Monday, March 31, 2008

Beach Frame

Look for this in the July issue of Scrapbook News + Review!
This is a fun little frame I made because I walked past this bag of shells at JoAnn's, lol! I'd never actually used Zsiage's Surf and Turf line of papers for a beachy theme and I love how it turned out!

For the title, I used 1.5" Monica font film letters from Zsiage. If you haven't played with these yet, do it! They are rather similar to the ghost items out now, but a little less transluscent AND, you can do things to the film that you can't do to other fully clear products. Like heat embossing! But I'm getting off the point. What I was actually trying to do was make it look like beach glass. I should have gone with alcohol inks, but had my dauber paints from Ranger out so just went with it. I brushed them on with the applicator in order to get that streaked look then when it dried I covered them with Glossy Accents. Doesn't look like beach glass, but it does look like a pretty polished stone so I do like the look even if it's not what I was going for! Love happy accidents! Click on the title pic to see what I'm talking about, lol!
I wanted some of the beachy netting and although I have some real stuff somewhere, I was just being lazy and in looking at the net bag the shells came in, thought it could be made to work. I used alcohol ink to darken it up and voila! Free beach net, lol!
Don't forget tomorrow is the last day to enter in the drawing for the Crop-O-Dile! Leave a comment on last Wednesday's post to enter!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Alcohol Ink Carrier

Look for this in the June issue of Magazine!

I've had my alcohol inks stored in a drawer for quite some time now and always forget about them. I like having my supplies visible - I'm one of "those" people who has to SEE my stuff to remember to use it. I also rarely create IN my dedicated space these days so even when I remember, I've got to drag it all out to the dining room or whatever square foot of surface space I've invaded for the moment. So I thought I'd use one of these cute little wooden baskets from Hobby Lobby (they run about $2.50).

They fit PERFECTLY! I fit 16 little bottles of alcohol ink (I have both Ranger and Jacquard brands if you're wondering about the different colored bottle tops) plus my big bottle of extender solution and then there was room to tuck the little pads in along the side. I didn't like just laying the applicator over the top of everything so I grabbed a chipboard shape from the Chippies line from Zsiage, hung it by a ribbon and the applicator hangs perfectly from it! The ribbon is actually strategically glued in a few spots to make sure it stayed where I wanted it and didn't come untied.

I used Molten Madagascar paper from Zsiage's Out of Africa line and another Chippie on the side. Both of the Chippies have been decorated with (shhhh, I cheated) glossy black spraypaint and glittering crystal Scribbles. The flowers are from Doodlebug and also accented with the Scribbles, some flower sequins and some black Stickles. If you click on the picture below you can see how sparkly... :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thank you, a frame, and another giveaway!

On Monday, Magazine's newsletter went out and editor Jami Petersen had bestowed the great honor

on my blog! This was obviously beyond exciting to me, lol! Thank you so much, Jami!! And thank you to all the new readers who discovered my blog through the link - I hope you enjoyed it and will come back to visit!

I made this wooden frame a while back and never did post it. I used Prima papers and, of course, flowers. I used a gold glaze paint from Delta/Rubber Stampede to edge the inside and outside edges of the frame (which was painted using a metallic teal paint from Deco Art - same series as my beloved Rich Espresso). I also used the glaze to highlight the tops of the flowers. I did both paint techniques simply with my finger (my index finger was gold for a couple of days, lol). I pulled out some micro beads (Provo) that I have probably had for about 7 years for the flower centers. You really have to click on the picture to see all the blingy details. For some reason even my nifty new camera didn't pick it up really well - might have to take it outside later and try again.

And last, but not least, I thought I'd get everyone involved again! I have a brand new Crop-A-Dile and case I'd love to give away (I have two for some reason) to a blog reader to say thanks for checking in on my creative endeavors! As I mentioned the other day, I got a new video camera and would love to do up some tutorials for you. Simply leave me a message with what kinds of projects or tutorials YOU would like to see in video form and next Tuesday (yes, I know that's April Fool's Day...maybe I'll fool you and add in some extra goodies!) I will use my handy dandy low tech random number chooser (yea, a phone call to a friend asking for a number between 1 and x) to find a winner!

Oh! And one more thing! If you haven't already, be sure to click on the link on the right to go check out the Craft Coalition - it's a great idea and something everyone can get involved in to help strengthen the craft industry!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Marah Birdhouse

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend!

I've been dying to find a way to make Marah Johnson's papers work for a birdhouse but the designs are so large compared to these tiny birdhouses I didn't think I could. On Saturday I went over for a crop at Blessed 2 Scrapbook in Champaign and in looking at the corners of one of the papers, found enough design in a small area to give it a try and I'm so glad that I did! I took the paper I needed from the corners and laid them out exactly to keep the design from the corners centered at the peaks in the front and back - LOVE the result! She has so many gorgeous papers I'd love to take a shrink ray to so that the design won't be lost in a birdhouse this small and I'm so happy I found ONE to work, at least! I edged everything with black Stickles because I ended up having a few issues with trying too hard to capture the design that I figured out too late that this particular birdhouse was terribly uneven - to keep the designs where I wanted them I had to sacrifice perfect fit and the Stickles cover this nicely. Of course, I had to also cover it in Prima's! I realized I'm out of little birdies so this house is still uninhabited for the moment. As usual, for a much closer look, simply click on the picture for the gigantic version!

On another note, I got a new toy this weekend! I finally broke down and bought a video camera! I would LOVE to do a few video tutorials so let me know what you'd like to SEE rather than just read my long-winded explanations of, lol! And then be patient...I have NO idea how to edit the video yet. More software to learn - just what I needed!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Gotta love being a crafter on days like today! Because of Spring Break I agreed to watch the two girls from next door today and Monday. A bucket of beads I'll never use, some safety pins, and some sequins and I've got hours of almost quiet with these three (which is rare, lol)! With a boy in the group it goes beyond the "princess" jewelry making and those pins of "jewels" are suddenly princesses and dragons themselves with Michael building castles with cannons and whole storylines are being played out while they create. A hint for a project like this - I laid down an old baby blanket that pretty well covers the table. This keeps the beads from rolling onto my hardwood floor and becoming cat toys!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mellow Birdhouse

As seen in my article in the May issue of Magazine!
Found some of Basic Grey's Mellow line at Creekbank Creations when I was there and couldn't pass up these two for a birdhouse! Added my usual bunch of Primas (the bottles with these tiny flowers hold a LOT - no matter how much I use them the bottle never looks touched, lol, gotta love that!) and some dots of Scribbles in Iridescent Golden Brown. I grabbed Scotch 2-way Scrapbooker's Glue to attach them and found a huge drawback to this glue. If you click on the picture to get a closeup, you can see especially at the top peak where the glue pulled up the brown paint underneath and it soaked through. Luckily for this birdhouse it went with the rustic charm of the papers, but I won't be using that glue over unsealed paint again!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

4th of July Frame

This is another one for the Bringing it Back Challenge - this time for the bottlecap challenge. I started with a wood frame from Michaels and blue paint from Plaid. I Mod Podged on a paper from Reminisce and finished it up with a few printed bottle caps (some flattened with a rubber mallet and one left alone) from Li'l Davis. My printer went a little wonky on me and spit a few droplets of ink onto my photo so I'll have to reprint that once I get a new ink cartridge but the pic is of my son at a park we stopped at last year on the 4th. Sticking the tongue out when being photographed has been his "thing" now for quite some time. I seem to have a lot of pictures with this identical facial expression from him...

In other news, I took a drive yesterday to another lss of mine that used to be about five minutes from here but moved out into the middle of nowhere (seriously - the address popped into Mapquest says it doesn't exist...luckily the town has a population of about 50 so it was still easy to find. Yes, 50 is a completely fabricated number. It's a really tiny town, lol, no idea the actual census). They are also a manufacturer - Creekbank Creations. The store no longer keeps regular hours as Julie travels and teaches at scrapbook conventions and such - the whole store travels with her! I'm so glad I emailed back and forth a few times to find a time to come in - it was definitely worth the trek out into farm country! Finally was able to pick up a Tim Holtz hammer and some grungeboard (lol, among other things, of course!) so I am really, really excited to get some playing done today!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mod Podge Tutorial

Let's face it. No one looks at a bottle of Mod Podge and feels the need to read the instructions. Myself included. And then we wonder why we can't get the results we're looking for! So here I'm going to add some tips and tricks for how I've perfected my own technique using Mod Podge to avoid bubbles, warps, tackiness, etc. I hope they help!
The Basics:
First, prep your surface. This isn't totally necessary, but I've found it makes me feel like everything goes together nicer. Simply rough up your surface lightly with a quick once over of sandpaper. No need to spend any serious time doing this, but 3 or 4 swipes isn't going to make this take any longer than it already would. Especially on smooth plastics or glass.
Using a flat paintbrush or a foam brush (I personally prefer the paintbrush because of the control I get and the ease of cleanup), paint a thin layer of MP onto your prepped surface. Next, paint a thin layer onto the back of the paper you are using to cover your project - by the time you have this layer painted on (do the edges last - they are key to keeping everything smooth!), your layer on your project should be dry to the touch - if not, you probably used too much.Carefully adhere the paper in place on your project and immediately smooth any bubbles or creases with your fingers. KEEP smoothing for a minute or two. This will keep bubbles from forming - use your fingers, use a bone folder, use a brayer, whatever will help make sure the two layers of MP bond together smoothly as they are drying.
At this point, I generally do my trimming or sanding to remove the excess on the edges. My favorite tool for this is those cheap black fingernail files. Once you're done with this, make sure you wipe off ALL traces of filing dust etc.Apply a thin coat of MP over the top of your paper and allow to dry completely. Even though MP dries quickly, for this step you really need to be sure you're in a fairly non-humid area and allowing a really thorough dry in between coats. A fan can help too. I'm generally working on several projects at any given time so I'm not as concerned with the time it takes to let one of them dry but if you are in a hurry, it really is worth the extra time to allow about an hour between coats. Building layer upon layer of not quite dry MP is what causes half of your stickiness problems - the other half are caused by humidity! Add as many layers to the top as you'd like - I usually use 3 just for good measure.If you are adding more layers of paper or stickers, they should be added after the first top coat, following the above instructions as if the new addition is your original paper but giving it more drying time as in the final steps. This will allow your project to build up gradually around your extra layers, smoothing everything out without making it sticky.
Using Stickers:
If you are adding a sticker, first remove the stickiness! Seriously - stick it onto some fabric a bunch of times, use Un-du, or dust it with cornstarch or baby powder. Then use the Mod Podge as your adhesive. For dimensional stickers that you want on top, wait until all your layers are dry and then add that sticker last. I usually add a wet adhesive (E6000 is my favorite) just for good measure. I use this for flowers, metal, and any other embellishments I want to not move ever again. It's goopy, it smells bad, and it WORKS.
Using Photographs:
First, I recommend using the Mod Podge for Paper formula - this one is acid free (and comes in matte or glossy), unlike the original. Also, a big part of how Mod Podge works is that it is meant to kind of soak through the paper. Obviously, this makes photo paper challenging. You will have MUCH better results if you either color copy the photo or print it onto good quality printer paper or thinner cardstock.
Using Rubber Stamps: Mod Podge is a liquid so if your ink doesn't say "waterproof", it's going to smear if you don't protect it somehow. You can use clear embossing powder and heat emboss the image or you can use some type of a spray fixative (I like Krylon's matte finish) and wait for it to dry before Mod Podging over the top of it.
Eliminating Tackiness:
Another thing if your project is something like a mini book where the pages will touch - use a spray fixative (matte or glossy) over the final coat of Mod Podge. Dry thoroughly (at least overnight if you can't give it a few days) before closing the book. Helps eliminate any stickiness that might be left.
Helpful Links:

Bringing it Back Challenge Candle Holders

Michael's had these little glass votive holders on sale 2 for $1 recently and I grabbed a bunch to play with. While looking for things to do with some of the challenge items from the Bringing it Back Challenge, I found a few fun ways to put them all together.

For the slide mount challenge, I simply picked out some preprinted slide mounts from Design Originals, stacked them up and used my Crop-O-Dile to punch through them all at once (to line up the holes). Then I used some wired tinsel-like stuff from EK to tie them around a glass votive. I have an insane number of these letter eyelet charms from Making Memories so I clipped off the eyelet tabs and simply glued them into place. Voila! Five minutes to a cute little holiday candle holder!

Next, for the Magic Mesh challenge (again), I wrapped a candle holder with Magic Mesh, then a strip of paper from Zsiage. A few green Primas with chipboard dots from Zsiage and then I covered those with Stickles from Ranger. A bit of drying time and I'm pretty happy with the results!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Blush Birdhouse Windchimes

Well, I have officially taken my Michael's store out of stock on the mini birdhouses. I still have a few left to decorate, but for the past month, they still haven't restocked. I knew I should have bought more when they had them! Anyways, I did find these in the next bin - still birdhouses but quite a bit smaller and they are windchimes - and also $1. These are rather a pain to do - dismantling wasn't too bad (although the chimney took quite a bit of force to remove), but putting those chimes back on was a nightmare. The cords are still a bit twisted but since it's one cord, getting it back on was quite the challenge. You have to count the threads in the screw, then turn the screw that many times (full turns) the opposite direction (to twist the threads backwards) before screwing it back into the base. It's not an exact science, but it worked ok. Patterned papers are both more scraps from the Basic Grey Blush line, paint is Strawberries and Cream from Making Memories. The rhinestones are from a cell phone sticker I found on clearance and have been using an Xacto knife to separate out what I wanted. I thought about doing something to the chimes themselves, but didn't want to affect the sound (not that it's anything spectacular to begin with, but still). Now if it would just warm up enough to open some windows and let a breeze in!

And one last picture to show the size, of course!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sticker Organizer To Be

Ok, somewhere I DO have a million page protectors to finish this project but my 8.5x11's are buried somewhere in a box in the basement. This is what I'm trying to duplicate.

The original credit goes back to Britney Mellen from the book Organization Tips for Scrapbookers from Creating Keepsakes Magazine by Denise Pauley. Of course, I couldn't leave things alone and use just a plain old paper towel holder. I found this one for $3 at the dollar store. The wood was pretty bad. Here it is in its original state.

But I didn't mind since I knew darn well I wouldn't be leaving it like that! I went back to my favorite DecoArt Elegant Metallics Finish in Rich Espresso and also papers from Basic Grey's Blush line. This will sit right next to my tool spinner so of course it had to match! And that was it. I have my ring clips, just need to hunt down those page protectors and I'll try to remember to take a pic to share! Sigh - and I just might need to go get another one to alter for actual paper towels...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I have been tagged and given a little award and need to pass both on!

Heres how it works:
1. Link to the person that tagged you and leave a comment on their blog, so that their readers can visit yours. Kazan tagged me!
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share 7 Random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 random people at the bottom of your post, linking to their blog. Let each person know by leaving a comment on their blog.Random facts about me:

Ok. Here's my seven random facts about myself...
1. I can't cook. Just plain can't. For "potluck" type events at my old job, it was just assumed - Jenna's bringing the handmade card!
2. I have a new fascination with John Deere tractors. :)
3. I am a Myspace junkie.
4. I am petrified of needles and dentists (whose every tool looks like an altered needle...)
5. I haven't seen my natural haircolor since junior high.
6. My biggest wish would be for a maid...preferably one who cooks too! Hmmm, Alice from the Brady Bunch is who I want!
7. I own as many trimmers as I do pairs of shoes...which is a bad thing, lol!

Aaaaand, I'd like to tag:
1. Roni
2. Laurie
3. Rhi
4. Sherry
5. Irene
6. Angela
7. Michelle

And ANOTHER thing is that Kazan also gave me this sweet little award last week I hadn't gotten back to putting up and passing along yet! Thank YOU, Kazan, for making MY day with this and I'd like to pass it along...

To Roni for being my inky friend for so many years (even the ones while I disappeared)
To Laurie for still being my scrapping buddy after all these years (again, even while I was MIA)!
To Sherry for being that rare kind of ex-mother-in-law who remains my friend and mom and encourages me to dream!
To Irene and Rhi for just being insanely inspiring!

Thank you for making my day so many times, ladies!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Another Spring Birdhouse

I was recently asked "why birdhouses?". I know to some it may seem counterproductive to be churning out these little dust collectors and (gasp) wasting my precious scrapbooking time and products on them when I could be actually scrapbooking instead. To be perfectly honest, for the past few years since my separation and divorce, scrapbooking has just been HARD for me. Every time I pick up a pen to start journaling, I get caught up in these complex thought circles that have nothing to do with the task at hand. Older pictures I find myself wondering if I should be journaling how I felt THEN or how I feel NOW. Newer pictures I wonder if the absence should be noted. It just feels surreal after years of scrapbooking on my old dining room table in my old house etc. But I realized, that for me, the creative process was just as important to me as trying to preserve the memories. I also realized that just like creating a layout, creating an altered item brings out my own feelings and personality. Each piece means something to me and can evoke memories and feelings. The papers were picked with a thought in mind and even when I start a project just wanting to use a certain paper, I've found that it's because that paper brings out some inner piece of ME. Something I want to say, even if I'm the only one who can hear it. Ok. And so I just love to play with paper too! :)

Philosophical hijack over, on to today's project! This winter has just seemed to last forever so here's another one that's just about brightness and flowers and chasing away those winter blues! Patterned papers by Stemma (floral) and Making Memories (roof). Brads by Making Memories - all the tabs were removed and they were simply glued on. The paint is two shades by Making Memories mixed together.

Wishing you all sunshine and flowers today!!

Coffee House Birdhouse

As seen in my article in the May issue of Magazine!

This one's definitely all for me, lol, and my addiction to coffee! Paper from Doodlebug, flowers from Prima, coffee beans from the bag I just finished up yesterday, and diecut paper lace from KI Memories. At the moment the beans are making this smell soooo good! I know they're not exactly going to last so once the lovely smell goes away I'll coat them with Glossy Accents but right now I'm just enjoying my new potpourri! Loving the textured flowers from Prima, by the way - just found these at Scrapbooker's Dream in St. Joe over the weekend. For future reference, the lace paper was a pain to adhere to this stepped roof (there are 3 different birdhouse designs in this series and this is the one that annoys me because of the roof) but I liked the airy effect of having the open areas. I think it will probably look even better on a flat roof so I'll probably try this again!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kazan's birdhouse!

Ok, the winner of the custom birdhouse has gotten it in the mail, so I can post the pics now! She had asked for graphic Doodlebug or black and white...I managed to find a nice black and white graphic Doodlebug paper to base it on! This one is actually the second one I made - the original met with the small curious hands of my son before it was dry. While there are some mishaps that can be fixed, this wasn't the case here, lol, and I'll have to sand down several sections back to the wood to fix it. It was easier to start over! Again, this was a busy paper that did so much by itself that I didn't want to do anything that might overpower it. So I added some glitter in the form of Sakura's clear glitter pen, some black Stickles to the rooflines, and some flowers from Sandylion. I did the stems for the flowers with a white Souffle pen from Sakura. A note about the glitter pens and Mod Podge. Mod Podge immediately spreads the glitter if applied before the Mod Podge! Soooo, there are sparkles that weren't actually meant to be there, but I rather liked the effect anyways. I went back over the lines where I WANTED the glitter after the Mod Podge had dried - these glitter pens stick to it really nicely!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Handmade paper beads tutorial

Basic paper beads are an easy way to make a unique embellishment for jewelry, altered items, album covers, and more! There are very few tools you'll need and about 1/3 of a piece of patterned paper (scrap paper alert!) will make enough beads for a nice length necklace. Just a few inches of scraps of paper? Anything from a bracelet to unique embellishments for a journal cover, a layout, and more.

Supplies needed:
Patterned paper (see notes below)
11-12" pieces of heavy gague wire (see notes below)
Future Floor Finish
Drying rack (see notes below)
Quick hold adhesive
Optional - paper piercer

Patterned paper - thinner paper is easier to work with, however cardstock-weight paper will also make beautiful beads. For your first attempt, start with a thin paper until you get the hang of this. Once the beads are rolled, it will look totally different than the original paper so you can really alter the way a paper looks. For instance, a script larger than 1/4" will not even be recognizeable as script. Themed papers with flowers or bunnies or skateboard - yup, gone. So look for good color distribution and ignore pattern - this opens up a lot of ground with papers whose color schemes we might love but not the design! If you've got an inch swath of one color, remember your bead will end up solid colored so you're actually looking for fairly busy patterns.

Wire - I keep a set of 6 around always since I do this much more often than I actually post them. I have a lovely little glass vase full of the beads I've made out of scraps...just in case! I use wire "sticks" from Amaco that I found in a tube near the metal mesh and sheets etc. They are meant for clay, paper machier etc. sculpting to be used for armatures and such. However any good, sturdy heavy gague (remember the lower the number the thicker the gague) wire will work. It must be able to be stretched very straight, however, which is why I went with the nice pre-made straight pieces. With a good set of shears you can trim off the straight side of a wire hanger. Whatever wire you use, you'll want to take a pair of pliers and bend a 90 degree angle (about 1/4 to 1/2") on one end only as shown below.

Drying rack - I use an actual bead-baking rack from Amaco but it's pricey so there are tons of alternatives. Basically you just need some way to prop your wire holders at a slight angle over something non-pourous (wax paper is good) to dry with the occasional drip. Two little chunks of scrap styrofoam would work.

These instructions are for a full length necklace worth of beads. You can drop down to a 1"x4" piece of paper for just one bead. Also, these measurements can be changed tons of ways to end up with variations on the bead shape, but again, we're going for a nice, simple basic for this tutorial.

Cut a strip of paper 4"x12". On the backside, mark one long side in 1" increments. On the opposite long side, start at 1/2" and mark 1" increments from there (so they are exactly halfway between the opposite marks). Starting in a corner of the side marked in 1" increments, cut across to the next opposite mark. Discard this first piece. From the point you just ended at, cut across to the next mark - you'll end up with a perfect equilateral (is that the word I'm looking for? Eek - geometry was a long time ago...) triangle. Keep cutting in this fashion across the rest of the sheet. You'll end up with a nice little pile of triangles as shown below.

Rolling the Beads:
Starting from the bottom straight edge of the triangle, you'll be rolling these into beads. One option is to get them started by wrapping them around a paper piercer. Personally, this ends up taking me longer for some reason. I've found the easiest way for ME is to start by using my fingernails to make small creases as I go. Having that inside roll perfect is totally unecessary as it will shape up nicely as you get further along. The more you play with this technique, the easier it will get for you. Again, this is really easier to learn on a thinner paper as it takes a lot more coaxing to get a thicker weight paper to curl up nicely. Once you get a good start, continue rolling it between the fingers of one hand, using the other to nudge it now and then if your point gets off-centered.

When you get to within 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the tip, add a dab of a quick drying glue. You are going to be sitting there until this dries well enough to let go of so the shorter the drying time the better. I love super glue except for the fact that it WILL ooze out onto your finger. And you will probably lose a layer of skin because of it. This is pretty much unavoidable no matter what kind of glue you use. The glue must hit the very end of the tip of the triangle so that it lies flat - otherwise once you dip it, there's a good chance it will pop back up and your bead will unravel. You can always tell when I've been making beads because I have a layer of glue on my index finger and thumb that I'll be picking off for a day or so.

Sealing the beads:
I like to string my wire pieces with about 8 or so beads and dip them all at once directly into the bottle of floor finish. If you hold up the wire next to the bottle while you are putting the beads onto it you can see how many you can fit - go right up to the bottom of the neck of the bottle, even if the bottle isn't that full anymore. Hold onto the tip of the wire (the bent part should be at the bottom, holding the beads on) and dip it into the bottle. Gently squeeze the bottle with your other hand if you need to raise the liquid level to cover your beads. Give it just a few seconds - you'll see bubbles raising from within the beads - you want this as it means it's coating the inside of the beads as well. As you pull out the beads, brush them against the inside of the neck of the bottle, removing most of the drips (a quick little shake once you've cleared the liquid is also good). Next drape it over your drying "rack" and using your fingernails or a piercing tool, separate so that the beads aren't actually touching each other while drying. They need to have a slight angle so that any drips will drop back to the corner and onto your wire instead of pooling at the bottom of a bead.

You'll want to repeat the dipping process a minimum of 3 times - I tend to do more like 6-8 - and then allow to dry overnight. Each time you re-dip, give each bead a quick nudge and twist to release it from the wire - it will tend to stick and this is ok, just get it unstuck before dipping again. It really takes about a minute to dip about 6 wires, so if you leave this somewhere handy, just stop by every half hour or so, do your dipping then go back about your day! How much time lapses between dips is completely irrelevant - you can do it after 20 minutes or you can do a dip a day! The more times a bead is dipped, the smoother the end result will be. So if you WANT that little ridged texture, stick with 3 times. Smooth, go with 6 or more.

What to do with your finished beads:
Anything you can do with a regular bead! Make jewelry. Dress up a card, layout, or album. Attach to a zipper or light as a pull. Make tons and hang them in a doorway (those beaded curtains popular in the 70's? They were inspired by the Victorian women who made these out of beads they had created by rolling wallpaper!). Decorate the bottom of a lampshade. Keychains. Cell phone dangles. The sky is the limit!

Here's an example of a really simple bracelet strung onto stretchy cord and interspersed with some inexpensive glass beads. I've put the original paper behind it so you can see just how different the pattern comes out when you create these beads.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and if you have any questions, feel free to email me! I would love to see the results if any of you try this!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

I am so proud!!!!

Here's my seven year old son's very first fully altered item (yes, I did the trimming with the Xacto for him)! All the Nemo stickers are from EK and the paper is from Paper Pizzazz. :)

And with this post I'm suddenly getting spam. Sigh - sorry guys, time to turn on the word verification!

Such a Lucky Mommy!

After his grandparents left yesterday, my seven year old son, Michael, told me he wanted to make something with me. We went through some of his choices and he decided on a wooden gift bag. He picked out a light blue paint and went to work. Then he wanted to cover it the way I do with scrapbooking paper. We had been at Michael's last week and he usually gets me to agree to allow him to pick out a piece of paper (despite the piles and piles and boxes and bins and racks of paper I have here...). He had picked an ancient (cough - 2001!) Paper Pizazz paper that looks like water. Then he asked what kind of glue he would need to attach it to the wood - "Can I use your Mud Podge like you do, Mom?".... :) I love moments like that!!! Anyways, he had to go to bed before he could decorate the finished piece but hopefully I can share some pictures after school and karate tonight!

Here's a little something I made while he was making his WGB. I found these little windows in the miniatures section of Hobby Lobby. I couldn't think of a single actual USE for them but they were just so CUTE, lol! They came in a package of three. For this one, I painted it in a dark pink but it still turned out too bright for what I wanted so I used a sheer gold glaze (Rubber Stampede/Delta) over it to darken it up (ok, and make it shimmery). I attached a small scrap of paper from Basic Grey's Blush line and then lots of tiny Prima's. A button and some rubons from Making Memories and then filled in the centers of the flowers with a pearly light blue Scribbles.

The blue paint bottle wasn't used at all in the project, it just happened to be handy to show you the size of these little windows!