Tuesday, June 30, 2015

More Playing With Pulp for Arnold Grummer Papermaking Blog

For some reason, I truly enjoy experimenting with paper pulp.  After seeing some interesting designed papers at an art store, this idea came to me. The results from my playing, I feel, was very satisfactory.  Here are two projects made with this pulp technique.  The paper was used as a background for a simple card.  Another application was a decorative plate.



Visit the Arnold Grummer Papermaking Blog to read more about these two projects and get to mixing up some pulp to play with.  LINK TO POST

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fairfield Pillow Challenge - Designer Craft Connection

What better way to brighten up a summer setting is there!  Combine an outdoor pillow with some colorful fabrics and embellishments and the results can be amazing.


I requested Weather Soft™ Pillow Inserts for this project.  They are a water resistant pillow shape made specifically for outdoor use.  They have a laminated shell that protects the fiberfill from moisture.  They are durable and add comfort to your patio and deck furnishings.

Measure a piece of the Oly-Fun™ Sky Blue fabric an inch larger than the size of the pillow form.  The fabric will be sewn by machine to form a pillow covering that may be removed to be changed for the seasons.  Overlap the fabric approximately 3" to 4" on the back part of the pillow covering.  NOTE: Hem the edges by folding over the edges 1/4" to 1/2" before sewing around the four sides of the pillow covering.  Before turning to the right side, trim the four sides with pinking shears and trim the points.

Die-cut circles from the Hot Fudge Oly-Fun™for each flower.  Die-cut leaves from the Pine Oly-Fun™. Using the Eileen Hull Leaves Sizzix die, cut 12 of each size leaf for each flower.  NOTE: The stems on the leaves can be trimmed away.  Beginning with the largest leaf shape, glue them around the brown center, spacing as evenly as possible.  Continue to glue the next size leaf around the center placing them in between the leaves of the first band.  Finish with the smallest leaf, placing them between the leaves of the prior row.  Find the placement of the flowers and leaves that is desired and then glue them into place.

Place the finished pillow where ever you would some brightness!!!

Materials

Fairfield Weather Soft™ 18" x 18" Pillow Insert (#A-WP18)
Fairfield Oly-Fun™ Craft Pack Pine
Fairfield Oly-Fun™ Craft Pack Sky Blue
Fairfield Oly-Fun™ Craft Pack Hot Fudge
Yellow Felt
Sizzix Big Shot
SIzzix Dies: Eileen Hull Leaves, Original Leaf, Maple
Beacon Adhesives FabriTac™
Sewing Machine
NOTE:  Fairfield Oly-Fun™ Lemon Drop could be used in place of the yellow felt.

Visit the Fairfield World website to see the complete line of products.




Friday, June 12, 2015

Deflecto Design Team - Hooray For the Red, White & Blue

When summer arrives, all things red, white and blue come out to decorate the house during this time. With Memorial Day, Flag Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day all falling within the summer season, it is the appropriate time for such decorations.


The mantle above the fireplace is one spot that always finds a special decoration to fit a theme.  This year I changed things up just a bit.  Using the Angled Sign Holders (20001CR) I created postcard size cards using various papers and adding die-cut letters using my Silhouette machine to spell out AMERICA.  Adding to the mantle decor is a very simple garland made from torn strips of fabric that are knotted onto a jute cord.



The VersaGrip™ Sign Holder (20007CR) made the perfect thing to hang another handmade banner to a window area.  The longer clamp was clipped to the top edge of the curtain and the smaller clip holds the string from the banner.  Rosettes made from coordinating papers are attached to the clip with heavy duty glue dots.



Another banner was made from handmade papers and some scanned images.  It hangs from the front steel door with star shaped magnets that were die-cut from Deflecto Magnet Sheets with Supergrip Sign Holders (20002CR) attached to hold the banner cord.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Designer Craft Connection - Let's Party!

Summer is here and it brings along with it - PARTY TIME!  Of course,  parties are great no matter the reason or the time.


Every party calls for beverages and why not make serving them fun.  There are several containers on the market that can make beverages at parties special.

Using a Mason jar, a drinking mug and replicas of milk bottles, then adding some extras to embellish, the end product are unique additions for your party table.

Create a fabric lid for the containers from fabrics to suit a theme.  Make a pattern by drawing a circle.  Use a 6 1/2" circle for the larger vessels and a 4 3/4" circle for the bottles.  In the center of each pattern, trace the diameter of the corresponding jar/mug and bottles.  Trace the circles onto the fabrics of choice, then cut out using pinking shears.  Make another set of circle patterns the same size as the diameter of the container  opening.  NOTE: The measurements are approximately 2 3/4" for the jar/mug and 1 3/4" for the bottles.  Trace these circle patterns onto vinyl iron-on material, two per cover; cut out.  NOTE: Cut these circles slightly smaller than the tracing line.  Place and press these vinyl circles onto the fabric circles, centering them.  Follow the manufacturer instructions to apply these to the fabric.  Applying them to both sides will make these reusable and keep them from absorbing any liquid.

Fold each circle to find the center and carefully cut and X in the center.  For the jar or mug, place the fabric onto the top and  center the vinyl circle then screw a jar lid ring on.  Add some ribbon or other trim for decoration if desired onto the edge of the lids.  For the bottles, place the fabric circles onto the tops and hold in place with clear rubber bands.  Add ribbon or trim for decoration if desired.

Die-cut corresponding tags in shapes to match the theme from chalkboard material.  Punch a small hole into the shapes and attach a thin cord for tying.  Use chalkboard markers to add names to the tags.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Frames To Celebrate Special People - Deflecto

June will be "busting out all over" very soon!  With the beginning of this new month comes the end of the school year, graduations and Father's Day.  Here are some ideas for either gifts or displays.


This lovely clear acrylic easel frame stands on its own quite well but by adding simple yellow pencils and clay apple embellishments, make it into something special for that favorite teacher.


This chalkboard holder goes a little bit beyond just a message board by adding a clear pouch to hold a photo a the special graduate and some celebration balloons.


Here is a favorite frame of mine.  Again this frame stands well all on its own.  For that special "dad" make it more personal or fitting.   For the "Do-It-Yourselfer",  I added some clay pieces that are made to resemble pieces of wood to embellish the front of the frame.  The same clay, letters were die-cut to add "daddy" to personalize the frame.


Embedded In Pulp - Arnold Grummer Papermaking

The blender came out again to work on some papermaking ideas.  After making a couple batches of paper pulp for more experimenting, I created two interesting "organic" sheets.


The first was made by placing a number of skeleton leaves onto the papermaking screen. This is layered on top of the white support grid that is sitting on a pan with a lip to catch the water from pressing.   After they were in position I took small clumps of the pulp and placed it over each of the leaves.  NOTE: The weight of the pulp helps hold the leaves in place.  Continue to cover the entire leaf pattern with pulp, going beyond the edges of the pattern.  Place enough pulp to cover but not too thick.  Experiment with the thickness and placement of the pulp.  Place the mesh cover screen on top of the pulp and begin removing water with sponges.  Remove as much of the water as possible and flip the screen over, pressing again with sponges or rags to remove more water.  Remove the papermaking screen and cover with a couch sheet and press and process just as you would when making any sheet of paper.  Cover with a dry couch sheet, weight the piece with heavy books till dry.



This piece looks great on its own just placed in a simple frame or it would also make a lovely background for a photo.

Wanting to try the process again, I chose a length of yarn from a recent crochet project.  I first wet the yarn with thinned white glue.  I placed the yarn randomly onto the papermaking screen then repeated the same process for embedding the yarn in pulp.  Looking at various things that I could work into making more interesting organic looking sheets.

Visit the Arnold Grummer website for information, ideas and supplies.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

JOY®-ful Letters

Add a letter or two, or three, or more, here and there to label something special.  I have never used these letters before and found them easy to use. plus an attractive addition for any type of base.


First comes this little white linen bag that I created for a previous manufacturer challenge for Decorative Trimmings.  Someone happened to give me a suggestion (thanks Julie), about using these wonderful letters for this challenge.  Personalizing items for any occasion can be fun, why not something for a brides special day.  Take this idea beyond the bride and add the names of your bridal party to a special item for this special day.


Why not add a monogram to all your traveling paraphernalia. Here I added my own initials to a fabric travel pouch that I made for myself.  I definitely like the look of these on the pouch and think it would be a great idea to add them to all my other travel bags.

Totally love the look of these large letters when I first saw them.  My original plan was to make something for my two youngest granddaughters that they could use for taking on a trip or a sleepover.  Unfortunately I made a big mistake when choosing the letters and could only make one.


Using a purchased plastic tote from Michael's, it was perfect for the base of a cute carry-all.  These great letters were glued on and stand out on this tote, add some die-cut duck tape flowers and iridescent gems and that's all that is needed for sweet carrier for any little girl - what JOY!


Use this link to check out and read the Creating with Joy blog: Link

Monday, May 11, 2015

Working With "Earth Safe Finishes" Begins

After becoming aware of Earth Safe Finishes a few years back and using them in a teaching venue, I realized how I enjoyed the versatility of all the mixing aspects of the products in this line. Now as a part of this team, it will be a great way to further work with these products and discover more about them.  I look forward to learning and experimenting!


This first effort is an easy one but I was still impressed with the results.  I have worked with the majority of paints that are on the market throughout the years. The first impression that stuck me was with coverage of the Earth Safe Finishes paint.  The way the paint performed for this little project surpassed my expectations.


There was a need to create a project using this wooden chalkboard holder, but wanted to change the original wood finish.  I began by sanding the wooden surface to remove some of the slick finish. Wipe away the sanding powder with a tack rag or slightly damp cloth.  I brushed on a coat of ESF Chalk It Up Huckleberry Cobbler paint.  It was so easy to apply to all the surface of the wooden frame.  There were not brush marks and it went on very smoothly.  After drying, which was quickly, another coat of paint was applied, but the first coat gave great coverage.  After allowing the paint to dry for an hour, I applied a coat of the ESF No Voc Wax, folllowing manufacture's instructions.  This was the first time I had used something other then a brush-on finish.  The finish of the painted surface was lovely and I can see using this product for many future projects.

To add a bit of color for the project theme, I took yellow ESF Colorant and just dabbed it onto the back of clear plastic pouch and let it dry.

Using three products changed the look of two surfaces for this Graduation Celebration display.