Back from hiatus!

Has it really been over two months since I last updated my blog?? Well, all I can say is the past couple of months have been ridiculously crazy. First, there were the holidays to get ready for. My very pregnant friend/coworker was just miserable in her last month of pregnancy, so I tried to help out by wrapping her gifts for her. My craft room was turned into wrapping central! Her baby made a surprise entrance on Christmas night, a week early, so we’ve been muddling along without her at work while she’s been on maternity leave. And work has been so busy, all I want to do when I get home is eat dinner and go to bed!

Hopefully things will begin to get back to normal a bit when she gets back in a couple of weeks!

I do have a couple of things to share. My parents’ 50th anniversary was Dec. 13, 2019. I made them a special card to commemorate the occasion.

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I used the Spellbinders Grand Cabinet die set with the Happily Ever After add-on to celebrate their golden anniversary.

Then I was able to make a couple of shaker tags for my friend’s Christmas presents.

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Of course, since the girls are crazy about unicorns, I used two unicorn stamps from Lawn Fawn. I heard later they loved them!

Finally, in an effort to get my crafty mojo flowing, I watched some videos on YouTube. A video by Nuneka sparked the creative juices and I was able to create this mixed media altered embroidery hoop:

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No tutorial this time, but I used a lot of the same techniques as in the video.

Of course, I wasn’t completely idle over the holidays. Even though I couldn’t use my craft room because of the Christmas chaos, I was able to make some jewelry, as my jewelry-making supplies aren’t kept in that room. I have several new pieces in my Etsy shop, CarolineByDesignTN. Stop by if you have a chance and have a look!

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I’ll have a Valentine’s pocket letter for my next post! Thanks for stopping by!

Shine Brightly

A few months ago, I found this amazing company called Diverse Woodworking on Amazon. I was looking for some shaped MDF pieces for my mixed media projects, and discovered they had a huge selection, especially on their own website. I ordered several pieces, and have already used some of them. I’ll link to their blog posts below.

I was going through my chipboard pieces recently, organizing them, when I discovered I had these cute little crowns by Creative Embellishments. I thought a couple of them might work perfectly for the wooden swan I had in my stash from Diverse Woodworking, and was immediately seized by inspiration. I thought about using Prima Marketing’s Moon Child collection on the swan, but it just didn’t seem to fit, so I ordered a couple of pieces of paper from the Lavender Frost collection, along with some flowers. When they arrived, I knew they would be perfect.

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Shine Brightly

To start with, I painted the edges of the swan with white gesso. When that dried, I traced the shape of the swan onto the backside of the scrapbook paper (Hidden Truth), face down. I cut the swan shape out, and glued it down onto my swan using Mod Podge.

I took some chipboard flourishes and heat embossed them with Mulberry Mist (which I believe has been discontinued) embossing powder from WOW! Immediately after applying the second coat, while the embossing powder was still hot, I sprinkled just a little bit of the Fool’s Gold embossing glitter on top, and heat set that. I glued these pieces onto the body of the swan, and began to layer my embellishments on top.

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All of the flowers used, except for some of the very small ones, are from the Lavender Frost collection. The small flowers are by 49 and Market. I also added a few white feathers, and some chipboard leaves, as well as a chipboard sticker and gems from the Lavender Frost collection.

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I heat embossed the chipboard crown with the Fool’s Gold embossing powder and added a few dark purple Swarovski crystals before gluing it to the top of the swan’s head and added a few flowers.

I felt her neck needed a little something, so I added some glittery pink ribbon tied in a bow around a few small flowers.

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For the final touch, I added a butterfly from Reneabouquets and a Quote Chip from Tim Holtz.

Like I said, I really love working with these MDF shapes. So much so, that on Black Friday, I took advantage of their sale to stock up on shapes for my 2019 mixed media projects!

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Previous blog posts using Diverse Woodworking shapes:

Guest Designer: All is Calm, All is Bright

Hello, everyone! I am so excited and amazed that I was asked to be a guest designer for WOW! Embossing Powder for November. Since the theme was Christmas this month, I’ve created a little altered embroidery hoop using several different powders and Tim Holtz die cuts. Head on over to the WOW! blog for more photos and details for this project!

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All is Calm, All is Bright

Pumpkin Spice

It’s September! Fall is in the air! At least, for the northern hemisphere. If you’re anything like me, the US holiday of Labor Day marks the last day of summer, and the day after Labor Day is the first day of Halloween. Halloween is my very favorite holiday… not that I celebrate it very much. I just like the spookiness of the season.

I’ve been on a staycation-vacation for the past 10 days, and while I didn’t do any Halloween crafting (I like to wait until October to really get into the mood), I did decide to get my autumn on by creating an altered pumpkin.

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Pumpkin Spice mixed media altered pumpkin

I started by painting a Papier-mâché pumpkin I got from Michael’s with Heavy White Gesso. I then decoupaged some printed tissue paper onto the “humps” of the pumpkin using Mod Podge. After letting that dry, I painted over the whole pumpkin with some watered down Ginger Magic Sparks paint by Prima. It gives the pumpkin a lovely metallic shine. I also painted the stem with Rustic Brown Metallique Paint.

After letting the paint set for a little while, it was time to start laying my elements on the top of the pumpkin. I used flowers from Prima’s Amber Moon collection, along with some silk and plastic flowers from the craft store. I also used some sisal fiber and pinecones for a little more texture. I then capped the whole thing off with a Prima jewel vine.

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For finishing touches, I dripped some Glossy Accents into the creases of the pumpkin and sprinkled some Gold Rush Glass Glitter over the top. I also added some crystal gems from the Amber Moon collection.

Upcoming projects will include my September Julie Nutting layout and an altered masquerade mask. Thanks for stopping by!

Timeless

Prima’s design team call ends today, and I managed to make one more entry before the deadline. Though again, I don’t think I stand a chance, it has been a great motivator to get crafty.

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Timeless

I have several MDF boards of various shapes, and the 12-inch violin I had was the one that called to me the most. I used Prima/Finnabair Metallique paints in various blue and purple, plus a touch of Unicorn Hair Sparks paint for the base. When it was dry, I applied a coat of clear crackle paint on top and let that set overnight.

Next, I prepared my chipboards. I used my new favorite Wow! embossing powder called Perissa, which, when heat set, turns into mottled shades of goldish-copper and silver. It really is a beautiful effect. I also painted some elements with the Unicorn Hair Sparks paint.

I took white flowers from 49 and Market and colored them with Cobalt and Sugar Plum Color Bloom sprays from Prima and rubbed Vintage Gold and Brushed Iron waxes along the edges.

I glued down the chippies and made my own violin strings out of metallic silver thread. I also attached a lovely butterfly pendant and some of the new Prima Art Pebbles. My final touch was the chipboard “Timeless” from 49 and Market.

I’ve got a mixed media swap coming up next, but first, my next project will be cleaning my craft room. I can’t find my desk! Wish me luck!

MTW Challenge: The Magic of the Sea

The More Than Words Challenge theme this month is something very near and dear to my heart… beaches and seashells! I just love beach-themed layouts, which is a little funny since I live nowhere near the beach! To me, when I think of a beach, I think of the ocean. I’ve never cared for lakes much. But oh, the ocean is still so full of mystery!

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http://morethanwordschallenge.blogspot.com/2018/07/july-2018-main-challenge-beach-seashells.html

As a child, my mother would take my brother and me to visit her side of the family in Australia. We would always go to the beach… Balmoral Beach near Sydney, to be exact. It’s one of my most favorite spots in the world. Unfortunately, when we were small, we could only go visit during our summer vacations, which meant it was always winter in the southern hemisphere when we visited. So no swimming in the ocean for us. But it’s always been a dream of mine. To swim in the ocean and snorkel with tropical fish.

That dream became a reality two years ago when my best friend and I were in Aruba during a cruise. We did a snorkel excursion and I had so been looking forward to it… and then, as we all got into the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean, I had an asthma attack. I couldn’t swim and breathe at the same time. So I had to get back into the boat and watch my bestie snorkel with the fishes. Alas!

Being half-Aussie, I’ve always held a fascination for the Great Barrier Reef. And as many times as I’ve visited family, I’ve never been! Someday, I hope to do so… and to visit an Australian beach when the weather is warm enough to actually get into the water.

When I saw the theme for this month’s challenge, I immediately thought of a wooden seahorse I had that I’d been wanting to decorate. I’ve seen seahorses in aquariums, but I would dearly love to see one in the wild someday! So with my little seahorse acting as my canvas, I tried to create something reminiscent of the ocean.

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The Magic of the Sea

I used a starfish and some seashells I had purchased in Key West for craft projects a couple of years ago to decorate, along with some fishing net and smaller starfish. I heat embossed some chipboard coral and a chipboard spiral seashell to act as a “horn,” turning my seahorse into a sea-unicorn. I added the word “Inspire” as the sea has always been such an inspiration to me. I layered flowers and resin pieces in clusters, and for final touches, some shiny pebbles and a chipboard mermaid. It’s hard to tell in the photos, but the mermaid is very sparkly.

I had a lot of fun with this one! And I got to relive so many happy memories in the process of creating it.

Thanks for stopping by!

MMP Challenge: Space Unicorn!

My latest project is, I think, the most popular thing I’ve ever created. (Going purely based on the number of ‘likes’ on Facebook, ha ha.) When I was a little girl, I was absolutely crazy for unicorns. But my poor mother had a hard time finding anything unicorn-related in the late ’70s/early ’80s. Nowadays, unicorns are everywhere, but when I was small, you really had to search for them.

I’ve mostly left my unicorn days behind me, but when I saw the Kaisercraft Unicorn Wall Art plaque, I fell in love and bought one immediately. I wanted to decorate it make it sparkly… but that’s as far as my planning went. When I received it, I had zero ideas on how to decorate it. So, I set it aside for a few weeks.

Then last week, I was perusing some of the challenge boards/blogs I frequent to see if I could be inspired for a new project. I wasn’t looking for ideas for the unicorn, per se, but when I click on the Mixed Media Place mood board, the image in the top right corner of the night sky grabbed my attention right away.

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http://mixedmediaplace.blogspot.com/2018/06/june-challenge.html

I had several pieces of pretty galaxy scrapbooking paper I bought on whim with no idea how to use and the mood board image reminded me of it. But what to do with it? Then my eyes fell on my blank unicorn plaque and I immediately thought, “Space Unicorn!”

And so, she was born…

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Space Unicorn!

It took two sheets of the scrapbook paper to cover the entire unicorn, but I managed to hide the place where they meet using embellies and my sentiment sticker. I glued the paper down, then went to town with flowers, ephemera and bling. I used ephemera and wood pieces from the Kaisercraft Stargazer collection. The flowers were mostly Prima, Petaloo and 49 and Market. The horn I heat embossed with Silver Tinsel powder by Ranger.

She turned out much better than I anticipated! I’m actually rather in love with her.

July is a busy month at work for me, with people out on vacation, but I’ll be working on my July Julie Nutting art journal layout next. Thanks for stopping by!