Altered Embroidery Hoop: ‘Dreamer of Dreams’

If someone had told me a couple of years ago that I would be able to make pretty pieces of art… pretty enough I’d want to hang on my walls… I would have laughed in their face. I thought I wasn’t crafty. I’d always wanted to be able to create, but believed I never had the talent for it.

Then I found YouTube.

I really am quite thankful for those who take the time to record their creative processes and explain, step by step, how their beautiful creations were made. They’ve helped me believe that, hey, I could do that too!

My recent forays into YouTube introduced me to altered embroidery hoops. As I used to be a prolific cross-stitcher, I have several old hoops lying around. I figured I’d give it a shot…

I’m not going to go into detail as to how I made this wall hanging. Instead, I’ll just link to the video that inspired me to make it. Many thanks to the artist, Ola Khomenok, a member of the Prima Marketing design team. Her video is a really neat process to watch, and I hope it will inspire you, too. 🙂

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Christmas 2017 projects

Because the holidays were crazy hectic for me and I didn’t get a chance to blog my projects, I thought I’d quickly go through some of my holiday-themed makes. I abstained from the usual ATC swap for a couple of months in order to get other things done, but I did sign up for a Christmas-themed tag swap and pocket letter swap, and made something just for me.

My first project of the season was a holiday sled. I fell in love with the Kaisercraft Beyond the Page sled when I first saw it, so I bought it on a whim, even though I hadn’t really done anything like it before. I also decided the Mint Wishes collection, also from Kaisercraft, would be perfect to decorate the sled with.

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First I broke apart the sled pieces and sanded down the tabs. I also painted the edges with white gesso, but not very carefully, as I wanted to leave a bit of a distressed look. I took several pieces of the “Cabin” paper from the Mint Wishes collection and traced the pieces onto the back before cutting them out. I adhered the paper with Mod Podge and set it aside to dry.

Next, I sanded the edges to take off any excess paper. I also decided to give the sled a snowy feel by splattering the pieces with white ink before I assembled the sled with a strong glue. I set the sled aside to let the glue dry while I assembled my embellishments.

I found a pretty white flower made of vellum in my stash, so I added some Cool Mint Stickles to some of the petals for some sparkle. I also chose several pieces from the Mint Wishes ephemera pack, as well as some sparkly leaves by Prima and a flair button by My Mind’s Eye. I layered these pieces on top of a piece of sparkly tulle at the base of the sled.

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I felt it was missing a little something, so I die cut some pine branches using a die by Impression Obsession and colored them with Evergreen Bough Distress Ink. I took a wood flourish from the Mint Wishes collection and painted it with white gesso and layered these together at the top of the sled. I also added some sparkly gems to represent berries as well. Finally, I took a piece of sheer green ribbon and looped it through the runners to hang it with. It looks great hanging on the wall!

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My first swap of the Christmas season was a tag swap. I knew I wanted to do something in non-tradition Christmas colors… I just wasn’t sure what. I had recently purchased the Tim Holtz Tattered Poinsettia die, so I thought I’d make a pink poinsettia for the top half of the tag. I die cut the petals from some patterned paper with music notes on it and inked them with Worn Lipstick Distress Oxide ink. While the ink was still wet, I sprinkled on some Judikins Iridescent Sparkle embossing powder. When heated, the powder becomes transparent, leaving behind the most beautiful sparkle. The leaves were die cut from plain cardstock and inked with Peeled Paint Distress ink. I ran them through with the coordinating embossing folder for added texture.

After assembling the flower layers and adding a few extra leaves, I made the center of the poinsettia by adhering yellow and gold seed beads with Glossy Accents. I also added a wood flourish word painted with white gesso, to add a bit of “joy” to my tag.

While the glue was drying, I made the base of my tag. I adhered a piece of paper from the now-retired Sugar Plum collection by My Mind’s Eye to the tag base and sanded the edges to distress it a little. I glued down a bit of sisal and added the poinsettia to the top of the tag.

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The bottom half vexed me for days. I just wasn’t sure what to do with it. Finally, the background paper I used gave me an idea. The sparkle on the paper reminded me of stars, so I thought I’d do a snowy scene with die cuts at the bottom of the tag.

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The die cut village at the very back is by Your Next Stamp. All the other dies are by Memory Box/Poppystamps. I layered my scene with adhesive foam squares and added some sparkling snow with Crystal Stickles glitter glue. I thought my scene needed just a pop of color, so I added a green tree with little sparkling red dots as well. The sentiment sticker is from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad. Finally, I die cut a Christmas star from silver paper to “hang” over my village.

I then tied a piece of pink ribbon onto the top and my Christmas tag was done and ready to be sent to my swap partner.

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My final swap of 2017 was a pocket letter. I had fallen in love with my non-traditional color scheme I’d used in my tag, so I continued it through my pocket letter.

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I used pages from the Sugar Plum 6×6 paper pad by My Mind’s Eye for the backgrounds of all my pockets. In most the pockets, I simply added some ephemera from the same collection, die cuts or quote stickers from Tim Holtz.

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I knew I wanted to add a Julie Nutting doll to my pocket letter, so I chose Marisol, as I wanted to make her dress using JN Haute Couture die set, which I’d had for a while but hadn’t gotten around to using yet. The bottom layer of her dress was cut from a festive piece of patterned paper, while the overlay was die cut using metallic green paper. I also added some holly die cuts to her hair.

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For the center pocket, I wanted to make a wreath. I took a pair of twig dies from one of my Impression Obsession sets and die cut them into green cardstock… over and over and over. I’m not sure how many I ended up with. Fifty or more, I’d say. I die cut a circle about the width of the pocket, then layered all those twigs on top, using Glossy Accents to glue them down to make it look nice and leafy.

The poinsettias are also from an Impression Obsession set, which I die cut into pink cardstock. I layered the petals together and added a small yellow gem to the center. Finally, I took a small pink ribbon and adhered it to the bottom of the wreath.

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I had such fun with my Christmas projects, I can hardly wait until next year to make more. Though, truth be told… I may not wait that long. I may have to do some Christmas in July projects!

Art Journal: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

First, let me apologize for the lack of posts for the past few months. My various illnesses coupled with a stressful quarter at work, the holidays and my little dog getting sick over Christmas really didn’t leave me with much energy to blog my crafts. I’ve been posting my makes on Instagram, but I’m afraid I left my blog hanging while dealing with everything else. But my goal for 2018 is more posts as well as giving making video tutorials a shot! I’ve ordered a tripod for my camera, so wish me luck!

Because I’ve been so busy and stresses, I’ve taken a break from the various swaps I’d been a part of last year. I found I’d been spending all my crafty time working on swaps, and not enough to time working for me. I’ve taken up painting dot mandalas (a topic for a later post) and I want to get back to art journaling. Which brings me to today’s make.

I had an idea last year to do at least one art journal layout a month using the Julie Nutting doll stamps, but I wanted to start with January. So I waited, and planned, and today, I finished my very first one.

Happy New Year 2018!

I’m using the Julie Nutting Dollhouse Album as my journal. To start this layout, I cut two pieces of grey paper to tape down onto the journal pages. I cut it slightly smaller than the page itself in order to leave a border, but I’m not sure I will do this in the future.

My first step was to heat emboss the Hero Arts Garland Bold Prints background stamp with silver embossing powder, to give my little scene a festive atmosphere. I then taped off a small strip at the bottom of the page and added Black Soot Distress Ink for the “floor.”

To make my window scene, I first die cut two windows from the Julie Nutting Parisian View die set. I distressed it using the Carta Bella Traveler’s Journal text stamp using grey ink. I glued the two die cuts together to make one window in order to make it fit on the page.

Next, I used Broken China, Salty Ocean and Faded Jeans Distress Oxide Inks onto some white cardstock for my night sky. I spritzed the background with a bit of water for texture.

I used the Impression Obsession City Landscape dies to cut out my cityscape and added some highlights with a white gel pen.

I then took my Stylized Fireworks stencil from StencilGirl and added some New Year’s fi reworked with Nuvo Mousse in Pure Platinum and Incan Gold. 

When everything was dry, I layered the window and cityscape dies together and glued them down onto the background.

For the right side of my layout, I decided to go with the Julie Nutting Tasha doll stamp. I paper pieced her dress together using some shiny Kaisercraft paper I had in my leftover stash. I used the top hat stamp from the Hero Arts Happy New Year stamp set to make her hat, adding a small piece of pink glitter paper as the band.

Finally, I stamped the year and sentiment using the Hero Arts Happy New Year stamp set. The final touch was to add the clock from the same stamp set heat embossed in gold. 

I already have ideas for February and March’s layout so I’m looking forward to creating them in the months ahead!