Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Show Your Favourite Stamp

Christmas Miracle Tag


Technique:  Stamping, Papercraft

Materials:
600gsm card stock
Tim Holtz Distress Inks:
* Bundled Sage
* Peeled Paint
* Walnut Stain
* Vintage Photo
* Aged Mahogany
Metallic Gold Ink

Tools:
Tim Holtz Christmas Miracle ATC Stamp
Tim Holtz Tag and Bookplates die
Glitz Distressing Stamp, or other sheet music stamp
paper distressing tool
scissors

This week's challenge over at Simon Says Stamp and Show was to show your favourite stamp.  Well I certainly didn't have the dilemma that the design team did, as I  have so few stamps to choose from (I could count them on one hand), however the postman  just brought me a package with the following goodies:

Tim Holtz Christmas Miracle ATC Stamp
Tim Holtz Tag and Bookplates die
Glitz Distressing Stamp

So the challenge for me, is not how to choose my favourite stamp, but how to use one of the only stamps I have in my possesion! :0)

The ATC stamps are a perfect size for showcasing on a tag, so I didn't have to think too hard about what to create  I used 600gsm cardstock as I prefer the durability over the manila tags.  The die creates a #8 size tag.

Ink the edges with Bundled Sage, coming well into the centre of the tag, then with Peeled Paint, and lastly  just the edges with Walnut Stain.  Wet your fingers with a mist spray and allow the droplets to fall onto the tag, this creates the lovely water stained effect.  Dry thoroughly.

Using metallic gold ink, stamp the background with the music sheet stamp.  Set aside to dry.

The ATC stamp is my first 'real' rubber stamp, as in red rubber, the few others that I have are the clear cling acrylic.  They do feel different to use.  I know last week I said I didn't like using the distress inks for inking, but I used the Black Soot ink today to put my ATC onto a piece of manilla card, and it worked beautifully.  I guess the different stamp mediums take up ink differently.

Heat set the image then cut out the stamp and distress the edges with the paper tool, and ink with Vintage Photo and Aged Mahogany.  Dog ear the upper right hand corner and ink with gold.

The strip of paper between the tag and the stamp was a free Christmas paper that you can download here.  Tear a strip and ink up the edges with Vintage Photo, and then just a smudge of metallic gold.

On top of that is a strip of music paper printed onto vellum.  I used We Wish You A Merry Christmas, but use whatever you like the most.  I cut a strip just slighly smaller than the strip of printed paper in the previous step, and I didn't ink it at all, just roughed up the edges with the paper tool.

The gold ink on the tag should be dry by now, so go ahead and glue on the torn strip of printed paper, and then the strip of printed vellum, and then the ATC image can be glued down.

If you have Tim Holtz calender stamps you can use one of those, I don't, so I found this fabulous vintage calender at Wyldhare's Hollow and used the December plate printed onto manila card.  Rough it up and ink with some Vintage Photo.  I attached this to the tag with a strip of double sided foam adhesive, to give it a little height.



Before you pack your inks away, use the Aged Mahogany and the Peeled Paint to colour two strips of white ribbon.  Using the Distress Inks to dye your own ribbon means you always have the exact shade you need.

I think one of the parts I enjoy the most is choosing the bling, but it is also one of the hardest aspects for me because I am very much a minimalist and less is always more to the extent that I often worry I am being too barren.  For this tag I used two staples and a paperclip as attachment bling, a few gold jingle bells, and of course the hand dyed ribbon with a few strands of gold crochet thread for sparkle.

I had a lot of fun making this tag, and I am really enjoying the challenges, each one teaches me something new.  Today I learned that:

1)  It's harder to tell when metallic inks are dry because they remain shiny.  I had to hide two little smudges on the tag, but shhh I won't tell if you won't!  

2)  Red rubber stamps feel different to stamp with than the clear acrylic type.  One of the acrylic stamps I have is by Kaisercraft, and it's a little 'squishy', that is if you press hard the detail squishes and you get a blurred image.  The red rubber seems to be able to tolerate a much firmer touch.

3)  There are some items I will try and substitute or find alternatives for, but I will never, ever regret investing in my Distress Inks!

There are lots of things I wanted to do differently, but lacked the tools.  For example, I have no embossing powders, no perfect pearls or stickles, a limited palette of distress inks and four rubber stamps!  But that's part of the challenge for me too, finding a way to work within my limitations.  This also counts as my first ever rubber stamped project, will I look back in a year and cringe? :o)

Thankyou to Simon Says Stamp, and bless the design team for wading through my terribly long posts!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cracked Ornament

Cracked Ornament


Technique:  Papercrafting

Materials:
balsa wood ornament base
chipboard frame
glue
image of Santa
spray adhesive
tiny brass screws
gold leaf
600gsm card stock
scrap acetate
embellishments as desired


Tools:
Tim Holtz Alterations:
* Tags and Bookplates die
Sizzix Big Shot
scissors
screwdriver
paintbrush

A few days back I showed you how I made the basla wood base for this ornament.  The post is here in case you missed it. 

Here's how I finished off that ornament.

Run some 600gsm card stock through the sizzix with the tags and bookplate die.  I love this die!  Keep the oval bookplate, and put the rest away for another day. 

Use the bookplate as a template to choose an image of santa from an old card or wrapping paper and cut to just smaller than the plate.   Repeat this process but with a scrap piece of acetate to form the 'glass' of our frame. 

Lightly coat the front of the plate with spray adhesive and lay it sticky side down onto a sheet of gold leaf.   You can buy gold leaf size that is a tacky adhesive especially for gold leaf, but spray adhesive will do the job too.  Tear away the excess and use a soft brush to gently go over the entire surface to encourage adhesion and show up the highlights.  You now have a gilded frame.  You could of course use a real metal fitting, such as the type found in the Ideology range, or you could use a brooch finding, anything you like really, but I think the gold leaf really brings it to life.

To complete the frame, put a rim of glue around the edge of the acetate and glue to the underside of the book plate, then put a rim of glue around the image of santa and glue the image to the acetate.  Voila!  A gold frame.

All that is left to do now is screw the frame into place with some tiny brass screws, and glue on your embellishments.  I used two teeny pine cones and a strip of ribbon.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

May Angels

Technique: Crochet

Every week I crochet an angel and send it off to someone around the world that I don't know who is need of hope. This is fantastic way to let people know that no matter what they are dealing with, that they are not alone.

If you would like to register for Angels for Hope you can do so here. Also, if you know someone who is need of an Angel, you can put in your request there.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Let's Get Cracking

Technique: Painting

Materials:
Jo Sonja Crackle Medium
red acrylic paint
Tim Holtz Distress Inks:
* Aged Mahogany
Liquitex Gloss Medium

Tools:
Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine
Tim Holtz Carved Ornaments die
paintbrushes

If you have heard the name Tim Holtz then you are probably familiar with his 12 Tags of Christmas. Each year, going back four years now, he has designed 12 seasonal tags. They're beautiful, if you haven't seen them or want a refresher, you can find them on his blog.

I've been spending a lot of time looking at and analyzing his tags this past week, and I would like to challenge myself to take each tag and turn it into an ornament using one of the carved ornament dies rather than a tag, as well as teach myself new techniques by following Tim's excellent step by step instructions and videos.

The first one I wanted to try is this:


Gorgeous isn't it?! And so many variations can be taken from this one tag.  I decided I want to emulate the red crackle on the base of the ornament, so the first step was to get cracking!

First off, here is the link to Tim's ornament, and his step by step instructions.

He uses grungeboard as his base.  I am quite partial to balsa myself, but in the spirit of trying new things I went ahead and did a comparison using balsa, grungepaper and canvas - not the sticky back kind but the type you can buy in artists pads that are pre-primed with gesso.

So what is grungeboard?  I don't have grungeboard, but I do have grungepaper.    It is a mid-grey colour, like pulped up newspaper, and it smells and feels just like fake leather.  It's flexible and very strong, very versatile, great stuff to work with.

What Tim did:  Ink the piece of grungeboard with fired brick distress ink.

What I did:  I don't have fired brick distress ink, but I do have dozens of acrylic paints and aged mahogany distress ink.  So I went ahead and gave each medium a base coat of red acrylic paint, and when that was dry, then I swiped over it with the aged mahogany ink.

Grungepaper
Grungepaper
The grungepaper doesn't require any additional prep-work, that is one of it's features.  I simply applied one coat of red acrylic paint and when that was dry swiped the entire surface with the Aged Mahogany ink.

Balsa
Balsa Wood
I use 1.5mm balsa wood, which the steel rule dies cut through like butter.  However, they must be cut and then painted, as the additional layers of paint and crackle medium make it too thick to go through the Big Shot, I know I tried!  I cut two blanks from balsa, glued them together and let them dry before applying the paint and ink.  You can see here how the wood grain has picked up the ink.

Canvas
Artists Canvas
The artists canvas came in an A5 pad of 20 sheets that you tear off just like note paper.  Each sheet has been pre-primed with gesso, so I didn't give any additional preparation before applying the acrylic paint and then inking.  You can see how the fibres have picked up the distress ink.

What Tim did:  Apply a layer of Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint

What I did:  I don't have, and won't buy, the Distress Crackle Paints.  A 33ml bottle of it here in Australia will set you back $8-10, and the expectation is that you need many different colours.

Instead I used Jo Sonja Crackle Medium, which is $16 for a 250ml bottle, for those that work in oz, that's the equivalent of 7 1/2 bottles of Distress Crackle for only twice the price.  Jo Sonja Crackle Medium is, for all intents and purposes, Rock Candy Distress Crackle.  It is a completely clear  medium that is self cracking when it dries.  It can also be mixed with any colour of acrylic paint to create your own palette of 'crackle paints'.


A word of advice when looking at crackle mediums.  There are several types, but the two most common waterbased ones are a 'one step' crackle medium, and a 'sandwich' crackle medium.  One step mediums are the ones you want for this type of project.  It's a thickish liquid that cracks as it dries.

Sandwich crackle mediums are a three step process.  You apply a coat of base colour, apply the sandwich crackle, and then apply a coat of top colour, and as the top coat dries it cracks to reveal the colour below, it looks just like an old wooden house that needs repainting.  Very different mediums that give very different effects.

I applied liberal coverage of Jo Sonja crackle medium to all three surfaces.  It is helpful to tape down the edges of the canvas and grungepaper so they don't curl back on themselves as they dry.  Just like the distress crackle, Jo Sonja crackle is waterbased, so it will pick up the ink as you spread it, which gives a fantastic colour effect as it dries.  I also discovered that the crackle medium did not like the balsa so much, as it dried and cracked it literally just fell off in shards.  The remedy to this was to seal with balsa with gloss medium after painting but before inking.  This gave the crackle medium a tooth to adhere too, and ultimately of all three, it gave the best results.

Here's the results:


Crackle on grungepaper
Grungepaper

I think, as a rule, I prefer to cut blank shapes and then apply paints and mediums, but Tim prepared a sheet of grunge with paint and crackle and then cut his shape, so I wanted to give that a try.  You can see the gorgeous colour I achieved with the combination of acrylic paint and distress ink, and this photo shows how beautifully the Jo Sonja Crackle Medium works.  The crackle medium is flexible too, able to move and flex with the grungepaper.


Crackle on canvas
Art Canvas

The canvas seemed to absorb a lot of the crackle medium, so rather than an even and solid crackle, it was more haphazard, very grunge actually.  You can also see how nicely the two colours blended here.  I decided to keep this one aside, as I have another of Tim's tags that this would be perfect for.

Crackled Balsa
Balsa Wood

The balsa gave the effect I was most pleased with.  You can't see it in the photo but the crackle medium has a high gloss finish, and I loved the effect that occured close to the edges from crackling directly onto the shape, rather than a blank sheet.

As I said I decided not to use the canvas for this project, so from here I will be finishing the grungepaper and balsa ornaments.  I wanted this post to be just about using the crackle medium, so stay tuned to see how I finish both of these ornaments off.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Catching up with Just Something I Made

Once a week I spend the day playing catch up, adding the finishing touches to any projects not quite yet done, taking photos and browsing the net for inspiration, and as always, looking for free patterns and interesting tutorials. To stick to my commitment to posting daily, I'll share with you something that I thought was a fabulous find.

Today I found a fabulous collection of over 150different categories of  free digital printables at Just Something I Made.  Wide variety of vintage cards, tags, labels and inserts, luggage tags, apothecary labels, kitchen canister labels, clip art, templates.  Wonderful collection well worth bookmarking.







Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jack Skellington Part 5

Jack Skellington Ornament

Technique: Freehand Drawing

Materials
white acrylic paint
glass bauble
Bic Mark It pens




Add a little water to the white paint until it is the consistency of pouring cream. Pour into the bauble and swirl around to coat the inside fully and then tip upside down and drain. I have a little lab beaker that I use for this, works a treat!

Draw Jack's details onto the bauble with a black permanent marker. If you make a mistake simply dip an orange stick or toothpick into some isopropyl alcohol and rub away the boo boo. This is the fifth in a series of Nightmare Before Christmas Ornaments.

Set 6 Jack Skellington Ornaments



Jack Skellington Ornament

Jack Skellington Ornament

jack3Jack Skellington Ornament

Jack Skellington Ornament

Jack Skellington Ornament

Jack Skellington Ornament

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sparkling Snowman Ornament

Sparkling Snowman Ornament


Technique: Die Cutting/General Crafting

Materials:
1.5mm balsa wood
glitter
pva glue
white acrylic paint
scrap card or grungepaper

Tools:
Sizzix Big Shot die cutter machine
Winter Wonder die
paintbrush

The sizzix machine, and any dies that you use, do require an initial financial outlay, but once you have them you can produce ornaments for very little cost using a vast array of materials that you probably already have or can obtain cheaply.

For this ornament I chose balsa wood for the base once again. It's light weight, it's only $2 for a sheet that will yield half a dozen ornaments, and goes through the die cutting machine easily.

Cut one snowman from the balsa wood, this acts as the base. Give each side a coat of white acrylic and allow to dry. Working on one side at a time, apply a light coat of glue and then glitter.

Cut one snowflake from the same die with grungepaper. As much as I love balsa wood it doesn't cope with the small, intricate dies very well, so grungepaper is a better choice there (or card stock if that is what you have to hand).

Give the snowflake a coat of blue paint or ink if you prefer, and once dry as above, apply a coat of glue then blue glitter.

Attach the snowflake to the snowman with glue, and punch a hole in his hat for a hanger. I found it difficult to capture the sparkle that this ornament has on film, but it really is dazzling.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vecchi Style "Tagelope"

Tagelope


Technique: Stamping, Papercraft

Materials
manila tag
Tim Holtz Distress Inks
* Walnut Stain
* Vintage Photo
* Victorian Velvet
* Peeled Paint
ribbon
scrap of grungepaper
scraps of coloured paper
Ranger Blending Tool
glue
fine tip black marker
button embellishment
crackle medium

Tools:
Sizzix Big Shot die cutter
Tim Holtz Tattered Floral die
scissors

This week's challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Show was to show some Wendy Vecchi style. Being relatively new to the world of stampology I wasn't familiar with her style so I spent some time over on her blog.

I spent an evening pouring over her work and taking it all in. I like a lot of her stuff, but I am not a fan of the work that she covers with tags and labels that say the word ART. Putting a tag on your artwork that says ART is the artistic version of this:




True art, like true sex appeal, is something that comes as an expression of ourselves.  It needs no label.

Heh, now that I have alienated a large majority of Wendy Vecchi fans, there was lots of stuff I did like on the blog, and it was one of her tutorial posts on how to make a mini gift envelope that I used as my inspiration for my project.

The Vecchi Style "Tagelope"

The project calls for a #8 manila tag which measures 6 1/4" by 3 1/8".  My local newsagency sells these for a few cents each, so I had plenty of those on standby.

Score 2" down from the top of the tag, and 1 1/4" inches from the bottom.  This creates the envelope, or tagelope as I have dubbed it!  With Victorian Velvet and a blender tool, ink the edges and over the entire tag, making sure to get some into the score lines.  The pink ink over the manila envelope creates a lovely apricot colour, which I wanted as the paper I chose for the flowers had touches of apricot.  Distress the edges with Vintage Photo, and again very lightly with Walnut Stain.

Wendy used a rubber stamp with a mattress ticking type pattern to stamp onto her tag.  I didn't have any such implement, so I used a piece of mesh, the type that florists use in arrangements.  I inked one side with Walnut Stain and placed it over the card, and used a brayer to transfer the pattern.

I was really happy with the effect that it gave.

Mesh Tag

Use a fine tip black marker to pen in 'stitches' around the edge of the card.  Use the smallest flower on Tattered Floral die to create two flowers from scrap paper.  I used some scrap booking paper that had dots (Wendy seems to love dots), you can use card or whatever you like.  Distress the edges with Victorian Velvet, then lightly Walnut Stain for added emphasis.

Use the large daisy on the Tattered Floral die to cut one flower from grunge paper.  Cut two petals individually to create leaves and ink with Peeled Paint.

Thread the ribbon through the hole in the tag and create a bow at the bottom.  Glue the leaves and flower into place and glue a button into the centre of the flower.  Add a touch of crackle medium to the leaves and petals of the flower.  I use Jo Sonja as it a lot more versatile than buying crackle paints, but use what you are comfortable with.

Overall I felt it was a great challenge, as what is more challenging than trying to emulate a style that you aren't familiar or comfortable with.

The tag in the photo was my third attempt, the first two ended up in the trash, but were valuable learning experiences.  I learned that:

a)  I don't like inking detailed stamps with Distress Ink.  It goes fuzzy and bleeds upon stamping, I much prefer a stickier, thicker ink like Versa, which gives a beautiful crisp image.

b)  If using all waterbased inks, make sure that any detailed stamping gets done after all the blending, as the blending pads can smudge them!

c)  Make sure I clean my craft sheet as I go, so that I am not transferring ink smudges to clean work.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Crochet Snowflake

Crochet Snowflake


Technique: Crochet

Materials:
Size 10 crochet thread

Tools:
1.5mm crochet hook

The original pattern, and many more snowflake patterns, can be found here at Snowcatcher. This wonderfully talented women is passionate about raising money for MS. If you like this pattern please, please go visit her site and consider making a donation.

Snowcatcher writes: If you enjoy my patterns, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the Colorado Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Association. I'll be riding the MS-150 in June to show my support for eight relatives, friends and relatives of friends who battle the disease every day.





Print the above image out onto ordinary paper. Tape the piece of paper to a sheet of styrofoam. Tape a piece of baking paper or wax paper over the top of that. This creates a non stick blocking template. The above grid allows you to easily line up your snowflake spokes so they are symmetrical.

Blocking Board

In a small bowl dilute a little white glue until it is the consistency of pouring cream. Saturate the snowflake and squeeze well to force out any excess. Make sure you are using rust free pins, and pin to your template. Give a sprinkle of glitter if you like, I like quite a bit as I use them on the tree and really makes them sparkle. Allow to dry for 24 hours and then remove the pins and peel away from the paper. You can re-use that printed template several times.


Blocking a Snowflake

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May Angels

Technique: Crochet

Every week I crochet an angel and send it off to someone around the world that I don't know who is need of hope. This is fantastic way to let people know that no matter what they are dealing with, that they are not alone.

If you would like to register for Angels for Hope you can do so here. Also, if you know someone who is need of an Angel, you can put in your request there.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Beeswax Pinecones

Beeswax Pinecone


Technique: General Crafting

Materials:
beeswax
pinecones

Tools:
large tin
saucepan
stove

May is the first month that it gets cold enough to want to light the fire.  We burn a mixture of wood that includes gum and pine, the smells are glorious.

There is also something wonderfully delicious about the smell of untreated beeswax, rich and heady with the smell of honey. These pinecones are simple to make, and with a little embellishment can be used as ornaments for winter decorations or left unadorned and use as firestarters in the hearth or placed in a potpourri bowl for both visual and olfactory pleasure.

To melt the beeswax, place the chunks of it into a clean, dry can and put the can into a saucepan half full with water. Place over a medium heat until the wax has melted.

If you wish to create an ornament from the pinecone, screw the cuphook into the top of the pinecone and thread a piece of string through the hook. Dip into the melted wax and then suspend over the top of the tin and allow to dry. Embellish with ribbon, cinnamon or whatever elements you desire.

If you wish to create fire starters then you can just use a pair of tongs to pop them into the beeswax.  Roll around in the can to ensure good coverage.  Lift and allow the excess beeswax to drain and place on a sheet of a wax paper to dry.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Catching up with Bearly Mine Designs

Once a week I spend the day playing catch up, adding the finishing touches to any projects not quite yet done, taking photos and browsing the net for inspiration, and as always, looking for free patterns and interesting tutorials. To stick to my commitment to posting daily, I'll share with you something that I thought was a fabulous find.

Today I found a fabulous collection of over 100 free digital papers over at Bearly Mine Designs.

Each month they release a co-ordinating set of digital papers for free download, a fabulous way for the new crafter to boost their stash without an outlay of cash! Oh I am a poet and I didn't know it! That's enough rhymes now, I mean it!  Anyone want a peanut? :o)

OK Princess Bride reference officially over, here's just a small taste of what you can find over at Bearly Mine Designs.





Thursday, May 19, 2011

Six Inch Crochet Blanket Sampler - Square Target

Granny Square Target


Technique:  Crochet

Materials:
8 ply yarn in 3 colours

Tools:
4mm crochet hook

Finished Size:
6 inches

The original pattern comes from the book 200 Square Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton.  I can't reproduce the pattern without infringing copyright, but it is a basic square using double crochet with a chain at the corners to produce the eyelet effect.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Soup Recipe Card


Technique:  Papercraft
Materials:
corrugated card
recipe card
vintage images (see below)
string
paperclips
Tim Holtz Distress Inks:
* Vintage Photo
* Soot Black
blending tool
scissors
glue dots
chipboard letters
1200 grade sandpaper

Tools
steel ruler
stanley knife
cutting mat
scissors

The inspiration behind this one was the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge, the criteria this week being an "old wives tale".  I took a day mulling over what an old wives' tale actually is, and which one I liked the most.  The DT over at Simon Says have used a combination of old wives' tales, superstitions and proverbs, so I felt comfortable choosing "Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth" as my challenge entry.

I love these challenges as they really get the creative juices flowing.  I'm a pretty practical person, and whilst I can admire art in all it's forms, when it comes to making something myself the first question I usually ask is "what will I do with it once it's done".  If it's just going to become another object to dust on cleaning day, then I will rethink it's purpose.  I love beauty and functionality.  So for this project I thought the theme I chose really suited a series of vintage style recipe cards.

Method:

Use a recipe index card as a template to cut the base from corrugated card.  If you have a tab style die cut you could use this also, or you could cut one directly from a manila folder, which ever suits you best.

The recipe card itself was a lot of fun to create.  Start with a regular recipe card and trim it down so that it is nicely framed by the backing card. Using a lead pencil, cover the card in cursive writing, then sand it back to really dull and fade the writing.  Finally, use Vintage Photo distress ink to age the edges.

Print the image below twice, one quite large so it forms the title on the side, and a second time at a smaller scale to put in behind the image of the girl.  Distress and age both until you have an effect you are happy with.  I find that distressing the edges helps each layer to pop out from the one below.



The main image that I used of the girl is from a vintage embroidery pattern I found on Tipnut.  There's six in the collection, all of which I plan to use to make subsequent recipe cards.


Ink chipboard letters with Soot Black Distress Ink.  Play around with the layers until you get a design you are happy with and put together with glue dots, staples, paper clips and string.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Easy Gold Leaf Ornament

Gilded Bauble

Technique: Basic Crafting

Materials:
3 sheets gold leaf
empty glass bauble

Tools:
tweezers

A beautifuly simple yet stunning ornament that has a beautiful glow from the refraction of light through the glass and onto the gold leaf.

Tear the sheets of gold leaf into 8 pieces. Can be as rough and ragged as you like. Using the tweezers place the pieces of gold leaf into the bauble. Replace hanging cap and enjoy. The simple things in life are often the best!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Candy Cane "Pin Up" Doll

Candy


Technique: crochet, general crafting

Materials:
clothespin
wooden bead for head
beading wire
flesh coloured embroider floss
white chenille stick
crochet thread size 10 in red and white
acrylic paints
knitting yarn for hair


Tools:
scissors
hot glue
wire cutters
No 7 steel hook

Follow the directions here for how to create a clothespin doll.

For the dress you can download the pdf from here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 15th - Angels for Hope


March 15th Angel


Technique: Crochet

Every week I crochet an angel and send it off to someone around the world that I don't know who is need of hope. This is fantastic way to let people know that no matter what they are dealing with, that they are not alone.

If you would like to register for Angels for Hope you can do so here. Also, if you know someone who is need of an Angel, you can put in your request there.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Crochet Snowflake

Crochet Snowflake


Technique: Crochet

Materials:
Size 10 crochet thread

Tools:
1.5mm crochet hook

The original pattern, and many more free snowflake patterns, can be found here


Finishing





Print the above image out onto ordinary paper. Tape the piece of paper to a sheet of styrofoam. Tape a piece of baking paper or wax paper over the top of that. This creates a non stick blocking template. The above grid allows you to easily line up your snowflake spokes so they are symmetrical.

In a small bowl dilute a little white glue until it is the consistency of pouring cream. Saturate the snowflake and squeeze well to force out any excess. Make sure you are using rust free pins, and pin to your template. Give a sprinkle of glitter if you like, I like quite a bit as I use them on the tree and really makes them sparkle. Allow to dry for 24 hours and then remove the pins and peel away from the paper. You can re-use that printed template several times.



Friday, May 13, 2011

Catching up with Dr Horrible

Once a week I spend the day playing catch up, adding the finishing touches to any projects not quite yet done, taking photos and browsing the net for inspiration, and as always, looking for free patterns and interesting tutorials. To stick to my commitment to posting daily, I'll share with you something that I thought was a fabulous find.... today I wanted to share the pictures of my cat Dr Horrible investigating the goings while I was taking photos of the ornaments.

Dr Horrible


Dr Horrible


Dr Horrible


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mumu

Mumu


Technique: Digital Stamping

Materials:
Mumu digital stamp from Mo's Digital Pencil
Tim Holtz Distress Inks
water colour paper

Tools:
aqua brush
printer

Isn't she lovely! I adore Mo's characters, so joyful.

I printed Mumu out on water colour paper, using a laser printer. I bought the laser printer with this purpose in mind, inks that don't run!

My colour palette at this stage is quite limited, this is what I used:

Skin: Tattered Rose
Blouse: Spiced Marmalade
Skirt: Faded Jeans
Shoes: Walnut Stain
Hair: For this I used a black water colour pencil

If you do a google search for distress ink water colour you'll find several different sites with techniques, and youtube has several video clips also.

Mumu was my very first attempt at colouring. The most important thing I learned from this was that the light in my dining room is terrible! I can see in the photo several places that I should have blended more.

That said, I am very happy with the results for my first attempt!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Snow Topped Carved Ornament

Snow Topped Ornament Front


Technique: Die Cutting/General Crafting

Materials:
1.5mm balsa wood
recycled Christmas cards
pva glue
white acrylic paint
craft fake snow

Tools:
Sizzix Big Shot die cutter machine
Carved Ornaments die
paintbrush
painting sponge or stippler

Another very simple but very pretty ornament made using the Sizzix. The machine itself, and any dies that you use, do require an initial financial outlay, but once you have them you can produce ornaments for very little cost.

Cut one ornament from the balsa wood, this acts as the base. Cut two more ornaments from the recycled Christmas cards and glue one image to each side of the balsa shape and allow to dry.

Sponge a little white acrylic paint along the edges of the ornament to soften the edges and give it a 'snow dappled' look. When dry, apply fake snow liberally to the top, using a tooth pick to ensure the hanging hole remains free and clear.



Snow Topped Ornament Back

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gold Crochet Bell

Gold Crochet Bell


Technique: Crochet

Materials:
8ply yarn

This is the same pattern I used here, but done with metallic gold yarn instead of red yarn, I much prefer the result when worked with the metallic.

This pattern is worked in the round.

Crochet 4 ch and form a ring with 1 sl st
ROUND 1: 6 sc in ring.
ROUND 2: 2 sc in each sc = 12 sc.
ROUND 3: * 1 sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc *, repeat from *-* = 18 sc.
ROUND 4: * 1 sc in each of the first 2 sc, 2 sc in next *, repeat from *-* = 24 sc.
ROUND 5 to 14: 1 sc in each sc.
ROUND 15: * 1 sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc *, repeat from *-* = 36 sc.
ROUND 16: 1 sc in each sc.
ROUND 17: * 4 ch, 1 sc in first ch, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in next sc *, repeat from *-*.
Cut and fasten thread.

HANDLE: Crochet 1 sc at the top of the bell with 1 thread Cotton Viscose – leave approx 1 meter [1.1 yds] for making the clapper afterwards. Work 30 ch and fasten with 1 sl st at the top. Cut the thread.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Snowflake Embossed Carved Ornament

Snowflake Joy Ornament


Technique:  Die Cutting/Scrapbooking

Materials:
1.5mm balsa wood
adhesive craft metal

Tools
snowflake texture plate or embossing folder
Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutter
Tim Holtz Carved Ornament Die
"JOY" Movers and Shakers Die

What a stunningly simple ornament this turned out to be!

Cover both sides of the balsa wood with the craft metal.  Run it through the die cutter to get the carved ornament shape, then run it through again to emboss with the snowflake pattern.  Punch a hole in the top and hang.  Did I mention I love my Big Shot?

If you have never seen nor used it before, craft metal is very thin metal that has an adhesive backing.  It's around 4 or 5 times thicker than tin foil, but it has a similar appearance.  You could try this using tin foil, in fact I am going to do just that and report my findings, but for this project I used adhesive craft metal.

You can buy embossing folders that are especially designed for use in die cutting machines to emboss a texture into your chosen material.  I am a huge fan of using what you have, or buying products and tools that have multiple applications rather than needing to buy lots of individual items each with their own specific single use.  So, to emboss, I used a Fiskar texture plate that I had purchased years ago for a scrapbooking ornament.

For those who have a Bigshot, the 'sandwich' I used was the adapter plate with no tabs, cutting mat, fiskars texture plate, ornament, then topped off with a cutting pad.