Monday, November 14, 2011

Not Your Mother's Clothespins

I want a clothesline. I probably would not hang much out, but I want one. A place for blankets, and sheets in the summertime. I can remember mom's clotheslines over the years, and the clothespin bag. Does anyone else remember this clever little contraption? It hung on the clothesline, and slid along as we hung clothes. The sunshine brightened all the clothes, and at the same time, it bleached out the bag. When the clothes were dry, it slid along again as you took them down. A place for the pins to go until the next wash. 

I know I have a dryer, and I know I would not use it much. Doesn't matter, I still want a clothesline. 
And a clothespin bag. 

Creating these clothespins brought back memories of white sheets snapping against the wind and blue jeans so stiff they would stand by themselves. I can just imagine the trouble I would be in if I got anywhere near the clothes with this ink! I made these on Saturday, and if you look very closely, you can still see ink stains on my hands.

Here's a quick rundown of how to do it: Any craft store will have wooden "Doll" clothespins, bag of 30 for around $3.50. Sandpaper, alcohol inks, felt (for pushing color into  the cracks and crevices), Stazon* ink, large patterned stamp, ribbon to finish it off, and voila!

Thanks goes out to Suzie from the Flying Unicorns for the great tutorial on this incredibly fun but messy craft!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Embossed Aluminum Foil Tutorial

There was a challenge on Flying Unicorn to make a project using embossed metal. I was NOT deterred by the fact that I don't have an embossing machine. So, 

Here is a little sumptin' sumptin' I just whipped up:

Want to know how I made the metal without the tools mentioned above? Why, of course you do!

Okay, first challenge was to deal with the fact that I do not own an embossing machine or a diecut machine. I do, however, have three metal stencils... and I think plastic would also work. I know from embossing paper that foam sheets will work as a pad instead of the pricey ones, so I dug around and found some.

Somewhere, I have a stencil tool and that would have been much better. But I just could not stop the creative process any longer to keep looking for it. So, I used a wooden skewer (thank you Paprika, these DID come in handy).

Second challenge was I don't have a double sided tape dispenser. Or double sided tape, for that matter. As I thought this part through, I knew that the pieces would slide around if I cut them and just stacked them. The solution: I folded my sheet of aluminum foil into thirds and taped it down to the foam sheet using painter's tape. As long as I could keep it tight when I worked with I should be okay. I would imagine masking or scotch tape would be fine, I just had painter's tape handy.

I used a foam sheet left-over from when the kids were little as a cushion.


Then, well... I traced. It was a tad tedious at first, until I got the hang of it, but then it was cool! I used too much pressure in some places and it tore through the first layer, but I have decided that adds character.

After I thought it was done, but before I took the tape off, I held it up to the light and found a few places that I had missed, so I fixed them. Next, I cut it out, leaving about 1" on all sides to carefully fold under. I used a thin metal ruler to fold against and firmly kept all three sheets together as I folded.


Now for the ink. This is by far the bast part. I added some lavender and darker purple later on.


There you have it. I can see myself tracing around diecuts, using cookie cutter shapes, etc. For those talented people out there, I am sure you could free hand! 

Hope this sparks some inspiration for someone out there in Blogville! Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Christmas Free Zone

You know, I have come to a decision. I know, I know, it is an amazing thing for me to actually stand firm on anything, but here it is. Hold onto your socks.

I have been making Christmas cards, Christmas tags, Christmas presents, Christmas letters, Christmas posts... you get the drift by now, that my studio is filling up with Christmas! I love it, and I know that I have got to build my stock or my business will quickly run out of product. My art is actually selling, and one lady asked me to SIGN my work! Wowsa, that one felt good! But here's the kicker: I don't want to burn out too quickly. So...

In an effort to reclaim my sanity, I am declaring my studio on this day to be a Christmas Free Zone. Well, to be honest, I have already done research for Bible verses that I want to use, and have 4 Christmas projects that I planned this morning and have gathered elements to begin the building process... but I cleaned all of the Christmas off my work space, got out my files of Victorian Ladies and Gents, and I am going to relax! You should too!

Here is a recent LO (Scrapbook Layout) that I have created, and you can see more on my LO Page:

Have a beautiful Sunday, my friends :-)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Big News!

Hello everyone! My art has been commissioned at a wonderful place called Grace, located in The District in downtown Columbia, Missouri. They have really great architectural items, antiques, and other decorating pieces that make perfect Christmas gifts, and now my cards will be there too!

Grace "A Place of Restoration" 
918 E. Broadway 
Columbia, Mo. 65201 

They have made a really cool tree that displays over 50 of my cards and tags, available for purchase. It is so exciting to be able to finally tell this news! I will get pictures posted soon. In the meantime, here are a few of the cards I have been working on.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chilly Out? Make Christmas Cards!

Brr! One more good rain and all the leaves will be off the trees. The deer are running, the air is crisp, and this is by far my favorite time of the year! Here are a few cards I have made, and you can see more here!