Saturday, 11 February 2012

Altered Box

This is my first project as
Alchemist (designer) for
Gauche Alchemy,
and it's an altered box
in which I store the postage stamps
I use in my arting.

I bought the plain basic box from a charity shop
ages ago and have never done anything with it.
But then I received the Gauche Alchemy goodies!

The arrow of inspiration struck!

(top of lid)
First of all I covered the box with torn strips of 
paper from the GA Foreign text pack.
I particularly wanted to use foreign text
because the little box houses stamps from
all over the world.
I know what you're thinking,
"But you can't see any of the text!"
Well, actually I can, it's not obvious but
it's there!
After covering the box I brushed gesso over it,
wiping off the excess.
I then lightly sanded the edges to give
a greater distressed look and also to allow ink
to 'take' more in those sanded areas.

(front of box)
I dragged Distress Inks round the edges giving
a distressed and vintage look.
Once all this was dry
I cut a strip of
GA Punchinella (sequin waste)
and stuck it to the top of the lid.
I smeared this with gesso to dull the shine
and once dry dabbed gold acrylic 
dabber over the central area.

(clasp and rinchie)
Over this I carefully stuck the image of the bird
cut out from the top layer of a paper napkin 
from the GA Paper Napkin pack.

I found some foreign stamps
to stick on the lid,
muting the vivid colours with a smear gesso.

(back of box)
After this I printed out part of a poem by
Robert Louis Stevenson

'As in their flight
The birds of song
Halt here and there
In sweet and sunny dales.'

onto tissue paper 
(thank you Carmen for top tip).
Carmen is able to just tape tissue paper to 
her printer paper,
but my printer is far too fussy, 
so I have to spray a sheet
of printer paper with repositional adhesive 
spray and then put another sheet on top 
and peel off a couple of times to take 
away the extreme stickiness.
Next I put a piece of tissue paper on top,
trim to size and then I can print the text/image.
Once stuck onto the artwork, 
the tissue just seems to disappear.

(in use!)
I finished off the box with charcoal rubbed on the edges
and a bit more Distress Ink here and there
to make sure it was as grungy as I wanted it to be!

For the clasp hook and charm;
I took a precut rinchie (round inchie)
and used gold acrylic dabber on the back and edges.
I cut another bird's head from the same paper napkin
and stuck it on the rinche.
I used a Big Bite for make the hold
and then put in the metal hole thing
(what ARE they called??!!).
I cut out the word 'stamps'
and stuck it on and finally
made the hook out of a bit of rusty wire.

It was immediately put into good use!

Pop along to
for inspiration and the link to their shop
(so you can buy their inspirational goodies!)



Virginia said...

Joanna that is utterly gorgeous the Gauche Alchemy team have obviously got a great new designer to show off their gorgeous goods!


Kimberly at ArtJoyStuff said...

Collage supplies (the postage stamps) never had it so good. This is wonderful!
enJOY a lovely day,

Jane Housham said...

So much work but worth it! The tip about the tissue paper is something I'm definitely going to try. Thanks.

The Sparkly Fairy said...

Love this that you have created!

Maggi said...

Love this so much Jo! :D

missy k said...

Beautiful and useful too.

Great project :)


Sabrina said...

Your first project for GA is a huge success. Gorgeous! Thanks for all the description of how to do it. Such a lot goes into these things, and that's what makes them so special.

Marie Lost Bird Studio said...

Your box came out gorgeous,Jo.Love it.
Have a great weekend.

Jewels said...

you mean a grommet (LOL)? Like I said over at GA - this is wonderful Jo - what size is the box?

SusieJ said...

Wonderful work Jo - I love it! Now to follow your inspiration..I've just sorted my stamps and they're "floating" around!
Hugs xx

Monica said...

What a great job you made of the box. it is fab.

Carmen said...

You know how much I love this :D

Maybe I wont be so threatening towards my printer in future - seeing as it's so much better behaved than yours and all that ;)

Debbie said...

The box is really lovely, Joanna.
Tell me - what is gesso? Not being a paper crafter I have no idea, but you use a lot of it!

Oh, by the way, is the metal hole thing an eyelet?? xx

Miss Iowa said...

I can just picture the mad scientist in her lab, feverishly working on her project. It's absolutely fabulous! Love all the layers.

Kristin said...

I'm watching out for you! You are going places! AND your box is absolutely stunning!!! xoxo

BadPenny said...

Jo this is superb. The work and creation you have put into this delightful box is worthy of being shown off - well done ! Lovely to play with all the goodies too. I had no idea what the punched out holes were !

Joanna said...

Thank you everyone for your LOVELY comments!

Jewels, the box is 15cm wide x 11.5cm deep and 7cm high. Thank you for commenting on the Gauche Alchemy website too. Thank you for the 'grommet' suggestion - no, that's not the word I'm looking for (my son had grommets put in his ears when he was little so I think I would have remembered if they were called that!). x

Debbie, gesso (pronounced with the hard 'g' sound) is basically an acrylic primer. I use it a lot, it's great for adding a muted and vintage effect, covering as much of a background as you want - the excess can be wiped off before it dries - and also for adding texture. You can get white gesso, which I use a lot, clear gesso, which I've used a bit but I find has a slight grainy texture, and black gesso, which I want to get. I hope that answers your question! Thank you for the 'eyelet' answer, it was driving me nuts!!


Lenna Young Andrews said...

I really love what you did, Jo - bravo!!

Menopausalmusing said...

Stamps are so lovely and this box is such a pretty container for them.

JaN's ArTy JouRneY said...

Wow Jo, I absolutely Adore your lil altered box, GA are so lucky to have you designing for them! Thanks for sharing . Have a creative week! Jan x