Spice bottle repurposed into a vintage-look vase

I recently was searching for a vase for the bouquet of coffee filter roses I had made and was having trouble finding something that would work well size-wise and also highlight the vintage look of the roses.  I purchased a couple of vases but they just didn’t do the flowers justice so I thought why not make a vase.   I had recently finished a large Costco size bottle of cinnamon and decided to repurpose the bottle into a vase as the opening was the perfect size for the stems of my handmade roses (coffee filter rose instructions in an earlier post) and it wasn’t too tall.

I cleaned the bottle out and then when it was totally dry I started off by wrapping it with masking tape and then I proceeded to attach old ripped book pages randomly with soft gel medium.  Once the bottle was totally covered paper mache style I went over it with another coat of the gel medium to seal it.  Next I did a light glaze of gesso mixed with a little water to allow the text to still faintly show through and to give it bit more texture.  Next I added some colour with a mixture of 50/50 water and Liquitex soft acrylic – Bronze Yellow and painted over the whole bottle to give it a vintage look.  Next I used some distress ink to add a more aged look.  I thought it still needed something else so I took some string and wrapped it around the mouth of the bottle and then made a heart on the front side, attaching with soft gel medium.  After it was dry I used some distress ink over the string so that it would blend in.  The results were just what I wanted and I liked how the roses looked in the vase.

Now I have started another vase from a mayo jar, only this time I used wallpaper tape.  I will let you know how it turns out.

Til next time, look around and see what creative way you might be able to recycle a jar, box or whatever into some art.


Drawing takes a lot of practice…

I love creating art pages, it is a great way to practice various art techniques and if you do something you don’t particularly like or mess up then you can either gesso over it or start a whole new page.  It allows me the space to be fearless and develop my skills as I go along.  The last couple of weeks I have been practicing a lot of face drawing which is one of the skills I want to develop – I have to really work at trying to get proportion right even though I am not trying to create a life-like face but a more whimsical one.  I find I have trouble with eyes so I decided to just draw some faces with the eyes closed  and practice shading and see what developed.  Still need to work on face shapes as sometimes they look a little weird but I am a work in progress and if I continue to practice I will soon find it easier and will be able to create faces with more ease that  I can incorporate into my mixed-media collages.

Here are a few of my recent whimsical type faces I have done in the past few days.

Afterwards I decided to add some collage ephemera to the pages and then added som pan pastels.  I was so excited when I went to Opus the other day and found that they now have pan pastels in the store so I  could not resist buying a few new bright colours.  Next  photos are how the pages progressed into a collage.  I recently watched Pam Carriker`s tutorials on recycle art journal pages which  were a big influence in my face drawings.  http://pamcarriker.com/

Til next time, happy creating


The Markets of La Penita and Rincon de Guayabitos – Mexico

While on vacation in Mexico in Lo de Marcos which is about an hour and 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta airport we did some day trips to some of the local markets that are held during the week.  The first one we went to is held on Mondays in Rincon de Guayabitos which is a short taxi ride from Lo de Marcos, mabe 15-20 minutes – the cost for four of us was 20 pesos each . I was surprised that Rincon de Guayabitos is actually quite a large city with lots of traffic and quite a large tourist population.  The market is very large with everything from handcrafted items to fruits, veggies and lots of nummy baked goods.  We only made it around the stalls at the front of the market and that took us a couple of hours and by this time we were ready to get some lunch.  The vendors were not aggressive like I have experienced in Puerto Vallarta and Cancun markets which made for a very enjoyable time. Something to note is that there is a time change travelling just that short distance north, it was an hour earlier.

After the market we walked down to the beach, and what a surprise to see how busy it was, lots of vendors, children playing and families enjoying a day at the beach but still not as busy as the beaches in Puerto Vallarta  and Sayulita.  My friends had been to Rincon a number of  times so they knew of this great little restaurant, which I don’t remember the name of, that had a delicious tortilla soup – they were so right it was delicious and very filling.  After lunch we browsed the streets and some of the shops – if you need kitchen items there are lots of stores  there that carry a huge variety.

On Thursdays there is a market in La Penita which is a short distance past Rincon.  La Penita appears to be the next largest city after Puerto Vallarta with lots of traffic and it has the closest bank to Lo de Marcos. The market is huge, I think even bigger than Rincon’s but with a lot of different handcrafted items and if you venture deeper into the market you will come across places where you can buy fresh seafood, meat, veggies and more.  My friend even got a great back massage there – a full 30 minutes by a registered massage therapist for $15.  She said she was in heaven when it was done and so relaxed and her back felt so much better.  We never made it to the beach in La Penita but I would expect that it is a pretty busy place taking into consideration the number of hotels and tourists that were around.

Between the two cities I preferred Rincon de Guayabitos only because it wasn’t as big and busy and had much less traffic.

This post wraps up my recent Mexico vacation.  If you are thinking about visiting the Pacific side of Mexico really think about venturing a little further north of Puerto Vallarta, which is an easy distance to go to find pristine beaches, less crowds and reasonably priced accommodations and food.  It is relatively easy to even catch a local bus from the airport to any of the cities I have mentioned in my posts for as little as 40 pesos compared to taking a shuttle or cab which can cost you $40+ person or more. We took the bus back to the airport and it only took an hour and 25 minutes and it was 40 pesos and dropped us right off at the airport and it was just a few steps and we were inside the terminal.  If you are looking for more information on the area there is a new website for Lo de Marcos by our new friend Ara Acosta who resides in town, she was a wonderful help to us when we were there and she will even pick you up at the airport for a charge of $80 per trip, up to 6 people and stop at the Mega Mart if you need groceries, etc.  She is very knowledgeable of the area and what is for rent, etc.  Her phone number is 011-52-1- 322-155-1462, Ara speaks excellent English and the website is http://www.lodemarcoslife.com/ .

I have to share this photo even though it has nothing to do with the markets – it is just a photo of this horse standing patiently on a street in Lo de Marcos so funny!

Hasta luego