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?
30 thoughts on “Displaying fragments of a creative soul wannabe …”
I just love your new piece…all those little cubbies. I could kill my husband for throwing out a type drawer that I had found at a garage sale. Ugh men!!!!! Atleast mine. Are you thinking of a class?
Thanks! It was fun to make and yes, this is for a class – though it will be a small one. I will be also offering this using Tim Holtz’s type trays and there will be no limit to students for that one. I’ll post samples as soon as they are finished.
Beautiful….I have to make one now LOL
Love it, love it! My own printer’s tray is still gathering dust in my basement – I am SO anxious to get to work on it. You must have been very focused to have finished it in one weekend!
Thanks! I started it in one weekend – it took me about 3 weeks to actually finish it! Now, go get yours out and work on it!
Linda – this piece is beautiful! The color palette works just perfectly to allow all the vintage elements to pop! The tray tells a beautiful story!
Thanks Kat for the nice comment. I admit, it’s one of my favorites.
Love it!! Can’t wait to go to Allegaan as soon as it opens in the Spring.
Oh, me neither Michele – I love that place!