Give a little, get a little…

Happy Columbus day to all my friends in the US! It is a holiday so the kids were off school today so my sister and I took our kids to the children’s museum and had a great day! I want to share a project I did for a mingle (it is like a swap but you send your creations to one person and you get someone else’s work in return) and also I want to share what I received. The artwork was done for the Oriental Stamp Art Faux Postage Swap. The requirement was that you make 10 fake postage stamps and you get 10 in return as you can see we both had so much fun we could not stop at 10 stamps :) Here are the stamps I sent out to Linda in Canada:

 

And here are the stamps I received from Kim McKinney:

 

These will be so fun to use on my cards as embellishments because her style is so different than mine and I don’t know if you can tell from the photo but they are so rich and sparkly! I also made a card for the lady I sent my stamps too, she has gotten it in the mail so I want to share that with you too:

 

I simply stamped a plain card base with postage stamp style stamps and layered paper on top. To to the multi toned stamping on the ginkgo leaves I just sprayed my stamp with water and colored the rubber with watercolor crayons and stamped, misted it again and stamped again then I chose the version I liked best. After the card was assembled I stamped the chinese postmark over the layers. 90% of the stamps I used are from about Art Accents/Art Neko.

I hope you are inspired to try a mingle or swap yourself. If you don’t know where to sign up for you can find many stamping groups through Yahoo groups or try Splitcoast Stampers or the Stamp Shack. Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!

Easy Gratitude Card

Need a 10 minute thank you card? How about this?

I used a cute little house stamp set I got a few years ago as a Sale-a-bration freebie from Stampin Up! but never used it until I put all of my tiny stamps out in the open (yes I took those wood SU! stamps right out of their package!) and put them in printers trays. This card went together in minutes. I used some homemade seam binding, an embossing folder, die cut and a bit of cardstock, nothing fancy. Did you notice I actually used a stamp wheel? I love having all of my stamps out in the open now because I USE them, you can see my stamp storage re-do on this post.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s hear it for the BUOYS!

Oh, I do love a good pun;) I was commissioned (well, la-dee-da don’t  I sound all artsy-fartsy!) to paint some lobster buoys this summer by a friend. She wanted me to paint a Santa on one and on the other some wording.

I used my die cutter and SCAL software to cut the letters out of gold vinyl after painting the buoy red. For Santa I drew an oval for the face and painted it peach and painted the rest of the buoy red (two coats) then I painted the black belt and white beard. Details on the face were added after the beard and hat fluff had dried. I used acrylic paint for this project and real lobster buoys. The buoys are made out of foam and really easy to paint on-no prep required!

So, if you are looking for an inexpensive Christmas gift of a craft fair item to make and sell why not paint a buoy? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Stamp Wheel Storage!

I am a collector of stamp wheels…you know like the Rollagraph and Stampin’ Around Wheels. I am lured into buying them imagining all of the lovely borders and backgrounds I will make and of course all the handmade wrapping paper I will stamp. Yeah right! I had all of my wheel stamps in a drawer and, well, out of sight-out of mind. So, now I am going from “Stamp Wheel Collector” to “Stamp Wheel User!” with this nifty {and thrifty} stamp wheel holder:

I got my inspiration for a sewing spool holder I saw in Martha Stewart’s Good Things for Organizing book. It was basically a board with dowels drilled into it and it looked fairly simple to make. Hubby said he would make it for me. Then I got looking at this old calendar holder (it is basically like a wooden frame with a Maronite backing board made to stick calendars in) and I started laying out my wheels on it. I showed my honey the frame and he screwed a piece of 3/4″  thick plywood to the backing board and pounded nails in from the back, we got 9 rows of 5 so that is storage for 45 stamp wheels! OR I can consolidate and put 3 builder wheels to a nail. I think I will make sure I actually use these a few dozen times before I let myself buy any more though!  ;)

The best thing is that the frame was FREE! my MIL did not want it and we put it in our yard sale and it did not sell (priced at $1) and I kept it…I sent all the other leftovers to goodwill so how lucky is that!?!

I have been on an organizing kick lately…Saturday morning I wandered into my craftroom bound and determined to squeeze a little more storage into my stamp wall. I got this fab shelf at a yard sale for $5 (no kidding and the lady had quite a few of these shelves, I kick myself every day that I did not buy another one) and it held about 300 stamps. It is roughly 4′ wide x 6′ high. I had a shelf full of SU! stamps in their clamshell boxes that I was (Surprise!!!) not using because I could not see them. So I raided hubby’s scrap wood bin, my son’s box of building blocks and a box in the garage full of leftover ballasts from out new porch project this summer that were headed for the dump. Score one for planet Earth! And I used the mish-mash of 1″x1″ ballasts, blocks and wood scraps to make risers on some of the shelves literally doubling my storage for smaller stamps. Notice the arrow on the top of the pic, this shelf is so  skinny I had to tie it to the ceiling beam t be sure it would not fall over if one of my kids ran into it on a scooter (it’s happened.)

I even got all of my Christmas wood mounted stamps on the shelves. I put them on the bottom shelves because I don’t use them everyday. I loosely organized my stamps ont he shelf by theme: Occasion, nature, vintage, background, Christmas etc. I still have some room to grow too but I do not buy many wood mount stamps these days. I usually prefer unmounted rubber and I store them mainly in 3-ring binders. I have about 15 binders that sit on a shelf over my workbench and on the shelf above my binders is this:

Remember the printer’s tray I found at a yard sale last month in my “Jenga block stamp mount” post? Well, I found two more trays just like them and I put all (well almost all) of my alphabet and sentiment stamps in there. Then I cut some of the Jenga blocks in thirds and mounted some tiny postage and postmark stamps that I gout years ago and never used (cuz I couldn’t see them!) and popped them in the trays as well. There are a few miscellaneous small stamps in there that I was afraid would get lost on the big shelf. Here is a close up.

Sorry the pictures are not the best, I had to use a flash but you get the idea. Now that I feel properly organized I feel ready to stamp up  a storm! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A laid-back kind of Saturday…

I have to say I love a rainy Saturday! No guilt about lounging around your house in your jammies till noon and making some jewelry, sorting your craft supplies and listing to an audio book while your kids make Barbie swimming pools in the kitchen sink. Oh and did I mention the guilt free naps? Rainy Saturdays are all about the guilt free napping because it’s not like you are going to mow the lawn.  I want to share a pretty bracelet that my 7-year-old daughter Lila made today:

I love the colors and sparkle! The beads are plastic so it is lighter than it looks and it was strung on monofilament (AKA fishing line) and secured with a square knot.

TIP: use a dab of crazy glue on the knot to keep it tied tight!

She made the clip-on earrings by gluing a square rhinestone on a clip-on earring blank. The rhinestone was colored to match with alcohol markers. We used Perfect Glue for Crafts to adhere it, it is thick, non smelly and sets up in 10 minutes. The clip earring findings are inexpensive {Darice brand} but they are so much better than the cheap plastic dress-up jewelery out there, these will not break under “normal” conditions :)

Here is a necklace and earring set I made yesterday.

 

I made the focal bead too. I used my Fuseworks kiln (it works in the microwave and melts glass, it is incredible!) to melt together two pieces of glass.  To learn more about the Fuseworks kiln see this post.

Tip: to make a hole in a fused glass bead simply lay a thin strip of thick kiln paper (available at a stained glass shop) between the layers of glass. I think next time I will make sure it is not behind a clear layer so it can be hidden but live and learn :)

I hope you are having a nice weekend. I took a camera class at Adult Ed this week and I am trying to adapt some of the skills I learned to my photography, I think the jewelery looks pretty good but if I learned one thing it is that I have a lot to learn LOL! That is what’s great about life, you can learn something new everyday! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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