Sunday, August 31, 2008
If you're like me, your craft desk has been a disaster area for a long time. I have a lot of plastic storage drawers, but I always want so much out on my table. While shopping at target I spotted this $12 bathroom accessory storage rack... and of course it was perfect for holding my ink pads, paints and glues. There's even little hangers on the bottom that perfectly fit my scissors, cropidile and a roll of tape. I put all my cosmetic sponges and ink applicators in a plastic bag, poked a hole up top and hung it off the nail I used to place this on my wall.
Now I can keep all of my most-used supplies in sight, but out of the way!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I've been really interested in paper flower making this summer. I want to make sure I keep my indoors looking vibrant throughout the year, I always get a little sad when the flowers are gone come fall. At first I started out with the plentiful tutorials for accordian folding tissue paper flowers online. Then I found some great crepe paper kits by Martha Stewart at my local Michaels craft store... but I quickly realized I'm too lazy for cutting out so many pieces of individual flower petals... and the floral tape... uck what a sticky nightmare.
Then I stumbled onto the great paper flower tutorials at
Folding Trees They were using tissue paper cut into circles for their flowers. I wasn't quite happy with the way mine were coming out and felt they needed a more realistic scalloped edge. As some of you already know, I recently bought a die-cutting machine and the nestabilities dies. (I made a little tutorial on using nestabilities with rubber stamping, so you can find out more about those here:
Nestabilities Tutorial ) The classic scallop circles dies provided the perfect solution for the look I wanted! I haven't tried the petite scallop sizes yet, but those may even look better if you want more bumps around the edges. You can use any of the sizes around 2.75" to 3.25" wide for a realistic sized flower.
Here's how I went about making them:
1 - First take a full sheet of tissue paper and either fold it, or cut out 3.5" square pieces, to make a stack large enough to cut out the circular shapes. Each flower requires about twelve pieces of 3"ish tissue paper. I made a stack of twenty-four sheets of tissue and ran it through my CuttleBug with the nestabilities die. (Twenty-four sheets may sound like a lot, but it is tissue and the stack is not really thicker than felt or chipboard, so that worked fine. If this feels like too much for your machine, you could do twelve sheets at a time for making one flower instead of two.)
2 -Due to the embossing edge of the nestabilities die, the sheets were pressed just enough to hold them together while I colored the edges with markers. I used a rose colored Marvy LePlume, these are nice markers since the ink is very wet and seeps in from the edges the longer you color in a spot.
If you do not have a die cutter, you could make a similar stack of tissue paper circles by cutting with decorative scissors. In that case, you may need to paper clip the edges together to hold the sheets in place while coloring.
3- Using twelve sheets, poke two small holes through the center of the flower and tie chenille or wire through those holes. Be sure to twist the end tight to form a sturdy stem.
4 - Starting with the top sheet, lift and gently fold holding the bottom near the stem center. My first two flowers didn't look so great, but you'll soon be able to see which types of folds look more realistic. You want to pinch the centers tight, but try to avoid adding creases to the outer edges.
5 - As you get to the bottom layer you may have pulled the flower too much towards the top. Gently fluff the layers out, creating more of a sphere shape.
6 - Try out other colors of tissue and create your bouquet! I put about 12 flowers in my vase and used 6 sheets of tissue paper total for this project.
If you're interested in paper flower making, I also want to recommend a fantastic book I picked up the other day called "Fanciful Paper Flowers" by
Sandra Evertson It has a great deal of beautiful full color pictures, templates and inspiration for using common supplies.
Monday, August 25, 2008
It's been a crafty week around here. I just finished making a bouquet of paper flowers and I'll be posting tutorial pictures soon. For now, here's a set of four seasons Goddess domino magnets. (I made these using the chalk palette coloring method, the tutorial I posted about last.
I don't know what it is, but I've gotten a lot done (creatively speaking) this past month. I wonder if it has anything to do with my birthday coming up in a couple weeks? I think sometimes a reminder of time ticking by helps to motivate me... I'll be 27!!!
Which is just unbelievably great considering for a long while I wasn't sure I'd make it this far. While I've still got some left over aches, pains and sporadic failing of certain nerve and thyroid functions, all in all it's been a decent and happy recovery since my chemo / radiation treatments a few years back. Especially considering the not-so-polite (and very incorrect) speech a doctor gave me about my stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma case being terminal back then.
My last Petscan (a cancer detecting test a little like a catscan tube but they inject you with radioactive sugar instead of that iodine/barium) was in November (all clear!) and my blood counts were good as of April. It's time to go back for my check ups again in the next month or so. My previous oncologist retired, so I have to go through the trouble of finding a new (and hopefully GOOD)replacement for him. I'll let you know how that works out!
Thanks to everyone for the great feedback on the stamps and molds via email lately. I don't have a ton of time to write everyone back, but I do read everything and I'm happy you're having fun. I'll keep pumping out the tutorials in my hope of spreading the joyful creativity.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I've added even more pictures and information to my domino tutorial page today. This includes instructions for one of the easiest coloring methods, the chalk palette. I've also experimented with six different sealers and wrote about the pros & cons of each product. Hope this is helpful!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
It's been so hot and sunny here in the Portland area OR the past couple months. Two days this week it was 100 degrees out :( Happily, last night a thunderstorm rolled in and made things a lot nicer. This is the first good rain we've had since the end of May. I felt like getting crafty today in the nice cooled-off weather, so here's a bookmark!
Bee fairy rubber stamped bookmark ingredients: The Enchanted Gallery rubber stamp sheet #Fant-118, ColorBox inks, color pencil, stickles glitter, yarn and long rectangle nestabilities cardstock shapes.