Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Arnold Grummer Papermaking - Easy Paper Snowflake Photo Background

Hustle and bustle of the holiday season is here.  There is still so much to do before Christmas Day.  My last post for this year had to be fairly easy and quick.

Using ordinary white copy paper and adding some Arnold Grummer Iridescent Flakes to the mix, I made two simple sheets of paper flecked with sparkle.

Follow the basic paper making process that can be viewed at this video link.

A different style acrylic frame with a different style of die-cut snowflakes

Once the paper sheets were completed I used my "go to" tools - Sizzix Big Shot and dies. The simple snowflake die-cuts were then used to add a unique embellishment to a black & white photo in an acrylic frame.

Now shop at the Arnold Grummer website for a last minute Christmas gift for that creative someone in your life or yourself.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Designer Craft Connection/Smoothfoam™ - Holiday Ball Decorations

The countdown to Christmas has begun - decorations are going up, there is tree lighting, card writing, cookie baking, planning and shopping going on.  Each holiday season I tell myself there is no need for any new decorations but there always seems to something new being created.

Here is a cute ornament idea using a Smoothfoamball.  To make this ornament, punch the primitive heart shape using a decorative punch and several solid and printed papers. Cut a length of ribbon for hanger and knot the cut ends.  Drop a small bead of glue to the center of the ball, press the knotted end of the ribbon hanger onto the glue, press a straight pin into the knot and into the ball to secure.  Dipping just the bottom tip of the punched hearts into a white glue, place the heart shapes around the ball.  Start at the top and continue to work around in rows until the ball is completely covered.  Add a bow to the top of the ornament.  NOTE: Use other small punch shapes like a holly leaf that can be glued on in the same fashion or a snowflake that could be attached with pins.

Do you have an ball ornament to share?  If you do add it to the link along with all the others. See other ideas here with this link: Inlinkz  or the Smoothfoam™ blog.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Designer Craft Connection - Easy Holiday Decoration with "Foamology™" by Fairfield

Another opportunity to work with something new that I had never seen or used before, presented itself with this designer challenge.  I was totally unaware of this line of products called Foamology™by Fairfield.  I requested the 24" x 24" Rigid Tiles to work with.  Here is my creation using just one of the tiles, Faux Wooden "BELIEVE" Plank...

This will be a welcome addition to the country holiday vignette near the front entrance.  The idea was inspired by a similar one my daughter had made out of old recycled wood.

The 24" x 24" rigid tile was cut using a serated knife into two pieces measuring 12" x 24".  The two panels were taped together using wide strapping tape to hold them together.  The long panel was then covered with a natural cotton batting.  NOTE: Add the batting to the panels as shown in the video files for working with these products: http://foamology101.com/videos/.

I cut a piece of brown felt to cover the back of the plank.  NOTE: Fabric or paper could be used also.  

Using the back side of a butter knife, I ran it down the length of the plank about 3" from both sides to make an impression.  Using thinned paint, I  brushed it into the groove made by the knife.  This gave the panel some depth and the look of a wooden plank.

Letters that spell out BELIEVE, were cut from heavy, decorative cardstock using a Silhouette and a decorative font.  Spray adhesive was used to adhere the letters to the plank.  A little bit of gold spary glitter was applied before spray the entire surface with a clear acrylic spray finish.  A  little strip of "bark-like" ribbon was glued on and a small evergreen spray added to finish the look.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Arnold Grummer Blog - Warm Thoughts

'Tis the season - Holiday time is upon us for sure!  The tree and decorations have gone up. The winter weather has made its way here.  From all these things I was inspired to create this little paper banner to make a statement.

For this project I once again used paper pulp and a cookie cutter as a mold to shape the mittens.  You can refer for an earlier post where I used the same method to create individual paper shapes, here is the link to that post- Flying Bats

After the process of forming the mitten shapes, I applied a texture paint that resembles snow to the top edge of each mitten.  When that was dry, I added some sparkle with a glitter paint.  Letters were die-cut from white paper to spell out the greeting.  A bit of glitter glue was also added to the front surface of each letter.  When dry, the letters are glued onto the mittens.  Attach each mitten onto a cord of choice with mini wooden clothespins.  This simple banner, made from paper pulp, is a sweet display for somewhere in your house or to give as a little gift.  What better place to display it, but by hanging it on the old vintage coat rack in the front hall.

Make some handmade paper for holiday cards or gift tags.  Cast some paper pulp with molds or your own deckles, like a cookie cutter for holiday shapes.  Try it and have some fun!

Vist the Arnold Grummer website, look around and do some Holiday shopping.  Use the 20% discount code SNOWY20 with your purchase.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Arnold Grummer Papermaking - Surface Technique

It is always a challenge to come up with something a bit different for the posts I do for the Arnold Grummer Papermaking blog.  It seems that I have this "habit" of never wanting to just make a single sheet of paper or make a single paper casting square.  To me it's always about experimenting or trying something new or at least a new twist on an existing technique.

There are a few different books on "paper making" in my craft library, but the books I refer to the most are "The Complete Guide to Easy Papermaking", "Arnold Grummer's Complete Guide to Paper Casting" and "trash-to-treasure paper making", also by Arnold Grummer.
It was in "trash-to-treasure papermaking" where I found the idea for "Surface Embedment" and the term "Napkinization", so I decided to give this a try.  This is a process using an artistic paper napkin to transform a simple sheet of paper into something quite different.

The white, second layer of paper must be removed from the napkin, just leaving the patterned design.  Then using a ruler, I tore the napkin into about 1 1/2" strips, to prepare them for embedding.  You begin the same way you would to make a sheet of paper but using a bit more pulp because the surface embedment works best on a thicker sheet.

Process paper for a sheet just like any other. Pour pulp into the papermaking mold.  Lift the mold from the water, immediately place the napkin strips onto the surface of the pulp.  Allow the water to drain as much as possible.  After draining and following the steps to finish the sheet, the end product was a pretty framed sheet to use as a background for a photo in an acrylic frame.  A uniquely, decorative sheet like this would be perfect in any clear acrylic or floating frame.

NOTE: Before drying and ironing the sheet, pull away any of the excess white paper while still soft, from along the edges.  Use a pin, needle or the point of a knife to carefully complete this step.

To place an order for papermaking products, visit the Arnold Grummer website.  Use the savings code - THANKS20 - when ordering for a 20% discount.

Friday, November 14, 2014

"Upcycled Jewelry" by Linda Peterson Book Review Blog Hop

Designer/Author, Linda Peterson has a new book titled "Upcycled Jewelry - Bags, Belts & More" that I have been lucky enough to been given a copy to review for this blog hop.  You can find Linda's website at this link.  She will be hosting a "giveaway" along with this blog hop.

Being a "creative soul" along with a believer in reusing found and recyclable items for pieces that I create, I was delighted in reviewing this book and absorbing the ideas that Linda has to share.  The book contains 35 projects using everyday materials and some interesting additons to create very usable and modern designed accessories.

The jewelry pieces, whether made using plastic pieces, aluminum cans, bottle caps, zippers, soda can tabs, to just name some elements used, are all such clever ideas and could be followed exactly from her book or given your own twist.  The photos for the projects are great for the "visual" crafter.  Each project has a "Helpful Hint" that I like with instructions.

There are many designs in the book that I would enjoy recreating.  What I enjoy most are the "outside the box" materials, like the bicycle chain, the plastic bags and the ideas using an inner tube.  The "loop de loop ring" and the "retro studded cuff" and the "ring o' roses necklace come to mind.

After reviewing Linda's book, I attacked my boxes of saved materials and finds.   After taking a look through  my collection of things I created a pendant and pin.  The base of both are constructed from an old vinyl eye glass case.   Additional heart shapes are from pieces of old sunken wool sweaters.  Other elements used to finish them are old rusted keys, a decorative zipper pull from an old sweater, chain necklace from old costume jewelry. the lens from old eyeglasses, a saved image from an old postcard,  and a copy of a found verse.

Here are some links you can check out to find out more about Linda:

Linda's Blog: http://lindapetersondesigns.com
You Tube Playlist of Upcycled Jewelry: http://lindapetersondesigns.com
Amazon Site for Book Reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Upcycled-Jewelry-Bags-Belts-More/dp/1782491511/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1414079726&sr=8-4&keywords=linda+peterson+books

There are several others who are particpating in the blog hop and you should really take the time to check them out and see what others are saying about Linda's latest book.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Designer Craft Connection Challenge - Handmade Holiday with Fairfield

Holiday season is definitely upon us!  There have been several holiday related projects sitting on my dwing table for some time.  This challenge for Fairfield, thankfully, gave me the opportunity to finish these holiday projects so I could used them at home or for gift giving.

My choice of product to use was Fairfield Poly-Fil Low-Loft® batting.  I have worked with various battings for my quilts.  I found this batting to be perfect for these sewing/craft projects.  For all the following projects, the batting gave each just enough body, yet they remained soft and easy to sew and cut.

Last year I purchased a printed fabric panel from an area quilt shop but never found the time to use it.    The "flag" banner will be a nice addition to display this winter season.  The contempory colors and design will make this a perfect gift for my youngest sons home.

The panel also had a printed square to use as a pillow cover.  I chose to make a table square from it.  The batting ws perfect for this project and just thick enought to add some "free form" quilting over the branches and pinecone images on the fabric. This will most likely become a gift for my very "modern" daughters home.  Four printed fabric tags were part of the panel.  They are finished off with off-white jute cording and will be given along with the table square, to be used as coasters. These could even be used as a place card for a dinner with friends.

Here is an idea to reuse a candle holder:

Cut a piece of batting, slightly longer and wider then needed.  Press the batting with a iron set on a setting for polyester.  NOTE: Use a piece of parchement paper or a release sheet from "iron on" fusible.  The pressing will compact the batting slightly.  Make a cylinder from the batting to fit around the candle jar.  Sew a very narrow seam to hold the batting together.  Tirm if necessary to the hieght needed to cover the jar.  Slip it over the container an fold over the top slightly to form a cuff.  Add some die-cut snowflakes if desired with a bit of fabric glue.  NOTE: The snowflakes could be glitered before applying.  It can give any container a frosted affect.

I love banners and I use them in many places around the house.  The mantle in the family room is always adorned with one throughout the year.  The latest is made from red burlap, muslin and Fairfield's Low-Loft® batting.  I included a simple snowflake stitch at the top of each after sewing around the edge with a straight stitch and wihite thread.  Once the mittens were layered and sewn, the edges were pinked with scissors.  White letters were cut, fused and stitched on each mitten.  Use a white iridescent fabric paint to add some dimension around each letter.  Embellish with  two green holly leaves and red berries in felt.  Hang them from ribbon with small wooden clip clothespins.

There are a number of other DCC designers who are participating in this blog hop.  Please follow the button on the right side to hop through the other blogs or the linkz below for creative handmade holiday ideas using a variety of products from Fairfield World.

Add your name to win a gift here:
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Monday, November 3, 2014

Arnold Grummer Papermaking - Simple Casted Ornaments

These little paper casted ornaments are truly easy to create.  Process  five cotton linter squares for each ornament.  The art molds used were: Snowman #707, Bird #712, Three Trees #706, Snowflake. Check out this link for instructions on "how to cast paper".

After casting the designs and before drying the casting completely, I used a straight pin to pull away pulp from the edges to give them a feathered look.

Using balsa wood, because of its light weight and easy of cutting, make four squares that measure 3" x 3".  Sand the edges smooth and sand the four corners to make them round.
Cut squares to the same size from a glitter cardstock.  Use a corner rounder punch on each corner.  Adhere the glitter cardstock to the balsa wood squares with a double sided adhesive, like Therm-o-web PeelnStick. NOTE : Water base glues could warp the balsawood.  Glue the paper casting onto the center of the glittered covered squares using Beacon 3-in-1 glue.  Attach ribbon for hangers.

Visit the Arnold Grummer website to view videos showing the paper making process.  Place an order and use the coupon code THANKS20 for a discount.

Designer Craft Connection - Fun Ways to Say Thanks

Little things can say so much.  How do you say "thanks"?  Send or give a card, a personal call or and handwritten note?  A little something can say so much!

After finding some small jars in the dollar bin at a area store, I knew they would be a great container to make a handmade gift for giving away. Fill with something good or something special.  This jar was filled with a yummy snack mix that is a little sweet and a bit spicy.  Purchase or make your own mix.

Cut a circle from fabric and place over the jar cover.  Use a small invisible rubber band to hold it in place.  Add a coordinating ribbon around the cap and tie a bow.  Hand print a message on an oval cut-out and glue to top.

Use a gift idea like this on a table setting a a small holiday dinner for each guest.  Change the jar covering to fit an occasion or season,  add a message accordingly.  A simple way to say "thanks"!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Clips, Holders, Hooks, Tags and More - Create, Display, Enjoy - Oh My

Little bags of clips, tags, holders, hangers and more arrived at the beginning of the month.  Here we are on the very last day of the month and I would like to share a few projects that I created using some of the fun items we received from Deflect-o®.

First project was one I created as decoration for Halloween.  Making black bats from paper pulp, I needed a way to hang them.  Some neat little banner hangers were part of the package.  They have a double sided adhesive tab that comes with them for adhering to a surface.  I placed them above the wooden door frame and hung the bats using invisible thread from the holders.  A garland can be added to cover the white hangers from showing.  (Having these be clear would be even better.)

Taking the clear plastic Fexible Pouches, Icreated a reversible banner with some decorative papers and die-cut shapes and letters.  Add some ribbons or fabric strips to hang the pouches from a cord.  The plastic pouches make the banner something that could be used for an outdoor decoration too.
To hang inside, I used the  white banner hangers once again.

Using three of the frames from the very first package of product I received, here are three ideas using the frames for more than photos and also incorporating some of the clips, hooks, and more.

Fun magnets were made by adhering decorative papers to magnet sheets and then die-cut into flower shapes. 

Chalkboard designs are all the rage and they also are great to have around for reminders, notes, tags or decorative elements for the house, office or workspace.   Here are a few simple ideas to use the chalkboard sign tags and another sign holder, this one magnetic.  These boards can be used over and over.  Use specialty white chalk markers that are removable with water.

There are a few other items that I hope to work into other projects still to come.  What's fun is the opportuntiy to find new uses for items that many of us think only have one purpose.