Monday, October 5, 2015

Happy BOO Day

October has arrived! Just as at Christmas time, I enjoy creating handmade decorations for this time of the year.  This year I decided to try a different look with a mixed media collage canvas.

12" square canvas
Fabric Elements™ Fat Quarters: Green Dot, Orange Dot, Artistic Lines, Spirals
Fabric Elements™Tissue
Fabric Elements™ Wool Felt
Fabric Elements™Batting
TCW Stencils by Rebekah Meier: Assorted Designs
Earth Safe Finishes Gel Medium
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics: Various Colors
Cosmetic Sponges
Metallic Threads
Sewing Machine
Decorative Paper (backing)
Fabric Glue
Wood Easel (optional)

For this project, I used various mixed media products.  The majority of products are from a new line called Fabric Element™ by Rebekah Meier.  To create the pumpkin, leaf, stem, sunflower and fence I used various fabrics from the line.  The pumpkin, leaf, and flowers were made by layering the fabric, batting and muslin in three layers.  I sketched the shapes of the pumpkin and leaf onto the fabric.  Using a sewing machine I used a zig-zag stitch for the outline of the two shapes.  I used a free-motion stitching techniques for the veins of the leaf and for the sunflower shapes.  The leaf and pumpkin are trimmed with pinking shears; the sunflowers are cut with scissors, close to the stitching.  All of the fabric pieces were painted with fluid acrylics that were diluted with water and brushed on to your desired look.  The sunflowers have buttons sewn to the centers with metallic thread.

To create the stem of the pumpkin, roll a strip of wool felt, layered with a strip of muslin into a tube.  Wrap the tube with two colors of metallic threads and tie the ends.  Wash the tube with thinned brown paint.  Set the tube aside to dry.

A strip of the "artistic lines" fabric was torn with the lines resembling a fence.  The piece can be tea-dyed or stained with a fluid paint wash.  This strip is added to the canvas using gel medium and after all the stenciling is completed.

The canvas is given a light blue acrylic paint wash.  Strips of aqua tissue are torn for the sky.  The green tissue is used at the bottom of the canvas for grass.  A piece of decorative tissue is torn into a circle shape for the sun.  All the tissue is applied using gel medium.

When the gel medium is dry, begin stenciling.  Stencil the tree design with brown paint.  A leaf design used vertically was stenciled with various colors to resemble bushes.  Circular designs were stenciled over the circular tissue in yellow and golds.  Flower stem designs are stenciled near the bottom right of the canvas.  Flower head shapes were first stenciled onto the spiral fabric using several colors of thinned paint before the free-form stitching is done.  To finish the canvas, stencil the word "Happy" with white paint near the top.  White glitter paper was used to die-cut the word "BOO".

The finished pumpkin shape is glued to the canvas with fabric glue.  NOTE: A small amount of stuffing is placed under the pumpkin to give it shape and dimension.  The stem is glued to the top of the pumpkin, tucking the lower edge under the pumpkin.  Shape the leaf by folding and gluing slightly near the stem of the leaf.  Glue the leaf in place, tuck the stem under the top of the pumpkin.

Cut two lengths of green wire.  Wrap the wire around a smooth pencil to form tendrils.  Remove the wire from the pencil and pull the ends out to shape the tendrils.  Glue them into place, hiding the ends under the leaf.  Glue the sunflowers onto the canvas above the stenciled flower stems.  Glue the word BOO near the bottom left corner of the canvas.

To finish off the canvas, glue a decorative sheet of 12" square paper onto the back. Trim the edge of the canvas with ribbon.  Use an easel for display or add a hanger to the back of the canvas if desired.

Many of the techniques for working with Fabric Elements™ can be found in the booklet that is also available.  It is called "Techniques for Mixed Media" and shows 12 different techniques for creating interesting mixed media projects that are all interchangeable.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fabulous and Fun - Fabric Elements by Rebekah Meier

Always up for a "challenge", what could be better than to participate in one to show off this wonderful new line of "Fabric Elements" by Rebekah Meier.  Being asked to be a part of this challenge was awesome!  You can take up this challenge from Fabric Editions too!

This new product line is the perfect start or addition to anyone who loves to work with fabrics, who sews and loves anything  mixed media.  This line is just a small smidgen of the creativity from this fabulous, creative woman.

After receiving a package of elements from Fabric Editions, the process began.  What to make with this array of items?  With my love of sewing and quilting in mind, I chose to combine that and more into the project I created.

After studying the booklet "Techniques for Mixed Media" that is available with this line, the inspiration began.  

I started with the fat quarter fabrics and using all six of the designs from my supplies.  Basically for the base of the box pouch, I followed the direction from the booklet titled "patchwork".  This step calls for using EZ Steam™II, Fabric Elements ™Wool felt and various sized pieces of Fabric Elements™Dot fabric and Paintable fabric.

From there I continued with another technique from the booklet called mono-printing, stencilling and stamping on fabric.  For the stencilling, I used the stencil from the package and white acrylic paint.  To add some stamp images, use any bold stamps along with gold metallic paint.

The next step was to add paint to the entire surface of the fabric.  Here I referred to the technique called painting on fabric, along with the technique above, only with my own twist.  My color choices were all close to primary colors, knowing they would mix when brushed over each other.  For this process, I diluted my paints with water to make a transparent, thin paint.

With the white portions of the fabric looking too stark, I made a wash with gold metallic paint and brushed it over the majority of the piece.  It gave it a "tea stained" appearance without tea staining the fabric, plus it gave it a soft shimmer.

Once the stencilling, stamping and painting were complete, I ironed the pieces to wool felt pieces cut to the size needed to make the box pouch.  Use several decorative stitched from your sewing machine to stitch were the fabric pieces come together.

Before completing the formation of the box pouch, I stencilled one of the designs onto the pieces of Osnaburg fabric with white acrylic paint.

For some extra added touches, I dropped some splashes of diluted paint to the white zipper and brushed it with other colors as well.  Using just bits of trim from the line,  I created a flower embellishment.  This piece has a base flower made following the technique, "embellishments with wool felt", then snippets from the lace trims that are colored with diluted paints and finished off with a button center.  Finally,  a rolled bead was formed, also following instructions from the booklet, and then tied onto the zipper pull with ribbon.

I have made several of these box pouches recently from two different, purchased fat quarters per pouch and love the pattern I found online. It was easy to combine this pattern along with the materials I received to create the unique, one of a kind fabric that makes this one special.

On a personal note - I have totally enjoyed working with this line.  It is great for the beginner to the expert creative soul.  It has a nice combination of materials that can all be intermixed.  The substrates can be used as a base for any style mixed media designs.  Congratulations to Rebekah and Fabric Editions for bringing this to all who enjoy some creativity in their lives!  Bring us more, please!

If you have not seen the awesome ideas by the previous designers please take the time to visit the other participating blogs for more amazing inspiration.  You will find all the links here:

Rebekah Meier (9-1-15)
Cheryl Boglioli (9-3-15)
May Flaum (9-8-15)
Tammy Tutterow (9-10-15)
Julie Fei-Fan Blazer (9-15-15)
Madeline Arendt - that's me (9-17-15)
Fabric Editions (9-22-15)
Rebekah Meier (9-24-15)

Take up the challenge yourself and get to a JoAnn Fabrics store or online to find Fabric Elements™.

For detailed instructions, here is the link to a YouTube video of the tutorial to make a basic box pouch - Box Pouch Link

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Deflecto Challenge with Designer Craft Connection

So what becomes of a Stackable 4-drawer cube (#350301CR), a black border 5" x 7" acrylic craft frame (#69675CR) and an Interior Image® sign holder nameplate (#89105) when given a challenge to transform them?

These three items, plus one other Deflecto product, became an entire set of accessories for a granddaughter's desk.

Beginning with the Stackable cube, I used Ann Butler's Iridescent Emerald Paint, by Earth Safe Finishes, and sponged the paint onto the cube on all sides.  Once the paint was completely dry I ran two coordinating rows of washi tape along the edges of the four corners.  The cube was finished off by gluing mini white rick-rack around the front and back edges.

Next comes the black border 5 x 7 frame.  Using a Deflecto craft magnet sheet, cut it to fit just inside the black border of the frame.  Use a thick tacky glue to hold in place.  Place a heavy book over the sheet and allow to dry completely.  Using one of the coordinating tapes, run it along the center of each of the four outer black area of the frame.  Glue mini white rick-rack down the center of the tape. The corners are embellished with little felt, die-cut flowers and leaves.  More tiny flowers of another color are made and glued onto small, round magnets.

The biggest challenge was what to make with the sign holder name plate.  Why not make it into a special name plate for a special little girl!  The metal edges of the holder were painted with the same iridescent paint as the cube.  Glue a strip of mini white rick-rack down the center of the two metal edges..  Cut a piece of decorative paper to fit the holder.  Use die-cut letters from felt for a name; glue to the center of background paper.  Cut several flowers and leaves from felt.  Arrange them as desired to cover the black plastic part of the name holder.  NOTE: I created a stand for the name holder from a thick piece of cardboard and attached it to the holder.

An extra desk accessory was added to the set by using the Deflecto Black Pencil Cup with Border Frames (#35004)  Using the same washi tapes from the other items, alternate the tapes all around the holder.  Use the wider tape around d the inner frames.  Finish off with mini white rick-rack as shown in the photo.  All the pieces were made to coordinate with the "new" refashioned desk for one of my own granddaughters.

NOTE: All of these items can be found on Amazon and some other online retailers.

Please hop through the blog posts to check out all of the various ideas created by other designers.  Leave a comment on one or all the blogs, "LIKE" the Deflecto Facebook page and enter to win a Deflecto Giveaway on the Designer Craft Connection Blog by using the Rafflecopter widget there.

Deflecto Giveaway

Monday, August 24, 2015

...So Just like that, Summer fell into Fall...

    I smell Autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves.

Only one week left to the month of August.  Many schools are back in session.  The final holiday of the summer season is quickly approaching.  The sun is setting a bit earlier and the nights are getting cooler.  Autumn is coming  - like it or not!  This has always been my favorite season and it will never change.  There are personal things that have taken place during this season that should maybe affect me, but I won't let that happen.

It's been some time since I last wrote a blog post just because I wanted to say something and this will be one!

Some favorite things to enjoy about the time is my fondness for baking.  Yesterday it began with a new recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Bread.  Made with zucchini from my son's garden, this recipe will be a "keeper" for sure.

Having decided to not deal with plants this summer, for some reason when I see pots of mums I can't refuse them.

It won't be long before we could be seeing some signs of autumn that I enjoy the most, which is the changing of colors.  Watching the leaves change from greens to an array of vibrant colors is truly amazing.  While playing around with some of Makin's Clay colors that I had on hand, I created some lovely leaves of my own before nature could get in on the act.  I made several leaves.  I decided to use two of the leaves for a redo of a used candle container.  The others look good just used alone as a decoration on a table, but could be used in a variety of different ways.

So as the seasons change and so do I, I will leave you with some autumn thoughts -  "Fall has always been my favorite season.  The time when everything bursts with its last beauty as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale."  - Lauren DeStefano

Friday, August 14, 2015

ETI Blog Hop with Desinger Craft Connection

Being a novice user to most of the products from Enviromental Technology Inc. this challenge truly was a "challenge" for me.  My experience with resin was for a few projects on a larger scale and the results very satisfying.  I chose to work with EnviroTex Jewelry Clay® and EnviroTex®Jewelry Resin.  After following the mixing directions for the Jewelry Clay® I wanted to try a number of ways to use the clay.  For my first attempt, I used two different type molds, a stamp design and a couple of rubber texture sheets.

Here are the resulting pieces:

Follow instructions for drying the shapes. For the molded and stamped pieces, I was able to clean up the edges with carefully using an X-Acto knife and some sandpaper.  The two pieces that were used for my projects were painted with acrylic paints after being primed with gesso.  NOTE: I am not sure if this step was necessary, but it was one that was done.  

Mixing the two parts of the resin was easy enough by following the instructions  completely. The next step was to apply the Jewelry Resin to both pieces. This step was a bit tricky for the stamped heart image.  Sequin hearts were placed in the indented areas of the heart before adding the resin. Here is where I realized that the stamped image should have been slightly deeper to hold the sequins and resin in place.  We DO learn by our mistakes!  It is mentioned in the instructions that the working time for the resin is 25 minutes which was helpful for the way the resin was applied to both pieces.

The second piece was the molded sun image that was glued onto a laser cut wooden butterfly shape.  Once glued to the wood, I placed it over the first empty mixing cup on a piece of parchment paper.  NOTE: The parchment paper can collect any resin that may drip off the piece and then be discarded. The method used to apply the resin was to use a popsicle stick and drip it into the resin, then allow it to drip and spread over the molded image and the wooden butterfly.  Some of the resin remained in the openings.

The hardest part of the entire process is NOT TOUCHING till dry.  Since I did not make a hole in the heart shape once the image was stamped, nor drilling a whole after drying, a small length of ribbon was used for a hanger and the piece was backed with felt cut to fit.  A jewelry finding was glued under the sun image to hold a cord.

I look forward to working with both these products more and experimenting more.  After this first-time effort, I can see some changes that I would make when applying the resin.

Would you like a chance to try some products from ETI?  During this blog hop, you can enter to win some.  Follow this link:
ENTER TO WINa Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

More Playing With Pulp for Arnold Grummer Papermaking Blog

For some reason, I truly enjoy experimenting with paper pulp.  After seeing some interesting designed papers at an art store, this idea came to me. The results from my playing, I feel, was very satisfactory.  Here are two projects made with this pulp technique.  The paper was used as a background for a simple card.  Another application was a decorative plate.

Visit the Arnold Grummer Papermaking Blog to read more about these two projects and get to mixing up some pulp to play with.  LINK TO POST

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fairfield Pillow Challenge - Designer Craft Connection

What better way to brighten up a summer setting is there!  Combine an outdoor pillow with some colorful fabrics and embellishments and the results can be amazing.

I requested Weather Soft™ Pillow Inserts for this project.  They are a water resistant pillow shape made specifically for outdoor use.  They have a laminated shell that protects the fiberfill from moisture.  They are durable and add comfort to your patio and deck furnishings.

Measure a piece of the Oly-Fun™ Sky Blue fabric an inch larger than the size of the pillow form.  The fabric will be sewn by machine to form a pillow covering that may be removed to be changed for the seasons.  Overlap the fabric approximately 3" to 4" on the back part of the pillow covering.  NOTE: Hem the edges by folding over the edges 1/4" to 1/2" before sewing around the four sides of the pillow covering.  Before turning to the right side, trim the four sides with pinking shears and trim the points.

Die-cut circles from the Hot Fudge Oly-Fun™for each flower.  Die-cut leaves from the Pine Oly-Fun™. Using the Eileen Hull Leaves Sizzix die, cut 12 of each size leaf for each flower.  NOTE: The stems on the leaves can be trimmed away.  Beginning with the largest leaf shape, glue them around the brown center, spacing as evenly as possible.  Continue to glue the next size leaf around the center placing them in between the leaves of the first band.  Finish with the smallest leaf, placing them between the leaves of the prior row.  Find the placement of the flowers and leaves that is desired and then glue them into place.

Place the finished pillow where ever you would some brightness!!!


Fairfield Weather Soft™ 18" x 18" Pillow Insert (#A-WP18)
Fairfield Oly-Fun™ Craft Pack Pine
Fairfield Oly-Fun™ Craft Pack Sky Blue
Fairfield Oly-Fun™ Craft Pack Hot Fudge
Yellow Felt
Sizzix Big Shot
SIzzix Dies: Eileen Hull Leaves, Original Leaf, Maple
Beacon Adhesives FabriTac™
Sewing Machine
NOTE:  Fairfield Oly-Fun™ Lemon Drop could be used in place of the yellow felt.

Visit the Fairfield World website to see the complete line of products.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Deflecto Design Team - Hooray For the Red, White & Blue

When summer arrives, all things red, white and blue come out to decorate the house during this time. With Memorial Day, Flag Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day all falling within the summer season, it is the appropriate time for such decorations.

The mantle above the fireplace is one spot that always finds a special decoration to fit a theme.  This year I changed things up just a bit.  Using the Angled Sign Holders (20001CR) I created postcard size cards using various papers and adding die-cut letters using my Silhouette machine to spell out AMERICA.  Adding to the mantle decor is a very simple garland made from torn strips of fabric that are knotted onto a jute cord.

The VersaGrip™ Sign Holder (20007CR) made the perfect thing to hang another handmade banner to a window area.  The longer clamp was clipped to the top edge of the curtain and the smaller clip holds the string from the banner.  Rosettes made from coordinating papers are attached to the clip with heavy duty glue dots.

Another banner was made from handmade papers and some scanned images.  It hangs from the front steel door with star shaped magnets that were die-cut from Deflecto Magnet Sheets with Supergrip Sign Holders (20002CR) attached to hold the banner cord.