Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chunky Charms Made W/ Bead Faire Stash

I have the flu and am resting up and hoping this will pass soon.  Before I was knocked off my feet, I had started making some chunky charms for a swap , from beads in my bead faire stash .  Beads are so lovely, and as you are making them, they are a visual treat right from the beginning. I thought these would be nice for spring, lots of butterflies some bunnies and snuck in some fish and frogs too for a summer prelude.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Swap Heaven

What is a heavenly swap? Someone said to paraphrase loosely, when you swap diamonds for diamonds. A not so good swap, when you get coal for diamonds.  Well, I must say the tag swap I just did was heavenly.  My partner made some beautiful BD and Holiday Tags. Not only were they beautiful to look at, they were so masterfully crafted.  Not a drop of glue anywhere, not one ragged cut.  The embellishments just right, the design divine.  Many crafters refer to their swap packages as "happy mail". Yes, it is true, when you see that package in your mailbox, you are one happy crafter.  But then, when you open the box, will it be a heavenly swap or not.    Well, the pics below give testament to the fact, that these items were definitely not coal.  Swapping with other crafters, is very rewarding, the artists I have traded with are amazingly gifted and talented. I suppose the one person you would not want to swap with if you have been naughty is Santa.  In that case, you can definitely count on receiving coal. . .So check out the pics below to see with your own eyes, what a heavenly swap is all about.

Look at the Heavenly Tags I Received!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Altered Keys on Tags

Who knew that a car key , (and even a paint key that opens lids) could look so glamorous.  I did a wonderful altered key swap, and placed the blinged up keys on tags before I sent them off.  See if you can find the altered paint key in the pics below. *(BIG HINT-it is purple and labeled KEY).  This is a great example of using your stash , or junk, to make a fun re-cycle project.  The key is (no pun intended) to use epoxy glue so nothing slides off - ever.  I used 2 part UHO , a jewelry glue, and the bling is like  - cemented on.  I tried a glue gun and they peeled off.  Not really so difficult to make 2 equal puddles of epoxy, mix with a toothpick and then slather it on.  There is an element of drama, and a bit of an adrenalin rush, to get it all on, before it dries.  I find myself being super focused on what I am doing, attempting to be speedy and acccurate at the same time. I enjoy the challenge of it, but need to make sure I am well rested, and have had my coffee, before I attempt this. Caution: drinking alcohol and doing epoxy work does not bode well. The alcohol slows you down , and makes you clumsy. Friends do not let friends drink and epoxy.  Soooo, no sips of wine while your work. Seriously, check out the pics below, and see if you agree that car keys can be beautiful.

Car Keys Can Be Beautiful Blinged Up ! ! !

Design Inspiration: Collage

When I first started making cards and tags , after I received my first cricut, I was always a little hesitant as to what and how much I added to them.  Then I started experimenting, by adding a little more than I usually do,and I had a sense of deja vu, which ultimately was the key to finding a more comfortable place with my designing.  I realized that when I started adding more things, it was like making collages at school.  Things my instructors had said , seemed to apply here.  One Art Professor, told us to pay attention to the negative space as well.  Was it pleasing, did it make interesting spatial shapes.  Also, one mentioned that in nature, you usually come across small groupings. Groupings of plants, fish, stones, etc.  I found that things seemed more grounded and appealing when I made small groupings rather than just throwing one object lone and barren onto the piece I am working on.  Now, instead of just collecting individual embellishments, I am actually grouping it, in the spirit of collaging, and found when the elements are coordinated like this, I can add more stuff, and somehow , it all  comes together.  So now, as I approach a project, I put my create mojo into a collage mentality, and I am more confident as I bring my handiwork to life.  The pics  are simple examples, which hopefully will convey my new mindset.  Normally, I would just have thrown these elements into a box, feather, flower,bling, jewelery, paper, but now I arrange them and place them "staged" into shoebox or tray.  I really like to use the camera on the cell, to shoot arrangements I like, and then use them as a guide, when I am glueing or arranging the composition.  Many times, when picking up pieces before, to adhere, I would loose my original design and would have to replace it with a second choice.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What are these flowers Made From?

Soda Can Flowers

Another soda can favorite. . . making flowers.  These were all cut on my cuttlebug machine.  The smallest flower is a Provocraft die and the rest are Sissix.  The most interesting part of these I think, are the centers.  There are brads, screws nuts and bolts, and Christmas ornament toppers in the middle.  The little flower can be unscrewed from the flourish and placed on a card, tag or ??? The screw is camouflaged with silver stickles.  I also like the use of the tiny purple brad in the lower flower which is shaped like a tiny flower. These miniscule brads were purchased at Michael's and come in a variety of colors.  I like to color these with alcohol inks, and will be experimenting with gold leaf. The also look pretty just in their natural aluminum state.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Soda Can Valentine Tag w/Altered Key

Soda cans everywhere you look!!! The bird cage ,butterfly, flower, embossed heart, and mini square, were all cut from aluminum.  The altered key was blinged up and then added to the mix.  Lace , ribbon, and pretty valentine designer paper completes the look and presents a unique valentine greeting.

Cupcake Tag with Lace & Fabric

The tag was modge podged with fabric.  Lace was glued on the back but was extended over the side so it could be seen on both sides. Another swap with partners .  Swaps really are wonderful for keeping your creative mojo on track.  It keeps you in a production mode, and as a bonus, you get something wonderful back.  Seeing other people's handiwork, with their different styles and tastes, is a means of further inspiration and growth.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ceramic Base For A Valentine Pin Cushion

Made a valentine pin cushion from a valentine ceramic turned upside down.  Glued a styrofoam ball covered with knitting and added buttons , felt  and yarn to make a face.  The hat is a rubberbanded and then boiled styrofoam coffee cup, decoupaged with valentine designer paper that was torn and soaked in water, before being glued on. Felt arms, bows, lace and a paper heart completes the project.  Oh, and did I mention a nice red fluffy pom pom on top. I relied heavily on my hot glue gun for this project.

Valentine Pin Cushion

Buttons, Felt, Yarn and Knit Fabric over Styrofoam Face

Hat Made From a Boiled & Modge Podged Coffee Cup

SPOILER ALERT !!!  Barbara do not peek at my blog entry below if you want your Mardi Gras tag to be a surprise. (I mailed it today) .

I decided to have some fun with my swap partner, and put her avatar picture on the front of the tag and then dressed her up with feathers, mask and some bling.  I also posted a pic of the back of the tag. Enjoyed making the tag gaudy and over the top, after all , it is a Mardi Gras tag, and so it seemed fitting.

Adding a Friend's Photo To A Tag

Making Back of Tag As Nice As The Front


Valentine and BD Tags

So enjoyed making these tags for my partner.  She said they were like small works of art. Now that's a compliment.

Tim Holtz Music Tissue Tape on Valentine Tag

Vintage Birthday Card

Below is my vintage birthday card made by request.  Please forgive the double post, new to this techno weenie blogging and still learning the ropes.

Lacey Valentine with Modge Podge

Check out the 3 pics below of my version of a Steampunk BD card.  I made it from the kitchen junk drawer primarily with a few trips to the garage for rusty nails and washers.  The "gear" is an ATG ring inside the tape, and the brown flower is made from a grocery bag.  Scraps of lace were distressed with brown watercolor paint and the butterfly was made from a soda can.  This was made for a holiday tag swap. I made some others as well, all from my stash.  I am in a challenge called Using Your Stash and trying to avoid running to the craft store and spending $$$ everytime I make a project.  Not only do I save money from not shopping, but not using my gas as well.  I will post more pictures of tags and crafts I worked on this week.

My First Steampunk Tag

Steampunk Detail Closeup ( Top)

Steampunk Flower, Soda Can Butterfly & Junk

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Special enjoyment from making soda can flowers. I like to ink them and place them on cards, tags and altered boxes and picture frames.

Altered Key on Each of 3 Boxes

This chipboard box was embellished with feathers and a flower made from paint card samples which I painted white. The flower was cut from a Provocraft die . There is an altered car key underneath the flower covered in pearls. All three boxes are featured below and make a lovely set to keep or give away to someone special.

Orange and Black color scheme with Altered Key

One of 3 altered box tops featured on my blog today. (Scroll down to see all three).  These boxes can be found at Michael's so pull out your coupons if you would like to transform them for the purpose of storage or display. Also, a great way to showcase a special gift that you can tuck inside.

Turqoise and Silver Jewelry with Altered Key

Top of altered box from grouping pictured below.  Metal flower was made from a soda can that was run through the Cuttlebug.  The flower is topped with a candle wick metal base and beneath that, a gold ornament top. The flower has 3 layers ( small, medium, large).

Altered Keys on Boxes That Are Pretty and Functional

These are my first altered boxes I made for a lovely lady in a homemade swap. Each box top has an altered key.  The boxes  were modge poged with designer paper and a brown paper bag. Then they were blinged up with feathers, ribbon, and lace.  The recipient loved these and said she can now get organized.