Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Woolies, and fabric, and clay...oh my!

I have been one busy crafter, lately.

I spotted a blog on how to wet-felt wool over soap to make "coal" for Christmas, and then took that idea and made an abundance of "coal" for my team who have been naughty this year. Pruney fingers abounded in my house (no, just on me!), but I think the "coal" turned out cute.

I also saw a blog on how to make no-sew flowers out of organza, simply using scissors and a candle to singe the edges, then hot-glue the petals together. Once finished, glue together into a flower then onto a clip or headband. Again, I was able to use what I had on hand (self: WHY do I have four colors of organza when I have no little girls in the house and I don't wear this stuff?!). It was fun to make while watching television and I only burned myself a few times. Heh.

I scrounged up some clear plastic tubing from an air pump hubby got for an aquarium, I photocopied some old Sears ads, inked the edges, rolled them up and put them inside, then placed beads at the ends and used wires to finish it off. Makes for interesting and colorful beads!

I have also used my Christmas money to buy Fimo clay. *drool* My first attempts at bead making isn't perfect, but what do you expect? I tried a Skinner blend of ocher and chocolate, surrounded by black. It needs more work. Still, not horrible for a first try! I also made impressions of gears and nuts, baked it off, and then used antiquing to show off the details.

Here's the completed necklace I made with my beads I've been creating.

The tubing beads (four of them), the clay beads, and then two purchased beads (the key and number 7, both of which I used alcohol ink to color to match the other beads) and a purchased watch from Ebay (that is my inspiration piece).

I am having WAY too much fun with crafting.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flops--it happens to the best of us

I've been fiddling with permanent alcohol inks lately. Much fun! Layering colors, able to color glass, metal, plastic, and then spray with sealer. Sweet!

Led me to think, shrinky plastic! I have some, and thought I would make some earrings with it. When I color them prior to shrinking with permanent markers, the color is too saturated when it shrinks, so I thought I would try to blot on some color AFTER shrinking with the alcohol ink instead.

BIG MISTAKE. Note to self and others: alcohol ink removes Sharpie and permanent ink.

There goes about an hour of my life drawing the picture that I will never get back. *sigh* So, if you work with permanent ink pens and alcohol ink, try to keep them separated from each other or it could "erase" the design. (I worked off of the back side of the plastic dink for my second one).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Decorated Glass Bottles---and a Christmas gift recipe

Aren't they pretty? An improvement over various shampoo bottles, if you ask me. There are two types of shampoo, a conditioner, and bath salts. If it were up to me, I would try to transfer all my bathroom goodies into bottles (but I think my husband would object).

Three of the bottles got frosted, just normal glass etching cream. I used templates from clip art books and a paper cutting book, which made it time intensive. I then used permanent ink on the etched parts to highlight the etching. Any excess ink can be removed with special ink remover.

The bath salts bottle was the easiest. The metal label holder was from the scrapbooking section, the writing was printed off my computer. A little stamping ink to match the bath salts, some glue to hold the paper onto the metal holder, then some hot glue to adhere it to the bottle. Easy-peasy.

Bath salts would make an EASY and INEXPENSIVE Christmas gift. Save some glass bottles and lids from your kitchen. Such as the artichoke jars, glass spaghetti jars, etc. Wash and dry well. At the grocery store, buy rock salt from the spice aisle (used for making ice cream). At the craft store, purchase fragrance and coloring in the soapmaking aisle (this is where you will spend a few bucks, but you will have a LOT left over). Also, to make the metal labels, snag some metal label holders from the scrapbooking area.

Pour about 1/3 of the box of salt into a metal or glass dish, use a spoon to stir the salt and mix in 4 to 6 drops of fragrance (to your liking). Remember, it will get diluted in water, so you can go on the strong side if you like, or go light. Either way. Once stirred in well, add 4 to 6 drops of color, well spread out. Stir in. Then, add to jars, and top with lids. Make labels as directed above with "Bath Salts" and the name of the fragrance.

If you want to "fancy" it up even more, add ribbons, or paint the lid in a matching color, or ......

Friday, December 3, 2010

Brick Doorstop

Mom was in town, and bought me some toys (aka: art supplies). They are wrapped for Christmas, so I cannot use them yet. But, got me in the mood to do crafty I need I purchased some permanent inks.

Last night, as we were shuffling around cat food containers and tubs to keep our door cracked enough so the cat can get in and out, but the dog cannot get out, the thought occurred to me, "we need a door stop". Question is: what to use for a door stop?

My thought is that a brick would work perfectly well. And looks somewhat hideous. Meaning? I need to decorate it!

First step was to find a brick. If you have seen my back yard, you would know that this is not a difficult thing. About 2 minutes of looking, I find a good one. I washed the dirt off and did a quick towel dry. Next step is to dry it. This took incredibly long. Over an hour on the fireplace top did nothing. An hour in the toaster oven at 200 degrees got closer, good enough to work with, but still isn't totally dry. Note to self: those brick hold A LOT of water. Who knew?!

I stamped the brick with permanent ink. This is different than normal stamping ink, and is specifically labelled as permanent ink. I used a background stamp (something small--text). After that, I used acrylic paint in cream, and stamped on the top stamps. Note to self: go lightly with the paint! If you paint the stamp too heavy (I was worried that the paint would dry before I stamped it), then it "gooshes" out the sides and is sloppy. Looses a lot of detail because of this.

I let the paint dry for a few minutes, then went back with alcohol inks to mellow out the cream paint color. I have "latte" that I used over all the cream to make it less harsh, and then used some "gingerbread" on the gooshy parts of the cream stamp to tidy it up. Last thing I did was spray it all down with sealer to fix it.

I am happy with how it turned out. Practical, but pretty.