Birds & Words

Friday, April 8, 2016

Cigar Memory Box

Happy Spring, all!!  I'm here in Texas visiting my family and I am LOVING the temperatures and, of course, the bluebonnet wildflower show.  Good for the heart!

April's Creative Adventure is brought to us by Annette Green who has challenged us to create something using a cigar box.  You can see Candy Colwell's take on this theme here.  Fresh inspiration will be coming Tuesdays and Fridays through April 26!

As always, I check Creative Carte Blanche first thing every morning to see what art you all have added.  Just click the "Add Your Link" box at the bottom of Annette's introduction post and follow the prompts.  The challenge is simple:

Okay, on to this month's adventure. Let's Think Outside the Box! Namely, a cigar box. They come in all sizes and are made of tin or wood in most cases, and you can find them everywhere. I find them at my local Goodwill, thrift stores, and of course cigar shops where they'll practically give them away just to get rid of the empties.

As a crafter/artist, I am drawn most often to 3D projects. Getting off the page, so to speak, and this is why I chose this adventure. All you have to do is take that cigar box and turn it into (or incorporate it into) art. So think outside the box, inside the box, all over the box. Whatever your heart desires!

If you don't have and can't find a cigar box, please feel free to improvise!   Use another box OR make your own box, put a cigar in it and call it a cigar box!  If you don't have a cigar, roll up some card stock, burn the end of it and its a cigar.  (Ha!  Just kidding about the cigar stuff.)

REMEMBER - You have carte blanche!!


I guess I've learned something on this Creative Adventure.  When you don't have a clue how to begin, rejoice!  That means you are about to find a new level of inspiration and creativity.  Turns out getting outside your comfort zone is a pretty cool place.

I don't know why this was so hard for me to begin, but it was.  I'll complete the backstory below.  But for now, here's what I did.

I picked up this cigar box from my friend, Carissa.  She and her husband own and run a year round Christmas store in downtown Estes Park, Colorado.  I was surprised when I saw it.  It was much nicer than I expected.  I thought cigar boxes were made of chipboard and hinged with paper and you kept crayons in them.  I guess I need to get out more!  This was a wooden box with pegged hinges.

I gave the box a light sanding and then dry brushed some black paint with the wood grain.  I rubbed in the paint and then waxed it with Annie Sloan dark wax paste, which gave it a rich glow.  It was really amazing how just these simple steps transformed the look.

I lined the inside with Tim Holtz Crowded Attic Paper Stash papers.  My husband cut me some short walnut pegs for the corners on which to suspend a shelf.

This was to be a Memory Box for Carissa's little boy, Tavin.  Tavin was just a baby when his grandfather suddenly passed away.  He was a wonderful, fun loving family man and the whole community was saddened at the loss.  Hopefully, this will help Tavin know his granddad a little bit with pictures and mementoes that will prompt stories of the things he loved from the people who loved him.

I put a picture on top that is the only picture taken of Tavin with his grandfather.  The hinges at the top are non functioning, decorative only.  The word band says "know in your heart that you are loved" and the little heart charm says "beyond measure".  Double click on any of these pictures for a closer look.

I covered a piece of chipboard cut to fit just inside the box with Sticky Back Canvas with an image transferred from another page from Crowded Attic.  If you haven't done image transfers with SBC, here's a video tutorial showing you how.

I put Tim Holtz' Hinge Fasteners in the corners for a lifting mechanism.  I collaged a few bits of memorabilia to the shelf and some loose items for story prompts about Carissa's dad. He loved to play squash and loved to drink Jack Daniels and smoke cigars.  One of Carissa's fond memories is of her dad making her pancakes on Saturday mornings while they listened to the Beatles.

You can lift out the shelf to reveal a section for loose photographs, letter and cards.  I mounted on card stock and fussy cut pics of a New York Jets logo, BMW motorcycle, and Joe Montana, all favorites of Carissa's dad.

This picture always moves me.  Much thanks goes to Carissa's husband, Josh, who gave me guidance on who Kurt was and what he loved.  What he loved most was his daughters.

Carissa gave the cigar box to me and I gave it back to her and to Tavin.  She is the one who really has all the memories and items that ought to fill this box.  My hope is it will become a place to tuck things that will one day go to Tavin and maybe he'll know his granddad a little bit more.