Thursday, August 30, 2012

Books, I Made A Couple!

I made these journals for my daughters' birthdays and titled them with their favorite Jane Austen books, Persuasion for Dawn, Pride and Prejudice for Valerie. It was interesting to put these together having never made a book in my life. I learned a lot from the process and would like to take the time to make one that requires the stitching together of pages. We’ll see. I uploaded a ton of photos onto my Flickr that I took while making them if you’re interested. I still can’t believe the top two turned out like I imagined. Rarely does that happen when I’m crafting, it usually just sort of evolves into its own thing.

I used Tim Holtz grunge board for the covers, inked them up and sealed them with a coat of Mod Podge Hard Coat. I purposely swirled the Mod Podge Hard Coat around to give it more texture when it was dry.

I love the feel of that grunge board, it’s like super thick fabric-y feeling card board, it’s so flexible and bendy. It even took the creasing well.

The actual design on the front cover was made by stamping brown card stock then applying several coats of the Mod Podge Hard Coat (the regular is too sticky for my taste). When I was satisfied with the coverage I let it dry then scrunched it up to give it that worn, leather look. When that dried I attached it to the grunge board with some super strong red double sticky tape and gave the entire front another coat of Mod Podge Hard Coat.

The ribbon I used on the inside front and back covers (to cover up the back of the brads and eyelet) was too white, so I aged it with Vintage Photo Distress Ink by Tim Holtz

For the paper I used some packaging filler paper that came with something one of my daughters ordered. There seemed to be a whole ream of the stuff, and I loved how it felt, so I rolled it up thinking it would be neat to use for something vintage-y looking.

The embellishments on either side of the clasps are brads, the base plate is metal and the latch is leather attached with an eyelet on back.


I’m sure I broke all sorts of book-making rules, but I wasn’t going for perfection, I was just hoping to have something extra ordinary to give my girls.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Here are some more gifts I made for my daughters' birthdays, this time using Shrinky-Dinks.

I cut all of the shapes using my Vagabond, stamped them with StayzOn ink and colored a few using Sharpies (it has to be permanent ink), then popped them in the oven for a few minutes.

I must admit, I was enthralled with the shrinking process and got really excited when things began to miniaturize. When they were cooled I applied a couple of coats of Glossy Accents, which made the colors even deeper and more vibrant.
As you can see from the above photo, the wings didn’t turn out, they curled up into themselves and I couldn’t get them untangled before they hardened. Maybe next time I'll try using my embossing heat gun.

My favorites are the camera, clock, phone, typewriter and sewing form. My daughter made the typewriter I gave her into a necklace and it looks darling. The sewing form, which took quite a bit of time, is a magnet for my other daughter’s fridge. The little measuring tape was made from Washi Tape, everything else is Shrink-Dink stuff. I applied pop dots to the backs of some of the other things like the clouds, pumpkins and butterfly so they can be used for scrapbooking.

I visited the Shrinky Dink Web site and discovered they sell colored and clear sheets as well (I used white), so I'm putting it on my birthday/Christmas list. I love getting crafts supplies as gifts so I can perpetuate the giving!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Birthday Crafting

My twin daughters, Valerie and Dawn, turned 29 this month, so I've been crafting like crazy for them. It's been fun to craft with such a purpose. I made quite a few things, cards, journals, rosettes, shrinky-dinks cut from dies, a fairy jar and these elephants. I'll share a couple at a time so my posts won't be a mile long.

Valerie collects elephants (as did my mother), which gave me a great starting point. I made the little white elephant a while back by layering tissue paper and water into a mold, letting it dry then coating it with Glossy Accents. I used one of the dollar frames I found at Michael's a long time ago, backed it with fabric adhesive and glued the little fella to that. (Later I added some grey highlights, but I should have let it be. Ya live and ya learn.) I added an umbrella embellishment and dubbed it "I've got it covered."

Another gift I made her was a little felted elephant. I've played around with needle felting, but I never really made anything, so this was quite a fete for me. (I drew blood 3 times and broke 2 felting needles, something I'm sure a lot of newbies can relate to.) But it was fun trying to figure out what was what, like the tiny brads I used for the eyes. When I finished I decorated a little square plastic container with cork that looks like brown pebbles or a bumpy road, moss and flowers and put it inside that, just so there was a safe place he wouldn't get damaged.

My favorite part of the elephant is the back end, like there's a swagger to the walk. I'll post more as I get my photos uploaded.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I've Been Crafting

My daughter Dawn likes me to cut stuff with my Vagabond from unusual packaging. The above photo shows a few things I cut from the boxes of some McDonald's Disney glasses she had packed away. The flowers are my favorite. I've also made quite a few rosettes from cereal boxes, Coke can containers and a variety of candy boxes. It's a challenge to see what I can come up with for the centers. I don't know why I didn't take photos and post them here.

My sister Martha and her husband visited today. After we scarfed down the turkey crescent sandwiches, cucumber crack (chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and Feta cheese; I put it on everything!), and watermelon I served up, Larry watched TV in the living room and Martha and I retreated to my room where I guided her while she made a card for one of her closest friends. She doesn't craft much but was determined to do everything herself.

She layered card stock, stamped sentiments on watercolor paper, glued everything down using a tape snail thingie, which she isn't familiar with, a real challenge, but she met it! She also wielded a craft knife so she could slip a piece of pink ribbon through the top of the card, a big deal if you know my sister. She even inked the edges of the purple oval then used the corner chomper to round the edges of another stamped sentiment. It turned out lovely. Her crafty friend will love it, and when she finds out Marty did it herself she'll cherish it that much more.

What a great day with great people.

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Latest Cards

I made several cards the last couple of weeks, here are two of them. The first one is for my daughter’s co-worker’s birthday using a die that looks like a postage stamp. The cut some very thin brown paper I saved from a package and layered it with the candle printed paper. I inked the edged of the printed paper and used a rub-on for the sentiment. This one was passed around my daughter's office so everyone could sign it.

The other card is for my best friend (of well over 40 years!), a “just because” card that’s sparkly all over. Our motto is “Through Thick and Thin,” I’m thick, she’s thin (I’ve always struggled to lose weight, her struggle is to gain it), so I was tickled when Dawn discovered a package of stickers with this one in it.

I started with sparkly orange card stock and added the center square of watercolor paper colored with watercolor pencils. I used a paintbrush and a little water to blend it, then splattered metallic watercolors all over. At first I thought it looked a bit too much like blood, but then, she’s a phlebotomist, so it fits. haha! I inked the edges with orange and yellow and added a few rub-on butterflies and gems.

I even wrote a 3-page letter to my BFF. We were fierce letter-writers back in the days before email and texting, and I still have a bunch of them stored away. I told her I missed seeing her beautiful handwriting; I’m hoping she’ll write me back.