Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fabric-covered books

Get some of that gorgeous fabric out of your stash and out on display. This is a fun way to turn those college textbooks that you just can't toss into pretty risers for collectibles.

Remember when you used to cover your schoolbooks with grocery bags? Use that same technique with fabric - just trim and fold it to fit around your book. You can tuck the book covers into the fabric flaps, or just fold them inside. Super cute way to brighten up a bookshelf!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Faux-quilting stamp designs by Ann Butler

I'm totally psyched to be part of my friend Ann Butler's blog hop to celebrate her new line of stamps! EZ-De's Easy Design Elements is a collection of clear polymer stamps (made in the US!) that work together to create tons of different patterns - like quilt blocks. They're also available on red rubber through Unity Stamps.

I made a square greeting card using the hexagon checkerboard stamp with some pale ink tones. Such a cute pattern, even if my edges are a little tipsy slipsy, lol. I embellished the card with silk ribbon, clear stickers and these cute vintage wood game pieces that I topped with metallic gems.

Be sure to visit all the other wonderful designers' blogs to see what they created with Ann's stamps.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Banners of Hope exhibit at the Craft & Hobby Mega Show

I'm thrilled to be participating in this very special exhibit - Banners of Hope. Dozens of designers are stitching up artistic banners with messages of hope to hang in an exhibit at the CHA Mega Show in January. This is the first project hosted by the new Fabric Arts Council, a group of buyers, sellers and designers within the CHA membership.

For my banner, I cut this large flower from a printed upholstery linen that has been sitting in my stash a long while (Cassandra by Duralee Fabrics), which I accented with coordinating colors of glitter, painted on with clear gel glue. The three brads each say the word "hope." At the bottom, I glued a black metal bookbinding strip, covered with olive green washi tape. The metal tag at the bottom says "encourage your hopes, not your fears."
After the CHA show is over, the banners will be displayed as part of fundraising efforts for the Charity Wings Art Center. The exhibit will then travel to various charitable events and organizations throughout 2014.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Kumihimo Christmas ornament with Dazzle-it!

I'm totally addicted to Kumihimo, a Japanese braiding technique. I especially like how it looks with a thick cord. So when my friend Carmi asked me to be part of a blog hop using Dazzle-it! faux suede cords and tassles, I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

Kumihimo is super easy to learn - this is the first time I used it to make a Christmas wreath ornament, as opposed to a necklace or bracelet. It takes 16 feet of cord to make this 7 inch piece - the braid is a little more than 1/2" in diameter.

After braiding the cord, I tied off the ends and tied them together to form the loop. I slipped some thick gold wire into the knot, threaded a couple of beads on to it, then bent a small loop at the bottom so it nested inside the knot and bent the top into a large hook. I colored the silver tassel head green with alcohol ink, put it on an eye pin, poked it through the knot and bent a loop on the back to secure. I trimmed the tassel ends just a wee bit so it hangs nicely inside the wreath. 

Lastly I tied a ribbon around the wire and glued on a large button to hide the knot. The ends of all the cords coming out of the knot are wired together in a bunch, pushed to the back and trimmed short so they aren't visible from the front.

Click here to visit the Dazzle-it! blog and check out their Facebook page. Happy holidays!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Giant Christmas ornament with Americana Multi-Surface paints

How about a giant and whimsical - yet super lightweight - Christmas ornament to hang from a ceiling hook or in a doorway? I recently made this one for DecoArt, using their new Americana Multi-Surface Satin paints, which work beautifully with any surface.

- Americana Multi-Surface Satin paints
 (Dark Scarlet, Green Beret, Gold)
Smoothfoam balls – 6”, 3”, 2”
- Fine gold glitter
- Paper-lined ¼” wide adhesive tape
- Narrow holiday ribbon
- Wide wired ribbon
- White ball-head straight pins
- Floral wire, wire clippers
- Beads, filigree charms
- One small holiday charm
- Paintbrushes, pencil
- 12” wood skewer

1.  Push a skewer into the starter hole at one end of the 2” ball and slowly force it all the way through to the other side. Keep the skewer straight so it stays centered and twist it as you come out the other side to prevent cracking around the exit hole.  Repeat for the 3” ball. For the 6” ball, push the skewer in about halfway, then remove an push it in halfway from the other side until you have “drilled” a hole all the way through the ball.

2.   Paint the 3” ball with two coats of red and the 2” ball with 2 coats of green; allow the first coat to dry completely before adding 2nd coat.

3.  Press a strip of tape horizontally around the ball’s center seam. Peel off the paper liner and press a length of narrow ribbon to the tape and trim off the excess.

4.  Push  a row of straight pins around the red ball, above and below the ribbon. Clip off the pin tips if they are too long. Repeat for the green ball and set aside.

5.  Draw four “football” shaped ovals on the 6” ball with a pencil, from the top hole to the bottom hole. If you prefer, you can measure and cut the shapes from paper (use the edge of a dinner plate to trace curves) and tape the paper templates to the ball to trace.

6.  Place the ball on top of the tuna can to hold it steady as you paint the top half of the ball. Alternate the red and green to paint the four ovals along the pencil lines. Allow the first coat to dry, then add a second coat and allow to dry. Turn the ball over and repeat for the bottom half.

7.   Paint the spaces in between the ovals with one coat of gold and let dry, doing one half of the ball at a time. 

8.  Brush a thin coat of glaze over the gold areas on the top half and cover with glitter. Tap off the excess and let dry. Brush away excess glitter from the red and green areas, then repeat for the bottom half.

9.  Apply strips of tape along all the lines – try to keep the adhesive mostly on the painted area  - it sticks better there than on the glittered area. Remove the paper liners and press narrow ribbon on to each strip. Trim off excess ribbon at the top and bottom of the ornament.

10.  Put the holiday charm on the end of the floral wire and twist the end of the wire up. Thread a few beads on to the wire above the charm, then the 2” ball, a few more beads, the 3” ball,  a few more beads, a round filigree charm (large enough to cover all the ribbon ends), the 6” ball, and lastly another filigree charm.

11.   Fold and twist a long length of wired ribbon into a large bow and pin it to the top of the 6” ball in front of the wire – be sure to decide which panel of the ball you want to call the front.

12.  Bend the remaining wire into a loop and coil the end around the base of the wire at the top of the ball and push a pin through the coil into the ball to secure the loop for hanging.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Etched glass dish - as seen in Bella Crafts Quarterly Magazine

Check out the current issue of Bella Crafts Quarterly - lots of great project tutorials, including my project! I etched the sides of a large glass dish from Crate & Barrel with gingko leaves. It's super easy to do with Etchall Etching Creme and Martha Stewart Adhesive Silkscreens.

The finished project shot along with my supply list and complete instructions are on page 53 of the Winter 2013 issue.

Click here to view it online or download it for free!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Christmas tabletop trellis

Today is the first Monday of the month - time for a blog hop with the Designer Crafts Connection! After you're done here, click the DCC logo in my sidebar to hop to the next blog...then look for the same logo on that blog to continue on.

Our theme this month is holiday decorating - which I haven't done much of in years, although I do have some really cute ornaments that I've collected over the years. I wasn't sure what I would make, but then I was watching some birds outside and saw this forgotten trellis leaning against the fence. It's about 16" x 40" and I realized that it would be perfect for displaying some ornaments - yay!

So I gave it a coat of bronze Glitter Blast and propped it between some bricks inside a planter box. I made a sign on the computer for the top, and filled the planter with fake pine garland, accented with real pine cone flowers from my friend's tree. Now my holiday decorating is done!

For more great ideas for handmade ornaments - check out the Twelve Balls of Christmas over at the Smoothfoam blog!