Thursday, April 30, 2009

Papier-Mache' Dress Forms.

Have you ever wondered what you could do with those papier-mache' dress forms you find in the craft store bins? Well I did. I would see all these different shapes and sizes piled high in bins and wondered what in the world people used them for. It wasn't until I discovered the wonderful world of decoupage art that I discovered what exactly they were used for. On my next visit to the craft store I looked at them and thought "Hey! I know what I could do with these!" I purchased the papier-mache' dress forms for just under five dollars and decided to make a jewelry stand with them. After studying the construction of the dress form I realized that it would have to have some kind of stand to keep it from falling over. I cruised the aisles looking for something to prop it up on when I ran smack dab into the perfect support. It was a bin full of wooden candle sticks! They looked as if they were just waiting for me to round the corner and discover their fabulosity! They were made of unfinished pine and appeared to be very sturdy. Purchases in hand I headed home. Like most of us that are busy with multiple projects at any given time, I let them sit in a box for a almost a year before I finally decided to get started on my projects.

For the body I adhered layers of collage papers and Royal Coat decoupage medium. I also burnished the final coat with metallic wax. I then painted the candlestick and hot glued it to the base of the dress form. Since I wanted the final piece to be able to hold jewelry I drilled two small holes into the arms and threaded several cut wire, coat hangers into the holes and sealed them with glue. Next I took my needle nose pliers and rolled the tips of each end of the wire. I then added crackle glaze, more metallic wax and a final coat of paint before spraying the whole thing with a light coating of polyurethane to seal it and add shine. I then added marabou feathers around the armholes and hemline to give it a more elegant look.

I loved the way this piece turned out so much and wanted to keep it for myself but my Mom had always wanted one so I ended up giving it to her as a gift. What kind of person would I be if I turned down my own mother! So off to the craft store I went to get another set of materials to make one for myself. I decided to make this one completely different from the first and it ended up being more of an art piece than a jewelry holder but in the end I was very pleased with the final result.

*Sorry for the sideways photo but I could not figure out how to get it turned in the post for the life of me!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What A Mess....

I was recently inspired by the publication "Where Women Create" from Stampington and Company. This wonderful publication featured the studios and art spaces of some of the most creative women in the field of Mixed Media Art. It was so beautifully done and artfully illustrated that I couldn't wait to get some pictures of my home studio up on my blog. Mind you I am aware of what a disaster area it looks like now but it was not always this way. I can only imagine the horrified look on the editors face as she viewed a photo of my art space if I had really had the nerve to submit an entry for the "Where women create" piece! Eventually I do plan to get in there and do some serious organizing and de-stashing. But alas tomorrow in another day. If you would like to know where you can find this great publication visit for information on where you can obtain a copy.

*Getting organized is my top priority this month.

*Jars and Jars of foam stamps.

*Boxes of slides, embellishments and old photos.

*Shelves of stamps, paints, glitters and embossing powders.
My husband has threatened to "Put price tags on everything and have a sale!" What a brat huh!

*I have a definite weakness for ribbons and lace.

*This is my actual work table. It is quite small compared with the rest of the room. You can see there is barely any room to work!

*I have shelves and shelves of card stock, paper, and paints and perfect pearls.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Great Beeswax Tutorial By Suze Weinberg.

For some time now I have been wanting to make a beeswax tutorial of my own but have just not had the time. I then came across this one by Suze Weinberg and thought it did a great job of showing some of the really neat projects you can do with beeswax. I have used several of the techniques myself and think that even a beginner could handle these ideas with ease. I talk a little bit more about my own personal preferences when it comes to beeswax so be sure to scroll down and read on. Also be sure to visit Suze's website and blog at *Before you watch the video you will want to scroll down to the Vintage Vignette Radio button and press pause or you will continue to hear the likes of Frank Sinatra or Tony Benett crooning while you are trying to watch the video! :)

My First Choice for Pelleted Beeswax.

I have received many inquiries as to where and what kind of beeswax I use in my projects. I prefer the "Pelleted" beeswax from Ranger Industries. I prefer this over the hunk type beeswax that you can find in the candle making section of most craft stores because of its ease of use and cleanup. With block style beeswax you have to literally hammer or break off a piece and hope that it fits into your heating element! If not you'll have to beat it some more until the size is just right. Sounds ridiculous huh! With the pelleted kind all you have to do is pour as little or as much as you need for the specific project you are working on. Another reason I prefer pelleted to block beeswax is cost. Block style can run you up to $20.00 a piece whereas the pelleted costs' as little as 4.99 a jar. It also comes in natural and bleached white to allow you to adjust the color of your finished piece. Although you can probably find Ranger pelleted beeswax in craft and hobby stores, I have found that has great sales on it from time to time. Recently the pelleted beeswax was listed for $2.99 a jar as opposed to 4.99 at regular price! I jumped at the opportunity and purchased 8 jars at once to keep on hand. I also noticed that the online sale price was listed far lower than the in store price so if you can I would wait until it goes on sale and then stock up. I have provided a direct link over to for those of you who wish to check and see if it is on sale in your area. Just click on the link or you can call the store's 800 number listed on the site for more info.

Shop Anytime & Save

Monday, April 27, 2009

Jilted Love.

I think we can all relate to this scenario in one way or another. It need not be as dramatically serious as this case but it could be that we were dumped by a childhood boyfriend or a love in young adulthood. Whatever the case it was no doubt painful to watch our love with someone else. How did we react to such a situation? As I looked at this piece and imagined her to be real, I wondered if she was able to go on, move forward and start anew. Would she continue to look back and pine away for her love? Would she be able to say "good riddance" and finally move forward? This vignette spoke of such raw emotion to me. The look of anguish on her face, the complete disinterest of the one who promised he'd be true and worst of all the total satisfaction and look of victory on the bride's face! Makes you want to reach right into this imaginary scene and slap that smile right off her face right? Well, in my imaginary vignette she does move on. She turns and looks forward and moves on to bigger and better things. But as she walks slowly away she stops and pauses to think. Then she turns back once more and says "Now that I think about it, I guess I do have the better dog!" She then moves on leaving the two of them in her dust because after all they do deserve each other don't they!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Announcing Our Very First Design Challenge And Fabulous Prize!

I can not tell you how excited I am to announce the vintage vignette's very first design challenge and fabulous prize! The wonderful people at have very generously donated a top quality, luxury spa gift basket valued at over $80.00. It features wonderfully scented blackberry currant spa products, exfoliating loofah slippers, soothing lavender sachet, decorative door hanger, terry hand towel and soap artfully arranged in a keepsake wicker basket with personalized ribbon all to be awarded to the prize winner! The grand prize will be shipped free of charge (including tax and shipping!) to the design challenge winner anywhere in the continental United States.

Planet Gift Baskets Is a premier, full service gift basket company offering top of the line products to consumers at all price points. This industry leader specializes in gourmet, spa, personalized, baby and new parent gifts. They offer beautiful products with personalized service and can even accommodate custom orders. I thank them graciously for their generous donation.

*Now here are the design challenge rules. To participate in the challenge you Must:

  1. Be a registered follower of the vintage vignette blog.
  2. Be able to submit your entry to in email format.
  3. Be sure to provide your contact information in the email so I can contact you if you win.
  4. Enter only 1 submission per person, so send your very best!
  5. Create and enter an art project of your choice featuring the theme of Vintage Romance!
  6. Include a vintage couple somewhere in the design.

And that's it! The challenge will run starting Thursday April 23rd through Monday May 11, 2009. * All submissions must be received by midnight (pacific standard time) on Monday May 11, 2009. The winner will be chosen by the founder of Planet Gift Baskets and will be notified by email. The winning project will be featured in the vintage vignette's blog the following week. So get those creative juices flowing and go make something dazzling!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Vintage Clip Art Of The Day.

*Vintage image clip art of the day may only be used for personal art pieces or projects. This prohibits it's use of being downloaded for the purpose of creating image CD's or collage sheets for sale, digital or otherwise. Please follow the rules and everyone will continue to enjoy. Now go make something special!

*To use, simply "Copy" and "Paste" into the editing software of your choice.

Want to share what you've made?

Send it to me at

Just Discovered!

Oh my goodness! Today was a fabulous day for me. I just discovered an absolutely AMAZING resource for mixed media collage artists', scrapbookers, card makers, painters...heck even metalworkers! It is a magical place called Smartflix! I don't know about you but every time I go into a bookstore, craft store or art shop I can't help but feel a little depressed. There are so many books and videos featuring wonderful new techniques that I want to learn but my wallet (and husband!) are in the back of my mind yelling "No don't do it! That video will cost you $25.oo and you will probably only like 2 or 3 of the ideas! Put the video down and back away from the aisle!" Sound familiar? That is why I was Soooo excited to discover this resource. Smartflix rents DVD's for a small fee. They mail you your DVD's and they even pay for the postage both ways! You keep your video for a week and simply mail it back. What do they offer? You name it! If you are into it, they have it. I could not believe the endless variety from fine art and beading, to collage, stamping, scrap booking, card making, altered art, soap making and on and on. The only thing I couldn't find was Underwater Basket Weaving ( sorry, I couldn't resist!). You would really be doing yourself a favor the next time you see a technique video that interests you, if you STOP! Before you buy it check with Smartflix and save yourself a whole lotta dough. To start browsing their selection right away simply click on the link. How-To DVD Rental

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Old Friends.

I had been searching for Jilly B. for about a year. She was the best friend I ever had. As life would have it after we each married, our days became busy and filled with distractions. Somehow we managed to lose touch. I searched the Internet for her, called friends we had in common, and tried to reach her family. I was unable to find her. She was such a good friend to me when times were tough. Jilly B. was truly a special friend. We lived in the same apartment complex and would often get together for dinner and whatever our favorite show was at the time. She listened patiently to me when I was unreasonable, was my sounding board for my many issues and was always up for adventure. Over the four years we were apart I missed my friend deeply. I know it sounds odd but I would dream about my friend and the fun times we had. Those dreams were always so sad because upon awakening I realised it was only a dream. Finally the day came when I would find her again. I was out shopping one day when EUREKA! I ran into an old mutual friend of ours who told me that Jilly B's mother just so happened to be staying with her and her husband for a short visit. She gave me their number and I called her mom the very next day. Her mother told me all about how Jilly B. was doing and that she had moved out of state. She gave me her phone number and I couldn't wait to call her! I dialed the number and the phone rang. She answered and I heard that familiar and friendly voice and instantly that ache in my heart was healed. I had found the best friend I ever had and I knew I would never let her go. This mixed media collage is dedicated to Jilly B. It celebrates the friendship that I hold so dear and that I will never again let go of.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Vintage Garden.

First off today I want to extend a very special welcome to all the wonderful Vintage Flair ladies. If you have not already checked out this great site I seriously urge you to do so. There you will meet a gathering of artful women who will inspire you to create. See my blog banner below for a direct link over to the site.
Now you may be wondering what in the world is a Vintage Garden? For me it has meant going back to a time when not everything you ate was purchased from the local supermarket. Think back to even just 40 years ago when women canned or "put up" their own fruits and veggies, grew gardens from seed, and harvested and preserved all that mother nature provided for the following year. With today's economic state in disrepair I think we could all learn a few things from days gone by. It is for this reason that I decided to begin planting my vintage garden this spring. I have started a variety of lettuces such as red oak, lettuce bowl, mesclun mix and micro greens. I will also be planting spinach, arugula, and herbs. And no garden is complete without a few tomato and squash plants so I have started these from seed as well. The great thing about planting from seed is that it is so much more affordable than buying starter plants. A packet of seeds is often under a dollar as opposed to a plant that may cost three or four dollars. Also, the seeds can be used to produce many plants over a two or three year period. Gardening vintage style can not only be fun but also very rewarding and I hope you are inspired to grow one this spring as well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Vintage/Cottage Style Home.

For as long as I can remember I have always loved vintage and cottage style decor. I think I inherited this from my mom who's home has every square inch decorated in these two styles. My sister on the other hand prefers modern decor and she often says that vintage style reminds her of "old dusty thrift shop stuff." I say that's her loss with a smirk. After all your home should be a reflection of yourself right? With that thought in mind I decorate in the style that motivates me. It is where I live, garden, create art, and feel joy. With that said I hope you will take a moment to scroll down and view the photos of my home. You will have to pardon me if there is a duplicate or two or if they seem overly dark as I am just now learning this whole digital camera thing. Anyway, enjoy :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Let Them Eat Cake!"

There comes a time in every collage artist's life when they find they have the desire to do a Marie Antoinette piece. This happened to me recently after picking up a copy of the Somerset Studio special publication "Marie". This awesome issue was filled with nothing but pieces dedicated to the art and opulence of everything Marie Antoinette. It featured Marie paper dolls, paper shoes, attire, collages and even collaborative book pieces. It was a truly beautiful and well put together magazine and If you can get your hands on a copy I highly recommend that you do. You will no doubt be inspired to put your own creative spin on creating fabulous art pieces featuring this most interesting of historical figures. In the meantime it is my hope that you enjoy my take on this wonderful bit of history and art.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Measure Of A Man.

I had charcoal stains on my fingers for the rest of the night after creating this piece!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ozel Jewelers.

This piece was so much fun to create. I started out wanting to make a more "serious" piece but by the time I finished adding to it and I stepped back to take a look it had become something fun and funny to gaze at. Ozel's is a local jewelry store in the area and it just happened to be on the page I tore out of the phone book to add texture. Next It looked to me like the expression on the gals face was relishing her recent purchases at Ozels and she just couldn't wait to go back for more. My attempt at darkening her lips failed and turned her into more of a clown caricature. To my surprise I loved the result and decided to just roll with the theme. I added confetti and sprinkles to add to the overall festive feel. Overall the finished piece is still representative of the kind of art I love to create and that feeds my soul.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I recently stumbled across this vintage photo of a grouping of intriguing Native American Men. The first thought that came to my mind was how out of place these men looked sitting uncomfortably for the camera in their westernized attire. It occurred to me that these men were probably feeling not only a little uncomfortable but also mournful. I imagined them feeling defeated by having to wear such westernized attire instead of their noble and traditional dress. Under normal circumstances these men would have proudly worn traditional dress, adorned themselves with beautiful and meaningful turquoise jewelry and proudly displayed their ceremonial long hair. As I look at this people wearing suits and jackets and shorn hair (on a few of them) I feel sad for them. I feel sad for their communities and future generations. I feel sad for a proud people wrongfully robbed of their identity and ultimately their dignity.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rare Vintage Find!

Picture it! I'm dragging my sister up and down stairs, in and out of booths and displays at my local antique store when out of the corner of my eye I spot a framed marriage license. It was a beautiful piece but was just too large for my taste in vintage ephemera. As I stoop to put it back in its place I spot a plastic baggie with what appears to be letters inside. As I carefully open the baggie and retrieve one of the many envelopes my jaw drops! This letter-this entire bag of letters- are all dated 1945! I am just awe struck by the history I am holding in my hands. I can't wait to get home and start to read these little treasures all addressed to Mrs. Betty Ann O'Connell. Later that night I begin to pour over each and every envelope and it's contents. The story that unfolds is that of Mr. & Mrs. O'connell. He is off to war leaving Betty home with their young child. These mounds of letters written to Betty are all from other war brides all over the country! Betty has apparently knit a tight bond with this group of women and they share their laughter and tears, joys and sorrows all in this stack of letters. One in particular tells of meeting a Jew who has just been released from a concentration camp! As I read I wonder how these precious gems ended up in an antique store and what has happened to all of these women whose words will now be with me forever.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I Guess You Could Say...

I guess you really could say that I am a little obsessed with anything vintage, victorian, edwardian, or retro. Why, I am not so sure about. I do know that things were so much more feminine and delicate back then. Being a woman I guess I am naturally drawn to these things. The images that really catch my attention these days usually have lace, old buttons or women adorned in soft florals. I enjoyed creating this card focal using a vintage image that I lightly scumbled and added stamped text to. It was then given a light coating of beeswax to soften the overall effect. Finally, I gave the entire image a dusting of light blue "Perfect Pearls" (see perfect pearls description below). My sister says my style is "So Predictable" but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Friendship By The Sea.

Friendship By The Sea was created using a variety of mediums including cardstock, gel paints, paper glaze, and glue stick. I also used a coating of beeswax around the image to add visual texture and connect it to the sandollar text. All papers used were hand created by me using the above mentioned items. I just love the vintage ocean feel that it has.

Pretty Things

Isn't it nice as women to appreciate pretty things? From the time we are little girls we love anything that glitters and sparkles, shimmers and shines, in essence; pretty things. Most of us remember our favorite pair of dress up shoes or our first pair of earings. I remember as a small child playing dress up with my Grandmother. She would let me paint her face with makeup and adorn her hair with ribbons and bows, brooches and necklaces and whatever else that twinkled and shone. She would sit patiently waiting for the finished product to be revealed. Many years have passed and I am a grown woman now and as I sit and reflect on this treasured memory I realize that my Grandmother wasn't just enduring my beauty treatments after all. It occurs to me that she actually ENJOYED these times with me because she loved me and also because even as an older woman she too still enjoyed Pretty Things. Even now as I create my jewelry and art or choose pieces to use in my home's decor I too am drawn to these same pretty things.