Sunday, July 20, 2014

Arnold Grummer's Papermaking - 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.