Monday, October 27, 2008

Domed Box

One of the local craft stores held its annual fair this weekend, so off I trotted... One of the make and take tables was surrounded by women oohing and aahing. When I finally got close enough to take a look, I could see why. The demonstrator was showing people how to make boxes like this, and there were several of varying sizes on display.

I should have liked to make one there, but after watching for a while, I could see that most of the people in the seats were either children or inexperienced crafters. I worked out that it would have taken more than an hour to get a seat.

I heard the demonstrator mention one of the measurements, and I purchased the template she was using. The rest, I figured, I could work out for myself.

At home, my efforts were not completely successful at first. Among other reasons, I wasn't enamoured of the template, which kept slipping and bending. So, I decided to sleep on it and try again this morning.

After a night's sleep, I had a couple of ideas about how best to approach the box. Instead of the template, I used a parabola ruler to mark the curved lines, and I replaced the craft mat with a foam place mat from Ikea.

This is the outcome. The process is easy enough, though it does require some measurement and careful cutting. I'll try to make time to do and upload a step-by-step photo tutorial later this week.

Kimberley's Card

My eldest granddaughter (10) made this card for my birthday last week. The thing that flabbergasted me was the spinner. I can't recall ever showing her how to do that, and her mum told me Kimberley worked it out for herself. Not only did she get the part about the brad at the centre right, she also make a little "handle" so I could turn the inside wheel.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Maple Roses

Over the past few days, the maples outside my apartment have been shedding their leaves. For me, it was the perfect opportunity to try out an idea I've had bookmarked for some time: maple leaf roses.

The outcome was stunning. Everyone who sees them wants some!

All you need are maple leaves and florist's wire.

Here's the tutorial:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Xmas Journals

Yesterday I made a stack of these little journals in two sizes, and I have another pile half finished, just waiting to be embellished.

The booklets are intended as Xmas list journals and/or cards/journals with enough space for a few photos and some journaling, perhaps as an "extended" Xmas card. They could easily make a welcome and more creative alternative to the traditional Xmas letter!

The cover paper is mainly Basic Gray. The embellishments are whatever I had in my scraps box. Instead of standard 80g (printer/writing) paper, I used 160g artist paper for the journal block. That gives the pages an elegant and "serious" look and a decent weight, especially if the user does decide to start drawing or glueing in it.

Julie's Blog Candy

Julie of Inspirational Craft Blogs is giving away some delicious Blog Candy.
Take a look!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Three Round Boxes

Here are three more round boxes. This time, you can see the little feet. The ribbons around the side of the lid were a bit wonky, as you can see, but I've since corrected that.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Xmas Boxes

These are two of the boxes I worked on the past day or so. I have another four in various stages of completion. As so often, the reason I was unable to get them all done and packed is that I need a tiny accessory, in this case, special screws to affix the knobs to the lids. Ah well, I'll be off on my bike to the hardware store later this morning.
I painted the boxes and knobs in various metallic colors: some are bronze, others copper, and the remainder pale gold. The drawer pulls were a flea market find. These were the nail-on kind, but the remainder are screw-ons for which I need suitable, as in shorter than usual, screws, as mentioned above. What you can't easily see is that each box has three little wooden feet.

The belly band is paper garland I found in the craft store a year or so back. Then, of course, the obligatory ribbons. The acrylic half-beads came from the home decorating section of the local department store. They come in a range of colors. These are very small, around 3mm in diameter. I'd hoped to find larger ones, too, maybe 7-10 mm, but no luck so far. The positive side to it is that I've perfected my tweezer skills of late! Yep, each bead has to be individually affixed to whatever.

Sympathy Card

I needed a sympathy card for an acquaintance this week, and after seeing what was on offer in local stores, I decided to make one myself.

The base is simple black card stock. The left panel was embossed with a cuttlebug folder and glued on. The strip on the right is made of paper strips glued horizontally onto card stock then cut vertically. I punched the butterflies from the same material.

Each butterfly is made of two punched butterflies glued on top of each other down the middle and held together with a brad. If you don't have brads in the colors you need, which is often the case for me, as I have such limited access to supplies, you can dye plain office-supply gold or silver brand using Staz On ink or Ranger alcohol inks. Just give them a blast with the heat gun to set the color, or leave them to dry for a few hours. The ribbon is attached at the back, between the bottom butterfly and the foam pad needed to affix the butterfly to the card. The top set of wings can then me pulled up a little.

A friend will deliver this card by hand, which is why I was able to attack a butterfly to the front of the envelope. If sending a card like this by mail, you'd need to leave the envelope butterfly off, of course.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Bit of Bling

These red tins were left over from last year's holiday season. They originally contained marzipan.

I started by gluing on strips of paper from my leftovers. Then I added these cherubs from a decoupage sheet to the lids.

In a next step, I wrapped scraps of coordinating ribbon around the tins. The final touch was to glue on tiny acrylic half-beads to add a bit of bling.

Two of the tins didn't make it into my bazaar cartons. They were snapped up by admirers while the glue was still wet!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Christmas Cards #2

Here are more samples of the cards I've been making. The paper is from Basic Gray: Dasher, Scarlet's Letter, and Perhaps.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

File Folder Boxes

These are file folder boxes. Made from scratch. Shall I rant about craft stores that don't restock bookboard in certain thicknesses, which I happen to buy in large lots, when they have it? The explanation for not restocking: there is no demand. I'll just say this: I spend quite a bit of time biting my tongue in craft stores. It occurred to me, the other day, that I'm now finding workarounds for around half the supplies I need. Ok, we're creatives, I know, and yes, I know we are all resourceful, but it's becoming quite frustrating. End of rant. I'll be in Hamburg at the end of the month, so I may be able to pick up some materials then.

I've had this vintage paper for ages, and I also decided it was high time to use up some of the lace and ribbon in my stash. Genuine vintage or not, it's taking up space, and looking pretty is simply not enough to justify that.

It was great fun sticking on this and slapping on that. I've made six more boxes, which I still need to decorate. They will be christmassy in style. I'll post photos of them when I'm done.

Christmas Cards

Anyone know where those elves are? I've been invited to show and sell some of my work at an advent bazaar. That means my apartment looks like workshop in which I just also happen to live. There are works in progress everywhere. You know how it goes: you're almost finished working on something, and then you discover you've run out of whatever, so you put the WIP to one side and do something else, until you can make the time to cycle into town.

I've put together a nice program of goods. At first, I felt a bit limited by the fact that local taste runs to cute crafts more than artful pretties, but it's a good lesson for me in customer orientation. As well as (hopefully) making some people happy through my work, I'm truly looking forward to freeing up some of the space that has been taken up by materials and making cash to purchase new supplies.

I apologise for the quality of the photos. This is not a good day for taking pictures.

The black and ivory cards are slimlines I bought the last time I was back home in the UK. Hard to believe that it was four years ago!
As well as more traditional reds, whites, and greens, I wanted to make a few cards that were just a little more sophisticated, just in case... They look much more so in the flesh, as the glare spoils a lot here. I may replace the photos if the light is better tomorrow and I'm able to make better images.