Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Altered Tin Swap

My secret sister, Joy, received the altered tin I made for her, and she likes it so I’m very happy! I don’t know about you, but I always worry that what I create for someone will be good enough, or their style, or…or…or!

And I’ve received an altered tin (and more!) from my own secret sister too. My secret sister is my friend, Lani, and she was apparently having some of those same doubting thoughts that I was, which just made me giggle. I guess we all do it to a certain extent. It was so cute to read in her card to me (and she also gave me permission to say this heehee!) “Girl, you know how much I love you, and have to know how super excited and scared I was when I got your name, you are on an inspiration to me! And yes, you can say princess said it…I tried my best girlfriend…”

Well, princess, you did an awesome job! I love the alcohol inked tin which was filled with lace. Since I’ve been working with fabric, needles and pins lately, I think I’ll keep my needles in it. And I really got spoiled and received an altered box too! And it’s ivory colored…with buttons and bling and glitter, and filled with more things that I love. As I've said before...I'm a sucker for ivory colored things and it's going to look lovely sitting in my scrapbook room! I think it will sit on my table and hold little bits and pieces of lace to use on my projects.

Here’s a picture of the altered tin and box that Lani made for me…

along with some of the goodies she sent. Oops…I included a picture of the popcorn – that wasn’t for the tin swap…that was a bingo prize. And as you can see from the half-ful bag…I loved that too…but I did have a little help with it.

Notice the little package of “Princess Posies”pictured on the right? It’s a package of blue organza type flower shapes, and I’ve never noticed those before in the scrapbooking world. I always cut my own from fabric either freehand or using my diecut machine.

If you haven’t made a heated flower before, here’s how. Just take a few layers of flower shaped, thin fabric – think organza – any thin polyster type fabric. I like to use at least six layers – and I also like to vary the size going from large at the bottom to smaller at the top. These Princess Posies came with two different sizes.

Stack them together like this -- I like to alternate the pedal shapes...

Put a brad into the center –the Princess Posies already had holes in the center. And don’t use a rhinestone brad or it will melt. Or, you can keep the pieces together by attaching a small safety pin to the back.

Put the flower onto a heat-safe surface (I use my craft mat) and then I hold it down with something (I usually grab my scissors) so that when you heat the flower, it doesn’t take off on you. I give the top of the flower a quick heat shot using my heat gun….we’re talking really quick! and you’ll also want to move the heat gun around a bit to get all sides.

Then, still holding the flower down with my scissors, I take the heat gun to the side of the flower to get to the lower flowers without reheating the top flowers I just heated. When I heat from the side, then the flower will usually spin a bit which is great because all sides get heated. I will then just take a quick shot of heat to wherever I feel it needs to be more flower shaped.

And the final results --- I added a prima bling center to it…
Thanks Lani!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My "Practice" Piece

Yesterday, I showed you this inspiration piece that I bought at a parking lot sale.

I really liked it until I started making my "practice" piece. Here's my "practice" piece...and I love it even more than my inspiration piece.

I'm not one to measure much --- I just "eyeball" things. And since I wasn't being very precise, I decided I didn't want to "practice" using some of my pretty pieces of ivory upholstery fabric, so I used muselin instead. And I'm really, really liking the muselin.
I'm keep referring to this as a "practice" piece because most everything I used on it were things I had laying out on my craft table...little bits and pieces that I had been playing with and were left over from other projects.
Little bits and pieces like the little wand I made as part of a swap, and a pink rose from my Pretty Little Things album.

and the "happy birthday" banner, also from that same swap,

a clothespin I had distressed and stamped on, a left-over sheet of music and a defective piece of shaped chipboard to insert into the pocket.

And, my first hand-stitched muselin flower -- which I thought was not too bad for a first try. And, of course, I always have charms from ACharmingplace around - so I stitched a few of those on as well.

I also didn't want to "practice" using one of my pretty pieces of lace, so I grabbed a scrap piece of doily that I had cut up and stitched seam binding to. I was originally going to use that piece of doily around the bottom of an altered tin I made for my friend Kelle (I made her a tin similar to the altered tin I posted earlier). Well, that cut up doily piece didn't work out well on the tin, as the doily was too long. So I figured it'd work great for my "practice" piece.
I love the pleated bottom (I'll make that piece of fabric a little bigger next time so I'll have more uniform pleats) and the elastic pocket to insert fun things into. The "happy birthday" banner was just something I threw on because it needed "something" on that spot, so I grabbed it and it worked for "practice". Now I'm thinking this would make a nice birthday card -- a pretty little gift card holder.

So there you have "practice" inspiration piece. I think there's a mentality about saying the piece is a "practice"'s not final so I feel more free to just throw stuff on. After all, it's just for practice!
I think I'll make a few more of these and use them in various ways. Fun!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

An Inspiration Journey and Yard/Estate/Parking Lot Sale Finds...

Last weekend, Kathie and I went to the Tinsel and Treasures Art Show. It was so much fun, especially when you come back feeling so very inspired! So many talented ladies there.

On the way to the show, I saw a yard sale up ahead and immediately spotted something on the sidewalk that I wanted, and shouted “Stop!” to Kathie. I’m a sucker for ivory painted items…be it a wooden picture frame, or a piece of metal…like this.

I love the bird cage shape…and for $5.00, I loved it even more.

I also spotted an ivory colored tree in a very high spot at the yard sale. It was decorated in an easter theme, but that's ok--it's easily removable. I thought it would be great for displaying Kathryn’s jewelry. She wants to be a vendor at a craft faire at her school, so I thought this would be perfect for her…and perfect for me to use as well. Except one thing—looking at it while outside, up high, and then having someone else put it into Kathie’s large van, it didn’t seem quite so big…until I tried to put it into the trunk of my Mustang. Getting it home, well, that’s another story. Let’s just say when Kathie’s husband saw the tree, he was more than relieved when he heard it wasn’t taking up residence in their home. He thought my husband is a very lucky man to be getting that tree…I told him he can have visitation rights.

Here’s the tree…it stands about 4 feet high and is 3 feet wide…for $5.00. That seemed to be the magical number at that yard sale.

Kathryn has already tested it out and has some necklaces, rings and earrings on it. She likes it.

At the show, I found some very cool black ribbon – when you pull the center string, it creates a ruffle. I also bought this make and take from Dede Warren because it had fabric on it, and I’m so into fabric right now, it’s very inspirational. We stopped at an estate sale on the way back, and I picked up a few old books so I can make more…my own version...and of course, I’ll have to add a twist to it as usual.

And finally, we stopped at Room with a Past for their parking lot sale. I found this piece for $3.00. It looked so beautiful, I wanted it for inspiration. I couldn’t wait to go home and start pulling out pretty fabric and lace to recreate one. And I already knew I’d be substituting that button with a piece of vintage bling.

Well, I did start working on it, a “practice” piece…and vintage bling didn’t end up on it since it was a “practice” piece. And I’m really, really liking my “practice” piece better than this inspiration piece.

I’ll show you a picture of my "practice" piece in my next posting…I even hand-stitched a flower – and those that know me, know I don’t usually hand-stitch. Machine stitch, yes…hand-stitch, not so much. I'm just not that patient...but I’m kind of liking it now…

Friday, September 24, 2010

My MDDD Entry - Before and After Pictures

In my post below, I said I was working on my MDDD (Mystery Double-Dog Dare You) Challenge but I couldn’t post my finished project. Well, the challenge is over now and I can show you what I did. It was so much fun.

Those that were ready to accept the challenge (meaning, you didn’t know what you were going to receive, but you knew you would have to alter it) received one of these in the mail. It's a small matchbox - about 3" x 4" and 3/4" deep.

  • I altered my matchbox and turned it into this...

The idea is to alter the object, keeping in mind the following categories that you can win in:

  • Who fooled the most people with their entry...
  • Who fooled the least people with their entry...
  • Voting: Person with the highest number of correct guesses.
  • Voting: Person with the highest number of incorrect guesses.
  • Voting: Favorite Entry...
We have some “super sleuths” on the board (myself included) who look at every detail in the picture to try to determine the creator’s style, and if we can’t figure it out from the creation itself, we also do a little “sleuthing”. We’ll watch their forum posts – hoping for a slip of the tongue that would give us a clue regarding their entry.

We also “sleuth” in the gallery to look at their past creations and their blogs, looking for any type of clue…the background, a reflection, the photography angle. It’s pretty crazy but definitely fun!

When the voting started, I noticed that pretty much everyone had MY entry nailed! I’m apparently not good at hiding my “style”.

Besides my entry being very detailed (which is what the other entrants said was a dead giveaway...), this usual photo angle of mine was another clue to it being my entry. I usually photograph my projects on fabric, so I switched to a "rafia" background...nope, it didn't help...they had me pegged...they are good!

They say I also like to use vintage images...which is true...

So since it seemed that many people were doing well with guessing correct, I decided to try and win the “most incorrect guesses” voting category, and I did win that category.

I also tied in the “fooled the least people with their entry” and “Favorite Entry” categories, but you can only win in one category, so the person I tied with was the winner for these categories.

Here’s what I did with mine. I turned the inside of the box into a little shadowbox by creating shelving and dividers made from folded cardstock.

I framed the inside box with charms which I patinaed (which checked another “to do” thing off my challenge list), and filled the shadowbox with a bunch of halloween do-dads.

I turned the shadowbox into an accordion book by hinging the outer shell of the matchbox to the shadowbox using Tim Holtz’s tissue tape. For the inside of the book, I actually made it more of a display sign “BOO”. I’d already spent enough time on the shadowbox portion, so I went for the easy display sign “BOO”. The spiderweb background pages (as well as the small oval frame on the shadowbox cover) are scraps from a spiderweb clear gift wrap cellophane roll.

I also put a “bottom” on the outer shell of the matchbox so that I could also insert chipboard pages into it.

And here are all the other MDDD entries.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birthday Wishes with Glimmer Mist and Glimmer Glaze

Today I'm working on my MDDD project which I can't show post yet. For a little history on that project, HERE is the "before" picture of my last MDDD project, and the after picture is HERE.

So instead, I'll share this month's Tattered Angels project that I posted on the Educator's blog.
If you want to see the step-by-step instructions I posted to make the background for this card, check out the Tattered Angels Educator blog HERE .

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Altered Tin

I've joined quite a few swaps recently, most are completed, just a few more left to go. I did this for the altered tin swap on ACP. We just have to alter one tin, fill it with a few crafting goodies and send it to our "secret" partner. I'm really having fun making these little glittered wands. I was originally using the Maya Road crystal stars, but when I ran out, I die cut some stars from foamcore, glittered them with German Glass Glitter, and then added a cut piece from a paperclip.

I just gessoed the tin, painted it, added some Halo Iridescent 3D Glitter-Gel from Viva Decor to it (I'm loving that stuff! You can get it at Scrapbook Island.), a few pearls, a little bling, some lace, punched a hole on the side for a rhinestone brad to open the tin...and all done!

Here's a look at some of the goodies inside for my "secret" sister.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hellooooooo...anyone out there?

It’s been so long since I’ve posted to this blog, but I’m gonna give it another shot.

I recently joined Artsy Mama’s Sweet and Sinister - Best Halloween Ever Swap. After I was assigned a swap partner, Mandy, we emailed back and forth and exchanged blog information. I teased Mandy that she needed to get to blogging because she never posted anything on her blog…I mean not one post! Of course, I told her I didn’t have room to talk since I hadn’t posted anything on my blog since March, and I needed to do the same.
Well, Mandy has decided to try blogging every day for the next six months (her blog is here) and she has been keeping it up too! So Mandy has inspired me to post again on my blog. I can’t say I’ll post something every day, but if I get something done once a week, I think that will be a great start.

Today, I'll share a funny story about a recent trip to the Niles Antique Fair with my friend Kathie.

This is a big antique fair practically around the corner from where Kathie lives. It was going to be my first time attending. I read an article Kathie sent me before the fair (to warn me to wear comfy shoes) that said that 30,000 people were expected…and the first thing I wondered was where will everyone park?

We got there early, 7 a.m. is pretty early for me which is why I had to sleep over Kathie’s house the night before. Kathie knew I'd never make it to her house "early" - she lives 25 mins. from me by freeway.

We walked the entire fair, most of it was expensive, but found some goodies, (anything for a dollar is always fabulous). One of the things I love is vintage looking lace, lacey cloth napkins, doilies etc to use in books and other altered projects. So at the fair, I found this booth that had a bunch of it. I asked a customer shopping at the booth if she knew how much the doilies were, and she told me she just grabbed a bunch, took it to the "old man" (pointing towards him) and asked him how much for the bunch. She said he was "giving it away cheap-I don't think he realizes what he has here or doesn't care." So I bring my stash to the old man, start chatting with him and he tells me he has so much of this stuff, and didn’t even bring it all with him. I show him my handful and ask him how much. He starts counting them (that lady didn't make it sound like he would count it lol! Luckily, I already had counted it and I had well over 20 pieces so I knew "my worse case" scenario already). He stopped counting after 10, and said how about $5? I said...ooooh...(sad face)...darn, I was thinking more like $2...(and as I was telling my husband this story, I was endlessly pulling out these goodies to show him, and he gasped, and said YOU DID NOT!) so the old man says, ok, how about $3? I said OK!
Here’s a picture of the bunch of doilies and lace for $3…

and my favorite find – a little mirrored dresser that sits a little over 2 feet high…have no idea where I’ll put it, but I loved it the moment I saw it…

After finishing up the fair, we started walking back to the car and there are lots and lots of garage sales going on. We thought the garage sale portion was mostly the day before. Boy, were we wrong! It was INCREDIBLE! Nearly every house was doing a garage sale! It was like trick or treating at every house on the block, except we had to pay a little for our candy!

We’re finding lots of fun stuff, and then, we find this house with stuff all over the tarp on the ground -and some stuff on the table. The stuff I wanted was on the table - craft stuff. So I find two baggies filled with little laces and crocheted pieces -- PERFECT for my scrabble tiles, altered books, etc. oh so I ask the lady walking around in a pocketed apron, "would you take a dollar for these?" and she said, oh, those aren't'll have to ask "her" --as she points upwards towards the raised porch and there, leaning over the rail watching over everything, is a very
sweet, yet fragile looking elderly lady.

So I head over to the elderly lady, (Kathie in tow...I think she is dying to know how much I'm gonna get this little bit of treasure for) and I hold out my cupped hands filled with the two little bags of treasures,

and again, I ask: Would you take one dollar for these? and the little old lady looks in my hands and the DEEPEST, LOUDEST, GRAVELIEST VOICE - EVER!....


OMG, first of all I was so SHOCKED I think my whole body jerked! I was sooooo NOT expecting that response…and I'm certain my eyes bugged out too...seriously? How could THAT voice come from that sweet little old lady?!! I just stood there...startled...and thought OMG I'VE OFFENDED HER! And then she continued that same DEEP, LOUD and GRAVELY VOICE...

NO! You're not gonna pay a dollar for that! mmmmyyyy gosh! those are only PATTERNS! they aren't even a-n-y-thing! they're just little patterns! little patterns I made! Just give me five cents!

and I was still standing there...shocked, because it took a second to process that she said "five cents" I was still focused on that very harsh NO! and the tongue lashing I was certain I was gonna get for offending her! So I just stood arms still outstretched and hands cupped...the only thing that turned was my head...slowly...towards Kathie... only after I finally processed that she only wanted a nickel…and I nervously, quickly, yet also stammering, said to Kathie:

KATHIE??? Do you have a nickel? Please give the lady a nickel...I don't have a nickle... (the smallest thing I had was a dollar...NO WAY was I gonna even ask the lady for change and I just KNEW that if I tried to give her a dollar and tell her to keep the change, that the Deep...Loud...Gravely and Harsh voice would return!)

And as soon as I said "KATHIE"-- Kathie quickly started fumbling and digging in her bag, as she said in a startled voice as well...ummm...yes - a nickel! I'm sure I have a nickel! as she dug into her bag...I swear it was like a scene from the Wizard of Oz...both of us trembling trying to do as commanded by that DEEP...LOUD...GRAVELY AND HARSH VOICE!
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity as I still stood there, frozen, arms outstretched, Kathie produces the nickel - holding it up in the air as if she had just produced the golden ticket. I hand the nickel over to the lady who leans over and plucks it from my hand! I immediately say THANK YOU! and we both scurry away -- and if we had tails, it'd be between our legs for sure! It wasn't until we were AT LEAST three or four houses away did we start BUSTING UP! laughing and repeating in that deep...loud...gravely and harsh voice...NO! I WON'T TAKE A DOLLAR! I WANT A NICKLE!

We left shortly thereafter…we were exhausted. As we left the very, very large neighborhood, we realized we had just touched the tip of the iceberg…the door to door garage sales went on for what seemed like miles! But we were out of both money and energy! What a fun day!