Saturday, 18 November 2017

Napkin decoupage box

There are so many pretty paper napkins these days. I found one with beautiful pelargoniums that picked up the colours of my craft room curtains perfectly so I picked up a couple of paint tester pots and decoupaged a storage box that was starting to fade.

I posted a picture of this box on the My Makes forum and was asked to create a step by step for it. Please do pop over to the forum and have a look at my tutorial , including a useful tip I picked up from YouTube on how to smooth out the delicate paper without tearing it.

I have another half dozen of these storage boxes in various sizes, they are so useful for holding crafty bits and pieces and unfold flat for easy decoration. Now which paper napkin shall I choose for the next one... 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Mystical Swaps

Back in June I took part in a Mystical themed set of swaps on the My Makes Forum.  We had to upcycle something for one swap, create two ATCs for the second and the third was an "any craft" swap.

For my Upcycled item I took an old travel sweet tin, prepared it with gesso then sponged it with Vintaj Patina paints in Moss, Verdigris and Jade.  When it was dry I used a black Promarker to draw a dragonskin pattern all over the base of the tin. 

To decorate the lid I glued on a brass filigree shape then created a dragon's eye with a printed eye covered with a glass cabochon and made a setting for it with tiny bronze seed beads strung in a circle to fit the cabochon.

 I also used a dragon's eye theme for a necklace: I set a similar dragon's eye and cabochon into the bezel of a brass key and attached it and some charms to a copper chain.
The ATCs were a cute little dragon made with Tattered Lace Tiny Tubs dies on another hand drawn dragonskin background and a pretty die-cut and inlaid unicorn on a rainbow starry background.

Fun with ATCs and Creative Prompts Part 3

Week 7: Stencil with dots, circles or squares

For this week's ATC I decided to use one of my favourite and most versatile stencils, TCW's Mini Well Rounded.  I tinted some Grunge Paste with pale blue acrylic paint and stencilled over a Distress Oxide background, then finished off with some vintage images from Pinterest. 

Week 8: Use watercolours or water based media
I got my old watercolours out for this one but wasn't completely happy with the results so went for Distress inks instead, dabbing two shades of pink and an orange on my craft sheet and spritzing with water then dragging watercolour paper through repeatedly until I got the effect I was after.  I then stamped the sentiment with green Stampin' Up ink and knocked it right back with Picket Fence paint, topped with clear Wink of Stella.  Finally I got the watercolour set back out again, as it had exactly the right purple I wanted for the splatter effect and the edges of the ATC, and finished off with a sparkly epoxy sticker.

Week 9: Work in black and white and 1 other colour
I really enjoyed making this one: black card with white Grunge Paste through the Tim Holtz Splatters stencil, then I found the pinkest, sparkliest cardstock in my stash and die cut a feather and some more of those tiny butterflies with a printed sentiment to finish it off.  I think this would work well scaled up as a card too.

Fun with ATCs and Creative Prompts Part 2

After a short break while I was on holiday in Dorset I had some catching up to do with my ATCs.

Week 4: Be inspired by words from a song or poem
This was quite a hard prompt as I couldn't make my mind up!  After a couple of false starts I decided to base my ATC on a song from my childhood by Val Doonican, the words of the chorus are:

"Across my dreams
With nets of wonder
I chase the bright elusive butterflies of love."

I used scraps of book paper to represent dreams, coloured with Distress Crayons, and some fruit packaging for the butterfly net.  

I picked up some teeny tiny butterfly dies in a charity shop that are absolutely the perfect size for ATCs - I'm sure these will be used many times during this challenge but I've no idea where they originally came from! 

Week 5: Print with bubble wrap
I started by playing with several shades of blue paint on my bubble wrap so the underwater theme suggested itself, topped by a cute little seahorse stamp which was a cover mount on Craft Stamper magazine.  I stamped her in gold paint and then overstamped in black archival ink, then filled the outline with glitter glue in two colours.  I added more glitter glue to highlight some of the tiny bubbles and give the impression of seaweed and used some microbeads in blues and greens for texture on some of the bubble wrap bubbles.

Week 6: Add book paper - tear it with abandon
 The next ATC was layered with Distress Paint over a background stamped with butterflies and flowers, topped with dictionary pages of the definitions of "wild" and "free", distressed with Vintage Photo ink.  I used my stamp positioner to stamp and emboss the text and butterfly stamp a couple of times to get a really heavy embossed effect.   

Fun with ATCs and Creative Prompts Part 1

I have been having lots of fun with ATCs lately: as part of the Mixed Up Mag Mixer PicNMix Challenge, each week we are given a creative prompt and use it to make an ATC, then when the 52 weeks are up I will have a library of creative prompts for use when inspiration is lacking.  I've been enjoying this a great deal and here are my makes so far:

Week 1: Use your most recent purchase
Having been to Stamperama in Stevenage a few days before, I had plenty to choose from here!  I used the Cracked Pistachio and Peeled Paint Distress Oxides I had bought, together with Memories stamp from Woodware and a Stamposaurus stencil to create the background along with some other Distress inks from my stash, a book paper flower and some FLower Soft for a bit of texture.

Week 2: Make circles with your coffee cup

I used the Tim Holtz Splatters stencil for my "coffee rings" on watercolour paper with a little Grunge Paste and some gold acrylic paint, topped with some Card Candi, a stamped sentiment and some sewing thread.

Week 3: Use up old alpha or number stickers/die cuts
This one was great fun - I got out all my old sheets of peel off and adhesive paper alphabets and numbers - there are some really odd characters in some of the sets from different languages so it was a great opportunity to use up all the signs and symbols I've never going to need.  I stuck them all to the ATC, finished with some chipboard punctuation then lightly gessoed over the top and coloured with Distress Paint and Distress Crayons.  I was very pleased with the final result.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Valentine's Day Box Card Tutorial

I have created a tutorial for this Box Card over on the MyMakes forum - do pop over and check it out! I made it into a Valentine's card as it's February, but once you have mastered the construction you can decorate it any way you like.  And it folds flat for posting too.

It's a great little stash-buster for odds and ends of paper and die cuts: even the acetate strips are recycled from packaging materials.

Change the colours and it's good for a wedding. I made a couple of Christmas boxes last year and I have an idea for using some hot air balloon dies sometime soon... would also be good with flowers for Mother's Day.... hmm that's coming up soon isn't it - watch this space!

Upcycled canvas memo board

Memo board made from charity shop canvas
I decided my craft room needed an "inspiration board" and when I saw a large square canvas picture in a charity shop I knew exactly what I was going to do with it!

The canvas is 16" square so a Fat Quarter was just the right size for this project. I couldn't resist this adorable kitten fabric, and paired it with some pink satin ribbon for a pop of colour.

I gave the canvas a coat of gesso to make sure the rather bright picture wouldn't show through the fabric, then cut wadding to the size of the canvas and temporarily tacked it in place with a bit of double sided tape so it wouldn't slip out of position.  I cut the fabric with enough overlap to wrap round to the back of the canvas with a bit to spare, then attached it with a staple gun to the wooden frame of the canvas.  The easiest way is to staple the top centre and bottom centre to fix it in place, work along the rest of the top and bottom, then turn it 90 degrees and repeat, checking to make sure the fabric stays smooth and stretching out any wrinkles as you go.

I then pinned ribbon diagonally from corner to corner and stapled to the reverse of the frame, and then from the midpoint of each side to form a grid.  I sewed mother of pearl buttons to each pont where the ribbons crossed, which makes nice "dimples" in the wadding.  I then attached a couple of eyes to the frame at the back and stretched some cord across for hanging.