July 14, 2015

The Great Harry Houdini Museum

I have really become obsessed with the incredible Harry Houdini. Especially since the History channels movie "Houdini" with Adrien Brody playing the part of Houdini. Knowing more about the man himself was very interesting. I am fascinated with items from the past, like the old radio I used for this project. I would love to gain access to some of Houdini's cool treasures. Could you imagine?

I was thrilled when I was able to create this tribute to Houdini using lots of theme appropriate items from Alpha Stamps including the new Houdini collage sheet as well as Vintage Magician Posters. I want to share several pictures from my museum, and then I have several photos to show you how I put some of these items together.

Obviously we need Houdini's straight jacket, several locks and lots and LOTS of chains to secure him with.

Houdini had a special pair of handcuffs that I acquired for my museum. They were specially designed with skulls to add some variety to all the pairs that he had.  These were made using Antique Bronze Skull Connectors and Chain.

"Houdini would escape from a straight jacket while hanging as much as 400 feet off the ground. To remove the jacket, he had to dislocate one of his shoulders".  *

Check out Houdini's legs! Nice!

"Houdini would  climb into the can, which was filled with buckets of water, the lid was locked on top with 6 padlocks, a cabinet was drawn around the can and a giant timer began ticking down the seconds".*

"The Water Torture Cell was created by myself. It took two full years. Another year was required to give me sufficient courage to attempt same". *

For both the trunk and Houdini's Water Torture Cell (tank), I used my Big Shot along with some metallic foil by A Gilded Life and their Wrought Iron Long Texture Plate. It was super easy to measure, fold, cut and glue onto both the trunk and the tank. You can find the tutorial for building the Steamer Trunk here

Using the Collage Sheet Houdini, I sized one of the images to fit into my tank perfectly. After cutting Houdini out with an exacto blade, it was essential to wrap him with some real chains and attach tiny handcuffs. 

It was very simple to attach the metallic foil I embossed to my double sided tank. After I glued two Small Paper Theatre Boxes together (holding them with rubber bands to dry) I attached the side panels to my tank using Tacky Glue and held it with rubber bands until dry.

I needed an extra piece for the top of my tank, so I just glued some extra metallic foil on to the top and covered it with my side layers.

All I needed to do for the top was fold it over, trim off the excess, and glue glue glue!

 I LOVE how the finished tank looks and I think even Houdini himself would be proud! Thank goodness it didn't take me two years to make my version like it did Houdini to make his.

I've said it again and again, it is great to have digital downloads of collage sheets. I can print them as many times as I like to make things like souvenir posters or add dimension to a project.

All of my standing Houdinis were simple to create. I edited the image to make it the height I wanted. Then I attached it to black card stock to make it sturdier and cut the figures out, leaving about two inches extra card stock on the bottom to use for part of the stand.

As you can see below, I added another piece of black card stock folded like the letter "C" almost. Using glue, I adhered one fold to the image and the bottom fold to the extra card stock attached to the bottom of my image. Now it stands! It's magic!

For Houdini's Straight Jacket, I cut a layer of black card stock after tracing my image with pencil. I attached the image to the card stock only on the top. That way I was able to have a "pocket" to place it onto the 3 Inch Tall Candlestick Holder. Next, I glued on some chain, said the magic words and PRESTO! A standing Houdini mannequin! The most important item in my museum besides his tank . 

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to The Great Harry Houdini Museum. If you have any Houdini items you would like to donate we will happily accept. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my establishment. Now, I will disappear..... POOF

Full Alpha Stamps Supply List 

*For more information about Houdini, click on the link below. There are some wonderful pictures included as well.


July 11, 2015

Where I Create

One day, my studio was somewhat clean and I remembered it was almost time for Where Bloggers Create. So I grabbed my camera and started snapping. My hopes are that some of you get an idea or two for your own space. I am blessed to use my master bedroom as my studio. It has changed over the years, and has lots more stuff, and I love to spend time here. It's more like a teenagers room because usually it is where you can find me along with my kiddos.

I've posted pics in no particular order......

I love vintage organizers, library card catalogs being my top fav, thread cabinets, anything really with drawers to sort pictures, ephemera and supplies. I have so much that it helps to have many ways to organize it all.

It's a bonus when it is a vintage item from France, like the green set of drawers. Below that is an old watch part cabinet.

I have one large bookcase and it has become more of a display of sorts full of beautiful glass jars full of religious treasures, doll parts, game pieces and my collection of crawling baby dolls, inspired by the show "Oddities". Also jars of clock and watch parts, keys, rolls of tickets, wooden cigar boxes and more. I love being able to see the items I have to use in my art, but also my odd collections as well, and I have a lot of them.

I hated my mother's beautiful doll collection when I was young. Now I'm not as bad but worse then she ever was with her, what I then thought were odd, collections. I love to use old dolls in my art work, German doll heads, frozen Charlottes, composition dolls as well as metal Minerva dolls. But usually I get too attached to them and hoard them all.

Above is a cabinet I got at a garage sale for $15. It holds my collection of vintage French souvenirs and beautiful ephemera, mostly from Paris.  Some of my favorite pieces are a drivers licence, travel brochures and old theater programs.  The ads in them are just incredible and I spend hours reading through them.

More dolls and doll parts stored in an old desk organizer, pie cabinet and glass jars. The larger German doll above (to the left) was my great Grandma Ann's I love her so much and her rosy cheeks. I wish I had a picture of her with the doll.

Mica flakes, frozen Charlottes, chandelier crystals, beautiful trims and vintage stamps are displayed so I can see them.

See, I told you I hoard them. German doll heads are becoming harder and harder to find. This simple storage unit holds many waiting to be in a project, some that will stay as they are, and others from swaps and my own art creations.

The above cabinet I found at a local shop for $35. I FREAKED when I saw it and it is perfect for all of my Alpha Stamps collage sheets. I am on the Design Team and it is great to have the luxury of sorting them by theme using labels from a French collage sheet I made.

Gotta giggle..... Nuns in a jar! I told you I like to collect odd things. 

The above shelf was an inexpensive creation of my husband's doing. Two brackets with a board, and a metal pipe placed through the brackets to hang items from. I have one on the opposite wall as well. Best thing ever!

OK, this area is not for everyone. Some would be creeped out, some fascinated. It is my "dark" corner of antique medical supplies, books, casket keys, commitment papers, casket plaques, bottles, dentistry and embalming bottles, just to name a few. It all just fasinates me, the way people used to think and the lack of medical knowledge. But we had to start somewhere.

The organizers on the top left (above) are all from Hobby Lobby. I love it when they have their 50% off sales. Vintage prescription holders are great in the studio, and more cubbies found at antique stores for a good price.

Below is an entire prescription holding cabinet. It's perfect for holding inks, glues, candles that aren't in use, and so much more.  Having the option of using magnets on it is an added bonus.

One of my favorite vintage items are ledgers. I LOVE vintage ledgers and using pages from them in my art work. Some I sell pages from, and some I could never take apart like a large one from late 1800s Paris, fabric sample ledgers and one that holds teacher applications with their measurements, religious beliefs and marital status included.

Again, many old, wooden, storage options. Type block trays, a cheap wood shelf and old drawers.

The love I have for library card holders and thread cabinets is just strange. I gasp when I see one, which I usually can't afford. This card holder was found on Craigslist for a deal! I totally lucked out!

Great spot to store my business cards, stationary, postcards, etc. as well as a place to hide tape and glue sticks from my kiddos. Otherwise, I would never have any, lol.

I've had this old dresser for years, $50 from a store. I store embellishments in one drawer, unmounted rubber stamps, Masonite cutouts, ribbons, glues, and so much more.  I can't see the individual item, but I can flip through them and have easy access to them.

Above is another item I owe my husband big credit for and so appreciate all of the work he did for this. A local school was going to be demolished and it contained TONS of these cubbies. One cubby contains 10 openings. This wall contains a stack of six cubbies. That's a LOT of storage space for papers, flashcards, game pieces, etc. and organized, labeled boxes of locks, toy guns, tins, porcelain items, round tins, ephemera and SO MUCH more! I have also added several hooks and decorative tacks to hang things from, using every possible spot to store my treausres and supplies.

Pant hangers are great for storing Washi tapes and rolls of seam binding. I can take it on the go, hang it from my desk, and easily take what I want.

Behind my door are some pieces of wood my husband screwed into the wall for storing my mounted rubber stamps. I've actually gotten rid of so many, but some you just can't ever let go of, especially if they involve Paris. All of my doors also have shoe holders to hold tissue, cards, paper punches, scissors, paints and more.

Here is another cubby placed vertically that has 12 areas which I have used to store my smaller ledgers, antique french Agendas with beautiful advertisements and comics, vintage school composition books, beautiful books from round robin swaps I have done, and more. I could and have, spent hours sitting and reading through these.

Check out my old school television, lol. I don't really watch it, but do like the background noise.  It sits on a dresser a friend gave me that she didn't want anymore. I added some neat french drawer pulls to make it scream "Rhonda".

Above is a little cabinet I got from Hobby Lobby. I painted and distressed it to look somewhat old. It contains my collection of french medical containers, mostly to help with migraines which is something I suffer from, several times per week. As dark as some of my art is, it is close to my heart because it deals with the pain I endure both from the migraines, my Cervical Dystonia, and my Botox treatments. It helps cope with it, to create art, and if it helps someone in the same boat by seeing it, then I have succeeded. 

More drawers of goodies, stencils, die cutters, and lots of items from Alpha Stamps. I am blessed to receive so many cool things to use in my artwork.

My newest thing is art journaling. I LOVE getting lost in the pages. I use tons of paints, inks, sprays and this nifty little rolling tray is fab. I got mine from Sams Club for under $30 and it has made a HUGE difference in my progress. Just roll that little baby around everywhere!

Here is a view of one wall in my studio. The desk is an old school teachers desk and weighs a ton! Garage sale, 10 bucks baby! The best part are the trays that slide out on both sides, an additional work surface or place to lean. Love this desk. Below I have old filing drawers for more supplies, jewelry making plyers, scissors, photos and my art crayons, pencils, Geletos and my FC PITT pens. Everything is close for easy access. And yes, my chair has seen much better days. Hubby wants to get me a new one, but it's comfy and I can draw on it, lol.

I love the atmosphere created by fairy lights. To the right is an old house porch light that my husband fixed for me. It is just too cool.

Every woman needs a space of her own. When I first got married, I didn't have one and it really made me sad. I know I am so fortunate to have a husband that supports my creativity, and a wonderful place to call my own and create. It is my therapy, keeps me somewhat sane, and has brought me to a wonderful community of amazing friends, swaps, shared moments of life and art. My bedroom now hosts my feminine treasures from art swaps and local hunts. The walls are covered, the fairy lights are hung, and it is another wonderful space that came from lots of people creating. I will share pictures of that another day.

I hope you have your spot of your own. Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to comment so that I know you were here. Thanks to Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage for hosting these amazing events for all of these years. Now I'm off to see where other bloggers create! XOXO