Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Robin's Nest Flourishes and Flowers Layout

Hello all of you Robin's Nesters!  Barbara here, with another page layout that I am really excited about.  I love these papers and their colors and how well they work together.

I used the Glitter Vanilla Wedding paper as my base.  Then I fussy cut the three large flourishes from the Linen Fleur Blue cardstock and layered it over the same flourishes on the vanilla paper.  The blue flourish in the lower right corner was layered after using a craft knife to cut a slit around the decorative design in the vanilla paper to allow it to fully show.  I did not want to cover that up with the blue flourish.

I used several Spellbinders dies to cut various flourish shapes, frames, and flowers.  I used a layered die to cut the three layers used in the focal picture, including the picture of the pretty lady.  I added Halloween dew drops at various end points on the frame for added bling and dimension.  Yes, I did say Halloween, but don't let the name fool you.  These colors are gorgeous, and how wonderfully well they work with so many of the Robin's Nest papers.  The colors are rich, just like the paper.  They are fabulous!

I even placed a few dew drops on a couple of the blue flourishes, following the print pattern in the paper. 

I used one of the frames in the die set to make a small journaling block with a white frame insert for writing.  

Another die was used to make the pretty borders along the top and bottom edge.  I used the opposite side of the blue flourish paper and added dew drops on each design element.

Pretty lady needed some flowers, and this paper made the most beautiful flowers (in my humble opinion).  I used more dies to cut out the flower shaped pieces, pinch, curled, and bent the petals to make them look more realistic.  

The green flourishes were used to imitate leaves, and this was the print on the opposite side of the copper butterflies double-sided paper.  How beautiful is that?  I just love these papers from The Robin's Nest, and I know you will too.
I will be back next month, on 3 September, with another project for you.  In the meantime, please visit The Robin's Nest to see all of their beautiful papers and embellishments.  And don't forget about their monthly page map challenge in which you can submit your very own layout for a chance to win $25 to spend in their online store.  

Robin's Nest Products Used:

Halloween Dew Drops

Copper Butterflies

Glitter Vanilla Wedding

Linen Fleur Blue double-sided
You can click on any caption below each picture to view each product.  Until next time, I hope you enjoyed my project and will visit The Robin's Nest.  

Happy crafting!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Susan Brown's Altered Spoon Bloghop

Today we are helping our dear friend and very talented artist, Susan M. Brown, celebrate her five year Blogiversary.  She has been sharing her creativity and inspiring us with her talents on her blog for the last five years, and now she has asked us to play along and bring you some more fun ideas altering wooden spoons.  Everyone is invited to play along.  You can add your own creations to Susan's page via inlinkz.  And that's not all.  One lucky player will win some blog candy.  So get youself a cuppa, sit back, and enjoy.  

After much deliberation, I finally decided to make a dragonfly with my wooden spoons.  

After trimming the handle off of one of the spoons, I glued it to another long-handled spoon to make a head for my dragonfly.  I had to drill a large hole through the bottom of each candle cup in order to slip them over the spoon handle.  (My dear husband did that for me).  I painted the spoons and candle cups (below) with Burnt Umber acrylic paint.  

candle cups

After slipping the candle cups over the handle, I then glued one last decorative candle cup (no hole) to the end, which holds all of the candle cups in place.  I used various colors of Gilder's Paste and buffed it with a soft cloth the give it a bit of a shine.  The brown base color allows the metallic paste to really pop and shine nicely.  I added the feathers to each side of the spoon to make dragonfly wings, and covered the works (where I glued the feathers) with a stamped metal decorative piece.  

Then I wrapped the candle cups with copper 20 gauge wire, tied off on the back to make a hanger so my dragonfly can FLY!!!

Now for the eyes.  Hmmm, what to do about the eyes.  I've got it!!! (Light bulb just flickered on).  I used circular wire beads that I cut in half to give him bulging eyes, but how do I attach them to the spoon without a lot of glue oozing everywhere and showing.  I know.  I will attach them with bead-decorated straight pins.  I drilled a very tiny hole in the spoon, trimmed a tiny bit of the straight pin (it was too long) and inserted it through the wire opening on top and right into the tiny hole in the wood.  VOILA!  Dragonfly eyeballs.  

Okay, I know.  I am easily entertained.  But I really love them.  I am so excited to have thought of this.  Don't you love it when a plan comes together? It simply made my day.  

And, with that said, I hope I made your day, and that you will visit the other blogs in the hop to have these very talented artists make your day, too.  I also want to thank Susan for hosting this blog hop, and for the opportunity to play along.  Congratulations and best wishes to you in all of your future endeavors.  

Presenting the artistes de spoon...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tips and Techniques Thursday

Hello again, and welcome back to another Thursday edition of my tips and techniques.  Today I  am concentrating on a technique, as promised from my post last week.  I showed you that you can take your plastic packaging from some of the embellishments you buy and use them to make more.  You just need to look at it and see if you think it will work well.  (See my post from last Thursday).  In the photo below, you can see some of the pieces I made from packaging plastic, with the exception of the flower.  I used a Vintaj Arte Metal flower as my mold.  I used Paperclay to make the pieces.  It is an air dry clay and very easy to work with.  Just follow the directions on the package.  Drying time also depends on your weather.

The first piece, pictured below, is the one I made using the Vintaj Arte Metal charm.  I first colored the flowered with Amethyst Vintaj Patina.  

Next, I used Gold Leaf Rub n Buff and Copper Gilder's Paste, which acted as a bit of a resist when I added the Onyx Vintaj Patina over the entire flower.  I was attempting to tone down the color a bit.  

I used a soft cloth to remove the black color, and much to my surprise, some of the rub n buff and gilder's paste came off as well, revealing the amethyst color once again.  I was very pleased with this outcome.  

My next piece is the cute little owl.  I first colored him with Clay and Quartz Vintaj Patinas.  I removed some of the Quartz color and then added Onyx Vintaj Patina, with just a tiny dot of Quartz, to color his eyes.  I still wanted to shabby him up a bit, so I put a thin watered down wash of Onyx Vintaj Patina all over him and then quickly removed it.  It was just enough to make him look old.  I think he looks like he was carved from a piece of wood, and then left in someone's barn for awhile.  What do you think?

My last piece was also made using the plastic packaging shown in my last week's post, but it broke while I was working with it.  I first added Gold Leaf Rub n Buff, Verdigris and Copper Gilder's Paste, then a heavy wash of Onyx Vintaj Patina.  I removed the Onyx color, and again, much to my surprise, the pastes were acting as resists, and their colors shown through once again.  As I buffed the piece with my cloth, the shine started showing up, and it began to look more and more like a piece of metal.  

Even though the piece broke, I was able to salvage it by gluing it back together and covering the break with a gem stone.  I planned on using one in the middle anyway, so this just turned out not to be a big deal.  We can fix a lot of our mistakes if we just put our minds to it.  

I hope you enjoyed this week's edition of tips and techniques Thursday.  I will be going on hiatus for a few weeks to take care of some things, as well as get my studio back in some sort of order.  I will still be posting as usual, just not my Thursday tips and techniques for a little while.  

I will, however, be back soon enough, and until them, please come back often and see what I'm up to.  

Many crafting hugs to you all,


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Liebster Blog Award and Sharing the Blog Love...

I want to thank Susan Brown at SBArtist: Painting in the Dark for giving me the Liebster Blog Award.  I am so very honored to be given this award by such a fine artist as Susan, and I am very pleased to continue this tradition.  

What is the Liebster Award?

Well. . .the origins of the Liebster Blog award are somewhat unclear and this seems to be blog folklore but it goes like this: 

"Some time (in the recent past), somewhere (rumor has it that it might be Germany), someone (I guessing he/she was named Liebster) decided to do something nice for a whole lot of bloggers and started the Liebster Blog Award. It’s an award you receive, but it is also an award that you give."

Liebster is a German word so  translated it from a few sources - it means favorite, sweetheart, beloved, darling.

If you receive a Liebster Blog Award you are asked to choose 3-5 other bloggers and send them one as well. It is an award meant to highlight smaller blogs - less than 200 followers. Let them know that we care and are reading. The idea is that the blogger receiving the award links back to the blogger who awarded him/her, and then chooses 3-5 people to send the award to. There is no obligation to continue this award. It is a lovely way to share the love and also a way of introducing other bloggers to the blogs you enjoy.

Here are the blogs I would like
to pass the love on to:

Candice Windham -  Candice Windham Designs

Joyce Shaver - Blythe Spirit

Ronnie Goff - Veronica: Muse At Play

Roann Mathias - Roann Mathias Calligraphy

Antoinette Garza Tristan - Fulfilling the Heart..Cultivate Life in Joy

These are just a few of my creative friends that I have met along my blogging travels! I encourage everyone to visit these blogs and let these talented artists know how very special they are! 

Happy Blogging!  Barbara

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tips and Techniques Thursday

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my Thursday edition of tips and techniques.  I have one simple storage solution for you today.  When you buy embellishments, get rid of the packaging.  You can then go: 

from this

to this.

However, in the meantime, don't throw all of the packaging away until you take a good look at it and see if it can be used for other things, like using it as a mold to make more of the same embellishments like those you bought.  You can see how I used the plastic packaging as a mold to imitate the embellishments I purchased by filling them with paper clay, or some other air dry clay.  You can, of course, use clay that needs to be baked in an oven, but of course, you would need to remove it from the plastic packaging.  

In the meantime, I will finish these off and show you what I did with them.  So, please stop by again next week for another adventure with my clay embellishments.   Have a good week and happy crafting!  Barbara

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Leslie-Rahye's Fairyland Blog Hop

Hello all you fairy lovers out there, and welcome to Leslie-Rahye's Fairyland Blog Hop.  I hope you are enjoying all the inspiration you have seen or about to see from all of these wonderfully talented and creative artists.

My fairy wonderland is made from two 6" x 6" mini canvases that, when hinged together, make a really neat art piece that looks like a book when closed, and stands freely for display when opened.  For this project, I used Prima Fairy Belle papers to first cover my two mini canvases.  I worked on the inside first, forming a "shadow" box in which I made my fairy wonderland.

I fussy cut a lot of the pretty flowers and butterflies from the papers, as well as two of the beautiful fairies on various sheets in this collection, which I will later use on the outer covers.  Stay tuned and I will show you how I finish it.  After fussy cutting, I then embossed them from the back to make them more dimensional and stand out a bit.  I die cut some branches from brown card stock to not only tie the two canvases together,  but also to have something from which I could "hang" the bird house that is not sitting on a post (right). 

I made some botanical embellishments using Martha Stewart's crafter's clay and molds.  After air drying, I colored them with Distress Stains in Peeled Paint and Broken China for the leaves, and Victorian Velvet for the flowers.    I made two mini toad stools using one of the medallions molds, cut the medallion in half to use for each of the toad stool tops, and hand-crafted the stems.   Then I colored each with Distress Stains in Tea Dye and Walnut Stain. 

I colored the Fairy pendant with Vintaj Patinas in Verdigris and Jade from the Weathered Copper set and layered on a bit of Amethyst and Quartz from the Victorian Gable set (dress) and Agate from the Retro Highway set (wings).  After the Agate dried, I added a layer of Diamond Stickles to the wings to glitter them up a bit.  All fairies should have glittery wings, don't you think?

I colored the white resin bird houses from Prima using Vintage Photo Distress Ink and heat set the ink with my heat gun.  I colored the Prima resin birds with Vintaj Patinas in Verdigris and Jade.  I used Lime Green Stickles over my leaves to give my fairyland more glitter.  I used Dollar Gold Judi-Kins Roxs for the flower centers and added Sakura's 3-D Crystal Lacquer to some of the butterflies printed on the paper.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you are enjoying the blog hop today, and check back soon to see how I finish this piece.  Please be sure to visit all of the other wonderful artists participating today, and let them (and me, too) know you stopped by to visit.  You can continue on to the other participants by simply clicking on their thumbnail link below. 

Until next time, have a fairy good day!  

Barbara :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back to School Student Supply Box

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my next project I've designed for The Robin's Nest.  Sometimes I feel like I have come up with a pretty good idea, and this is one I am really excited about.  I've been wanting to do this for some time, and I thought there was no better time to try this than now.  All the kids here are heading back to school this week, so I thought it would be appropriate to make a school supply box for that student in your life.  It could even be made to give as a gift to your child's favorite teacher.

To make this cute and useful box, I first took an empty Cricut cartridge box and painted the edges to match the paper.  
Painted box edges

I covered the box, inside and out, with these really cute papers from The Robin's Nest Boarding School Collection.   I used Glitter Letters paper on the outside, Glitter Numbers paper for the sides, and Red Fat Plaid paper for the inside.


I embellished the top cover with this cutest mini chalkboard, on which I was able to write my title, "School Supplies", using, much to my surprise, a Ranger "Picket Fence" Distress Marker.  A chalk pencil would also work well because it is an actual tiny chalk board.  I stamped two images twice in black ink from the Graphic 45 stamp set, An ABC Primer, in the blank spaces in between the black glittered numbers, on the Glitter Numbers paper and fussy cut each of the images.  I like to make my embellishments dimensional and more realistic, so I used heavy bodied glue and pop dots to raise the second image on top of the first image.  I colored the images in with markers and a bit of Distress Ink with an applicator sponge to make them show up better on the cover.


I layered the ABC Primer image onto an apple die cut and adhered all three embellishments to the top of  the box.  

On the inside of the box, I made a mini clipboard by covering a tiny piece of chipboard with a scrap of the Glittered Numbers paper, rounded the edges, and then inked the edges with Fired Brick Distress ink, which, by the way, matches this paper perfectly.  Then I attached the cute little apple paper clips to the top.  I layered this with another apple die cut, and voila, your supply box is finished.

Apple Die Cuts

Apple Paper Clips

I sure hope you enjoyed this project and will be inspired to give it a try.  It is easy and would make wonderful gifts to give to not only your school kids, but their teachers, and even friends and family.  The Robin's Nest paper is high quality and so very nice to work with.  And this paper is so very appropriate to use for this school project, or any other  project.  So please visit The Robin's Nest for more selections of beautiful papers and embellishments, and check back often for lots of inspiration from all of the other wonderful designers over at The Robin's Nest.    Also, check out their Monthly Page Map Challenge.  All you have to do is submit a page layout using their sketch and Robin's Nest products, and you could be the lucky winner of a $25 gift certificate to their online store.  

Happy crafting, 


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tips and Techniques Thursday

Hello fellow bloggers.  I'm back with a few more techniques for you to try using your powdered pigments, also known as Pearl-Ex and Powdered Pearls, to name a few.

Here is a fun technique to try with your Pearl-Ex powdered pigments.  Stamp an image in black onto a piece of acetate.  A bold image works well for this.  Run the acetate through your Xyron machine, applying the adhesive to the back, unstamped side.  Now dust one or more colors of powdered pigments to the adhesive side.  If you use an open stamped image for this technique, you can color in the back side of the image with various colors of Pearl-Ex, and then color in your background.  It makes a beautiful piece to add to a card or book page, or any other item.

Another idea along those same lines is to use a pre-printed piece of acetate, such as those made by Hambly Screen Prints, and do exactly the same thing.  Run the acetate sheet through your Xyron, or apply adhesive to the back side, and then color in the images or background, as you like. 

If you have trouble stamping onto acetate, you can also run inkjet printer type acetate through your printer to print images onto the acetate, and then adhere adhesive to the back and color in, as described above.

I hope you will give these a try.  They are really fun techniques, and your friends and family will wonder how you did it.  

Check back next Monday when I will have a new project posted for The Robin's Nest.  Until next time, happy crafting!