Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cool Beans - Heroes at UnstampaBelles

The UnstampaBelles June challenge is to Create a mixed media item to celebrate your hero/ine. I couldn't resist making a project dedicated to people in my life that I truly consider heroic: my husband, who lived for 5 years with kidney disease and went to work every day, even when he had to go to dialysis every night; And my husband's living kidney donor, who gave us our future. The one-year anniversary of my husband's transplant is coming up (he's doing great!) so I made a memory box. For the decorative top, I used actual kidney beans:

I used a "windy road" template that I had previously created in SCAL, and cut it from a heavy white cardstock with my Cameo. I didn't have blue or green paint, so I made my own by mixing distress inks with white acrylic paint. It took many layers of paint to cover each section, but I like the artsy result. I had chosen black kidney beans because 1) the road is black so I wouldn't have to paint that section, 2) they were smaller than the red kidney beans, and 3) they were 20¢ cheaper than my other choice! I used good ol' Mod Podge to adhere the beans as well as to coat the final scene. I also sprayed it with a matte coating. I added decorative metal corners (from Martha Stewart; I sanded them a bit) and a gold trim to the final project.

I wanted to keep this project a secret from my husband until it was finished, which is why I bought the beans at the small store down the street, and why I couldn't tell him why we had to search for hinges last weekend (I wanted decorative ones, but my Michael's and Target didn't have any, so we finally went to Walmart!) I used my Dremel to affix the hinges to the two wood pieces. The box itself is made from the boxes wood veneer embellishments come in. They were already painted this blue, which I left as-is because it sorta reminds me of "hospital blue".

Of course, I completely forgot to get a front clasp for the box, so I had to get creative! I used knob-like screw fasteners (by Spare Parts) and a piece of a blue rubber tourniquet to make a whimsical closure:

For the inside, I simply sized some photos to fit in the existing sections. The top portion is a photo of the University of Maryland Medical Center, where our transplant adventure took place. I used Scrabble
® pieces to convey what we all felt there.

My mother-in-law is also a hero to me for donating a kidney to her brother 23 years ago. She's in the photos I used for the bottom section; I took out the actual faces for privacy reasons, except for the one of me & my wonderful husband leaving the hospital. I also used the first stanza from a poem by Emily Dickinson, made into WordArt by Cec Wintonyk.

Illness is, sadly, a part of life, but so is bravery, hope, love, and sacrifice. There is no way that I can ever truly thank everyone who helped us, but I can spend my life trying. We're all in this Life together!

I'm entering this project into the following fabulous Challenges:
2 Creative Chicks #27: Anything Goes (no cards)
Altered Eclectics: Anything Goes (Altered Art/Mix Media only)
Card Mania #69: Use Metal Embellishments (2nd entry)

Be sure to check out the fabulous projects by my teamies and hope you'll join us this month at UnstampaBelles!

Thank you for visiting,


  1. What a fabulous idea. Turned out beautifully. I made have to scarp lift this idea. Thanks for linking up over at 2 Creative Chicks

    Have a creative day.
    ♥ My Crafting Channel ♥
    ♥ Nana's Rag Quilts ♥
    ♥ 2 Creative Chicks ♥
    ♥ Silhouette Challenges ♥

  2. Very creative! Great job!
    Thanks for linking up over at 2 Creative Chicks

    Have a creative day.
    ♥ Scrap N Sew Granny ♥
    ♥ Pam's Stitched With Love ♥

  3. Super design, great colours and a fab prodgect!
    Thanks for joining in with this months challenge at Card Mania, hope you’ll come and join us next time too, good luck!


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