Sunday, March 4, 2012

Crafting Day with the Insomniac

This week, the insomniac  had some unexpected time off from contract work and so decided to venture up to her real third-floor attic for a crafting day. Rather than spend the entire week purchasing more goodies on eBay (obviously not the brightest idea when one is unemployed), it was decided the time could be better spent getting some recent purchases ready for display. And the insomniac  always adores a good crafting project, whenever she can manage to drag herself away from the computer, that is.

Frequenting neighbourhood thrift stores and unearthing items that can be re-purposed into something more suited to the Gothic lifestyle is the insomniac's  idea of a Really Good Time. On her last trip to the thrift shop, an inspiring motivational poster in a lovely silver wood frame was exhumed. Now while one certainly agrees with the sentiment expressed (and if one actually had an office in which to hang a motivational poster, this is definitely the sort that would be chosen), it was not exactly up to snuff for display on any  of the walls in the Gothic Mansion. However, the frame was the perfect size for an antique owl print which had been purchased then left to languish in The Box Stuffed with Prints that Lives in the Attic.

The insomniac  toyed with the idea of replacing one of
the motivational pictures at her last contract job with this one.
Fortunately, common sense prevailed ...

Skipping through the boring details of this project, the frame and picture were removed, one from the other. To complement the colouring of the owl print, vials of Ranger alcohol ink in black and copper were selected. Then, working feverishly with Q-tip in hand, black ink was smeared in an indiscriminate fashion around the frame, and subsequently, the copper ink was added. After much back and forthing between black and copper inks, the desired effect was finally achieved. Since the owl print and frame were not a perfect fit, a black mat was cut, then print and frame reassembled. All in all with very satisfying results, although perhaps next time one will try harder to summon up enough patience to locate the stash of latex gloves before  working with black alcohol ink.

Vintage owl print in its new (well, old actually)
but definitely improved frame ...

When the insomniac  first started collecting and reframing old prints, the length of time between the procurement of the print and a suitable frame seemed to stretch on ad infinitum. Patience not being one of her strong suits, as has been previously noted, she decided a mat cutter and point driver would be the perfect additions to the profusion of crafting tools already on hand in the attic. Since procuring these tools, it is estimated thousands of dollars in framing costs have been saved, with the added bonus of never having to step foot in a mall again to take in yet another print or poster for framing - invaluable tools indeed.

But even without a mat cutter, there are many other options for disguising an appalling mat. Scrapbook paper now comes in lovely Gothic damask designs and can be pasted onto the original mat, effectively disguising the usual boring beige. And Ranger Distress Inks can be used to age a plain mat until it resembles something that has been around since the Middle Ages (see photos below for examples of these techniques). 

Vintage crow print from an old book, matted with scrapbook paper
in a German Gothic text ...

Magpie print from 1867, with damask scrapbook paper disguising the mat.
Plain black frame distressed with sandpaper, and also below ...

John William Waterhouse's Circe
The insomniac discovered Waterhouse at least 40 years ago, 
waaaay before anyone else ...

Brunhilde and her Viking “friend” in a vintage frame. 
Plain beige mat aged with Ranger Distress Inks ...

One of the insomniac's  most cherished prints -
a prepubescent fairy, bat-surfing in the moonlight ...

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams ... and if sleep eludes you as well, then perhaps a good crafting project is in order. Goodnight, my pretties.


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