Remember the vintage letterpress trays I picked up at the Allegan Antique Market a while back? Yep, those trays. I think it was nearly two years ago that I came upon them thinking I’d create a shabby-chic style wall decor class.
I started collecting bits and pieces of sewing items – old patterns, threads, buttons, thimbles, intending to work into a sewing theme, but I struggled with where and how to begin. So the trays continued to take up space in the garage.
I turned many a magazine pages searching for inspiration; something to get me going. I shopped antique malls, searching for more little trinkets, treasures and ideas. I searched the Internet. Nothing. Nothing really inspired me enough to get started. Finally the time had come to do SOMETHING with those trays (my husband said so)! I took one out, hosed it down and spray painted it white even though I loved the honey-colored patina of the wood. It was like a whole new object – a big blank canvas to work with and it gave me the kick in the butt I needed!
I packed the tray along with loads of stamps, inks, paints, bits-and-pieces and whatever else would fit in the back of my car and headed to Sunset Shores over Thanksgiving with a couple of friends for an artsy weekend.
Nearly all the background papers are hand-stamped with Wendy Vecchi and Tim Holtz stamps because the papers I packed just weren’t working. The solid colors texturized with embossing folders, and yes, I measured and cut paper for each little cubbie.
I drew inspiration from some of my favorite artists: Rebecca Sower, Nellie Wortman, Michael Jack Putman, Tim Holtz, Wendy Vecchi and Lisa Pace. The piece finally started to come together. It actually took on a life of its own and went in a totally different direction.
Hardly any sewing notions I so painstakingly searched for and collected were used. Instead of a sewing theme it became representative of little fragments of my life. The life of a creative soul wannabe born in 1950. The thimble reminds me how my mother taught me to sew at the age of 7. A game piece from the Sorry! game played so many times with brothers and sisters. My Charlie dog and so many more memories fill those little cubbies along with a few family photos. Some cubbies remain empty to house memories of days and years yet to come. I am so pleased with the results. Don’t you think it will look great next to the vintage shutter?
I rushed home from work for dinner tonight and had to make it out again in time for our Cracker Jack Stampers meeting tonight. It’s Rachel’s day off so she cooked. As most of you know, we love to experiment with new recipes in our house and Rachel tried one tonight from Rachael Ray. It was really good! A lot of prep but once we all helped with the prep the cooking time was pretty quick, which was good because I did demo tonight at club and had to get there early to get set up.
I was showing the group the milk resist Lisa Bebi I’ve been playing with recently. It’s a technique I tagged years ago in an old Somerset Studio magazine with every intention of trying it when I had time. Well, fast forward several years later and I’m thumbing through the old magazines for inspiration and I find the article again. I thought it would be perfect for the Cracker Jack Stampers because we like to learn techniques we haven’t tried.technique from
I packed up my sweetened condensed milk, skim milk, stamps, tags,and water bottles and headed out. The demo was a success. Everyone was really pleased with the outcome and I’m sure most of the gang will be trying this one at home.
If you’d like to give it a try here’s the basics: mix sweetened condensed milk with skim milk (50/50) in a flat bottom container. Dip your stamp and stamp onto a tag or heavy-weight paper. Heat set (it smells so good!); this is your resist. Add several ink colors – I like using a wrinkle-free distress technique with Ranger’s Distress Inks. Gently wipe inks from resist stamped area. It leaves a very soft look and makes a wonderful background for tags or card matting.
You can find Rachel’s Hungarian Portabella Paprikash recipe under Healthy Eating here on foodnetwork.com. But trust me – prep time takes more than 20 minutes.
Enjoy the meal and the stamping!