Thursday, June 1, 2017

Coloring Page - Thinking of You Note Card

EMBRACING CHANGE: Many of you have witnessed a shift in my creative interests lately.  I began my journey as a sock monkey maker, and while I still do love the sock monkeys and still enjoy making them (and I will if you ask me!), my rubber stamp adventure ultimately required more of my time than making sock monkeys.  BIG CHANGES ARE ON THE HORIZON.  I'll have more to tell you about that very soon.

About a year ago, a very dear friend sent me a set of watercolors to encourage me to give them a fair chance (thanks, Jenn!); I knew then that I really do love painting more than I had realized.  I'm not defined by just one type of art or craft.  Little moments in everyday life inspire new interests, crafts, and hobbies.  I love it all!  And with that, I'd like to share those pieces of myself with you whenever I can.  I'd love also to encourage YOU to draw, color, paint, sculpt, sew, crochet, knit...  anything.  Simply CREATE.  Every day.  If you have children, create with them.  If you don't have children, create with a friend.  I believe that art is a form of therapy.  Even writing a letter can be therapeutic.

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF: Occasionally I'd like to create a coloring page to share with you.  It's not super fancy, it's just for fun.  Coloring pages are for personal use and are not to be used for reproduction or for sale.  Today's coloring page is actually a set of note cards.  After you download and print your page, cut the paper in half horizontally so that you get two pieces of paper that measure 8.5" x 5.5".  (The images should be on the right.)  You may then score and fold the pages in half, giving you two cards that measure (A2) 4.25" x 5.5".

Color your pictures, then send the cards to someone with a handwritten note inside letting them know that you're thinking of them.  Enjoy!

As always, thanks for following along on my handmade journey!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How To Tuesday - Geode Shrink Film Charms for Jewelry and Stitch Markers

For those of you that follow me on Facebook and Instagram: THANK YOU!  I try to share my project progress to show a little bit of what happens "behind the scenes" and where my inspiration comes from.  As promised, here is a step-by-step photo tutorial showing how I made shrink film geodes. 

To begin, first gather your supplies:

Colored Pencils
Standard Hole Punch
Oven, Cookie Sheet, and Parchment Paper
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic or Comparable Dimensional Sealer
Glitter (optional, but recommended)
Small Paint Brush (optional, but recommended)
Jump Rings, Jewelry Hardware, and Pliers 
Step 1: Use StazOn ink on a Geode Rubber Stamp to stamp images onto the sanded surface of the shrink film.  Leave a little bit of room between images.
 Step 2: Using craft scissors, cut images apart.
 Step 3: Using a variety of colored pencils, color your geodes.  Search the internet for color inspiration and reference.  TIP: Use a white or lighter colored pencil to blend colors.
 Step 4: If a hole is desired, it is important to punch a hole BEFORE shrinking the film.  Punch a single hole on either side of the geode for making charms or stitch markers.  Don't punch a hole if you would prefer to keep a solid shape.
 Step 5: Bake your geodes according to package directions.  TIP: I use parchment paper on a cookie sheet with a second piece of parchment paper over the top to prevent curling.
 The geodes shrink to about HALF of their original size!
 Step 6: Put a drop of Dimensional Magic on your craft sheet (in my case, it is the parchment paper from the oven.)  Use a small paintbrush to brush the Dimensional Magic onto the center of your geodes.  Dust the geodes with glitter.  TIP: Using the parchment paper as a craft sheet will allow you to return the unused glitter to the original container.  Set aside to dry.

Step 7: Seal your geodes with a layer of Mod Podge Dimensional Magic for a thick gloss finish.  TIP: Keep a pin on the table to pop any bubbles that may appear.  Set aside to dry according to package directions.  I usually leave mine for about 24 hours before attaching any hardware.
Now you have a collection of unique charms to use to create a variety of projects.  Some suggestions are: stitch markers, earrings, necklace charms, lapel pins, rings, decorative accent buttons, wine glass charms, card embellishments... and I'm sure you can think of lots of other ideas, too!
I hope you have found this tutorial to be helpful.  If you like the geode rubber stamp and want to see more original hand carved rubber stamps, I invite you to visit my Etsy shop.  If you've found this tutorial to be informative and know someone who may benefit from it, please share it with your friends.  Happy crafting!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hand Stamped Note Cards - A Brief Tutorial

Often, when I'm testing out a new rubber stamp design, I'll stamp the image repeatedly over a sheet of cardstock, then splash a bit of watercolor on it.  (If you follow my adventures on Instagram you've probably seen the timelapse videos showing the process.)  It's simple and so much FUN!  Then I have a handmade, hand stamped sheet that I can cut down to make note cards.  You can make your cards in any dimension that you'd like, with any medium and supplies you have on hand, but I'll include notes below for how I made mine.  
Supplies needed:
printed paper (hand stamped, hand painted is what I used)
paper cutter
scoring mat and bone folder (optional)
pigment ink (permanent, optional)

For every one 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of printed cardstock, I will need two sheets of blank cardstock for the card bases.  I cut the printed paper down to 4" wide by 2 1/4" high (giving me 8 cards,) then I cut the other two blank sheets down to 4 1/4" wide by 5" high (giving me 8 card bases.)
I use a scoring mat and bone folder to score the card base at 2 1/2" so that my finished card measures 4 1/4" wide by 2 1/2" high.
Since I like to use my note cards as Thank You cards, and because I just LOVE this chunky "Thank You" stamp by Inkadinkado, this is my go-to for these types of cards.  Any sentiment stamp will work.  Or, you don't have to use any type of sentiment stamp at all.  It's up to you!  I happened to have this Ranger archival ink pad out, and because it has permanent, waterproof ink, this is what I used on my cards.
Be sure to have a scrap piece of paper behind your work for this step, otherwise you may have an inky mess on your work surface!
Now that my stamping is finished, it's time to attach the cards to the card bases.  Tombow Mono Liquid Glue is one of my very favorite adhesives to use.  (My kid's too.  I know because he's ALWAYS stealing mine to use on his art projects.  I've since learned to buy them two at a time.)  That's just me.  Use your favorite adhesive or tape runner to attach your cards to their bases.
Really, that's it!  You can modify this technique to create any size card that you need.  For example: quarter the sheet (4 1/4" x 5 1/2") and you've got four A2 size cards.  That may be useful when mass-producing holiday cards!
For unique hand carved rubber stamps, I invite you to visit my Etsy shop.
Happy Crafting!  And as always, THANK YOU for following along on my handmade journey.