And for anyone who'd like a quick "before" shot...
This huge cigar box (13 x 8 x 2.5 inches) has been around for I don't know how many years, as you can probably see from its slightly battered state. (Cuban cigars, and according to the label on the bottom it came from Selfridges - can you imagine how much that must have cost?!)
Anyway, as I said yesterday, I'd been mulling over ideas for the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge which, this week, is Lace Love. I'd already thought of using the Tim Holtz Vintage Lace Decorative Strip Die, which was one of the very first dies I bought, and is still one of my absolute favourites.
I was also working on a DT piece for the new eclectic Paperie challenge which is Altered Boxes, and the two just sort of collided.
And as soon as I'd finished the tiny box with coloured lace, I moved straight on to this.
I seem to be on a stash storage kick - not surprising, given the house clearing I'm really supposed to be doing at the moment - but honestly, this is helping!
After last week's altered tag tin, this week I've created storage for my "beautiful things" - lace, special ribons and flowers.
I already have great boxes that all my metal and wooden bits and pieces are sorted into, and I do have a small box for ribbon reels, but all the "soft" stuff has just been in various carrier bags and baskets, so it was time they had a home.
So here's how it came together.
I gathered some papers from the Kaisercraft Timeless collection with delicate motifs in neutral colours - text, music, flowers - as well as some plain white cardstock, and set to work with my trusty BigShot. Here's the lacy chaos which ensued!
Then I had to painstakingly sit with my tweezers making sure that all the punched holes had been fully punched - for once, I actually had the television on whilst crafting... but this really didn't require much brainpower or mindfulness!
Next, it was out with the Vintage Photo DI and the blending tool. Every strip got a touch of inky distressing.
Once that was done, I spent quite a long time arranging the strips in a sequence that worked to show them off to the best possible advantage.
(For anyone who cares about such things it's a strict rotation of the three lace patterns; alternating white/pattern; and making sure it's not the same pattern twice in a row.)
Obviously I then made sure they weren't going to get mixed up again while I got busy with the rest of the altering!
The first stage was a good coat of paint, of course, then I could start to play...
For the exterior walls of the box, I decided to use my "laciest" stencil to do some textured lace around the base.
So I started applying Ferro through the Crafty Individuals Beautiful Border mask, but I hadn't gone very far when it became clear that it was a bit too stiff and unwieldy for such a delicate design. I switched to the DecoArt Decorating Paste, and that was much easier to apply.
I did two sides and then read the label to see how soon I could do the rest, and it said 4-12 hours drying time - well, blow that for a lark! No patience, me, I'm afraid - so I very gently used the heat tool, and that seemed to do the trick with no problems. I was careful not to overheat each area, so as not to get the puffy blistered effect - not what I wanted today!
Once it was dry, I went over the whole box with Snowflake Fresco paint. You can't beat the shabby, chalky effect the Fresco paints give you, and it's also great for stamping on which, as anyone who knows me will tell you, is pretty likely to happen at some stage of a project!
Next up, Vintage Photo DI again... blended onto the textured areas, and around the corners and edges to distress them. I love that the slightly battered, worn look of the box is accentuated by the inking.
And I did indeed do some stamping, using my favourite script stamp from the TH Apothecary set, stamped in Frayed Burlap DI.
Leftover strips of lace were pressed into action along the top edges, and that was that for the walls.
The most time-consuming part of the whole process was the sticking down of the lace strips on the lid... trying to keep them straight, trying to get them the perfect distance apart so that they overlap but are still showing off their best bits and so on.
I used the Studio Extra Time Slow-Drying multi medium - it gives you lots of time to lift and replace so that you can make sure your alignment and positioning is exactly how you want it.
I used it to give a couple of coats over the top of the whole lot to give it some durability, and a bit of protection to the lacy edges. But the long drying time also meant that, even after those coats, I was able to run a knife under the tips to lift them for the dimensionality and movement I wanted to create.
And, I have to say, as you do the first few rows it doesn't look like anything very much, but in then end I think it's absolutely worth the hassle!
I added a twist of crinkle ribbon (uncrinkled), attached to the inside of the lid using some spare lace, so that there would be a tag to get the lid open easily.
I wanted some dividers for the interior, so I took some more of the same Kaisercraft papers and covered pieces of cardboard (old packaging) which I'd measured and cut to the required sizes.
I decided not to repaint most of the inside, as it's already got a soft, weathered paper lining.
But I did add a bit of matching trim to the top of the back wall. I thought of doing that to the side walls again, but realised that it might well interfere with the closing of the lid.
Then it was time to decide what to do with the inside of the lid...
This had an embossed label, like the one on top, and I was delighted to see that, even after my shabby chic coats of paint, there was still some of the embossing showing through - so I had to take advantage of it!
I buffed over the whole area with some Vintage Photo DI, and then used Treasure Gold in White Fire to highlight some of the raised areas.
I used the script stamp again, and added my favourite Stampology floral corner in Coffee Archival, but there was still something missing.
Ah... words... and it didn't take long to find the perfect Tim Holtz sentiment - what could be better for a box of beautiful things?!
And, of course, one of the best things is that I was able to provide very precisely for my storage needs... the right size and shape compartments.
I do realise it means I have to use some of it before I can buy any more, but I think that's probably all to the good!
For now, I'm just happy to have it all out of the random plastic bags and in one place where I can find it and access it easily. That it all looks so pretty is simply a lovely bonus...
Do check out the Altered Boxes challenge at eclectic Paperie, hosted by Marjie Kemper, and with a great prize on offer!
Thank you so much for spending some time here today - I'm so grateful for your company and your feedback, and I look forward to seeing you again soon - either here, or elsewhere in Craftyblogland!
I'm entering this in the following:
Simon Says Stamp and Show who are playing Lace Love
Our Creative Corner have a Shabby Chic theme
At Happy Daze they would like us to Recycle It
At the Allsorts Challenge they are asking to see Dies and Punches
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.