Tuesday, 26 March 2013

"metamorphosis" - Tray

I have been wanting to do a configurations box for quite a while now, but they are not easy to get here in Austria and shipping costs (even from Germany) are rather expensive due to the size.

As we will get a brand new kitchen at the end of May, we have been browsing through our kitchen cupboards to get rid of everything too much (which was quite a lot to be honest). On this occasion I found a wooden box that once held three knives. I thought it to be the perfect size for a wall hanging configuration tray (or whatever one should call it).

I made the compartments using glue, thick corrugated card and Tim Holtz tissue tape. Then I filled the compartments with Tim Holtz papers cut exactly to size and covering all five sides of each single "box". The outside was covered using a dictionary style washi tape.

At that stage it looked way too clean and
neat (even though I chose the TH
papers for a rather grungy look) - so I gave the whole tray a rough treatment with Mr. Huey's color mists opaque white and dark calico and a lot of dapping and whiping, adding colour here, taking some off there. (I admit I really was afraid of spoiling hours of work with that step - but it worked out - even better than expected! The tray looked pretty grungy and timeworn by then.

I created a wire hanging for the tray trying not to be too exact with bending and curling.

There - my wall hanging tray was ready.
At that stage I still did not know what to fill it with. Maybe a lot of TH goodness? Or do some heavy embellishing with tickets collected on our various holiday trips? Hm.

I started to browse through my beach findings again and then the idea just hit my mind: I have been collecting fossils, stones, shells and nature finds in general since I can think and my son does the same now. In his room he has two showcases filled with self gathered "nature treasures" and "loaned" finds and more treasures from me and my husband.

I decided to use some of them for my wall hanging. And voila!

I very much enjoyed translating Ovid's "Metamorphosis" in school and have been loving the meaning of this word ever since (and use it quite often to be honest ;). So I enter SSSS's "quotable" challenge with this project. I also enter Country View Crafts' challenge "Pick and mix - anything goes" and also Simon Says Stamp challenge "anything goes"

Most of the treasures were collected during our hiking trips, some of them were bought at the annual fossil show and some are very special "specials" :)

For example the stone my son painted when he was maybe four or five years old, trying to make it look like an insect enclosed in amber:

Or the beetle I collected in the
lovely Wienerwald.

Except the big trilobite all the fossils are "self-found"! We have a great spot near Vienna where one can find them quite easily.

The shark tooth and the pearl are from a geological museum site a bit up the Danube, where a huge prehistoric mussel bed was discovered which proves that there once was ocean nearby our place! Kids can filter shark teeth and pearls in a huge sandpit there.

The deserted cocoon in the upper right box is from a Death's Head Hawkmoth we found as a huge (really huge!) caterpillar when cutting our hedges. We took it home with us and prepared a container with some soil and leaves from the hedge and it dug itself in after two days of feeding. It spent the whole winter this way stored on our bedroom's window sill as this is the coldest room of our flat. We could see it at the very bottom of our container, twitching from time to time. One day in spring (when we had stopped to believe that it had survived) we had a really beautiful big hawkmoth sitting in the container. I learned that Death's Head Hawkmoths appear quite rarely at our regions and travel far distances from Africa to southern Europe.

Just HAVE to show you the image! Isn't he beautiful (and big)?
As we found the caterpillar in our garden on the very first day we entered it and this is such a wonderful thing to remember I hope it will be okay if I enter the Craft Room challenge "In Our Garden - Anything but a card" with this project.

Back to the wall hanging: I stamped some words that came to my mind while watching the filled tray onto card that I had given an aged look in advance, cut them out and glued them to the frame.


Some more close-ups which I hope you will enjoy:

I hope you will forgive me my picture- AND word-heavy post this time! Thank you very much for stopping by!!!


die amelie x


  1. na wow.. das sieht ja schon leer genial aus.. und Deine Füllung...
    excellente Deko!!!

    Hammerschön Claudia!

  2. Das ist umwerfend schön geworden, Claudia. Ich bin hellauf begeistert

  3. Oh my word Claudia, you have totally out done yourself on this! It's stunning, I think I had my nose 3 inches from the screen looking at all the details ( ok, backed away a little when it got to the Hawkmoth picture, lol ) I really, really love the little words you placed with the specimens too! Just utterly fabulous! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina ♥

  4. wow - das ist der mega Hammer - so toll bearbeitet und dann mit der Deko und den Beschriftungen - einfach nur super schön und so stimmig!!!!

  5. Wow what a fabulous piece, love how you decorated each compartment and what a wonderful way to showcase all those treasures from your travels. A wonderful well thought out piece. Thanks so much for joining in the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge. Tracy x x

  6. You are completely forgiven... a wonderful post both to read and to look at! Your configurations box is just beautiful, even before being filled with all those amazing treasures - and the words share something really beautiful too - I love everything you've shared with us here... art, memories, stories - wonderful!!
    Alison xx

  7. Suzanne is away this week but I'm sure she will love this as much as I do, fingers crossed thank you for sharing it with us at Craft-Room Challenge XOXO Zoe

  8. So wonderful Claudia - made all the more so by your super post. Thank-you so much for sharing all your fantastic finds and memories. Nicola x

  9. What a lovely piece, you must be delighted with it! I've got a collection of stones, shells etc that my son has picked up over the years and I wondered how best to display them. I love your idea. Thanks so much for sharing. Liz x

  10. Awesome! I just love this, what a fantastic idea to fill it with 'treasures'. My son wants me to make him one for his collection, I think I'll start him off and see what he comes up with himself. Great project for the Easter holiday, thank you for sharing the idea.

  11. This is stunning!! My configuartion still sits empty and sad on my shelf and has done for over a year. But I can't decide on a theme, so it will probably be there for a while. Cindy

  12. This is such a cool wall hanging. I love all of the compartments and all of the shells fossils and very "earthy" elements you've perfectly placed in each compartment. The shadow box itself is really awesome as well. The distressed tissue tapes and papers all work so perfectly together with all of the elements you've showcased. All of your words are also very effective on the exterior! Thanks so much for sharing your art with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

  13. this is such a really cool creative piece, and I love the cocoon, thanks for sharing with us at Craft Room Challenge, Debi x

  14. I love your blog, love your art!! This so inspiring. I have A wooden box like this sitting in my bedroom and loads of shells, seaglass and drift wood , just waiting to be turned in to art. Really beautiful

  15. Stunning transformation as usual. You never fail to amaze! Thank you for entering the Craft Room challenge. Suzanne xx

  16. wow..I love this, it is so inspiring. Love all the little bits you have collected to use in it. Great photos and details - thanks for sharing and love your photo of the Hawkmoth especially... Gill x

  17. Wow, this is an amazing transformation filled with such creativity and imagination. Thanks for joining us a Craft Room Challenge. Julia xx

  18. This is an amazing project - a perfect home made configuration box and such a glorious display of keepsakes. The tale about the moth is lovely..Thank you so much for sharing with us at Craft-room..Esther xx

  19. Wow! This is stunning. What a worthy entry in our first challenge at Country View Challenges. Thanks for sharing it with us. Chris xxx

  20. What a wonderful creation box, you have so many stunning 'treasures' with beautifully labeled. I'm thrilled you were able to help the pupa Death's Head Hawkmoth winter successfully become the Moth!!!

    Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp challenge,
    Heather xx


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