Friday, February 13, 2015

Mystery Box Challenge 1

For 2015, the AuralArtists are going to try a new kind of challenge. Instead of using a common medium, like we did each month last year, I am putting together Mystery Boxes. Every two or three months, I'll put together a box full of craft "ingredients" and send them to each of my daughters. The boxes will contain similar-but-not-identical items. Each of us will create a project with the supplies, adding in anything else from our craft stashes and a minimum amount of money for additional supplies.

The first Mystery Box was a test that I put together at Christmastime. I made one for myself, one for Jodie, and one for my good friend Virginia who lives across the country. The idea was to use at least six of the items in the box, anything from our stashes, and no more than $5 of extra supplies. We each had different/coordinated colors of items. Mine were mostly pink and white.  Here's what we started out with:

In addition to these supplied items, I used the following items from my stash for my project. After I got started, I also switched out the white felt supplied in the box. I substituted a piece of black glitter felt for the background because it made the heart "pop" more than the white.

I decided to turn my flat picture frame into a shadow box frame. I added the depth with the bottom of the cardboard box. I began by gluing the black glitter felt to the inside of the box.

Then I mended the broken ornament by gluing the ribbons, flowers, bows and bells back in place. I left the hook attached to the hanging cord.

I primed the wood frame with Gesso. When it dried, I mixed a little red paint into a bigger portion of white paint until I got a sweet shade of pink. I painted the frame, front and back, with two coats of pink paint.

I hot-glued a line of iridescent pearl beads around the frame opening.

Before I got too far along, I had to figure out how to attach my box to the back of the frame, how to attach the ornament so it would hang freely, and the mechanics of how to hang the finished piece. This photo is a little confusing, but it's looking down on the top of the frame, tilted so that you can see the top of the frame, the side of the box, and back of the cardboard box at the same time. I punched a hole in the center of the side of the box (which is now the TOP of the frame). I poked the wire ornament hanger through the hole and fiddled with it until the ornament hung in the middle of the frame opening. Then I folded the wire over the edge of the box (to the back) and taped it in place.

Next, I centered the cardboard box on the back of the frame, and held it in place with duck tape. The entire frame is quite light, so duck tape is strong enough to hold it securely.

Then I need to come up with an innovative hanging technique. I decided to use the elastic cording and  a couple paper clips. First, I made a small slit on on the side of the cardboard box, about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the frame.  I tied one end of the elastic cording onto a paper clip, and pushed the clip (and knot) through the box to the inside of the frame. (I didn't have any black paper clips, so found some that were fairly dull so they would be camoflaged in the shadows). Then I eyeballed the length of elastic cording I'd need, cut it to length, and tied the other end to the second paper clip. I made another incision on the opposite side of the box and pushed the paper clip through to the inside. Clever!

I covered the back of the cardboard box with more duck tape to give it a more finished look.

Now it was time to decorate the front! First, I hot-glued the nylon cord around the perimeter of the frame. After playing with the bits and bobs for a while, I came up with this design. In the bottom right corner, I glued the three small flowers. Then I sprinkled in some of the sequins. I cut apart some of the left-over pearls and glued one to the center of each sequins.

In the top left corner of the frame, I glued down the feather butterfly. I added more sequins and beads here.

Then I added buttons to the corners of the frame opening. I really like how the black background sparkles behind the hanging ornament!


These were the only items I didn't use. Don't be surprised if they show up later this year in another mystery box.

The second Mystery Box Challenge will be opened by the other artists tomorrow. The items might work quite nicely for an Easter decoration. I still haven't decided how I might use my supplies.


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