Ask a Crafter 32!

Why is there a gaping hole on my studio wall? You’ll find out, along with answers to all of your burning crafty questions, in this weeks Ask a Crafter:

I’ll try to get Kathy and Lorraine on with me next week (see, this is me putting them on the spot since I have not discussed it with them yet.) I’m pretty sure hilarity would ensue. We are a hoot, I tell you. :D If you have a question for next weeks show leave it in the comments section. Now I have to think of what I am going to put over the hole, I got some good suggestions on the Youtube watch page, I’ll have to think on that. I’m partial to my Union Jack…or maybe the Jolly Roger, we will have to see what mood I am in;) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Easy Easter Favor Boxes!

Howdy friends! Yesterday I showed you how to make an Easter Basket out of a cardboard box and today I’ll show you have to make carrot inspired treat box sliders using supplies from Papermart:

I used Macaroon Boxes, Tulle, Satin RibbonRicRac, Baker’s Twine,  Unstrung Merchandise Tags,  Corrugated Paper, and a Glue Gun and Glue Sticks. This was a fun project! You can really adapt it to any theme but I thought carrot colored Easter treats would be handy this time of year.

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They will stand up on their own or you can place them in your snazzy handmade Easter basket!

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Best of all the boxes come neatly stacked in a pack of 25 so you can have them always on hand for upcoming projects and packaging. I love versatile products, don’t you? Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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A basket from a box? Oh yeah!

Every time I shop at a Sam’s Club I look at the large boxes that stuff comes in. Sometimes the boxes end up in the recycling bin but other times they become a project:

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This Easter basket started out as a Chex Mix box but with a little help from Papermart it became a useful project that was fun to make. Today I’ll show you how.

Supplies: A cardboard box, hot glue gun and glue sticks, twisted paper cord, corrugated paper, foam flowers,  and raffia ribbon. Tomorrow I’ll show you how to make the sweet favor boxes that are in the basket, they are easy too!

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Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

This craft is ill advised…

Have you ever seen that blog that shows Pinterest fails? It’s funny if it isn’t you. I think I might submit this doozy of a craft fail because if it not good for a craft it is good for a laugh. First let me show you what I was trying to make:


The few that turned out well…

A facebook friend had posted a tutorial on on Thefrugalcrafter Community, she said she saw it and thought of me and I thought it was a really neat idea. DIY enamel dots made by melting perler beads. Hey, it was on Pinterest so it has to be easy…right? Now the above photo are the few that turned out well, here are the rest:


“Let’s make enamel dots by melting Perler beads” they said, “It will be fun” they said…

When you stop laughing I will continue. Are you quite done yet? OK. So apparently there has been a huge amount of people melting Perler beads and pony beads in their oven and making fake enamel dots that look just like the ones they charge big bucks for at the craft store. Personally I don’t even like enamel dots so that makes this whole project even more ridiculous. I guess I thought I’d like them better if they were free (I already had more Perler beads in my home than I care to mention) so I grabbed a tub of beads, parchment paper and my craft toaster oven and I was off to the races. I followed the recipe to the letter: Place the beads hole side up on the parchment paper and bake at 275 for 30 minutes, what could possibly go wrong? Let me tell you. The parchment paper burnt, the fumes were horrible and the beads turned into mangled doughnuts and not the lovely dots I was seeing from all of these other crafters. OK, new plan! I remembered that I had a heavy duty silicone mold that I used for clay and the back side was flat so I placed the beads on that and tried again figuring that the parchment paper was my trouble. The beads were not melting so I decided to leave them in there until they melted. 35 minutes later, nothing, 60 minutes later some had melted but still a lot of doughnuts, 75 minutes later the dots had discolored and were dull, not shiny, and some still had not melted. huh.


The big beads were pony beads that were ironed with parchment paper on top then blasted with the heat gun and the ones on the blue mat were ironed then baked for a few minutes. The cluster on the bottom were the 75 minute batch and the flatter ones in the middle were ironed with parchment paper on tops then I removed the paper and hovered the iron on top. That was the best technique I tried.

OK, new plan, when you iron Perler beads they only take seconds to melt so why not get them started with the iron them put them in the oven. Nope. OK, Iron them then prop the iron over them so it will make the tops glossy and domed (this actually worked the best, I used steel rods I had for glass bead making to hold the iron a millimeter over the dots.) I was working on my silicone Silpat mat, I’m not incompletely crazy after all.  Then I thought “I know, I’ll iron them and then blast them with my heat gun to make them glossy!”  The regular stamping heat gun did not do the trick so I grabbed my new $8 Harbor Freight heat gun on the low setting, no dice, so I switched it to high and it melted the tops of the dots but look what it did to my table…


This is was under my heatproof silicone mat that I had down for protection. I was totally freaked out because my table was hot! I was worried that it might burst into flames, I actually have checked it many times just to make sure it completely cooled off, I put water on the table and it made steam!  How come other crafters made successful dots and I did not? I think it was the toaster oven, maybe the heat was too direct or intense because everyone else used a full size home oven. I do not like that idea, the fumes were bad and I think it is unwise to do this craft in your oven especially when in the directions for using Perler beads properly it says not to even sort the beads in a container used for food unless you are going to be sure to wash it properly. I think today’s experiment was probably equivalent to chain smoking 2 packs of cigarettes…I have no scientific data or experience with smoking to say for certain but it can’t be good! I am officially done with this craft, as I said I was never in love with enamel dots in the first place, I just love a good experiment, plus a few years ago I came up with a way to make dew drops with a glue gun and you can see the photo below and if you like it you can watch the tutorial here. Be warned, that tutorial is 5 years old, I wasn’t always this smooth and professional:)

Best of all hot glue is meant to be melted! I think if I was so inclined I could paint he hot glue dots too but I really do not feel that inclined. I hope you enjoyed my epic craft fail, we all have them and it is only a failure if we don’t learn from out experiences. I have to say that $5 for a pack of  60 seems like a real bargain to me now :D That is if I even liked them in the first place…I clearly need my head examined, and probably my lungs after today. If you can’t be a good example at lease you can be a horrible warning right? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Mixed Media Fun 3: Stencils!

Happy Saturday Friends! We just rented Frozen for a family movie night, the girls loved it. It was a good movie but I feel a bit sad that every kids animated move has that computer generated look to it now, the movie was beautiful, don’t misunderstand me, what happened to painterly animation? I think the last old-fashioned looking animated movie I saw was the Princess & the Frog a few years ago, and it was great. I hope the trend swings back there soon at least for a few movies. It occurred to me that I have not been keen on any of the kids movies the last few years and I think that is why, too much computer animation. It’s just like with our movies, I’m a sci-fi fan and I’d rather see a blurry shadow than a fake computer monster (we all know what we can’t see in the shadow is scarier anyway LOL!) But I digress, speaking of jumping on the bandwagon I have another art journal/mixed media tutorial for you today using stencils:

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I used a quote from Dolly Parton but after I wrote it I realized I should have put “got” instead of “have” sorry Dolly! I thought it might be less intimidating to focus on one supply or technique with these videos so newbies don’t get overwhelmed and pros can take a technique further (plus I can demo it in under 20 minutes!) Here is Mixed Media Fun with Stencils!

I want to thank Oriental Trading Company for supplying me with the Canson XL Mixed Media journal and the Micron pens. You can find my tutorial on making the ink blenders and spray inks here. If you have a supply or technique you would like to see in an upcoming mixed media video then leave a comment. Even if you do not do mixed media or art journaling these techniques can be applied to painting, cardmaking, scrapbooking, quilting and more! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Draw and Paint a Lady Slipper in Colored Pencil!

Hello friends! Wow, I could have used an extra 8 hours in this week! I was right out strait it seemed. I am looking forward to some relaxing this weekend (between scouts and softball that is!) If you have some downtime this weekend why not try something new? Like sketching and coloring with your colored pencils. This is a viewer request of how to paint a lady slipper in traditional colored pencils. I used Prismacolors but try whatever you have before buying new:)

I really like the way it turned out plus pink and green is one of my favorite color combos. Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Need More Marker Ideas? We’ve got ‘um!

Hi guys! Do you have waterbased markers? Marvy LePlume, Whispers, Distress, Tombow, Memento, Stampin Up or others? Today I am going to share a few techniques with you. Some might be old favorites, some might be new but hopefully by the end of the video you will see how versatile your watercolor marks are! Also, I’ll let you know what I think of a new waterproof inkpad I bought. Enjoy the video! :D

That card won’t win any awards but it was fun and isn’t that the point? The stamp I used is from Art Neko (formally About Art Accents) and it is available as a single image, a plate of 10 designs or a set of 6 plates with all 50 states birds and flowers plus bonus stamps, they are gorgeous and perfect if you love to color! Well, that’s it for me tonight, one of my favorite shows that has been on break for weeks because of March Madness is back on, I’m gonna watch me some Elementary! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!


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