Afterwards, I rubbed a bit of Vintage Gold wax along the outside, to have it match the rest of the brush. I then glued the watch on top of the metal flower.

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I painted a Finnabair Mechanicals metal butterfly with the brass patina paste, bending the wings upward a bit for depth. I also felt it needed a little something so I used Glossy Accents to glue some small Swarovski crystals onto the butterfly.

I also took three pieces of the Finnabair Art Ingredients Melange and painted the flat part with Finnabair Sparks paint in Dragon’s Eye. After the paint dried, I attached them to the brush with more Glossy Accents, and the little stones look like they glow! It’s such a cool effect!

To finish off my project, I added a few more Swarovski crystals. I just love bling!

I had a lot of fun altering my paintbrush and I can’t wait to do another… hopefully soon!

Art Journal: Love All Things + bonus ATCs

Someday, someone will explain to me why time passes so slowly during the work week, yet flies by in the blink of an eye on the weekends. Here it is, the middle of March, and I haven’t even posted my February Julie Nutting art journal layout.

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Love All Things

Of course, being February, I wanted to do a Valentine’s themed layout. I apologize for not having a step-by-step photo process, but I had intended to make this project into my first video. However, my camera angles were all wonky, so I scrapped the video and will try again on a future project.

To begin, I glued down some tissue paper printed with keys onto my cardstock base with Mod Podge. I then took some Dylusions paint in Periwinkle Blue and lightly painted over the top to create my sky. After it dried, I felt it was a little too blue so I lightly brushed some white gesso over the top.

I used the Julie Nutting Mindy stamp with the JN Wings stamp to create my lady. I stamped the outfit several times onto Valentine-themed papers to paper piece them onto the doll. I was also able to extend the skirt using this method. I colored her hair with pink Copic markers and added streaks onto the wings using a Wink of Stella pen to simulate sparkly feathers.

I cut hillsides using my Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside borders and colored with Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn Distress Inks. The clouds are also by Lawn Fawn.

The scripty Love and tree are by Memory Box/Poppystamps. I glued down some little hearts onto the ends of the branches and went over them with the Wink of Stella brush pen to give them some shimmer.

I also managed to do one set of ATCs for the February swap over on Scrapbook.com. I wish I could have done more, but the first quarter at work is always busy and I just didn’t have time to fit more creative play into my days.

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Lucky

The theme I chose was St. Patrick’s Day (as if you couldn’t tell!). I also did paper-pieced Julie Nutting dolls for my ATCs, though I used some of the smaller dolls that were closer in ATC size: Party Girl, Love Day and Mama’s Day. I cut my backgrounds from a St. Patrick’s Day paper pad by Authentique, as well as my little quotes and the dolls’ dresses. I die cut some small shamrocks using a die by Poppystamps and tucked them in along the sides. I added some green sequins and a small silver charm to complete the cards.

My next two projects are totally Finnabair-inspired, an altered paintbrush and a canvas. I hope to have posts about these up soon.

Thanks for stopping by!