Jul 13, 2012

Where Bloggers Create Party ! And a Little How To Treat

I am back from the gorgeous  Smokey Mountains, and excited about the 
"Where Bloggers Create "
Blog Party!
 Now, that I am 2/3 of an empty nester I decided to move all of the non -metal
 parts of the studio to one of the empty bedrooms upstairs. This mostly means 
all of the the doll and animal friend parts , vintage do hickies,
painting supplies, 
and loads of canvas and wood substrates.
It is turning out to be a slow move , as I am still carefully mapping out the space. 
My goal of course is to have everything in its own special place. 

 Still plenty of spaces to fill, but it won't take long .
 My jars, and jar ladies ,
 had to come with me right away of course. Holding, all of the Pan Pastels,
charcoals, and pens, and parts!
doll parts!
Doll shaker collection.
My son has welded fantastical, mechanically moving, holders for my brushes !
And, the yummy oil sticks have found homes in some vintage vessels.

 All of the gel pastes, waxes, clays . I didn't realize until now that I actually
"collect " Golden products LOL.

I also have a super easy and  fun 
"How To" 
for you this weekend!

ALtered  Milk Carton House Journal Book!

Items you will need:
Milk Carton
paints (acrylic) 
card stock
little bits of ephemera, or decorative papers
Matte Gel medium or modge podge
optional : soft pastels, oil pastels, ink pads, Pan Pastels
Your imagination! Let loose and have fun!
 Take a regular milk carton , 
and cut it open and remove bottom . Cut it
down one side , so that it lays flat.
  I I followed the folded pattern already  in the milk carton , and cut this house shape.
The house symbol is very important to me, and it seems to find
it's way into a lot of my artwork.
Milk cartons measure approx 8 in long in the rectangular center portion. I measured and cut mine in half 
for a smaller book that was easier for me to work with , but you can leave yours tall 
if you would like a bigger journal.
I then added 2 coats of Gesso to the front and back of the book, and let them
dry thoroughly.
 At this point , you can sand it a little , or leave the brush strokes so that it has
some "tooth" for your paint.

 Then go wild! I added vintage sheet music bits , acrylic paints, and my
favorite ink pads for color. I applied the ink pads directly on the pages , and smoothed them
around with my fingers , blending them with more gesso for a soft dreamy effect.

Next I added stamps , and more inks

 For blending on this fun little journal I used paper towels, soft baby wipes, or sometimes
my fingers. I know that is a no no on your formal paintings , but this is a fun
journal . Get messy , and enjoy!

 For extra interest I sewed on atc cards as pocket holders . 
They were the perfect size!
just popped them in the sewing machine
 I have had these what's a magiggies for a long time. I think they are
old blank slide holders. I used them as windows to frame
my favorite words, and images in the book. 
The same windows can be achieved with 
just a circle punch  , some chip board, and small piece of acetate.

 Added the girl on the front the same way . I glued this one to a 
painted small wood dowel
 (I actually used a kitchen skewer, but it
sounds better the other way :) , and placed her in front pocket.
 I added some quotes, inspirations , and my FAVORITE
 yummy silk sari ribbons.
 One thing I found ,is that you need to let each layer dry thoroughly either on its own or with 
air gun /dryer help. The waxy coating on the milk carton will want to make your paint come off if 
you get too much going on in each layer. Also , charcoal pencils etc. tend to take it up even if its 
dry. I used soft pastels, and Pan Pastels , and inks where I wanted highlights or shading. 
 For all of my adhesive , I used Golden Matte Gel Medium. You 
can also use this to seal it when it is complete. Especially if you are using 
soft pastels etc.
This is also a super fun project to do with your kids. Its
 great to see what color schemes ,and fun patterns they come up with!
This project can be made as simple or get  intricate as you want, adding secret pockets,
extra fold out papers, trinkets, vintage buttons, keys etc.  
This is a project , that I will probably keep coming back too , as I find fun vintage do`dads to add on!

If you have any questions at all about this fun project , leave it as a comment or email me !


  1. Love the project, thanks! Good luck on the move, it's never easy to switch studio spaces since we tend to accumulate so many wonderful little bits and pieces.

    1. Thanks Karla! So very true! I Have been finding tiny treasures I forgot that I had. It's good to have complete redos once In a while , you find so many treasures!

  2. Now that is what I call a great visit...not only did I get a to see your materials we get a tutorial and I just emptied a milk carton....perfect timing!

    1. Thanks so much Deb :)
      I think I might drink a little more myself , as I have an altered sewn fibre book in mind now.

  3. Hi.
    Oh my goodness - your art and your studio space is wonderful - what an extra special treat that you gave us the milk carton tutorial - I am blown away with how charming it is and how easy to create.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Have a beautiful day.

  4. I LOVE this idea. Thanks so much for sharing. It's wonderful when you can look at an item and repurpose it into something completely different and special.


    1. Thanks Danielle!
      It was a Super fun project.
      I may look around the house for some
      More "green" adventures.

  5. Thanks so much for the how to with the milk carton tute. I love those darling doll head shakers too! Are the really made that way or did you alter these too?

    Hope you might come by and see my new space!

    bee blessed

    1. Hi Mary,
      Thanks so much!
      I altered the shakers as well :)
      I saw a small collection at The Country
      Living Magazine Show last year and decided they needed to be dolls !
      I am off to visit your space !

  6. Thank you so much Erin !
    I like the way its coming along so far,
    But I am trading a huge space in exchange for
    Beautiful sunlight! This may call for me secretly taking over the other now empty bedroom as well :)
    Thanks so much for visiting !

  7. Good luck with the move! I never realize just how much I have until I have to move it... yikes.

    Love the clock parts in the jar!

  8. WOW!! super cool blog!! I love all the doll parts..and the how to ..is sweet. Thanks so much for sharing...you have alot of the same tools as me.. We are kindred artists !! Hugs

  9. Wow love this idea. Your blog is lovely. I am a new follower. Locker hooking is easy...come over I will show your daughter how to do it. Thanks for the visit. Susan

  10. Hi Shari!
    Thanks for visiting! I LOVE the look of your blog! Projects galore here! Your studio is so wonderful and those Charlotte heads with the cute floral porcelain bodies are precious. Hope you're having a great week.

  11. EEEK! Love the pics they are so enticing!!! The tutorial was over the top! I am sooo going to try that!! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Love your art and your studio, the milk carton house is amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  13. Love, Love, Love the project your shared! I am definitely going to give it a try..... Moving from one space to another is not easy. Since the blog party I have already moved my craft room around.... based on a lot of inspiration from the other spaces on the blog hop and based on major necessity. I am also a 2/3 empty nester too! I am a new follower and will be back soon...

    Thanks for sharing and good luck with the rest of your move!


  14. Shari, I love the milk carton journal! And your creations are just beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  15. I loved to see the amazing artwork progress right before my eyes . starting with A MILK CARTON .
    A free online workshop . I didn't expect that !
    I love the photos the patina you have on your photos give your studio and ate supplies an extra beautiful patina I am goin to become a follower ..

  16. What a great workshop I always wanted to learn how to make china jewelry, I would love a chance to win you class Thanks for the opportunity!

  17. I love your bookart so much ,!
    Love from the Netherlands ♥RINI♥


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