Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The fun I had with the book Collage Playground by Kimberly Santiago

I only made it to pages 22 and 23 before I had to stop and get out my markers and chalk and a handful of other bits of mixed media to give these two techniques a try from the fun book Collage Playground: A Fresh Approach to Creating Mixed-Media Art.

I had tried the blocking out technique before but only in a solid color and with paint....who knew it worked with lots of different colored markers? Well, I do now!
The other technique involved playing around with positive and negative spaces in stencils. I thought I'd make a stencil first using my Tim Holtz Sizzix gear die. Then I used a bit of colored chalk with the outline part of the stencil and then I used the "positive" or actual gear to add more detail to the gear image on the page of my altered book. I used both green and brown chalk which had a nice "aged" effect. I can't wait to see what other "toys"... uh techniques Collage Playground holds beyond the first 20 pages!
More about the book from North Light Books:

By Kimberly Santiago

"Collage Playground focuses on collecting tempting elements like paper and fabric, deconstructing them and then reconstructing them into something beautiful. You will be introduced to "Collage Elements," ten simple techniques that take the mystery out of collage work, featuring combinations of papers, fabrics, paints and more that will help you create art that is highly textural and engaging. You'll see how the 25 projects are created, step-by-step, bringing the "Collage Elements" into practical use. Gain insight into and inspiration from the author's beautiful original works! "

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"I'll be back...uh crafting!" all ya'll crafters

You know when you see guys like this...
there is going to be someone like this. If you can't quite tell that's our illustrious "Govern-ator"! Yup, Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke at the launch of the California Volunteers Disaster Corps.

Wouldn't it be funny if we crafters needed two "Suits in sunglasses" to walk around with us?

OK that's your daily giggle. Onto some crafty link-olas.

The Crochet Dude

Get out your hooks and warm them up because Drew reveals all the projects from his upcoming book "Crochet It Love It Wear It - The Ultimate Collection for Every Occasion". You are not going to believe how gorgeous crochet can be!

The Artful Crafter
How to make a wooden country critter wall plaque.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Green Ring and wire earrings inspired by the book 101 Wire Earrings by Denise Peck

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has gathered up all her favorite collage and quilt techniques to share.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Have you ever felt like the 'red headed step child?'

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is hitting the school books again but takes a moment to review her summer crafting and other accomplishments.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside's got a chance to win a copy of Jennifer Worick's Simple Gifts and how-to's on making a silhouette, a homemade flea collar for your dog, stringing rings onto a ribbon necklace and a fun video interview with Drew Brophy the author of How to Draw with Drew Brophy.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi uses the sweetest bird embellishments to make a card set.

Aileen's Musings
Watch Aileen's newest video and see how she transforms a boring canvas bag into a snazzy colorful tote!

About Family Crafts
Read through Sherri's tie-dye tutorial and you will discover how easy it is to create your own colorful, tie-dyed t-shirts and more.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Green Ring and wire earrings inspired by the book 101 Wire Earrings by Denise Peck

I get my inspiration for the projects I post here mostly from books but today I believe is the closest I've come to actually making a project just like the one in the book.

In 101 Wire Earrings: Step-by-Step Projects and Techniques
are these simple wire earrings with a ring dangling from them. They are just so simple and nice.

Off to the stash to see what rings I had. These Enchanted Planet oval rings in my favorite shade of green were just perfect.

These earrings are what I call "instant satisfaction" for sure.

Like a lot of the designs in 101 Wire Earrings: Step-by-Step Projects and Techniques they are not hard to create but sure make a statement.

I have already made another pair but didn't have time to photograph them for this post but promise to soon!

If you like whipping up earrings with a bit of wire in a flash 101 Wire Earrings: Step-by-Step Projects and Techniques will not disappoint!
More about 101 Wire Earrings: Step-by-Step Projects and Techniques by Denise Peck from Interwaeve Press

"Providing detailed descriptions on how to intricately craft stylish wire earrings, this beautifully illustrated guide offers simple yet elegant projects that are inexpensive and easily accomplished. Easy-to-follow instructions and comprehensive definitions guide the jewelry maker through the many elements of wire working, such as headpins, jump rings, hoops, loops, spirals, and ear wires, clearly highlighting the techniques and detailing the quality materials necessary to produce functional and innovative works of wearable art. With a diverse selection of 101 contemporary earring projects submitted from top designers, wire crafters of all skill levels will hone their talents while discovering new and inspirational ideas for producing unique and creative works in one of the fastest growing trends of modern jewelry art."

Monday, June 21, 2010

My scissor and Lakers photo commercial break

With all the who-ha here with the Lakers winning I thought I'd share with you a photo of my scissors enjoying one of the games at one of the local watering holes.
OK...now back to our regularly scheduled blogging...crafty blogger links!

Crafty Princess Diaries

Tammy has listed the first few kits in her jewelry making kit collection, some awesome Raku earrings.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside has a chance to win one of 50 "Bulking Dummies" and a "Lab" book, a new Look, Learn and Create Video with Tracie Lyn Huskamp showing us how to make a Nature Inspired Mixed Media card, some pencil drawing and illuminated art techniques and an interview with Nancy Langdon.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Tell Dad how much he rocks this Father's Day or on his birthday with this fun and easy to make card from Madge for ILoveToCreate!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi shares some thoughts on her recent foray into self-publishing.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make coffin shaped cupcakes inspired by the book Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse

The Artful Crafter
Join Eileen in June's "June Let Them Eat Cake" creativity challenge and get a free cupcake. Sweet!

About Family Crafts
Be prepared for the next time you hear "I'm bored" from your kids... Bookmark this collection of fast and simple 10-minute crafts for kids!

Aileen's Musings
Need a new recipe for all the zucchini your growing? Download Aileen's printable recipe card, and baking some yummy Zucchini Cheddar Cheese Bread!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi takes a Twilight cotton bag up a notch!

Cathie Filian
You can dye stripes and it is easy! Cathie shows you how.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How to make coffin shaped cupcakes inspired by the book Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse

As my fellow crafty blogger Dave Lowe pointed out very recently there are about 140 days to Halloween. Not to be out done in preparing for this most illustrious holiday I did a little "test baking" in the Plaidbunny Test Kitchen, actual baking, not a metaphor!

I got a copy of this super fun book Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse and the coffin shaped rice crispy treats were darling! I do like rice crispy treats but I love cake more and I wanted to see if cake could be cut in this shape.

So I baked a cake.
As you can see in this picture the first side I cut got a little crumby. Very easy solution!
Always make your cuts in the downward direction not sawing up and down. As you can see each diagonal slice made the top angle of the first coffin and the bottom angle of the next. Make each cut parallel to the previous one.

(YUP people that's geometry coming back to bight you in the cupcake!)

Were you one of those people that said "I'll never use this in my life!" about geometry? I knew I would and I love geometry. I'm crazy like that.
So as you can see my second side came out way better than my first. I also recomend keeping all the parts of the cake in the pan until everything is cut. You can see how the cake wanted to fall apart on the end where there was cake missing from the pan.

I wonder where it went...I couldn't have been in my tummy...noooooo.

What I'm thinking is these would look really cool in chocolate cake and then follow the instructions and draw skeletons on the top with white frosting.

There are tons more super cute ideas in:
Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse: And Other Treats for Colorful Celebrations
Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen

More about the book from Potter Craft:

"From the mother-daughter baking and decorating team behind the beloved WHIMSICAL BAKEHOUSE books, this trove of recipes and ideas will help you conjure up a colorful world of pixie dust or pirate’s treasure for your kids.

Chocolate fairies dance atop a woodland cake surrounded by magic wands and tea party cupcakes; extraterrestrial cupcakes orbit a 3-D rocket cake; a spooky mummy mask cake watches over pudding-filled chocolate cauldrons. Ranging from simple to advanced, the recipes and designs in Kids’ Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse build your skill set so that even novices can ultimately create every vibrantly decorated, delicious treat in this inspiring book. Kids’ Cakes also offers “Plain and Simple” variations for busy days, and suggestions for involving little helping hands (and boosting their confidence, too) with “Kids Can” tasks.

Chapters include:

The Best Sleepover Ever
Bed Cake, “Half Moon” Black and White Cookies, Banana Bear Pancakes, and Oven French Toast

Step Right Up
Circus Cake with colorful chocolate bareback riders and clowns, lemon butter Balloon Cookies, and Funnel Cakes

Start Your Engines
Fire Truck and Rocket Cakes, Out-of-This-World planet and alien cupcakes

With detailed baking instructions, a color chart, more than 50 recipes, and a ton of decorating tips and designs for creating colored chocolate embellishments, Kids’ Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse will show you how to turn any birthday, holiday, or even humdrum day into a sweet occasion and will leave you with unforgettable memories of baking together.

About the Author

LIV HANSEN’s eye for edible decorating comes from her training as a painter. KAYE HANSEN, a self-taught baker, owns Riviera Bakehouse in Westchester County, New York. The bakery has been featured in the New York Times, and this baking duo has appeared on Today, The View, The Early Show, and Food Network. Together, they are the authors of The Whimsical Bakehouse, Christmas Cookies from the Whimsical Bakehouse, and Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse. Liv and Kaye live in Rockland County, New York. www.whimsicalbakehouse.com"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Graduation Flashback Photo with current crafty blogger links

With it being graduation season and reconnecting with a bunch of my fellow Pratt Institute Industrial Design graduates (on Facebook) I thought I'd share this blast from the past. Almost 20 years ago!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi turns wood curtain pulls into pretty dolls.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside's got a tutorial on how to print on tissue paper from the book Creative Wildfire and a chance to win a copy of it, a super cute tutorial on how to needle felt a hedgehog, making a tole painted message block, and the latest Look, Learn, & Create video with Lisa Kettell.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is spilling some of the beans concerning a new project she's working on - jewelry making kits!

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge has a new DIY website! Come read all about it and check it out!

Mixed Media Artist
What can you do with some vintage sheet music, fabric, and a photo transfer?

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Learn to make a silver French knot sunburst embellished tote using the pattern in Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts.

The Artful Crafter
Here is an artist profile of June Crawford, A Creative Dreamer, who crafts her dreams with words, charming art dolls and fantastical doodles among other things. Take a peek into another artist's creative world.

About Family Crafts
Check out this collection of free printable projects for Father's Day. Print and make Father's Day cards, coupon books, tags, and much more.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Silver French knot sunburst embellished tote using the pattern in Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts

This was the super cool tote bag Provo craft was giving out at Maker Faire and I thought it would look cool with some added sparkle. I had seen this cool modern sunburst pattern made with french knots in Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts and thought I would try that. The pattern calls for raffia but I wanted sparkle so I used Kreinik Metallic thread #19 Braid.
I followed the great directions by drawing my circle with dissapearing ink using a glass as my template and then marking the center. It took me a few tries looking very closely at the french knot illustration because since I don't make them regularly... I forget. But the illustration is great and I quickly got the hang of it and in a very short time I had myself a sparkly sunburst on my tote.
I dipped it under running water to remove the ink and here you have a super close-up of my stitchin'.

This book is a great wealth of inspiration and tutorials. I will surely to be referencing it regularly.
More info from the publisher Potter Craft about:

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts: Basic Techniques for Sewing, Applique, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, and Printing, plus 150 Inspired Projects from A to Z

"Whether you just bought your first sewing machine or have been sewing for years, Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts will open your eyes to an irresistible range of ideas. A comprehensive visual reference, the book covers everything a home sewer craves: the basics of sewing by hand or machine, along with five other time-honored crafts techniques, and step-by-step instructions for more than 150 projects that reflect not only Martha Stewart’s depth of experience and crafting expertise, but also her singular sense of style.

Encyclopedic in scope, the book features two main parts to help you brush up on the basics and take your skills to a new level. First, the Techniques section guides readers through Sewing, Appliqué, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, and Printing. Following that, the Projects A to Z section features more than 150 clever ideas (including many no-sew projects), all illustrated and explained with the clear, detailed instructions that have become a signature of Martha Stewart’s magazines, books, and television shows.

An enclosed CD includes full-size clothing patterns as well as templates that can be easily produced on a home printer. Fabric, thread, and tool glossaries identify the properties, workability, and best uses of common sewing materials. And, perhaps best of all, when you need it most, Martha and her talented team of crafts editors offer you the reassurance that you really can make it yourself.

The projects are as delightful as they are imaginative, and include classic Roman shades, hand-drawn stuffed animals, an easy upholstered blanket chest, a quilted crib bumper, French knot-embellished pillowcases and sheets, and Japanese-embroidered table linens, among many others.With gorgeous color photographs as well as expert instruction, this handy guide will surely encourage beginners and keep sewers and crafters of all experience levels wonderfully busy for many years to come."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Airstream Stonehenge-ish and Crafty blogger links

Yup that's a row of Airstreams half buried in the ground! My parents drove past it last weekend and had to stop and take pictures for me! Too cool.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside's got a recycled book page mobile from the book-Playing With Books and a chance to win a free copy of it, a new Look, Learn, and Create video on how to make a box stitch ribbon bracelet with Elaine Schmidt, tips on painting Rembrandt style, and some "Graphic Stew" line and shape ingredients!

The Artful Crafter
How to sew felted wool boxes to organize odds and ends.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make a Steampunk button and recycled 80's earring into a cool new necklace

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
So you want to write a craft book? Here's part five in Madge's series on how to do it!

Crafty Princess Diaries
After seriously losing sleep over taking photographs for her Etsy shop, Tammy has a eureka jewelry photography moment.

Cathie Filian
It is fashion time for dad! Check out Cathie's father's day ideas.

Beading Arts
Chapter two of Cyndi's e-book is available for download! "Altered Surfaces" begins the exploration of the exchange between mixed media and bead embroidery!

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shows you how to make vivacious vivid shipping tags to use on your gifts and in your art!

About Family Crafts
Father's Day is just around the corner. What will you do for all the other special dads you know? This year, why not make a special, home-made gift for all of the guys in your life!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

JHB Steampunk Button Necklace inspired by the button jewelry in the book Button Ware by Amy Barickman

I have always been a fan of the industrial look so now that Steampunk style stuff is really hot there are lots of great findings readily available. This includes these great JHB Steampunk Style buttons. Not many of my clothes have button closures so I thought I could incorporate these cool buttons into jewelry. Off to a book on the subject for a little inspiration Button Ware by Amy Barickman was filled with great stuff that got my creativity flowing.

I found a cool light blue marbleized big 80's earring and the steampunk button looked really cool in it. To secure it I formed a loop at one end of a piece of wire and linked it to the bottom jump ring. I then ran the wire through the shank of the button and looped it through a second time to secure it in place on the wire. All that was left to do was form another loop at the top and link it onto the top jump ring.

I took the earring post off and slid a chain through the top jump ring as well.

There are lots of cool "donuts" out there and I bet you too could go through your old jewelry and find something this button framing technique would work great with to feature a button you love!

More about Button Ware by Amy Barickman from the publisher:

"Gathered together, in the pages of Button Ware, are some of the trendiest and best-looking projects available to today's crafty, fashion-conscious designers. Amy Barickman, owner of Indygo Junction and The Vintage Workshop, and self-confessed button addict, couldn't resist combining her vintage button collection with the colorful and fashionable buttons offered by world importer JHB International the leader in original and stylish buttons.

In this 80 page colorful collection, filled with 90 gorgeous photos and 33 inspiring projects (with numerous variations), they combined the strengths of their companies to create this colorful collection filled with inspiring projects from leading designers. It will teach beginners simple techniques for turning both new and vintage buttons into fashion statements, some so simple that you won't believe you made it. For those who are more experienced crafters, these ideas will inspire them to new heights of creativity.

With easy-to-follow illustrations and detailed photography, crafters will learn how to expand their accessories at a fraction of the cost of original designer pieces and enjoy creating jewelry, embellishments, and fashionable, wearable designs at the same time
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