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11  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / Elmer's Products / ATC Album - featuring Elmer's products on: April 16, 2012 10:02:53 AM
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ATC Album - featuring Elmer's products


Every teeny little piece of art deserves a good place to live, right? When I started swapping ATCs with other Craftsters, it seemed like my collection multiplied so dang quick! I have a few favorites, and I thought it would be nice to have a little album to keep handy so I could flip through for inspiration on one of those dry days.


I started with the covers. I like to go to the library and rifle through their discard section where they sell old unwanted books for a dime a piece. The covers of the old books can be torn off and cut down to whatever size I want and then re-covered with paper. After using my X-ACTO Precision Tip scissors to cut out the paper in the size I needed, I used Elmer's Craft Bond All Purpose Glue Stick to glue the paper onto the covers. This glue STICKS. I know, because I changed my mind on the paper I wanted to use, and my first choice didn't want to peel off! That's a good thing... You want the covers to stay put!


Next, I used my X-ACTO Paper Trimmer to cut down some paper for the insides of the cover. There's a ruler right on the thing, so that made it easy to cut the pieces to the right size. The awesome thing about guillotine cutters is the nice square and straight cut you get.


I used the Craft Bond All Purpose Glue Stick to stick on the paper to hide where the outer cover paper comes together inside the cover.


For the main embellishment, I used the precision scissors to roughly cut out a watercolored stamped image of one of my monsters. Then I used the X-ACTO Gripster Craft Knife on my Self-Healing Cutting Mat to cut out the fine details. The fresh, sharp blade really made it easy to make it all the way through the paper in just one go.


Once the monster was cut out, I used the Craft Bond Glue Stick again to secure it to the front along with some paper to make it say "ATC Album". I used some black and white Elmer's Designer Tape to add a border around the front and back covers. The tape is a little see-through, so you can see colors from the paper come through and it's a nice effect. Kinda zebra-stripey. I like it Smiley Now it's time for some spaaaaarklies.


The Elmer's Craft Bond Quick Dry Dual Tip Glue Pen was super handy to attach gems because one side comes with a teeny tiny tip that's perfect for when you just need a eeny weeny spot of glue.


For the inside pages to have little pockets, the method is easy! Cut each piece twice the width of the size you'd like the finished page to be, then add about an inch and a half to your height for the pocket fold. Once you've got your page cut out, fold up the extra 1.5 inches to form the pocket. Then fold it all in half. Once it's all folded, use a hole punch (I used a 1/8" punch) at the open side (not the creased side!) for the binder rings.


I used a cordless drill to make the binding holes on the covers, since there was no way my hole punch could handle that! I bound it all up with two binder rings and... Tada!


So there you have it, a cute little place to keep some special ATCs.
12  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / It came from SPACE! Tacky Sci-Fi Altered Tin on: February 01, 2012 12:47:44 PM

Woo hoo! I can finally share this altered altoids tin I made for the Vices Altered Tin Swap Smiley I was lucky enough to be paired with Cackle, the incredible, and one of her themes was Tacky Sci-Fi movies. How on Earth could I resist crafting that one?! And so this Sci-Fi altoids tin was born...


I used acrylics to pain the background night scene complete with UFOs and sparkly pigment powder tractor beams. Some of the stars in the sky are crystal gems to add that extra other-worldly twinkle...


You can see the black glitter I lined the inside edge of the tin with. It looks like space-rocks Smiley The alien and girl are from a vintage movie poster. I coated the beast in clear glaze to make it look slimy and frightening, much like the tactics used in so many of our favorite lame creature-features.


The bottom has glass marbles for accent, and the base is a lamp socket. My favorite lamp sputtered out and died, but Bobby fixed it and I was left with this perfect little spaceship-looking thingamajig. It's colored with alcohol inks, then roughed up with sandpaper.


The back! The alien city is made from a bunch of cotter pins and one of those silly fake car keys the car dealerships send out stuck to mailers.


The beads along the outer rim are held on securely by gluing twice! First, stick them on using a line of glue around the rim. Then let that dry completely. Then put a line of glue along the outside edge of all the beads. Use glue that dries clear! Tada!

I wanted to keep this so bad, but alas, it belongs in another place... A far away place... Outer Space (aka Cackle's house)
Thank you for looking!

13  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Beaded Crown for Fancy Hot Lava Royalty on: January 27, 2012 01:58:12 PM

I made another fancy beaded crown! I made a sea-themed mermaid crown here, first, and couldn't resist making another in a hot color scheme. This time, I made it a little differently, but I remembered to take some in-progress shots so if anybody wanted to make their own, it might be easier to decode.


I used the thickest gauge of wire they had at Michaels for the foundation of this one, and wrapped it all around with much thinner wire to hold it together.


Then, I used the thick wire to make this piece to create tiers for the many gleaming jewels.


You can see here how I wrapped more wire around to attach it to the circle.


So without any beads, the base for the crown looked like this.


Then, I took about a 2 foot section of thin wire and strung beads onto it. I secured one end to the base by twisting it around, then began wrapping the beaded wire around the base, spacing them about 1 bead per wrap-around, if that makes sense. When you run out of beads and wire, just secure it, then add another length of wire and beads. It's easier to do it in pieces instead of one LONG piece of wire, because wrapping that crap is crazy. It'll be everywhere.


Then once you get to the pointy-bits, pull the bead wire across the centers to fill in the empty bits.  If anything looks sparse by way of beads, just keep wrapping more strands of beads onto it until it's thoroughly encrusted.


A crown fit for the queen of hot lava monsters... For that "fresh out of a volcano" look.


Thank you for looking! Now you go and make a fancy crown... You'll feel good wearing it, I promise Smiley


14  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / My Inexpensive Homemade Light Tent on: January 23, 2012 07:24:14 AM
I do not have an awesome camera. In fact, I have a pretty basic point-and-shoot digital camera ( Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX12, I think it's outdated and they have a newer model a few times over.) But I like to think that my pics are alright! They used to be "meh" but they're better now! I wanted to share my photo set-up in case anybody was wondering how it's done Smiley

I had seen make-your-own-light tent tutorials around the internet, and after looking at several and getting tips from other bloggers, I came up with my current set-up.

1. The light tent is made out of a big clear plastic tote on its side. Many people suggest making it out of a cardboard box with the sides cut out, but this seemed much easier. Any opportunity to avoid using a box cutter, am I right?  Grin The suggestion for using a plastic tote came from Saint Angel.
2. To diffuse the light coming in from the sides, I taped sheer white fabric to the outer sides of the tote. I actually used the lining of a skirt I had ripped apart, so it was pretty sheer.
3. I attached 2 small work lights to the shelf(found them at Walmart) and pointed them at each side. I used the GE Reveal light bulbs that are more similar to natural light. My photos still turn out a little yellow, but not as terribly yellow as with normal bulbs. I just fix that on the computer by hitting "auto-color".
4. The background is white posterboard trimmed down to fit inside the tote. There are 2 pegs that I drilled holes for to keep the posterboard from sliding out. You can use pushpins, too, but it takes some muscle to sink them in the plastic the first time! Also, you can choose other colors of posterboard if you wanted. I have a black sheet of posterboard behind the white one to swap out when I want a dark background.

BEFORE: So I went from pics like this (just on my craft table with the lamp on, lots of shadows, meh colors, hard to get a good focus)


AFTER: To pics like this (In the light tent, minimal shadows, good colors, easy to focus)


So that's that. I always take the photos with the flash off, then once I put them on the computer, I hit "auto-color" and "auto-contrast" in my editing software, and it's good to go. I hope this info is useful! Smiley


15  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Narwhal, Love Dog and Birdy Canvas Board Notebooks on: January 23, 2012 06:32:03 AM

(edited to add this pink one that I just made Smiley)


This weekend I've been getting busy making canvas board notebooks! I'm starting to grow a healthy relationship with my bind-it-all machine... We weren't friends before, friends don't pinch the heck out of me. But lately I've been learning to avoid serious injury while using it.

I used multi-colored paper for the inside pages on this one.

My friend made a special narwhal request, so I painted this guy.


All three of these notebooks are made from 5x7 canvas boards which I painted and stamped then cut in half width-wise to make the covers.

I added a little beaded strand to this one in addition to the fun fur yarn. It needed a little extra sparkle...

The dog is a stamp from the Alphastamps "punch/toby" set. Cute, no?


 The last one is pretty simple with a little birdy that was cut out of a nature encyclopedia.

I messed up and accidentally punched out holes on the wrong side of the back cover, but I had a genius reader on my blog comment that I could just bind in another book on the other side. I think I might!


Another! This one has a bee theme.
Thank you for looking!
16  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Imagination! Little Red, Black and White Book *pic heavy* on: January 17, 2012 07:56:00 AM
(Blergh, I just accidentally closed this tab and now I get to do the whole post over again! YAY!)


This is a little book that I made for Alwaysinmyroom for being so totally awesome. It was outside of my normal bright color scheme and cute themes, but I was happy for the variety and pleased with how it turned out.


The book is aboooout 2.5 x 2" if I remember properly.


This was my favorite spread out of the whole book.





This page had a flap that opened up to reveal the JAWS!





The whole quote is: "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it, we go nowhere" -Carl Sagan

I used my cricut to cut the shape bases out of cereal box, then once I painted/embellished all the pages, I used my zutter bind-it-all (AKA Dr. Finger-pinch-pinch) to put it all together.

Thanks for looking!
17  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / 9 Triangles! For a pennant garland! (Pic Heavy) on: January 08, 2012 10:28:28 AM


I had a bunch of triangle bases cut out of cereal box to embellish and make a garland. Finally got around to doing it! I actually remembered to take pics of the individual pieces before I glued them onto the string... Photographing completed garlands is something that I'm just not good at! So the detail photos:










Each triangle is about 2 inches tall. It was a great way to use up a little bit of scrap paper. I used tacky glue to attach them to a length of fun fur novelty yarn to make the garland


Here is the garland finished and attached to decorate my bird's cage. Thank you for looking! Smiley
18  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Fancy Beaded Sea Crown on: January 05, 2012 07:42:44 PM
Tonight I sat down and made a little something that I have wanted to make since I stalked the "I really need a friggin' crown (or other lofty headwear)" swap gallery. I thought that was the cutest swap idea and was sad I missed it!


Anyway, I broke out the spool of safety wire I had and my bead stash and made this mermaid tiara, sea crown of fancy.


The base is about 4 loops of wire, wrapped with more wire and then beads all over the place. For the initial beading, I just strung about 20 beads on and wrapped and wrapped semi-loosely sliding a bead in place every 1/2" or so.


Bead close-up! I wanted it to be messy to hide any mistakes and places where I had to snip wire off and start a new piece.


I'm a mermaid. Thanks for looking!
19  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Red Hummingbird Necklace/Bracelet on: January 03, 2012 01:09:58 PM

I made this as my first craft project for 2012! It's been a long time since I've done any legit jewelry making, and it was fun to whip out the wire and roundnose pliers. I've had a few of these red coral hummingbird beads, and thought it was time to finally use one! Hooray for stash-busting!

The chain can be removed via the clasp to use for a bracelet. That's also a goal for this year: wear more jewelry Smiley

I already posted this over in the 50 Projects Craftalong, but I did make it a resolution for this year to post more projects on Craftster Smiley Thanks for looking!
20  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Kitties Tiny Book on: December 27, 2011 12:38:28 PM

I haven't posted on Craftster for ages Sad I want to make it a goal this new year to be as active as I used to be over here... So many good, uplifting, inspiring people to interact with! I've gotta start again sometime, so behold, a kitties tiny book I made for Audio!

The book page bases were cut out of cereal boxes with my cricut machine, then I covered the printed, shiny sides with paper and painted the plain brown sides.





The kitties and words were cut out of an old kids poem book for the most part. The pages are bound together using big ol' jewelry jump rings. The book measures about 2.5" if I remember properly...

I have several other tiny books that I haven't done official posts for here on Craftster... Perhaps I will sometime Smiley Thanks for looking!
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