So I stopped in at one of my favorite thrift stores this past Monday and discovered there was an ongoing “Christmas in July” sale in which the discount increased at the beginning of each week. I happened to show up on the first day every holiday item was 75% off and the selection was quite nice!
The first thing I picked up was this mixed-media angel ornament, which, after the discount, cost $1.00. It was still in the original package, from a designer line at Department 56. I didn’t recognize the artist’s name, but I thought the ornament itself had some nice lines, even if the colors and embellishments were a bit ho-hum.
I had no idea what I was going to do with this even as I started to alter it, but I knew for certain that crazy tinsel had to go! I first cut the strands off the feet, which improved the look of it immediately, and then wrestled that star and tinsel “puff” out of its wire arms.
Crazy tinsel feet! Those had to go.
And what is this mess?! It was a nice surprise to find, under all that tinsel, the angel does have actual arms.
Next thing that had to go were the wings. They were made of wire onto which double-sided tape had been attached and then dipped into micro-beads. At first I tried to pull the tape and beads off in order to keep the wire structure, but it was such a gooey mess I finally just took a wire cutters to it. Snip! Gooey wings gone.
I had thought of putting some kind of image on the skirt, so I started looking through my (considerable) stash of images. I happened to run across a baggie full of K&Company nature themed embellishments in aqua, purple and yellow, and one of them was a transparent pair of butterfly wings. Perfect! This decision set the color scheme. I first painted the legs purple and decided the skirt should be aqua. Glancing up, I noticed my big pile of colored tissue on a shelf above me. One of the choices was aqua with tiny silver dot confetti. Festive! I tore the tissue into small pieces to decoupage onto the skirt. It took about five layers to cover the “peace” words sufficiently, but it was a matter of less than ten minutes as the skirt is only three inches wide.
As I waited for that to dry, I kept searching through my images, but nothing really stood out. Then I thought, what if I just put a big flower on her skirt instead? I pulled out my silk flower drawer (which is getting dangerously full) and tried a few different combinations until I decided on yellow with an aqua layer, and a tiny metal lavender flower as the center. I had a package of six metal flowers, and decided they would also be cute on her little shoes. (I had to cover a little hole on each shoe where the tinsel had been glued in.) To provide some contrast, I tied black and white ribbons onto some of the beads at the bottom of her skirt.
She still didn’t feel quite “done,” and looking at her outstretched arms, I thought she’d do well to be holding a banner. I wanted the banner to match the metal flowers, but didn’t have quite the right color cardstock. How to lighten up cardstock that’s too dark? By rubbing white paint on it with your finger, of course! (Because I was feeling too lazy to get up and go wash a paintbrush!)
I tied some black cording to her wire hands, added stamped triangles for the pennants, and outlined part of her wings in black glitter glue to tie in the colors of the ribbon and cord. (Rule of three!) And voila; Christmas angel becomes summertime fairy!
But wait, there’s more! Because the Christmas in July sale yielded more than one future alteration project. How could I resist this treetop angel for a mere $2.50?
She’s about 12″ tall and in absolutely wonderful condition. Maybe she has a glimmer of what’s in store for her; she does look slightly alarmed. But I think she’ll be okay with her new look once I’ve performed some Steampunk magic! 😉