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51  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Chunky mini book - an Ode to Spring... on: May 10, 2014 08:03:01 PM
This came to me in a dream a few weeks ago - you know, those vivid dreams that kind of stick in your mind even when you wake up.  These are why I keep a pencil and pad on the nightstand.  Anyways, I had this poem or phrase that kept coming to me in my dream with some vivid images and I woke up thinking I need to make this into an art book of some kind and this was what I came up with. 

I also have vivid dreams like this about bead shopping - those dreams make me so happy - but I always wake up as I am paying and what a humongous let down that is.

Anyways - warning, this is rather pic heavy, even though it is only a few pages long.

It is made with each page being several pieces of chipboard thick because they are several layers of cut pieces over each other to give a dimensional effect, and hand painted with acrylics.

It also became a great way for me to practice lettering.

The book is 4"x4", and probably a bit over an inch wide.  I used washi tape to hide the rougher cut eges.

It was a lot of fussy cutting, and gluing of pieces together, and I had to work a few problems out as I went along, but ultimately, I am happy to have finished it and quite like it.  Besides - it's always nice to make a dream come true now, isn't it  Wink

More details and pictures in my blog post.
52  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Art Abandonment swap - was there ever a round 2? on: May 06, 2014 02:14:27 AM

Cover image credit http://enpundit.com/uk-street-artist-takes-recycling-to-new-heights/

I was part of round 1 that was organized by jmiller614 and was just looking through it again - and realised that it was almost 2 years ago that we did it.  I'm also stealing her image from that swap too, because it was awesome.

Original thread...

Original gallery...

The basic concept is that participants make several small items to send to their partners, and their partners abandon the art in various public locations with the hopes of sharing a bit of beauty and art with strangers, and hopefully giving them a surprise bit of whimsy to brighten their day.  Some people added creative packaging and notes to draw attention, explain the concept, or give information for maybe someone to respond, but that was purely optional.

I was thinking that now that Spring is finally showing up in some parts and more people are enjoying the outdoors (hopefully), that perhaps this idea can be resurrected.

Would anyone else be interested in having another go at this?
53  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Interchangeable cuffs... a swap idea on: May 03, 2014 05:19:12 AM
underthemountain suggested this in a the challenge post I made yesterday, for some interchangeable cuffs I made

She came up with the idea of making the decorated central plates as the swap idea, with participants making their own cuff to their own size (the first cuff, being quite open in the middle, could be an easy one to make), and having a standardized plate size - it would be a great way of expanding your accessories without taking as much space, and a great way of getting some cool pieces you may otherwise not think of - stamped metal, etched metal, leather, fabric, etc.

Anyone else interested in trying this out?
54  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / The tale of Lana... a mini chunky canvas on: May 03, 2014 04:56:22 AM
I made this recently for one of the Ongoing Wish Swaps for underthemountain.  She had listed as a wish, an updated piece for her daughter, like this fantastic piece made for her by rackycoo.  At first that kind of intimidated me (I mean, rackycoo made it... kwim?).  Then I thought, my creative goal this year is to try more mixed media, and I would like to try.

This is what I came up with and I am really happy with how it turned out.  The inspiration was that I wanted to mimic a bit racky's piece, and Lana's mischievous smile - angelic, with a hint of devilish glee - look at that glint in her eyes - can you see it too???  Also, utm wanted something that would reflect her love of reading, so a lot of it was done using book pages, on a book theme - my thought was that Lana is a book fairy.

I took a 4x4 chunky canvas and painted it with blue acrylics and added some stenciled punchinella to simulate clouds.  I made a gel medium transfer of Lana, sized to fit, and tinted it with markers to add some subtle colour, then mounted it on a piece of of card stock with a book page glued on, so just a hint of the lettering would show through her image. 

I then die cut her wings out of book pages which I inked and curled, and layered her over the wings.  I added a little embossed crown on a scrap piece of card stock with the glued page on it. 

I added a little statement on a piece of painted book page on the bottom.

I had this vision of it sitting amongst a pile of books - but I had to modify that for the sake of balance, because I was not sure if the piece would hang on the wall or sit on a surface.  I made a "book" using cardboard, tape, a toilet paper roll, and crumpled kraft paper wrap.  I made the shape with the cardboard, paper roll, and tape, and mod podged the wrap over it to give the texture.  I used acrylic paints to give it a bit of colour like an aged hand made leather book (I hoped).  It is angled so that it could lie flat at the back if hung up, but from the front, look like a randomly placed book.   I really like how it turned out, and may have to refine this idea a bit more.

Finally, there is something about a bare open back that annoys the heck out of me, so I had to finish the back of the piece too, so I added a cover with textured card stock that I inked, and added a great Lemony Snicket quote to, and nailed on with brass finishing nails.  I also added a brass hanger in case it was to hang.

I am so happy how it turned out.  I loved loved loved making it - it came together so fast.  In fact, I loved it so much I would like to use the same concept to make a trio of my dogs too for my dog wall.

I posted this on my blog the other day too, with some more pics.
55  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Interchangeable cuffs... on: May 02, 2014 07:12:31 AM

This is a cuff set that I had been thinking about lately.  I was inspired by several cuffs that I have on one of my "I want to make" boards.  Namely these ones...

For the idea of using the lobster clasps to attach the metal plates

Because I love this design

Love the combination of the metal etching and the riveted items

Love this quote, which I found on Psyche's boards when stalking her for a recent swap.

I made two cuff bases and three metal plates that could be used in either cuff.

The first is a stiff, thick black leather cuff with two brown leather panels which hold the jump rings and lobster clasps to hold the panels.  I was experimenting with different ways of attaching things and used wire to "sew" the panels on.

The second cuff is made with red leather, and is open in the center - it is lighter, and more delicate looking.  I am contemplating adding a decorative element to the leather components.

Both attach to the wrists with snap clasps.

The three panels are made with brass cut to the same dimensions.  Two are acid etched, and the last just simply stamped.  All are curved to fit the wrist better, and after being patinaed, finished with Renaissance Wax and buffed to preserve the patina (hopefully).

This first one is based on the Edgar Allen Poe quote.

This one was acid etched with a checkerboard pattern, and hand image overlaid, then with various metal findings riveted on top.

This one is my version of the "bitch" cuff - more of a prototype, I may work out a more elaborate or cleaner version later.  My acid is old and used too - fresh acid will give a cleaner etch.

I quite like the idea of the interchangeable cuff, and will have to work on this idea a bit more, especially with a thinner, finer cuff.  I had made some patterned leather panels for the thicker cuff, in a beautiful teal coloured leather, but made a crucial mistake attaching one of them, so I used the plain brown leather instead.

Here's a bit more on my blog, with many more pics...

56  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Anyone interested in a pendant or charm swap? on: April 24, 2014 04:01:23 AM


Small cute jewelry piece, small shipping cost (hopefully)... open media so it can be made of anything - beads, paper, resin, metal, fabric, leather, wood, collage, clay, glass, found items, mini mixed media pieces...

Could be done in different ways - we could do a direct partner to partner swap - eg swapper A and B send to each other.  

Could be done as an option of having 1 partner or more than one partner  - Swapper A wants two partners, swapper B and C only want 1 partner.  So A swaps with B, and A swaps with C.

Could be done as a group swap where a small group send to each member of the group.  For example one group of 5 - A, B, C, D, E.  Each one makes a pendant for the other 4 members, and receives 4 pendants in return - now there is a plethora of goodies to adorn ourselves with!

I would like to do it so that if people are interested, they would provide a list perhaps of themes and colours they do not like only, allergies, and maybe if there is links to pinterest or something, and then let the craftster who is making the item have creative freedom to make what they want.  The pinterest or whatever link would be there for those who want some inspirational guidance.
Anyone interested?
57  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / mixed media inspirational piece - crafted with soul and passion... on: April 12, 2014 05:28:46 AM
I have had a phrase running through my head for awhile, that I found very inspirational.  I read it in an editorial piece in a ClothPaperScissors issue from earlier in the year.  It is a Thomas Moore quote that really resonated with me and I knew I had to make it into an inspiration piece for my craft room.  I got around to that last month and this is what I came up with.

I used three 5"x7" canvases, and made them in my favourite colours, using inks and acrylics.  I used vintage sheet music, made some glittered embellishments.

I added some texture with some glass bead gel, which I left clear - it really catches the light.

I added the lettering with a sepia brush tip Micron marker, and highlighted it with copper paint.

I added antiqued copper eyelets and chain to attach the pieces and hang it, and some mini alligator clips to the bottom edge, because I am using it to hang some of the art tags I have been making, so it can be a continually changing piece as well.  It hangs just to my side and it helps me to reflect on it as I work.

Oh yes, the phrase is (and it is paraphrased)

Everyone is an artist, when their work is crafted with soul and passion.

Here is a bit more about it on my blog
58  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / No unicorn... needlework nonsense on: April 12, 2014 05:07:23 AM
I made this for the recent Complete Nonsense swap, for Helena Puck.  She listed a part of a Shel Silverstein poem as a favourite quote and when I first read it, it seemed awfully familiar.  Then I realized it was a lyric from a favourite Irish Rovers song that my grandfather in law would love to sing around the fire when we used to visit them at their retirement property.  He passed on a couple of years ago and I loved that man dearly, especially since he reminded me so much of my one of my own grandparents, all of whom passed on when I was quite younger.

Anyways, I knew then that I *had* to make something for that quote and I came up with this little guy - he is just so plump and cute, and I swear I was smiling every time I worked on him - for one thing, the song kept running through my head.  Oh yes, the design for the unicorn came from Urban Threads.

I am also proud to say that it was all made from stash materials - a friend gave me a bunch of leftover floss from her mother who loves to cross stitch, and all the colours came from that.

After mounting it on the hoop, and finishing the back, I took the outer hoop and wood burned the quote onto it, then stained it in a light finish.

I posted more pics on my blog, and also the full poem if anyone is interested
59  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Flamingo Croquet... on: April 11, 2014 05:05:01 PM
This was another piece I made for Helena Puck as part of the Complete Nonsense swap - she listed anything related to flamingo crochet as a favourite and I love the John Tenniel art work for Alice in Wonderland, so I wanted to make a pendant piece from his flamingo croquet art...

Using a new resist method I was experimenting with, I came up with this - a simple square pendant etched with the image.  I punched holes in the corners to hang jump rings on, so I could hang it on a leather cord, and used a chasing hammer to add some texture to the edges.

Flamingo Croquet
60  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Resin and clay pendants... on: April 11, 2014 04:51:43 PM
I have been playing around with some ideas lately and recently made a batch of polymer clay tile pendants which I decorated with stampings, mica powder, and acrylics, before glazing them with resin.  I quite like how most of them turned out.

These are probably my favourites

Dainty little flowers

Cute little puppers - this is probably my fave - I love dogs!

A little spring wish

I love the shimmer the mica powder gives them, and the resin really adds a nice glaze.
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