Friday, November 18, 2011

One Way Friday :) Wooden Sign

I have to confess that I am exhausted as I am typing this (Thursday evening).  I traveled for work this week and got home around midnight on Wednesday night and then had to get up early for another work obligation on Thursday morning.  I never seem to sleep well when I am in hotels and when you combine that with time changes and travel my body at times just revolts!  Needless to say, I was relatively useless for most of Thursday!  So, rather than try to put together a Four Ways Friday post, I decided to create a sign for my craft room - a sign that would help me remember my mantra as I battle living in "countdown" mode.
I began with a few pieces of scrap wood - the larger one is 4" x 3" and the smaller one is 2" x 2 3/4".  I covered both of them with gesso and let them dry.  Next, I took the larger piece of wood and covered it using modeling paste.  I then tried an experiment - I pressed the Finial Press embossing folder into the modeling paste and ended up with a bit of a mess!  I'm thinking that the next time I try it I will allow the modeling paste to dry for a bit before trying to press anything into it :)  I ended up with the texture you are seeing in the photo...after adding a few more steps.  I used some mesh hardware tape and pressed it into the modeling paste as it dried.  I also stamped one of the floral stamps from Itty Bitty Bits into the paste.  Once the modeling paste was completely dry, I painted it all with Frost White shimmer paint - I love how the shimmer looks on the texture!  To finish the bottom panel I hammered in a variety of beads around the edges.  Here is a close up of the texture:
The next step was to stamp the mantra onto the small panel using Jet Black Staz-On and a retired alphabet stamp set (since I still can't find my letter "r" stamp for my Calendar Alphabet & Numbers stamp set!).  I then sprayed the panel with a mixture of Champagne Shimmer Mist paint and alcohol.  It's hard to see that sparkle in the picture, but it looks shimmery in person!  I then added Crystal Effects around the edges and pressed the edges into some white seed beads that I had in the craft room.  Next came the flower!  I die cut 6 flower shapes (3 larger and 3 smaller) using the Island Floral bigz die and some white organza fabric.  I then held the layers together with a long wooden skewer pressed against a tile and heated the flower using my heat tool.  Since the organza is synthetic, the heat will melt the fibers and create a wonderfully dimensional flower!  I pressed a brad through the center of the flower and then adhered an adhesive rhinestone to the center of the brad.  The smaller panel and the flower were then adhered to the larger panel using matte medium.  Once the entire piece is dry (which will likely take overnight) I will attach a hanger to the back of the piece and hang it on my craft room wall :)
I hope you've enjoyed this project and this short break from Four Ways Friday.  I plan to resume Four Ways Friday next week!  Have a beautiful and creative weekend and don't forget to breathe in the now :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Metal Tape & Canvas ART Sign

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Say Thank You To Your Mistakes!
I have been working on this piece of art for quite a bit of time now.  It started with the central art sign - using hardware tape, tile tape, Serif Essentials chipboard letters, brass embellishments, metal working tools and some paint.  I then decided that this piece needed a home and figured a canvas would be just the place!  So I began painting the canvas.  It started with black gesso and then I began adding some silver hardware tape and copper tape...and then came the paint...and stencils...and more stencils...and metal embellishments...and more paint...until I got to a point where I was very stuck!  One moment I felt the canvas was too dark.  The next minute I felt it was too metallic.  Then it was too "obvious" in terms of the circle shapes from the stencils.  So I kept going and going and going and finally took out a tube of gold leaf wax and thought that a touch of it would look nice.  I put some on my finger and went to slide my finger across the canvas and BLOP!  A rather large area - definitely unlike what I had been trying to do - spread itself out before my eyes on my canvas!  Ugh!!!!  Now what?!  I was about to panic - what an ugly mistake!  And then I decided to go with it and follow where the mistake was taking me.  So, just to show the Universe I was on board for the journey, I put a bit more of the wax on my finger and brazenly did the exact same thing again...and again!  And as I kept swiping my finger, the canvas began to transform in ways I hadn't even imagined (nor could I have done had I been deliberate in my actions).  Say a big "THANK YOU" to your mistakes!  They may lead you to places where you never would have gone if it weren't for the happy "oops!"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Embossing Folder Kiss Technique & Video!!!!!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Try Unlikely Combinations!
Acorn squash, maple syrup, red pepper flakes and arugula on a pizza crust????  Really????!!!!  If you had told me how delicious that combination would be I would have told you you were nuts!  Yet, after making and eating just such a combination, I was amazed at how yummy it was!!!!!  I get surprised in similar ways in the craft room!  Sometimes the combinations definitely need work.  At other times, the pairing of unlikely companions seems to work out just great!  It is such an unlikely combination that led me to today's technique and video!  I had been playing around with the traditional "kissing" technique where you "kiss" or touch together two stamps (both can be inked or one can be inked and one uninked) and then you stamp the inked stamp onto card stock.  I thought, "hmmm, if you can kiss a stamp to a stamp, how about kissing a stamp to an embossing folder?"  And so we have the embossing folder kiss technique :)  What unlikely combinations can you play with in the craft room...or the kitchen????
Here is a video to show you the embossing folder kiss technique and how I made today's card.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2-Step Bird Punch Quote Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  I Need To Stop Living Life In "Countdown" Mode
Have you ever been to a New Year's party or watched a New Year's celebration on television?  If so, then you know the tradition of starting to count down the seconds, out loud, as the stroke of midnight nears.  Unfortunately, this little tradition has started to invade my daily life.  I call it living in "countdown" mode.  It seems I am always counting down the minutes until my next trip or counting down the minutes until I will return home again.  Or I'm counting down the minutes until Buddy's next walk...or my next meal...or a television show I'd like to watch.  If I'm spending all of this time in countdown mode, I am not living in the present moment!  I know you have heard me share my thoughts before on living in the now - it is something I am continuing to work on - something I haven't learned how to do as regularly as I would like.  When I find myself counting down I want to have a mantra to turn to - maybe something like "Breathe in the now."  Just typing that seems to relax my shoulders and make me feel at peace.  Breathe in the now :)  Maybe that is truly today's lesson from the craft room :)
Today's card was inspired by the Chinese proverb I shared with you last week.  I decided to type it up on the computer and then print it out on plain paper on my laser printer.  I then cut out each of the pieces and adhered them to the card base using glue.  A layer of Crystal Effects was then added to each word to give the words some dimension.  I stamped images from Artistic Etchings in River Rock and Basic Black and then added a bird punched from Basic Black card stock using the 2-step bird punch.  If you are noticing the very subtle rectangular image in the background, you don't need new glasses :)  I was actually playing around with instant film and decided to smoosh one side of the developed film paper onto the card stock and got that nifty look :)  Of course I am already thinking that I can recreate that same look using an acrylic block...I may have to give that a try :)  I hope you like it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Medallion Bleach Pen Stamping & Video!!!!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested. - E. M. Forster
What are you passionate about?  Have you noticed that when you are passionate about something, your energy is contagious?  I find this with others as well.  If I encounter someone who is truly passionate about what they do, their energy amazes me!  As I sit and think about what I am passionate about I realize that creativity is TOP on my list!  I believe in our ability as individuals to be creative.  I believe in the power of creativity to move hearts and mountains!  I believe in the power of creativity to heal and soothe.  I believe creativity connects us.  I hope my passion comes through to you and that in some way this small landing strip on the world wide internet ignites your passion to create!  And, if you are merely interested in creativity, I invite you to go and explore what you are truly passionate about!  Your passion is waiting for you!!!!!
For today's card I decided to try a fun technique - stamping with a bleach pen!  Here is a video to show you how easy it is to do!  Enjoy!!!!!