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?