I’m Patty Thurlby, whimsical and quirky making fun and practical upcycled art. I started to call myself an artist in 1990 when I was accepted into my first art gallery and my mixed media pieces started selling. I had my day job but usually spent every other weekend having an “artquake” filling up my studio with new pieces and distributing them to various galleries the next weekend. In..
I changed my mind! I made this cute Great Dane lapel pin and then it dawned on me, the pin would sell for less than $20.00 at Sunrose Gallery. If I removed the pin finding from the back, I could put it on a canvas board and more than double the price.
When I ran across this saying: “Love can’t be bought, But it an be Rescued” I decided my pin was going to be recast as the featured piece for a 6 x 12 canvas board mixed media piece. I purchased an alphabet download from an Etsy shop and printed out the letters. Then I played with the idea of plaid stripes on a tan acrylic paint background.
Back in 1990 our family answered the ad in the Longview Daily News for a year old dog who spent his short life staked to a pole in the owner’s backyard. He was quite a character! I never could get him to obey and if he got outside the fenced yard, the only way to catch him was to go around the block yelling “Charlie” with my arm in the air waving a piece of American Cheese.
He had a bark that filled the house and he usually decided to bark his head off right at the critcial moment in a TV scene. It was pretty normal for the entire family to be yelling “Charlie shut up!” as we strained to hear the TV.
However, Charlie was very lovable and he brought a lot of love and laughter for 13 years. I am too lazy to go upstairs in the hope chest and get a photo of him, but he appeared to be a yellow lab and corgy mix, he looked like a runt lab with short little legs like a corgy.
So the saying is true and Charlie proved it. Life has moved on and since I remarried in 2007 we have opted not to get another dog. However my husband puts up with me exclaiming to folks who brag that their dog is a “resuce” when I tell them my husband is a “rescue”. LOL
I had so much fun making my dragonfly lapel pin I had to see if I could make a Great Dane lapel pin! I think he turned out dog gone cute and now I really am getting inspired to use more of my old purses. This lapel pin used the fabric of four purses:
Only one of the purses was actual leather, so the cream colored one made a sturdy base for the pin.
I was inspired by this key fob I found on the internet. I loved the shape of the eye area and snout.
Step One: Click and print the Great Dane below and use it for your pattern. It is handy to print out several so you can keep track of how it goes together.
Step Two: After cutting out the base of the dog, cut out all the pieces.
Step Three: Use glue made for fabric, I used E6000. Attach all the pieces to the base layer.
Step Four: Attach a lapel pin finding to the back. I like to use hot glue.
I have a wire basket in the closet that I toss in all clear plastic packaging materials. I admit if I have a choice to get two similar products in different packaging, I choose the one with the best reusable packaging! LOL
My favorite “granny glasses” right now are faux tortoise shell that I got at Pacific Crest Cottage in Gearhart, Oregon. Everytime I venture in there, I check to see if they still sell them because if something happens to mine I want to get another pair.
Sometimes I get a flash of an idea and try it just to see if it will work: I was inspired by my grannie glasses. That is how these faux tortiose shell earrings came to be using scrap pieces of plastic and nail polish to paint the tortoise shell design.
Step One: Cut two pieces of scrap plastic packaging into the earring shape you like. HINT: I cut the pieces together so they turn out the exact shape.
Step Two: Use the tortoise shell printout to use as the pattern for the brown nail polish and let dry completely. Click and Print below the post instructions.
Step Three: After the brown polish is totally dry, cover the complete back of the earring with the yellow nail polish making sure there are no brush marks. HINT: I applied the polish in small puddles and smoothed them with the tip of the polish brush.
Step Four: After completely dry (I waited until the next day) use a tiny punch or awl to make a hole for a jump ring and add your jewelry findings. I dressed up my earrings with hoops and chain, but these are adorable just by themselves.
This 10 x 10 canvas clock “It’s About Time” was so much fun to make. I did waste quite a few inkjet printouts, but it was worth the trial and effort to finally get success!
I found this watch advertisement in a Town & Country magazine that I purchased because it has so many bright advertisements and cool fonts. I thought it would make such a whimsical clock and I am happy with the result!
First, I had to find an interesting image for the wrist and I found this one after I Googled “watch on wrist.” I loved that her fingers were about to adjust the watch. I used my photo software erase the watch and add “oil painting effect” to cause the image to look less like a photograph. However there was a problem because her index finger wasn’t completely captured in the photo.
So I turned the photo and recropped it and filled in all the white corners by cloning and healing. Wa Lah!
I printed the image 3 times before I got the correct size for the watch to sit naturally on her wrist! Goodbye printer ink.
After the canvas was painted I added a whimsical scrapbook paper polka dot border and a mini quartz clock movement with black hands.
There was no way to erase the watch hands in the magazine image so I took a pink paint pen to the number 2 to block out the minute hand a bit. I am happy how it turned out and guess what? There were two “Franck Muller” watch advertisements in the magazine, so watch number two will be on it’s way soon.
I love the image of this Vogue Magazine cover! The image in my coffee table book full of Vogue Magazine Covers 1920- 1940’s was too small to make a 10 x 10 canvas plus I wanted to remove the child in the composition.
This is how the cover looked before I scanned it into my computer. Since I was scanning it I and photoshopping out the child, I decided to flip the image horizontally because I prefer working left to right.
I find it relaxing to cut out images even though there are tiny details…so cut out my lady and wanted to set her head at a jaunty angle.
Sometimes I don’t really have a plan when I put a collage together…I wanted her head tilted up, but WHY? LOL That is when it dawned on me to put a rainbow above. I was going to use magazine font that said “You have to have rain to get a rainbow” but I was too lazy to figure out a way to show that it had just rained. LOL
After digging through some files of phrases I found this saying “Expect Wonderful Things.” It was a perfect bit of serendipity!
The difficult circumstances in life can leave us in the mode of “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” In other words not Expecting Wonderful Things. Looking back over my life I can see how difficult times turned into “Wonderful Things” in the end…and I am reminded of a promise in the Bible.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
I was trying to image who would wander into Sunrose Gallery here in Seaside, Oregon and purchase this piece. I imagine two scenarios: someone who wants to be reminded to be positive or someone who wants to affirm a happy outlook on life.
As for me, as I sit in my comfy chair every morning and look up to the Lord, I know that God is good and WHATEVER happens it is for my good. YAY! That is how I find joy in every day.
This “Birch Leaf” placemat from Pier One Imports is almost my last placemat makeover and I think it is perfect for over the mantle in a cozy mountain cabin!
It took me about three hours of adjusting colors and printing out the tree slice clip art image I got for free when I Googled “clip art tree slice”. It turns out all grays are not equal and it finally dawned on me to add green into the mix to get a matching tree ring for the clock face and numbers.
Step One: Print out the images on regular printer paper.
Step Two: Cut out foam board for the clock face and numbers. HINT: use one of the tree slice numbers as a pattern for the foam board.
Step Three: Use Mod Podge to attach the clock face and numbers to each piece of foam board.
Step Four: Use gray acrylic paint to cover the edges of the foam core.
Step Five: Use hot glue to attach the clock face and numbers. HINT: don’t put hot glue in the center of the clock face because it will make it impossible to put the clock movement in later.
Step Six: cut a piece of foam board to fit the back and glue it to the placemat.
Step Seven: Working in the center of the clock face, use an awl to punch a hole for the clock movement and enlarge it with a pencil so the clock movement will fit.
This has been a fun project making all the placemat clocks and they have turned into OOAK special pieces of art!
Thanks Pier One Imports for all the inspiration!!!!
I cleaned out my closet and that meant some purses had to go. I have a hard time letting them go even though the bottoms and the edges are scuffed and looking ragged. This necklace is really easy to make because all you cut are two circles, cut the circles in half and glue those pieces together. Then you use hot glue to attach the two pieces so the necklace is reversible. This side the white is predominate…
And the other side the fushia is predominate! This casual necklace is perfect for jeans and a t-shirt.
I started with a cream colored purse and a fushia make-up bag.
Step One: Cut out two 2″ circles. One fushia, one cream colored.
I purposely cut the cream colored circle on some of the stitching so there would be some added interest on the side that the cream is predominate.
Step Two: Cut each circle in half and use white craft glue (Aleene’s Tacky Glue) to glue the two matching pieces together.
Step Three: After the glue is set, take the two leather sections and place one piece at an angle, keeping the feeling of completing a circle. Use some hot glue to attach the pieces.
Step Four: Punch a hole in the tops of each piece, secure a jump ring and thread a necklace chain through.
I love how the stitching design decorates the predominately cream side and the fushia side is understated and casual.
This necklace pendant simply flew together in less than 1/2 hour and was a fun way to reclaim some leather sitting around in my closet.
When I got my new coffee table sized book of vintage Vogue magazine covers, this lovely lady really stood out! Her face really tells a story and if you combine her face with her hands, well that really tells a story!
Even though the scene is gorgeous, I only wanted to use her face to feature because of her beautiful countenance.
I had already purchased this set of background images last year from the Etsy shop “The House Across the Bay” and loved the image that seemed to simulate an oval mirror. I had to erase (with clone and heal in my photo software) a few of the top leaves because they blocked part of the word “thinking.”
The woman’s conveys affection, amusement, and warmth….lovely thoughts to express in a gretting card.
Click and Print:
If you print the card, be prepared to cut 1/2″ off the top and each side plus 1″ off the bottom to fit the card in an A7 envelope.
Nowadays with social media and our smart phones doing our communicating for us, it is quite a surprise to go to the mail box and find a card shaped envelope in the pile of bills and junk mail. Feel free to print this as many times as you want to send a warm greeting to someone!
This Pier One Imports placemat was very inspirational with it’s pretty seed beads and burlap background plus it was fast and easy to repurpose into a classy + beachy clock!
I paid $14.00 for this placemat, but it was worth it because the clock is OOAK and will be so perfect for unusual beach decor.
I played around with the idea of adding shells to the front of the placemat on the seed beads, but the shells took away from the actual beaded design so I decided to try adding a cascade of shells attached to the back to accent the bottom.
Step Two: Squirt some hot glue in the top of each shell and promptly place the twine and flatten the twine into the hot glue. HINT: I use an awl that is wet with a bit of water. It is the perfect size and the water prevents the awl from sticking to the hot glue.
Step Three: Cut out a 5″ long x 2″ wide piece of CARDSTOCK to attach the strings to. Run lengths of hot glue vertically and attach the strings making them different lengths. (I forgot to take a photo of that process….oops)
Step Four: After all the strings are glued down, attach the piece of cardstock on the back with hot glue. I simply folded the tops of the strands over for a extra bit of texture.
Step Five: Cut a piece of foam board for the back and use hot glue or E6000 to attach it.
Step Six: Insert the clock movement according to the instructions and your clock is finished!
OOAK and very beachy but after I took this photograph, I didn’t really like the variations of the shell colors so I put a light coat of white acrylic paint on them. I also decided to change out the clock hands with a light brown set.