Tell a story with stickers.

It has been quite a while since I blew the dust off this blog.

Recently I have been watching videos about making your own embellishments for cards, scrapbook layouts, artist trading cards, and just to have a stash of things you like and will use.  And, as usual, I got sidetracked in my room as I began hunting through my sticker stash to create embellishments.

I’ve made three tags, over the last few days, using my stickers from 2005 and an old 2013 Atlas.

Road trip tags using stickers.  Front

Road trip tags using stickers. Front

Road trip tags using old maps.  Back

Road trip tags using old maps. Back

The “Process” video at the end of this post will show you how I made the center tag.  The same steps have been used for all three of them.  Each with a little bit of something different but the theme remains the same.

The tag I made today is about a stop necessary on any road trip.  Getting gas and all the other important things that get done at a gas station.

This is one of those creations that starts out with promise and quickly ends up going in the dumper.  I did NOT like what I had created.

This was too much of a mess for my liking.

This was too much of a mess for my liking.

Cut out all the stickers and start over.

Cut out all the stickers and start over.

I went to my computer and typed out the words I had originally hand written.  I have a Xyron Sticker Maker.  I cut the printer paper down to a size sufficient to be fed through the Xyron then cut the pieces out.

Used my computer to create the phrases.

Used my computer to create the phrases.

My Xyron Sticker Maker is ideal for this.

My Xyron Sticker Maker is ideal for this.

Cut the paper down to size and feed through.

Cut the paper down to size and feed through.

So easy and it creates the stickey back automatically.

So easy and it creates the sticky back automatically.

I like this now!

I like this now!

Get all my  phrases cut out.

Get all my phrases cut out.

I spent a little time for placement of my new stickers.  Before I attached them I cut them down to better word strips.  After attaching them to the tag, with an additional bit of glue, I drew around them with a black micro pen.

Placement tryout.  Change things around before they are applied.

Placement tryout. Change things around before they are applied.

Now that looks so much better!

Now that looks so much better!

I even saved the old truck I stamped from the Stampers Anonymous “The Journey” stamp set.   The truck went on the back of the tag as part of the map feature.

Back of tag is complete.

Back of tag is complete.

Here is the “Process” video if you want to see how to create  your own tags featuring the stickers you have in your stash.  Enjoy your creative time.

Leslie

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Budget friendly Christmas presents from your local hardware store.

My thoughts have been centered around the hardware store recently.  Oh the wonders one can find in a store dedicated to destruction and reconstruction.  Take a little trip through the hardware store for supplies to make Christmas presents.

If you don’t have a “Big Box” hardware store in your area you might have to check out your local flooring center for today’s project idea.  I got my supplies from my local Lowe’s Home Improvement Center.

Lowe's Home Improvement Center

Lowe’s Home Improvement Center

Coasters are used in many homes to protect the furniture tops from beverage mishaps.  Heat rings from a hot mug of coffee, water rings left behind when iced beverages drip condensation.  You can find plenty of coasters at your local stores.  Wood, fiber, ceramic, porcelain.  Some with inspirational phrases, colors, graphic designs, and even some you can personalize with your photos.

The price range of this decor item varies.  Cheap and inexpensive to quality with a high end price tag.  Most coasters I have seen in stores come in a set of four.

For this project, I have selected four porcelain tiles that measure 4″ x 4″.  The tile costs were 17 cents a piece.  The felt protective feet came in a set of 20 for $2.97.  If you have Mod Podge glue, or something similar, in your craft supplies this project will cost you less that $5 for one of a kind gift giving.

Altered porcelain tiles

Altered porcelain tiles

I used one of the last few papers from my DCWV Mariposa paper collection on these tiles.  My supply of Mod Podge was seriously depleted.  I went to my Michaels craft store to purchase more and found a formulation that is “Dishwasher Safe”.  This Mod Podge dries completely with no sticky or tacky feel after fully curing.  I don’t, as a general rule, use Mod Podge because of that one problem I have with it.  Living in a humid area this glue tends to be tacky for a long time before it fully cures.  Sometimes even weeks after project completion.

The Mod Podge set me back $9 and I had to purchase another tube of E-6000 which was an additional $5.  These two products will have a long shelf life in my craft room and will be used on other projects in the future so the cost can be spread out over the years.

I used the E-6000 to adhere the felt feet on the back of the tiles.  This is to ensure no furniture damage will occur when moving or stacking the tile coasters on table tops.  If you would like to have a full tutorial on making these tile coasters, I have a video for you.

Leslie

Coma but the brain was showing signs of life.

My computer is finally back home from the repair shop.

For nearly a month it was showing signs of trauma.  It succumbed to coma after some really weird power outage events here at home.  The stress was too much for the poor thing.

My poor computer’s brain was scrambled.  Valiant attempts it made each time I took it to the repair shop where it worked just fine and without any problems.  Bring it back home and it would not work.  This went on for several days…in and out of the shop.  Until it was finally determined that my computer needed to have a full diagnostic run on it and some “medical” tests run.

Once my computer’s guts were opened, poked, prodded, and thoroughly cleaned it was determined that the hard drive was in such a state it needed to be “defraged”.

Computer being defraged

Computer being defraged

Bob, from The MacMan in Moore, Oklahoma, sent me an email telling me that my hard drive was all in the “RED”.  Defraging was necessary in order to have it back in working order.  As you can see, from the photo above, my poor thing was in critical condition.

It is back home and I am finally able to get back to doing what I have been doing.  Making tutorial movies for my YouTube channel, getting back in touch with friends and family on Facebook, (which I did do with my smartphone) and making an attempt to catch up on the blogs I have missed reading, and finally to begin the posting on my blog.

While my computer was down I worked on the cork bulletin board.  Sharing my progress in photos to Facebook.  As a test to the abilities of my newly “unscrambled” hard drive I made a video for my channel on how to alter a picture frame from the Goodwill, with a lot of help from my Joe.

If you are interested in the process, you can watch the video below.

Leslie

Priceless art found at Goodwill store.

Okay, so I’ve lied.  Just to get you in to read my blog.  Shameless bit of self promotion.  😦

One of my YouTube subscribers and Facebook followers has told me she has put herself on an extremely strict craft buying budget.  Her question was “What can I make for Christmas presents”?

If you have followed my blog you may know that I do a lot of altering of items that are culled from the trash/recycling or purchased items from thrift stores.  Currently, I am working on a cork bulletin board project.

When I go to the Goodwill store I always look for picture frames that are undamaged.  Even if the glass is broken but the frame is in good shape I will purchase it.  Last year I found several of them and they have been waiting for my attention.  I’ve chosen one that would be a good size, I think.

Frame from the Goodwill

Frame from the Goodwill

This beauty was priced for the fabulous art, I think.

Price for the frame

Price for the frame

There is some really great floral reliefs on the frame that I want to bring out.

Floral reliefs on frame

Floral reliefs on frame

The back side of the frame is deeply inset and not damaged from paper backing or a bazillion staples.

The back looks good and not damaged

The back looks good and not damaged

The staples holding the artwork in place will be easily removed.

Staples are in good condition

Staples are in good condition

Several years ago I purchased a giant piece of industrial cork from a supplier in Oklahoma City.  This cork is a specialty item.  It has been combined with rubber and been processed to be “Self Healing”.  Any place a stick pin goes, once removed the cork will close the hole and not wallow out bigger.  This is the piece that Joe cut for me from my giant piece.

Self-healing cork

Self-healing cork

Check out your local hardware store or flooring center for cork tile flooring.  This type of cork is thicker.  The wafer thin cork that comes with the cork boards sold in most stores is backed by a piece of wood that is not as good as the thicker pieces of flooring or specialty cork.

I am working on a tutorial of how to do this type of a project.  With the steps involved, this is not a project that is quick.  It takes several days to do.  There is a lot of waiting for different products to dry or become workable.  Contact cement to adhere the cork to a wood backing piece, paint to dry, glue to dry.

The papers I have chosen to adhere to the cork are from a Paper Studio pack I received as a Christmas present last year…or the year before….from one of my daughters.

Paper Studio Kirby Teesdale Collection

Paper Studio Kirby Teesdale Collection

I cut the papers to fit and glued them on with my FAVORITE adhesive in the world.  Club Scrap’s Book Binding and Laminating glue.  You can use Mod Podge on this type of a project.  I have done that and it works great.

Using Club Scrap's Bookbinding and Laminating glue

Using Club Scrap’s Bookbinding and Laminating glue

For the next 24 hours this puppy will be squished under my two dutch ovens while the glue dries and the paper is permanently adhered to the cork.

Waiting for the glue to dry

Waiting for the glue to dry

For a few dollars, you can take anything that is lost and forlorn and make it into a thing of beauty.  That is what I am shooting for anyway.  The beauty part that is.

Leslie

 

Tool Envy. The roadblock to creativity.

Sometimes, not often, a bit of envy creeps in on us in the paper crafting arena.  There are so many tools on the market for paper crafters.  Die cutting machines, embossing machines, die cutting AND embossing machines, Score Boards AND Scor-Pals, electronic cutting machines like the Cricut.  Paper trimmers, hand tools, and punches.

It would cost a fortune to trick your craft space out with the latest and greatest.  Or even with the oldies and goodies found at yard sales, thrift shops, and auction sites.

Having been a new craft person myself, years ago, I spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos on creating all manner of things.  I found myself in a catastrophic “Hoarder” position. Each video I watched I knew I just HAD TO HAVE the tools used in the videos.  It got so bad that I had to stay out on the road as a truck driver to (1) earn back the money I spent in the craft stores and (2) STAY OUT of the craft stores so I wouldn’t spend any more money.

My YouTube channel is all about using what you have.  No More Tool Envy PART 1 and PART 2.

So for those new to the paper crafting world that don’t have a die cutting machine to use the Tim Holtz rosette die; or can’t quite afford to plonk down over $30 for a Score Board or Scor-Pal; or find the $15 to $20 border punches.  I have two videos up today on creating accordion fold rosettes using nothing more than a pencil, ruler, bone folder, a pair of scissors, a paper trimmer, some kind of adhesive, and a bit of your time.

Accordion fold rosettes

Accordion fold rosettes

Making the rosettes the “Old Fashioned Way” is easy to do.  I have quite a number of Christmas themed stickers that are 15 years old that need to be used up instead of neglected and stuffed away.

My second video, or Part 2 of No More Tool Envy, I use those old stickers by giving them a face lift, if you will.  Adding glitter glue and a bit of ribbon.  Or take two stickers that are exactly the same and making them dimensional.

Dimensional stickers

Dimensional stickers

OLD stickers, lace, and glitter glues

OLD stickers, lace, and glitter glues

OLD chipboard pieces, stickers, and lace

OLD chipboard pieces, stickers, and lace

Even OLD decorative edge scissors

Even OLD decorative edge scissors

Make use of your new found creativity and explore the avenues that open to you as you USE WHAT YOU  HAVE to create awesome things.

 

Leslie

Altered Christmas glass ornaments.

Today is the day the video is up on my YouTube channel showing the process of altering these glass ornaments.

Altered glass ornaments

Altered glass ornaments

I used a couple of Sizzix dies – Flourishes and Snowflakes – with my metal duct tape from the hardware store.  The first six I left clear.  The bottom six I used Ranger Industries Alcohol Inks in the colors of Current, Stream, and Butterscotch.

The first three are Current on the left, Stream in the center, and Butterscotch on the right.  The bottom left one is a remix of the colors on the same felt pad and it turned a little brown.  I like that one.  For the final two I used a new felt pad to finish them off.

This flourish was a real bugger to work with.  So many intricate swirls and curves.  This one was way too fiddly for me.  By the time I adhered the second one of this flourish die cut from the metal duct tape….I was so over this whole entire project.  I had to get encouragement from my daughter with the twins to keep going and see it through to the end.

Intricate flourish

Intricate flourish

The Snowflake dies were the easiest to cut out, take apart, and adhere.  I did have a few problems with them but nothing like the really intricate flourish.

Snowflake die

Snowflake die

The less intricate flourish dies were really great to work with.

Less intricate flourish die

Less intricate flourish die

This project took me over two days to complete.  I have the attention span of a gnat and a shorter patience span than that.  Altering Christmas clear glass balls will NOT be on my list of must do decorating again.

My daughter with the twins suggested that I make a whole bunch of these and sell them at a craft fair.  My answer to her was “Not just NO, but H*&L NO!”  I’ll leave that job to someone that enjoys fiddly things.  The other nuisance was having to use the hot glue gun for the ribbon around the neck and the fork bow on each of the balls.

I do get to have the pride and privilege of saying “I made these” and there will never be anymore like them.  Someone else may take a stab at creating these for themselves but they won’t be the same as mine are.

Leslie

Texts from my husband: “Where are U”

I have been putting off a trip to my local big box craft/hobby stores for several months.  My supply of foam mounting squares is getting really low.  So low that a project I’m working on will require more than what I have on hand.

The temptations that await me at a craft/hobby store are more than I have the power to resist.  Even if I take Joe with me as the sane adult.  I have come to flippantly calling my journeys to these stores….seeing my drug dealer.

Just as soon as I walk in the doors I get a rush.  Some endorphin, or whatever the chemical rush is, kicks in and I become hyper focused on the goods displayed.  A joy wells up within me.  An excitement that is akin to a child let loose in a toy store.  The mantra in my head is “I WANT IT!”   The major problem with that is, I can’t seem to muster the restraint required to end up leaving the store with what I had gone in to get in the first place.  Invariably, I wind up leaving the store with a whole lot of stuff and NONE of what I went in for.

I don’t watch the plethora of “HAUL” videos on YouTube because of the same thing.  I see what people have and I feel the great need to say “I WANT IT!”.  This is the main reason why all of the things I create are from my burgeoning stash of old items.  I have way too much stuff from my many previous visits to my “drug dealer”.

So, with Joe in tow, I went to my local Hobby Lobby.  I told him before we got out of the car that I needed to get “Foam Dots”.  My husband is totally awesome in so many ways.  He is, however, an “Enabler”.  He can make the process worse for me.  He’ll see something on display and say “You don’t have this do you?” or “Do you want that?”.  He was going in to find balsa wood strips to prepare for the day he creates a model train landscape with all the bridges and towns.  He has been acquiring bits and pieces since 1993 and has yet to build more than one trestle bridge.

My recent trip to Hobby Lobby

My recent trip to Hobby Lobby

I felt that the best way to handle this was to not stroll next to him.  If I go off on my own, maybe, I can be less tempted and actually get the foam dots.

The foam dots used to be in the back of the store where the Clearance items are located.  Of course, I immediately headed to the clearance area.  First thing that caught my eye was a border punch.

A border punch

A border punch

Who cares that we are nearing winter and the Holiday season.  It is shiny and “I Want It”.

No foam dots in the cart, yet.

The project I am working on needs to have some winter embellishments.  Snowflakes or something winter like.  The butterfly punch, although lovely, is not what I need.  The foam dots were no longer displayed near the Clearance wall.  A small, very small, selection of dies was on display near there.  I saw this die for making snowflakes.  Yes, it is shiny and it went into my cart.

Snowflake die

Snowflake die

I got a text message from Joe.  “Where r u?”

Where r u?

Where r u?

When I left the aisle with the dies I went in search of Joe.  Only to find a couple more things I could not resist.  Clear Christmas balls just waiting to be altered.  Then fake snow to go inside the clear balls.

Clear Christmas balls

Clear Christmas balls

Fake snow

Fake snow

I did, finally, find the foam dots and get them in my shopping cart.

Foam dots

Foam dots

Ultimately, this was the extent of my shopping trip.

Results of my shopping trip

Results of my shopping trip

Well, as  you might imagine…the project I had been diligently working on was put on the back burner.  The whole reason for the trip to the craft/hobby store.  Here is a little teaser for what will be coming to my YouTube channel this coming Tuesday.  It is only a little over one minute long and packed with music, excitement, and a bit like a professional movie trailer 😀

Leslie

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