Thursday, September 5, 2013

Asparagus Redux

I have lusted after the Inktense watercolor pencils for nearly two years.  I love how vivid they are on Kraft cardstock and also how easy it is to get a watercolored look when coloring and then using a water brush on top.  So when I came across the opportunity to get the full 72 piece set for half price, I sprung!  To heck with buying food and paying the rent . . .

The problem was storage – I’ve long since run out of desktop real estate, so I needed something handy but portable.  The ends of the pencils are color-coded which makes them ideal for horizontal storage, but this would never work for vertical storage as I would never store any pencil tip down.  Also, as some of the color coding is dark, it’s hard to tell the colors apart when they’re all grouped together.  Dividing them up by the eight color families seemed the best solution.  So I haunted the dollar stores looking for slim, tall-ish square glass containers.  I came up empty. 

Then I remembered that canned asparagus comes in narrow, tall cans and so my problem was solved!  These are narrow enough to take up minimal space, yet with plenty of room for future colors to be added (let’s have some more yellows and oranges, please!).

We ate asparagus every day for a week, after which I peeled off the labels and washed the cans.  I diecut felt circles to use on the inside bottoms of the cans which keeps the tinny noise level down.   Then I cut up eight different black and white designer papers, applied Crafter’s Pick Incredibly Tacky Glue with a brayer for even coverage, and put these on the cans, starting at the center of the paper and working outwards.   For even easier color identification, I glued strips of colored cardstock to cover the seams, and diecut scalloped strips from the same colors to go around the tops and hide the metal rims.  Except for the felt bottoms, I decided against fussing with the interiors – way too anal even for me.

Lastly, I diecut colored butterflies to cover the seam from the scalloped strip and add some lighthearted whimsy.  Then I happened upon the perfect-sized wooden box which I gessoed in black, painted with black acrylic, and then stenciled on some butterflies on all four sides with molding paste.  The whole arrangement is lightweight and very easy to take from its nearby home and set it on my desk for some serious fun with colored-pencil-watercoloring!

Cardstock:                     Pre-printed papers, various colored scraps
Inks:                                Gelly Roll Clear Star                                                   
Dies/Punches:               Memory Box Butterflies Isabella, Pippi, Spellbinders
                                              Standard Circles, Sizzix Decorative Strip Dots & Scallops
Doo Dads:                      Dreamweaver stencil Oriental Butterfly, Felt (used on the
                                              inside bottom of the cans), American Traditional
                                             3-D Molding Paste


  1. Love this fantastic idea! A wonderful way to pretty up the craft room! At least asparagus is good for you! :)

  2. Great idea and it looks so pretty!!!