Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Albert Album
The last post I talked about the skinny notebook.  Now I am going to introduce you to Albert.  The Albert Album was inspired by a YouTube Video by Lindsay Weirich The Frugal Crafter  I have given you the link to the exact video I learned this mini book from.  My book is basically a mini pocket pal goodie holder.  I had been taking things from the back of the pockets and throwing them into a drawer not really sure what to do with them.  So I had watched Lindsay's video and decided that was the perfect idea for two ideas I had swirling around in my head.  

 I needed a way to be nicer to the die cuts, paper paper clips, stickers, etc that my swap partners were enclosing in their pocket letters.  The second idea came from Cat Hand's YouTube video. from the other day.  Cat was using up scraps from her Gelli prints and mixed media art.  

A light bulb went off in my head.  I can kill two birds with one stone.  Thank you ladies!!  The first idea became the book to save my pocket letter goodies to a life of darkness languishing in a drawer.  The second idea was to use my scraps from my Gelli prints and incorporate them into my little mini book.  So here is what I came up with.  
This is my first mini mixed media album.  This is one of the Tim Holtz Crazy Bird Stamp set.  I am just in love with these little guys.  I named this guy Albert.  He is the first in what might be a series of albums with pocket letter mini die cuts and all kind of flattish goodies.  The glue bottom is just there for scale.  
Here is the inside of the cover and first page.  I used the scraps from my Gelli prints as pockets to hold my die cuts I have accumulated.  I have three old typewriter die cuts in the first pocket.
This is a strip of a stamped and Gelli printed piece of cardstock.  I had a long strip of it and cut it down to the size of the page.  Then I slipped in two camera stamped pieces of cardstock.  It was one long piece and I just cut it in half so they would fit into the pocket.
After I had just about finished the album I realized that if I wanted it to stay on the small size, I could not put stuff on both sides.  Most of the scrap paper pockets are on the right hand pages.  I wanted to do cute things on the left hand side that really didn't take up much space.  Someone gave me this paper page marker.  I did have thin strips of papers so decided they would make a great place to display the page markers and still not take up much room.  
Here is another page that has two of those paper page markers.  They were just too wonderful to leave in that dark drawer I had.  The other side is a pocket from left over paper.
I bought some really cute envelopes from Tuesday Morning but they were too large of a square to use in my pocket letters.  So I just cut the top off and have used it as a pocket.  
The left page I used up some die cuts that I had made from another project and just glued it in there.  Doesn't bulk up the book but still adds some interest.  The other side is a Gelli printed tag that I cut the top off of and laid it on it's side.  I might add something to the orange circles on there.  Don't know for sure yet.
Again the one side is left over Gelli pint paper used as a pocket.  The side with the bird sticker on it was just like orange one above it.  It was two die cuts glued together that I didn't use up.  This time I laid it on it's side and cut off 1/3 of it then glue that over the bottom 2/3rds.  It's a very shallow pocket but it will fit one die cut that is small.
These pages are from the same left over Gelli print papers.  Of course there is a pocket on the left side but the right side is a little different.  I had a super long skinny strip.  I wanted to stamp something and wanted to frame it to add interest.  So I cut the skinny strip length wise and the glued sections around the page to frame the stamp I used.  Used up that left over strip.  

I have twenty-three pages in the book.  All of them have a least one pocket and many have a skinny strip on the other side so that it can hold something flat.    I am really pleased that I was able to take two ideas from YouTube and combine them to make something useful and cute.  I know there will be more swaps so that means more die cuts and do-dads.  So stayed tuned down the road for the the B album.  

Friday, August 28, 2015

From Skinny to's a good thing!

I wasn't sure I was going to do this project.  Don't know exactly how it happened.  Woke up this morning (yes it really happened the day this post is being posted) at 5 am.  Not happy about it but I have learned to live with my inconsistent sleeping habits.  So I find something to do with my time between being awake and being awake with coffee.  This is the story of my morning today Aug. 28.

Once-upon-a-time there was a cute but very lonely little $1 spiral notebook from Dollar Tree.  
When it came to live with the crazy craft lady, there was a plan but the plan did not work.  So the lonely little sprial notebook sat on the craft table patiently waiting for something good to happen.

Then today, it happened.  In the wee hours of the morning, inspiration!  Oh joy!  Now the little notebook will be reborn.  Born into something beautiful and useful at the same time.  How is that possible?  The crazy craft lady had a plan.  A plan to be frugal and make something useful; and so it was.

 This is what the little notebook looked like before the inspiration.  It was useful but plain and way skinny.  Then the transformation began to take place.  Craft madness to insue!
Every page was made over with small pieces of Gelli plate art and little goodies the crazy craft lady was gifted from Pocket letter swaps.  So much stuff, so little space.  Now the little skinny notebook will become beautiful and useful.  Is this her way to fame??
Surely the world will see the plan was working.  The plan to take left over beautiful paper and create places to store beautiful things.
Every page was adorned with unique pieces of art that now instead of being discarded, will be displayed and admired.  Little pockets were filled with gifted and loved items the crazy craft lady wanted to keep.  They needed a place of honor until they would be given new life at a later time in another creation to be mailed to new people and new wonderful places.
The pockets of love were filled with paper banners, washi tape, tags, and die cuts.  All were loved and appreciated.
Some pockets even were embellished with items that were gifted to the crazy craft lady.  They were perfect and the love showed.
Every page of the skinny little dollar book began to fill up with mini works of yummy art.
Some pages are still evolving and have yet to be filled with gifted wonders, but it won't be long  little book.  It won't be long.
Textured paste goodness with tags and vintage cards for pockets in the future filled up the little spiral notebook.
And the little spiral notebook was open to the joys yet to come and got FAT.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

This is for the Birds!
I am just super excited I have the day today to play with some new things that I got in the mail.  I love Tim Holtz items, but they are pricey and they rarely go on sale for anything less than 30% off.  I would rather buy items on sale or with a coupon but I could not resist the new Crazy Birds set.  I did not buy the die set.  I think you get a better deal if you buy them both together but I actually enjoy fussing cutting them myself.

I was surprised at how large each bird is.  I bought them so that I could use them in my Pocket Letter Swaps.  Janette Lane is the creator.  She has a blog and a YouTube channel.  If you are interested in getting started there are loads of videos to watch before diving in but before you do please be aware that there are people who say they want to swap with you who never intend to fulfill their end of the bargain.  I have had this happen twice now.  So just go in with your eyes wide open about what you are getting into.  Okay now that is done!

This is done a paper I made a Gelli plate. After printing on a piece of card stock, I then stamped the bird and added colors to him\her and cut it out.  The backround is also from a Gelli print I did on a misc. white paper bag.  I had some silk leaves that I laid down on the plate and went from there.  I wrote in the word Leaves in lots of empty spaces.  Just used it as a backround so that the bird would show up well.  I took my newly purchased Posca pens to color in the beak and the whites of his eyes.  

I did the exact same thing with this cutie.  The paper he\she is printed on was from a random Gelli print and then again stamped and colored in.  I cut it out by hand and will use it some place in the future.  Maybe a card?
This little freaked out bird was done a thinner paper from a Gelli print and when I colored him\her it really made the paper very soft.  I wanted this blue to be more vibrant.  Might have to redo this one.  The bird is cute but think the color is all wrong.
This one has not been cut out.  Again from a Gelli print but using a metallic paint as the backround.  It's hard to see from this photo but the bird is metallic shiny even though when I colored it in I did not use a metallic paint.  The paint that I used let the metallic from the print come through.  I really like that effect.  Might have to try that one again just to see how it turn out with another color.
So those are the ones I have colored so far from the set.  I have no immediate plans for any of the birds.  I just wanted to play with my new stamps.  I think it was money well spent from the prospective that they are large enough to use for an A-2 card and small enough for a pocket letter.  I am so pleased with them.  I am thinking about stamping them on to book pages or newsprint of some kind and see how they turn out then.  Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lost Touch

Some how I lost touch and pretty much any interest in working on my blog.  I got way more interested in doing the crafts that I was supposed to be posting on my blog.  I went back to work after having had a year off and then everything seem to just snowball.  So much has happened since I posted two years ago.  I have gotten more into my crafts, sold some items from my Etsy shop (which is totally empty right now), gone to several craft shows to hock my wares, and I became a grandmother.  Becoming a grandmother was so exciting because we really did't think it was going to happen at all.  So it really was the best thing ever to happen to our little family.  
This is Liam at two weeks old.  He is just a little over nine months old.  We are just over the moon about this little boy.  The part that is hard for us is that he currently lives in Germany with his mom and dad.  Soon they will be on their way back to the states to live in Colorado.  We are excited about that because that  means, hopefully, we will be able to see him more often. I now have to sell more things from Etsy (when I get them in there) and go to more shows so that I can save up plane fare to give him lots of hugs and kisses.

 I am going to try and blog more often about my art adventures.  I am hoping to get started on YouTube too.  YT might take me a while.  I want to buy a decent video camera and not use my cell phone.  Plus we can use the video camera to take videos of Liam.  Bonus!  So where do I start.  Too much time has lapsed for me to catch up on two years worth of photos and crafts adventures so I think present day will have to do.

Recently I stumbled on to Pocket Letters via watching a YouTube video.  It truly was a happy accident.  Along with making cards, making rolled paper ornaments, origami, and working on watercolors, I have really gotten into pocket letters.  It is the best of all the paper art world.  You get to do nine tiny pieces of art.  Pocket letters are put together using those nine pocket plastic baseball or collector card holders.  They fit in a three ringed binder.  
This is how I store my received pocket letters from swapping with other crazy people on a FB site.  I have already outgrown this binder and will have to find a larger one.  Which means I am going to have to have space on a bookshelf to store the binder.  That will be a larger problem in itself.  I think anywhere that crafts can be stored, is taken.  So that means cleaning out older craft items to make room for the new ones.  Thankfully fall craft shows will be starting soon so that means I might be losing some items!  That is the concept to a craft business right??

Most pocket letters have some kind of a theme.  I have joined seven themed swaps: sunflowers, black and white, gardening, ATC (artist trading cards), under the sea, butterflies, and the color orange.  The color orange theme won't start until September.  So that's a work in progress.  I will show some of the PLs (pocket letters) I have gotten over the last six weeks.  Some are still on their way and others I might not get here at all.  When you sign up for a swap it's a matter of total trust.  Some of us are trustworthy and then there are the "flakers".  Those are people who take your swap and never send one back like they are supposed to.  I think I have two flakers in my swaps.  One, I know already is a flaker and the second one I think one is about to not send her stuff.  So sometimes things just don't go the way they are supposed to.  I have created an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of what's going out and what is or is not coming in.

So now with the pictures so you get a better understanding of what I am talking about.

This is an example of a getting to know you pocket letter.  Each pocket holds a card cut to 2 1/2"X3 1/2" card stock or piece of paper.  I did water color painting, quilling and stamping techniques to create the cards.  The large sunflower is quilled and is a magnet she could use.

This is the backside of the same PL.  We were trying to get to know each other so I wrote a note on the back of every pocket explaining why I did the things on the front.  You are also supposed to include what is called a "goodie".  Goodies include cute buttons, magnets, die cuts, ribbons, washi tape, rubber stamps, tea bags, instant coffee samples, sequins, etc.  Anything that is small and can be used for another pocket letter down the road, is great.  

I have loads more photos of pocket letters but think this is enough for starters.  I will try to post at least once a week.  Keep your fingers crossed and thanks for visiting my blog again.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Upcycling with style

I have had more than a few posts about loving the rolled paper anything.  Plus I found that this newspaper upcycling could work in two ways.  The first way is to sell and the second way is to use for containers that are partically free to hold items in the studio.  Why spend money when I can make them for almost nothing.  So I have. 

I started out storing my rolled paper tubes in left over plastic drink containers but have decided after I had cut them down; I cut them down too short.  So back to the drawing board.  I found an empty cornmeal container and went to town. 
I took the mostly plain newspaper tubes and hot glued them to the sides of the container.  It's cardboard so I figured hot glue would take less time than regular white glue. Worked like a charm.  Here is the side view.
 I cut off the tubes even with the top and bottom of the container. No one but me will be seeing these on a regular basis so the fact that some of the tubes were fatter than the others, doesn't matter to me.

I also had one Crystal Light container and did the same thing to it.  I love how heavy it is once it has two coats of paint and three or four coats of varnish.  When I add tubes to it, falling over won't be an issue.
Here is the view from the top to the bottom.  It's messy but again no one is going to be picking it up to do a potiental buyer inspection.

I thought I should try making a smaller version of the of the larger container I made for the smaller tubes.  So this container is from weaving the paper tubes.
In keeping with the upcycling concept, the bottom of the purple container is made from our pizza box from last week on Friday night.  I found a glass and traced it onto the non-greasy parts of the box and cut them out.  The rest is newspaper, glue and paint. 

I wanted to show how the container dips in the middle.  I think it's because I pulled the paper tubes too taunt, then loosened up towards the top again.  When it stands up, it's less noticeable. 
Here is my very first attempt at weaving the newspaper tubes into a vase.  I only used 9 spokes.  If I had not applied a varnish to it after painting, it would not withstand any day to day use.  I am using it, but I made a second one.  I used 17 spokes in that one and it turned out much better.

I think this one is much better.  There is less of a dip in the middle like the purple one and having more spokes makes it stronger even before the varnish. 
Here is the group shot.  I am going to keep making these until they look even and prettier but for now they are containers just for me.  Such a cool craft.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

New Obsession-UpCycling Paper

I have been really busy getting ready for more shows this winter because once Christmas is gone, my sales will drop like a rock.  So I have to get as much expose and back for my buck while I can.  I have been in the studio day and night.  Well, that might be because I have a new craft obsession.  I have always loved paper, but now I really LOVE paper.  This new concentration of my attention is from watching way too many YouTube videos.  

Funny enough, one of the most colorful resources for my latest paper adventure is this catalog.  I had three years of them and decided to toss them.  I thumbed through them to get our personal information off of the cover and the inside to shred.  While looking through them, I found a ton of colors I thought would make great paper tubes.
Look at that purple!  I didn't care there was writing on it.  It would look great anyway.  I found reds, oranges, yellows, deep browns, greens, golds, and the purples.  Perfect!
Look at those beautiful colors.  That all came from a few years of Penzey's catalogs.  Who doesn't think those look like the old Pixie sticks with that sugarly powdered stuff inside??  
So this is what I did with some of the tubes.  It takes a ton of tubes to make these.  I rolled my tubes with a shrimp skewer.  I wanted something small and I got it.  It took forever to roll them and then to mash them flat and then rolling them into a shape.  This is my first oval.  That will be a lovely oval shaped box by the time it's over.
After I roll the tubes, I sort them into dominate colors.  I try to group all the purples together and all the blues together, and so on and so on.  It makes it easier when I am looking for a color to not have to sort through hundreds of tubes.  I have a misc. container but for the most part everything is broken down into color group.  I do have a container (in the back of this photo) that has tubes that were rolled with a dowel.  I kept the fatter tubes together for larger projects.  I did not break those down into color groups, because most of them are from newspaper.  
This is a better picture with some of the colors group together.  So now you see why I now look at "junk" mail differently these days.  Catalogs seem to be my best source.  There is always newspaper but I love the color from the catalogs.  

I will post more pictures of finished boxes as soon as I get the knobs on them.  There are different sizes and shapes and even some that are fun subjects.  So there you have it.  I have been busy!  I take a ton of pictures and have them all downloaded; just need to attach them to words and get them up here for you to see.  I realize that so many of you who read my blog are knitter and crocheters.  I haven't done any of that in a long time.  When Mr. Hunter/Gatherer has his two week shut down from work and craft season is over for a bit, I will pick up the needles and knit something, hopefully!  Until next time.  Keep an eye for me for pretty paper!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Craft Room Update

I have been meaning to post for a few days but I have been on a tear with paper (pun intended) lately so my attention has been focused on that to the point that my hands have just about had they can take.  

A few years ago I did a post about us changing my youngest son's room into my new craft studio.  We tore out the carpet, repainted and I moved in.  I have changed the arrangement at least three or four times and every time I think it's going to be "the" arrangement.  Not so much.  Okay, not at all.  I have once again come upon a new way of arranging things again and now I finally am going to post the pics.  I know sometimes Mr. Hunter/Gatherer is not amused but he is a good sport about most silly things I do.  We would not be able to stay married this long if he wasn't.
This scene has changed over and over but what still remains is, I still am not happy with it.  It still looks cluttered no matter how many containers I buy, repurpose or embellish.  It's slowly getting there but not quite yet.
In order to have some sort of order I needed to not put all my quilling paper away in an Iris cart.  I just got tired of looking through drawers and never knowing what I did and did not have.  So I already had two small curtain rods mounted on the wall for mobile storage and decided my quilling paper needed to be there instead.

Here is one of the rods done.  I left the paper in it's original packaging so I would know the name and the size of the paper.  I made a lot of wire S hooks so they would hand on the rods. 
This is how it looks now.  There is not really organization to the colors.  I did however group all the same colors together.  That's a ton of paper strips but it makes me happy everyday when I walk in here and see it. 

I bought this magnet board from The Container Store years and years ago and never really used it but now it has a use for all my little canisters that I bought at Michael's.  I put all my tiny magnets up there at the top and there are a few quilled magnets up there too.  There will be more and more as spring comes.

This shelf is from another room and I just stuck some stuff up there that I am not sure I want to see either in my Etsy shop or at craft shows.  I know I should sell them and eventually I will,but just not yet.

This rack was on another wall and got moved.  It holds my jars of buttons, glues, beads, spray fixatives and now had beads that I have made hanging from the bottom.  They will be either in my Etsy shop or at a craft show soon.

This is one of the craft twirly things.  The name escapes me but piling it up with different stuff does not.  The top section has large and small wooden clothes pins I use everyday.  I got tired of opening and closing drawers to look for them so out in the light they come.  I also have bling packets hanging on the top rack also.  The rotating part holds my paint brushes, magic markers of all kinds, rotary cutter, scissors, chasing hammer, and all kinds of other tools that I use on a regular basis.  
There are two bookcases and in here as well as a desk, a wing back chair, a fan, three rolling carts, and a huge wire rack with wheels that holds all the bins and display items for craft shows.  The room is full.  The walls are filling up fast too.  The closet is full and needs more organization but like everything else around here, it will happen when it happens.  
So that is how I spend some of the time I could be blogging.  I watch YouTube videos about how everyone else arranges their craft rooms and then I get ideas how to make mine more functional.  I think better with less clutter.  How about you?