Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Christmas snowflakes

 Hi friends.  One of my favorite crafts is crocheting.  Little stuff mostly - no yarn - only crochet threads.  Back in January of 2017, I posted about crochet motifs I was making into a shawl (actually two shawls - one white, and one multi-colored).  

Neither shawl is finished, but I found out that a single motif makes a great snowflake ornament for the Christmas tree.  So I've also been making a lot of those.  

Last year I gave some to family and friends for their trees.  This year I decided to make a bunch and give them away.  

After crocheting the motifs, they need to be stiffened with a glue/water solution and stretched, so they look nice on the tree.  I made a couple of cardboard mats for that.  Several layers of corrugated cardboard taped together.  Then I traced circles the size I needed, divided by eight, and poked a hole at each point so I could pin the snowflakes on it to dry.  Then I wrapped the cardboard with plastic wrap, so the snowflakes won't stick to it.  I'm using brass quilting pins, because they don't rust, but I wish I could find brass T-pins instead.  They would be much easier to work with.  I suppose I could cut off part of the pin.  I may have to try that, and see how it works. 

Most of the snowflakes are white or off white, but I have made some light blue ones and some yellow ones.  I guess the yellow ones would be stars instead of snowflakes.  I made a couple with some odd colors of crochet thread - a pink one and a dark green one.  I ended up painting them with some metallic acrylic paint, but didn't take pictures of those.  

I made little pockets for the ornaments, and included a little thank you note.  I needed something to put them in, so I covered a cardboard box with wrapping paper, added a handle and some decorations.  Today I coerced my husband to go with me to the hospital to take them to some of the deserving folks out on the front lines working with Covid-19 patients. During this year, I've barely been out of the house, so this was a new experience for me.  When I went inside the hospital, they took my temperature, and then they had to figure out what to do with the ornaments or how to distribute them.  I think I made 145, which is really just a drop in a bucket, compared to how many medical personnel work in even one hospital, but I hope they are an encouragement to those who receive them. 

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit today.  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas this year in spite of things being abnormal.  God bless. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

more round boxes

 Hi friends.  Can you tell I like making these little boxes?  I made one for a contest that required a pumpkin.  So... I made the pumpkin... a pumpkin box actually.  

And a better view of the cover.  

I used some silk leaves, which I cut down a bit so they fit better.  I went outside and picked up a few sticks to use as a handle.  They were really dry, so I hope it doesn't break.  But I guess it would be easy enough to replace if it did.  

This next box was a special request by my cousin.  She really liked the floral one I made, so this is pretty similar.  I used a different flower stamp, and the flower on the cover is paper, whereas the other one was silk.  

And here is the cover.  I punched and die cut some different sized flowers, and cut the petal separations deeper.  Then I sponged all the edges with candied apple distress ink.  I turned them over and used a stylus and a thick foam mat to give them more shape and dimension.  Then I glued all the layers together, added some leaves, and glued the flower onto the cover.  

I remembered that I had some decoupage medium (hmmm... actually I have four jars) that would work to give this a nice smooth finish.  Although I didn't check, I'm pretty sure that all the jars have been opened, so hopefully, they are still all usable.  The one I used just needed to be stirred a bit before use.  I normally use matte mod podge, but I only have a little bit left, and I've been procrastinating going shopping for more.  Plus, sometimes it leaves the surface a bit sticky.  I think that may have something to do with the humidity.  I've really been trying to use up what I have instead of buying more.  A while back, I was watching a video, and the girl used a 1:1 mix of water and white glue as a finish.  I absolutely would do that, but I've also used almost all of my white school glue, because I ran out of tacky glue, which is really my favorite for putting this type of project together.  I like it because it's not so runny and dries with less bubbling.  But I found if I use a very thin layer of white glue, that works quite well, too.  

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit.  I always appreciate that. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

and one more...

I really loved the look of the last box I made, but thought a few more details would make it even better.  The last two boxes went to the neighbors, since both of the kids had birthdays.  So I made another. 

If you want details on how I made this, please check my previous two posts.  

Thank you so much for taking time to stop by today.  Be blessed. 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Can't make just one

Hi friends.  You probably know by now that I can't make just one.  I've made a number of these little boxes over the past few years.  Well, I figured that I really needed to make one for the boys.  Yeah.  No flowers or pretties on it.  How about WOOD?  Well, yes, I would if I weren't afraid to use some of those woodworking machines.  So what's the next best thing?  Faux wood, of course.

I use faux wood techniques quite often in cardmaking, so why not on a box.  The basic technique to create faux wood is to drag ink pads down the paper, repeating with several colors - mostly working in browns, but other colors work as well.  

Recently, I discovered a variation from my friend Ann on Split Coast Stampers.  What I like about this technique is the color is smoother than simply dragging the ink onto the paper.  

Please refer to my last post for more details on the basic construction of the box.  

I used a 4"x12" piece of barely banana card stock and smaller pieces for the cover and bottom.  Start by scoring lines every half inch across the card stock.  You can vary the width between score lines if you want.  The next step can be done on either side of the paper.  I prefer to use the bumpy side, because the ridges pick up the darker inks and give board delineations.  The other side portrays those lines as the color of your light card stock.  Either way works.  Put some white glue (I'm using Elmer's school glue) on the paper and use an old gift card to spread it all over the paper.  Then let it dry.  I'm pretty sure you could speed up the drying with a heat gun, but the heat will bubble the glue, so I prefer to just let it air dry.  

Once the glue is dry, drag your ink down the card stock in the same direction as your score lines.  I used distress inks: antique linen, tea dye, vintage photo, and early espresso.  The two lighter colors, you can use a heavy hand when dragging, but you want to go lighter on the vintage photo, and much less with the early espresso.  I also will lightly swipe the edge of the darkest color randomly to add a bit more detail for wood grain.  

Once that was dry, I measured and trimmed the ends to meet without overlapping.  Then I attached the strip around the box, cut wedges along the bottom and glued those to the bottom.  Circles were cut from the faux wood for the bottom and cover of the box.  

I painted the edge of the cover brown to blend in with the wood.  Everything was given a coat of Matte Mod Podge.  

 I see in the photo that I managed to get the seam right in the front, so you can see how that works.  It shows less on the wood grain than it did on the previous box, but I do like the flat seam better than overlapping.

This box went together much faster than the previous box, because there was no stamping required.  Other than drying time, the faux wood is a very quick technique.

Thank you so much for taking time to stop by today.  Have a wonderful day. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

my latest project

Hello my friends.  A friends daughter just had a birthday, and I wanted to make something for her.  Since I do a lot of thread crochet, I have the cardboard spools left from the thread.  I save them unless they are really mutilated.  They make great little boxes.  

Since these are open-ended, it's necessary to add a bottom, and I normally also want to have a cover.  I have a number of circle dies, so I try to find one that fits the diameter of the tube.  Then I use chipboard to cut the circles.  I keep chipboard from cereal boxes, cracker boxes, the backs of paper pads, etc., anything that is sturdy and not all bent.  If necessary, I glue layers together to make it sturdy.  

For this box, I only used a single thickness for the bottom, but the cover is six layers -- three the sit on top and three that fit inside the box to keep the cover in place.   Since it's difficult to cut multiple layers, I cut the circles individually, and then glue them together.  I place them beneath some old encyclopedias, while the glue dries, so they remain flat.  

Then comes decorating.  For this box, I stamped some poppies on a 4"x12" piece of light yellow cardstock.  Then I colored them with watercolor pencils and blender pen.  Over the top of the flowers, I randomly stamped a crackle background and old writing.  I glued the strip around the tube.  Instead of overlapping the strip as I usually do, I trimmed the ends to meet, creating a smoother box.  Along the bottom edge, I cut out wedges, and folded the points over to the bottom and glued them.  I added another cardstock circle on the bottom to cover those. 

I sponged the edges with coffee archival ink, and then sponged on a thin layer of matte mod podge to seal it.  

For the cover, I first glued all the layers together.  I used an emery board to smooth the edges.  I glued cardstock circles to the top and bottom of the cover.  Then I stamped a different poppy five times on some scraps of cardstock, colored them the same as the others, and cut them out.  After stamping the background, I glued the cut flowers around the top of the cover.  I sponged the edges, and added the matte mod podge.  I decided I wanted to add some metallic gold lumiere paint randomly to the whole box, so I used a dry brush technique for that.  It doesn't really show up in the picture.  For the center of the cover, I used some silk flowers.  I put a jewel brad in the center to hold all the layers together.  Then I painted the flower petals with some shimmery paint.  The flower is attached to the box with hot glue.  

One last special touch was to decorate the underside of the cover.  I die cut a fun little medallion and painted it gold for the center, and then I added a special message with die cut letters, because we all need to be reminded.  The letters are actually red; I'm not sure why they look pink. 

Thank you so much for taking time to visit today.  I hope you are staying safe and well.

Friday, August 7, 2020

The SU ink topper

 Hi friends.  Well, I did it.  I spent quite a bit of time yesterday and today putting it together, but I finally finished small rack for the top of my SU ink storage.  I have 15 older ink pads which didn't fit in the main rack, and whenever I wanted to use them, I had to literally dig them out from where they were stored.  Now, they are with all the others.  I store all my inks alphabetically, but for the moment, I'm not going to incorporate these into the rack with the rest, for the simple reason that I've gotten so familiar with the position of the inks in the rack, I don't really have to look for them.  I know certain ones are at the top or bottom, etc.  I may change my mind on that later.  

Since there was plenty of space, I added slots for the ink pads, an open area on the side of those for the few refills that I have matching these inks, and a deeper spot in the center for markers.  

Because there's a bit of a well in the top of the wood rack, I added several layers of corrugated cardboard beneath the new storage rack, so that it sits above the wood.  Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to use the bottom slots.  

Here's the picture.

Thank you so much for visiting today.  Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

More ink storage

Hi friends. 

After making the large revolving rack for storing my distress ink pads, I knew that I also wanted to make storage for other inks that I have, since they were being stored in places not very accessible.  So, using the same method I used for building the other rack, I made four more smaller racks that fit my other ink pads.  Since these were not all the same size, I made them to fit groups of similar ink pads. Which means they are different sizes.  But I moved my ribbon, so I could put these in a place easy to reach. 
The upper left unit holds archival and a couple other Adirondack inks, VersaMark, Encore, and Fabrico inks.  Lower left holds Brilliance and Stazon inks.  Upper right holds ColorBox pigment inks.  Lower right holds ColorBox Chalk inks and a few thicker pigment inks. 

I do have some Kaleidacolor inks, but haven't decided yet if I will make a unit for those.  I probably will. 

My Stampin' Up ink pads, refills, and markers are stored in a wooden revolving rack that I won years ago.  However, I have more inks than fit in it, so I'm planning to make a small rack (or more than one) to fit on top of that revolving unit to hold those extra inks. 

While in the process of all this building, I also made a couple of boxes to hold some things.  I have a stand that I wanted to make some open boxes for. 
There are ridges near the center and the center post, so I needed to work around those.  I made 4 parts for each shelf, but because of the angles involved, and the chipboard is thicker than I usually work with, they were a little too big, and didn't fit.  So I glued them together where the angles meet, added a bottom piece and made these instead. 

I don't know how to figure the angles, so it was mostly guesswork.  They are not perfect, not fancy, and not pretty, but will work to hold something.  I haven't quite decided what yet.  I will probably try again to make something that fits, but not this design.  I know I can add a filler and just build on top of the ridges, which would make it much easier, so I may do that. 

Thanks so much for taking time to visit today.  Stay safe and be blessed.