Saturday, December 22, 2012

the link to charms...

Hello my wonderful friends. I'm glad to see you survived the Mayan end of the world. =)

Why is it that when you are stress and strapped for time, the store never has what you need?

This week I was in desperate need of charm blanks to make bookmarks with. I made a whole bunch months ago for the kids in my church, but we found out we were about 10 short to finish out the year. Yikes!  I went to my local variety store in hopes that they might have something... They have in the past, so it wasn't too much of a stretch. Of course, because I needed it, they didn't have it. One of the drawbacks to living out in the middle of no where is that major craft stores are quite a drive away. So, I was forced to get creative. 

So today, instead of sharing a technique that I am familiar with, I will take you along for the ride as I figure out how to make charms from chains.  I was making this up as I go and taking pictures in hopes that it wouldn't be a total flop. LOL!

I was able to find this large link chain at the store and decided it was my best hope for making a workable charm....

I began by separating the links.
(I was pretty sure that would be a safe place to start. LOL!)

I wanted a back to my charm that could withstand the abuse of daily use, so  I decided to stamp my image on some acetate with StazOn ink.... It was amazingly hard to find images to fit in these particular links because they are narrow... I ended up using just a small portion of an image. 

Next I put a tiny bit of Glossy Accents (by Ranger) on the back of the link and centered it over the image. I ended up putting an acrylic block over it to weigh it down as it dried to make sure it made a good seal.

Once the seal was made, I filled the whole thing up with Glossy Accents. I then set it aside to dry overnight. Talk about a hard wait! I didn't know if it would work or if I should keep trying other options, so I tried a few other things just in case...  (UTEE is not a good option... it cracked when I dropped the link.  Paper worked ok, but I didn't like the back... I'll share a pict at the end of the post anyway.)

In the morning it was clear and dry, so I started cutting it out. To my dismay, when I was half way through cutting it out, the acetate peeled right off!   I was about to throw in the towel at that point but then I noticed that the StazOn ink had transfered perfectly to the Glossy Accents! And it didn't scratch off!  I suddenly realized that discovery in of itself could lead to some interesting projects!

(I love it when things don't go as you hoped, but end up being better!  You can discover so much if you take the time to experiment!!!)

Ok, so here was the part I was most concerned about... could I punch a hole in it without ruining it???? I honestly had no idea.  I crossed my fingers and tried.

Turns out, you can. =)  *whew!*  

the result... a clear charm!!! Yay!!!

Now to add some color...

Non-pourous surfaces are hard to add color to. Water based products just won't work. Alcohol inks work, but they would react with the StazOn ink and smear it. So my first idea (and favorite!) was to use Creative Inspirations Paints.  It worked like a charm. (ok, so that pun was lame, but when I first thought it, I wasn't trying to be funny.... it made me laugh when I noticed what I had just said. LOL!) I added the paint to the back of the charm. That way the black outline would not get covered. 

Success!  I'm really glad it worked! Now my brain is a whirl with ideas of how to mix it up... What about adding Resplendence to the Glossy Accents? Or swirling Creative Inspirations in it.... Or...or...or... Guess who's going to be playing with charms! =)   

(if you have any great ideas for this, I would love to hear them!)

So here is the finished book mark.  I really love these shepherd's crook book marks!  They are fabulous!  I had a hard time finding them in bulk for a good price, so here is a link to the place I used. If you only want one or two, you can try ebay or esty. 

Here is one of the other experiments that worked... 

I painted a piece of cardstock with Creative Inspirations Paint, then stamped the image on it. I then did the same thing I did with the acetate (filling it up with Glossy Accents...)  It looks great from the front, but I didn't like the look of the paper on the back. However, if you were going to glue this to a card or LO, it would look fabulous!

I must say, I am very glad this worked!  Thanks for coming along for the ride. I hope you all have a safe and "charming" holiday/end of the year!  (yes, another bad pun.... I just couldn't help myself! I think I need more sleep.)


Friday, December 21, 2012

peppermint salt...

Hello everyone!

Did you know that Peppermint oil has long been used to ease stress, boost energy, and elevate mood and mental clarity?  Sounds like what the doctor ordered for the holiday season, don't you think?

Peppermint bath salts
Equal parts Epson Salt & Sea Salt
A little Peppermint oil (careful, it's strong stuff! Don't over do it!)
A tiny bit of Orange Essential oil (this adds just a hint of sweet)
Soap coloring (if desired)

Place everything in a plastic baggie and shake. 

Now to package.... I love the look of bath salts in glass jars. There is just something elegant about it. So, I used an old "Got Flowers" jar from Prima, and filled it up. (It holds about a cup of salts).

Of course you can leave it there, but, I've been very into labels lately... 

DCWV "Traditional Holiday" stack has this beautiful circle as part of a border for one of the pages. I cut it out and glued it to the jar. It is super easy, and wonderfully beautiful. I tied a crinkle ribbon around the lid and added some holly. I think a candy cane tucked into the bow would also be fabulous!

And of course, you have to have a card. =)

I simply cut out one of the tags from the same paper stack and layered it on some altered kraft paper that I cut to make a custom shaped card. 


Supplies used:
Paper: DCWV "Traditional Holiday", tissue paper, kraft
Ink: Archival Ink, Distress Ink
Stamps: Prima "Music", 
Creative Inspirations Paint: Gold
Other: Rock candy glitter, Prima bottle, silk floral, gesso, crinkle ribbon

Saturday, December 8, 2012

string me...

Hello my wonderful friends!  

Is anyone else feeling a bit frazzled by everything that needs to be done by the end of the year? My cure.... Do something fun and messy. =)

And since it is time for a Creative Inspirations tutorial, I wanted to share!

*this is fair warning.... I'm serious when I say messy!*

I learned how to make string lanterns a while ago, but never quite got a tutorial made. (I admit, I was slightly anxious about taking pictures with goopy hands!)  But this week, I say bring on the MESS!  I guess it's just been one of those rebellious weeks. LOL!

Step 1: If you are anything like me, may I suggest you protect your work area and your clothes.  We won't talk about the dried goock on my shirt.... =)

Step 2: Make your paste... In a bowl mix:
1/2 cup White glue
1/2 cup Corn starch
1/4 cup Warm water
Stir until it is smooth. This may take some time. Cornstarch doesn't really like to mix. Be persistent! 

Step 3: Inflate a balloon and suspend it over your work space. I simply put a board across two plastic shelves and tied the balloon on.  Creating a clothesline between chairs also works if you have the space.

Step 4:  Generously smear Vaseline over the whole balloon. This is very important! This is what will allow you to remove the balloon later.

Step 5: Soak a length of string in your paste. (I use pearl cotton) Don't cut the string, just dip in sections at a time as needed to avoid tangling. Trust me, it isn't fun to untangle knotted string dripping with paste!

Step 6: As you pull out your string, squeeze it between your first finger and your thumb to remove excess glop. You will be continually doing this through out, so it start getting messy.... Especially if you start going fast and your string flips and sends droplets of impending mess all over!  

Step 7: Start wrapping the string randomly around the balloon. You want to overlap, and wrap from all different angles. The more the strings cross, the stronger the lantern will be.

Step 8: Repeat steps 5-7 until your balloon is covered in criss-crossing string. 
*Note: if you want to insert something into your lantern, don't cover all the way up to the knot of the balloon. Leave an open area.

Step 9: Let hang 12-24 hrs.  Don't try to rush it with heat, it will weaken the paste.

Step 10: Your string should be nice and hard now... so go ahead and pop the balloon!

Step 11: Carefully pull out the balloon.  This is why the Vaseline is so important!

Step 12: If you have areas of dried paste between the strings, use a paper piercer or other sharp narrow instrument to scrape it out.

Step 13: Paint with your favorite Creative Inspirations paint!  This will not only give it color, it gives it a pearly shimmer!  So beautiful!  The one above is Silver Frost, and is kinda hard to see since it is such a light color, so...

How about a little Rose Quartz?  Yup, it's awful purdy!

These can be set out on a table or in a bowl for a beautiful accent, or thread a string through it and hang it up! So elegant! 


Stuff it full of twinkly lights! This looks beautiful in the day and the night! Can you imagine a Christmas tree with glowing string lanterns in it??? 


Thursday, December 6, 2012

holiday canvas

Hello my wonderful friends!

Time for another ScrapbookUSA Expo project!

While searching YouTube for a video that I could remember watching, but couldn't find, I came across some fun videos about melting crayons to make art... Now, I've worked with beeswax before, but the idea of all those colored crayons had me itching to play myself.

I started out with a mini canvas. I then covered it in a stamped tissue paper. After, it was a just a matter of melting crayons and spraying inks... Tons of fun!

However, it needed a focal image... 

The "Traditional Holiday" stack from DCWV has these amazing little scenes printed in tag sizes... They are stunning! It was just the perfect size to fit the canvas.  I love these little images! 12x12 images can be so overwhelming sometimes. It is nice to have the option of going small.


Supplies used:
Paper: DCWV "Traditional Holiday" stack, tissue paper
Ink: Distress Ink, Archival Ink
Stamps: Heartfelt Creations "Amazing Grace", Great Impressions "Magic and Wonder
Other: Rock Candy glitter, mini canvas, crayons

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

quick thank you...

Hello my wonderful friends! 

I have been crazy busy (and for some reason keep getting drafted into more..). I wanted to jump on really fast and share one of the card sets I made for my sister.
Really simple cards based on a card I made earlier this year.  It hardly took any time to get a set of 8 done. 

I used the Inspired by Stamping "The Sky's the Limit" stamp set and an Authentique 6x6 pad of paper. A little hand cutting and foam squares give dimension without much work.

Ok, back to life...


Supplies Used:
Paper: Authentique, white card stock
Ink: Archival, VersaMark
Stamps: Inspired by Stamping "The Sky's the Limit"
Other: embossing powder

Thursday, November 29, 2012

gift card holder...

Hello my wonderfully fabulous friends!

December brings me not only the need for Holiday cards, but birthday cards as well.  One of the cards I need is for a guy. I don't know about you, but I struggle with guy cards. I keep wanting to grab some flowers or rhinestones... 

However, the DCWV "Traditional Holiday" has some great papers that can be used for those masculine cards. 

I adore this plaid! It has just a touch of the gold foil running through it to give it pop without overwhelming everything.  And being printed on kraft paper? Yeah, I'm loving it!

The inside of the card has a built in pocket that is perfect for slipping in a gift card. These papers really made this card quick and quite painless. 


Supplies Used:
Paper: DCWV "Traditional Holiday" stack, kraft
Ink: Distress Ink
Stamps: Heartfelt Creations "Small Cardinal"
Dies: Quickutz "Nesting Circles"
Other: nailheads

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

santa pop-up...

Hello my crafty friends!

I was asked to be a guest teacher for a local scout troop. I was only in scouts for a few weeks when I was younger, so I'm not too sure what to expect. However, I know at least half of the girls, so it should be fun.

As part of their project, I want to teach them how to make simple pop-up cards.

Here is the sample I'm going to take...
I used the DCWV "Crafty Christmas" stack. I love that it is printed on kraft paper!!! It is such a fun twist on the traditional printed card stock!

I dyed crinkle ribbon using Distress Ink to match the red of the card.  I also attached a little type charm to the bow using a safety pin. I love the little bit of movement it adds to the card.

And for the inside, I cut out some of the images from other papers in that stack. 

I love the dimension the pop up gives it!

Hopefully the girls will like learning the pop-up cards... I know I think they are fun!


Supplies Used:
Paper: DCWV "Crafty Christmas" stack
Ink: Distress ink
Stamps: Basic Grey "Winterland", Autumn Leaves "Messy Dates"
Dies: Quickutz "Nesting Circles", Spellbinders "Labels 18"
Other: Tim Holtz type charm, jump ring, safety pin, crinkle ribbon

Saturday, November 24, 2012

water painting...

Hello my wonderful friends!

I hope you have all had a fantastic week!  Anyone hit those Black Friday sales?  

Well, how about finding a comfy spot and relaxing with a little creative goodness?  

Today's tutorial was inspired by this tutorial by Dyan Reaveley. I love the look, however, I couldn't resist throwing in my own CI twist.  Ready for some super fun water painting?

We are going to be working on watercolor paper because it can handle the abuse of lots of water. You are also going to need some dark waterbased dye ink. I prefer working with Distress Inks because I know they react well with water.

Step 1: Cover your watercolor paper with ink. Lay it on thick. You will get the best results using dark colors, but I like to have a little pop of bright or light peeking through.

Step 2: Dry your paper. Heat set it, or walk away for a while. The Distress inks are made to stay wet longer so you can emboss with them. They may feel dry to the touch, but don't let that fool you. (You'll see I rushed things a little...)

Step 3: Rub your dry watercolor paper with an embossing buddy (or other such anti static powder duster).  Again, this is to ensure the embossing powder doesn't get stuck where you don't want it.... (again, I didn't do so well with that step... you'll see.)

Step 4: Stamp an open lined image using a clear embossing ink.

Step 5: Cover with Creative Inspirations Deliquesce powder and tap off. I wasn't careful enough with my drying, so I had lots of stray powder, so I'll show you how to fix that.

Step 6: (if needed) take a fine dry paintbrush and gently wisk away any stray powder. It took some time, but the image cleaned up well.

Step 7: Heat the Deliquesce powder to melt it.

*note: you can just stamp the image with a waterproof ink, but the embossing will give a "well" to hold the water. It just makes it easier to keep the water inside the lines.

Step 8: Use a paint brush or a water brush to paint plain water onto the desired area.  You will want to work in small areas at a time.

Step 9: Let the water sit on the image for 5-10 seconds to activate the ink, then place a paper towel over it and press down. This will lift off the ink, giving it a bleached look.

You can repeat this step multiple times to achieve the desired look (this is why we wanted watercolor paper!). Keep in mind that it will dry a little lighter than it looks right after removing the paper towel.

Step 10: Continue doing this until the desired areas are highlighted. They end up with chalky looking finish. 
This is very effective left there, but let's add a little "WOW!" factor, shall we?

Step 11: Paint the bleached areas with Creative Inspirations paint

 Fairy Dust our clear paint, so it won't change the color, only pack it with shimmer.  Absolutely beautiful!

However, Fairy Dust isn't the only color that works well... Here I used Autumn Wheat.  This gives it a delicate gold sheen.

Why stop there?  Silver Frost colored the dragonfly wings for this one. I used Mint for the leaves, Autumn Wheat for the flower, and a very diluted Antique Copper for the center.  When you are using dark colors, add a water to them to make them thinner. This will help keep the bleached look.

So, there you have it... a fun way to literally paint with water. =)