You Can’t Expect Perfection 10 Minutes Before the Party!

Howdy crafters! First off let me apologize for email bombing you yesterday. I had taken some posts down a couple of years ago because the artwork was being published in magazines and I forgot to republish the posts after the magazines came out. So yesterday I figured I’d put the posts live again and they would be filed in on the dates that I created them, which they did, but also they were sent out as new posts to all of my subscribers…sorry about that. But at least you can see how far my photography has come over the years and hopefully my crafting ability too….well, maybe not in the case in this project:

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I love making last-minute cards, especially for kids. My husband asked me yesterday “Why do you rush around to make a card last-minute for a kid [Disclaimer-referring to kids in general, not the kid this card was given too, he is a sweetie!] who won’t appreciate it?”  “There’s no point stressing out when you can just buy a card at the store.” OK, two things here, I am not stressed out by making a last-minute card, it is freeing, I use my latest stamps, I will try a new technique and play with color, I don’t worry about perfection because a child does not judge a card and I am getting something done, it’s a card, it is made, it will never have to be made again unlike the floors that need to be re-swept  dished that need to be rewashed and all of the other daily drudgery that does stress me out. Making cards is fun and the bit about kids not appreciating it, I think they do like the handmade card especially if it reflects their personality.

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I had some matching paper scraps on my table left over from craft fair packaging so I layered them on the envelope, did some stamping and slapped on a couple of pieces of washi tape, done! I love to be able to spend an hour on a card but I probably love slap-dash crafting even more! There is no time to worry when you only have 10 minutes, if you make a mistake work it into the design. And most importantly happy crafting!

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Stamp credits: Look & 10: Crafty Secrets, Others: Stampin’ Up!

Make a Statement {Necklace!}

Happy Saturday folks! First I want to apologize to all of my papercrafters out there since my current jewelry obsession has taken over my blog (as it does whenever I am preparing for a craft fair) but I have some stamping to do today so I am planning on posting a card tomorrow. You see I imagine all of my readers are just waiting with bated breath to read my posts HA HA 😀 ! I had a burst of creativity yesterday morning after coming across a tray full of glass pebbles I had altered months ago (while looking for jewelry price tags) and I was inspired to make this:

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It’s a statement necklace and it is super fun! basically you cut a “bib” from felt and you glue anything you like to it such as flowers, buttons, gems, anything! I used silk flowers and the flat backed glass marbles I had altered. Then I added some raveled rose ribbon and added ribbon crimps (see how to video here) a bit of chain and a toggle clasp to the back.

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Quick, Easy and Fun and one more item for my craft fair table. I can see myself making more of these. They are eye-catching and a fun accessory! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY Up-cycled Jewelry Display Rack

Yesterday we stayed home, the kids vegged out and I worked on the dreaded craft fair pricing and packaging. Every time I tell myself I’ll price and package as I make the stuff and every time I wait until the last-minute, why? I think it is because I hate deciding on a price. I know what I think my stuff is worth but at the same time I want to price it to sell. As I was pondering this I noticed an old frame that I decided could be up-cycled into a display board, here is how it turned out (it’s hanging on the wall behind my sewing machine)

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It is cuter in real life;) I have a few of these frames kicking around because I also do custom framing and I had ordered some frames in for a customer and they had gouges on the side so the company replaced them but did not want the frames back. They came with a plywood backing board so I decopauged old book pages (don’t freak out, The librarian gave them to me because they were going to be tossed in the dumpster) on it and let it dry:

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After the decaupague glue was dry I secured the backer board in the frame. I had a bucket of wooden spools that were given to me years ago and I thought they would be great for hanging a necklace or bracelet on.  I placed them on the board in staggered rows and decided on placement.

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When I was happy with the spacing I hot glued the spools in place. Ta-da! This is plenty rugged to hold jewelry for my craft fair display and if I keep it hanging in my craft room it will be easy to price and hang a piece of jewelry up there when i make it, yeah right!

I love that this project serves a purpose and was absolutely free to me! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Easy Triangle Earrings!

Howdy folks! This has been such a busy week, the kids are on school break and I have been a taxi service!  I told the kids we are staying home today and chilling out! My girls finished up a 3 day horseback riding camp (and yes, they now want a horse, just what I need to add to the chickens eh? No, not really.) and my son has had little league practice, a trip to grammies and friends over. Yup, staying home today sounds good to me. I really need to get packaging up some craft fair items so I can have room to make more stuff but before attempting that I decided to make a quick, fun pair of earrings trying a new technique:

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You need 6 eye-pins, 2 ear-wires and assorted beads. I used glass pearls, crystals and “E” beads. Simply load the beads onto an eye pin leaving 3/8″ wire on the end and form that into a loop with round nose pliers (repeat for all eye-pins) then use the pliers to open the loops and attach the sides to the bottom then open the loop on the ear-wire and slide the two side pieces on. Easy! I think next time I’d use smaller beads because they are a bit heavy I think. I used 2″ eye pins so they are fairly large earrings, nice and flashy! I will experiment more with this technique I am sure!

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Well, I really need to get packaging so I can have room to do more creating! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: How to photograph your artwork!

Hello Wowwers! Today my main craft desk is filled to the brim with stuff to package up for the craft fair I am doing in a week and a half {holy smokes! I am just now realizing it is less than 2 weeks away!?!} so instead of showing you the same old crap I’ve been making I thought I’d share another hard-used work area…my photography area!

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That’s pretty sophisticated huh? Well, maybe not but the proof is in the pudding…or the photos so to speak so I thought I film a quick video blog today demonstrating my photography techniques and offering tips that you can try if you are unhappy with the way the photos of your crafts turn out.

Quick Tip Review:

  1. Hold your camera steady, tuck your elbows in at your sides, hold your camera in both hands close to your body, press the shutter halfway down to focus, exhale, press the shutter the rest of the way. Viola! Alternately you can use a tripod and a remote clicker to eliminate shake.
  2. Use the macro feature fore really small stuff like jewelry or details on a card or scrapbook page. This allows you to get physically close to the object and keep it in focus. It blurs the rest of the image for a professional ethereal look. I will often take a photo in regular mode too in case I don’t like the effect when I am editing. On most cameras there is a button on the back with a flower on it, push that to turn on the macro feature.
  3. KISS: Keep it Simple Stupid, I photograph my art in my white box against a white background with white props. It keeps the attention on my artwork. It also reflects and maximizes the light. Sometimes I will scatter buttons, or add a branch or flowers to a plain project to make the photo more interesting or place some scrapbook paper or fabric as a backdrop but in most cases regarding the use of props and backgrounds I have this mantra: “When in doubt, leave it out!” Ironically when it comes to creating the art my mantra is “The more the merrier!”
  4. Don’t use the flash, man! While the flash is great in a lot of circumstances it kills the detail and contrast in your still life photography, really what you are doing when you shoot your crafts is still-life. You should have plenty of light with your homemade light box so ditch the flash. To disable the flash look for a button with a lighting bolt on in and press it until you see an icon on the lighting bolt with a “not-allowed sign” around it.
  5. Adjust levels in image editing software such as Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro or the free program GIMP.

 

I save white pottery, boxes and dishes to use and photo props.

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This is the simple easel I made to lean my scrapbook pages and small paintings against when I photograph them:

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Uh, disregard the 2″x11″ notation, the base is 2″x8″. 😛 Here it is in use, there is enough support for the paper that is does not slide down or bow back at the corners.

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A tip when shooting larger items like scrapbook pages and paintings is to use the “perspective adjustment” tool in your photo editing software. It had an icon that looks like a crop tool but you set each corner at the corner of your project and it straitens out any parallax.  Try to shoot it as level as you can so the adjustment has to only be minor. Then crop your photo, I like to leave a border of the white backdrop around my scrapbook page or card but that is personal preference.

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After you have these well shot photos you might want to enhance them a bit more. Your camera is tricky, give it too much white and it might want to make it grey, give it too much black and it wants to make it gray but you know your background is white so you can go in your trusty photo editing software and give that photo what-for! I like to use the curves/levels tool for this. In Paint Shop Pro I choose Curves (from the Adjust menu) then click levels. That usually dose the trick but if it still does not look like the original I slide the curve a bit until it really represents the artwork.

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I hope this helps answer some of your artwork photography questions without being to overwhelming. Really, holding the camera still, not using flash and shooting your artwork in a simple white box is pretty much all you need to know…huh, I could have just typed that to begin with and save you from listening to me gab for 5+ minutes and reading all of this..oh well;) I hope you learned something new anyway 🙂 If you want to see what is happening on craftier desks head over to Julia’s blog for more What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday fun! Til next time happy crafting!

A Gift Fit For a Time Lord!

Howdy folks! I am still enjoying a fun-filled school vacation but I wanted to share something I made last week for a friend whose birthday was yesterday:

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She is a big Doctor Who fan and I have her to thank for my current Doctor Who obsession. I’ll never forget last summer when she said “Hey Lindsay, have you ever watched the show Doctor Who?” Famous. Last. Words.

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Sometimes I wonder if my handmade jewelry is a bit too gaudy for anyone to wear, we all receive the well intended gifts from relatives (too-big novelty Christmas sweater or plastic canvas tissue box cozy) so I figured if my necklace is to big and clunky to wear she can hang it out by her garden to scare away any crows (or the odd Dalek) that might come by! 🙂

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in case you are wondering where I found that rad Dalek rubber stamp, I made it with my Stampmaker! That’s all for today! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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On the Road to Shambala!

Ooooweeeooohhhoooo…ya ya ya ya ya …we’re on the road to Shambala today as we make some fun Shambala style macrame bracelets!

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This bracelet is constructed of square knots and beads using cord. You will need:

6 feet of 2mm rat-tail cord (or cord of your choice)
2 feet of hemp cord (or any fairly stiff cord that you can slide your beads on to)
7 large hole beads (lampwork glass or furnace glass beads are perfect but see what you have, the holes need to be big enough to slip on the hemp cord)
A clip board (or scrap of wood/cardboard) and binder clips
super glue (or clear nail polish)
A lighter (or lit candle) for melting the cord ends (grown-ups only!)

Watch the video for complete instructions!

Once you get the hang of it you can make these bracelets in 15-20 minutes. This is the same technique (minus the beads) that are used to make the popular parachute cord (paracord) bracelets too! I think these bracelets can be worn by a man, woman or child however when I asked my husband if he wanted one he said they were too girly, I said that her must be thinking of the wrong one, I was talking about the knotted one with the beads and adjustable dangles on the end and he said “anything with a ‘dangle’ is girly” Well, folks, there you have it;) Other than a wedding ring my hubby is not a jewelry wearer 🙂

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That does it for me today, we have a busy school break planned with lots of fun so if I don’t manage to get a blog post up every day this week it is because I am having too much fun with the kids! If I do manage a daily post it will be because I have convinced them to craft with me! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Last Day for 40% off @ Lindsay’s!

Howdy folks! I hope you are having a great weekend! I just wanted to remind you that the 40% off sale at Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff is going on through today if you want so snag some deals on party supplies, SVG cutting files/templates, digital stamps, painting kits and more!

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Here are some digital products you might enjoy!

 

DaddyO! Clips & CuttingStencil Bonanza! SVGLearn to Paint: MagnoliasLearn to Paint: Blue BuntingLearn to Paint: CrocusGrad Hat Favor BoxSock Hop SVGBackyard Campout Party Kit!Pretty Posies Digital StampsLearn to Paint: Coastal LandscapeBeautiful Gown SVGApril Showers Clips & CuttingChevron Chic! SVGPretty Dress SVGPen & Ink PoppiesFunky Jar StampsRainbow Circus Party!Cake Box Favors SVGFancy Cupcake Box SVGBuild A Blossom SVGSew Much Fun StampsBaseball Party SVG & Printables!Posh'n Trendy StampsBachelorette Party Printables

 

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY {no-hassle} Tassels & 40% off!

Tassels are trendy! They are cropping up everywhere and they are so easy to make! You can use them to decorate cards, jewelry, home decor and gift packaging like I did below on my Grad Hat Gift box. That template along with everything in my shop Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff  is 40% off now through Sunday so shop happy (and keep an artist employed LOL!)

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I was asked by a few people how I made my tassel earrings so I made a video to show you how, it is very quick and easy!

See, told ya! If you ave any questions you can leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!