Let’s Make May Baskets!

I was out walking with my daughter and dog yesterday and a neighbor pulled up next to us and invited us to come make May baskets with her kids and a few friends. I asked my other kids if they would like to go and they were excited (as was my hubby who was in the middle of a carpentry project-he had more “help” than he needed with the kids home:) so over we went and made these:


There are many ways you can make the baskets. These were made with paper cups but you can use clean milk cartons or juice boxes too. For the basket on the left I cut a bunch of squares from party streamers then wrapped them around the eraser end of a pencil and glued it on. I like to put a bead of glue around the cup and stick the tissue on that. It takes a while to fill up the cup. But I find the wrapping and glueing very relaxing. The art of zen and basket making 🙂 I also fringed a bunch of party streamers to trim the top. Pipe cleaners are attached through holes near the top, nothing fancy.

For the other basket I used a 3″ wide strip of crepe paper that I scalloped cut the top (while folded), ad wrapped it around the cup then added a strip of fringed green at the bottom. You can embellish the baskets with crepe paper flowers too!

Just remember: You can’t go wrong with party streamers and crepe paper, it all works out beautifully!

Now all we have to do is fill them with candy and drop them on our neighbors doorsteps on Tuesday! thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Cooking up a birthday wish…

Hello fellow crafters! I hope you are having a lovely weekend. Ours looks to be low-key, no birthday parties or ball games, we can just relax. What a great time to get ahead on cardmaking. Here is a birthday card I made with one of the flowers done with the homemade clay I shared earlier this week and some cute stamps that came free with a magazine I bought last week.


I was really surprised when I saw the April issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft (A UK magazine) at my local JoAnn Fabrics. I expected it to cost $20 but it was 10.99, then it was on sale for 10% off and on top of that I had a 20% off total purchase so I got the magazine and a large set of stamps for $8! It is an adorable set and I’m sure you will see me use it many times! I will have to keep my eye out for that mag to see if they offer free stamps with it again! I used my ProMarkers to color the image.

That’s all for today, til next time happy crafting!

Free Embellishment Storage!

This embellishment cube has 48 containers for beads and embellishments and the best thing is that I made it for free!


Let me clarify, I used a 5 cent glue stick. Also I used a craft knife I already had and some paper from an American Crafts pack a friend gave me, so nearly free 🙂 My brother-in-law works at a paper mill and the electrical tape they use comes in these little round containers (pretty wasteful if you as me but not if you pass them along to a crafter!) I should have taken step-by-step photos as I made it but I thought of it too late. Below you can see the box the containers come in:


I took the box and cut one side off each then glued 4 of the cut boxes together. I turned each one so there would be an open row of containers on each side because I thought it looked nice but you can set it up however you like.

An adaptation…

I realize that you might not be able to get these awesome tape containers and boxes BUT you can still make something similar. You can buy a 10 pack of mini square or round food containers  at the dollar store. If you buy 4 packs that would give you 40 containers to put in your cardboard shelf (4 column of 10 containers.) You can make custom boxes from cardboard and tape, it is really sturdy and if you cover it with pattern paper it is beautiful. I’m telling you, most of my storage in my craft room is made from cardboard (or foamcore) tape and hot glue. It’s good stuff, not to mention nearly free!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Lovely in Lilac & WOYWW

Howdy folks! I played with some of the clay embellishments I molded the other day.  Click here for the homemade clay recipe. This butterfly plaque I stamped yesterday was dry but it had warped so I flipped it upside down on my silicone mat and heated it with a heat gun them pressed a stamp block on it while it was still hot and let it cool with the block on top to flatten it out. Then I dry brushed some acrylic paint on the front before adhering it to my card. I think I will have to play more with my stamps on the clay because I really like the look!


I picked up this flower and simply sponged some purple ink on it, I like that look too!


I started listing to the audiobook The Help and really got in to it, I like to tidy up my work area when I am don for the day but apparently I lost track of time and started another card, whoops! Please don’t mind the mess now 🙂 Happy What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday!

Before I go I want to share a picture of one of my new chicks sleeping in my hand, can you stand the cuteness?!?

thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY Hybrid Art Clay {crafty recipe}

Clay Update: 6/5/2012

I just wanted to pop in and let you know how the clay is holding up. I left a bag sealed in my basement craft room and it started to get some mold on it at 5 weeks so don’t make more than you can use in a month. However in the bag I was opening up and taking clay from regularly it did not mold. I reckon keeping it in the sun, like on a windowsill would also prevent the mold. I think 4 weeks of non-moldy clay is a success!

The clay shrinkage seems to be about 15% and the clay is very porcelain like when fully dry. It takes paint very well, similar to ceramic, it does not absorb the paint. I recommend acrylics.

End Update

I like clay. I recently tried the new Martha Stewart clay and I loved it so of course I had to see if I could make something that was just as good for pennies.

This rose was made from my homemade clay tinted with acrylic paint. The clay is still wet, the petals will get thinner as it tries. It kinda looks like a frosting flower!

I say just as good but not the same. The MS clay feels more foam like when dry then my homemade version but my homemade version could pass for porcelain or bisque once it is dry yet it is still lightweight. My homemade clay is strong even when it is rolled out thin and has a wee bit of flex due to the polymers in the glue and the joint compound. It has a smooth matt porcelain like finish when dry. So, do you want to make some clay?

This flower was made with my homemade clay, it is dry and feels like porcelian and is very durable.

Lindsay’s Hybrid Polymer Paperclay

1/2 cup toilet paper (any brand, the cheap stuff is fine)

1/2 cup joint compound (I used SHEETROCK® Brand Plus 3™ Lightweight All-Purpose Joint Compound)

1/2 cup white glue (Elmer’s Glue All, PVA glue , not washable school glue)

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 Tablespoon white vinegar (this is a preservative – if you plan to use the clay in a day or two you can skip it)

Baby oil (aka mineral oil-any brand)

Liquid Starch (I used Sta-flo brand but you can make your own from cornstarch and water, recipe here)

You will also want a 1/2 cup measuring cup, a tablespoon, a kitchen mixer and a microwave safe bowl with rather high sides that you can mix in (I used a 1 quart Fire-King glass measuring cup to mix and heat in), a rubber scraper and a gallon ziplock bag. You will also be using the microwave. I made a satisfactory clay without cooking it but it still had that “wet toilet paper” quality that I did not especially care for, they clay looked more like a paper casting and you had to leave the clay in the mold to set up. I wanted to be able to press it in the mold and remove it so I could make a batch of embellishments at once. Cooking solved both problems and I ended up with a smooth stretchy clay that captures fine details. See this example of the clay that was cooked vs. the same clay that was not:

IMPORTANT: Read ALL of the instructions before you even try making this. This will take about a half hour to make and will yield 2 cups of clay. Remove any rings or bracelets before you begin.

  1. Unroll about 1/2 of a spool of toilet paper (if a standard roll, 1/4 if a double roll) and place in the bowl and fill with warm water. Let this soak for a few minutes and stir to break apart the fibers so you have a paper soup. Now you need to remove as much of the water as you can, you can strain it into a sieve but I just poured as much of the water off as I could then gathered the pulp in a ball and squished it, using a sieve is probably easier. squeeze out as much water as you can and press into a measuring cup. You need 1/2 cup. *Don’t dump the leftover water down the sink but you can flush it 🙂
  2. Add the wet toilet paper, joint compound, cornstarch and glue into the bowl and stir with the scraper to get it to mix. Beat the mix with the electric mixer for 2 minutes. It should look like a thick cake batter with few lumps.
  3. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds on high. Remove from the microwave and add 2 tablespoons of  liquid starch and 1 tablespoon of baby oil. Mix again with the electric mixer for 1 minute. It will have thickened slightly.
  4. Heat the mixture in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir with the scraper, it will be hard to stir and look like mashed potatoes.
  5. Coat your hands with baby oil and reach in a knead the mixture. Be careful, it is probably hot, you can let it cool a minute if needed. If it is a nasty sticky mess you are doing it right! Knead for about 1 minute.
  6. Put the bowl back in the microwave and heat for 30 more seconds on high. The clay will be much firmer now.
  7. Coat your hands liberally with baby oil and squirt some oil on the clay as well. Now you need to knead the clay for about 5 minutes. It will become quite stretch and smooth.  Mix the clay well by stretching the clay out and smooshing it back together. As it cools it will become stiffer.

You can use the clay straight away or store it in a sealed ziplock bag after it cools. I’m not sure how long the clay will keep, I made my first batch on Saturday and it is fine so far but I have a feeling that it might spoil eventually so make a batch, use it up, and make some more. This is air-dry clay and will NOT need to be baked like traditional polymer clays do.

Clays and Shrinkage: This clay will shrink about 10-15% when it dries. It shrinks as the moisture evaporates leaving the molded item lighter and slightly smaller.

To tint the clay take the amount you need and add a small dab of acrylic paint on the clay and mix it in like you are pulling taffy. If the paint makes the clay too sticky you can add a bit of corn starch.

Here is the clay I tinted moulded into a rose, the acrylic paint mixes in quite well!

You can also stamp the clay with rubber stamps. Experiment with using the stamps inked or uninked for different looks!

I had a play with the Martha Stewart clay again after making my homemade clay and I am thinking that her clay feels more like lightweight spackle so maybe if I experiment with spackle, glue and toilet paper I might be able to create clay more like hers.

To show you a comparison of my homemade clay and the Martha Stewart brand the pinker rose on the left is MS clay while the more coral one on the right (and all the other examples) are made from my homemade clay. Also the 2 green leaves on the left were painted after drying while the 3 green leaves on the right used clay I tinted with the same green paint while the clay was wet. The cameo was hand painted using a mold I made in a previous post.

When researching my clay project I came across 2 recipes that were influential in coming up with my recipe. First was Ultimate Paper Mache Clay and the second was Cold Porcelain Clay.  My clay is a hybrid of the two. I wanted the lightweight clay that was durable and captured fine detail and I got it! Thanks to the above bloggers who shared their recipes with the world so I could come up with my recipe, gosh, isn’t the internet great!

If you make this leave a comment and let me know what you think! Likewise if you have any questions, I’m happy to help. I think this would be awesome to use with kids because it is cheap to make in large amounts. BTW if you are wondering if you can double the recipe you can however the cooking times will differ so I recommend dividing up the clay when you nuke it. I would not make more clay than you will use in a week or two. I’m keeping a bag set aside to see how long it will last before getting moldy and I will edit this post when I find out 🙂

Edit: the clay molded 1 year after I made it, I kept it in a ziplock bag in a drawer I often get into. A year shelf life is pretty good I think!

BTW if you want to read my tutorial for making your own molds it is here.

Thanks for sticking with me through this long post and til next time happy crafting!

Bring on the cuteness!

As I am writing this blog post I am listing to the sweetest cheep-peeping noises coming from our six new baby chicks! More on that later. Baseball season has started and I have two ball players in the house this year! We had a birthday party to go to over the weekend for a ball fan so I made this card using my Baseball Party SVG & Printable kit:

Here is a look at the Baseball Party kit, the printables are full-color so just print, cut and glue! Or use the die cut files to cut from colored cardstock and assemble. They make great embellishments for cards and scrapbook pages too!

Baseball Party SVG & Printables!

…back to the chickens…

I have never has chickens before and I can’t believe how snuggly and cuddly they are. My kids adore them, they will perch on my girls’ arms for the longest time.  Check out how cute they are:

They are Rhode Island Reds in case you were wondering. They are so funny, all of a sudden they will all stop what they are doing and take a nap.

Do you know that a lot of famous people raised chickens? Martha Stewart and Al Gore come to mind.

A bird in the hand…awwwww….

Well, there is your dose of cuteness for a Monday morning! Til next time happy crafting!

2 Trash-to-Treasure projects for Earth Day!

Nothing makes me feel quite as virtuous as using something that I would normally just throw away. I have two projects today that use supplies that nay normal person would have thrown away (but I think we all know by now that I’m not normal 🙂  )

The above layout uses several throwaway items, the backing paper was my table protector for when I used spray mists, I love the colors of all the over-spray and couldn’t bear to toss it to I trimmed off my favorite area and used it as the base of this page. The circles were cut from the boxed my letterpress plate came in:


It is much like, if not the same is, grunge board. I inked up my plate with a pigment ink pad (I DO NOT like the letterpress ink at all.) and debossed the design on the cardboard before cutting it out. I have been collecting the letterpress plates for a while when I’ve seen them here and there on clearance and I think I have all most all of the sets made by Lifestyle Crafts. I think it is a shame that they don’t seem to be making them anymore, I’m glad that I can make my own plates now with my Stampmaker…more on that in another post. I did not like the packaging the plates came in, it was bulky and hard to get them in and out so I used an inexpensive binder and clear page protectors to store them so I can quickly access them and see what I have. I love this system, it is the same way I store my stamps. I snagged some of the new Martha Stewart divided page protectors from Staples (with my ink cartridge rewards of course) and they are the best, I like the ones that are split in half because they are very useful in storing stamps and these kits and they have flaps so your stuff does not fall out AND they cost the same and the generic page protectors, go Martha!


OK for my next trick…ha ha, my friend ask me if I had any ideas on how to make a pinata for her son’s Super Mario Bros party. immediately I thought of the mushroom guy:


How fun is that! I just cut the mushroom  shape twice from a cardboard box, then I cut 4″ wide strips from the rest of the box. Tip, cut the strips across the corrugations so the strips ill shape and bend easily. then I used plain masking tape to tape the strips to the mushroom shape at a 90 degree angle and then I taped the other mushroom shape on top. You need to leave a section untaped so you can get the candy in. Then wrap it with crape paper glueing as you go (I like hot glue) and I cut paper circles and ovals to decorate it! Easy and it cost nothing because I hade the crepe paper left over from another project.


It kinda makes you look at your trash in a new way huh? Happy Earth Day and til next time Happy Crafting!

I am Robot.

Here is a quick card to make for a birthday.  I used paper I made with my MacGyver stamp machine and a stamped brad. The glittery brads are plain ones I painted with glitter nail polish and then dipped in a pot of silver glitter. I heat embossed the robot in silver. The background paper was embossed with diamond plate embossing folder, inked with black and silver in then sprinkled with clear embossing powder and heated. Quick, easy, fun, robot.


Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Wishy-Washy Watercolors? No Way!

Happy Friday folks! Looks like rain in New England this weekend (we need it!) so it is a nice excuse to stay inside and paint! One of my favorite tricks for making my watercolors nice and bright is to use complimentary colors next to each other like I did here with red and green in my new Learn To Paint with Lindsay kit: Chinese Lanterns:


As with all of my beginner kits the cost is $3 and you get about 20 step by step photos and instructions to paint this. No previous painting experience is necessary. I’ll show you how fun and easy watercolor painting can be!

 Learn To Paint Chinese LanternsLearn to Paint: Watermelon!Learn To Paint: Pussy WillowsLearn To Paint: Birch Trees

If you have some extra time this weekend why not check out the other Learn to Paint with Lindsay kits, the Birch Trees lesson is still at the special introductory price of $1 so why wait?

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting (and painting!)