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11  Decoupaged gift tins in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by nikschaf on: May 16, 2013 11:03:13 AM
I had always been intimidated by decoupage and Mod Podge (don't ask me why) but recently I have learned to embrace them both.  I bought several ugly advertising tins for $1.50 each from Artscraps, which is a local store that sells salvaged items as art materials.  Now that I've decorated a couple, and I'm happy with the results, I can't wait to do more.  Loving how quick and easy it is to transform something with decoupage.

Mother's Day Bird Tin -- I packaged some lovely soaps in this tin for my mom for mother's day. 

Mid-Mod -- Found this image in an advertising brochure from House Industries, which sells digital fonts.  The brochure was in a huge barrel of bulk paper at Artscraps.

And here's a before shot of how the ugly tins looked, pre-Mod Podge:

Thanks for looking!
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12  ATCs using upcycled mylar balloons in Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) by nikschaf on: May 03, 2013 08:32:57 AM
There's not much "art" in these artist trading cards, but they are the proper size, so I figured I would post them here.  What makes them unique in my opinion is that I used old mylar balloons as my background materials.  I wanted to share them because I know folks are always looking for different ways to add shine or texture to their ATCs.

Back story:  a few months ago, I asked my friend to save old mylar balloons for me, because I planned to make kanzashi brooches with them for a craft sale at my son's elementary school.  My good friend from another state mailed me some of her daughters' old balloons, which was fun, because with a son, I don't get fun flowers and hearts much on his balloons.  Then the craft sale was canceled and I did nothing with the balloons.  I'm going to Iowa to visit my friend this weekend and wanted to at least bring SOMETHING I made from their old balloons, so I made these.  The girls are ages 10 and 7, so I think they will like them.  I also think these would make adorable place cards or favors at a kid's party!  It's also a way to save a little bit of a favorite balloon for memory, without just keeping it crumpled in a drawer somewhere.  I think it's nice to think up ways to use old mylar balloons in crafts.

These are both called "Happy Spring" which is a bit of wishful thinking because it has been snowing all day today here in Minnesota.

The mylar adhered really nicely to the playing card base:

This one did not adhere so well.  Maybe I used less Mod podge?  I had to use double-stick tape at the edges to keep the mylar secure:

Thanks for looking!

PS -- mods, if this would be better posted somewhere related to upcycled materials, please feel free to move it.
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13  "Sometimes I wish Mom wasn't so crafty" and other altered playing card ATCs in Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) by nikschaf on: April 25, 2013 08:44:43 AM
Here are more of my altered playing card ATCs.

"Sometimes I wish Mom wasn't so crafty." Playing card, tissue paper collage, clear tape transfer, sticker.  Very dark that he is confiding to his crocheted toy friends, yet wishing them out of existence at the same time.

"but I wanted a sparkly pony costume"  Playing card, collage, clear tape transfer, sharpie, stickers

"Pretty is as pretty does."  Playing card, collage, clear tape transfer, sequins, label

And one I made for my husband's birthday from one of his vintage Superman comics.  Playing card, comic, stickers, label

Thanks for looking!
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14  Altered playing card ATCs in Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) by nikschaf on: April 17, 2013 07:16:52 AM
Two new altered playing card ATCs.  I'm having so much fun with these!

"Wild Roses are the fairest, and nature a better gardener than art."
  Playing card, tissue paper, clear tape image transfers, sequins.  I since added the name Louisa May Alcott to the card, since I searched and found it was her quote.  (A local home improvement store prints quotes like these at the bottom of each page of its weekly sales circulars.  Very small print, but I noticed it years ago.  Fun to make transfers from the quotes and use them on ATCs.)

"Whoever smell't it dealt it."
Playing card, tissue paper collage, clear tape image transfer, foil stars.  Image is from a Joann Fabrics weekly sales circular.  I like how the colors from the tissue paper background are coming through the transparent image of the boys -- makes it feel like a wrecked old vintage photo.  I was tempted to put stink lines by one of the boys to indicate who "dealt it", but then decided I prefer the mystery of wondering which one of them cut the cheese.
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15  First-ever ATCs and clear tape image transfers in Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) by nikschaf on: April 15, 2013 08:07:57 AM
I never in my life thought I would make an ATC.  Recently I learned about making image transfers with clear packing tape, and suddenly making ATCs seems really appealing.  These are my first two cards.  They are admittedly sloppy/crazy, but I really like the spontenaity and imperfection of them.  I find they are bringing out my irreverent/juvenile sense of humor.  I don't know if I will ever trade them, but the idea of sending totally goofball ATCs to my friends out of the blue seems fun.  My older brother, who loves fart jokes, seems to be my ATC muse.

My very first card, King Hoppy, was a total mistake.  I tried transferring an image of a king to fabric, and it totally faded and smeared.  (Since then I found out what I did wrong.)  I tried outlining the image, which looked horrible, and then I decided instead of throwing it away to experiment with layering on transparent images.  I gave him a kangaroo head, a keyhole breastplate, a sceptre, and then glued on sequin jewels and an orb.  As crazy as it is, I love it anyway.

My second card is for my afore-mentioned older brother.  As kids we used to catch horned lizards (we called them horny toads) and they can squirt blood from their eyes as a defense.  When I saw a drawing of a horned lizard (horny toad) squirting blood from its eyes, I knew I had to make a card from it and send it to my bro.  For both cards, I used old playing cards as a base.

I don't claim to be an artist in any sense, but I sure am having fun with these.  I have a couple more in the works, including one with a fart joke especially for my brother.  Even though I will turn 40 this year, it's fun to have discovered a medium that allows me to access my inner 12 year-old.

Comments welcome!
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16  Re: Ongoing Spin-A-Long in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by nikschaf on: April 05, 2013 04:57:21 PM
Here's my very literal ladybug yarn.  I love the idea of the ongoing spin-along.  I might not have one every month, but it'll give me something to aspire to!

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17  Fiber Friday -- April 5, 2013 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: April 05, 2013 04:51:50 PM
Happy Fiber Friday!

I finally finished my ladybug yarn!  I finally finished my ladybug yarn!!  As you'll see, I took a very literal approach when it came to the ladybug spin-along.  I've been really wanting to spin a yarn with buttons and silk flowers for a long time, so this was a great chance to do that.

I used a sparkly green yarn as the base (Caron Simply Soft Party), really strong variegated cotton thread to ply, ladybug buttons, and disassembed silk flowers.  The sliding hook on my flyer was too small for the big stuff, so I had to attach a keyring to the flyer with a rubber band, and it worked fine.

Here it is!

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18  Fiber Friday March 8, 2013 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: March 08, 2013 09:37:00 AM
Hello and Happy Friday!!

I have the finished yarn of an in-process skein I showed a few weeks back.  It's 153 yards thick and thin singles, handpainted merino.  I don't have a name for it yet, but it is the squishiest, snuggliest yarn!  It's also the first yarn I've spun in quite a while, and it feels good to be back to spinning again.

What other yarns do we have for this week?

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19  Flower-topped pencil valentines for my son's kindergarten class in Valentine's Day by nikschaf on: February 22, 2013 08:35:49 AM
Hello!  I meant to post these before valentine's day, but better late than never.

I went to the dollar store a couple of days before valentine's day, planning to just buy a couple of boxes of valentine cards and perhaps some pencils or lollipops to go with them.  While there, I spied the silk flowers, floral tape and a felt heart valentine wreath, and decided to make flower-topped pencils instead.

Each "flower" is a pencil with a floral stem attached.  On each stem, I put on one of the felt hearts from the garland with "From, Remy" printed on each one.  To bring them to school, we wrapped the whole bunch in paper, just like at the florists.

With winter in full force here in Minnesota, I really enjoyed the cheerful little bouquet with hearts for the couple of days before we brought it into school.  It only cost a couple more dollars than I would have spent on the boxed cards, and I think it was much more fun.

Thanks for looking!
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20  Fiber Friday Feb 22, 2013 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: February 22, 2013 08:08:00 AM
Hello and Happy Friday!

I have an in-process shot of a yarn still on my wheel.  It's handpainted  merino roving I'm spinning thick and thin.  Haven't decided if I'll ply it yet or not.

Thanks for looking!  Who else has a yarn to share?
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