Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Arnold Grummer's Papermaking - Embedded Background Paper

Playing around once again with paper pulp to create an interesting paper that can be used as a background for a photo or special verse.

A pile of leftover white card stock scraps from another project, were used to make the pulp for the paper.  Because the scraps were from a heavier paper, I used fringe scissors that cut  paper into thin shreds then soaked them in water before placing them into a blender to make pulp.  The pulp, along with some water, was then placed into a squeeze bottle. NOTE: The blended pulp, along with water, can be poured into a bowl and a baster can be used to squeeze the pulp onto the screen.  To form the sheet of paper, use the large dip handmold and place it on a large cookie sheet with a lip.  Squeeze the paper pulp onto the screen - keep layering the pulp onto the screen, covering the entire surface.  NOTE: I didn't worry too much about it being a bit thicker in places. For a background paper I wanted some uneven areas. 

Remove the top wooden deckle frame from the pulp.  Place the gray screen over the pulp and press with sponges to remove some of the water. Before pressing out more of the water, place dried leaves onto the surface in any desired pattern.  NOTE: Use a single layer of leaves (the small fern pieces had to be removed because they would not stay in place). Replace the gray screen or use another paper making screen and press again to embed the leaves into the paper and also removing more water from the sheet.  NOTE: If no extra blue paper making screen is available, use a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper under the gray screening to press.  Continue to process the sheet of paper just like any other sheet.  Instead of ironing the sheet to dry, place the sheet between layers of cotton fabric and couching sheets and weight it with heavy books till dry.  NOTE:  Check  after several hours and change fabric and sheets if needed to help the drying process.

Use the finished sheet as a background in a floating clip frame for a special photo or stamped or handwritten verse.

For supplies and information go to the Arnold Grummer website.  Use this coupon code for your order this month: OWL20

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kunin Felt/Beacon Adhesives/Buttons Galore & More Manufacturer Challenge

Another challenge presented itself this month.  When the package arrives it's always a surprise to see what is sent and then to come up with a finished design with the materials provided.  I'm anxious to see all the ideas from the participating designers and thrilled to be sharing mine with everyone!

Three manufacturers were gracious enough to provide materials to work with.  Here is a list of the three with links you can go to for information and ideas.

Kunin Felt
Beacon Adhesives

Buttons Galore & More

Products used here are:
        Printzfelt™Blooming Floral
        Rainbow Classicfelt™ Bright Lilac, Yellow, Fuchsia
        Beacon Adhesive Felt Glue
        Beacon Adhesive Fabri Tac
        Buttons Galore & More assorted coordinated buttons

Now to share three home decor ideas with the materials I received.  Each of these can take on a completely different look by using any of the felt designs.

A simple, no-sew table runner was made from a length of burlap fabric as a base.  The Blooming Floral Printzfelt and yellow Classicfelt was die-cut for the scallop design and rick-rack design on the two ends.  Three other dies were used to cut the larger flower and leaves for the ends and the layered small flowers.  Either of the glues listed can be used for this project.  Both will work extremely well to adhering the felt pieces to the burlap.  NOTE: A tip when gluing, place a piece of waxed paper underneath the burlap for protection of residual glue.  Once felt flowers are in place, glue a button into the center of the two large flowers on the ends.  Use a glitter glue to add a dot to the centers of the smaller layered flowers for a touch of sparkle.

Recently I have seen several ideas for "candle mats", "candle rugs" and "candle wraps".  I made a no-sew version of my own to share.  For the mat or rug, cut a square piece of felt.  For the border pieces I cut small squares and cut each in half on the diagonal.  Fold and glue the two corner points to the top point on each of the triangles.  NOTE: I used Fabri Tac for this step. If needed weight or clip with something to hold them in place till dry and ready for next step.  Glue the folded triangle pieces onto the cut square, placing them even around the edges.  Two are placed side-by-side on the corners of the square.  Finish decorating with die-cut leaves and flowers.  Glue a button onto the center of each flower.  NOTE: Beacon Felt Glue can be used for these steps. 

For the candle wrap, cut a rectangle from a piece of felt, approximately 3 1/2" x 12".  The length of the piece should fit around the circumference of a pillar candle or large jar candle, with about a 1/2" gap for tying it closed. Cut two strips of felt about 1/2" wide x 3 1/2".  Glue the strips to the end edges of the rectangle.  If desired, cut along the length of the piece with scallop scissors. Fold the felt piece in half, matching the ends and punch two sets of holes for threading ribbon through.  Die-cut
3-D flowers from felt.  Roll and form the flowers and glue together using Fabri Tac. Hand or die-cut leaves.  Arrange leaves and flowers as desired and glue them into place.

List of other materials used:
Sizzix Big Shot
Sizzix Dies - Eileen Hull Leaves, Eileen Hull # 657721 Borders & Hydrangeas, Flowers-3-D, Flower Layers w/ Leaf, Flower-Build a Lilac
Ranger Ice Stickles-Silver Ice

There are 14 different designers taking part in this challenge, please go to each of their blogs or websites and find more fantastic ideas!  Use the Designer Craft Connection button to the right of this post to allow you to hop through to each of them.
Please enter to win a prize package valued for over $100.00 using this link:

Entries for prize drawing will be accepted through September 14th. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Designer Craft Connection September Edition - Preserving Memories

When it comes to sharing "memories" in my house you won't find photo albums or scrapbooks.  The walls and shelves through out the house are what I use.

Whether it be photos or keepsakes from trips taken, family favorites, occasions, moments shared, special times, I like to show them in more ways then on pages of albums or boxes of filed photos.

A wall of photos that extend down the stairs with plenty of room for additions.
Create of wall of framed photos if possible.  My house has a large wall leading down to the basement that has become the place to display a combination of family photos.  Added shelves give a bit of variety to the wall display.  Mix and match are fine, combine a variety of framed pieces to make the statement - This is my family!

Pick out a few of your own favorite photos or postcards from trips and frame them for display.

Use a collage type frame to fill with photos or tiny memoribilia of a family member to tell a little story.  Fill a display box with memorbilia such as an old pocket watch that belonged to a grandfather, a cutting from an old crocheted bedspread by your grandmother.

Use a collection of old and new photos in an antique frame with a small keepsake added for dimension.

Alter a child's board book into a piece that tells a story of a member's life with some copied photos and verses.

Memories should be shared and seen, and my way of sharing them, is to use photos and special items throughout my house that are a part of my life and worth remembering!

Next Sunday watch for the next blog hop, plus a chance to win some prizes!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A New Venture Begins

For so many years now creating and crafting has been a huge part of my life.  From making things that are given away, or things to be used personally or around the house, to designs for publications, I enjoy everything about the creative craft industry.  My interests are wide when it comes to crafting.  From sewing, quilting, stamping, paper making, jewelry making, metal work, woodwork and several other mediums, most of my time is spend enjoying the creative process and always willing to share them with others.

Much of the fun I have had for over ten years, is having had the opportunity to work with a number of different manufacturers in various ways.  Recently I was thrilled to become a member of a design team for Deflecto.  They are one of the leading manufacturers of storage products, art frames and vinyl magnetic sheets in the office market.  Use this link to the Deflecto page related to crafts: - Use this link to all the Deflecto Pinterest boards: - to get some idea of the products available and their uses.

The designers that have been chosen will be sharing ideas with a variety of the Deflecto products on their Facebook pages, in blogs that they write and on a Pinterest board.  We will be showing photos of how we have incorporated some of the products in our own workspaces and homes.  Plus ideas on how to refashion the products for a variety of purposes.  These ideas are meant to help others in creative ways to use these specific products.  Organization is a main goal for  me in my workspace. It's not to say that my space is always "neat and tidy" - far from it when there a numerous projects in the works.  Hopefully, what I share will be a help to others no matter what type of space they work within.

Here are five ideas to share now with some of the frames they have available.  There will be a few others at a later date.  On this blog, I will be writing posts to give more information and simple instructions and tips of how I will be using some of the products and how I redesigned them for different looks.

Open this link to see a variety of other ideas by a number of other designers:" title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Arnold Grummer Blog - Memory Book

An option for themes this month is a "vacation summer memory book". My idea was to create a small book using various leftover handmade papers that I processed and went unused.

This small booklet could be used for snapshots of special summer moments or to layer in hand written notes for remembrance.

Each of the pages are different as the photos show:
(NOTE: The front cover is made from a sheet similar to page 1 and it's look changes entirely with the wax added.)
Page 1-Embedded paper  resin shards
Page 2-Texturized sheet
Page 3-Recycled scraps
Page 4-Colored pulp painted edge
Page 5-More recycled scrap papers
Page 6-Recycled from scraps
Back Cover-Extra thick sheet made from scraps

A sheet of handmade paper, with resin covered dictionary pages that are embedded into the sheet, was used for the front cover.  Wanting to make the cover take on a different look, I coated the paper with melted beeswax.  The coating of wax gives the paper an interesting look and texture.  Once it is coated, the paper was heated with a heat tool.  Work on a safe surface covered with a heat resistant craft sheet. A rubber stamp was prepared with ink and set aside.  After heating the waxed cover and while the wax is still slightly soft, quickly press the prepared stamp into the cover, using good pressure.  Black Distress Paint was applied over the image, then wiped with paper towel to remove paint from the raised area.  (NOTE: if needed repeat the paint application and wiping.) If desired add some bronze Rub N Buff and finish by brushing some Perfect Pearls in any choice of color.

Two holes are punched into the left binding edge of each of the pages and two covers.  Lace ribbons through the holes and form a bow.. For a little extra embellishment glue a strip of any lace and finish off with a bit of bling.

A 20% discount on a purchase from the Arnold Grummer website for an order is available - use this code on the order AUG20.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Designer Craft Connection - Crafting With School Supplies

Walking through most stores these days there are displays of school supplies every where.  This month the group's theme is - crafting with school supplies.  Here is what I selected to work with:

This project began with two different folders, one plastic colored folder (yellow) and one  glossy, heavy paper folder.  Each of these were cut apart.  The paper folder pieces were cut slightly smaller then the other plastic folder pieces.  Use double faced tape along one edge of the paper pieces and adhere onto the inside of each of the plastic folder pieces.  NOTE: The yellow plastic folder used, had an inside pocket on both front and back that were left in place.  Using two different types of decorative washi tapes, wrap randomly around the front and back covers in any desired way.  Any tape that goes over the inside pocket area can be cut open with an X-acto knife.

Run washi tape along the left edge, on both sides of the front and back cover.  Mark the left edge for holes to place the binding rings by using the rulers.  Punch the three holes.

Place a length of 1/4" double sided adhesive tape along the left edge and place the ruler over the edge, matching the holes.  Place the binding rings through the holes. Add paper pages with matching, punched holes along the edge onto the binding rings.  A small square base was cut from foamcore for a frame.  Wrap the foamcore frame with washi tape.  Cut pencils into lengths to fit the front of the frame.  Glue onto the top of frame.  Use a scrap of the plastic or paper folder to place a back onto the frame to hold a photo. Adhere the photo frame to the front cover.  Die-cut letters and numbers from a sheet of duct tape and place onto cover.

This "school" related, personalized scrapbook can be used to write in, draw in and add any mementos of the school year.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Arnold Grummer Blog - Christmas In July

Is it too soon to give any thoughts to Christmas?  When days are hot and steamy why not!  Actually I have been into a couple of craft stores in the area and "holiday" items are already on display.

It was time to play around and experiment again.  Going through the casting molds and other things items to use as deckles for shapes, I found a Wilton cookie mold and some plaster molds.

 Here is a snowflake casting, using the Wilton cookie mold and cotton linter squares.  I used enough of the squares that would cover the size of the mold and processed them in a blender as suggested for making pulp.  I included  "Iridescent Flakes" into the pulp before making the casting.  Once the snowflake casting was dry, I used some glitter glue to add dimension on some of the raised lines on the casting.  I small hole is punched and a narrow ribbon hanger is added.   Just for a few ideas, the snowflakes would make a nice additon to a Christmas tree or could be used as decorations in a sway over a doorway or along a mantle edge.  NOTE: I created over 100 of these snowflakes several years ago as a favor at a friends "winter wedding".  I had brushed the raised areas with white glue and sprinkled them with iridescent glitter.  A decorative, silver ornament hanger was attached.  Each was packaged in a cellophane bag along with some artifical snow, with gift tag attached from the bride and groom.

These two package tags were created with recycling thin, kraft colored packing paper pulp.  Process the pulp in a blender and strain.  Press the pulp into molds of choice.  I used two molds that are meant for plaster casting.  Remove as much water with sponges or rags.  Allow the casting to dry. NOTE:  I help the drying process along by placing the  pieces on a microwave safe surface and use 30 secong intervals to dry pieces. Use this method to dry slightly and then leave overnight to dry completely.  

Once the pieces are dry, they can be painted if desired or embellished in any way.  Use a purchased tag or die-cut a tag shape.  Add a strip of torn holiday fabric and glue the casting onto the surface.  Add a ribbon or cord for attaching the tag to a package.

For a 20% savings, use SAVE20 code after visiting the Arnold Grummer website for any purchase this month.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Burlap Fabric Challenge

How much fun it was to participate in this latest blog hop for BurlapFabric.  It was like "Christmas" opening up the package they sent!  There are many uses for this wonderful "utility fabric" and I have used it many times in the past for a variety of decorative uses. So I will share some of the projects with you that I created with most of the items that were sent to me.

One of the products I received was a roll of Jute Webbing with blue stripes.  With the webbing I created a piece that could be used a table runner or large table mat.  Cut five lengths of the webbing measuring 36" and nine lengths measuring 21".  Lay the five strips out horizontally and tape the left and right edges of the five strips with masking tape to hold them place.  Weave the shorter strips through the long strips.  Once they are all woven, move them to space equally.  Fold the strips over to the back side of the piece.  Glue these down with a strong adhesive.  I used Beacon 3-in-One glue and clamped them till dry.  Repeat on the opposite side.  Remove the tape and repeat this same process on to two shorter sides.  For the remaining strips, glue them onto the backside as close to the edge as possible.  Once the glue dries, trim the webbing closely to the edge.  To finish the back edge, glue lengths of 1" ribbon of binding all around the edge.

NOTE: To make burlap straight and easier to cut and sew, pull a thread from end to end of the fabric. 

A roll of Ash Grey Burlap was included in the package.  With this burlap I chose to make items place mats, napkin rings and nesting baskets.  For the place mats, cut rectangles measuring approximately 19" x 15".  Using a machine,  sew about a 1/2" from the edge around the piece.  Sew around once again about 1/4" from the first round of stitching.  Remove the threads of burlap from around the edges to create a frayed edge.  The surface of the mats can be stamped or stenciled if desired.  I chose to "pull" threads to create a slight pattern, by dividing the area into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Cut the threads just above the second stitch line and pull them out.  (NOTE: I pulled three threads for each.)  

For the napkin rings, cut the burlap to measure 10" x 3".  Fold the two cut edges in and iron to crease.  The width of the ring will measure about 1 1/2".  Cut a strip of felt measuring 10" x 1" for each ring.  Glue with a fabric or felt glue to cover the edges of the burlap. (NOTE: This will be the inside of the napkin rings.)  Overlap the ends approximately 1" and glue to form a ring.  Flower shapes were die-cut from burlap and glued to the joined area.  Add a decorative button to the center of the flower.

The fabric baskets can be made in any size. The sewing and marking instructions are the same for any size basket. The smaller basket measure 8", the larger basket measures 10". To create the baskets, cut the burlap into squares, 12" for small size, 16" for the large size. (NOTE: Each baskets uses 2 squares.)  Cut a square from chipboard for the bottom of the basket, 8" for small, 10" for large.  Place the chipboard square onto the center of one burlap square and trace with a pencil.  Pin the two burlap squares together and stitch following the line around three sides.  Slip the chipboard square into the pocket created from the sewing.  (NOTE: The square may need to be slightly trimmed on two sides evenly to fit into the pocket easier.)  Sew along the last side carefully to enclose the chipboard.   Sew along the top edge of the burlap square, about 1/2" from the edge.  Pull the threads away to the stitched line on the four edges.  Fold the sides up and press.  Bring two side up and form a angle at the corner.  Punch a hole in the two layers.  Thread a length of ribbon through the holes and tie a bow.  Repeat for each corner.  (NOTE: Add Fray Check to the edges of the holes if desired to stiffen.)

Another item I received was a roll of 7" wide, natural burlap.  With this product I created a grow chart.  Measure a 80" length.  Fold it in half, matching edges and pin to hold.  Sew a pocket at the top to hold a dowel rod for hanging.  Fray the lower edge of the burlap.  Cut a strip of canvas, measuring 37" x 2 1/2".  Fold in 1/2" along the long edges of the canvas and press.  Place canvas strip onto burlap and stitch down along both sides using a zig-zag stitch.  Mark the canvas at 1" intervals with a dot.  Draw a 1/2" line with fabric marker at each inch mark.  Every six inches glue a thin strip of black velcro to that mark. To make the sunflower:  Cut a 5 1/2" and 4" circle from chipboard.  Using the larger circle, cut strips of 1 1/2" wide, natural burlap ribbon.  For the outside row use 13 - 7" pieces, inside row use 10 - 5" pieces.  Fold each in half and glue them around the circle, spacing evenly, beginning with the larger strips, then placing the shorter strips in between and on top of the others.

NOTE: Because I received this burlap ribbon in a natural color I used Tulip Color Spray for fabric to make the flower yellow and also sprayed it with gold Sparkle Spray.  
For the flower center, I balled up the the threads pulled from the burlap.  Placed this on a piece of waxed paper and sprayed it with Ranger Adirondack Color Wash, using Expresso and Terra Cotta. Then giving it a few sprays of Copper Brilliance Paper Finish by Krylon.  Once the paint and dye dries glue this to the smaller circle and glue into the center of the flower.  To complete the chart, die-cut leaves and letters to spell - GROWING from felt and glue onto the chart.  Create a "Lady Bug" from felt to be used as a marker for measuring.  A piece of the loop velcro is glued to the backside of the ladybug.  A small circle on the soft velcro is glued to the bottom of the flower center.  NOTE: The measurement at that point is 36" from the bottom the chart.
Place a length of 1/4" dowel rod into the pocket at the top.  Tie a length of jute cording to each end of the rod for hanging.

Along with the other items were jute bags and linen bags.  These little bags are great for favors for any occasion.  The jute bag was changed up by making different cords with strips of fabric and simple iron-ons made with scraps of fabric for embellishing the bags.
For the linen bag, make a simple change from jute cord to ribbon.  An interesting embellishment is made from aluminum, that was embossed with an embossing folder from Sizzix, then inked with alcohol ink.  Adhere with double faced redline tape.  Both types of bags can be dyed, stamped, painted or embellished in so many different ways.

I was unable to complete the two other projects with the remaining product that I received, but when I do, they will be shared.

Here is a list of links for Burlap Fabric for you to check out:

The company is offering a prize package valued at $100.00 that will include a nice variety of product.  To enter to win, leave a comment on my blog, follow Designer Craft Connection, and Craft Foxes.

Giveaway Link: Rafflecopter

Hop through the blogs by using the "Blue DCC Button" on the upper right  to work your way through all the other designers blogs.

OR here is a list of each Designer Participants link:

Carmen Flores Tanis
Jennifer Priest
Lisa Fulmer
Sue Eldred
Susan Brown