Monday, September 30, 2013

Halloween Banners

Hi everyone!  I am the guest designer over at Chattering Robins today – the blog site for The Robin’s Nest. I’m so excited to be able to share my project, which uses their wonderful scrapbook papers & embellishments.  I created two different holiday banners using the same technique but different papers and embellishments.  
Each of these banners was made using two different sheets of The Robin's Nest papers.  One uses Black Bats Glitter (the B side) and Almost Black Classic Glitter Cardstock.  The other uses Ghost Camo Glitter and Haunted House card stock.  What fun patterns!  I also used some wonderful glittery black chipboard bats from the Transylvania collection.  And I can't forget the Dew Drops!  They are were awesome to add dimension to this project.

Each banner is 6 /14" wide and 12" long.  The width of the banner was designed to fit on a #2 pencil.  I chose to use a pencil for the banner's top bar to make it easier to hang without allowing it to curl.  Here in the Midwest we get dew or frost most autumn mornings, which can be a little rough on paper decorations because of the humidity.  Using my craft knife, I cut the erasers off of two Halloween pencils and glued Dew Drops to the end of each one with Sakura's 3D Crystal Lacquer.

When I sat down to make this project, I was only going to make one.  The black bat banner is what was in my head.  I thought about it for a day or so before I actually put scissors to paper to make the panels.  After adhering the inner two paper panels with double sided carpet tape, wrapped them with a metallic orange honeycomb ribbon to give the banner a little shine.  Once the ribbon was taped in place on the back of the center panel they were attached to the back piece. 

I stamped and heat embossed letters from the Almost Black cardstock so that they would blend in and colored them in with an orange glaze pen.  A strip of orange glittery ribbon at the bottom of the banner gives it a nice border to balance out the orange pencil at the top.  I pulled the black Diamond Dew Drops from my bottle of the Abracadabra mix to accent the ribbon and two black Tear Drops for the head of the bats.

After the panels and embellishments were in place, I used an eyelet template to evenly space the ribbon holes and then added copper colored grommets.  (Silver was used on the other banner.)

When I ordered the Haunted House paper I thought it was just going to end up in my scrapbook.  Wrong!  I couldn't resist making another banner with it.  It's so cute!  And while the first banner took a while to design, this one practically made itself.  The B-side of the Ghost Camo Glitter is a black and orange striped design, which made a wonderful background.  The haunted house is matted on a black panel for a better outline.

The top of this banner is another strip of black card stock that I punched using my Fiskar's leaf border punch.  The back of Haunted House is a different orange and black striped pattern and there was a wide orange stripe exactly the right size to fit under the leaves so that they show up without black stripes going through them.

I heat embossed "BOO" on the second half of top of the haunted house page so that they would color match.  The largest of the leftover ghosts from the second half of the camo page was fussy cut (with a few additional curves trimmed off) and I attached both the word and ghost with foam tape.  Black and pearl petite Dew Drops from the Classified mix adorn the fence posts.  And because the haunted house page was cut down a couple of inches, I ended up with half of the fence leftover on my table.  I cut out the little faces and added them with foam tape, as well.  The little pumpkin on the fence is highlighted with orange and green Glaze pens.

Once the banners were done, the pencils were laced on using thin ribbon - making sure to securely wrap around the pencil at each hole.  I started in the center and worked my way out to keep the pattern even on both sides.  When it was in place, a tiny drop of 3D Crystal Lacquer was placed along each edge of ribbon...just enough to keep the pencil from slipping around.  I removed the two tiny pieces of scotch tape that were holding the ribbon after the glue dried.

Now they're ready to hang up and join my other holiday decorations.  And since I made two instead of one, I'm going to take the extra to work and decorate my work cubby.  I just need to decide which one...

Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek!  Happy Haunting!  Happy Crafting!!

Here is a list of the materials I used:
Orange Honeycomb Ribbon
Orange Glittered Ribbon
Orange & Black 1/8" Ribbon
Colorbox Black Pigment Ink
Black Embossing Powder
Halloween Pencils
Timeless Touches Eyelet Friend
Recollections Circus Alphabet
Fiskar's Leaf Border Punch

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Unusual Embellishments

Hi!  Would you like to play a game with me today while I sit here and try to figure out what today's project is going to be?  I have three or four started and ideas for more rolling around in my head and I'm stalling. 

First, let me start by saying that I have an embellishment obsession.  That's right.  I said it.  I had to admit it to myself yesterday when, on my way in to work from the parking lot, I saw a pine cone on the ground and had to make myself walk past it.  I started thinking of ways to pull it apart and put it on cards.  Really?  Who does that?  An obsessed person, that's who!

So this morning I started thinking about the non-craft items I've used on cards.  Here are a few of them.  See if you can guess the embellishment!

This Asian beach scene was a sketch card. Can you guess what the background is?

Did you say sandpaper?  Then you were right!  A circle of sandpaper forms the beach and gives it a nice layer of texture.  I just used regular scissors to cut it into a circle and attached it with double-sided carpet tape.

Okay, next card.  Another summery card with a beach theme.

Did you think those were paper squares?  Nope!  These are little Formica tile samples from one of the big box home improvement stores.  They are free and are hanging out on little racks for potential customers who are deciding on a color.  (Don't take too many all at once or the salesperson might get a little upset with you.)  I used StazOn ink so that it would stick to the shiny surface.  You have to use a steady hand because the stamp will want to slide around if you aren't careful.

A southwest card this time.  I love my cowboys and southwest stamps.  What could that cactus be?

It's self-sticking felt!  You know, like they put on the bottom of lamps and jewelry boxes so your tables don't get scratched!  You can buy it in big sheets at your hardware store.  I used a plastic stencil to get the shape and then added texture to it with a Sharpie.  The best part is that I didn't have to figure out what kind of glue would work best on the felt.

I was part of a swap where the hostess sent objects to be incorporated into your card.  What did she send?

A glossy map!  This one happens to be of a Metro Park in my own neighborhood.  I thought that was cool, especially since the swap hostess lives in another state.  Since we get visitors to our parks all the time I stamped up these gentlemen and have them exploring the park.

I made this nautical card years and years ago and it's still one of my favorites because of the textures on it.

Are you thinking sandpaper again?  No, sorry, not this time.  It's just regular play sand.  I covered a sheet of card stock with double-sided carpet tape and laid down the triangles of paper.  When they were stuck down good and tight I poured sand over the top, patted it down a bit and then dumped off the excess.  If you're covering a small space you can use white glue to hold your sand, too.

Okay, this one may be pretty obvious.  

It's a shaker card full of sesame seeds! I've also used them individually...

Are you embellishment obsessed?  Take a look around your world...not just your local craft stores.  It's amazing what will inspire you!

Thanks for stopping by.  I'd love to hear about your unusual finds!  You can leave me a comment below and, as always, I welcome followers!  Happy crafting!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life is a Game

Hello there!  I’m back again with another page from one of my art journals.  This one is from my “Life Is...” journal and it is a mixed media collage. 

The theme of this page is LIFE IS A GAME...PLAY IT so I chose ephemera that reminded me of games.  Some were loose pieces and others were actually pilfered from the game itself.  There are bingo pieces, a couple of losing lottery tickets, a few score sheets, some puzzle pieces, tiny greeting cards and raffle tickets.  There are even some small thin plastic poker chips.  I chose to leave areas blank, as well.

After laying down a layer of collage items I put a light coat of gesso over everything.

I chose to use yellow acrylic paint as the background color because it is found in a lot of games; there is always a yellow token.  It’s bright and would still let the  background show.  Then I went around the border of the page with a black Faber-Castell Gelato.  I like the dark border but it was too stark against the yellow so I went in and added a middle red border with another Gelato.  Game-related stamped images were added in the areas that were left blank originally.  There is a chess piece, Ouija board, checkerboard & the four suits in a deck of cards.

I printed the words on red paper and cut them out and adhered them with matte gel medium.  When they were dry, I used a paint marker to outline each one.  I also outlined the poker chips.  A little rub-n-buff paint was added to the taller game pieces for highlights.

The page has a lot of texture because the game pieces were all various heights and the black border gives it nice frame.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting me.  As always, I welcome comments and followers!  See you next time.  Until then...happy crafting!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Decorative Storage Solution

It's been a while since my last post.  I've been working happily away in my art journals and also completed a calendar swap page for the Midwest Stampers group on Yahoo.  I also made myself a magnetic board to hold my metal cutting dies.  It was super easy and relatively inexpensive so I thought I'd share the project with you.

It began with a quick trip to Lowe's but you can probably get these vent covers at any hardware store or online.  Because I don't own a large collection of cutting dies, I chose a piece of plywood that was 24" x 24" so I only needed two packages of covers.
I moved panels around to find the best configuration for the size board I have, trimming where necessary.  I drew lines on the board using a permanent black marker where the seams would be so that the board wouldn't show through between panels.  Then I "painted" Elmer's Glue-All Multipurpose Glue on the white (non-magnetic) side of each panel and laid them in place.  I covered the entire surface with waxed paper and heavy cookbooks while it dried.  I recommend trimming the excess off your panels before gluing them down.  I wasn't that smart and had to gently trim them afterward.

I admit that I was very worried that the Elmer's glue would not be strong enough to hold because the painted side of the panels are a little slick.  If I were to do it again, I might lightly sand the painted side to give each panel a little more grip.  But everything is holding together fine and it doesn't get handled since it hangs on the wall so I'm okay with it.  Gently wipe off the excess glue with a damp (not wet!) paper towel.

To add a decorative touch to it, I added a ribbon border using two different cream patterns.  I used Helmar 450 Quick Dry glue but any craft glue will work.  Don't glue the ribbon directly to the edge.  You will want to leave a little space between because...
...the board is held to the wall using mirror brackets which are covered by the ribbon and don't show at all.

The board is functional and decorative.

An added bonus is that tiny dies, like these clock hands, can be stored without fear of getting lost.

So there you have it.  The project only took a couple of hours and about $20.00 to complete.  I have my die sets organized and within reach and I don't have to dig around in a drawer looking for the perfect one. 


Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed this project.  If you wish to follow my blog there are links here on the page.  Have a wonderful day!