Sunday, June 11, 2017

Updating my craft room clock

Long ago, I painted the face of a very inexpensive clock that had baseball stitching on it to look like this:

I wrote about this on my previous blog,  here.  The clock still works just fine and fits the space perfectly. The room that this hangs in is less of a sewing room now, more of a mixed media room.

The color of the room is a deeper shade of turquoise now. Not only am I accustomed to looking at this spot to see what time it is, the clock is covering an outlet for a 220-volt line that hasn't been used in years.

After removing the buttons which were applied with hot glue, I sanded the surface but admit my sanding job was far from perfect. The clock was such an inexpensive piece of plastic, I didn't think it would hold up to vigorous sanding. If this didn't work, it wasn't going to cost me anything but my time.

I painted the face of the clock white but the rough spots were evident where some of the buttons did not remove easily. I used a product called Whipped Spackle and a few stencils to create my new clock.

The room is predominantly turquoise but has deep pink (sometimes hot pink) accents along with white and black (and all other colors if you count the supplies that are everywhere), so white, turquoise, pink and a bit of black were the colors I wanted to use.

In hindsight, I wish I had added more flowers to the face but I didn't have the window valance yet (hot pink and white stripes) and wasn't sure at this point how much pink I wanted to use. The gold on the stars and the turquoise on the bokeh effect circles were painted with Heidi Swapp Metallic Texture Paste. I used my finger to smear some on those raised images and cleaned them up with a fine paintbrush. The pink flowers were done with acrylic paint that I had on hand, and have white added to them because I felt like it. 

There was still too much white to suit me so I began dipping the end of the paintbrush handle into paints and added clusters of three dots to the background. The flower centers are black paint with gold dots on and around them.

The edge of the clock, not seen here, is black. I used a broad tip Sharpie Marker for that. The way the clock hangs, I don't think the edge is noticeable but I wanted the edge to look finished. The black dots where numerals would be are blobs of Nuvo Crystal Drops. I like Nuvo because the drops remain dimensional, they don't spread and flatten out. The reason I added the dots is that my grandchildren aren't used to clocks without reference points. They don't spend a lot of time in my craft room but the grandgirlie is only two and that may change.

I've really gotten my $2 worth out of that clock. I'm happy with this rendition.  The wooden rack in the picture below was designed to hold teacups. I'm not a big tea drinker, but I do have beautiful teacups that were my mom's and my mother-in-law's. Back in my days of smocking and belonging to a group that both smocked and did heirloom sewing, the teacups were used more often than in recent years. The cups are elsewhere now and this rack wasn't going to back in the living room but I wasn't ready to part with it. What could I do with it?


This rack now stores ink pads stored by color family. No more digging through a drawer to find the one I'm looking for or discovering one I forgot I owned.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Another gift of money

I give cash gifts to my great-niece and great-nephews, but never just money or a check inside a card. I hope to never run out of inspiration (thank you Pinterest!) but it is getting to be a challenge to not repeat earlier presentations. This was for my great-niece's 15th birthday. 

I wish I had taken more care with the photos and had taken step by step pictures but this blog is really for me to catalog what I've done. If someone is reading here, you can find instructions on creating flowers out of paper money online. Each flower used 3 bills. The folds were not complicated and used floral wire to hold them together and create a stem. I had all the supplies on hand and did not to visit a craft store for anything. What a shock!

The picture above really is a bad photo and I doubt it will inspire anyone but here it is anyway. I ran a thread through pink pompoms and wrapped them around the floral wire to create a more colorful bouquet. I didn't like how the wire stems looked in the clear vase (a tiny thing) so I cut strips of two shades of green tissue paper to act as leaf-like filler. The pink gingham bow is done with wired ribbon.

The card Happy Birthday was cut with a Sizzix die (#661830) available through sites that sell Sizzix dies or at The Stamps of Life. This die is a Stephanie Barnard design. 

After cutting this out of the pink card stock, I cut it again with the green and cut every other letter out to layer on top of the pink greeting. After placing it on the blue card stock, I thought it still needed something so I used a white gel pen to add asterisks randomly. The inside greeting, not shown, used the same colors as the front. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Two Anniversary Cards with almost one die cutting

I made two anniversary cards using Stampin' Up's Rose Garden thinlits die.  My idea is not new, I've seen it many times on Pinterest and elsewhere. I'm just recording it here for my sake and to let anyone who reads this know that it was very easy to do.

I used a scrap of red that may have been Bazzill cardstock. It had a good weight to it and a bit of texture. 

Beginning with the card on the right, before tapping out the pieces from the red paper after cutting them, I placed the die on the second card front and used a pencil to draw lines within the die's openings to indicate where I would be gluing the petal pieces. The cut paper pieces were slightly larger than the pencil lines so there was no worry of lines showing and needing to be erased. I used Tombow glue, sometimes applying glue to the card, sometimes applying it to the back of the red petals. I began with the smaller pieces, tapping out just a few at a time, gluing them and repeating the process. Reading this took longer than actually doing it. 

I then switched and worked on the card on the left, gluing the rose cutout onto the card front with the same glue. The remaining piece of red card stock from the die cutting gave me that perfect outline for the red area of the card, it just needed to be squared off to match the white cardstock's dimensions. I used a tape runner to add this.

Back to the card on the right, I wanted a similar outlined edge but had very little of the red cardstock left. I placed the die on it, maximizing what I could salvage of the leftover cardstock and got the shape seen above. It wasn't perfect and I decided it looked better with a wider margin which mimicked the negative space created by the die itself. 

Despite having a lot of stamps, I don't have many with anniversary greetings. I wanted to use this label shape, also from the Rose Garden die set, but the only greeting that fit inside was this one. It is from Stamps of Life's Anniversary 2 Celebrate set. I used a Real Red stamp pad from Stampin' Up for the words and ran the side of a red Tombow marker around the edge of the die cut label. 

I'm happy to have two cards for one session of work, and like both the positive and negative looks equally well.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Welcome Baby cards, using Stampin Up's Moon Baby

I'm slipping back into crafting, easing in with two very similar cards to welcome babies. I used Stampin' Up's Moon Baby stamp set and also a sheet of designer paper from their Falling in Love pack.

I chose Copic colors for this first one based on the design paper that I later opted not to use. Adding a layer of that between the blue sheet and the colored image didn't show enough of the DSP to make sense.  The coloring here is all Copic with a little enhancement from Prismacolor pencils and a white gel pen on the sheep, adding curly swirls to the fleece.

I think this is okay, but not quite what I had in mind. I left the garland of stuffed toys off of the next card, cut the cardstock narrower and used the DPS this time to create this one which used all Prismacolor pencils on the stamped image.

Both moons have a coat of clear Wink of Stella. The second card has silver Wink of Stella on the dangling star with a coat of Glossy Accents on top of that.

The inside of both cards is the same.

Both are cute cards but I prefer the composition of the card on the left and the Copic colors used on the card on the right.

Friday, March 17, 2017

An unexpected break in crafting

Sometimes life throws curve balls and since I'm not good at catching them, I spend a lot of time running after them to pick them up. In an attempt to keep my private life actually private, that is all I'm saying for now. For those who know me personally and read here, I'll be back eventually, both here and wherever you expect to see me locally.

One thing I will share is that we recently had all of our rooms in our house painted. This had been planned for quite a while and the process began before the balls began bouncing haphazardly. We have a long time friend who is a house painter. Bless his heart, he worked with us and around a crazy schedule.

My husband can paint, but that doesn't mean he excels at it and it certainly doesn't mean he enjoys it. We don't often do BIG things such as expensive vacations or frequently remodel. The Travel Channel and HGTV would never be interested in filming us. Our 20th anniversary was the first time I convinced hubby that we should celebrate by having our friend paint the house for us. He was still hesitant at first, thinking that this should be one of "his duties" as husband and dad. After it was done, this was the best idea "HE" ever had. I really don't mind as the job was done well and was a stress-free event for both of us. Our friend has painted for us twice since then.

Our home faces north and we have a covered porch across the full front of the house. The living room has long been yellow which is a cheery color for me, and always looked good, even on gloomy winter days. I could have been happy repeating the yellow but hubby wanted a change. I looked at shades of blue. Our sons who have their own homes and don't really have a vote still had opinions to share. (Who raised them?) They thought I had too much blue going on. Back to paint samples. Not just because of the boys' opinions, I was secretly harboring the same thought.

The living room is now a light shade of aqua. Depending on the light in the room, the hue flips from being more blue than green to the opposite. This was totally unintentional but it pleases me. I was out of the house the entire time the living room was being painted and came home that evening, wondering if I was going to be disappointed to have the cheery yellow gone. This color spoke one word to me: Serene. I'm not always like this, attributing emotions to wall colors even though I do know that color affect us. The walls being serene are wonderful. I don't have a photo of this color that does it justice and I doubt this is important to anyone but me. I'm just happy to be happy with my color choices.

The biggest changes are having a green room (I'm not a "green" person) in the formerly beige family room; a red office that was previously peach and a craft room that is a wonderful shade of turquoise.
The green looks gray in this light, very misleading, but is a good
backdrop for the doll house that hubby built.
Hubby's side of the office
My side. Notice you can't see the mess on my desk surface?
If only the counter could stay this clear! I hope to make a valance
with shades of deep pink, white and turquoise.
I had to keep yellow somewhere. The windowless bathroom
is a color called Rubber Ducky.
I hope to have a colorful post soon about something I've made. I'm still in the process of deciding what goes back on walls and shelves and what should be donated or just plain trashed. There is nothing like moving almost everything you own as you prep for painting to make you realize you've been hanging on to many things too long. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Valentine for hubby

This is the last of Valentine cards for this year, or at least the last designed for family members. This simple but striking one is for my husband. The heart is cut from a die called Heart of Flowers by Simon Says Stamp. I was originally planning to use a multi-colored background under the heart but my choice all seemed feminine until I tried this red glimmer paper.
The stamp is from Simon Says Stamp, the set's name is Hey Love. The exterior and interior message are part of one whole stamp but I couldn't fit the entire message on the front of this card so I masked off the second half of the sentiment to use inside.

This is looking through my MISTI. After determining where the sentiment would hit, I added a Post-It note the card stock and inked the upper half of the stamp. The yellow that you see is Washi tape wrapped around the magnets used with the MISTI.
With the lid of MISTI raised,  you see the stamped image on cardstock and partially on the Post-It.
 I did lose the bottom loops of the Y and F but I filled them in with a Copic multiliner.
For the inside greeting, I figured out where I wanted the stamp and added the Post-It to the upper half of the stamp, then inked the lower portion and stamped.
The small "Happy Valentine's Day" is from a miscellaneous set of stamps.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Super Valentine characters

Today's Valentine card features characters from Darcie's Hear and Home. The stamp set includes both figures and both sentiments. It is called Super Day. The hearts are from a miscellaneous set. The inside greeting is a hand lettered sentiment for my son and daughter-in-law.
I used Xpress-it paper and Copic markers to color these figures.
Skin tones were done with E21, E50 and her lips and cheeks have a bit of R02
His hair is D15, E39, and E 29.
Her hair is E43, Y32, and Y02.
Both figures have Copic colored multiliner details added, such as the emblem on his suit, her stars and a few streaks in her hair.
The reds and blues use in their clothing are R27 and R89, B24 and B29.
His belt and her rope are Y15.
His shorts and boots are C2, C4, and C7.

I used Wink of Stella pens in red on the large heart and on her boots, and a yellow Wink of Stella on her stars and the yellow border of the emblem on this shirt.
It is hard to show the subtle yet still noticeable bit of glimmer that Wink of Stella adds. It looks more like moisture here than glimmer, but it is there.