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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

C'est la Vie! Part 1 (An Altered Cigar Box) UPDATED!

Hello dear Bloggers!
I wanted to show you one of my latest projects!  I really like it and had a blast making it!
It is an altered wooden cigar box, and a coordinating mini album/journal.
It's called C'est la Vie.  I named it after the Bo Bunny paper line I used to decorate it.
This project was designed for a mixed-media class I'm teaching at Ink Paper Rubber in Overland Park on Wednesday.  
To sign up for the class, call 913-381-2217 or email Jen at IPR.

Here is a step-by-step pictorial of  how I altered the cigar box.  
I started out with a wooden cigar box, with a hinged lid.
I knew I wanted to add texture so I selected a few stencils.
To create the texture, I grabbed some light moulding paste from Golden.
The paste was applied with a palate knife.
Here you can see the texture created by using the honeycomb stencil.
Another look at the texture.
I took a styrofoam dress form from Michael's Dollar Bin
and put it on the box.  I decided it wasn't enough texture...
I cut two chipboard shapes to use to decorate the box.
I quickly realized I needed to add MORE TEXTURE before I started adding embellishments.
Using Mod Podge various styles of lace and lace flowers were adhered to the box.
I set it with my heat tool.  It is very important for the Mod Podge to be completely DRY
before moving to the next phase.
This is how it looked after adding the lace.
Once the lace was dry, I added the dress form, with an oval doily I had cut previously.
I used a Spellbinders die.
The next step was to add some embellishments.  It does not matter what color the embellishments are.
They are painted with Gesso in the next step.
The most important thing in this step, is to have fun!  Just play around with it!
Try different things and just go with what you like.  I must have tried 10 different scenarios
before I finally found a configuration I liked...
This is what I finally chose for the placement of the embellishments.
If I had it to do over, I would have put some flowers under the dress form but  oh well...
In this step, I Gesso'd every little nook and cranny of the box...
In the smaller areas, I used a tiny brush, making sure I had good coverage.

Make sure you have total coverage before  moving to the next step.
Once gesso is applied thoroughly, make sure it is completely DRY before you spray.
I added several sprays with Lindy's Stamp Gang sprays, and immediately found out that the yellow wasn't going to work. (I had wanted it to match the mini album which was yellow and mauve)
But this technique is forgiving, and I just RE-gesso'd the area that I didn't like.
I went with more mauve this time...
To get the yellow I wanted, I went over selected areas with ink and my finger.
Its hard to tell in the photo, but the colors did look pretty.
I sprayed other inks on it too, including Glimmer Mist and Perfect Pearls sprays.

Close up of the thimble and spool, and the rose.  It was so pretty.
The dress form almost looked metallic, with the addition of the Perfect Pearls sprays.

Here you can really see the depth of the detail, the texture created by all the steps.
I decorated the inside of the box also, using Bo Bunny's C'est la Vie papers.
Some roses from Wild Orchid Crafts finished it off.

This beautiful box and mini album is now complete!

Gina and Mary are having fun creating...
Marilyn and Pam think altering cigar boxes is lots of fun!

Marilyn decides to use the spool and thimble as the base of her dress form.
You can see how much Mary is determined to get the pearls glued down properly!

Designing the cigar box with pearls and ephemera. 
Pam and Marilyn add Gesso to the embellishments in preparation for spraying. 
Gina uses a heat tool hastening the drying process.
It is important to dry the surface between each step of the altering process.
Mary uses a small brush to get into all the little nooks and crannies.
Mary's altered box is just beautiful
Gina is adding some rub on ink to add luster to her project.
Pam proudly displays her beautiful altered cigar box.
Marilyn's lavender cigar box is just stunning!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it informative.  Try this at home!  It's a lot of fun.
Start collecting little pieces of ephemera in a bag...if you have a few flowers left over from a project, stick them in a bag.  Have some unmatched chipboard pieces?  Throw them in the bag.  Keep adding to your little project bag, then when it comes time to do a project like this you will have some fun items to glue to your project.  Whether it's buttons, metal gears or keys, plastic flowers, paper flowers and leaves, spools, thimbles, bobbins, and various other laces and doilies, it all looks beautiful once you gesso over the top and subsequently spray it!  Use Glimmer Mist, Perfect Pearls sprays, Lindy's Stamp Gang sprays, Dylusions sprays, or any other spray inks, they all look beautiful.  
Good Luck and Happy Creating!


pattyo said...

Wow, ReNae! This is fantastic! I love the variation of the colors on the completed box. Truly unique! Love it!

Lotta Feldt said...

Loooove it must find a box and gesso and play away in fantasy land. You are such inspiration to us all <3

Connie Riley said...

ReNae, as usual, your work is amazing. I love all the details you added to the altered cigar box. Awesome coloring technique-love the final result! Thanks for sharing your considerable talent; the tutorial was very informative. Thanks.

Donna Wood said...

Wow! Wow! Wow!
(Via e-mail)

Crabtree-Creations said...

Thanks guys! Your comments warm my heart!

tblazen3 said...

SOOO cool and pretty!!!