Monday, March 27, 2017

Project: Vintage Style Note Holder

Recently I needed to make several favor gifts for an event I put on.  I had these wooden post it note holders in my stash and decided they would be perfect.  My dad made these holders for me but you can buy them very inexpensively from Cabin Crafters.  Shop your local dollar store for the actual note pads.
Here's how to make your own: 
First I grabbed a lovely vintage graphic from my favorite site, The Graphics Fairy.  I placed the image into PhotoShop and created the layout I wanted.  Then--VERY IMPORTANT--I mirrored the image and printed it out using a laser printer. 
Next I painted the wood note holders using Americana Decor Chalky Finish (Timeless).  While they were drying I "fussy" cut each of my printed images out. 
To transfer, I used the Polycrylic method.  
To do this, simply paint a coat of poly where your image will be placed.   While still wet, brush poly over the reversed side of the image.  Flip the image over onto the wet surface.  Brush another coat of poly on top of your image and smooth out, using your fingers or brush.  You want to make sure that there are no bubbles trapped under the paper image. 
Now let the image dry.  It doesn't take long.  I like to do this in the morning and then come back to it after lunch.  Once dry, you want to wet the paper to reveal the image.  You can use a sponge or spray bottle but get the paper as wet as possible.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then wet again.  Take your finger and gently start to rub the paper away from the image.  It may take more water spritzes to remove all the paper.  If some of the transfer comes off, you can leave it as is (giving your piece a true vintage look) or you can touch up with black paint. 
Once I removed the paper, I gave the top of the note holder one more coat of poly.  I did this because I wanted to shade around the image and if I didn't, any remaining paper around the image grabs the paint.  Once that was dry, I used brown acrylic paint to shade the image and around the letters. 
I also shaded around the entire holder bottom, sides, and back.  I then flyspecked the entire piece.  Once everything was dry, I brushed on a final coat of polycrylic. 
Using double sided tape, add a strip to the back of a post it note stack and attach the pad to the holder.
And here it is!  A lovely and practical gift.  
Here's a look at the rest of the holders I made.  
I chose graphics to fit each person's personality.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring Floral Cards

It's going to be about a month before I see any flowers popping up here in northern Michigan.  So it brought some happiness into the studio when I put together these cheerful floral cards.  Both feature coordinating scrap paper that I layered onto a card stock base.
The top card's floral layer is matted with brown card stock.  Over that I added another similar scrap (also layered with darker brown card stock).  I matched up the ribbon with the color of the sentiment sticker.  The embellishment is a die cut two layer flower that I accented with distress ink and markers.  The pieces are held together with a bronze brad. 
For the card above, I rounded the corners of the floral scrap and laid it directly on to the card stock base.  I stamped the "WISH" sentiment in archival ink onto cream card stock and colored with  markers.  That piece was then rounded, distressed and placed upon the green piece--also stamped, distressed and rounded.
I love using up my scraps and it makes it super easy when you have pieces that coordinate together.  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Upcycled HOME

Here's a sign I recently created. 
Remember when these plastic home decor company letters were popular?  Well, not so much anymore because I found them at a garage sale for a buck.  I figured I could recycle them into something new so I took them outside and spray painted the letters completely black. 
 I painted white chalky paint on the front only of the letters.  I didn't mind if the paint edges were uneven and messy.  For interest I used a background stamp with black chalk paint and added the cool  screen design.  I softened the edges with more of the black paint.  I used a pine board as the sign base,  painting it with red chalk paint and distressing. 
I glued the letters to the board and added eye hooks for hanging.  
This is now a large piece of sign art that will add a pop of color to any style of decor!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Man Cards

I don't know about you, but I have a hard time making "manly" cards.  Maybe because I like pretty and sparkly?  Whatever reason, I have to really try hard to come up with something that looks masculine.  One way is to use my classic car stamp set.  Cuz all guys like cars, right?!  lol
For the card above, I used a chevron background stamp directly on the cream colored card stock base.  Over that I layered a piece of dotted scrap that I wrapped a bit of washi tape around (yay!  I used some of my giant washi stash up!!).  I stamped the image using Sepia Archival ink.  To finish, I stamped and punched the sentiment circles.  Pretty easy and I think it's manly enough. 
For this card, I got out the markers and did some coloring on the black Archival ink stamped image.  I wanted it to be bold to match the colorful dotted paper I layered over the blue card stock base.  Another piece of washi tape for accent and it's done!  I think this would be a great card for that "young at heart" guy, don't you?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Project: Mixed Media Collage

A mixed media collage is extremely easy and fun to create.  
For this piece, I went with a spring theme.  
You can create one of your own by following a few easy steps! 
Step One:
Find a frame.  I took an old office frame that I gave new life to by chalk painting.  Once the frame was dry, I waxed it and then distressed using brown wax.  This gave the frame a lovely vintage look. 
Step Two:
Create your background.  I used a canvas board that fit my frame.  On top of that, I used multi medium to attach a piece of sheet music.  Once everything was dry, I used Distress Ink to antique the edges. 
Step Three:
Gather all of the elements that you may want to add to your collage.  Play around with them, arranging and rearranging until you get a layout you like.  Once you do, take a quick picture of the layout so that you know how to put it all back together again!
I used Glossy Accents and hot glue to attach my elements.

--Decide on a theme and make sure your elements compliment that theme.
I knew I wanted to used the sheet music.  Once I found the heading card, a theme fell into place.
You'll notice that I pulled out many more elements than I ended up using.  While this is a really fun step, don't rush it.  You'll want to play around with several layouts until you get the best arrangement.
--Coordinate your color scheme.
I found florals to match the card and painted the eggs and number block to compliment as well.
I also added Distress Ink to all of the embellishments to further pull the elements together.
--Use a variety of textures.
The more layers and textures, the more interesting your piece will be.  Again, be sure that you follow your overall theme and color scheme when adding texture.  Shiny objects would not have looked good with my vintage/distressed collage.
--Plan placement of elements.
You'll notice that the pieces in my collage have a "Z" layout
This is to guide the eye through the piece.  Also notice that all the elements are
touching at least one other element. Don't leave an element stranded out by itself!

So, really it's not hard to create a lovely mixed media collage when you follow these basic steps.  Gather some elements and give it a try!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Blog-Aversary Freebie--Last Week--Painting Pattern

Here's an easy painting project perfect for Valentine's Day, a memory box or just because!
Grab the complete instructions FREE for a limited time HERE.
Be sure to grab the other two freebies from the Blog-Aversary, as they will be coming down soon.
Thanks again for hanging with me these past six years!  It's been a pleasure!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Blog-Aversary SVG Freebie!

A look back to this pillow box file from 2012.  
A simple little box that can be used for all kinds of occasions.  
At this time of year, they are perfect for holding Valentine's Day treats. 
Lots of inspiration in the photos below, several which are from the Design Team.
Grab the FREE SVG file below. 
A plain pink card stock box, decked out with embellishments. 
Classic black and red box. 
Another simple, yet perfect box from the DT. 
Some shine on this box from the DT. 
Sweet stamping on this box from the DT. 
Pretty shades of pink on this box from the DT.
Now it's time to make your own pillow boxes!
Grab the file free HERE.