Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Friendship card

A simple card to let a friend know I've been thinking of her.

Sizzix Circle Flip It die #657586 was used to cut the card base. I trimmed it down to fit an envelope. The card, as cut from the die, requires a square envelope which costs 11 cents more to mail. It isn't so much the extra postage as not having the right stamp on hand that bugs me.

The stamps used are from Inky Antics, #11171 Coffee Mouse. I used various Copic markers to color the images.

Next time around I will stamp the phrases directly onto the card or hand write them. The phrases and images were stamped on X-Press It paper. Ideally, I could or should stamp the image and phase to fit the circle and then die cut or punch the entire area to adhere to the card base. 

Live and learn. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mixed media experiment

When I don't know how to classify something, I guess I will label it mixed media. In this case, it is definitely an experiment, but it was also fun.

It began with a 6" x 6" canvas. I had Ranger alcohol inks from a Christmas bulb project a few years ago. I dripped inks on the canvas. Okay....this was interesting....  

I had rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle to spritz on top of these colors. Uh-oh....that went too far and got muddy.

I blotted off a lot of the still wet color. I should have saved the paper towel as that was pretty.  This was getting better, but I wanted more blooms of white from the alcohol spray. 

Ahh...getting closer, even though I still had no idea what I was going to do with this. 

Time to call the background done. I let it dry overnight to contemplate what I would do next. 

I used the flower from this Stampendous set (Cling Blossom Beauty - CRS7004) on scrapbooking paper that had words on it in faint print.

I wasn't going for realism, so I matched not one but all of the colors from the background, using Copic Markers to color the flowers. The print shows through somewhat, which is what I wanted. I fussy cut two flowers and discovered that I matched colors so well, the flowers were lost on the background.

I've been working on a lot of Halloween themed projects lately so black paper scraps were at hand. I liked black better than white behind the flowers. I used Mod Podge to adhere the flowers to black paper, then torn the black around the blossoms for a soft, tattered edge. 

After choosing their positions, I needed to fill in some space. I used a Copic Multi-liner pen to add the words Happy and Joy on one side, Charlene and Create on the other. I used Mod Podge to adhere the blossoms to the canvas, then covered everything with more Mod Podge. The pen ran a bit. Look at the R in "create".

For no reason in particular, I decided to add some glitter to the still wet Mod Podge. The first glitter was tinted and had fine rectangular shapes to the mix but that didn't really show. I attempted to add fine glitter by fingertip. My advice....don't do that. Adding candy sprinkles to a cake might work that way but glitter is too fine to control by fingertip. The colored pearl embellishments were on my desk and since the colors matched, they were added too. 

I painted the sides of the canvas with black acrylic paint. This is the finished whatever. 

I don't know that this will hang anywhere in my house, but it will be propped in the craft room to remind me to experiment and that stepping out of my comfort zone can be fun. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Let them eat cake!

I think fondant cakes are beautiful, but they aren't something I've learned to do. With all the craft supplies that I do have, I am hesitant to venture into one more arena and run out of room, even if assured that fondant tools are bulky.

I used to enjoy cake decorating more. The time spent standing still gets to my legs after a while, and my hands ache after squeezing the decorating bag on some icings. I choose simpler projects now, and am not ashamed to use short cuts.

Today we have a neighborhood party, celebrating fall, good neighbors, good friends and three birthdays. This is a yellow cake with white icing. The letters are from a Wilton Sugar Sheet.

The centers of some of the letters had to be coaxed out with a toothpick but weren't difficult to use. I did rip the upper bar on one E but only needed one for this cake and three were provided. The price for this sheet was $3-something at Joann's. The letters are edible, but I wouldn't call them tasty. They aren't bad tasting though. 

This cake is double chocolate, or quadruple chocolate to be specific. The bones are white chocolate, made with a Wilton candy mold. The dirt is crushed Oreo cookies, minus the filling. 

As I look at these cakes as photographed, I think perhaps I should have made a smoother surface. That would have looked better here, but to be honest, I don't mind the homemade look as long as it all tastes good. I have taken a lot more care with previous cakes, but didn't think it was necessary for these two. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More Halloween candy holders

A few weeks ago I made my first Ghiradelli chocolate holder. I've made quite a few since then based on directions provided Here on Dawn's Stamping Studio. I've used the same measurements for cutting and scoring except not all of the bands are 3/4 of an inch. I cut some based on the design in printed paper and did not use the scalloped tab topper.

Did I say I made a few?

These are going to my knitting group tonight. Each has yummy Ghiradelli chocolate square inside.

Each one begins with a strip of paper 3" x 8.5". This strip will be scored at 2.5", 2.75", 5.5" and 5.75" to wrap around the foil wrapped candy. The band of paper holding this together is cut at .75" by 9.25", but as I said above, some strips are wider. Dawn does a great job of showing all of this on her video in the link above. 

The green fences were done with a Martha Stewart punch that I've had for years. Frankenstein starts with Stampin' Up's Decorative Label punch. Each face is one green label, the hair for both was trimmed from one black label. Noses, eyes and collars are from the Builder Owl punch, the collars being the owl's stomach cut in half. The bolts were free hand cuts.

The vampire and black cat use circle and scallop punches. The eyes were from the Builder Owl and the collar is the same as Frankie's, the owl's tummy. For the vampire hair, I cut two small circles side by side on the edge of black paper before punching out a larger circle. His ears are a heart cut in half. The cat bodies and ears used the Tree punch. The cat face used the small oval and upper half of a heart punch. The tail is part of a 2" circle punch. 

Pumpkins are three ovals, shaded on the edges and glued together. The black triangles were cut from the scraps using the tree punch. The leaf is a punch I've had for a long time but I don't think it is from Stampin' Up while the other punches are all theirs. The stem is just a scrap of paper but to size. 

Spiders were done with scallop circle punch. I made a template for the legs, cutting them with a joined middle to make gluing them behind the spider easier. I wish I hadn't run out of the black and white spider print paper. The green is printer paper too but not as effective here. The web on the other paper is flocked.

Last but not least, these were made with the Builder Owl punch. That certainly is a useful punch and for much more than just owls!

I can't pick a favorite. It is just like mother love....they are all cute to me.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Earth and Sky Shawl

I have admired Stephen West's patterns for quite a while. I bought Earth and Sky recently, made it and love it.

From the Westknits website
I made the largest version of this pattern, roughly 24" from cast on edge to the point, and 70" wide. I probably could have blocked it wider but I ran out of room on my blocking tiles. I think more tiles will be on my Christmas wish list.

I used Trendsetter Yarns Merino VI in Ash (a discontinued color) and #100 White. The aqua-like shade is Frog Tree sport weight alpaca, color #98. I did re-pin and block this better than this photo shows, but managed to delete the good photo and save this one.

No one was around when I wanted a model or a photographer so my desk chair subbed. Funny how I didn't notice how cluttered the background would look as I took this photo. Turning the chair around and taking the shot from the other direction would not have worked because there was bright sunshine streaming in the window. I will never complain about sunshine, this shot will have to do.

The white and gray balls of merino wool were 50 gr/1.75 oz each, 136 yards. The aqua alpaca yarn was the same weight, 130 yards per ball. I used two balls each of the white and aqua, three of the gray. I had two yards of aqua leftover and not quite two yards of gray. There was slightly more of the white. While it was nice not to have a lot left over, I was sweating it on the gray and bottom border is two rows shorter than I had planned.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

More Fry Boxes!

The first step to overcoming an addiction is admitting it, right? I mentioned here that making Fry Boxes was addicting. 
I haven't stopped yet. 

Here are more designated for Halloween:

And one just because I love someone named Colton  and I also love Minions. 

All of these were made with the Fry Box die offered through Stampin' Up, Stampin' Up punches, a bit of free hand cutting, a few decorated papers, regular cardstock and vellum for the ghosts. 

I am done. For today. Or for the next 30 minutes. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Birthday-Anniversary card

I have a friend who was married on her birthday. Do you think she did this to make it easier for her husband to remember dates? 

This is the prototype of the card I made for her. I should have taken a photo of the actual card with sentiments complete but all of a sudden it was time to finish and mail it and I don't know how that happened. I wish whoever plays with my clock and calendar would stop this! 

* Ahem *   Now that I've shifted to blame to Mr Nobody, on with the card.

I used Sizzix Circle Flip-its die #657586 on white cardstock. The coordinating papers are flip sides of double sided paper from Doodlebug that came in a 6 x 6 pad. The camper is a stamp from Art Impressions called Camper Set (#0651) and the lady with the watering can is from their Gardeners Set (#0650). I believe both of those sets were made exclusively for Michaels.

My friend recently bought an old camper which she is restoring. She also likes to garden, hence my graphic choices.

Hmmm, apparently the light changed in the few minutes between taking these photos. The accurate color is somewhere between the two.

The scalloped circle frame was cut with two sizes of Spellbinders Classic Scallop Circles dies (S4-125) used on Sizzix's magnetic platform. Both images were colored with Copic markers.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Time for an intervention? Stampin' Up Fry Box is addicting!

I ordered the Fry Box die from Stampin' Up. It arrived two days ago but I wasn't able to play with it until yesterday afternoon. I may need an intervention....I can't stop making these things!

I debated about this purchase. Would I really use it often? I don't know how often I've used it in less than 24 hours, but it has gotten a work out. There are more boxes made than these eight, but some are duplicates and a few haven't been photographed yet. 

The left one in the top photo and the two in the middle were the simplest designs, cut from leftover Halloween printed paper from a few years ago. The spider used punches for the body, eyes and layered background. The web was drawn with a multi-liner pen and the legs were hand cut. The fence and spider on the back of the box are Martha Stewart punches. 

The pumpkins used oval punches, a bit of shading and small leaf punch that isn't truly a pumpkin leaf, but anyone who criticizes isn't in the right frame of mind, right? Frankie is what started this all for me with this tutorial by Dawn Griffith: Click here

Oooh...gotta go....just had another idea!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Calavera / Sugar Skull

A true Calavera is a representation of a human skull in clay or sugar. These items are used in the Mexican celebration Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Once upon a time I may have found these creepy but I've learned about this celebration and as someone who loves to celebrate everything, my mindset had been turned around.

On a recent trip to Michaels I saw thin, wood, laser cut skull images for a dollar. One came home with me. While painting the canvas for yesterday's sunflower, I base coated the skull in white on both sides. I'm not aware of any significance in color or design choices, I just plunged ahead this morning, doodling away.

One side is simply black Sharpie fine point marker, the other has Prismacolor Markers in addition to the black Sharpie.

Normally I like color, but I think I like the black and white one better. I'm not sure where this will go yet, and if my 4 year old grandson doesn't like it, it may not appear until he is older. His daddy, my son, has a yard full of Halloween decor that doesn't bother my Prince of Sweetness, so this probably won't phase him at all.

As I look at this, I have another thought. If he doesn't like it, I can spray paint it gold and call it CP3O with facial piercings. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Painting with a Twist just got twisted again

The painting done at Painting With a Twist, shown here , just didn't appeal to me. Since I had to get out my acrylic paints for something else a few days ago, I covered the canvas with white paint. Multiple layers of it. Some of the image still showed through when back let, but I stopped painting white and got out the yellows to begin a sunflower.

I'm much nicer to myself than I used to be. I'm not crazy about this, but I don't hate it. I think I will hang it upstairs.

Propped against a window in the photo on the right, you can still some of the original image (left).

On a wall though, it will be fine. And if not, it will come down and be replaced by something else.

Whether we are improving our craft, our health, a relationship, or anything else, we don't need perfection, we just need improvement. Improvement comes with practice.

I am having much more fun since I learned to be kind to myself.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An anniversary card

I made an anniversary card for some very special people, my son and daughter-in-law. 

I used a card blank from Stampin' Up in Very Vanilla. The paper that looks purplish in this photo is actually more gray, and was a scrap. The embossed paper is from Joann's, called Paper Chain, but I don't know the manufacturer. The hearts are Sizzix die cuts, the smallest size for the hearts with their names, the next size for the cut outs on the embossed paper.