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Alice in Wonderland Altered Dresser

by Amy Bowerman

I’ve had this dresser in my basement for about 6 years now.  I inherited it from an old room-mate after he moved out of the beach house we shared.  While living on the beach I went through a painting phase where I painted anything and everything I could get my hands on.  I altered everything from patio furniture to fences.  I never wound up finishing the dresser;  it has stored my art supplies unfinished for way too long.

painted dresser

Painted Dresser

After discovering the Alice in Wonderland images at the Octopode Factory I was inspired to re-do the entire thing by painting and altering the dresser with an Alice in Wonderland theme.  My inspiration coincided with a bunch of challenges which allowed me to combine  different techniques which resulted in a fabulous piece of art!  The bottom drawers were stripped with a belt sander and spray painted with a plethora of blues and of course my new favorite….Pearl.  Here are a few techniques I learned from Spray Casso.

queen of hearts painted dresser

Painting the Roses Red

It took me over a week from concept to completion of just the bottom two drawers, so this will definitely be a work in progress for sure.  There are monthly challenges at The Altered Alice  (this month was painting) so I plan to draw inspiration for the rest of the dresser each month (although the gears are already turning).  Also there is a Got Paint Challenge at Inspiration Emporium.  I’m so excited after visiting their store and drooling over all the fabulous crafting supplies they have (the best I tell you THE BEST!!!) I discovered the that my Tree Art project was chosen as the winner for last months challenge!!  Woo Hoo!   Sorry…had to get a Woo out :)   It’s tough to see in the photo but the metal handles on the drawers were tarnished beyond belief so I combined silver and gold Adirondak Metallic Mixatives to rejuvenate the metal and give it some shine.

alice in wonderland characters

Off with their heads!!

I was quite proud of myself for this one….open the drawer and….Off with their Heads!

queen of hearts

Octopode Factory meets Plucking Daisies

I  must say I have been quite inspired by the quirky characters and challenges at The Octopode Factory.  So much in fact that I decided to resurrect some of my own illustrations and create Alice in Wonderland characters to complement the Queen of Hearts.  The trees pictured are my illustrations which I made into digi stamps and colored with Copics…I just got certified last weekend and I am OBSESSED with these fantastic markers…bye bye Prismacolor…it’s been nice knowing you!  I used this  technique by Tim Holtz on top of the trees…it reminds me of my favorite Photoshop filter…plastic wrap. LOVE this technique!!  It really adds dimension to the trees and forced me to push my creative limits since I wanted to enter this project  in Grungy Monday and Simon says Stamp.  I used the Tim Holtz Collage embossing folder to create the “Grass”  I chose this one because it has such a variety of images.  I used Kraft Paper, colored it with Distress inks, gave a light dusting of Perfect Pearls Patina and sprayed with Tsukineko Shimmer mist.

alice in wonderland characters

Illustration Overload

It’s been a long time since I’ve put pen and ink to paper.  I love to illustrate but sometimes I get scared of it.  With my new-found love for Copic Markers and a desperate need for Alice in Wonderland Card men I set to work.  The card men were sized to fit real playing cards.  Paper piecing them together was what took the bulk of my time.  I cut each piece out not once but twice after coloring to save grunge paper…I was running a bit low.  Not to mention I was also running out of time to finish the painted dresser before submissions were closed.

alice in wonderland characters

Painting the Roses Red

It’s kind of hard to see in the photo because of the glare but the plastic was embossed with a Sizzix floral embossing folder.  I chose this one because it was heavier on the leaves than the flowers which was just the look I was going for.  The roses were cut from greeting cards in my vintage card collection…no shortage of roses on old greeting cards let me tell you!  I  created the tree trunks  according to the size and shape of the different suits, colored with Copic markers, and added Black Soot Distress Embossing powder with a Versamark pen.  I wanted to give the tree trunks a bit of texture….why should the roses have all the fun?

queen of hearts vintage hearts

Vintage Hearts

The hearts are also from my vintage card collection….I suppose it doesn’t get any more timeless than roses and hearts!

painted dresser

Off With Their Heads!

The letters were stamped, embossed, and colored with Copic Markers and Perfect Pearls.  Originally I wanted to make letter tiles but in the end decided to make even more work for myself and cut them out entirely….mounted on Grunge Board of course since all of my Grunge paper was used up and I had no time to run to the store to replenish it.  To make matters worse because of all the cutting I had done for this project my scissors were dull and we all know Grunge board isn’t the easiest to cut.  All my edges were jagged from the dull scissors.  After all the work I had put into this project there was no way I was going to leave them that way so I sanded each letter with a nail file and went over the edges with Black Soot Distress ink.  The funky heart in the middle is from the Octopode factory….he’s making that face because he thinks I’m nuttier than a Snicker’s bar for spending an hour of my life sanding Grunge Board letters with a nail file.

I learned a lot this week while working on this project.  I learned that I LOVE Copic markers and managed to learn how to use them and get certified in one shot.  I learned yet another Tim Holtz technique to add to my repertoire of tips from the Godfather of crafting.  I learned some nifty spray painting techniques…who knew two cans at once?  I learned that no matter how quickly you THINK you can get something done…it rarely works out that way.  Finally I learned that it is high time I invested in some Tonic Scissors since my favorite pair is now duller than a pair of Pre-K safety scissors!!

Thanks for visiting and sharing my creative journey with me!  I love hearing your thoughts and remember to keep checking back to see the next “chapter” revealed on the Alice in Wonderland Dresser 😉

Other Challenges:

All Sorts:  Anything but a Card

Elephantastic Challenges: Add Some Layers

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Donna Mundinger September 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm

I SWEAR I commented on this back when. Just had to revisit. Such a FABULOUS project! xxD

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2 Beth Norman August 28, 2011 at 10:09 am

I’m so glad I came by way of The Altered Alice. The details you showed us are amazing. I can’t get over how much work and embossing you did. Congratulations on being an honourable mention. Well deserved.

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3 CuddlyBunny August 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm

WOW! This is … WOW! Love the mix of Octopodes and stamps and your own art. And the colors! THE COLORS! Awesome!

… I have a dresser that could use your handiwork!

Thanks for dropping down the rabbit hole with us this month at The Altered Alice!

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4 Retta August 19, 2011 at 9:42 am

WOW! I’m blown away…and you said it only took a week??? Did I read that? You’re imagination and creativity is amazing! Placing the card guards heads on the second drawer up had me laughing out loud! Genius! Well done…thanks for sharing :)

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5 Debbie August 17, 2011 at 12:44 am

Stunning work!
Thanks for playing along with us at Allsorts this time.
Good luck.
Debs xx

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6 Donna Mundinger August 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm

WOW! What a treasure! This is so totally fabulous, I’m speechless! Thanks for sharing with the Altered Alice this week. xxD

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7 Helen August 16, 2011 at 8:07 am

Fabulous layers!!
Thank you for playing along with Ellephantastic this month.
Good luck
Hugs
Helen x

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8 Victoria Sturdevant August 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Wonderful!

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9 Emma August 15, 2011 at 8:19 am

Wow such a huge project and it looks fantastic!!!

Thanks for playing at Allsorts this week

Emma xxx

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10 The Octopode Factory August 15, 2011 at 2:41 am

wow wow wow! i’m totally inspired and blown away! fantastic work.

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11 Brenda August 15, 2011 at 2:36 am

What super work.

Thank you for joining us at Allsorts Challenge this week and good luck.

B x

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12 Linda Coughlin August 15, 2011 at 12:09 am

Too totally amazing!! What an incredible artist you are. What a gem you have created with the altered dresser. So fun and wonderfully whimsical. Great job with the TH technique challenge. So happy you joined in the fun with us this week at Simon Says Stamp and Show.

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13 Lynne Phelps August 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm

THANKS for playing along with The Altered Alice! This is FANTASTIC!!!! Talk about a FABULOUS challenge entry for painting the roses red, I am so impressed! I absolutely LOVE this piece and I sure hope you will email Lily Chilvers of Octopode Factory as well, she will LOVE it! I wanted to ask how you adhered your stamped cutouts to the painted wood? I would love to do something but I think I’ll start a lot smaller. . . like a wooden box maybe, hahaha!

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14 BrianK August 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Wow Amy, what a great project. Tonic Scissors are a must for grunge board, but how clever of you to use a nail file. I must add one to my tool box. Your graphics are to cool and can’t wait to see more. Thanks

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15 KathleenD August 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Oh Amy. Alice, Octopodes, Tim Holtz and a dresser. It just couldn’t get any better than that. Open the drawer and off come their heads. All I can say is thanks! I needed that.

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