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11  Step Stool with a little mouse for my little girl in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Artisan82 on: March 20, 2013 07:24:21 PM
I have a tiny (almost) 3 year old, and oddly high bathroom counters.  Regular step stools are just not high enough to help her reach the tap to wash her hands.  As any self-respecting crafty mom would do, I measured and made a custom stool for my little girl.

I had some scrap wood (pine) in the garage left-over from another project, so I drafted up some little stairs on some freezer paper and cut them out with my trusty scroll saw.  Then I did a lot of sanding.

My daughter has an imaginary mouse friend.  So I painted a little mouse on the top step and cut a stencil of mouse footprints to decorate the steps.  (Two coats of white water-based stain prior to painting, then two coats of water based poly topcoat)

The profile is shallow enough that it doesn't interfere with the swing of the door and the stool is high enough that she can wash her hands by herself... and she loves it.

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12  Tissue Box - blue with white trees in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Artisan82 on: March 18, 2013 07:39:50 PM
I painted this the other night.  I felt like painting, but didn't want to get into anything too complicated, so I grabbed a small brush and painted a little forest of leafless trees.  
I had the wooden tissue box holder in my stash, already with the blue stain on it. (Water based stain from a company called SamaN)
I used masking tape to define the border, then painted a white line along the edge of the masking tape. To create a bit of depth I did the background trees in a washed-out white, then the foreground trees in the full-strength white. It's nothing too special... but its prettier than the plain old tissue box.  Undecided

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13  Keepsake Boxes with Forest Animals in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Artisan82 on: January 25, 2013 06:49:35 AM
I painted a crap-ton of these before Christmas.  I used the same technique as here:

It was more work than you'd think trying to draw all those animals... my drawing skills are a little rusty, so I did lots of erasing.  I like how these ones turned out... although I had two attempts at painting bears that were too embarrassing to post here  Undecided ...

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14  Delicate Chain Stacking Friendship Bracelets in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by Artisan82 on: January 06, 2013 12:27:02 PM
I don't often post in the jewelry board, but these are so cute and simple, I thought somebody else might be interested in making them...  I got 2m (6ft) of chain for about $5 and 100 eye pins for about $3.  The beads and clasps were from my stash.  (So I guess you could call this a stash buster project!)

You basically just thread a few beads on an eye pin, add some delicate looking chain, a clasp, and voila. (It is as simple as that, but if you want a full step-by-step tutorial with pics, I did post one to my blog: http://www.artisan82.blogspot.ca/2013/01/tutorial-delicate-stacking-bracelets.html) I made a bunch and tried a few different looks by switching up the chain colour and mixing in some cording/ tiger tail. 

These are so quick and easy, I'll probably make a bunch more to give away... so I guess they're a bit like a more grown-up version of a friendship bracelet.
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15  Toddler Viking Hats in Crochet: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: December 29, 2012 05:47:43 AM
I didn't invent the idea of a crocheted viking hat - but I did make my own pattern, so I guess I'm pretty stoked about that!  Worsted weight grey yarn from Walmart, the horns are cotton yarn - the stuff people make wash cloths out of, the piggy tails are yellow dollar store yarn (that was so horrible to work with I would not recommend it for anything other than something like hair!)

The hat is crocheted in the round, mostly half-double crochet with back post double crochet to make the 'seams'.  Popcorn stitches make the rivets around the base of the 'helmet'.

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16  Modern Dreamcatcher Necklace - Just Thread It! Challenge in CHALLENGE 81 ENTRIES by Artisan82 on: December 04, 2012 12:10:17 PM

For some reason, when I read the announcement for the Just Thread It! Challenge, I started thinking about spiderwebs (could have been that the challenge was announced near Halloween, or that I've been doing lots of nature-inspired crafts lately).  With spiderwebs on my mind, and the desire to make a new 'statement' necklace, I really got into this challenge!

I made this:

I started with a sketch of how I wanted the segments to look.  I cut and shaped sections of wire coat-hanger accordingly.  (Very sore hands after that, I tell ya!)

I used hockey tape to secure little loops made of beading wire to the coat-hanger shapes. This was so I could attach the shapes later.  The hockey tape actually made a really nice surface to work on also.  (If you don't have hockey tape, any sort of cloth-like slightly-stretchy tape would work.)

I grabbed some shades of blue embroidery thread from my stash and wrapped around the coat hangers. (...and wrapped and wrapped and wrapped.)

Then I used some contrasting thread and a few tiny silver beads to turn each section into a little dream-catcher web.  There's a good tutorial here for the stitch to use: http://www.nativetech.org/dreamcat/dreminst.html

I used some jump rings and chain to put the thing together and... voila!

Action shot!

This was a really great challenge idea. I was inspired to try something different and didn't have to buy a thing (although I did have to steal a wire coat hanger from my mom b/c I never save them).  Grin

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17  Family of Foxes - Tutorial for a keepsake box worth keeping! in Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: November 25, 2012 06:55:58 PM
Heres a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a fun  keepsake box with an illustration of a fox family.

Supplies you will need include:
- a blank wooden box.  The one Im using is cigar box shaped and measures 8 x 8 x 2 inches (21 x 20 x 4.5cm)
-fine sandpaper (220 grit or higher)
-masking tape
-pencil, fine black marker
-wood stain or paint (optional, could leave the wood natural)
-acrylic paint, brushes
-polyurethane (optional, can use any clear topcoat, even watered-down white glue will work in a pinch).

Youll need a drawing that you want to transfer onto the box.  You can use anything that has a definite outline.  Colouring books make great sources, if you want to use my drawing of a little fox family,  Ive provided the template of my illustration of a little family of foxes in pdf format on my blog: http://artisan82.blogspot.ca/2012/11/tutorial-family-of-foxes-keepsake-box.html

Give the entire box a really good rub down with the fine grit sand paper. Dont skip this step!  The finish of the box really depends on the smallest effort sanding at first and in between steps.

Cut out the template and tape it to the box.  Trace around the outside of the template with a pencil.

If you're not leaving the wood natural, use a small brush to stain (or paint) around the box outside the outline.  Its not a big deal if the stain bleeds a little or if there are a few slip-ups.  Paint can cover any goofs.

Stain the rest of the box inside and out.  You can switch to a bigger brush here if you want. Let it dry.

The next step is to transfer the template illustration onto the box.  You can use carbon paper or something similar, but what I do doesn't require anything but a regular old pencil.
Just scribble all over the back of the stencil.

Flip it your template right-sides-up and re-position it in the unstained portion of your box.  Secure with some masking tape.

Using a mechanical pencil or ballpoint pen, trace over the image.  Use firm pressure, but its not necessary to press into the wood.  

The graphite from the pencil scribbling on the back of the paper will transfer onto the box.  (Ive upped the contrast on the photo here so you could see it.  The transfer is not usually this dark, but good enough to see the illustration to paint it.)

Start painting!  I usually start in the background and work my way into the foreground.  In general, the farther back forms should be darker.  When everything is painted to your satisfaction, let it dry for a good while like overnight.

Give everything a light sanding.  I know it seems counter-productive to sand your lovely painting job, but this really makes the final finish look smooth.  If youre using acrylic paint, this will get rid of any ridges that the brush strokes leave in the paint.

Use a fine black marker to outline the illustration.

Add in texture and shadow with cross-hatching.

As the final touch, I use a fine brush to add white highlights to the eyes.

Give everything a couple coats of polyurethane (sand between coats) to seal it.  Now you have a keepsake box worth keeping!

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18  Painted cupboard with trees and forest animals (boatload of pics!) in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Artisan82 on: November 22, 2012 02:17:27 PM

I just finished painting this cupboard and it was a real labor of love for me.  I'm really proud of how it turned out because it was a tricky shape (tall skinny rectangle) to work an illustration onto.  The tree layout was tricky!  I first drew the trees onto large sheets of paper, then traced them onto the sides of the cupboard. (I did this before assembling the cupboard, so you're looking at the two side panels on my desk.)  I started painting from the top of the tree working down, so as not to smudge paint.  This is totally opposite from how I was taught to paint trees.  Wink

I used artist-quality acrylic to add in the animals and leaves.  Then I used a black marker to add in some line work.  The line work is done on the left panel and not on the right panel.

The linework is done on both panels here.

Here are some detail shots of my favourite tree dwellers:

And one more of the finished cabinet.  I bought the cabinet at a place that sells unfinished pine furniture. Sadly, I don't have the skills to build it myself.  Tongue

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19  Painted bench toy box - forest theme in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Artisan82 on: November 08, 2012 11:46:37 AM
I very nervously signed up for my first ever craft show.  This is the first (totally) finished piece that I've made.  Since I've never done a craft show before, I'm only making things that I would also like in my house (In the case that nothing sells.)

I bought an unfinished pine storage bench, stained it in green water-based stain then painted my illustrations on the back and front panel. The stain I used was by a Canadian company called SamaN. I would highly recommend it to anybody who needs to stain indoors or who is making stuff for kids - the stain is totally non-toxic and odourless (and no lapping marks is an awesome feature too.)

My sketches:

Close up of the seat back:

Close up of the front panel:

I'm very happy with how it turned out.  If it doesn't sell, I'll happily put it in my daughter's room.  Wink
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20  Re: Adventures in starting a craft business in Crafty Business Discussion by Artisan82 on: October 11, 2012 08:56:16 AM
I have been working on stock for the craft show and doing some research (mostly for booth set-up).  I have a pile of unfinished pine furniture in my garage and some illustrations, and very little else to show for the work I've been doing.  I've been doing some test my crafting materials to make sure there will be no disasters before I set about mass producing.  It's been slow, but I think that taking my time now will enable me to bust out some good products quickly (er... 'efficiently' is probably a better word than 'quickly') over the next few weeks.

Despite growing fears that I've jumped in too quickly, I think its good that I have a deadline.  Pressure is motivation.

Some pics of whats on my desk these days:

Sketches.  The wood panel won't end up as a final product, just using it as a test of materials to make sure that all the products I'm using are compatible - won't degrade each other, cause bleeding, running, etc.

This is an in-progress panel that will be the back of a storage bench.  Most of the colouring is done, I need to start on the outlining/ hatching work. (Think similar to the bird in the pic above.)

More sketches for storage benches.
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