Monday, April 28, 2014

Arnold Grummer's Papermaking - Remembering Mom

With Mother's Day just a couple weeks away, this special day became the inspiration for my latest project, using handmade paper and some casted elements to create a keepsake for a mother or grandmother or any special lady.

A variety of previously formed sheets of handmade paper were used to construct a mini album.  Three dimensional flowers are die-cut and colored from plain sheets of handmade paper and leaves are caste in a mold used for clay.

The base of the album was die-cut from tan chipboard. NOTE: I used Sizzix Scoreboard XL - Album Photo die, (#657122). The front cover uses a sheet of paper made from a mix of a brown paper lunch bag and white copy paper.  This mixture of paper creates a nice mottled look to the paper.  NOTE: This sheet is also die-cut to match the chipboard cover.  Glue this sheet to the chipboard cover.  Paint the back cover and binding piece with Vintage Photo Distress Paint.  Use Distress Inks to shade the edges of all pieces.  Use a strong double faced tape like "red tape" to put the album together, by attaching the front and back covers to the binding strip.  Create a page anchor by accordion folding a piece of paper 4" tall paper every 1/2".  NOTE: My piece was 4 1/2" wide, this will hold four pages.  Add one inch more for each additional page wanted.  Apply double sided adhesive to both ends of the accordion folded piece.  Adhere the ends flaps of this piece to the front and back covers.

For the insert pages I used other handmade sheets.  The pages are random widths.  I ran these through the Big Shot using the same album die, only trimming away the edge that will be attached to the binding.  The right edge is left with the deckle as formed when making the sheet of paper.  Glue each page onto a binding fold.

Flowers are formed from die-cuts. NOTE: I used Sizzix Bigz - Flowers, 3-D die.  Each flower is lightly inked with Distress Inks.  NOTE: I used Tattered Rose and Festive Berries.  Twist the flowers using tweezers to form and glue with hot glue to hold in place.

Leaves were caste in a Makin's Clay Leaves mold.  Trim away any excess paper and color each leaf with green Distress Inks.  With a small fine brush, paint the stem and veins with a green paint.

Form a bow for the edge binding with ribbon.  Glue the leaves and flowers in place in any pattern on the cover.  Die-cut letters to spell M-O-M and glue onto cover if desired.

Add photos or personal messages onto the pages.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rebekah Meier Stencils by Crafter's Workshop Blog Hop

What a pleasure to participate in this challenge with a very talented group of designers chosen by Rebekah to showcase her new stencil designs by Crafters Workshop.

The Crafter Workshop Stencils can be purchased from Bluemoon Scrapbooking.  We were sent four  6" x 6" stencils from this new line: Ring Doily Stencil,  Stain Glass Stencil, Byzantine Stencil and Rosetta Stencil.

Once receiving the stencils,  the hard choice was - "what should I do"?

Though all the stencils can be used together, I chose to showcase two stencils individually in two different projects.

Some time ago I was lucky enough to take part in a week-end workshop with Magdalena Muldoon.  I became interested in metal embossing.  During the two day workshop we were shown several ideas in working with metal.  One process was embossing with stencils.  After seeing the designs in Rebekah's stencils I thought it would be fun to work one of the stencils into a metal embossed design.     I chose the Stain Glass Stencil to work with for this project.  The metal piece I created was then used for a cover on a simple album.  The stencil design was traced onto a piece of metal with a metal tracing tool.  The design was refined by using a variety of metal embossing tools.  Once the design was embossed into the metal, I filled in the raised designs on the backside.  This is done with spackling paste or anything that will harden to hold the raised part of the design in place.  Because I had a small area to fill, I used Plaid® Royal Coat Dimensional Magic™.

To give the piece an antique look, the embossed image was cover with Black Soot Distress Paint and then wipe off with a paper towel.  The paint will embed itself into the embossed areas.  If needed, more paint can be added and rewiped.  To add a little accent, some Perfect Pearls was brushed over the image. The use of the stencil did not end with the metal cover.  I took a piece of solid fabric and used the stencil, along with Tim Holtz Distress Stain Bundled Sage.  I simply took the stencil and while holding it in place, I rubbed the Distress Stain over it.  The process was repeated over and over across the piece of fabric by overlaying the stencil and applying the Distress Stain.   The result of this process gave the fabric the look of batik that looked amazing on the fabric.  The fabric was than used to cover corrugated and chip board to create the album.  Add some binder rings to hold the album together and embellish with a variety of ribbons or cords tied to the rings for a finishing touch.

So I just couldn't stop and wanted to play with the stencils and paints.

Finding a canvas bag in my stash of items I thought it would make a great surface to repurpose.  The image on the bag was coated with two coats of white gesso.

For the bag, I used the Byzantine Stencil.  I began in the center of the bag by applying a layer of  US ArtQUest Heavy Artist's Cement.  Spread a layer over the stencil with a palette knife.  It is alright for it to be an uneven layer.  Lift and clean the stencil off with water.   Allow this to dry very well before continuing.  Using two colors and acrylic paints of choice, the stencil was held in place in the four corners and paint is applied over the stencils.  To add a bit more texture, the stencil was partially placed in any open areas and more heavy artist cement is added.  Once this dries, brush or sponge additional paints to add more color.  Black fabric was die-cut using Tim Holtz Wordplay die by Sizzix.  The letters were glued to the bag and the entire stenciled area was coated with a Sealer.  This repurposed canvas bag will now be added to the collection of reusable bags that I use for all my shopping needs.

I thank Rebekah for asking me to be a part of this blog hop and having the chance to work with her stencils.  I also look forward to seeing all the other projects the others will be sharing here.  I'm sure there will be inspiring and creative ideas flowing here.

Follow all the links to all the other blog posts to get inspired.   Answer Rebekah's question by leaving your comment on her post - you may be lucky enough to win her new stencils.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Arnold Grummer's Papermaking - Creating Shapes with Paper Pulp

Spring finally seems to showing itself here in our area.  Along with signs of the season popping and blossoming here and there, the robin's and other feathered friends are singing and building their nests for more new life.

Many will be celebrating Easter next Sunday.  My little family will be gathering here to celebrate both the holiday and the five Spring birthday's we have within one month.

While working on making seed papers for my last post I also had the idea to make paper pulp and work with casting shapes with other forms that I have within my supplies.  I found an egg shaped mold that was used to make chocolate or sugar shaped eggs.  I had to try to use this mold to form a large egg shape using paper pulp.

I wanted to experiment with the pulp and find a way to make the shape stiffer.  I feel my experiment was succesful.  After making several batches of pulp I strained as much of the water out as possible.I placed the entire  amount into a bowl and added approximately 1/4 cup of Stiffen Stuff by Beacon Adhesive and mixed it into the pulp.  By hand, I began to pat the pulp into the egg mold bringing the pulp up over the top edge slightly and then repeated the process with the other half of the mold.  I used small pieces of sponges to try to remove as much of the moisture from the pulp as possible.  To help the drying process along, I placed the molds into the microwave and set it at short intervals of 40 seconds several times, beginning at 50% power and working to 100% power for 30 seconds.  After this process the shapes were left to dry completely overnight.  Once dry, the shapes were carefully removed from the molds.  To make the shapes stronger, I brushed several light coats of Stiffen Stuff onto the shapes.  NOTE:  I did several coats on the outside of each form, allowing them to completely dry between coats then repeated the same process on the inside.

From one half of the egg shape I created a candy holder.  The outside was painted with white pearl acrylic paint finish and the inside was painted with a yellow glitter paint.  A handle was fashioned from a strip of handmade paper.  NOTE:  To stiffen the handle, Stiffen Stuff was brushed onto the strip following the same process mentioned above.  A length of decorative ribbon was glued to the handle.  Two paper brads are used to attach the handle to the base.  Fill with "grass" and your favorite candy.

The second half was finished to hold a little chick and some paper flowers for a sweet Spring decoration.  This half was painted with white paint and the covered with glue and sprinkled with white glitter to give it the look of sugar coating.   In the bottom of the egg Icut a piece of styrafoam and glued it to the inside.  Folded green rice paper was cut into thing strips to create paper grass.  Paper punched flowers with leaves were created with a piece of wire placed between to flower punch shapes and placed into the foam.

This project will more then likely lead to more experiments with using pulp to form three-dimensional shapes in the future.

Visit the Arnold Grummer website and when placing an order for product use the code MOM20 this month to receive 20% off your order.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Designer Craft Connection - April Showers Bring May Flowers

Spring has "officially" arrived by the calendar, but Mother Nature is being a bit difficult in our area in getting Spring started after a very tough Winter.  Times like this call for one to bring on our own "Spring"!

Last month I missed posting for the DCC blog, though I had a couple of posts up from another blog that I am posting to each month.  It has been fun creating for this months theme.  Once again I went to my favorites!  Out came the Big Shot and those Sizzix dies.  Instead of working with papers I went to my scraps of fabrics and felt and used those to make some "blossoms".

The inspiration for the planter of flowers started with an old wooden cheese box that sits on the mantel and my love of daffodils.  With the changing seasons, this cheese box holds a variety of different things.

Using the largest of Eileen Hull's XL Scoreboard dies, the Box, Square, I made two  boxes, from some chipboard pieces in my stash of stuff, for the base of the planter.  Using a lighter weight chipboard and a Tim Holtz Impression Folder, a wood pattern was created for the outside of the planter.  A variety of Distress Inks and Stains were applied to color the chipboard to look like wood.  The two panels were then adhered to the box base.  Two cubes of foam were cut to place inside each box to hold the finished flowers.  NOTE: Some moss was added to cover the foam.

To make the flowers I first chose a selection of print and solid fabrics that would coordinate.  All the fabrics were fused with an iron-on adhesive.  Each of the fabrics were then die-cut using a variety of Sizzix dies.  Here is a list of the dies that I used for the flowers:  Flower, Petal Power (tulips), Flower Layers #1(blue posies), Flower Layers #4 (white coreopsis), Flowers, 3D (orange roses), Flower Layers #6/ Tattered Florals ( daffodils) and Border & Hydrangeas (violets).  NOTE: Here is were need to look beyond the orginal use of a die. Most can be altered in many ways to create a whole new look.

Beacon Fabri Tac glue was used to form the flowers.  Buttons or beads were used for the centers of the flowers.  The centers all have wire attached to make the stems.  Once all the flowers were made the wire stems were covered with green floral tape.

Leaves were hand-cut and die-cut from six different colors of felt then added to the stems.  I made my own template for the tulip and daffodil leaves and cut them from the felt.  The remaining leaves were die-cut.  Dies used for leaves were: Eileen Hull - Leaves (roses/the smallest leaf), Eileen Hull - Flower, Petal Power (violet/small petal) and  Brenda Pinnick - Flower, Wedding Foliage (coreopsis/ posies).  The leaves were then glued to the stems of the flowers with Fabri Tac glue.

The flowers were then arranged into the planter.  A simple thin skewer became a plant poke. The word "blossoms" is die-cut from colored card stock and placed onto the white pennent, using double-sided Adtech Crafter's Tape.  A bit of fine glitter is added to cover the tape.  The pennent is backed with a dark green card stock and glued onto the skewer.  Add a little raffia bow to finish.

The finished planter has found a spot for Spring on the mantel but it would also make a nice centerpiece on any Spring table by arranging the flowers differently.

A few more blossoms to share with you -

Here is a banner I made a while back once again using  Sizzix dies by Eileen Hull.  The flowers are made with the Flower, Petal Power die and the Bigz Leaves die.  Solid cardstock was die-cut and embossed with large and small dot impression plates.  The petals were shaded with Distress Inks to add some contrast before assembling.  Each center circle spells out "Spring Has Sprung" with alphabet stickers.

If the flowers are not blooming outside, make your own and fill your house!

Now check out all the other ideas this month by continuing through the other blogs - just click the Designer Craft Connection button to the right of this post.