Ms. Ruin's Playthings

"The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates." -Oscar Wilde

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Altered Gift Bag

Hello friends --here are a couple of quick ideas to alter gift bags.  I went to the store and had a bag in hand and then I thought, "What am I doing?  I have all sorts of stuff at home to decorate a bag AND I have bags."  So this is what I made...

The bag in the back was stamped with a vintage baby buggy and then I adhered a flower to it.  The bag in the front took a little more work and a 3rd degree hot glue burn, it was worth it though!  I basically made a little chalkboard that they can remove and keep and then write their own messages.  Here are the steps for the second bag...

  • Paint a piece of chipboard (size of your choice) using at least two coats of Chalkboard Paint.  Allow chipboard to dry.  (Tip:  the chipboard will curl but when the paint dries all the way through, the chipboard will flatten).  If you don't have chipboard, try using a thin wooden board.
  • Adhere Maya Road Vintage Lace Tape around chalkboard.
  • Wrap hemp cord around chalkboard and secure in the back with a knot.  I also used hot glue to reinforce the position of the cord.
  • Glue chalkboard gift bag.
  • Embellish hemp cord.  I used Basic Grey, Maya Road, Recollections, Tim Holtz and Prima.


The bags were a big hit and the best part is that my friend and her hubby now have a little chalkboard to use in their baby boy's nursery.

Until next time, peace, love, and extra special gift bags!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Deserted Beauty

Hello  friends!  Thanks for stopping in to see my latest project.  This mini book is actually a design team project for The Crafty Scrapper.  When I first received it I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do with it but at the last minute, it all just sort of came together.  Plus I had an opportunity to fuse my love of paper crafting with my love of urban and not so urban exploration.  You see, when I'm not painting chipboard I enjoy exploring abandoned places and capturing images to share with others.  Those of you who follow my photography are familiar with my motto, "I find beauty where most see atrophy."  I hope you are able to see the beauty too.

This lovely camera chipboard album is by the fine folks at Leaky Shed Studio and can be purchased at The Crafty Scrapper.  I also want to mention that all of the gorgeous paper I used in this album is from the "Accomplished" line of papers by Authentique.  You can find this paper right by the checkout!  A little bit about the cover which is typically the most embellished part of the book in my projects...I wanted to create a contrast between something beautiful and something, well, a bit on the mucky side because that's definitely what this book is about.  I chose a soft damask print for the background and then a bold brick print for the accent pieces of the camera.  All of the paper embellishments including the alphabet are by Tim Holtz and the flowers are by Prima.

Lets explore the inside of the book and don't forget that you can click on the images to view them larger.

This page holds a couple of pictures of an abandoned elementary school located in Premont, Texas.  I used a pocket from an old library book to hold my photos and a card that tells you a little bit about the photos.  

In case you're wondering how I got the pretty text on the Maya Road kraft tag, I simply printed the text on a regular sheet of paper, adhered the tag to the paper over the text, put the paper back in the printer and reprinted the text.  Be careful not to jam your printer!  If I had a typewriter, I would have used it instead. 

I really liked the way this turned out.  I'm not gonna lie, I was so frustrated with this page that I wanted to put the pictures sides by side, glue the Maya Road light bulb in the middle and call it a day.  But I walked away, got some sleep, and in the morning I churned this out with ease.  

The photo on the left flips open so that you can see the entire picture on the right and you can also read some details about these photos.  And just in case you can't see the print, these photos were taken in the ghost town of Medicine Mound, Texas which is located between Amarillo and Dallas.  We found the structural remains of a filling station and some really neat relics including the gas pump.  We continued down the road and drove through a field (remember, not so urban exploration) and found a very old grade school.  You can see that edifice on the cover of the book.  I don't think class will ever be in session again.  Or will it?

This old tractor was found next to an abandoned gymnasium in Shamrock, Oklahoma.  The town has few residents left and it appeared that the majority of the buildings were rundown.  I didn't do too much with this page other than cut along a couple of the clocks to tuck my photo into position.

I really like this page despite it's simplicity.  Sometimes when you have captivating photos, you don't want to clutter the page too much or you have one art form taking away from another.  I think a piece of burlap and hemp twine were just the right accents.  The Baker Hotel is located in Mineral Wells, Texas.  Is it haunted?  Likely.  But I'm drawn to it's towering beauty, sadly it lays in ruin.

On the flip side you'll find this image of an abandoned auditorium in Premont, Texas.  I am absolutely in love with this place but only have an opportunity to drive by it twice a year on my way home to South Texas.  And 9 times out of 10, my husband does not want to stop.  I don't know that I'll ever go back in there but I can tell you that I have been in there three times, alone, in the silence.  I have stood behind the curtains and peered out past the stage into an audience of empty seats. can almost hear them applauding.  

Who doesn't love old barns?  I know so many people that do!  How I wish I could have gotten closer to this old barn in Tennessee.  Again, the printed text on the kraft tag was made with my deskjet printer.  The pocket frame is by Tim Holtz and the Frozen Charlotte doll is by my friend artist AND author, Lisa Pace.

Does Tim Holtz have some of the best hardware or what?  I love all of these little trinkets.  This photo is really special to me.  I had seen this house so many times on I 35 North from Waco to Dallas.  One day, while traveling alone, I finally exited off the highway and spent a good 30 minutes studying a map and driving down side road looking for this house.  Well, I found it.  It was on a dirt road that had not been traveled in so long that the grass and brush had started growing over the road.  That's why I had difficulty finding the house!  But I found it --I traveled down the road with nothing and no one else in sight.  I reached the dead end and there I found this magnificent beauty.  I took my photos and then just stood there and wondered what her story was.  If those walls could talk, what story would they tell me?
For this last page, I used a really neat technique that you will want to try on your next project.  Hold off on the coffee, you're going to need a steady hand for this.  

For this page I took a Maya Road linen heart and laid a stencil over it and then gently applied a thick coat of Wendy Vecchi's Embossing Paste in white.  I promise, once you do this you will want to do it over and over...just imagine the possibilities.  I also stenciled some beautiful black birds on other linen hearts for a different project.  About the photo:  The gorgeous statue on this page was found in an overgrown cemetery in South Texas.  I doubt that old place has many visitors, but I have a hunch that this statue restores hope for the disregarded.

I hope you enjoyed my book.  If you would like to see it up close, please stop by The Crafty Scrapper in Waxahachie, Texas and tell them you are there to see Sonia's latest book!  And don't forget that you can also follow my art and my photography on Facebook and on Pinterest (the links are on the right).  Until next time...take flight!

Ms. Ruin

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Design Team Challenge

I just realized while preparing a post for my latest project that I never did share this canvas...

This canvas was born from a bunch of random materials that had no rhyme or reason when put together.  The same material was sent to every design team member for The Crafty Scrapper and it was up to us to make it work.  I can remember looking at the pile and thinking "What in the hell am I gonna do with all of this?!?!?!"  But I managed to get it done.  

This was my creative process:
  • Adhered scalloped half circles from Maya Road Half Circle Chipboard Album around the canvas.
  • Adhered 7 Gypsies Numero Tissue to entire canvas with Glue n' Seal.
  • Disclaimer:  I don't like Martha Stewart, but dang she makes some good paints!  In fact, my favorite is Wedding Cake which I brushed across the canvas.  I was careful not to cover the entire canvas, I just did light strokes all over so that you could still see the tissue in the background.
  • Covered the entire canvas with Glue n' Seal --this protects the tissue from tearing.
  • Printed a photo of myself on transparency film using a laser jet printer and then adhered it to a piece of 7 Gypsies tissue using Glue n' Seal.  I also mounted it on a thin piece of cardboard because I ended up putting pop dots and behind it and I needed it to be sturdy.  
  • I stenciled the three leafy/branch like figures using a stencil and distress paints.
  • Made a crown piece using hot glue, hardware from my personal stash, Prima flowers (because they are the best), and other chipboard pieces from the Half Circle Chipboard Album --I sprayed the chipboard gold.  Once the crown was in place I...
  • Mounted the photo of myself using pop dots and added my journaling:  "This girl makes things happen."
  • Painted and adhered the last of the embellishments on to the page including the dragon fly on my lips which I colored with alcohol inks.  We also had a blingy tree sticker which makes me cringe because I would never in a hundred years buy something like that for a project because it's just not my thing --well, I took that tree, adhered it to a gold misted half circle and then glued the circle to the back of the canvas to complete the crown.  See what I mean...

We also had to make use of some pink Maya Road ribbon so i ran that along two sides of the canvas.  You can see it in the pic above and the pic below.

So there you have it.  Over all I like the way it turned out.  It's interesting to say the least.  haha.  I hope you like it too.

Come back soon, I have a fantastic project to share tomorrow.  

Take flight,

Ms. Ruin