Friday, April 29, 2016

Creative Carte Blanche April Wrap-Up

Hello and Happy Friday everyone! I'm excited to share my wrap-up post for the Creative Carte Blanche April Adventure: "Think Outside the Box" where I encouraged you to join us in altering any type of box, whether it be a cigar box or whatever you had on hand. We had such fun creations submitted on the blog. Be sure to check them out when you get a chance here.

To close out this month's challenge, I'm sharing what I did with a wooden cigar box in my stash. I seem to collect these, and had plenty to choose from. I decided on a more rectangular one so I could alter it into a wall-hanging for my dad for Father's Day. Let me take you through my process.

I started by gathering all kinds of things I think I might want to use. Lots of these items didn't make the cut in the end as you'll see. They were simply laid out to inspire me and give me options when I began the project. Almost everything here is from Tim Holtz Idea-ology which you can find in your local craft stores and favorite online stores.

I knew I wanted to do something really different than just a box to put stuff in, and I knew I wanted to make something nice for my Dad for Father's Day. I noticed the last time I was at my parents' house that he needed some art on the walls in the computer/workout room (a place he spends a lot of time now that he's retired) so a wall-hanging it would be!

I left the box its natural wood because the color was perfect, then I lined the insides of the box and lid with papers from Tim's Dapper paper stash.

I prepped a few Idea-ology pieces with paint and alcohol inks, then die-cut the gears and "tarnished" them with paint.

Inside the lid, I adhered Idea-ology pieces in layers using strong glue (E6000) after aging some of them with alcohol ink. I enjoyed using some old favorite items mixed with some new ones. See the camera, the light bulb, and the word tokens? They all hold a special meaning.

At this point I'd like to share a little about my Dad. He's a creative, and he's been at it quite a long time. He was a freelance graphic designer working in our family basement when I was a kid in Michigan. He's from the old school: pen and ink, t-squares, photo stats, figuring type for the typesetter, drawing up storyboards; all that stuff before computers. Not only is he artistic, he's a fantastic photographer. Ever since I can remember, he's had a camera in his hand. He documented everything with his photography, even creating home movies with stop-motion animation intros and endings. We still watch those on occasion and I love them. Dad started a successful advertising agency in 1984 and just retired a few months ago at the age of 73! He loved to work because he loved his work. I really admire him for that. 

I worked for Dad when I first graduated college (and yes, I used those old-school tools and techniques too) and after freelancing on my own for a while, I returned to work with Dad again some years later. I got him to buy his first Mac computer (a good ol' Centris 650) and although he was very resistant at first, he gave in and we never looked back. 

Back to the project. I wanted to put some items into the trophy cup so I attached a few pen nibs to wooden skewers and snipped some paint brushes to fit.

I pressed some floral foam down into the trophy cup, then inserted the nibs and brushes. I covered the foam with a bit of moss (not shown here).

To lift items forward and provide support, I adhered a wooden 1 1/2" block with foam tape to the back wall of the box for the typewriter to lean on and the trophy cup to stand on.

I got so caught up in the creative process, I forgot to stop and take photos as I layered the items, but here you can see the metal typewriter (because that's what we used at work back then), the stamped ink bottle, the metal plate with another pen nib, and the metal photo corners.

Here's a little closer look. I got that typewriter quite a while back from the Michael's dollar bin. I snatched up a bunch of goodies like this and stashed them away. I love it when I find the perfect use for something I've been hoarding for so long.

Dad also loves cars. I mean LOVES them. Always has. So I had to add this little Monopoly car to the top of the box along with some other goodies.

The lid of the box hangs freely and has this great ephemera card as it's focal point. I love it, because all the small pieces in this project make the big picture of who Dad is, so this phrase was perfect.

As a finishing touch, I added a heart charm and small key to the clasp of the cigar box with a brass jump ring.

Onto another ephemera card I wrote this message to Dad and adhered it to the back of the box. 

Nowadays, Dad does a little creative work in his spare time for his local Corvette club. He's got nice big Mac computer, an iPhone, and Apple TV.  

Thanks for joining me today and for playing along in this month's creative adventure. Be sure to check the Creative Carte Blanche blog May 3rd when Cheryl Grigsby announces the new adventure! I can't wait see what she comes up with.


  1. Love it and I'm sure your Dad will treasure it! TFS

  2. Your dad is gonna LOVE it!

  3. This is a wonderful project Annette! I just love all the special details and the things you think of like gluing the nibs to skewers and the wooden box for the trophy to sit on. Awesome!

  4. Love your project and the beautiful story it represents.

  5. What a great idea to use a cigar box as a wall hanging, Annette! You have put so much thought into this piece! Thank of for sharing the story about your dad. He will be thrilled with this wonderful gift!

  6. Oh Annette this box is beautiful, your Dad will be thrilled to bits, it's superb xx

  7. This is such a fabulous creation! Love that the lid opens that way. Super assemblage. :)

  8. A wall hanging!! Leaving it open, just brilliant! I got completely lost in your story, your tribute to your dad and the time you worked together. I guess Jamie is just continuing the tradition of creatives in your family. Just a detail, but I love those metal corners that overhang a little. Jeepers Annette, you knocked me out on this one!

  9. Really a clever take on your challenge, Annette! Love the wall decor idea! I, like Cheryl, was completely mesmerized by your story. Thanks so much for sharing that along with this beautiful tribute to your dad. Great piece...a real keepsake.

  10. Amazing! I love all of the details! A beautiful project and such a heartfelt gift! :)

  11. This is such a beautiful and imaginative way to use the box, I love all the little pieces, the car on top is fabulous. I feel quite moved by your story, this is a wonderful tribute to your Dad! Hugs, Anne xx

  12. OMGosh Annette!
    This special box you created for your Dad is not only fabulous but such a wonderful and beautiful tribute to him as well!!
    I love that you shared a bit about your Dad with us, as that is exactly what I thought of as I poured over every photo and detail that you added!! Amazing! So cool to have a creative Dad and for you to follow in his steps! Lucky you! I wish my Dad were here to see I have done the same! Bravo on this wonderful creation!! xo

  13. Annette, thank you so much for your always sweet comments you leave. You make me feel so good. 😊
    You always blow me away with your work. The way you use those G45 graphics in your projects takes a really keen eye. Those graduation announcements you whipped up were amazing! You are so talented! And of course, I loved this wall decor piece you did with a cigar box. So creative!!!

  14. Tthis project is AWESOME !! I love the idea of hanging the box that way. And all your fabulous details... Truly something very special. Thank you so much for sharing the inspiration. You are so very talented.
    Hugs from Monica

  15. Very beautiful and unique! What brought me here is the image from pinterest that shows the little typewriter. I bought the same from Michaels!! I didn't know what to do with it but I had to have it and now I know exactly how I will use it :)Thanks for the step by step and the awesome inspiration! Your dad will just love this to bits!


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