The Zizzler

Living THE life on a shoestring budget. Traveling, DIY projects, general fabulousness.......

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Making a Good Gift a Better Gift
I'm a big fan of Latin American folk art- Day of the Dead stuff, Sacred Hearts, Recycled tin wares. It's one of my favorite things to give (I've made dozens of cards/gifts from one set of Loteria cards alone), but I also like to add a personal touch. But my main reason is, the mini altars and tableaus I really like can run from $30-$50, which I can't afford. So, I bought a tin sacred heart ($12.50) at Eyes Gallery in Philly. It's the only Latin American folk art store here so it's pricey, but if at all possible, I go to Love Shine at 249 Grand Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (near Roebling, take the L to Lorimer 718.302.2913). The man who owns it is from Barcelona, and seriously has the most zest for life I've ever experienced, and it is contagious. He knows everything about all of his inventory- who made it where, what it means etc. Occasionally he'll have a 50% off everything sale, and I stock up. Plus I love his conversation. He's so inspiring, he told me he lived in Barcelona and had a great life, great house, great job....and said "Hmm...ok, can I die now?" so he moved to New York to start a new challenge on life!
Anyway, I didn't want to give my friend a plain old tin heart. So I went to trusty Ikea and bought a cheap shadowbox ($6). I found some old red and black paints, and kinda splotched it on the back, and put a piece of cheese cloth on it for texture, then painted over it. Then I hotglued the heart to the background. I painted the box black and decided to put red Xs around the "frame". I messed up on the black (I am really sloppy) so I painted the inside of the plastic to cover my mistakes- which ended up looking really cool and added dimensionality to it. When it was dry I just put the background back on and voila! I think it looks great. I wanted to add some rhinestones around the frame part, but it was for a boy, so I decided a painted heart was gay enough already. He loved it, and loved that I had made it from the heart.

*Please forgive the photo quality. The finished box was hard to photograph with the reflection of the plastic. The paint job doesn't really look that chinsy, I swear.


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