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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Critique My Craft

Or crap, as the case may be. ;-)

Please be kind.
Truthful, but kind.

I lucked upon a stash of wonderful Martha Stewart Crafts Collector Boxes, which are basically shadowboxes, for a fraction of what they normally sell for. Found them at Tuesday Morning, which is also where I lucked upon a treasure trove of Martha Stewart rubber stamps and paper punches, too.

It's no secret that I am not a crafter. Understatement, much?
And yet I have this intense desire to be this crazily crafty chick, whipping out paper wreaths and angel fairy jars,  crocheting neck warmers and sewing homemade Snuggies for my dogs. Whaaaaa? Why you be laughin' at that last one?  ;-) They only make 'em for little pip-squeak mutts, and my babies are 60 lb Huskies! Big dogs need love (and warmth!) too.

But I digress.

So I gathered up all the tools of the trade that I had at hand...
  1. Shadow Box
  2. Old Sheet Music
  3. Scrabble Tiles
  4. Flash Card
  5. Old Skeleton Key
  6. Mod Podge
  7. E6000 Glue
  8. Craft Punch (for sheet music doves)
Mind you, this is the first time EVER that I've attempted to do anything like this. I'm going for more of a minimalist look, not an everthing-but-the-kitchen-sink sort of collage.
This is the first draft of what I've got thus far...

's a later pic I snapped after this posted, incorporating some of your ideas...


And here's a later fix, with the edges of the flashcard aged a bit...

Dingleberry here had already glued the key in place, so it would've been tough to have laced a ribbon through it, so I used this awesome fabric ribbon I received from Jill at Gypsy Brocante. You rock, Jill!

Almost there...

The Final Edit!

Meet Charlie, my latest bisque baby courtesy of my new friend Katie's Etsy Shop, Linda Paloma.

The next one will be SO much better, thanks to all of your contributions.

So there you have it!
I know it's nowhere NEAR the level of artistry of my buddy Dawn from Feathered Nest, or any one of a hundred of you other crafty lil' critters. But it's a start.
So tell me.
What do I need to add? Or take away?
Fine as is? Ha! Hardly.
Here's your chance to make me a better artist....PLEASE!



Six in One Hand said...

I love it Anne!!!

I'm a glitter girl myself and love anything sparkly but you have all of my favorite components...paper, keys, letters...sigh.

It's very preeeeetteeeee!

Anonymous said...

I love it! Great job.

Miss Gracie's House said...

Really good for a first try! Maybe ink around the edges of *lock* and add ribbon (frayed muslin or seam binding) to the key or punched hole...adding dimension and depth to that part but really it is great!

Twig said...

Its really really cute!!! You should do things like this more often, it looks amazing, twig buddy ;)

red.neck chic said...

Your nuts - I think there's a MAD crafter hidden in you..........LET HER OUT!!! That totally rocks!!! Lovin' it!!!

I think you're better than Martha!!! So... when is your own line of cool stuff hittin' the stores?!!? Just.... don't go for the stripes...

;-) Seriously - I love it Anne!!!


Six divided by two..... said...

It's pretty !!! I love it- you are a crafter deep within.

Debra@CommonGround said...

This is wonderful Anne, knowing that you are a minimalist and that I am SO not, I'll just be that person you asked to tell the truth. It's just me, but I would love to see just a whisper of "one" faint color. To me that spices something up. Maybe the ribbon on the key could have a faint twinge of something.
Inking the edges of the card. You don't need much-just a hint. Love the whole concept of what you've done!!!
Can't wait to hear other's ideas. This is a great post Anne!
love ya,

maryboys said...

anne - (why is your friend up there from red neck chic talking about your nuts?!?) sorry!!! i really can't resist. i tried! anyway - in my very humble opinion - i think it has perfectly wonderful components...i love it all, anyway. i think it is all "floating" a bit, though...i would tweak the arrangement by bringing the elements closer together. ie: the letters tighter, the words tighter, and the words somehow connected or very close to the card and key. and i love the suggestion for aging the card and adding fabric to tie through the card or key! keep us posted on your carftiness - you are off to an incredible start:)


Theresa said...

I love it too! I am not much of a crafter... so my opinion doesn't count too much:) What I see is a great job, my friend!


Ahhhh, it's lovely! If you would like to know if I would add anything ~ it would be a bit of age with an ink pad. This will add a bit of texture and depth and allow some of your lovely ingredients to really stand out. Any of the smaller ink pads are easy to work with and you can try them out on edges of some of your scraps to get a feel for how to apply (adjust angles and pressure of the ink pad for lighter or darker application). You can even age or define the scrabble tiles or other elements to your liking with either acrylic paints (lightly applied)or ink pads as well. Really, a job well done here! Don't deny your crafty self any longer! ~ Angela

Unknown said...

This is FANTASTIC - for a vintage look I wouldn't change a thing...there are so many different styles you could incorporate in a piece like this. Here is one thing you could do (but by no means is it necessary) - rip a section of the sheet music - start a small collage where it was ripped. I would use tiny pieces of an old book page and more sheet music all glued in different directions - I would add small pieces of colorful (but not vibrant) scrapbook papers (Maybe reds and pinks since you message is "key to my heart"- this would add some color. I like to use Tim Holtz distressed inks on these types of projects. I put the ink on the ripped edges and it makes the piece look a bit older and worn, the ink "vintage photo" would look outstanding on this.

What you have here is beautiful though, without any changes at all - I love how you added the scrabble tiles - I had this idea a few days ago for a painting but didn't have any on hand. All in all - FABULOUS - you have such a wonderful vision for this piece.

xoxo Jess

Rebecca Nelson said...

Simply put...



Anne Lorys said...

Thank y'all so much!!!
Go back and look again, I added an element that you suggested, at least as best I could, considering I'd already super-glued everything down. D'oh!

I need more supplies to do the things I really want to do. I suppose I can age the paper and tiles with just stamp ink and a paint brush? That's all I have here now, or is a trip to Hob Lob in my future? If so, names of products I need, please and thank you. :-)

Me Again

Libbie said...

That looks awesome! I am not really a crafter either but I seem to buy a lot of crafting "stuff" :)

Love it though!

Christie Hines said...

Anne, You "are" a crafty girl...this is adorable...I love it...looks extra cute since you added the fabric and the button too! Your new top banner is so pretty...I have a jar like that one you all I need are some scrabble pieces, great idea!
Big Hugs,

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

I love it! Looks great and I'll bet it was fun to do. I would love to try something like that. Your inner crafting child is emerging!

Laura said...


It is wonderful because it comes from your heart's desire.

Take some of those boxes- save them- and offer to make custom ones for the people who frequent your store- using their keepsakes- for a fee of course.

It is ALL good.

Just claim it- you've got it.

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Hi looks adorable...really great to me! Of course, I am just a beginner, we can learn together! From the sounds of these comments though...the experts agree that you have an inner crafter in you waiting to bloom! I hope I have one too!
:) Laura

Rust: Vintage Inspired Design said...

Hey Anne,
I think you are just don't know it. I think the best advice when making something is to follow your own heart and instincts.....everyone has a different opinion about things, but keeping true to your own eye makes it uniquely you!
Happy crafting!

Claudia said...

Oh, I am not really a crafter, either! I think you did a wonderful job with this sweet shadow box. Congratulations!


2sisters said...

I think it looks great! I wouldn't change a thing. I like that you brought the letters in a lot, it helps focus us on what the phrase says. You are a crafting diva just waiting to come out. Love it!

Unknown said...

Hey Honey. It's hard to believe you say your not a crafter. It turned out wonderful. Isn't that first step of starting so scary? I look at everyone elses work and I'm so I'm so intimidated.

I am the worst about understanding depth. I can spot it and I know what's beautiful and I can see that mine doesn't have it but getting it accurate is a tough one for me. I do agree with the others about the shading but otherwise its just wonderful and sweet.

Stay warm...Tracy :)

One Cheap B*tch said...

I like it! said...

You ARE too crafty!! I love it. Hang that baby up and make some more. Great job:)
Capers of the vintage vixens

V I N T A G E O L O G I E said...

It's a keeper, don't touch a thing and keep on creating!! I believe you have a wealth of talent you haven't even scratched the surface of ... yet!!


ps. the gypsy bundle goodie bag was your VBF gift from this post long, long ago ...sorry I didn't get it to ya sooner!

V I N T A G E O L O G I E said...

Hey ... doesn't look like that link came out okay ... it's the VBF post on my blog from Friday, November 27th.

Unknown said...

Good job girl. Try it in your Etsy and see what happens!

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

I think you are underestimating your creative abilities! I love what you have done, it all fits together just right and looks like a lovely piece of art.

Good job.

The Flying Bee said...

I really love it! But, just my did ask, right? I would have left it without the button and ribbon. It's still beautiful! You did a great job! Can't wait to see more!


Ticking and Toile said...

Hi Anne!
OK..I'm definitely not good at this sort of thing! It looks totally amazing now & if I changed anything it would be adding a tiny little faded dried flower in the upper right corner? But, it honestly is very sweet just as is!
Thanks so much for coming by & looking at my etsy goodies! I know!! Isn't that scale so cute? The color just doesn't really work in my home. Although, I would like to start bringing in some of that color...anyway :) Good to hear from you!

P.s. almost bought some cowboy boots today at Goodwill.....I shoulda been a Texan!


BellaRosa said...

Anne I think that it is beautiful :) I have always loved to draw, that was my thing, not too crafty although Ido dream about it alot lol I have sooo many ideas in my head and can see the finished craft in my minds eye...but with no idea how to get it done lol Since you mentioned Dawn :) The one thing is that I love how she hangs her pieces from a lovely piece of vintage lace or scrunched up pretty ribbon... I always called Dawn my lil Yoda because I go to her with soo many questions and she ALWAYS has an answer :) Also like Libbie above commented "I'm not a crafter but I have alot of crafting stuff" that is so me lol Dawn and others show some of their favorite products and I run out and get them, also besides Dawn, Sandy of Quill Cottage and others have some wonderful tutorials :) Have you signed up for the Artists Class?? I did and I am so excited...maybe now I can put some of my lovelies to use...finally lol Besos, Rose

ps..Congrats to you for finally letting your lil inner creative Diva out to play...let her out more.... Ha...I should follow my own lol

LuLu said...

You are a crafting gal! Love how it turned out,

Brenda Pruitt said...

Dingleberry must be a word used around "these here parts." Because I've called myself that quite often! I do the same thing. Add. Stand back. Scrutinize. Scowl. Add something. Take it away. Mull it over. I think it is beautiful. But you know full well, being who I am, I am going to say to add some hint of red... I like the idea of the aging. Beyond that, I'm of absolutely no use in this conversation of artists! You go, girl!

Noel Giger said...

I like to sand scrabble tiles and then dab them with a bit of ink (any color), sanding them removed the varnish and allows the ink to soak in. You wouldn't even need to seal them since they are in a shadowbox.

I also hand-tint my sheet music with an acrylic wash to give it more visual interest. (again, any color). I think this is a wonderful job - you must keep it up!

Polly said...

Love it!

Mammabellarte Rita Reade said...

Look, 35 comments? what that tells you? I am not a scrapbook or paper art Mamma. I do like the simplicity and too much would be too much, do I make any sense to you. Are you making copies of the music sheet. If you are not you should and maybe tea dye it? Ciao Rita mammabellarte

Chrissy...The Apothecary Shop said...

Love it,you did a grea job!! I was just looking at those last week...may just have to get one!! Chrissy

Marlene said...

You know Anne!!! you are a total natural..I love it just like it is.... I would not change a thing.. I would buy this for my home...its really beautiful....its not a craft..its your Art!!!! :-)

Unknown said...

Anne, its ca-ute! I love it. And you ARE a crafter!!


Brynwood Needleworks said...

Hi Anne:
Love your pretty collage. Hard to believe it's your first try. I might add a lacy, paper doily heart to the open space. Color it up a bit. I love it the way it is, too!

Barbara Jean said...


You did a wonderful job!!!

I would agree with what Mary from Marysboys said.
She took the words right out of my mouth.

For next time though.
This is a lovely piece on it's own.


barbara jean

Mindy said...

I think it's cute. And because you did it and you WANTED to do it, well, that makes it extra special! You keep it up, girl! ~Mindy

gail@My Repurposed Life said...

I'm a scrabbleholic, so of course I LOVE it! It looks beautifully perfect!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Good night! How many comments did I have to scroll thru to leave my meager little sentence??
Here it is -
Getting crafty - looks good to me.

PS, Your tampon comment on Moms blog cracked me up - so true.

Miss Mustard Seed said...

You did a great job! I love all of the components you used.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I think you did a fantastic job! I am crafty, but not to the degree that some people are. I am inspired every day and just keep trying. We do the best I can. I can see that lots of lovely folks above had many great ideas. My mind just doesn't think that way. Keep crafting! :) Tammy

Rise' McKnight said...

I'm sooo nuts about it! You're a natural artist..looks like it to me anyway. The photos taken at your house showed so much artistic ability....simple & elegant. Happy crafting!

The Feathered Nest said...

Hi sweet girl!!!! I LOVE IT!!!! Anne, you are wonderful!!! And the more you create things, the less worried you will be ~ I'm so proud for you stepping out and making something beautiful ~ it's scary making things, especially putting them on the blog and hoping others love it like you do :) Now you can make stuff to sell too!!!! You go girl ~ hugs and love, Dawn

Reflections from the Stone Nest said...

I think if you love it, then it is how it should be. I find collage intimidating a bit, and until I sit down and try to put it together, I am a bit nervous. I think your themes are very very good.

If it were mine, the only other thing I might do is add a bit of color in the way of a digital romantic image. You might find somethign to tie into the doves, like an old Victorian postcard with doves, you know what I mean?

But, I like it. And I have a few of those Martha Stewart boxes, too. I was not sure what to do with them, but, see, you have inspired me.

Blessings to you,

Christine said...

Wonderful little project! Yes, I know those MS boxes and they're so versatile. Be proud of your first collage/shadow box! Nearly anything goes, just follow your creative little heart. If you love glitter, ribbon, vintage photos, then add them! You will grow into your mixed-media art!
Take care,

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

I Love it!!I might hit it with some diamond dust, cos' I am a freak for glitter! But I think it is fabulous!!!

This is just the beginning for you!!

Lou Cinda

Jan Thomason said...

hey, i just read through the names of the people that posted comments here and i know mindy and dawn both:) looks like we know at least four of the same people and i absolutely adore both mindy and dawn!

i cannot wait to drag you to my studio once i get it to the point that it's not dangerous to walk through. hopefully within two weeks i'll have that job accomplished.
really - it's scary dangerous right now - even i can't work in there!

xoxo, jan

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