Thursday, August 14, 2014

Arnold Grummer Blog - Memory Book

An option for themes this month is a "vacation summer memory book". My idea was to create a small book using various leftover handmade papers that I processed and went unused.

This small booklet could be used for snapshots of special summer moments or to layer in hand written notes for remembrance.

Each of the pages are different as the photos show:
(NOTE: The front cover is made from a sheet similar to page 1 and it's look changes entirely with the wax added.)
Page 1-Embedded paper  resin shards
Page 2-Texturized sheet
Page 3-Recycled scraps
Page 4-Colored pulp painted edge
Page 5-More recycled scrap papers
Page 6-Recycled from scraps
Back Cover-Extra thick sheet made from scraps

A sheet of handmade paper, with resin covered dictionary pages that are embedded into the sheet, was used for the front cover.  Wanting to make the cover take on a different look, I coated the paper with melted beeswax.  The coating of wax gives the paper an interesting look and texture.  Once it is coated, the paper was heated with a heat tool.  Work on a safe surface covered with a heat resistant craft sheet. A rubber stamp was prepared with ink and set aside.  After heating the waxed cover and while the wax is still slightly soft, quickly press the prepared stamp into the cover, using good pressure.  Black Distress Paint was applied over the image, then wiped with paper towel to remove paint from the raised area.  (NOTE: if needed repeat the paint application and wiping.) If desired add some bronze Rub N Buff and finish by brushing some Perfect Pearls in any choice of color.

Two holes are punched into the left binding edge of each of the pages and two covers.  Lace ribbons through the holes and form a bow.. For a little extra embellishment glue a strip of any lace and finish off with a bit of bling.

A 20% discount on a purchase from the Arnold Grummer website for an order is available - use this code on the order AUG20.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Designer Craft Connection - Crafting With School Supplies

Walking through most stores these days there are displays of school supplies every where.  This month the group's theme is - crafting with school supplies.  Here is what I selected to work with:

This project began with two different folders, one plastic colored folder (yellow) and one  glossy, heavy paper folder.  Each of these were cut apart.  The paper folder pieces were cut slightly smaller then the other plastic folder pieces.  Use double faced tape along one edge of the paper pieces and adhere onto the inside of each of the plastic folder pieces.  NOTE: The yellow plastic folder used, had an inside pocket on both front and back that were left in place.  Using two different types of decorative washi tapes, wrap randomly around the front and back covers in any desired way.  Any tape that goes over the inside pocket area can be cut open with an X-acto knife.

Run washi tape along the left edge, on both sides of the front and back cover.  Mark the left edge for holes to place the binding rings by using the rulers.  Punch the three holes.

Place a length of 1/4" double sided adhesive tape along the left edge and place the ruler over the edge, matching the holes.  Place the binding rings through the holes. Add paper pages with matching, punched holes along the edge onto the binding rings.  A small square base was cut from foamcore for a frame.  Wrap the foamcore frame with washi tape.  Cut pencils into lengths to fit the front of the frame.  Glue onto the top of frame.  Use a scrap of the plastic or paper folder to place a back onto the frame to hold a photo. Adhere the photo frame to the front cover.  Die-cut letters and numbers from a sheet of duct tape and place onto cover.

This "school" related, personalized scrapbook can be used to write in, draw in and add any mementos of the school year.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Arnold Grummer Blog - Christmas In July

Is it too soon to give any thoughts to Christmas?  When days are hot and steamy why not!  Actually I have been into a couple of craft stores in the area and "holiday" items are already on display.

It was time to play around and experiment again.  Going through the casting molds and other things items to use as deckles for shapes, I found a Wilton cookie mold and some plaster molds.

 Here is a snowflake casting, using the Wilton cookie mold and cotton linter squares.  I used enough of the squares that would cover the size of the mold and processed them in a blender as suggested for making pulp.  I included  "Iridescent Flakes" into the pulp before making the casting.  Once the snowflake casting was dry, I used some glitter glue to add dimension on some of the raised lines on the casting.  I small hole is punched and a narrow ribbon hanger is added.   Just for a few ideas, the snowflakes would make a nice additon to a Christmas tree or could be used as decorations in a sway over a doorway or along a mantle edge.  NOTE: I created over 100 of these snowflakes several years ago as a favor at a friends "winter wedding".  I had brushed the raised areas with white glue and sprinkled them with iridescent glitter.  A decorative, silver ornament hanger was attached.  Each was packaged in a cellophane bag along with some artifical snow, with gift tag attached from the bride and groom.

These two package tags were created with recycling thin, kraft colored packing paper pulp.  Process the pulp in a blender and strain.  Press the pulp into molds of choice.  I used two molds that are meant for plaster casting.  Remove as much water with sponges or rags.  Allow the casting to dry. NOTE:  I help the drying process along by placing the  pieces on a microwave safe surface and use 30 secong intervals to dry pieces. Use this method to dry slightly and then leave overnight to dry completely.  

Once the pieces are dry, they can be painted if desired or embellished in any way.  Use a purchased tag or die-cut a tag shape.  Add a strip of torn holiday fabric and glue the casting onto the surface.  Add a ribbon or cord for attaching the tag to a package.

For a 20% savings, use SAVE20 code after visiting the Arnold Grummer website for any purchase this month.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Burlap Fabric Challenge

How much fun it was to participate in this latest blog hop for BurlapFabric.  It was like "Christmas" opening up the package they sent!  There are many uses for this wonderful "utility fabric" and I have used it many times in the past for a variety of decorative uses. So I will share some of the projects with you that I created with most of the items that were sent to me.

One of the products I received was a roll of Jute Webbing with blue stripes.  With the webbing I created a piece that could be used a table runner or large table mat.  Cut five lengths of the webbing measuring 36" and nine lengths measuring 21".  Lay the five strips out horizontally and tape the left and right edges of the five strips with masking tape to hold them place.  Weave the shorter strips through the long strips.  Once they are all woven, move them to space equally.  Fold the strips over to the back side of the piece.  Glue these down with a strong adhesive.  I used Beacon 3-in-One glue and clamped them till dry.  Repeat on the opposite side.  Remove the tape and repeat this same process on to two shorter sides.  For the remaining strips, glue them onto the backside as close to the edge as possible.  Once the glue dries, trim the webbing closely to the edge.  To finish the back edge, glue lengths of 1" ribbon of binding all around the edge.

NOTE: To make burlap straight and easier to cut and sew, pull a thread from end to end of the fabric. 

A roll of Ash Grey Burlap was included in the package.  With this burlap I chose to make items place mats, napkin rings and nesting baskets.  For the place mats, cut rectangles measuring approximately 19" x 15".  Using a machine,  sew about a 1/2" from the edge around the piece.  Sew around once again about 1/4" from the first round of stitching.  Remove the threads of burlap from around the edges to create a frayed edge.  The surface of the mats can be stamped or stenciled if desired.  I chose to "pull" threads to create a slight pattern, by dividing the area into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Cut the threads just above the second stitch line and pull them out.  (NOTE: I pulled three threads for each.)  

For the napkin rings, cut the burlap to measure 10" x 3".  Fold the two cut edges in and iron to crease.  The width of the ring will measure about 1 1/2".  Cut a strip of felt measuring 10" x 1" for each ring.  Glue with a fabric or felt glue to cover the edges of the burlap. (NOTE: This will be the inside of the napkin rings.)  Overlap the ends approximately 1" and glue to form a ring.  Flower shapes were die-cut from burlap and glued to the joined area.  Add a decorative button to the center of the flower.

The fabric baskets can be made in any size. The sewing and marking instructions are the same for any size basket. The smaller basket measure 8", the larger basket measures 10". To create the baskets, cut the burlap into squares, 12" for small size, 16" for the large size. (NOTE: Each baskets uses 2 squares.)  Cut a square from chipboard for the bottom of the basket, 8" for small, 10" for large.  Place the chipboard square onto the center of one burlap square and trace with a pencil.  Pin the two burlap squares together and stitch following the line around three sides.  Slip the chipboard square into the pocket created from the sewing.  (NOTE: The square may need to be slightly trimmed on two sides evenly to fit into the pocket easier.)  Sew along the last side carefully to enclose the chipboard.   Sew along the top edge of the burlap square, about 1/2" from the edge.  Pull the threads away to the stitched line on the four edges.  Fold the sides up and press.  Bring two side up and form a angle at the corner.  Punch a hole in the two layers.  Thread a length of ribbon through the holes and tie a bow.  Repeat for each corner.  (NOTE: Add Fray Check to the edges of the holes if desired to stiffen.)

Another item I received was a roll of 7" wide, natural burlap.  With this product I created a grow chart.  Measure a 80" length.  Fold it in half, matching edges and pin to hold.  Sew a pocket at the top to hold a dowel rod for hanging.  Fray the lower edge of the burlap.  Cut a strip of canvas, measuring 37" x 2 1/2".  Fold in 1/2" along the long edges of the canvas and press.  Place canvas strip onto burlap and stitch down along both sides using a zig-zag stitch.  Mark the canvas at 1" intervals with a dot.  Draw a 1/2" line with fabric marker at each inch mark.  Every six inches glue a thin strip of black velcro to that mark. To make the sunflower:  Cut a 5 1/2" and 4" circle from chipboard.  Using the larger circle, cut strips of 1 1/2" wide, natural burlap ribbon.  For the outside row use 13 - 7" pieces, inside row use 10 - 5" pieces.  Fold each in half and glue them around the circle, spacing evenly, beginning with the larger strips, then placing the shorter strips in between and on top of the others.

NOTE: Because I received this burlap ribbon in a natural color I used Tulip Color Spray for fabric to make the flower yellow and also sprayed it with gold Sparkle Spray.  
For the flower center, I balled up the the threads pulled from the burlap.  Placed this on a piece of waxed paper and sprayed it with Ranger Adirondack Color Wash, using Expresso and Terra Cotta. Then giving it a few sprays of Copper Brilliance Paper Finish by Krylon.  Once the paint and dye dries glue this to the smaller circle and glue into the center of the flower.  To complete the chart, die-cut leaves and letters to spell - GROWING from felt and glue onto the chart.  Create a "Lady Bug" from felt to be used as a marker for measuring.  A piece of the loop velcro is glued to the backside of the ladybug.  A small circle on the soft velcro is glued to the bottom of the flower center.  NOTE: The measurement at that point is 36" from the bottom the chart.
Place a length of 1/4" dowel rod into the pocket at the top.  Tie a length of jute cording to each end of the rod for hanging.

Along with the other items were jute bags and linen bags.  These little bags are great for favors for any occasion.  The jute bag was changed up by making different cords with strips of fabric and simple iron-ons made with scraps of fabric for embellishing the bags.
For the linen bag, make a simple change from jute cord to ribbon.  An interesting embellishment is made from aluminum, that was embossed with an embossing folder from Sizzix, then inked with alcohol ink.  Adhere with double faced redline tape.  Both types of bags can be dyed, stamped, painted or embellished in so many different ways.

I was unable to complete the two other projects with the remaining product that I received, but when I do, they will be shared.

Here is a list of links for Burlap Fabric for you to check out:

The company is offering a prize package valued at $100.00 that will include a nice variety of product.  To enter to win, leave a comment on my blog, follow Designer Craft Connection, and Craft Foxes.

Giveaway Link: Rafflecopter

Hop through the blogs by using the "Blue DCC Button" on the upper right  to work your way through all the other designers blogs.

OR here is a list of each Designer Participants link:

Carmen Flores Tanis
Jennifer Priest
Lisa Fulmer
Sue Eldred
Susan Brown

Monday, July 7, 2014

Designer Craft Connection - Party Decorations

Whether it be a birthday, anniversary, graduation, wedding or baby shower or any of the numerous holidays, decorations can be a big part of celebrating.

Special celebrations around here and for family usually give me a good reason for crafting something.  For the past few years one of my "go to" decoration have been banners.

Reversible Banner for Family Celebrations
Happy Birthday - Crafts n Things Weekly 9/11/2013

Congratulation - Crafts n Things Weekly 11/6/2013
For this months post, I will share many of my handcrafted banners.  In my own house there are at least three great spots to display banners.  There is at least one banner that is always hanging somewhere in the house.  So for any celebration make it a "Banner Day" for part of your decorating theme.

Start with decorative papers in any suitable color theme, use dies if they are available to you, pre-cut purchased shapes or design your own templates and hand cut shapes. Use purchased letters in sticker form or in chipboard for making your statement. Expand on materials to use and combine several different type to create more interesting banners - embellish and decorate away!  Start with a banner and expand on to other decorations for your themed celebrations.


Sunday, July 13th come check out the blog hop.
A challenge with a number of designers showing
ways to use burlap in a variety of interesting ways.
There will also be an opportunity to win a prize
package of product worth $100.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Arnold Grummer Blog - Paper Casting 3-D Shapes

While processing pulp for casting in molds for the last project, an idea came to try and sculpt a three-dimensional shape using the left over pulp.

Experimenting with crafting material of any kind just happens to be something I enjoy doing.  It's fun to push the limits of materials and play with combining products because that's how new techniques and ideas are created in my opinion.

I used wire mesh to form a simple body base for a dragonfly.  Two sizes of wings were cut from wire mesh.  NOTE: The mesh used was Amaco WireForm Metal Mesh.

The process I used to cover the mesh forms was to dip the pieces into the pulp that is in a shallow container.  Move the mesh shapes around in the container, lift the mesh pieces from the container and press some of the water out with your fingers.  Place the mesh covered pieces onto a board covered with a towel.  Use a sponge or toweling to continue to press the water from the shapes.  This process was repeated to continue to add a coating of the pulp to each shape.  NOTE: When repeating this, do it carefully to as to not add too much water, causing the pulp to wash away.  Small amounts of pulp were lifted with a fork and placed onto the mesh shapes to continue to add layers of pulp to cover the shapes.

Dry the shapes in between the layering in a toaster oven.  Once the shapes are covered to your liking, the pieces can be painted and finished before completing the dragonfly.

The body was first painted with black paint.  A combination of other metallic colors were carefully brushed on randomly.

The wings are painted with a white pearl paint and then brushed with a light coat of Ranger Ice Stickles for a bit more sparkle.

A hole was poked through the dragonfly body to add a wire for attaching.  Two bronze beads are added for eyes.  The wings are glued together  and then glued into place on the top of the dragonfly to cover the hole made for the wire, slightly overlapping them.  Shape the wings as desired.  NOTE: The wire mesh makes them easy to shape.

I attached the dragonfly to a "found" branch that is part of a wall arrangement in my front hallway.

I am sure I will attempt this process of working with pulp in the fashion again.  It's always fun to experiment and work on perfecting a process and discover new ideas.

Give papermaking and papercasting a try!

If you haven't tried paper making or paper casting go to the Arnold Grummer website and check out the products, ideas, videos and place an order using the code: SUMMER20 when placing an order.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Arnold Grummer Blog - Simple Candle Embellishments

Summer time is here and it a time for sitting or dining outside. Candles always add a wonderful element to entertaining.

For this project I created some simple candles that can be used inside or outside for adding some glow to a summer setting.

Recycled jars make great candle holders but embellishing them with a little something extra makes them a bit special.

I made casting using the "dragonfly" casting molds with the cotton linter squares.  Follow  the directions to blend the squares with water in a blender, followed by pressing the pulp into the mold and removing water and then drying.  Instructions can be found in the package of the Linter Squares.

The casting are fine left the way they come from the molds but I chose to add some color to the images.  The dragonfly body was delicately painted with metallic paints.  The wings were coated with Glossy Accents glaze and then sprinkled with clear rock candy Distress stickles dry glitter.  Turquoise Perfect Pearls was brushed carefully onto the background area.  A touch of paint in a round the edges of the squares to finish it off.
I trimmed the squares with deckle decorative scissors.

A strip of wood grain paper ribbon is glued around the jars and the dragonfly square is glued to the center of the strips to complete the embellishing.

If you haven't tried paper making or paper casting go to the Arnold Grummer website and check out the products, ideas, videos and place an order using the code: SUMMER20 when placing an order.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Designer Crafts Connection - Handmade Gift Ideas

This month we are sharing ideas for handmade gifts.  It's funny that I had an actual reason to create something handmade to give to a friend yesterday, and I will be sharing what I made for this post.

Our quilt group was invited to visit the home of someone who helped us get our little group off and running several years back.   We were all invited to go and see her large collection of quilts and other quilt related pieces, as well as her personal creative space and the Gammill Long-Arm quilting machine.  
Front of card box

I will share a few photos of some of the stacks of quilts were had the opportunity to view.  She also shared several patterns with us.  We decided that we needed to once again work on a larger project, with a new application that none of us have tried before.  So Maureen graciously offered to once again to guide us through a new project.  

To show my "thankfulness" for this wonderful, inspiring visit, I wanted to make a little "handmade" something to give her.  

I created a box of note cards for her.  This is a small gift that anyone could make in their own variations, with tools they have available.  
Box back - stamp details

To make the set of eight cards I used blank white cards and matching envelopes.  For the colored cardstock cut-out design, I used a design for a card (#59910 - adapating the front) for my Silhouette machine.  Eight different colors of textured cardstock were used. To add a little contrast to the cut-out area, I used a blending tool and went over the area with coordinating Distress Inks.  I added a coordinating, decorative paper to the backside of these pieces.  Each of these were then glued to the the blank cards.  Another piece of each decorative paper was trimmed to fit into the envelopes for a liner paper.  

The box to hold them was also cut from a Silhouette file (#54224) using a kraft colored paper.

To decorate the box with a "quilting" theme, I used Ann Butler Faux Quilt design 2" stamps.  
Each design was stamped with clear embossing ink and sprinkled with Ranger Gold Pearl embossing powder.  Heat the powder with a heat tool.  Once all designs are stamped and embossed, I added inks over the images to off-set the embossed areas.  Use a blending tool to add the inks.  I used Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and Archival Potting Shed for shading.  Each of the squares were trimmed down to measure 1 3/4".  Cut two black panels of cardstock just 1/4" or so shy of the box front and back.  Glue the faux quilt squares onto the black card stock, leaving a little black show between the squares.

Add a pretty piece of ribbon for tying closed.  

NOTE: I created a small "thank you" card to attach using another image for a card from Silhouette.  I resized it to make it smaller.  Attach a decorative paper to the inside front of the card.  Add a little sprackle with some glitter.

There is something special about making and giving a gift created with your own hands! 

Now just a few photos of the absolutely beautiful array of handmade quilts -

That is just a small part of what we were treated to seeing!  Amazing!!!!!