Happy Easter & Tips for detailed stamps!

Happy Easter everyone! By now most children have dived in to the baskets of chocolate booty the Easter Bunny brought, hunted for eggs and might be getting ready for church. Mine are watching Nanny McPhee, a movie the EB left them. they haven’t made it outside to egg hunt yet (which surprised me) it is kind of a cold-war of sorts on Easter morning, they all go out together and they watch each other like hawks in case someone tries to sneak out first and scope the territory LOL! The kids tried to catch the Easter Bunny on film, they put their camera on their window sill before they went to bed and pressed record but the batteries died long before the bunny showed up. (Why in my day we had to try and stay awake to see the Easter Bunny, kids today and their newfangled gadgets…)

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Here is the card I sent my parents this week, we will all gather at their house today for dinner. My sister has a 3 year old who should really be into Easter this year! It will be fun to watch him run around after eggs! Easter is my favorite holiday to photograph, I love the pastel colors, new dresses and happy children (you can’t get a sour expression when they are running around in search of sweet filled eggs!)

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OK, so on to the stamping tip, when you are using a very detailed stamp like this rabbit stamp by Magenta use a rubber brayer to apply ink to the stamp. It will prevent gobs and puddles of ink in the tiny detailed dots of a photo-realistic stamp. also use glossy paper (photo paper will work) because it will capture the detail perfectly. I like to lay the stamp rubber side up on my table, ink it with the brayer and press the paper to the stamp. Give it a try! Thanks for stopping by, happy Easter and til next time happy crafting!

Easy Paper Easter Baskets!

Happy Saturday folks! Tomorrow is Easter and if you have 3 minutes I’ll show you how to make these cute paper Easter baskets:

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I used 6″x6″ double sided paper from My Mind’s Eye for these baskets but you can use any size square you like. If you want a big basket use a 12″x12″ piece of heavy cardstock and score it in 3rds just like I did here. Watch the quick video to see how easy it is:

Fun huh? I think these would be cute with some crayons inside perched atop a paper place-mat to entertain little ones waiting for Easter dinner! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Eco-Friendly Reusable Gift Bags!

Howdy folks! I love green crafting! I find myself rummaging through my recycle bin all the time looking for something to repurpose for crafting. I also like making things that will do a good turn for the environment like these reusable gift bags:

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I started with cotton drawstring bags from Papermart. I used the 5″x6″ size and they were 39 cents each (you can’t make them that cheap!) Then I used my newly made spray inks, clear stamps and pigment ink to decorate them.  Watch the video to see how!

Easy huh? Another idea is that you can personalize a gift bag. Kids love stuff with their names on them and if you have an unusual name (like Lindsay, at least in the 80’s when I was a kid) it is hard to find personalized products.  Well, you can grab your letter stamps and make a bag that had anybody’s name on it, neat! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Video Tutorial: How to Marbleize Paper & Eggs!

Here is a fun project you will want to try today. It is quick, easy and inexpensive and what’s more, your kids will love it too! I’ll warn you it’s a bit messy (that’s what it’s so darn fun) but the results are stunning. Check out this Easter card I sent my sister, I made the background paper. I stamped the rabbit (About Art Accents) with black pigment ink and heat embossed so it would stand out on the marbleized paper.

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Looks fancy and store-bought right? Nope, I marbleized it with shaving cream! Watch this quick video to see how, I’ll even show you how to use this technique with eggs!

See, told ya it was easy;)

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Tips for marbleizing eggs:

  1. I recommend you use blown out eggs, you can use hardboiled eggs 
    (swap out the liquid watercolor for food coloring) but I worry the shaving cream might give the eggs a soapy taste.
  2. White eggs (or wooden eggs painted white) will show the technique better (but since I raise free-range hens that lay brown eggs-and cannot bring myself to buy factory farmed white ones-I used those.)
  3. After you blow out and clean the eggs you need to dry them. Microwave them 30 seconds ( for a dozen) , then dip them in vinegar and nuke them again for 30 seconds. The vinegar locks the color!

I hope you try this today! It is a great outdoor project to do with the kids to and you can just hose everything off when you are done! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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WOYWW: A Winner & A Sewing Nook!

Howdy folks and happy Wednesday. Over the weekend I promised that If I didn’t clean up my craft studio that I was going to post photos on What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday (I also invite company over when my house is trashed because that lights a fire under me to clean it up!) but luckily it did not come to that, in fact I tore the room apart to make room for a sewing area:

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Isn’t that cute! My sister gave me the sewing table, she found it at an antiques shop, it was the iron base of an old treadle machine with a thick board on top. I have wanted it in my craft-room since I received it a year ago but I just could not figure out how to fit it in without getting rid of anything else of course 😉 But I documented the process (so technically you DO get to see the messy room LOL) in 3 steps and I am thrilled with how it came out. Here is my 4 minute renovation video:

And yes, I made the poncho! OK so I know a lot of you are tuning in to see who won the stamp set from About Art Accents, well… drum-roll please…..

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Congratulations! I will email you for your contact details so check your spam folder if you have not received an email from me yet;) Thanks to all who played along.  After making that first card last week I decided to make a dozen and use one of my favorite About Art Accents stamp sets: Flowered ATC Trading Cards, it is great for those who like to color with alcohol ink markers because the detail is amazing, and it is on sale for $16.99 (regular $29) each stamp is 2.25″x3.25″, that’s a lot of rubber!

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I plan to sell them at the spring fair I am vending at next month. I thought they would be great for Mother’s Day but I did not want to limit my customer base so in each card package I include a Happy Birthday  Thanks and Happy Mother’s Day sentiment and 2 foam squares for sticking them on. That way there are 3 occasions the cards can be used for. I am selling them for $3.

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I think they look nice and tidy in their clear envelopes!

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Well that’s all for today. I hope I inspired you to cram more junk…er, I mean look for alternative storage space in your craft space! If you want to check out more crafty desks visit Julia’s blog and til next time happy crafting!

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Spring is here and that means babies!

I don’t know if statistically there are more babies born in the spring or not but it does seem like I get invited to more baby showers in the spring. Next time I’ll be ready with this cute set using supplies from Papermart:

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Here are the supplies I used: Plastic Baby Clothespins in white ($1.20 a dozen), Baker’s Twine in light orange, Large Ric-Rac trim in white (dyed with spray inks), a Shipping Tag, kraft and white cardstock, a scrap of green paper, watercolor paper, watercolor pencils (I prefer Inktense) a sponge dauber and scalloped punch (or you can cut a circle with scalloped scissors.) Watch this video to see how I made this!

Variations: Look at the stamps you have, you could stamp bibs, diapers, tiny tee’s and socks and other baby stuff! Or you could stamp some swimsuits for a “Bon Voyage” card. Have fun with this design. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Beginner Sewing tutorial: Reversible Paperboy Bag

Today I want to share a project that my daughter Lila designed. She wanted to make a reversible bag with a rounded bottom. When it was done it reminded me of the bag paperboys used to carry to deliver papers on their bikes. We went shopping for fabric and had the bag made in an afternoon.

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You will need: 1/2 yard for the outside of the bag, 1/2 yard for the inside and 1/4 yard for a strap. I used 45″ wide cotton. As you can see the project rang up to about $5, not bad eh?

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This is a no waste project (although you might need to trim your fabric a bit if the person who cut it at the store was sloppy.) Step 1: Press 1″ down on each finished edge of the fabric. Fold the fabric in half right sides together (matching up the pressed edge) and press. Trim one of the bottom corners off at an angle and use the scrap as a template the trim the other side.  Sew up the sides with a 1″ seam allowance. Repeat for other 1/2 yard of fabric.

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Step 2.  Trim the seams to 1/2″. This will make the bag lass bulky.

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Now you have two bags, here they are shown right-side out.

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Hold them together and see if one is a bit smaller, if so, take the smaller one and turn it inside out and place it inside the other bag lining them up at the seams. Pin the bags together. You should be able to see the right sides of both fabrics with no raw edges.

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Step 3. Make the strap! Follow the instructions in the photos for pressing, then stitch down the edges.

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Step 4. Pin the strap to the bag by sandwiching it in between the two bag layers. If you want a shorter strap you can sink it in there farther or trim it first. This will give us an elegant invisible join!

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Step 5. Stitch along the edge of the bag being as neat as you can. You will have your bag and strap sewn together in one pass!

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There you have it, a finished reversible bag with no waste. You can start off with different size fabric and make any side bag this way. My daughter was so pleased with the results!

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Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Instant Jewelry: What to do with un-drilled or broken chip beads

Happy Sunday folks. A usual I was up earlier than everyone else in my family today and I pondered a trip down to my studio for some early morning crafting but then I remembered the terrible state I left it in yesterday. My head has been crammed with ideas to try and all those ideas are spewed around every available surface down stairs, there are even a couple of up-ended crates with precarious piles of jewelry and beads (it has been a miracle that I haven’t knocked them over yet!)  I’d share a pic but I am too ashamed LOL! but if my mess is still there on Wednesday I will post a pic, it’s sad but I have to give my self ultimatums to clean.  😀 Speaking of workdesk Wednesday you still have time to sign up for my stamp giveaway on last Wednesday’s post, I will choose a winner this Wednesday morning so be sure to leave a comment on that post for a chance to win stamps! OK, enough rambling, let’s get the project:

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I call it “instant art” because I made it in about 15 seconds! I was working on my tree of life pendants and I came across a semi-precious chip bead mix I bought a few months ago, I thought the random stones would be great for the pendants but you can imaging the surprise when I found out the beads were un-drilled, as in no holes to string them with! well, I only paid 50 cents for the bag of chips so I decided to laugh at my fate and make lemonade so to speak and I grabbed a ring blank with a lip (50 cents at bead shop) filled it with Aleen’s Jewelry & Metal Glue and dropped in a bunch of bead chips. I pressed them in well to ensure a bond and set it upright to fully dry. I think it looks cool and if I am ever in a bar fight these bead shards will be more effective than brass knuckles LOL! Great sparkle too! I have even been saving broken chip beads for this! Well, that’s it for today. An remember if a craft is not going the way you expect make lemonade or a bar-fight ring! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

By Request: Tree of Life Beading Tutorial

Howdy folks! We finally have a weekend that is not booked to the gills. 😀 I have a project laid out on my bead board ready to string and I think I will let my daughters use some of my “good” beads (I have a couple of leftover turquoise beads my daughter Lila has been eyeing) If you have some free time this weekend maybe you would like to try making a tree of life pendant:

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I made a bunch of these a couple of weeks ago using 1.5″ key rings as my base because it’s what I had on hand (make do, or do without right?) and after I made about a dozen I grabbed a few 2″ key rings to try and I like them even better! Also I think they are easier for a beginner to use. I recommend watching the video in full screen to see better detail of the wire work but it is pretty easy. You don’t need to jot down notes because you can print my free pdf Tree of Life tutorial here. So sit back, relax and learn something new!

I have some exciting news, I have ordered new spring-loaded nylon jaw pliers yesterday and paid less than $3! Consumer Crafts is having their annual 25% off friends and family sale and their prices are already really low (I am in no way affiliated with them but I order from them several times a year, it is a great lace to get supplies for classes and buy art gift sets for presents) They have good deals on copper wire too ($2 a spool after coupon code) and I found 12 packs of 22 gauge colored copper wire that were $14 at the craft store for $4! If you are a beginner in need of tools that have some great deals, they have a $30 set of 5 jewelry pliers for $12 and most of their pliers are $3-$7. You get free shipping on orders over $100 so you might want to team up with a friend to get your order up to that point. I also picked up some Darice embossing folders for $2.25. They also have some chip beads for $1 a strand and they sell the key rings too, you can probably find all of the supplies I used at consumer crafts. Be sure to use the coupon code: ccfandf13 to get 25% off everything including sale prices but the sale ends Sunday night. Gee, I’m not affiliated but maybe I should ask for a commission LOL! I just wanted to pass on a great deal, oh and they sell the new spectrum noir markers for half the price of the craft stores too.

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Well that’s all for today. We have the big Easter Egg Hunt to go to today at the school but other than that the weekend is wide open, gotta love that! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Ink Pads 101: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask!

Happy Friday  Today we are going to talk about ink…well I’m gonna talk about ink (for about 15 minutes LOL) and you can listen if you like. I had a couple people request a video demonstrating the various brands of ink-pads and what they are good for and at least once a week someone emails me or leaves a comment asking about ink so today I am going to give you the scoop on ink-pads! You don’t need to take notes during the video because I prepared an Ink Pad Cheat Sheet that you can download at the end of this post:) Just step away from the pencil ma’am. Here’s the video:

I realized that I did not talk about chalk or distress inks (doh!) and you might be feverishly trying to make notes while the video was going (no small task with how fast I talk) so I decided to save you the trouble and create a cross reference cheat sheet that you can print containing all the inks I talked about and the two I forgot. there is also a bit of room in the chart for you to jot down your notes and findings.  I have also included tips and recipes for homemade ink and ink refreshers. You can download that below:

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So, did I do good? Do you feel like you know a thing or two about all of the ink pad choices out there? As always if you have any questions just leave a comment (or if you just want to say howdy-do!) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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