Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Celebrating a Mermaid's Birthday

Most people in Bay Minette are not even aware of the fact they they live among a group of mermaids...we sort of stick together quietly, meet once in awhile, and always celebrate our birthdays....we are a band of sisters.   We pull our mermaid tails out whenever appropriate...most days, they remain stored away out of sight, as we live and work daily among family and friends...most of whom have no clue about our mermaid lives. Well, tomorrow is mermaid Joanna's 25th birthday, and I wanted to make something special for her to celebrate. I will be stuck at home today waiting for a delivery, so I will not be able to put this in her hands in a timely manner...I will just have to share it with her on facebook so as not to be late with my wishes, and I will give her the gift when the mermaids meet for lunch next week. People...please don't come looking for us...we will not be wearing our tails!

Mermaid Gift

The mermaid card and "a very happy birthday" sentiment can be removed and replaced with photographs of your choice.

How To Make It

I started with a base stand that I had saved from another project...It was a jewelry stand.  I took it apart and stuck the top "tree" part in an old shoe form...I saved the base knowing that I would find another use for it one day.  If you can't find a piece like this, just improvise.  You could use anything for a base...a round piece of wood, or a piece of driftwood would be fabulous!  Just drill a hole the size of your dowel.

Next, I needed a wooden dowel that would fit.
I also wanted to print a card with a mermaid.  This part is easy...just go online and look.  Use white cardstock and print, using your computer and printer. 
 This is for personal use, just giving as a gift.  If you are going to do this to sell, make sure you check the copyright on the piece before you copy it. 
And, I will need a way to clip or attach the card.  I chose a little wooden clothespin.  These are available at your local crafts store.
I will need glues for attaching the embellishments and glitter.  I used Martha Stewart's glitter glue and a two part epoxy glue for the shells. 
Alcohol inks for distressing
Decoupage glue for adhering paper text to dowel
Paper text strips from discarded books
Discarded wine bottle cork
Ink pad- gold (or silver)
Cardstock for printing image
Other decorative paper
Embellishments (seashells, pearls, etc.)
Exacto knife

Assemble all of your parts and pieces in your work area.

Cutting text is fun!  Look for words that
would be meaningful or symbolic in
some way to the recipient...
In this case, I included the word "kitten".
When I found it, I knew it would mean
something to Joanna.  She really likes cats!

I always work on a piece of waxed paper.  This helps keep glitter from going everywhere.  When you are finished with the glittering, you can hold it up, letting the glitter settle into the crease in the paper and pour it back into your jar.

  1. Print your image and message and cut to appropriate size.  
  2. Embellish picture as desired.  I glued the edges and glittered.  Then, I attached this piece onto another coordinating piece of scrap-booking cardstock that was slightly larger.
  3. I rubbed the "happy birthday" card along the gold ink pad, applying ink to the edges.
  4. Using decoupage medium, glue strips of paper around the dowel, on a diagonal.  Cover as much or as little as you like.
  5. Once the glue is dry, I dripped alcohol ink (two colors, mushroom and oregano) on at random places to give it an aged appearance.
  6. Glue clothespin onto top of dowel with two part epoxy.  Hold stable until dry.  Cover with alcohol ink to age it.
  7. Insert dowel into base.
  8. Embellish base as desired.  I used pearls, seashells, a mother-of-pearl button, more glitter, and the cork as another future photo holder (now holding the "happy birthday" sentiment.
  9. Cut a slit across the top of the cork, using Exacto knife.  Go about 1/4" deep.
  10. Glue cork into arrangement on base.
  11. Slip message or sentiment into slit in cork.

See the word "kitten" right in the center?

That's it! 

I think my mer-sister is going to like it!  Happy Birthday Joanna!  I hope it's the best one yet!
Love you.


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