Friday, December 28, 2012

Time to start scrappin!

Now that Christmas is over, it's time to start working on those layouts! Visit the Clearsnap blog today and check out my Shop till ya drop layout. I used some of my favorite papers from October Afternoon and of course lots of Clearsnap goodies.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Vintage Christmas Gift Bag Tutorial Featuring Graphic 45 and Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L

Okay, so it has come this, Gift Card mode! When did it happen that we stopped buying gifts and just went straight for the gift card section?  I guess since the invention of Gift Cards! Don't get me wrong, I love a good gift card myself, but in a way, they can seem a bit impersonal right? Well no longer, I have a great way to add that special touch to any gift card: Put it in an amazing handmade gift bag! It's the gift that says: I love you so much I went to the trouble to HAND MAKE this gift bag just for you! Now here's your Starbucks gift card... enjoy!
Start by finding a sturdy box about the size you want to make your bag-to be able to use on 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper make sure the entire diameter is no more than 11 inches around. Measure its length (my box 5 inches tall) , then measure its depth (my box 1.75 inches wide) and then add the length and depth+ = 6.75 inches by 12 inches will be what I cut.

Line your box up in the middle and "dummy" fold one of the sides up. Dummy folding is to just fold up against the edge lightly so you can see where to fold, but without making a hard crease

Dummy fold each crease you need one by one, and then make the hard crease with a bone folder-making sure your paper is even- after you do all four creases take your Scrapbook Adhesives Crafty Power Tape to glue down the seam-keep the box INSIDE!

Then fold down like a present- your paper will line up perfectly and you will have the 1.75 inch to fold over- again use Scrapbook Adhesives Crafty Power Tape- This stuff has an amazingly strong hold which you will need

Next I took my Imaginarium Designs Chipboard Frame and inked it with Clearsnap Cats Eye in Gold-set aside to dry

Cut out a piece of Graphic 45 Christmas Emporium Paper, and highlight with some glitter. I used Clearsnap glitter and a Martha Stewart Fine Tip Glue pen.

And now for my little trick! This chipboard frame is very delicate, and I used Scrapbook Adhesives tiniest 3D foam dots, but they still showed ever so slightly! So I went ahead and put them on.....

Then I flipped it over, hit it with some gold glitter, and pressed the glitter onto the showing part of the foam square with a brush and voila, they disappeared with a sparkle! 

I then attached my cardstock piece to the frame, then added another layer of foam dots

To embellish, I added a sticker from Jolees French General Labels, some upholstery trim to the top (with hot glue) and then some Petaloo Flowers

Now, take the box out! You leave it in so you have a nice support to embellish your box with

Pinch in the tops, to give it that "Ima gift bag" look

Hot glue on some Handles. Wire ribbon works best.

Now make some custom filler. Roll up some vintage paper the long way

and with your scissor trim off approximately .25 in slices. But mix it up-it looks cooler (I mean more handmade) if they aren't all uniform

Loosely fluff up the cut pieces and then hit with some Ginger Ale Smooch Spritz to give it a little shine

Then scrunch it up in a tiny ball, then fluff and repeat. Use to fill your gift bag.
{Oh yeah add a little gift tag while your at it! G45 gives you a bunch to choose from}

{can you even tell the 3D squares are showing through??}

{here is another variation. I added another 1.75 inches then just trimmed top with pinking shears, punched to holes and added trim and a tag}

{and anther variation, I added 2 inches and then trimmed with a Fiskars border punch. Then made my holes on the sides, ran wired ribbon and knotted. Then curled the ribbon off to the sides.}
If you didn't come here from the G45 blog head on over for more pics:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Metalsmith 101 Trials and Tribulations

So a lot of you may not know but I had finally registered for Metalsmithing at Long Beach City College.  I felt that as someone who likes to teach classes it is so important to constantly be opening myself up to new techniques to make sure I am giving my very best when I hold a class or workshop. First and foremost what I did not realize was I was taking a 4 unit class. I don't know why I thought I could just go to class 2 times a week and finish everything I needed to. My heart sunk when the instructor Kristin Beeler told me we had to commit to 56 hours of lab time? 56 HOURS??? She apparently did not know my reputation as a "speed crafter" able to finish complex projects in a fraction of the time required! Apparently I was unaware at the level of work that goes into a jewelry piece that is entirely handcrafted. No running downtown and buying a bunch of components and whipping something out in an hour. The first project took 6 weeks. 
It was a bracelet composed of 4 individual silhouettes that were cold connected with rivets. I chose an ampersand for my silhouette. I love the way it came out and lucky for me got an A.
Our next project was a tiny Brass Box. Holy Shit! This thing required some serious accuracy and precision. I suck at accuracy and precision. I had no idea how this flat piece of brass was going to get made into a tiny round box that makes as "pop" sound when you open it...if you do it right. 

Here is my box, you may recognize the Prima rose icon.  This project we soldered. Not stained glass soldering which is what many of us in the craft world make (and LOVE by the way!). This was actually constructing an object using solder and a torch. Taking a strip of metal, shearing it off, bending it into an oval, matching up the ends, so you can see NO light, then putting tiny tiny tiny bits of solder and tons tons tons of flux on it and then torching the hell out of it. Then, you beat it into a round shape-file it, and sand it one million times. REPEAT! I agonized over every imperfection I found...but it paid off:

{she was being kind! I did meet all of the requirement though...}

Now onto the project final. The final was like not knowing how to swim and being pushed into the deep end. Well not exactly, Kristin did a great job of teaching all of the techniques to us. But then we had to make a ring- a ring we designed, with no step by step instructions. Just using what she taught us. We also had to write up a recipe-or instructions on how we were going to accomplish this- WITH a timeline/calendar. Has she lost it?? We are not prepared for this...or are we?
I wish I had pictures of some of the other students work. Most of the final projects were amazing, I think some of the others could have been if given more time. Here was my final ring. I tiny version of one of my favorite things to make, a birdcage. I have hand-wired many of these in full size before, but this one would try my patients!

She is made of mostly copper with some nickel. 

Inside is a tiny bit of printed out vintage newspaper. It was Kristin's idea and I hate her for it because it was brilliant...I should have came up with it....I needed to break up the darkness in the bottom of the cage and give some contrast to the wire cage- this worked beautifully

I used a rubber stamp and some permanent ink to make the pattern then etched it with etching solution

The tiny swing was only if I had time. I did have time and made it out of copper wire. It just blended in with the wires so Kristin suggested I make it from sterling silver...I had none so I used nickel. It stood out much better, but sterling would have probably done better. Dame she is GOOD!

Here is the side. The holes are not only for venting during the soldering stage but also decorative. However- I got the top hole filled with solder. I was too lazy to fix I tried to say it was intentional- it didn't look bad at all! However she was not about to let me get away with it- it says clearing in the requirements for the piece- NO decorative solder! LOL, I guess I am not the only student to try to get away with that as a design choice.

I DID want it to say FLY. But see you have to do this thing they call file and sand...and basically I filed away the L. There was no way of fixing it. She told me if I tried to re-punch it, it would be ruined. I defied her and tried anyway, and guess what she was right! It did not work. So I left it.

from the top

hard to believe it looked like this at one point.
So metalsmithing. I learned a TON. Not just about design and construction, but how Kristin taught. I really like her style of lecturing and demonstrating then letting us work on our own. I feel like I learned the "right" way to do things. Have I caught the metalsmithing bug? Maybe just a little! I feel like it opened up a whole new world of how to construct things. I also realize I need a very specific type of studio to do this work in. I just cant accommodate that right now, but maybe in the future. I have so many ideas of how I want to integrate some of what I learned into new projects and workshops. I really want to take another class from Kristin, specifically her production class. But it will have to wait. This class totally overwhelmed me with the time commitment. Working full time, designing for two manufacturers, skating roller derby,  and even taking a break for the Winter Wonderland weekend of fun, totally stressed me out!  And during the few final weeks of class my mother got severely ill and that just took immediate priority! But somehow I squeezed it all I ready for round 2? Yes, but with a break! Now I know what to expect and will clear my calendar!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Blog Hop! Stephanie Barnard and Clearsnap!

As we get closer to the Holidays we get more pressed for time, so here is a quick and easy card I made with Stephanie Barnard Premium Dye Inks, and her amazing Chunky Glitter! Don't forget to comment on my blog and the other on the HOP for a chance to win prizes from The Stamps of Life and Clearsnap- deatils at the bottom of this post!
{For quick cardmaking I alway have my go to "Base Card"- corrugated cards from Michaels! So get your "go to" base; grab a doily, some Graphic 45 paper and tags, and a Chipboard die cut and we are off!}

{Start by Smooching your card base with Smooch Spritz in Vanilla Shimmer, then ink the edges with Stephanie Barnard Premium Dye Ink- I used Cornflower}

{then ink your doily with your color choice- then ink your chipboard frame with Frost White- I used one from Imaginarium Designs}
{Attach your doily, then a piece of your favorite paper- I am using Graphic 45's Place in Time January Cut aparts. Then add some Tombow 3D foam squares from their Crafters Collection-they have the tiny ones!- and attach over the top}

{For the finale I attached a chipboard tag and a sprig of glittery wire branch with a little sweet piece of lace-and voila!}
The Stamps of Life and Clearsnap are having a blog hop featuring The Stamps of Life stamps and Clearsnap inks and other fun products. Be sure you comment on all the stops along the hop because prizes will be randomly chosen among the comments! 
The Stamps of Life will be giving away a prize to 3 lucky people – one stamp set (of the winner’s choice) per winner. 
Clearsnap will be giving away an assortment of Stephanie Barnard Colorbox Premium Dye inks. Enter to win using the widget on the Clearsnap blog and by leaving a comment on each blog in the hop:

Diana Gonzalez -
Denise Hahn - <---------you are="are" here="here" p="p">
Kim Pargeter - <-------next p="p" up="up">
Tami Sanders -
Jennifer Priest -

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winter Wonderland Swaps

This will be a multi part post about Kim Caldwells Artistic Affaire Winter Wonderland. Participating in one of Kim's events is not just about the event, but all the fun and preparation leading up to it. Mainly joining the swaps and creating handmade gifts to exchange! For Wonderland I hosted a swap and participated in three more, and today I will share the pics of what I created.

{this first one was a button and trim swap. The goal was to try to put vintage trim, but with 16 gals times 5 yards each, it was quickly getting difficult! So instead I hand dyed and distressed my own!}

{the next swap was for a wreath. I got this lovely gal Roxie and her name fit her style. Only problem is, I am soooo not used to working with those colors. I ended up putting even MORE stuff all over this and in the long run loved how it came out, and she loved it too!}

{this was the swap that I hosted. It was called the Globe swap, because I have no idea what to call these. We all used the same globe base and then made what we wanted. Then we exchanged it white elephant style. It was sooo fun, can't wait to hostess another!}

{here is my globe base. This rhinestone and glass ball trim was a real splurge on my part it was like $25 a yard, and I admit I was coveting it! But this was the perfect place to use it}

{this was another coveted piece, this little glittered deer was old and had its original glitter. I put a cute little fur (it's actually feather trim that I cut down) stole on her and a crown of course. The bottle brush tree is decorated with vintage bells off of an old Christmas ornament.}

{the next swap was a full mini tree swap and we each had to make 14 ornaments that were then collected and put on a mini tree by the swap hostess. I was stumped! I could not think of anything to make. I wanted to make a crown, but just couldn't figure out how I wanted to make it, so instead I opted for a party hat}

{here it is up close. The special part of this ornament was the Vintage tinsel trim. That's REAL vintage trim from the 20's. Super hard to find. How can you tell the real stuff from the modern stuff? Real vintage tinsel trim will be made on a string and will have a patina that ranges from gold to blue}

Okay so this is not a swap, but it's sort of traditional to do a roommate gift. I have the greatest roomie, Tara Wilson from Lu Lu max jewelry and also Serendipity Salvage. I love rooming with Tara because she always makes the reservation, and doesn't care that I have to fall asleep watching tv on my iPad! I found this very cool little dress form and then gave her a little bling

So that's a peek at what I made for my swaps....I will have another post with pics from the actual swaps soon!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad