Friday, February 4, 2011

IA Challenge: Shine

When Lisa of Wright Stuff offered the theme of this week's Inspiration Avenue challenge on Monday, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. When I read the word "shine," this week's word, my quirky brain immediately thought of shoe polish. After all, I've been using it to add a shiny finish to my altered art for years.

In fact, these are old, but still useful tins of paste shoe wax, along with a couple of bottles of liquid in my arsonal. They all provide a shine, some better than others. I love the polish in a tin, and the longer you buff the finish, the more luster you create. Plus it seems to waterproof the surface of the piece.


A few weeks before Christmas, I stopped by my local Dollar Tree. I admit that the tins of polish were all given to me by people who no longer wanted to mess with the small amount left in them. I may have even purchased one at a garage sale for a dime! But here were these cute little containers of LIQUID brown that I simply couldn't ignore. At the Dollar Tree, there were three of these containers in a package. I bought them on a whim because I liked the look of the brown. And late last night I took time to see what this shoe polish would do.


Although the shine is a disappointment, the subtle colors I got were superb. Unlike the paste, which provides a relatively consistent color, and loads of luster, the liquid from this cheap shoe polish would rival some of the colors being sold under the "distress ink" label. Depending on how many swipes I made, I got a very delicate linen effect after one swipe, all the way to a deep brown after three swipes. This is an excellent aging effect and very, very inexpensive. The one drawback was, the polish was more liquid than shoe polish. Although my vintage sheet music held up well, I suspect thinner papers, like scrapbook paper or some book pages, will buckle under the liquid in this polish. I can live with that, though, especially for the price.

Thanks to Lisa for this challenge. I had intended to actually make a finished project this week, but all I had time to do was play a bit with, and evaluate, my new "product." This is how I shine my projects. How do you shine? Play along, if you like.

26 thoughtful remarks:

see you there! said...

Great post! I love it when someone tries a product and give a review. Isn't it fun to find out how you can put various products to use in your art?

Darla

Halle said...

I'd never think of using shoe polish in my art! You are game for anything!! That's how you make those neat discoveries...

Clare H said...

well I never would have thought to shoe polish my papers! Stroke of genius that is!

voodoo vixen said...

Aaah, good ole shoe polish!! I have to admit that I haven't used it for my scrapbooking but I have used it for ageing wood because in South Africa they use it instead of more expensive furniture polish.... which you have to take into account when you buy things from the side of the road! I have a side table that turns my polish cloth black every time I shine it and it left black shoe polish marks on my brand new lounge carpet....

elle said...

How clever of you, Elizabeth! I never woulda thought...

La Dolce Vita said...

interesting, but probably not archival, and does it smell?? lol... like shoes... xo

Marilyn Rock said...

I remember taking a MaryJo McGraw class, a long time ago, and she used shoe polish to "dirty" up papers as she called it. Very cool and thanks for reminding me of the use of it. I think I have some around here somewhere. xxoo

WrightStuff said...

Genius my friend. Pure genius!! I use coffee and tea quite a bit as alternative paints!!

Dianne said...

you definitely think 'outside the box' ...cool idea!

Dandelion and Daisy said...

Great idea and the price is right! I'm off to Dollar tree for shoe polish and napkins, huh! I'll be experimenting with both, this weekend.

Kimmie said...

You are brilliant my dear ..... Don't you just love finding the perfect substitue for the very latest in overpriced "gotta have it" products!?!

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

What an amazing idea- I almost always learn something new when I come here!
Happy Friday to you!

Carola Bartz said...

I had never thought of shoe polish in this way! This opens up completely new opportunities.

Doone said...

Elizabeth, Darling, you have water on the Brain, such thoughts you are having, however, one must admit the creativity of it is something to envy.

Dx

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Hi Elizabeth, hope you're having a good day :-) Brilliant use of shoe polish, I love to get bargain prices on things to use in my crafting. There are some things I just don't want to splash out on when a cheaper alternative works well.
Anne xx

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Having said that one would wonder why on earth I would buy a 'bubble wrap' stamp LOL
Anne xx

Karen said...

Another brilliant idea? You are full of them Elizabeth!!! I would never have thought of shoe polish, now you have me thinking hahaha! mmmm....I bet some of your work smells wonderful! xxx

Elena said...

Thanks for stopping by and the great comment. Love Bleubeard! And great creation and giveaway.
Elena of MyQuest

artangel said...

I'd never have thought to go down this route for "shine" but it fits the theme perfectly - great original idea, and lovely effect! I must dig out the shoe polish from the cupcoard...!
x

Kat W said...

Great interpretation of this week's challenge! What a fab tip. I've never thought of or tried using shoe polish but now I shall. I have some Tim Holtz distress inks but somehow using polish seems way more creative.

Kat :-)

Judy Goddard said...

Tins of polishing paste speak to me of future shiny things. Right now they make me think of favorite boots, scuffed up and needing a shiff.

Judy Goddard said...

Oops! That's supposed to be "spiff"

Robin Norgren said...

I have never thought of shoe polish for any other use but for shoes! This creative world is vast is it not? And a joy with all of its surprises. Thank you for sweet comment; I am so glad to finally be playing along again.

priti.lisa said...

WoW! Why didn't I think of that? Such a great idea! Thank you for sharing...very generous of you...you always shine :)
xo

Kiki aka Victoria said...

So super cool..brilliant!!So many cool uses too with the shoe polish! I come from a family of shoemakers/cobblers..so there is loads of product around always....and my father says poeple always come in to buy polish for thier creative projects and wood products! Very cool!!
Have a beautiful week..and thankyou for your super lovely words!
hugs
Victoria~

IM GIRL said...

You genius girl! I never thought of shoe polish or paste to shine! I will for sure give it a try in one of my projects! Thanks for your shiny tips!