Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shopping outside the craftstore

Sort of like thinking outside the box, right? I love when I find a blog post that makes me craft outside of the box, using materials for things other then they were intended and giving them new life in the crafting world. I went on a crafting shopping trip this past weekend to Home Depot of all places. I hope to post several projects over the next week or so which will also inspire you to look at things differently and make everyday objects beautiful!

Oh I wish I could capture how these tiles sparkle. SWOON! One thing you should know about my decorating style is that after a very scary time where I had a lime green kitchen and neon orange flowered hallway (I still have no idea what I was thinking, maybe because it was my first house and no one was there to tell me I couldn't paint things those crazy colors?) I've realized that my happy decorating colors are nature inspired neutrals. Deep dark browns, shades of creams and as mentioned before I LOVE SPARKLY anything. I've been staring at these mosaic tiles at HD for over a year. We decided to move home and sell our house before I could finish redoing the kitchen so I was never able to tile my backsplash. Now we're renting so my shimmery little tiles remain on hold. It occurred to me though as I strolled down the isle dreaming about them again that I might not be able to tile my walls with them but I could still use them in my home!
Say hello to my new favorite picture frame! This photo from our wedding was already in a dark brown metal frame, which I thought would be perfect as a base for the tiles. I simply laid them out to make sure they would fit nicely and then glued them down using e-6000 glue. How adorable is my little Swarovski squirrel sitting next to it? My hubby brought it home for me one day for no other reason then he thought I would like it, love surprises like that!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Owls, wreaths, & an apology.

I'm sorry for disappearing for the past week. My father, who we haven't seen in almost 1 1/2yrs, came for a visit (and stayed with us) so I was a mess of preparations and then busy visiting. We had a really nice time, we took the girls to the Detroit Zoo while he was here and went to the butterfly house. The owl butterflies thought my older daughter was a perfect landing spot!

Since I was having family over to the house I needed some fall decor outside too of course. I grabbed my garland of fall leaves that I put up every year and stapled it to the door frame (no really I did LOL our last house had a seam around the door I could tuck it in, this one doesn't so I grabbed my handy dandy staple gun and stuck it up there) My chocolate brown door needed a bit of fall color too so I got to work on a little project I had been planning for awhile:
Here is my "rag wreath" in progress! I'm sure you've seen these around on the web lately? They are so cute and so easy and pretty inexpensive to make as well! Originally I had planned on my 7 1/2yr old making it but after about 10 strips she decided she had better things to do. You could use any scraps you have around the house (even ribbon, which is so cute!) or check the remnant section of your fabric store too. I didn't have anything laying around and decided to just purchase some fat quarters since they were on sale. I bought 5 and I did use almost all the fabric. The form is simply a metal hanger, bend it into a circle and then either wrap around or cut off the top portion. Then I cut my fabric into strips that were approx 1"x7" (I used my pinking sheers to give it a little something extra) and start knotting away. Knot knot knot... break... knot knot knot... coffee.... knot knot knot (you get the idea). It really doesn't take all that long and is far quicker and less painful then the coffee filter wreath I posted last week.

Though not the best photo here it is on my door. I had purchased these adorable acorn shaped bells at Joann's a few weeks ago because, well come on, because they are acorn shaped bells darn it and they are adorable... anyways they found a home in the middle of it (and yes, I do have a putter & golf ball door knocker, we live on a golf course and it came with the house... of course I had to paint them oil rubbed bronze but that's another post).
look at my little one peeking out, I can't leave her sight for a second!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I shall call him Fluffy

It all started when my best friend sent me this link coffee filter wreath, I was obsessed. I HAD TO MAKE ONE. Ok sure, I might happen to say that about 99% of the things I see online but this time I ran right out and got the supplies and instead of letting them sit around so long I forgot what I bought them for (I'm not saying this has happened to me, and if it has, I will someday remember why it was so important that I bought liquid glycerin) nope this time I got started right away.

You can check her tutorial (and countless others online) for details so I won't bore you with those here again. I did get my filters at Costco where you can get about a zillion for hardly any money at all. I'm not sure how many I used, mine isn't as full as the one in the link above but I like it... I was also sick of burning my fingers and I knew as I made it that I was going to be making another for my mom. I also purchased the natural colored ones so that once the memory of burnt fingers is gone I can make one with them. You can also dye the paper filters, think of pink ones on a heart shaped wreath for Valentine's Day :)

Oh and yes, I do call him (no I'm not sure why it's a him, pretty much everything inanimate I decide is a him... I agree it's odd and we're just going to smile and nod and move on ok?) anyways, I call him Fluffy... and I smile & give him a little pet when I walk by. He's like a giant sugar coated donut, and who doesn't smile when they see donuts?

PS: yes there are more of those little fluffy flowers showing up in my posts again... and yes I do have them all over my house LOL I promise to do a quick post on those soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Prismacolor Pencils & OMS

I've never been very artistically inclined, and knowing my obsessive compulsive tendency to collect every color of any given craft item I buy & their cost, I've had no problem staying clear of Copic markers even though I love the effect others achieve with them.

However I then saw the "magic colored pencil" technique using Prismacolor pencils and gamsol or other oms (odorless mineral spirits) and my little brain wheels started spinning. Prismacolor Premier Pencilsaren't exactly cheap but they are far less then copics and at amazon they are actually pretty affordable. Once I saw the butterflies on Marion Vagg's blog it was all over. I had to try them myself!

They arrived a couple days ago and I couldn't wait for my 17month old to go to bed so that I could test them out. I read a post, I believe on splitcoaststampers, that instead of using blending stumps that some people were using theTim Holtz penfor alcohol inks and filling that with gamsol. Since I had one that's what I did and it works great!

This flower is my first attempt at using the pencils, I can't wait to play more!

Monday, September 12, 2011

What is your earliest crafting memory?

I was in our basement in the "craft area" with my older daughter working on a card and she was talking to me about crafting in general and some how we started talking about when I was a girl, and she asked what I used to make... thus started a discussion on my earliest crafting memory.

I must have been in 1st or 2nd grade. I've always loved glitter and I think it was my grandma or grandpa who gave me some index cards to draw on. I ended up taking good old fashioned Elmers glue and writing my name, then sprinkling it with multicolored glitter. I took this little tag to school and taped it on my desk.... hello instant popularity LOL

Soon I had quite a lucrative little business selling glittered name tags for 25¢ each. Inevitably I was called to the principals office and told I couldn't sell them anymore... oh the shame!

She asked if she could make one and I got her some supplies. Then I thought it would be fun to make a "grown up" version for myself, and sneak in something I was thinking of starting up called "technique Tuesdays" where I try to post using a technique I've learned this past year as I started my journey in paper crafting.

For my name tag I used the cricut cartridge Songbird and using my gypsy welded together the letters for my name and a shadow version as well.
Now for the fun part. GLITTER! I'm not sure where I first saw this technique but it was one of those "DOH" type moments. All you need to do is take your diecut shape/word/letters and run them through a xyron upside down so that the front becomes coated in the sticker material.
Then grab yourself a coffee filter (I have the glitter trays with the spout you can buy, but glitter sticks to them and I always end up with a huge mess and having to wash them out etc, bulk coffee filters from Costco work perfectly and the glitter (or embossing powder) doesn't even stick and is easy to pour back into the container!) and place your diecut sticky side up in the filter and pour glitter all over it. I usually flip them over and press down into the glitter as well so it's very well coated and stuck on. (of course I forgot to take a photo of this step)

I opted to pop dot my name (finally found a use for these tiny ones I bought) and then cut out some paper using my nestabilities long rectangles (I'm on a huge pink/orange/brown kick lately). Put a couple of eyelets in the corners and hung my sign on my stickles storage basket.

So what is your earliest crafting memory?

Owl Birthday Card

It was my father's birthday yesterday, he's one of the few people on my short list I make cards for who I know saves them so I try to make really cute ones both to bring him a smile when he receives it in the mail. I've seen several versions of this card doing google image searches for "stampin up owl" and had to make one of my own.

My card base was cut with my cricut/gypsy using a file from 217 Creations blog (she has some amazing files and talent, you should totally check out her blog!). I stamped/embossed it with my Hero Arts woodgrain stamp and cut out the hole for the owl with a nestabilities oval.

The owls are from the Stampin Up punch, it's the only one I own and I never buy punches but when I saw this owl I had to have it. You can even use a scallop circle punch to add wings (again google image search is your friend) and it's sooo cute.

The balloons are pop-dotted and glazed with glossy accents, they were cut with my cricut along with the cake and gift. I used my BIC Markers
to color match them to the paper (paper is all from the Citrus Stack from DCWV) and for under $15 for 36 markers they are awesome (I also have the fine version and both work excellent on shrinky dinks too). I used my computer to type up the sentiment and the little sign on the front and then cut them out (using nestabilities ovals for the Happy Birthday). I used a brad and some string to hang the little sign. These type of cards are so much fun to decorate and I love how they fold up so small.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My first post!

I've been talking about staring up a blog for months now but I always have an excuse "I need a new project" "I need to learn how to make it look super cute" "I need more coffee before I can even think about it" you know, important things have kept me from it. Well no longer! If you'd like to know more about me please see my "Candi aka "the queen of flattery" page.

So here goes. My first post. Ekkk why am I nervous?

When I finished this lantern this week I knew it had to be my first post. I LOVE THIS LANTERN. I also envisioned it all by myself and created it... that's right the queen of flattery (see my "about me" page) actually created something all by herself. WOOHOO.

I've seen several posts on message boards lately and blogs about making lanterns. I knew I wanted to make a fall themed one with leaves and utilize alcohol inks (which, though I'm sure others have done, I hadn't yet seen).

I created this using my cricut expression and gypsy. My base was the frame rectangle from George and the leaves are from Stretch Your Imagination (silhouette option, which I found funny since I'm obsessing nonstop lately about the arrival of my Silhouette). I resized/reshaped/welded them all together in the frame. Made 2 sections with tabs and then cut them out (I wanted each section to be 4" which is why I had to do it in 2 parts, if you wanted something smaller you could make a solid piece as long as it fits on your mat). I opted to use a metallic copper paper (
Wausau Creative Collection Metallics Cardstock, 12 X 12 Inches, Assorted, 30 Count (46409)which as a side note is such a great deal for 30 sheets of metallic paper for under $7! which honestly looks like metal in the daytime. It was a total PIA to weed out after cutting with my cricut (I used a depth of 4 and pressure of 5, if I did it again I'd likely go depth of 5 and max out the pressure) but worth it in the end. For the panels I reused some packaging material and I used my alcohol inks (browns & orange along with copper)... I didn't feel like it was opaque enough though so I added a sheet of standard vellum from J's behind the acetate. I attached the acetate to the cardstock with glossy accents, making sure to put the shiny side (ie non-inked) out. Doing this means it will look like glass! I then decided that I wanted the lantern to rest on a stand, so I grabbed some black cardstock and using my Martha Stewart scoring board I made basically a box lid. I cut out 4 little squares (used my nestabilities squares so they would be perfect and identical) and folded them in 1/2 gluing them on the corners to serve as little feet for my stand. I'm happy to report it's sturdy enough to hold up the faux tealight candle too! If you'd like the gypsy file feel free to leave me a comment with your email addy, I've yet to figure out hosting for files :)

I have plans to make more of these for other holidays, and some ideas for different panels and techniques!

PS: The flowers? Made and love them too, you'll be hearing more about those soon!