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

My very FIRST “Finish It Friday” feature.

Usually….unless I have a gift making project….the “How To” video item gets tossed to the side, shoved into a box, hidden beneath a pile of other stuff, and generally is forgotten.

As a fickle crafter, always looking for the next fun technique or idea, I have amassed quite a stash of……crap…..

Seriously folks, I don’t think very far into the future as I create.  I get an idea for a technique.  Make a video featuring the technique.  The end.

These past two weeks I’ve been showing you how to heat emboss items without using rubber stamps.  Getting creative by using what I have on hand.  Saving myself money and time while trying to let you know that the online or walk in craft stores don’t have to be your go to place when you need something for a project.

If your craft space is anything like mine (after 10+ years of creating) you have a rich supply of paper, adhesive, dies, tools, equipment, and just a whole lot of cr….oops STUFF patiently waiting for you to remember them.

No matter your age as a new paper crafter, YouTube is a gateway to creativity.  It can also be a gateway to hell as you compare your work to others with more experience.  I might even go so far as to say quite a number of the 10 Commandments get mangled and abused in our my craft areas as we watch YouTube videos.

COMMANDMENT #1:   You shall have no other Gods before me.

I’m guilty of abusing this Commandment.  Tim Holtz, for example.  Wonderful man and teacher.  When he has a new blog post or video I am on it.  Reading every word of his blog or tweets.  Intently listening and watching his instruction as he creates his art pieces.

Tim Holtz is not the only one.  Stampin’ Up!, Graphic 45, Die Cuts With a View (DCWV), Michaels, Hobby Lobby to name a few.

COMMANDMENT #2:  You shall not make idols.

Yes, I’ve fractured this Commandment a time or two.  I’ve made a few things that I am particularly proud of and often look at the photos of my creations that have been passed on to whomever I made them for.

COMMANDMENT #3:  You shall not take the name of your LORD and God in vain.

Yep.  Smashed this Commandment on numerous occasions when a project or technique goes bad.  Hissy fit with a potty mouth.

COMMANDMENT #4:  Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

When I am in the creative zone one day runs into the next.  The only day(s) I don’t do anything creative are the days when my Mojo takes a hike or I am in a total funk.

COMMANDMENT #5:  Honor your father and mother.

This one gets trashed from time to time.  If I feel the need to speak about my childhood in foster care my father and mother usually get eviscerated in the conversation.

COMMANDMENT #6:  You shall not murder.

So far….I’m good on that one.  However, I am sorely tempted to act on this when I get a particularly nasty comment on one of my videos.

COMMANDMENT #7:  You shall not commit adultery.

I often wonder what my husband thinks as I babble on and on about Tim Holtz.  At least I only babble about him and don’t actively seek him out.  So…I guess I’m safe on this one.

COMMANDMENT #8:  You shall not steal.

Err, uhm, ahem.  I have stolen someone’s idea from a YouTube video and made it my own.  Not anymore though.  I have learned to give credit where credit is due.

COMMANDMENT #9:  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

I have not sullied this Commandment…..yet.

COMMANDMENT #10:  You shall not covet.

Guilty!  Totally guilty of obliterating this Commandment.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look at my craft room tour video if you have AN HOUR to kill and want to listen to my voice drone on and  on.

I’m going to Hell I tell you.

Before I go to Hell I want to share with you the newest video I have created.  It is a scrapbook page featuring all the heat embossing techniques I’ve shown you how to do.  It is a “Sampler” page or a reference.  I can look at this page and remember how I did any one of the techniques and use that on a card or another scrapbook page.

I hope this video helps you to be a bit more creative in your craft room.  Using what you have on hand and make others marvel at your genius.

Leslie

 

 

 

Results of my first foray into making purse charms.

My first purse charm

My first purse charm

It is unbalanced.  Well, that is how things go when you attempt something for the first time.  All the flaws and problems make themselves known.  That is all part of the learning process.  {I’ll keep telling myself this}

The products I have used to make this purse charm follows in this post.  All of the things you will see in this post were purchased from Michaels.  Some recently and some a long time ago.

I found some large Lobster Clasps from Michaels.  This purchase was made just a few days ago.  This comes in a set of four.

Lobster clasps

Lobster clasps

Silver Plated Chain.  This item was purchased from Michaels several years ago….probably more than three years.  It is one of the crazy “toss in the basket” choices that I had no clue what I was going to ever do with once I got it home.  It was chucked in a drawer and buried under lots of other stuff.

Silver plated chain

Silver plated chain

The only explanation I have for this next purchase from Michaels is the cost was $.90.  LESS THAN A DOLLAR.  Oh, and it was shiny :/  I seem to be an ostrich.  If it is shiny I have to grab it :/  This purchase was well over a year ago.  Michaels had built a new store in my area and they were doing everything they could to eliminate moving older stock to their new store.  Everything was on crazy discounts.

It was shiny and  CHEAP

It was shiny and CHEAP

One of the charms I messed with.  Alcohol ink works really great on this cheap metal.  Once I had the color scheme made (only because my alcohol ink choices are limited) I used Glossy Accents over the dried ink in an attempt to save my work.  Don’t know how long this is going to last.

Alcohol ink painted charm

Alcohol ink painted charm

I attached the Lobster Clasp to the end of a length of the silver chain with a jump ring.

Attach Lobster Claps to chain

Attach Lobster Clasp to chain

With my wire cutters I cut the chain to a 4″ length.  Why 4 inches?  Only because many of the videos I watched on making purse charms called for that length.  So….other people are the experts and who am I to question them?

4 inch length of chain

4 inch length of chain

I attached the flower charm to the bottom link of the chain.  So far so good.

Attach charm to bottom of chain

Attach charm to bottom of chain

Now come the hard part.  Attaching the individual bead charms to the links of the chain.  My left index finger is quite sore from working with the jump rings.  A CAUTIONARY NOTE:  Find the CENTER of your chain to add a large charm that is not beads.  I just stuck the silver charm on the chain and that is part of the reason the whole thing looks unbalanced.

You will need to put the bead charms on each side of the chain.  This is quite tricky since I had to pick the whole thing up to add the charm then fiddle with it in closing the jump ring.  Getting all the beaded charms to lay out flat was like chasing a bunch of kindergarten children on a play ground.

Place charms on both sides of the chain

Place charms on both sides of the chain

All I have to say for myself is that it does attach to a purse.  Not the most spectacular and awe inspiring piece I have ever seen.

Attach to purse

Attach to purse

I think I needed more of the larger glass beads and less of the small bead strings to make this thing pop.  I do know that the next one I will find the center to place the non beaded charm to hang better.

If you have never made “jewelry” before I can tell you one of your fingers will be sore and tender from working the jump rings.  Your eyes will give you fits in focusing.  Trying to see that teeny tiny space to close on the jump rings will make you think you are damaging your eyes forever.  After you have hung the sixth charm on that crazy chain you will wonder at your sanity for even starting this project in the first place.  Keep plugging along until you have finished one project.

I hope that I have inspired you to give this a shot.

Leslie

Power outage at Hobby Lobby.

It has been quite a while since I set foot in a craft store.  Mostly because I am determined to use the stuff I already have and not purchase more.

Joe and I went to Hobby Lobby, near our home, last night.  I was getting low on jewelry head pins and jump rings.  I found the needed items and we went to the check out area.  While we were waiting in line for our turn the lights went out.

Lights out at Hobby Lobby

Lights out at Hobby Lobby

No one knew when the power was going to come back on so we left and headed for Michaels.  A new store was built closer to where we live.  It is a bit disappointing.  There is only about half the products in the new store as what was in their older store.  I was not able to purchase the head pins.  All that was available were eye pins.  I bought some anyway.

I have been making some coordinating charms to go with the fancy glass bead charms.

Blue glass with bead strings

Blue glass with bead strings

This set turned out really beautiful, if I do say so myself.  I really like the orange and blue.

Orange and blue

Orange and blue

These swirls on the blue glass beads are beautiful.

Blue swirls

Blue swirls

I have some bead sets that I had purchased a long time ago and have kicked myself black and blue for buying them.  Now I am really glad that I did.

Multi colored glass beads

Multi colored glass beads

Bead assortment

Bead assortment

I have an assortment of charms in an old pickle jar.  It is getting more full by the day.  I think I will have a Purse Charm that I can show you in a couple days.

Charms I've made so far

Charms I’ve made so far

I hope that I may have inspired you to take a stab at some beading.

Leslie

Painting with Pearl Ex. Add a subtle touch of bling to your project.

Pearl Ex is a mica and powdered pigment product that requires an adhesive component to allow it to stick to paper.  Unlike Ranger Industries – Tim Holtz product “Perfect Pearls” which already has a binder in the product, Pearl Ex does not have a binder.

Pearl Ex

Pearl Ex

The cover of the mini album I am making for my granddaughter will feature a paper from DCWV’s Mariposa collection.  I will paint in the darker green areas of the ornate frame.

DCWV Mariposa paper

DCWV Mariposa paper

You will need a small amount of water, some white glue that dries clear, and the Pearl Ex pot of your choice. I’m going to use green.

Supplies needed to paint with Pearl Ex

Supplies needed to paint with Pearl Ex

Oh, nearly forgot.  You will need some kind of mixing pan.  I’m using a really old store bought pie tin that has seen better days.

Put a dollop of clear drying white glue in your mixing pan.  About the size of a dime.  For this project that is even too much glue.

A dollop of white glue

A dollop of white glue

You will need to add a small amount of Pearl Ex to the mixing pan – tray, plastic plate, glass jar with a lid, anything.  You don’t need as much Pearl Ex as the amount of glue used.  I tipped the little pot just a bit too far.  Ooops :/

Pearl Ex

Pearl Ex

Next you will need a small amount of water.  I am using already tainted water from the glue when completing a different part of this cover project.

Add water to the mixing tin

Add water to the mixing tin

Ooops!  Way too much water.  I only needed enough to slightly dilute the glue.  Mix everything together until no more blobs of Pearl Ex are seen and the glue is incorporated into the water and Pearl Ex.

Add water and stir well

Add water and stir well

Paint the desired area of your project.  I’m using a fine brush because of some really narrow lines in this image.  Use a brush appropriate to the area you will be painting.  If you are making one of those art journal things and will be slathering on the paint you can use a larger brush.

 

Paint the area you wish

Paint the area you wish

This will be a very subtle touch.  The BLING is only noticeable when the paper is tilted in the light.  It is not something that will reach out and steal all the attention.

Subtle bling

Subtle bling

When the paint and glue mixture has dried you can touch it.  There is very little texture in this application.

When the product is dried you can touch it

When the product is dried you can touch it

You won’t have to worry about the sparkly stuff coming off on your fingers.

Sparkle left on the paper

Sparkle left on the paper

Now that I have rounded up and corralled all of my “Bling” I can easily find my stash of half back pearls.

Bucket of BLING

Bucket of BLING

I added half backed pearls to the circle areas of the design image.  I have used some pearls from “Bling” and from Stampin’ Up!.

Addition of half backed pearls

Addition of half backed pearls

I want those suckers to stay where I put them.  I used Glossy Accents to the backs of the pearls.  The excess glue squeezed out from under the pearls and left a shiny mess behind.

Glossy Accents is visible

Glossy Accents is visible

To cut down on the glue shine I used more of the Pearl Ex and glue treatment of earlier around the pearls and over the Glossy Accents mess.

Nearly invisible now

Nearly invisible now

When I was finished fussing with the cover piece I adhered it down with a lot of double sided tape.

Double sided tape

Double sided tape

Applying the cover piece to the book front cover I had a moment of stark fear.  The piece fell from my fingers and landed right on the cover.  Thankfully, ancestors or angels were watching over me and made sure the heavily glued piece at least landed even.  A little too far left for me but it is even.  Whew!

The cover piece

The cover piece

Do you have Pearl Ex in your stash and have given up on every using it?  Get that stuff out and use it.  Mix a few little batches of different colors.  Stamp an image and get to painting.  This stuff works exactly the same as Twinkling H2O’s.  Only thing is you need to add just a touch of glue to the mix.

We spend a ton of money on the “Trending” items and we feel we just have to have these new bright and shiny products.  When we get them home they languish away in our stash because we can’t really use them.  Dig out your pots of Pearl Ex.  Mix up a little batch of “Happy Bling” and get to painting!

Leslie

 

 

 

 

 

Completed Field Journal for Joe.

I had mentioned in my previous post that I have a cobbled together “Press”.  Here is what I use to put heavy pressure on the book covers I make after I have glued the papers on the chipboard.

Highly advanced press

Highly advanced press

The paper pad I used for this journal is “No Limits” by Heidi Swapp and sold at Michaels.

Journal covers

Journal covers

Joe wanted a tabbed divider between the lined paper and the graph paper.  Let me tell you, that took some experimenting to cover the tab.  I ended up using two different papers in the ‘No Limits” paper.  The next one I make I will have to cut the tabbed divider to the same size as the pages within the book instead of the same size as the front and back cover as I did here.

Tabbed divider

Tabbed divider

This is the tab.

Covered tab

Covered tab

The grid paper I have in this journal is printed with some special ink that does not reproduce.  Joe can draw out his design then make a photo copy of it.  The blue lines will disappear leaving only his drawings and notes.  This grid paper was very difficult to photograph.  I had to just about stick my nose up against the paper to get a good photo.

Vanishing grid lines

Vanishing grid lines

I asked Joe to pick out some decorative pieces from the Heidi Swapp paper pad.  He told me where he wanted these items to be placed.  Using the papers and a few Tim Holtz things from my stash I glued the items on the front.  Everything is a single layer.

Decorated front cover

Decorated front cover

This is the tag bit from “No Limits”.  Joe wanted this book to reflect an attention to “Detail” and I did my best to meet his request.

 

Close up of the decorative tag

Close up of the decorative tag

Joe wanted this journal item in his book and I found a place for it.  I added some black arrows to copy the larger white arrow of the journal item.

Journal item

Journal item

Arrows added to journal item

Arrows added to journal item

Joe created his “This Book Belongs To” sort of page.  He found some old photos of the airplanes he used to fly in his crop dusting business long before I met him.  He has personalized his book 😀  The brown chipboard behind this sheet is what I covered in the previous photos.

Personalized page

Personalized page

Joe's old airplanes

Joe’s old airplanes

When I presented the finished book to Joe this was his final reaction.  Declaring loudly while clutching the book to his chest he said “MINE”!  I guess that means he likes it 😀

Joe's journal

Joe’s journal

Now it is time to get back in my craft room and get back to the task of purging.  That room is a catastrophe!

Time to clean this  mess up

Time to clean this mess up!

Maybe I should save this photo for Wednesday and the “What’s On Your Work Desk Wednesday”.  A little shame never hurt anyone.  However, I think I have a lot to be shameful of :/

The table is under there somewhere

The table is under there somewhere

Oh well….NEXT TIME I’ll put stuff away when I finish with it :/

Here’s a “Cheap Trick” – Jumbo Card Stock.

Are you starting your Christmas projects?  Have some ideas rolling around in your head?  Discarding some really fun ideas because you don’t have enough paper?

On your next trip to Michaels head on over to the artist section of the store.  Generally it is located in the back with the canvas frames, colored poster board, paint brushes, and other non scrapbook and card making related stuff.

I will be making a number of “Mileage Books” and sell them at my long unused Etsy store.  These books I have made for Joe and I in our Drive-Away business.  They come in really handy for us.  Plus I got to play with my papers and supplies when I was home for a couple weeks at a time.

Take a look at the video I created showcasing the JUMBO card stock I purchased from Michaels.  The sheets normally sell for $2.29 each but you can sometimes find them, as I did, for $.99.  The card stock has some bends, folds, and marks on them.  There is some damage to the pieces but I can use them for my book covers.

This card stock measures 20″ x 26″.  The color selection is not quite as diverse as you would find with regular card stock in the scrapbook and greeting card section.

I am home now.  I have retired from my truck driving “Day Job” and will be puttering around in my craft room creating things.  I have to put in my time for doing the paper work for a few hours daily first, then I can play.  Right now I am awaiting the arrival of a special cord thing to connect one of my storage drives back to my computer.  That should arrive on Monday.

I hope this video and information helps you with your Christmas projects….or any other large project you have going on that needs a continuous length of paper.

Leslie

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