Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Arnold Grummer Papermaking - Fallen Leaves

Inspiration came from my favorite season and from the abundance of colorful leaves all around.

This card was made using several different layers of papers, with the main background piece being a handmade piece.

From the other sheet of handmade paper, I die-cut three maple leaf shapes to decorate a recycled candle glass.

Easy place setting decorations were made by using a die-cut leaf shape with a pinecone glued to the surface.  Names were computer generated and glued to a colored paper background and placed in a small holder and set on the paper leaves.

Using the pour method, I formed two sheets of paper embedded with colorful shards of fallen leaves.  After making the paper mix in a blender, add several torn leaves to the blender and pulse.  NOTE: Remove the middle stems from the leaves before adding to blender.

Try your hand at paper making - visit the Arnold Grummer Papermaking website for kits and other accessories.  Use this coupon code for a discount on your purchase.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Designer Craft Connection - Sullivan's Hebe Cord Blog Hop

Never having the opportunity to work with this product before, I did enjoy working with Hebe Cords by Sullivans USA,  and look forward to trying more crochet, knitting and knotting ideas with these cords.

Using the two colors I received from Sullivans USA, I created a knitted necklace embellished with crochet flowers. 

Use a French Knitter/SpoolKnitter and make a knitted tube approximately 24" long.  Leave several inches of cord at the beginning end and also at the finished end.  On one end, make 9 to 10 chain stitches with a crochet hook.  Attach this chain to the end by inserting the crochet hook into the end and pull through to knot.  Feed part of the leftover cord through the knitted tube to hide.  Thread the other end cord through a large eyed needle and thread through a bead (this will be the closure) and then through the end of the tube and knot.  Feed leftover cord through the tube as above to hide.

To make the flowers: Chain 5, join with a slip stitch.  Make 5 single crochets in the ring, join with a slip stitch.  Chain four, two treble crochet in one single crochet stitch, chain four (this creates one flour petal) into the same SC.  Make four more petals in the same fashion, end with a slip stitch in the bottom of the first flower petal.  Leave a length of cord for adding a bead for the flower center and to attach to the knitted tube.  Make two more flowers.

Pull the end of the cord to the front center of the flowers, thread the cord through a decorative bead.  Feed the cord to the back with a crochet hook or needle and tie the bead in place.  Feed the ends of the cords from the back of the flowers through the knitted tube and knot in place.  Feed the ends of the cords up through the tube to hide and cut.  To finish the flowers, cut three leaves from felt, for each flower, and glue to the backs.

Now take some time to hop through the other blogs for creative ideas made with Sullivans USA HEBE Cords.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Designer Craft Connection Manufacturer Challenge - Oly*Fun by Fairfield

Costume challenge using Oly*Fun Multi-purpose craft material - Oh my!!!  Just like the label reads: Easy to cut with scissors, craft knives or die-cutting machines that accept fabric.  Water resistant and easy to sew - and so much more!

This little pumpkin costume  and "trick or treat" bag, I created for my four year old granddaughter was made using Oly*Fun material in Orange Crush, Clover, Pine and Hot Fudge.  The body of the pumpkin began two pieces of the Orange Crush fabric that measured  28" x 20 1/2 ".   I used a large piece of paper with the same measurements to create a pumpkin shaped pattern.  The pattern was traced onto the Oly*Fun with a white fabric marking crayon.  Then two pieces of Fairfield Poly-fil Low Loft batting were cut using the same pattern, only adding about 3/4" to 1" extra all around the pattern.  From white muslin, two of the pumpkin patterns are cut the same size as the Poly-fil batting. The three layers are layered together and pinned along the edges to hold the three layers together.  Lines are drawn onto the pumpkin shape to replicate the natural grooves in a pumpkin.

Use a decorative stitch on a sewing machine to stitch over all of the lines.  Sew the two pieces together  straight across, at the shoulder area.  NOTE: Use 1/4" seam.  Use the same decorative stitch to sew around the entire shape, removing pins as you sew.   NOTE: When sewing the decorative stitch around the front and back shape, stitch about 1/2" in from the edge.  Trim around evenly with pinking shears through all three layers.

Cut down the center back from neck to bottom edge.  Finish the two cut edges with the same decorative stitch and trim with pinking shears in the same manner.  Sew Velcro tape to the edges of the back as a closure.  Use wide bias tape to finish the neck area.  Cut four strips from the Clover, measuring 1" x 24" for s ties.  Sew them to the inside of the front and back on each side of the pumpkin.  NOTE:  Fit the costume on the child and find the best placement and pin before hand sewing.

Cut a square approxiamately 12" x 12 from Orange Crush, Hot Fudge and the low loft poly-fil.  Layer the three together and pin at the edges.  Draw lines onto  the shape to make a circle to fit the piece.  Add lines for decorative stitching as the body.  Finish by adding the decorative stitch around to form a circle top.  Cut edge with pinking shears.   Cut and sew a  triangular piece of Hot Fudge to create a stem.  NOTE: Approximate measurement is 8" long, with the finished top measuring 3", bottom 6". Make the piece long enough so the narrow top can be bent over slightly and glued.  Cut 1" slits into the bottom edge of the brown stem.  Cut a hole into the center of the circle.  The stem is fitted into the  hole and the slits are glued around the cut opening.  Stuff the bottom part of the stem with batting.   Cut a strip from Pine, measuring 1 1/2" x 45" for a tie. Find center of strip and glue  Cover the opening and part of the strip, by gluing a 4" circle of Hot Fudge Oly*Fun fabric over this area.

Layer a piece of Clover and Pine together and die-cut leaf shapes.  Add simple straight stitch veins onto the layered leaves.  To create tendrils - cut two strips from Clover, 1/2" x 20".  Carefully stitch a piece of floral wire onto the strips using a zig-zag stitch.  NOTE: widen and lengthen the stitch for tis step and go slowly.  Wrap the strip around a 1/2" dowel rod to create a spiral.  Pull to lengthen and shape the long tendril for the pumpkin body.  For the hat, fold the strip unevenly and shape tendril.  Glue tendrils into place.  Add leaves, by gluing,  as desired or refer to placement on photo.  Pumpkin blossoms are made from yellow strips of fabric, 4" w x 7" l.  Fold fabric width in half.  Use a running stitch along the raw edge and gather the piece to form a blossom, knotting to hold shape.  Glue blossoms in place.

Why not make an easy "trick or treat" bag too!  Cut a piece measuring 30" x 12" for the body of the bag and 2 pieces for handles, measuring 2 1/2" x 20" from Hot Fudge Oly*Fun.  Turn the two short edges of the fabric (top edges of bag) over about 1".  Sew down hems with a decorative stitch.  Place right sides together, sew each side with a straight stitch, forming a 1/4" seam.  Turn bag right side out.  Make two handles from strips by folding long edges in, handles will be about 1" wide.  NOTE: Press if necessary, using a low setting on iron and press cloth.  Sew the handles onto bag.  Add leaves for embellishment.

I will admit this was the first time I have worked with this product.  Loved everything about it!  Next will  I would like to  experiment with paints and more.  It is important to mention again to use a low setting and a press cloth when ironing.  Oly*Fun is available from Hancock Fabric, Fabric.com and through http://shop.fairfieldworld.com/c/oly-fun.

There will be a "Giveaway" for Oly*Fun fabric - Please enter using this link: Rafflecopter

For Fairfield Social Media sites here are links:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Arnold Grummer Papermaking - Flying Bats

October is here and signs of Autumn are all around.  With October comes thoughts of "all hallows eve".    That brings visions of witch's and spiders and ghosts ... Oh my! ... bu how about throwing in some flying bats too.

The flying bat's will hang above the doorway of the den and will be visable as people enter the house. They actually move and spin slightly while hanging and add a fun look!

I had a large amount of black card stock remnants from a previous project.  The pieces were too irregular to keep for future projects.  Instead of tossing them I chose to recycle into black paper pulp.
First, the scraps were shredded and then soaked in water before processing in a blender.  At first the plan was to make as many sheets of black paper from the pulp.  While going through my stash of cookie cutters, I came across one in the shape of a bat and had what is called an ... "Ah Hah" moment.

The pulp was placed in a squeeze bottle, a basting tube can also be used.  NOTE: Place the wooden frame onto a baking pan with sides, layering the white plastic grid next, with the blue screen on top.  Place the cookie cutter shape onto the blue screen.  Fill the shape with the pulp to the the top edge.  If needed push the pulp to the inner edges.  While holding the cutter in place, to keep it from lifting, begin to press the edges of the sponge into the pulp to remove water.  Remove as much water as possible from the shape before lifting the cookie cutter away.  NOTE: If needed, use a end of a small, rounded tip of a knife to push the pulp from the edges of the cutter.

Place the gray screen over the image and press with sponge to remove more water.  Remove the screen and cover with a couch sheet, flip over and press through the blue screen.  Remove the blue screen.

Here is where I made a fun, somewhat unexpected discovery!  I purposely did not remove all of the water from the shapes.  Enough water was removed to make it so I could remove the image from the couch sheets to a parchment covered baking pan.  Set the oven to 275 degrees or no higher then 300.
Place the  shapes into the oven and watch them carefully.  As the shapes dry in this process, they will begin to destort themselves somewhat.  Each of the bat shapes came out a little different, some had more distortion then others.  The edges of the shapes will have an organic look to them.  NOTE: My original plan was to retrace the shape of the bat over the pressed pulp and trim to make nice even edges.  I actualy liked the look of the rougher edges!

I gave the bats two dots of white iridescent Scribbles 3D paint for eyes and draw lines with black glossy Scribbles paint onto the wings for some definition of the wings.

To hang the bat's - punch 1" circles from black card stock.  Cut a very small slit on top and bottom of the circles.  Wrap clear monofilement thread around the circles, into the slits, and knot.   Glue to the back of the bats. Leave enough thread for hanging.  Attach to a doorway for some spooky decorations!

Use this coupon code when purchasing kits or supplies from the Arnold Grummer website:

Designer Craft Connection - Witchy Halloween

Work some crafty magic by combining interesting elements to create a "bewitching Halloween decoration.

Begin by painting a Smoothfoam baby head with white gesso, then give the head two coats of a flesh colored acrylic paint.  Gold star brads are used for the eyes.  Paint red lips on the face.  Strips of of thick variegated yarn is glued to the head for hair.

Cut a round piece from black felt for the brim of hat.  Form a cone shape from another piece of black felt for the top part of the hat.  Cut slits around the lower edge and glue this part to the brim.  Add any decorative additions to the witch's hat as desired.

Using Eileen Hull's box die, cut the shape from mat board.  Paint the inside with acrylic paint of choice.  Cover the outside of the two pieces with fabric, using heat n' bond iron on fusible.  Form the box by glue it together.  NOTE: cut one flap away and push the side into the inside of the box to have one side of the box open.

Old keys are wired to the sides of the box for arms.  A small, old doily is places on the top of the box.  Place several interesting items into the open area of the box.      

Attach the box to some type of base.  In this case an old wooden candle holder was used as a base using a strong glue.  Glue the head to the box using a strong glue.

Other views of my "Witchy Woman":

Monday, September 29, 2014

Get Organized with Deflecto Storage Craft Solutions

How important is it to have things organized?  In my opinion it pretty darn important.  I'm one lucky crafty designer, who has a wonderful space to work in, though that was not always the case!  Whether you have a corner of a room to work in or anything larger, being able to find things and have materials in sight and quickly in hand, is something I find very important.

In this post I will be sharing some ideas I am using in my own personal workspace with the help of products by Deflecto.  You can find information about their products use this link to visit the site: Deflecto Craft Solutions.

Two Interlocking Tilt-Bin storage units fit perfectly above one of the workspaces.  A white 6-bin unit and white 5-bin unit will hold many spools of crafting wires for jewelry making and other projects, plus other supplies that I would like easy access to. As of now I am still in the process of sorting the wires and other items that will fill the tilt-bins. The space these items were taking in my cabinets will now be free for other crafting supplies.

Stackable Clear Cube organizers found the way to the area of the workroom were I keep my die-cutting machines and other die-cutting accessories.  One shelf on a bookcase will  hold four cubes to help organize several different things.  The 4-drawer cube holds several loose Sizzilet dies, cutting shim squares, miscellaneous tools.  A X-divider cube will hold embossing plates and larger, thin dies.  One plain cube holds a good number of embossing folders. Another plain cube will hold small sets of dies that come in a plastic envelope.

Magnetic Craft Sheets can find many uses in crafting but how would you use them for organizing?  There are a couple of ways I found to use them.  To keep thin, nesting dies together, lay then onto the magnetic sheet and cut to fit the collection.  Apply the package information to the opposite side of the magnet sheet for size information.

Smaller strips of magnet sheet are cut to hold the pieces from multi-piece die sets.  This helps keeps pieces from getting bent or falling from the packing envelope.

A Carousel Organizer can be used in many ways in many different locations.  It will officially be used in my workroom for storage of a variety of different items.

Here are a couple of other ideas on using the Carousel Organizer -

For ideas from the Deflecto Designer Team, check out their Pinterest Board.  Check out all other Deflecto Pinterest boards.  For more information and ideas visit the groups Facebook page and "Like" it so you can always see and read about our shared ideas.

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.