Ice Melt

March, when days are getting long,
Let thy growing hours be strong
To set right some wintry wrong.
~Caroline May, 1887

March, a fickle beast.  Ice, Ice Everywhere and snow.  You know the product that you scatter on your sidewalks for quick-melting dangerous ice to lessen the risk of falling and breaking the majority of bones in your body?  Well it occurred to me we could load that stuff up in crop dusters and spray the city with it!  My husband warned me not to take that idea to City Hall!  Can you believe that!?   I have the answer to hazardous driving conditions and he just shakes his head and mutters something about 'acid rain'. 

                Attention:  I am actually going to lock my silly-self in the closet for a moment and be serious, for I have some news to share:  I have been chosen to be a Design Team member for Mixed Media World.  I am very much looking forward to creating with a wonderful group of talented people.

My introductory piece, Ice Melt, is for the Mixed Media World March Challenge. I created this altered bottle, Ice Melt, to celebrate the coming of Spring, incorporating the theme and colors in the moodboard - melting ice, renewal, blue sky and sunlight.

In this spirit of renewal, I have altered an orange Halloween glass bottle!   The first step was to coat the glass surface in black gesso.  When the gesso was dry, it was time to 'get cracking': I applied a heavy layer of Prima's Art Basics White Texture Crackle to the upper part of the bottle and allowed it to dry overnight.  Few people have ever described me as a 'patient person', but I cannot stress enough how much patience is important with achieving a good crackle texture.

The next morning, I was ready to add another layer in the form of lace.  I was just gifted a box of gorgeous vintage lace from a wonderful lady named Susan.  I chose several beautiful pieces that seemed perfect for my theme: the 'melting droplets' of lace on the top of the bottle stopper, the 'icicles' at the base of the bottle neck, the 'blooming spring flowers' wrapped around the center of the bottle and the last 'snowdrifts' of lace just above the diamond pattern.

I built upon my lace layer by adhering string, cheesecloth, art stones and stung beads followed by wood embellishments of a butterfly and a decorative scroll motif.  I chose a heart charm out of my stash and a chain to create the locket embellishment on the bottle stopper.  I applied a coat of white gesso to the entire bottle except the crackled areas and then painted over that with DecoArt's Chalky Finish in 'Revive'.

The 'icy' color was achieved by spraying several different shades of blue, gray and beige and finishing with Tattered Angels "Dazzling Diamonds" Glimmer Mist. I dry-brushed white gesso to soften the look.

While the sprays were drying, I made the handmade flowers from old book pages.  I am an avid reader and there is an event in my town each year that sells used books.  The proceeds go toward university scholarships for women.  I always attend the first day to gather the books I want to read, and the last day to rescue books that will go to the landfill (GASP) if not sold.  These are the 'death-row' books and pages that I repurpose in my art.  So, back to the subject at hand, I began with the old book pages and flower punches in two different sizes.  The large flowers have eight layers and the small, six.  I dyed the edges with distress ink and then secured the layers together with a brad through the center. I allowed the flowers to dry overnight before adding them and a brass key to the bottle as the finishing touch.

Product List

Prima:  Art Extravagance White Crackle Paste; Art Basics 3D Gloss Gel; Art Stones & Mini Art Stones; Color Bloom "Chrome" Spray Mist

Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Spray:  "Creme Brûlée Creme", "Clam Bake Beige", "Down the Rabbit Hole", "Frozen Jack Frost" and "Whale Watch Blue"

Shimmerz Coloringz:  "A Shade of Gray"

Tattered Angels:  "Dazzling Diamonds" Glimmer Mist

Ranger:  Distress Inks "Faded Jeans" and "Tea Dye"

DecoArt: Chalky Finish Acrylic Paint in "Revive"

Black Gesso, White Gesso, Lace, String, Cheesecloth, Bead strand, book pages, flower punches, brads, wood embellishments, heart charm, chain