Tuesday, 17 May 2011


Sometimes when I have a swap to do I give it too much thought I have always found that I am better creating on impulse.And so it was last evening when I looked at my list of swaps and decided to leave them to another day,  my thoughts turned to altering another tin can.
I am not sure why butterflies flew into my head but they did and what started out as a simple assemblage grew into something much larger.
The can was covered in adhesive aluminium tape and the large wings were attached with paper clips .These were cut from mount board as I did not have any tin large enough. The wings were covered with tape and scored to create texture.I used Ranger/Tim Holtz alcohol inks to colour the wings and tin.
It was then just a case of cutting out plenty of butterflies from tin lids and colouring with the ink.
I use wire beads and bells to create the effect of flying.Added  my favourite eyes and a image of a young girl to which I added wings.
I am not a great fan of alcohol inks but for this project it was my only choice.I did intend for this can to have some sort of deep message but decided to keep it more whimsical  this time, but I have plans to create another soon.

My Mother came to me this morning she was dropped of by my Brother with whom she is staying while he had two business meetings. She looked very frail and Dad’s cancer and her own memory problems are taking a toll. She wanted a haircut and Dad had requested new pyjamas as he does not like the open backed hospital gowns ( WHO DOES ) So a trip to the local Mall was called for, we timed it right for a haircut in the walk in salon but they were so SLOW it was painful to watch. Or perhaps as I get older I am getting less tolerant.
Anyway a Military style haircut was  the result not my choice it could have been so much nicer but Mum was happy with it and we went for a coffee.
Good old Marks and Spencers  you can always rely on them for a great coffee or pot of tea and Mum seemed to be coping well.
But by the time we returned home the agitation and worrying were beginning to show and I found myself repeating the same thing over and over and I guess the brain can only cope with so much before it overloads.
Last year instead of Christmas cards I donated the money to Alzheimer’s research and this year i will do the same and although Mum has not been diagnosed officially with this horrendous disease I feel I want to help raise funds.It is so cruel in the way It takes so much from the patient and the wider family.


  1. I think this piece is my favorite tin assemblage you have created. IT IS WONDERFUL! Love butterflies, and I love the way they appear to be flying. I am so inspired by it, I may take a shot at making my first one. I hate sardines though...hmmm...I must think of an alternative. Suggestions from the expert are welcome!

  2. Mary, thank you for showing us how you made this beautiful piece of art.

    I think that's a great idea to donate instead of buying cards. It must be very difficult for everybody.Sending you much love and hugs xxx

  3. You could use any tin Liz but the shape of the fish tins suit these assemblage pieces.The other thing I like about the fish tins is the pull off lid because they are great with the Sizziz Big Shot.I think the are also aluminium and therefore easier to cut,bend and drill into.

  4. Mary, I love your altered tin! Your wonder machine cut out those butterflies? Awesome!:-)
    You are very kind to take your mum out, I am sure she would have enjoyed the company but I can imagine that it must be very difficult and hard time for you. Sending you lots of strength and love. xoxo

  5. Hi Mary,
    This is an amazing piece! Absolutely beautiful. It inspires me to make one too. I would most likely shread my fingers in the making. Ah, but that's the price to pay for good art!
    Sorry, to hear about your parent's. It's hard getting old and not being well. Also, very difficult to watch. I'm sending you positive energy and hugs!

  6. Love this one too. Your tins are just great. Love how the butterflies dangle on the little wires around the whole assemblage, and the crystal, and little girl. Like your idea to donate to charity too. Especially hard when it hits close to home too.

  7. I like the way you are losing yourself in art and coming up with such fantastic pieces..art is great therapy when life gives you a hard time..sending you loads of hugs and I would love it too if you came with me on one of my bike rides..hey who knows one day..we have always got to have dreams

  8. Oh Mary! I wish we could have a tin-can swap! Only I would have to get one of yours of course :). I love this one - its beautiful and so airy.

    I received your journal pages thank you - I love them of course! - and I have posted them on the Milliande web-site and of course they will go on mine.