Monday, July 25, 2011

Handmade Decorative Brads

    It's been really hot the past few weeks, so I've been working on stuff indoors to stay away from it as much as possible. High temperatures and I do not get along very well, a trait I attribute to my Irish ancestry. Fortunately, I can always find something to keep me busy.
   Sometimes I'm just looking for a little unique touch to complete a card or project. I saw an idea to make your own magnets using this technique, and I decided to apply it to card making by making custom brads, instead. The process is simple, use oven-bake clay, cover the end of the brad with a small ball of it, being sure to wrap it around the back up to the prongs. Flatten the clay on the back, but leave the top of it somewhat rounded. Use any texture you'd like and gently press the top onto it, leaving an impression. You can use rubber stamps, embossing folders, fabrics, or any other textured surface. Bake according to the package directions. Paint, ink, antique or finish however you want.
   I used a background stamp from CTMH called Paisley Tapestry to heat emboss a piece of burgundy card stock with silver glitter embossing powder, then made matching brads that I painted silver and antiqued with burgundy ink. Viola! Coordinated paper and brads! Using silver paper, I die-cut and embossed a lace trim, using both the positive and negative strips. White satin ribbon makes a bow and overlays the trim. An all white flower arrangement with beaded stick pin completes the layout. 

Bazzil Basics card stock, Spellbinders Classic Lace Border die, Paisley Tapestry background stamp from Close to My Heart, Large flowers from Magnolia. I used Super Sculpey oven bake clay and the silver paint is Folk Art Acrylic in Metallic Silver. Silver paper, small flowers, pin, and ribbon from my stash.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Unique Embellishments

   I was looking through my stash for something to add a little bit of sparkle and dimension to a gift tag I was working on, but nothing caught my eye, so I finally decided to make my own instead. I wanted it to be somewhat translucent, but glittery, too. The theme I was working with involved a heart, so that's where I started. I pulled out my Cricut and a transparency sheet, finally deciding on an element from the Damask Decor cartridge. By the way, this is an awesome cartridge--it has lots of designs that have separate layers, as well as tags, cards, and envelopes. I don't buy many carts, so when I do buy one, it has to have lots of options; they're just too pricey otherwise. The complete instructions are on my tutorials page.

Supplies used:
Bazzil basics paper, Glossy Accents by Ranger, lily white sugar coating by doodlebug design.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jump In!

I decided it was time to launch my blog. I've taken a while to make a decision on the approach to take, but in the end, I think I've over-thought the whole thing, so I'm just going to jump in. I'll learn as I go and perfect it along the way. I want to share my creative ideas, and since I don't have just one area of interest, I think this will end up being a curiosity shop of ideas...a little of this and some of that. I'm hoping for a happy assortment of things that will bring inspiration for other projects for myself and others. My goal is to share ideas that are practical for the average person; things that are attractive and useful or make inexpensive gifts, but can be treasured both for the effort that went into it, and also because it's well made. So, here goes...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Who Knew?

Who would have thought that a simple cardboard tube could be turned into something so fantastic? I just recently came across this idea, and thought I'd give it a touch of my own. I've made a few mini-albums in the past, but this toilet paper tube mini piqued my interest and challenged my creativity. The concept is simple: collect a few TP tubes, flatten them, cover them with decorative papers, embellish and join into an album.

Tuck some tags into the pockets made by the tubes, and voila, a sweet little album or gift card wrapper!


I punched holes and inserted grommets and binder rings to make a book. It could also be held together just with string or ribbon, or if you're lucky enough to have a personal book binding tool, it could be put together that way.

Worried about the possibility of your TP rolls being contaminated from hanging around your bathroom? Pop them in a 375 degree oven for six minutes. That should take care of the germs. The TP rolls might discolor slightly, but they will still be usable.

I had fun using up odds and ends from my stash and trying out some new techniques, too. Hmmm...what else can I do with empty TP rolls?

I used Kaisercraft's Dear Santa Collection 6" paper pad for all of the pages and tags. The puffy star and reindeer ribbons came from Really Reasonable Ribbon. The grungeboard flourish is part of the Tim Holtz Ideaology Plain Elements collection. Other elements were scraps from my stash.