Merry Christmas!

The Christmas season is upon us! I’ve been busy making cards and gifts for the loved ones in my life, but I had a few moments during my last week off work to make an altered Christmas embroidery hoop to commemorate this year’s holiday season.

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I started off with an 6-inch hoop that I painted white with Finnabair’s Snow White Impasto Paint. I gave it several coats until I was happy with the color.

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After the paint had dried, I took a sanding block and went over the paint in a few places, to give it a more distressed look.

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To make my Christmas trees, I used an old Sizzix die called Trees, Three, but free-cutting triangles would work just as well. I also used up some old scraps of Christmas paper from Photoplay. Any paper with a small pattern would work.

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I cut several trees and bases, and inked the edges with Distress inks in Candied Apple and Peeled Paint for the trees and Vintage Photo for the bases. I then glued the bases to the trees.

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While waiting for the glue on my trees to dry, I mounted a piece of lace-covered burlap into my embroidery hoop. I trimmed the excess fabric away on the back, and glued what remained to the back of the hoop using hot glue.

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When my embroidery hoop was ready, I arranged my trees and glued them onto the burlap. I took a length of gold twine and wrapped it around the bottom, tying a knot at the base of the trees. For added security I also applied a little bit of glue to the back to hold the twine in place.

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For decoration, I added a few small buttons in red and green…

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…and a chipboard “Merry Christmas” heat embossed with an opaque white embossing powder.

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The final touch was to add a bow to the top and a piece of ribbon to hang my hoop from.

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I had so much fun making this embroidery hoop, I made a second as well.

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I didn’t do step-by-step photos for this one, but it’s a 4-inch hoop decorated with a poinsettia using the Tim Holtz Layered Tattered Poinsettia Die. I used gold seed beads for the center of the flower, and a chipboard “Joy” heat embossed with a sparkly gold embossing powder.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your holidays are merry and bright!

The Witching Hour

For most, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. For me, it marks the first weekend of Halloween!

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. For someone who can’t stand watching horror movies, I love the creepy, spooky trappings that are associated with the holiday, and Halloween crafts are my favorite to make.

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I’ve had this idea in mind since I bought the Julie Nutting Altered Dollhouse a couple of years ago. I told myself this year was the year I was finally going to sit down and create my very own haunted house. I’ve been collecting Halloween themed stickers, embellishments and trinkets for this project for a couple of years, so it came together pretty easily. I even have enough left over to do a second project like this in the future.

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I painted the dollhouse black and lined each of the trays with Halloween scrapbook paper or Worn Wallpaper remnants by Tim Holtz.

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After that, it was just a matter of filling the trays with bits and pieces of spooky embellishments. Some of my favorite things to work with a dimensional stickers from Jolee’s Boutique.

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For the center tray, I used a piece of Graphic 45 paper with a quote by Edgar Allan Poe. I also used Poe’s portrait in the space beneath, adding a raven as well. The candles I made myself using rolled up paper and hot glue and painted with Distress Paints.

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For the largest space, I knew I wanted to use the witch paper dolls from Tim Holtz. I also had a Beautiful Board spider clock from Reneabouquets that I heat embossed with black powder. It was a perfect addition to my haunted house.

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A couple of the miniatures I used are from Michaels. They have some of the best Halloween decor every year!

Thanks for stopping by. May your Halloween season be spooky!

Art journal playtime

I had a week off work recently, and I spent the time not only cleaning my craft room, but playing in my art journal. I have two art journals to share with you today.

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It’s All Perspective

I’d had this idea in mind for a while, of greenery spouting from the Tim Holtz skull die cut. My original plan was to have butterflies dancing among the plants, but as I was going through my dies, looking for my butterflies, I came across some lovely koi fish dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps. So I went a little abstract and had fish “flying” between the greenery. I even added an octopus and tentacle coming from the eye socket. I kind of love how it turned out.

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Think Different

My second layout, I used some elements from Maremi’s Small Art Design that I fussy cut and adhered to my abstract background. Not my favorite page I’ve ever done, but I do love the colors, and Marta’s designs and sentiment stickers are just gorgeous and fun to play with.

Thanks for dropping by. I’ll be showcasing my first Halloween project later in the week!

Thankful

Hello! I hope everyone in the northern hemisphere is surviving the sweltering summer temperatures we’ve been having lately! Remember to take breaks and stay hydrated when out and about!

As much as I look forward to warmer weather after a cold winter, these hot summer days have me longing for the cool crispness of autumn. I thought I’d try to channel that into my latest project, featuring Prima’s Autumn Sunset collection.

I started off with an MDF base in the shape of a leaf from Diverse Woodworking.

Using a piece of paper from the Autumn Sunset collection, I traced the leaf, cut it out and glued it onto my base using Mod Podge. I then sanded the sides to take care of any overhang. I spread some crackle paste through the Woven stencil by Prima and left it to dry overnight, so the cracks could appear naturally. I prefer to let crackle paste dry naturally as opposed to using a heat gun.

The next day, I used some Lindy’s Starburst sprays in Autumn Maple Crimson, Steampunk Sepia, Red Hot Poker Orange and Cattail Copper Brown to create splatters of colorful shimmer on my leaf.

My next step was to use a Prima text stamp with Archival Black ink to add some more texture to the leaf.

I set my leaf base aside to work on my centerpiece. I took a chipboard frame from Scrapiniec and heat embossed it with WOW Oyster Glintz embossing powder. I also cut the gold foil sheet music out of another piece of paper from the Autumn Sunset collection, distressed and inked the edges and glued it to the back of the frame.

My next step was to play with flowers and leaves from the Autumn Sunset collection, along with some sisal, layering them into a composition I liked.

To finish my piece off, I added some pieces from the Autumn Sunset ephemera pack, some of the coordinating gems, and a butterfly from one of the flower packs. I also splattered white gesso over the piece as well as using some Vintage Gold wax here and there. My final addition was a resin lady which I painted with Hazelnut Metallique paint and highlighted with the Vintage Gold wax.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope this little tutorial was helpful. If you have any questions, just leave a comment or shoot me an email. Stay cool out there!

Art journals galore

I’ve been on a bit of an art journal kick this past week or so. It’s been a busy time at work — always happens the week before a holiday (July 4th in this case), so playing around in my art journals was all I had time to do. I work on them in my spare moments between work and home duties. So, I don’t have any tutorials for these, but things should slow down a bit now that the holiday is over, but I promise one soon.

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This one I did for my fairy art journal. I know it’s a mermaid layout, but I thought it was fitting for my fairy journal. The mask is by Carabelle Studios and the stamps by Marianne Design.

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This one was inspired by a YouTube tutorial I had seen a week or so ago. I usually like to create little scenes but sometimes it’s fun to just be abstract. Paper tags by 7 Dots Studio. Sprays and Magicals by Lindy’s Stamp Gang. Stamps from Prima Marketing.

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Space Whales! I’ve had this one in my mind for a while, but never got around to ever doing it until this week. Whale stamps from Hero Arts. Paints by Prima Marketing.

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The July 2019 monthly challenge at Lavinia Stamps was “A Midnight Blue with an Orange Hue.” This Les Mis quote stamp by Impression Obsession actually gave me the idea for this layout in my fairy art journal. Stamps by Lavinia Stamps. Mountain stencil by Honey Bee Stamps. Inks my Ranger and Tsukineko.

Thanks for stopping by!

A Whale of a Tale

Happy Official Start of Summer! Summer always makes me think of the beach and the ocean… which is  a bit odd since I live nowhere near either. But those few times I’ve been, I’ve loved every minute of it. So to celebrate the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere, I thought I’d create an ocean-themed project.

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I’ve had this MDF fish tail from Darice for a little while, which I’ve been wanting to use. So to begin with, I painted the whole thing with white gesso for a base coat, then I mixed white gesso with Finnabair Victorian Green Impasto paint to lighten the color a bit, and painted all sides with this mixture. (Of course, you don’t have to paint the front if you use paper like I did, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at first, so the front was painted as well.)

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I chose a piece of paper from the Blue Fern Studios Seaside Cottage collection (sadly, not available anymore) and traced the tail so that the drawing of a ship would be visible on the bottom right corner of the tail. I cut the paper out and glued it down to the front of my project with Mod Podge. I then sanded the edges to get rid of any overhang.

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Next I took the Mermaid Stencil from StencilGirl and heat embossed fish scales in various places using Azure Mist embossing powder from WOW.

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Next I began to arrange my composition. I used a chipboard seahorse, anchor and netting, flowers from 49 and Market, resin ship cast from a mould and seashells from my stash.

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I heat embossed the seahorse using WOW’s Sparkling Snow and the net and anchor with Earthtone Honey and Chocolate Caramel Pearl. I glued everything down using a combination of 3D Matte Gel and hot glue. To finish I added some Finnabair Art Stones and splattered some Azure Sea Asters spray from Lindy’s for “splashes.” I also added a small starfish as well before finally rubbing Finnabair Vintage Silk wax over everything. It’s hard to see in the photos, but it gives everything a really nice shine.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope my little project inspired cool ocean breezes and salty sea scents!

Sparkling Swarovski

Since beginning my foray into jewelry making, I have discovered that I just love working with Swarovski crystals. Which isn’t really surprising. My mother collected Swarovski figurines when I was a child and we still have them lovingly displayed in their little cabinet. There’s just something breathtaking about seeing Swarovski crystals glitter in the light. But then, I’ve always been attracted to shiny things. Must have been a magpie in a former life.

I recently made some more jewelry to add to my “craft show” stash. Mostly earrings, but I did manage a bright blue necklace as well.