Monday, November 15, 2010

Playing card ATC's

Artist Trading Cards (ATC's) are very popular at art retreats as trades.  I know a lot of artists who trade these cards religiously.  It is really cool, to have a little piece of art created by an artist you admire. 

I like to use old playing cards as the base for my ATC's.  Collect images from your stash that are the right proportion to use on a playing card.  I use the decorated side of the card as the back, and put a sticker with my name, the date and if a series, the series number.  On the face side of the card, I lightly sand the plastic coating off and gesso the card.  I use white, clear or black gesso, depending on my mood that day.  Then I use paint, ink, stamps etc to color the background.  Sometimes I use a magazine image or patterned paper as the background.  Then I collage the rest of the images on the background, finishing with some text cut from an old book.

These can be glued to the front of a handmade card and used to make a lovely greeting card.  They can also be used in small frames for home decor.  Try a few for yourself and discover how addicting they can be. 

Bamboo placemat pendants

I am a placemat junkie.  I admit to scouring every store I go to for interesting placemats made from unusual materials.  Shells, wood, fibers, canvas...  I love them all.  But interestingly enough, I never use them as intended.  I deconstruct them and make jewelry with them. 

These pendants are very popular.  Everyone who sees them wants to know how I did them, and where did I get the stuff to make them. 

You need to get some images.  Check Etsy, ebay or you own personal stash for items you can use.  Once you have your images, scan them, resize them to the size of the tile, and then photocopy them on a color laser copier at Kinkos, and trim them to the size of the bamboo rectangle.  Glue the image directly to the tile with gel medium, and top with diamond glaze or Ice resin.. 

Thread wire through the holes in the tile, and make a loop.  Hang from a beaded necklace or chain, or a simple silk cord will work too. 

Nifty Vintage Luggage Redux

I collect old suitcases... Unfortunately, it is getting harder and harder to find the really cool ones.  Once in a while I come across old hard sided train cases and larger luggage pieces at garage sales. They are usually really ugly and beat up and have very little personality.  These three pieces were Navy blue, yellow and burgundy.  I wanted a matching 3 piece lusggage set that I could use for hauling my art stuff around. 

Spray paint is the great equalizer.  I LOVE spray paint.  Gather up your stencils and anything else you can spray a pattern through, scrapbook laser cuts, lace, plastic tablecloths, paper doilies, rubber rug mats... really think outside the box with this...

I started with white, and layered the stencil down, spritzing the white over the suitcase in random patterns.  Then I added pale green, aqua, pink and yellow.  The colors seemed a little muted, so I then used a bright royal blue metallic and purple spritzed lightly to make the stencils really pop.  The secret to this is the layers.  You really need to keep layering one stencil over another to get the depth.  If you don't like something, let it dry for a bit, and then spry over it again.  Using metallic silver or pearl paint will give you a cool damask effect. 

So drag out those old suitcases from the garage, go to the hazardous waste materials restore in your area and pick up spray paint for free, and go to town with all the cool colors and designs and see what you come up with!

Poker Face Necklace

This is a fun project that we do at community events with kids.  They LOVE it and usually make several.  It is addicting.  To really bling it up, attach several to a chain and create a charm necklace. 

Spray paint poker chips any desired color.  We used Purple, gold, silver, black and red.  Drill a small hole in the top edge of poker chip, and add a large jump ring. 

Glue a 1 inch punched circle of scrapbook paper, magazine clipping, wallpaper, sheetmusic or whatever graphic paper element you wish.  Add glitter, buttons, rhinestones, sequins, whatever else you like for bling.  Top with Diamond Glaze. 

Thread cording or twine through jump ring and you're done.

Spa box with reused hotel toiletries and Dryer sheets

This beautiful spa box was created with all reused materials.  I started out with a pretty box that I could recover with beautiful gift wrap.  It had stationery in it, and a cool removable lining that would hold all the spa materials perfectly.  I deconstructed the box, and recovered it carefully with gift wrap glued down with soft gel medium.  I like gel medium, but you can use wallpaper paste, or glue sticks.  Liquid glues cause the gift wrap to bubble... Gel medium is perfect, doesn't wrinkle or bubble.  I used a credit card to burnish it down well to the surfaces, and then used heavy gel medium to glue the box back together.

Take some used dryer sheets.  Make sure all the softener is off the sheets.  I run them through the washer once after using them to dry.  This gets any residual softener smell off the sheets.  Press them lightly with a low iron and set aside.  In a glass bowl combine 1/2 cup of rock salt, 1/4 cup epsom salts, and 1/4 cup existing bath salts that you have laying around.  Add a few drops of food coloring to tint the salts the desired color.  Add a few drops of essential oil or perfume oil if you have it lying around.  Scoop 1/8 cup of the salts onto a dryer sheet.  Tie up into a tight bundle.  Trim the top of the bundle into a round shape, tie a bow and finish up with a satin rose glued on with a glue gun.

Next, take some of those watch part tins or mini tins you have in your scrapbooking stash that held eyelets back in the day, and fill each one with different kinds of bath salts.  I have TONS of different kinds of mud bath, clay mud mask, healing herbal bath etc.  You can use epsom salts tinted different colors if you don't have any bath supplies at home.  You can get a 1/2 gallon of epsom salts at the Dollar Store.  I cut strips off of one of the dryer sheets and rolled it on my pants to create a shabby looking ribbon/twine.  Glue a punched circle of the coordinating gift wrap on the top of the tin, then tie it up like a little package, finish off with satin rose.  Write the name of the bath product on the bottom of the tin.

 Now dig out those hotel toiletries you have laying in the bottom of the bathroom drawer, and cut matching paper to cover the existing labels.  Glue the papers on to the toiletries.

Spray paint some poker chips with gold paint, punch a circle out and write the name of the product on the poker chip tag.  You can cut circles out of cardstock or chipboard if you prefer.  Tie label tags around the neck of the bottles, glue ribbons down with a dot of hot glue and embellish with roses.

Arrange items inside box, tie with a big bow and give to a friend who really needs some pampering.  These gifts are always a big hit, and people are blown away that you made it all...  Start looking for boxes and little containers at yard sales, and around your house that could be used for a similar project.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hail to the Chief

Here are some of the pages the kids did in their books about the inaguration and what President Obama inspires in them.

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