Monday, April 15, 2013

Pack It Up! An Altered Vintage Train Case

Headed out on a holiday anytime soon? Next time I go, I'll be taking a weekend's worth of art supplies in my new altered train case!
Dusty DeHaven of SmittenDust has opened a wonderful new studio in mid-Michigan and bringing in a variety of local and out-of-towners to teach (including Kari McKnight Holbrook and Jen Crossley in May!).
I was fortunate to attend the first workshop in her new studio, where we altered vintage hard surfaced train cases, the kind people our mom's ages (well, my mom's age!) used to use!

Dusty is a good teacher. She brought several of her own to inspire us, gave us a great supply list prior to the class, and we were ready to go.
It also helped having her bring several samples she already did. There was variety and you could see all the ways one might go.
The case I had was blue and had nice pockets within. I covered the bottom with an Asian cat fabric (thank you, Jane Rosemont's Garage Sale!). We used polymer medium to stick the fabric to the case.
The top was covered with pages from several French books and some additional collaged bits.
I wasn't pleased with how some of the polymer medium was showing through the light fabric. Thanks to good suggestions from the class, a light and gently tinted polymer glaze was strategically placed. It pulled in the green in the fabric as well as covering the trouble spots!
Dusty helped us with putting cork on the bottom of the case to keep the fabric tidy.
And a caution -- if you are using a fabric with a specific pattern, matching can be a challenge. Here's the back of mine.
Of course you do the inside, too!
What's fun is that everyone's was different. Here's a photo of Jan who used bright and cheery colors. Very different from mine and Dusty's, which of course is the point!
Because I didn't have all the embellishments I needed from home, I finished mine later. But basically, the class (which was $47) went from 10-4 and because I couldn't finish I was done with the lion's share of  the project at 3:30. That time frame (and cost) included a very nice lunch.
At home I finished off the plastic handle, wrapping it with silk ribbon and added several buttons inside and out.
And when it's good to go -- it looks just like this!
Three cheers to Dusty for creating a space filled with mixed media opportunities right here in mid-Michigan.
If you're in the mid-Michigan area and interested in learning about upcoming SmittenDust classes, visit the site HERE. There are several good ones coming up (including workshops with Kari McKnight Holbrook!)

For more detailed instructions on how to create your own train case, and to get to know Dusty better, check out Dusty's this Detroit News article HERE.


Kathleen McCoy said...

They're all beautiful, but I like yours best, Jeanie, because it so reflects what you love!

Luna und Luzie said...

Awwww, sadly I don´t live in mid Michigan area but 1000s miles away.

This looks like fun and I love your work so much. Well done !

Unfortunately we don´t have those classes here in northern Germany so I´m glad to see what is possible to do in your post today. Thank you for showing :)

hugs ♥

Jeanie said...

I love the transformation of those train cases that I remember so well. Since I don't have much in the way of art supplies to carry I picture one as a great place for little girls to keep their treasures.

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

What a great class Jeanie and so practical.
I love your train case - perfect to carry art supplies with you.
I love your choice of fabric with the cats and the old french pages!

I would love to up-cycle a case like this so I'll keep my eye out for something similar!

Shane ♥

Vagabonde said...

So creative – they look so pretty. I used to have a train case that someone gave me when I came to the US in the 1960s – I may have given it to the Goodwill, or it is somewhere under a bunch of boxes in the garage – don’t know. But I don’t think I’d have the patience to work on it. I’d rather look at your post!

Introverted Art said...

oh my gosh they are too cute!!!!

anno said...

What a great project -- so cool! I'm glad to see you finding time for creative projects. Hope you are feeling well. xo

Joanne Huffman said...

It looks like a great project and a great time.

Friko said...

A very pretty end result.

Will you actually use the case for travelling?

Marilyn said...

You find the most fun classes. I would never have thought of something like this. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

How very pretty and special, Jeanie. My favorite part is the opportunity of creating together with other ladies. I have been looking for some kind of creative group in my area. Maybe some day I'll find one.
Always a pleasure visiting with you, friend.

My Grama's Soul said...

These are just "too cute". Now you must take a trip to somewhere......wonderful!

~*~Patty S said...

What great altered train cases ... I have a couple that I use for this and that...looks like a really fun class!

Cottage and Broome said...

Your train case came out great! Love all the different embellishments you added. It will be a great for toting all your crafting supplies. You have inspired me, I have an old case waiting in the garage for me to redo. Great job, Laura

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I can remember having one of those cases around... blue, I think. What a creative project and of course, the kitties rule! Love how you have finished the case.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

These are really wonderful. i love that cats play such an important part in yours. It looks like great fun to do...! (Hard work, too, of course), And so rewarding!

Tracy said...

That is BEAUTIFUL, Jeanie! What a great idea for making over all cases... I just LOVE this! A fun class, with a fun topic. So glad you went... and took us along. :o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

Annie said...

What an awesome class. I'm sure there isn't a single person who would not ooohhh and ahhhh over these great cases. I remember having a Samsonite case just like yours back in the day (thank you, mom). Alas, it is long gone.

Shelia said...

Oh, this is so cute! What a cute way to change this up! You did a great job.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

shoreacres said...

I had a matched set of baby blue luggage, and the train case was the last to go. I don't have a clue what happened to it. It's just as well it's not lying around, though, because I might get inspired to do something similar with it. Then, I wouldn't have a clue what to use it for.

I suppose I could just send it to you! Or, even better, I could ship it to you plain and let you fancy it up. But it's gone - so I'll just enjoy these marvelous photos and think, one more time: "Good gosh, that woman is creative!"

Anonymous said...

Oh, my goodness. That looks like my Samsonite luggage I received for Christmas when I was seventeen. What a nifty idea. I kept mine for years, but it's long gone now.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Oh how fun! Your case turned out great - it will be fun to show off! I think that is a really reasonable price, especially since it included lunch! Sounds like a really fun day!

Anonymous said...

This is so interesting... I've never heard of the 'train case'. But it sure is handy and these decorations make it ever more appealing. Do you use it like a cosmetic case?

BeagleMusic said...

I need to find a train case. I used to have one (used by *my* mom), but I'm not sure where it is these days. What an awesome idea!

Jenny Woolf said...

How cool is this! I keep hoping I'll have some leisure to settle down and do something like this. I once did decoupage on furniture, and it was similar to this, in a way, but this is nicer because more three dimensional.

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