Thursday, 22 November 2018

An Altering Project

There are a few things I need to make over the next few weeks, so it’s studio time again. I can’t reveal too much detail yet, but later I will be able to tell you more. In the meantime, I can safely share the early stages without giving away too much.

Recently my hubby bought four small frames and then realised they didn’t have any glass, which he didn’t like, so he gave them to me, and I thought they would be lovely to alter.

01 Four Small Frames for Altering

I took them apart and pulled off all the embellishments for use elsewhere. Each frame had a tiny clothes peg with a message attached, and the whole thing tied onto the frame with some gorgeous jute string which is definitely going in my stash! The shiny card can also be used for something else. Not much gets thrown out chez Shosh.

02 Frames Taken Apart

The next step, when I get time, will be to paint the frames with gesso in readiness for altering.

I am awaiting the arrival of some supplies for this project from Ebay, and can’t make real progress till they arrive. I also have several wallpaper sample sheets,  and I have decided to use one or more in the project.

03 Selection of Wallpapers

The patterns are quite large, but there are some lovely bits I can cut out, and some nice texture for backgrounds, and the colours are gorgeous. I decided to make lots of paper flowers, mostly roses, and to try and match up the colour to co-ordinate with the wallpapers.

I spent a long time cutting several 12 x 12 sheets of flower pieces on Sheba, my Cougar cutting machine, using American Crafts Cardstock in white, which cuts beautifully with Sheba, and although less strong than watercolour paper, is strong enough not to disintegrate when wet, and thinner too, which is ideal for the flowers that I make. Here they are, all laid out ready for colouring. The pieces in the bowls are individual flowers, and the others on the desk, stacked up in piles, are the pieces necessary to make individual roses in two sizes and styles. All these flower patterns are svg files from Penny Duncan, and I use them regularly – easy to resize as necessary in Inkscape, and then cut out.

01 Flower Pieces Cut

For this flower factory, I began with the roses. I selected a variety of different colours from my collection of Distress Stains. The idea was to produce a nice subtle mix of colours to co-ordinate with the wallpapers, and I knew it would take several layers.

I began with Worn Lipstick, smearing some on my non-stick craft sheet and spritzing it with a bit of water, and roughly painting both sides of the required number of flower pieces to make some roses.

02 Colouring Small Roses 1 - Worn Lipstick

The next colour I chose was Victorian Velvet.

03 Colouring Small Roses 2 - Victorian Velvet

After this was Seedless Preserves.

04 Colouring Small Roses 3 - Seedless Preserves

You can see how the colour is darkening, and with subtle variations. It was all looking a bit pink, so the next colour I chose was Weathered Wood, which is a lovely slate-blue colour verging on grey, which I thought would make them more purple and dull the colour down a bit.

05 Colouring Small Roses 4 - Weathered Wood

It needed more of a brown look, so I chose Pumice Stone, which is a very useful colour in the Distress range – added to any colour, it has the effect of dulling it down.

06 Colouring Small Roses 5 - Pumice Stone

It still needed to be duller, and more grey, so the final colour I chose was Hickory Smoke. I do not have this colour in my Distress Stains collection, so I smeared the Distress Ink pad on my craft sheet, spritzed it with water, and used that instead.

08 Colouring Small Roses 7 - Hickory Smoke

This was the effect I was looking for. At each stage, I dried the flower pieces with my heat gun, before proceeding to the next colour. When the pieces are wet, they are very fragile, especially the ones with the slit. The final step was to distress the edges with Hickory Smoke Distress Ink, using a home-made ink blender.

09 Distressing Edges of Small Roses - Hickory Smoke

Once they were fully dry after the final colour, I hand-embossed each petal, some cups and some domes after deciding which side of the piece should be on top, according to their eventual position in the rose.

10 Hand-Embossing Small Roses

The first of the small dark roses completed. Each layer is stuck with hot glue.

11 Dark Small Roses Complete

Time to move on to the larger, shabby roses – what Penny Duncan calls her “Grungey Rose” pattern. These have more interesting tips to their petals, and the roses are more open and natural looking. Each flower requires the same number of pieces, and the method of construction is the same. Here are the pieces in the middle of being coloured, using the same succession of colours that I used before.

12 Colouring Shabby Roses

The pieces after embossing.

13 Shabby Rose Pieces Embossed

Here are the three dark-coloured shabby roses that I made.

14 Dark Shabby Roses Complete

Having documented the colours I used and how I coloured the pieces, I can refer back to this post and repeat the process, should I need some more.

Both sizes of rose together.

15 Shabby and Small Dark Roses Complete

I really like this subtle, dark and dusky purple – actually not purple but a mixture of colours to give interest and depth. Laid on top of a couple of the the wallpaper samples, they are a pretty good match, I think.

16 Dark Roses on Light Rose Wallpaper

17 Dark Roses on Dark Rose Wallpaper

I shan’t know how many of these roses I shall need until my supplies arrive from Ebay, but that shouldn’t take more than a few days.  At least I’ve been able to get ahead a bit. Watch this space!


  1. I love your dark shabby chic Roses Shoshi - they're superbly done...

  2. Ooh, what a gorgeous colour you achieved for your flowers - they are absolutely stunning. There's very little that's nicer than making paper flowers in my opinion - it's relaxing, I reeeeeally enjoy using a hot glue gun (I find it so satisfying), and the end result is pretty much always a success, even if I go wrong!
    I can't wait to see how this project progresses, the wallpaper samples look fabulous with the flowers and I am in love with the colour scheme.
    Hope you have a great week and get your Ebay goodies soon,
    Diana x


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