Wednesday, April 30

Research on Altered Art

I've been researching supplies and techniques to creating altered art.  Now, it sounds like something that would be complicated, but it actually reminds me of collage fun for adults:)  Sure, it's a bit fancier and more involved but I realized one day that it's an art form made for me because I am creative, but cannot draw or paint to save my life.  I write.  I have a whimsical imagination.  I love taking inspiration from nature and my garden, which is why I love herbs so much.  When I look at altered art it reminds me of garden diaries I've seen with pen and ink or watercolor sketches, which I've always wished I could create. 

Many crafters use vintage photos, greeting cards or other paper combined with bit and pieces of cloth, buttons, ribbon and other textured items.  To say I collect all these things is a bit of an understatement.  I walked into my bedroom, opened the top drawer of my dresser, reached in and came out with these items:

Imagine that I've been collecting this type of thing for over 25 years and you get an idea of how much I love paper, cloth and ribbons.  

I've found over the years that the first step to starting new projects to research on how to do it as frugally as possible.  Since I'm on a tight budget I won't just walk into the nearest craft store and start buying supplies because that is a sure way to cut into money set aside for other things.  This is what I found out so far:

1. Gesso is the paint type medium that altered art crafters use to cover whatever object they are turning into art.  It's sort of like a chalky white paint that can be sanded.   So far I've found two recipes to make it at home.  Once I try them out I'll blog on the results.

2. Anything can be altered, and most of the items used are easy to find and free such as:  small boxes, old books, frames, notebooks, cardboard, etc.

3.  What about paint?  I did some looking around the last week and found some sources:  Goodwill, a local closeout store, dollar stores,  yard and church sales and my husband's garage:)  All of the projects I found online used different types of paint, markers, and sometimes words printed from a printer or cut out from books.

4.  As I've been researching I started thinking of things I know I have in the basement that would be perfect to use in projects:

-Old Dictionary that has lost it's spine.  The pages would be great as background for projects.
-A pile of old magazines from the 20's to the 40's
-A tub of lace, ribbon and other leftover crafting supplies
-Various old calenders, notebooks and journals
-Old greeting cards
-Fabric and clothing that can be rescued for buttons and/or the fabric itself
-Puzzle and game pieces

My goal is to start with projects that I can give as gifts and use for decorating.  Once I decide how much I like it, the cost of the pieces, and how much time is involved I'll consider making some to sell.  

I will also work on starting a blog list with tutorials, and a Pintrest board.


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The milkweed pods are breaking,   And the bits of silken down   Float off upon the autumn breeze   Across the meadows brown. ~C...