Saturday, December 03, 2011

Four Ways Friday #71 - Repurposing Dryer Sheets!

For this week's Four Ways Friday I wanted to show you four ways to take used dryer sheets and repurpose them for your paper crafting projects!
One way you can repurpose used dryer sheets is to get ink on them!  For this card I just took the dryer sheet and then pressed it onto multiple ink pads from lightest color to darkest color (daffodil delight, pumpkin pie, tangerine tango, and real red).  I let the sheet dry (with a light blast from the heat tool) and then I cut it and adhered it to a piece of Very Vanilla card stock using matte gel medium.  I then used the Pennant Parade stamp set to create the banner pieces and adhered them to the card with glue.  The letters are from the Calendar Alphabet & Numbers stamp set.  The scalloped trim was created with the scallop edge punch.  Finally I added two knotted pieces of Early Espresso ribbon with glue dots.
There are many ways to add color to your dryer sheets!  To create this flower I began by spraying a dryer sheet with ink mixed with water (I place a bit of reinker into small spray bottles with water and then spray away!).  For the larger flower layers I used Tempting Turquoise and Rich Razzleberry.  I allowed the sheets to dry and then die cut them in the Big Shot using the Daisies #2 die!  I layered the flowers and used a bit of glue to hold them together and then adhered them to the card with glue.  I punched the leaves from the 2-step bird punch and added them with glue.  Finally, I adhered a button in the center with a pop-up glue dot.  Here is a close-up of the flower:
The greeting was stamped in Basic Black ink using the Sincere Salutations stamp set.  To add a bit of interest to the bottom of the card I scored three scoring lines with my scoring board.
Another way to add color and interest to your dryer sheets is to paint them!  To create this butterfly I began by painting a dryer sheet with a mixture of Champagne Shimmer Mist paint and some water.  I allowed the sheet to dry and then die cut the butterfly in the Big Shot with the Beautiful Butterflies die.  I then used a thin piece of wire that I wrapped around the center of the butterfly to create the antennae and body.  Three adhesive pearls were then added.  Here is a close-up of the butterfly - hopefully you can see the sparkle from the shimmer paint!
The greeting was then stamped using Basic Black ink and the Flight Of The Butterfly stamp set on a Naturals Ivory card base.  The butterfly was attached with glue.
If you are a fan of texture, you'll enjoy this last technique!!!  I began by spraying the dryer sheets with Tempting Turquoise and Elegant Eggplant ink.  I allowed them to dry and then cut them into pieces (triangles and rectangles).  Since your dryer sheets are made from synthetic material, they will melt if heated long enough.  I highly recommend doing this in a well-ventilated room or outdoors and be careful!  I held the dryer sheet pieces down with a wooden skewer and then heated them with the heat tool until they started to scrunch up and melt.  I stopped when I like the look I had achieved.  I then sewed the pieces to a piece of Tempting Turquoise card stock using metallic thread and my sewing machine.  I stamped the greeting onto a Whisper White card base with Basic Black ink using the Fabulous Phrases stamp set.  Finally I added the dryer sheet panel with dimensionals.
I hope you've enjoyed this week's Four Ways Friday and I hope it inspires you to resist throwing your dryer sheets in the garbage and instead repurpose them in your crafting projects!!!!  I hope you have a wonderfully creative weekend!!!!! :)

Friday, December 02, 2011

Four Ways Friday Will Be Here...By Saturday :)

I am sitting on the couch right now and I am pooped.  I've decided to give myself the night off and not try to rush through creating this week's Four Ways Friday tonight.  So, I will work on it on Friday and post it for you either Friday or Saturday.  Hope that's okay :)  It snowed here today - very beautiful!  A great evening to curl up on the couch and stay warm :)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Butterfly Mixed Media Collage

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. - Julia Cameron
I love this quote by Julia Cameron!  How courageous are you?  My inner dream can scare me at times.  Why?  Well, if I actually admit what it is, it can unfold...and as it unfolds will it be all that I dreamed it could be or will it disappoint me?  Or will it be everything I believed it could be and more????  Maybe it's the Libra in me.  I can keep teetering back and forth between admitting it and not admitting it and as long as I remain sitting on the fence, I don't actually need to commit to my dream.  So what message do you think that sends out into the Universe?!  Maybe Julia is saying that by just admitting what the inner dream is that sends a powerful message both to ourselves and to the Universe.  And once that message is out there, the energy it creates actually stimulates the unfolding.  And we can be there, unfolding with the dream, and collaborating with it so that it is exactly what we need.  Okay, I admit it - my inner dream is to be an artist and to inspire others to express their creativity!!!!  Whew!  That was hard...or not so hard...actually quite easy to admit.  So there you have it...let the unfolding begin!!!!! :)
Today's collage incorporates the stamping on transparencies that I shared with you yesterday (as well as a number of other techniques!).  Here are a few pictures of the completed piece:
A part of me wishes I just recorded a video of the entire process I went through in making this collage since it is almost impossible for me to remember all the steps!  One thing I do want to point out is the flower on the collage.  I actually made that using used dryer sheets!  I think I may have to put together a video to share with you how I did that :)  I incorporated a lot of mixed media into the collage:  fibers, beads, cheesecloth, nails, transparencies, book pages, a computer printed quote, paint, rubber stamping (do you see the floral stamp in the background?  It is from the Elements of Style stamp set - the same stamp I used in yesterday's card).  This piece was a joy to make and it is now hanging on the wall beside me to remind me to continue to admit my inner dream and participate in its unfolding :)  I hope you like it!
I also wanted to share this picture of Willow with you :)  She has been climbing up onto my craft table lately since the sun is quite bright there.  She likes to curl up in the midst of the pile of supplies.  She seems to find the dimensionals particularly inviting :)
p.s. Yesterday I attended an all-day class in encaustic painting!!!!  It was AMAZING!!!!  I will try to take pictures of the pieces I completed during the class.  I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot more wax painting in the not-too-distant future! :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stamping On Transparencies: A Video!!!!!!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Stay Laser-Focused On What Is Important To You!
Not a day goes by that I don't learn something from Buddy (the dog that shares his life with me).  Today I was once again struck by how focused his attention can become when he sees something that is important to him - a squirrel; a rabbit; a bone; me :)  It doesn't seem to matter what other distractions are going on around him - when one of those things is in front of him, his attention does not waver.  What is important to me?  For me it is creativity, health and family.  As I look at opportunities and distractions that come my way, I need to continually ask myself if what is presenting itself to me contributes to my creativity, my health or my family.  I need to stay laser-focused on those things that matter to me the most!  I believe it is this focus that has led to my success so far in my commitment to my P90X workout program, my current vegan/no oil diet (I go to the doctor this week, so I'll let you know what the impact has been on my blood work!) and to trying to be at home with my family as much as I can, while at the same time ensuring I spend time creating and sharing that creativity with you as close to every day as possible!  What is important to you?  How can you ensure that that which is important to you is what you focus on?
I know that yesterday I said I was going to share another completed collage with you, so I hope you will forgive this small diversion from that plan!  I thought is was important to share this card and technique with you today since the collage builds upon this idea :)  Here is a video to show you how I made this card using window sheets/transparencies.  Enjoy!!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bird Mixed Media Collage

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Creativity Is Just Connecting Things.  -Steve Jobs
I had a wonderful day in the craft room yesterday!  The creativity actually started happening prior to entering the craft room.  I went for a morning walk with Buddy and my brain started to fill with connections between craft supplies and different techniques.  Combinations started filling my brain - combinations I had never tried before.  So yesterday I played with some of those combinations and had a great time).  Tomorrow I will share a finished piece I made since today I promised to show you the finished mixed media collage that incorporated my paper clay music notes bird.  I love Steve Jobs' quote that creativity is just connecting things.  The things exist - it's up to us to figure out how we might combine them and put them together to bring something new to life.  What can you connect????  (Sometimes I think it would just be fun to write down categories of supplies, or maybe techniques, on small pieces of paper and put them in a jar.  Then, when you need a little creative stimulation, just reach into the jar and pull out a few of the pieces and see what happens!  Hmmm, might have to begin a new series on this blog doing just that!  I'll keep you posted)!
The first picture in this post shows you the transformation my paper clay bird experienced :)  I used gold paint to cover the entire bird and then added wings that I die cut from metal and then embossed with an embossing folder (non SU!).  I then added some paint/distressing to the wings before adhering them to the bird.  The jewel eye was the final touch for the bird before I incorporated him into the larger collage.  If you have been following my blog lately, you know that I love the Chinese proverb:  A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.  This piece sat unfinished in my craft room until, one day, I came upon that quote and the piece decided it needed to be completed :)  Here is a picture of the completed piece...I hope you like it :)
Here are a few more close-ups so you can see things a bit more clearly:
The flowers were die cut from metal using the Daisies #2 die and the Flower Folds die.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Paper Clay Music Notes Bird

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Are Our Jokes Really Jokes?
I learned a hard lesson (again!) over Thanksgiving.  I traveled to be with family for my cousin's 50th birthday.  There were about 40 family members there and when my cousin was sharing some thoughts with us about the day and reflecting on when we would be together again as a family, I made a comment, out loud, that at first blush I thought was funny.  The comment was meant to be lighthearted and was poking fun at one of my younger cousins.  The minute the comment came out of my mouth I realized that it really wasn't a joke because it had hurt my younger cousin's feelings.  I felt terrible!  I immediately went over to her to try to repair the damage I had done.  What I know is that trying to repair the damage after the fact was really too late.  The repair needed to happen when I had the thought - what I needed to do was say to my thought, "Yes, you might be funny in my mind, but you have the power to hurt someone if you leave my mind and exit my mouth.  So, you are not going anywhere!"  Our jokes may not be jokes at all to those who are on the receiving end of them.  I hope my cousin will forgive me and I hope that I have learned this lesson for the last time.
Today's project is not a finished piece - it is a piece that I have now incorporated into a larger mixed media collage (and my plan is to do my best to share the finished piece with you tomorrow).  I began by creating a paper clay bird.
I took a photo of a bird and used a thick black marker to go over the outline of the bird.  I then used that black outline as a template to create the paper clay bird.  The feet were created with armature wire.  Once he dried (and he took awhile to dry), I painted him with white gesso.  Next I used my Music Notes wheel and some Staz-On Jet Black ink and covered a piece of tissue paper with the music notes.  I then tore the tissue paper into strips and started adhering them to the bird with matte gel medium.  Once he was thoroughly coated, front and back, I set him aside to dry.  Stop by tomorrow to see what happened once he was dry! :)