Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Papertrey MIM #181: Paper Casting

Hello! I am trying out Danielle's technique to make paper castings of our stamps. You can read all about how to do this over on Nicole's blog here. This was alot of fun! Who would have ever thought you could make such beautiful little castings from toilet paper? 

I used 6 sheets of TP for each casting. After die cutting the sheets using a Matt Stack die,  I just laid my stamp face up on my granite kitchen countertop, laid the die cut TP on top, added a little water on top and pressed with a kitchen towel and then a paper towel until I got most of the water out. 

Then I just laid them out on a cookie rack to dry (overnight). The hardest part of this whole thing was figuring what to do with them once they were dry. They are a bit delicate on their own, so I was afraid they wouldn't hold up by themselves as a tag. I tried mounting them to the same die cut shape cut out of cardstock, but found that the shape distorts once you add the water. So they wouldn't fit nicely on the die cut shape of cardstock. 

Here are a few of the ideas I came up with.
One of the die cut shapes I wanted to try out was the lace edge heart in Limitless Layers Hearts. I wanted to see if the little lace edges would die cut and stay in tack once wet. I was very pleased with the result! I just used a little bit of water in the center of the heart and tried not to get the edges wet. I use a sentiment from Love and Marriage. I put the heart on top of a little hexagon shaped box, which I covered with pretty patterned paper. Tied it all up with a little gold cord.

Next up is one of my favorties. I die cut the TP with Mega Matt Stack 3, and impressed the tree from Love and Marriage into it. I decided that since this was bigger, I would try to use it as a tag on a wedding present. I embellished it with some pearl strands, a flower, and some tulle. 
And lastly, I wanted to give this  technique a real test and see just how detailed it would do well. I impressed all four of the Hills series scenes and they came out beautiful. I then thought I'd try to add some color to them. I experimented on a messed up impression with markers, and they just soaked in too much. I decided to use some of my chalks for some light color. After coloring them, I scored a piece of Smokey Shadow cardstock every 2", die cut the medium scallop for the top edge and stamped a background from Background Basics: Twinkle with Fresh Snow ink. I then mounted each little scene onto a panel. Just a cute little decoration for my stamping room. I tried to capture the detail on the impressions - hopefully you can see it.

Thanks for sticking with me through all these pictures! You NEED to try this out for yourself!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Good Tidings Shaker Snowglobe Card

Hello! I was so excited to see my Papertrey box on my doorstep this afternoon! I had ordered a couple of Betsy Veldman's shaker Christmas dies and was anxious to try them out. I knew there would be a lot of images and diecuts that would fit inside this globe. I started with the "In The Meadow" Set of dies.

I cut the snowglobe backing from white cardstock, the front of the globe in Limeade Ice, and the base in Simply Chartreuse. I was looking for a tree image to put behind the ITM deer dies because the tree in that set is really too big for the globe. I looked through my stamp sets and finally found the trees I thought would work in the "Masculine Motifs" set. I stamped them with Limeade ice, and then cut the deer out of dark chocolate cardstock. I also cut one of the ITM snowdrifts to place the second deer on. He is popped up on foam adhesive. Because I had the deer popped up, I had to use two layers of foam adhesive (I know, it just about killed me to use up that much of that precious double sided adhesive!) in order for the shaker contents to have room to move around. I stamped the Good Tidings sentiment (from ITM) with dark chocolate on the globe base. I tied a little silver cord around the base and attached the finished snow globe to a card front covered with paper from the Papertrey Christmas Prints paper pad. I used some Martha Stewart coarse glitter and some of the snow globe confetti inside the shaker. So fun!

I can't wait to start on another one!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Button Bracelets

Hello! I have a lot of buttons. ALOT of buttons. Some of my favorites are my Papertrey buttons. I bought them with the intention of using them on cards, but quickly realized that they added alot of bulk to the cards and made them pretty unmailable - unless I wanted to design special thicker envelope boxes and pay much more in postage. So they've sat in my crafting room for a couple years now. I have to admit that they are very pretty to look at on the shelf in their jars.

As pretty as they are, I wanted to find a way to use them and enjoy them everyday. Now I have to start this off with the disclosure that I said I would NEVER get into jewelry making. I am in to WAY to many other crafts that take up space and time. But those buttons just begged to be made into button bracelets like some I've seen on pinterest and etsy. And it WOULD allow me to enjoy them more. But it WOULD also involve getting some jewelry making supplies. Not too many... but you know how that goes. Anyway, I watched you tube videos on jewelry making, picked up some brochures and set to making things with all my buttons. 

I have an etsy shop, so I will be putting these up there soon. IF I can part with them!




Thanks for stopping by!



Friday, September 5, 2014

A Penny for Your Thoughts...

Hello! No, this isn't a blog post about some philosophical idea, or politics. It's all about Penny Rugs! I love to work with wool. I've gotten involved with WAY to many different wool crafts in the past few years. My first love with wool came from making penny rugs. I was lucky enough to find a woolen shop that was going out of business and was able to purchase LOTS of wool at 60-80% off years ago. That wool forms the basis of many of my penny rugs. I went around the house and picked up all the penny rugs I could find to photograph. I know there are many more I've done - some given away as gifts, some hidden away in drawers, some in seasonal decorating totes, but this is a sampling of what I've done.
First, a little history on penny rugs from Wikipedia:
"In the 1800s, starting around the time of the Civil War, thrifty homemakers would use scraps of wool or felted wool from old clothing, blankets and hats to create designs for mats or rugs. Using coins as templates, they created circles and each piece was then stitched in blanket stitch fashion. (Thus, the name "penny" rug). Sometimes, the mats or rugs were backed with old burlap bags or feed sacks. Sometimes a penny was stitched inside the mat to make it lie flat.
Penny rugs are not actual rugs for the floor, but decorative coverings for beds, tables and dressers and mantles. Sometimes they are used as wall hangings or pillows. Most designs include circles and some include images from everyday life such as cats, flowers, birds and shapes such as stars and hearts.
Penny rugs are made by selecting good quality 100% wool. It must not be too thick. It may be hand-dyed or overdyed to give the piece dimension. The wool is felted then circles are cut from the wool in varying sizes and then stitched together concentrically using complementary colors. The circles are stitched to a wool backing in a pleasing design. When finished the entire piece should have a backing to cover the stitches and to protect it. The backing may be wool, linen or burlap."

Penny rugs have become very popular in these last few years and the way we make them and their uses have expanded. Still, they are mostly decorative, although we use them as couch arm covers, drink mats, or table mats - which is purposeful I guess. Anyway, they are FUN to make! No seams to turn under - which is awesome!

Just a little explanation of my wool before I start - I use either felted wool or wool felt on my projects. Now you ask - what is the difference? Felted wool is 100% real wool that is washed in hot water, then dried in a hot dryer, then rinsed in cold water. Have you ever washed a wool sweater and had it come out in a child's size? That's felting wool! The nice thing about felted wool is that the edges do not fray, so you do not need to turn them under. Yeah!

Wool felt is wool or a mixture of wool and rayon, that is commercially made and pressed. You can get it on the bolt, or individual sheets like 8" x 11" or 5" x 5" or other sizes. It is much cheaper than real wool - like $8 yard versus $20 and up for real wool.When using wool felt, I prefer 100% wool felt - like Papertrey Ink's felt, but when I can't find a color I want, or I need a piece wider than 5", I will buy from other sources. I attend a quilt conference in Hampton VA each year, and there are several wool vendors at the show. The amount of wool products is increasing each year at the show. I have bought wool felt packets and projects from The Village Mercantile at the shows. Their felt is 80% wool, 20% rayon, and comes in TONS of colors.

Here are some of the penny rugs and wool applique projects I have made:
This is one of my earlier penny rugs. It is just 7 1/4" long by 3 3/4" wide. I found the pattern for this in a quilt magazine. This is made from felted wool.

These are two little neck purses, each done in a different colorway. They measure 6 3/4" tall by 5" wide. I taught a class at my quilt guild on how to make these and provided kits for everyone in the class. They are meant to hold a few sewing supplies, but would be darling as an over the shoulder purse for your cell phone or credit cards. These are made from felted wool.

Another of my favorite things to make with wool and wool felt is pincushions. I use pins alot in quilting, although I have been known to buy pins just to fill up my pincushions! Here is a sampling of some of the wool pincushions I have made or have been given to me by friends.The black and aqua pincushion in the lower left corner is made using Papertrey wool felt. I taught this one as a class at my quilt guild also.

I made this purse using a combination of a couple different patterns. I used a purse pattern for the basic shape of the purse, but made the purse in wool (lined in a coordinating cotton print), and sewed pennys on the front. The black is felted wool, the flowers and leaves are wool felt.

These are two sweet little rabbit penny rugs I put out in the spring. They measure about 12" wide. The yellow rug is made from wool felt, and the bottom one is made from felted wool.They can be used for a hot mat, for a candle mat, on an armchair, or just on the back of a chair. I pin them to the backs of my sewing chairs during the rest of the year using little stick pins.
A basket penny rug - I think from a company called Little Bits. I have several of their patterns to stitch up. This one is about the size of the two rabbit ones above. It is made from felted wool.
This snowman penny rug measures about 16" by 13 1/2". It is made from felted wool. The background blue wool felted up sooo soft. Each piece of wool seems to felt up differently.
This sheep penny rug is a work in progress. I am stitching on it in the evenings while we watch TV. It is made from wool felt from a Bareroots pattern/kit. I love, love, love all her patterns - both wool and stitching patterns. Check them out.

The top flag rug measures 21" x 12 1/2" and is made from felted wool. It is sewn together similar to sewing a quilt. The bottom rug is made from a kit of wool felt and measures 22" x 14".
This bird rug is made from a mixture of felted wool and wool felt (yes, you can mix the two). The backing, pennys around the edge, red berries and bird's wings are felted wool, and the bird body and leaves are wool felt. I usually set this one out at Christmas. I have an awesome pattern for a Christmas candy penny rug I'd like to stitch - just need to find the time!
This is one of my fall penny rugs. Sorry that the picture is just horrible (very blown out for some reason). It is made from felted wool and measures 26 1/2" x 16". I usually put this one on my dining room table as a center mat in the fall.

Probably my ultimate penny rug (or at least wool project - is my album quilt. It was a block of the month quilt. The background of each square, the sashing around each block, and the border background are all Moda flannel.  Other than that, the rest of the appliqued decorations are felted wool. It hangs above my computer where I can see it every day, and know that Nothing is impossible! :)

Hope I didn't bore you with all these pictures and explanations. I just wanted to put up a blog post with all my wool projects in one place. Don't even get me started on needle felting (another wool craft I swore I would never get involved with) - but that's for another post! Thanks for putting up with this long post!