Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Susan's Garden Notes - Pretty Lilac Card

Hello all and welcome back. I am having such fun designing for the Susan's Garden Team using Elizabeth Craft Designs products. Susan has an expansive and ever-growing line of beautiful dies that I can hardly keep up!

I decided to try out the Lilac die on this 6" x 6" easel card. You'll find all the steps and details on making this card over on the ECD blog. I combined different collections of Graphic 45 papers, mostly Children's Hour, to create this purple and green color scheme.

I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of making this realistic lilac plant! I hope you hop over to the ECD blog to check it out. If you don't have a Wordpress account, you may have trouble leaving a comment there, so if you do, just come on back here and let me know what you thought of it.

Thanks for stopping in today!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Graphic 45 Spring Birdhouse with Children's Hour

Hello everyone! It's a new week and I'm ready for a beautiful Florida Spring, which seems to be here already. It's gorgeous out!

First, I thought I'd mention that in my last post I linked to the Graphic 45 blog for my Cityscapes pocket page layout, but due to an error it was not there as promised. Instead, you'll find it on the Graphic 45 blog this Friday, so be sure to hop over there and check it out at the end of this week.

My Friday Follies group (which meets once a month here in my home) requested a Spring time birdhouse. We have been making themed birdhouses throughout the seasons and we hadn't yet made one for Spring.

I had created this one a few years ago when I auditioned for my second term on the Graphic 45 Design Team using Sweet Sentiments.

For the group, I designed this one using the new Children's Hour collection with a few small pieces from Sweet Sentiments that I had left over. I'm the lucky one, because now I have two coordinating birdhouses to display in my foyer!

I'll share a bunch of step-out photos so you can see how the process came together...

I purchased all of these at my local Hobby Lobby. Two coats of white acrylic paint have been applied to each piece. 

I created templates for each piece, then traced and cut out each. (I save the template pieces in a baggie in case I want to make another house. But one thing to note: the paper mache houses are not always the same, and can vary quite a bit.)

Ribbon trims.

Shabby Chic metal staples from Graphic 45.

I tilted the house on its back to adhere the metal pieces.

These leaves are pieces cut from a larger die-cut leafy branch.

I punched out little flowers with purple cardstock, then filled the "window box."

I added a little awning over the door.

I cut apart another leafy branch in two pieces and adhered them under the side window. I did this again under the left window with another leafy branch.

I colored two strands of seam binding with Distress Stains, then tied them to the stand.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Graphic 45 Cityscapes Pocket Page Layout

Hello and Happy Friday all. I'm finally starting to recover from this awful respiratory flu and feeling like myself again... almost. It's not been a fun couple of weeks, and everyone is getting this thing in our area. It takes over three week to get completely well, and I'm almost there.

I'm featured today over on the Graphic 45 blog with a pocket page layout I created for their booth at the Craft and Hobby Association show this past January. I'm not a traditional 12" x 12" scrapbooker these days, but when I do create large pages like this, I like to do them pocket page style. I find them fun to work with and try to include elements not only on the inside of the pockets, but also on the outside. Cityscapes is the perfect new collection for travel-themed projects plus all sorts of masculine themes as well. A classic for sure.

So I hope you hop over to the Graphic 45 blog and check it out. You'll find more close-ups and details, and my supply list over there.

Thanks for stopping in. AND, if you're in the Central Florida area this weekend, I'll be doing a fun make-n-take at Violette's Scrapbook Store in Lakeland this Saturday between 11:00 and 3:00 during their ever-popular Shop Hop event with other area scrapbook stores. We'll put together this sweet seed packet envelope and you'll learn how to create this realistic lily using the Susan's Garden Notes Lily die from Elizabeth Craft Designs.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Creative Carte Blanche - Mosaic Art for the First Time

Hello everyone! Welcome to my first post for the new Creative Carte Blanche. We're a community of artists and crafters who you might recognize from our previous group The Curiosity Crew from the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges. Every month, this great group of women will open a new theme (what we're calling a "Creative Adventure"), encouraging you to create anything you like! Our goal is to inspire and encourage creative freedom and we'd love it if you could join us. Simply follow along, upload your project along with other artists to our new blog, and share your creative process.

February's Creative Adventure is "Trying something artistic you've never tried before." Earlier this week, Candy Colwell shared an amazing art journal spread where she tried drawing a face and hand for the first time into her journal. She shares her process here.

It's my turn today and I ventured into the world of mosaic art. Something I've definitely never tried before. I discovered this new Distress Paper Mosaic Kit from Ranger and knew it was something I just had to try.

I created this functional shabby chic boudoir caddy that would be perfect for holding feminine things like pretty perfume bottles, make-up, powders and other such lady things. I'd love to share how it was made, and what I learned with this mosaic kit, so you might try one too.

It all started with this simple wooden box from the craft store. It measures a generous 6" x 8".

Paint the box with two coats of white gesso, drying in between each coat. Paint light pink paint on edges that might show after mosaic is done and papers are adhered inside. I've used Tattered Rose Distress Paint.

Adhere pretty papers to the inside walls and base of the box. I used Prima's new Tales of You & Me in the 8" x 8" collection.

In the Distress Paper Mosaic Kit, you'll find three products. First, you'll spread the "grout." Do this evenly with a palette knife if you have one. I wouldn't recommend a paintbrush because it doesn't come out smooth enough. If you don't have a palette knife, you could always use a popsicle stick or an old credit card or gift card. This step takes quite a while to dry, and you don't want to rush it. It needs to dry completely. Mine wasn't very thick and it took a little over an hour.

While the grout is drying it's the perfect time to cut paper pieces. I decided to create a square border across the top of my box, so I chose a neutral paper in the collection for these squares. The second product in the mosaic kit is the glue. Once the grout is completely dry, glue each piece of paper down, leaving space in between so you can see the texture of the grout.

Continue cutting papers in random pieces. You can certainly cut them uniformly if you desire, but I was after more of a broken china look for my project. Just keep gluing and gluing. Once you get all your paper pieces down, seal over everything with more of the glue. 

If you like, you can add ornate metal feet to the box. I painted mine with two coats of white gesso, then two coats of Tattered Rose Distress Paint.

I went over all the pieces with Victorian Velvet Distress Paint only on the raised areas to give more color and dimension. Then I grabbed more items to add to my box, like this heart locket and some resin flowers. Once all the paint was dry, I sealed each piece with glossy Mod Podge.

As you can see, you can work more items in between the paper pieces like the bird and the leaves. I added all the metal pieces at this stage before the final step in the mosaic kit process.

The last product in the kit is the "Glaze." It's either the same exact thing or very similar to Glossy Accents. Carefully outline each paper piece with the "glaze" then flood inside those lines with more. This is when it really begins to look like little pieces of china.

My photos just don't do it justice. 

I wish you could see it in person.

It really is quite pretty, trust me.

I'm so glad I chose this as my "try something never tried before" project. It turned out even better than I had imagined. 

Here are few notes I wanted to share with you about doing this mosaic kit:
A project of this size took about a full day to complete. There is much drying time needed in between steps and you really can't rush it. Don't fuss too much over the randomly cut pieces of paper or you'll be at it forever. I tweaked a few cuts here and there to fit certain spaces, but most of the time just let things happen. It's one of those projects that takes a good amount of time and patience, but turns out so beautifully in the end, you'll be glad you did it!

Enjoy the process, and let me know if you try it.

Thanks for stopping in today. Have a great weekend!


Friday, February 5, 2016

Children's Hour Star Album - Lots of Possibilities!

Graphic 45 has done it again. They've come out with another fabulous calendar collection and it's called Children's Hour. These types of collections are my all-time favorites because they are so versatile all year long. If you haven't checked out the entire collection, here's a link.

Today I'm featured over on the Graphic 45 blog with a project I created for their booth at the Craft & Hobby Association show this past January. It's my Children's Hour Star Album featuring the 8" x 8" papers and the Ephemera Pack in this wonderful collection, plus some ATC ivory tags as well. This little table top album has so many possibilities! I've given many suggested uses on the post, plus provided many more photos so you can see the details, so I hope you hop on over there and check it out.

I'll be using this collection all year long on many projects to inspire you, so make sure you stock up! These calendar collections are very popular and won't last forever.

Thanks as always for stopping in today. Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Valentine Mini Mason Jars

Hey everyone. Yes, I'm still at it with the Valentine crafting. I can't help myself! So many fun ideas for little gifts & treats, and so many people to show how much I love them.

Today I wanted to share something that didn't go super smoothly the first couple times I tried it. I wanted to tint Tim Holtz's cute little mini mason jars to make them different shades of pinks and reds, but still have a translucent effect.

Alcohol ink would be perfect, so I found an idea on Pinterest where they mixed a 3-to-1 ratio of Alcohol Ink to Alcohol Blending Solution, then poured it into the jars and swirled to coat, then drained them upside down. There were a few things I learned along the way that I thought might be helpful to share, in case you'd like to try them yourself one day.

I purchased two packages of the mini mason jars, so I felt okay about experimenting on one or two.  The first thing I learned was that Alcohol Inks on glass take a LONG time to dry completely. It retains this tacky feel for quite a while. I thought maybe overnight would be okay, but NO. It took a good couple of days.

But before I tried being patient, I tried to seal the alcohol ink inside the jar. I went to grab my Matte Mod Podge and saw the jar of Sparkle Mod Podge and thought, "Seal it and give it some sparkle? Yes!" Okay, so... no. Not only did this lift away the alcohol ink, it was rather streaky. 

On a second jar, I tried clear gesso. And that was even worse. It took away the translucency and left major streaks. I decided I'd just give it a few days and think about what else I could do.

On a third jar, I sprayed into the jar with Workable Fixative, and it didn't work immediately so I set it aside with the remaining three. I let these sit for three days and finally they weren't nearly as tacky. When I eventually put candies inside, I will place them in a clear bag first.

From my fabric scraps (I used to be a quilter, and quilters never get rid of their scraps), I traced a 4" circle from this little bucket that was handy.

I cut along the traced line with pinking sheers, the inked the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink. Pressing the blending tool while swirling the ink also slightly frayed the edges. Perfect!

I adhered some trim around the screw tops of each jar, then I die cut some papers using the larger sized rosette from the Mini Paper Rosettes die and adhered each to the lids.

Another learning experience: Coloring Tim's Heirloom Roses. I didn't want heavy coverage that alcohol ink might give, so I tried painting on Red Geranium Archival re-inker. This worked well because the color wasn't solid and seemed to grab darker on the outer petals, however when I heat-set it, I overcooked it and tiny little speckles of red formed. I decided this didn't bother me too much, so I used them anyway.

And once they're on the pretty jars, they look just fine.

Before screwing the top onto the jar, I tied two strands of twine through a tag, catching a heart charm before tying a bow. The pretty tags are a free download I found on Pinterest by Katarina Art, but if you Google "Free Printable Vintage Tags" you'll come up with a zillion options. I printed mine out on matte photo paper and mounted them onto kraft cardstock, then cut them out for a nice sturdy feel. I die-cut the word "love" from Tim's Celebration Words die onto black cardstock and adhered it onto each tag.

I loved mixing and matching cardstock and ribbon trims to make these. Now I'm off to the store to get some Valentine M&M's! 

I hope you've enjoyed another Valentine's Day project. Let me know if you try them! Below are the links to all the supplies I used. Thanks for stopping in.