Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Glitter "Putz" House

I grew up with these cute little sparkly houses that would get set up on top of the television at Christmas time with bulbs in the back of them to light them up and that angel hair stuff as snow.  I loved these houses and I loved to play with them.  I don’t know where they disappeared to (probably hanging out with the elves somewhere) but I don’t have any of them.  So I was so happy to discover many patterns for little houses available in the Silhouette store; one of them caught my eye as it really looked like the little glitter houses from my childhood.  It was called a “Putz” house – I had no idea there was a name for these houses let alone collectors and websites that helped you restore them.   After more research and many patterns I decided that I would try to make one of these houses for my Mom for Christmas, hoping it brings back good memories for her as they do me.  So I made the Putz house, which is designed by  Samantha Walker.  There are even instructions on her site, which I didn’t find until I was almost done (of course), but they are very good directions and every easy to follow.  So please join me on this journey to create a glittery Putz house ~

Ta da! I had originally neglected to put the vellum in the windows - but it makes a HUGE difference!

What I Used to Make my House:

Silhouette CAMEO Machine
Glitter Putz House cut file by Samantha Walker (Silhouette Store)
12 x 12 piece of medium weight chipboard
Loose glitter in Hot Kiss by The Art Institute
Loose glitter in Dazzling Diamonds by Stampin’ Up!
Glitter Glue (the bottle is blank so I have no idea who made it)
The Crafters Pick “The Ultimate” glue
Spray Adhesive by 3M
Glitter Paper by Core’dinations “Glitter Silk”
Ranger Wendy Vecchi Ink in Potting Soil and Red Geranium
Gessoing the chipboard
OK, I never even thought about using glitter paper until I couldn’t get an even coat of glitter on the house.  I cut all of the pieces using one piece of chipboard and put everything to the side except for the main house.  I spread the glue all over it and dumped the glitter all around the glue and it never dawned on me that I would have an issue with the glitter.  Well, I did.  Not only did I get glitter in places that should NEVER be glittered, the color of the glitter was uneven.
Uneven glitter :(
  There were parts of the house that were darker than others because of the unevenness of the glue.  Finally I thought if maybe I used spray adhesive I could get the glitter to be nice and cover evenly.  Luckily, that worked well enough for me, because if it didn’t this post would never have been written.  I used the Hot Kiss glitter for the body of the house and when it came time to glitter all the little windows and the door I realized how much easier the process would have been had I used glitter paper instead of loose glitter. So I used a different color of the glitter paper, I guess you’d call it a pink, for the
The construction
windows and the door and cut out the hanging snow in I guess what you’d call white.  I set them aside to tackle the roof and the chimney.

The roof was inked up using Wendy Vecchi’s Potting Soil.  I just wiped the ink pad all around the roof and then tried to do the same with the chimney using Red Geranium.  It worked wonderfully on the roof, but miserably with the chimney – I think because there were so many bends on the chimney I couldn’t get the ink pad close enough to the chipboard.  So I just put a few drops in a tiny cup and used a paint brush to finish the chimney off.  By now I had found the directions since I had no idea how to attach the chimney to the roof.

Once everything was dry, I adhered the windows and the door to the main
My snow & chimney drying
house and glittered the roof with the Dazzling Diamonds (before attaching it) – the glitter was supposed to look like snow, but too much of the brown showed through to get the look I wanted.  So I had to move on to the chimney since it was my plan to use the no name glitter glue on the roof to make it look more like icy snow but I needed to attach the chimney first.  Another hiccup – I could not get the little tabs on the chimney to attach to the roof the way it said to in the directions.  I ended up using masking tape and more glue (on the inside, where the chimney attached to the roof) than I should have, but it is attached now.  I put the hanging snow around the chimney and used a rubber band to keep it all inline (a loose rubber band – too tight and the chimney would be crushed and so would the house).  I let the house sit overnight.  I think we both needed a break.

Roof & chimney close up
Finally, the last step was to attach the hanging snow (I am not sure if it supposed to be icicles or snow; snow is easier to spell) onto the roof and the roof to the house.  At this point the roof still had the initial glitter “that should look like snow” on it and it was amazing how much glitter came off and once again ended up in the oddest places.  But I persisted.  I had to put the roof under a large book overnight because it warped so much, but it worked fairly well – there is one part that no matter what I did I could not get the hanging snow to completely adhere to the roof, but at this point I am just trying to get the house done so I can finally clean up all the glitter.  But I tried everything to get the dumb thing to stick – nope.  It’s ok; I know when I am beaten.  And the roof won
Roof "scallops"
that round. The last step was to make that icy snow on the roof – the rest of the house was all put together and holding its own, so I get the no name glitter glue and test it out.  Clogged.  I clear the nozzle.  Clogged. I cut the tip down a bit and begin to put the glitter glue in scallops all over the roof.  Didn’t matter that the glitter glue was coming out a tad fast, as the drips that occurred actually look better to me than the nice & neat scallops I tried to doodle with the glitter glue.  In retrospect I think if I had used my brain and the glittered cardstock, things would have gone much smoother.  But, Mom is going to love it and she won’t even notice all the glitter that ends up on her floor (hehe).  I hope to make one of these a year (at least) and eventually have a village for my Mom to enjoy!  Thanks for stopping by & I hope your holiday plans are going smoothly ~ Christi

Another view of the finished house

Difficult to get a good picture of it lit

I tried everything to get these pictures to stay even - they look fine in my view, but they get wonky in the "real" view - Sorry! 

I would like to enter my glitter "Putz" house in the following challenges:
Use Your Stuff Challenge Blog (2w) - #166, Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge (1w) - Anything Goes 
That's Crafty Challenge Blog (1/2/15) - Anything Goes
Stuck on Us Sketches (2w) - Anything Christmas Die Cut Challenge
Crafts 4 Eternity - #206, Anything Goes Christmas
Decorate to Celebrate - #90, Anything Goes
That Craft Place - Anything Goes, Christmas
Eclectic Ellapu (m)- purple team, Anything Christmas (not a card)
Silhouette Challenges (m) - #20, Anything Goes

Where did I find these awesome challenges!?!? At Challenges for Days!! An easy to read, easy to understand list of challenges that is posted every day ~ check it out!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Winter Inspiration at Craft-Room Challenges

The lovely Debbie adores using pictures as inspiration, so she chose this one for challenge # 91 at the Craft-Room Challenge.  I am very sad to say that this will be the last challenge at the Craft-Room Challenge.  I had a lovely time as one of the design team members and I am going to miss each and every one of my teamies - hopefully I will get to work with them in the future ~ ok, on with the challenge!

The woman in the black dress inspired me to make this holiday card. I enjoy making holiday cards out of non-traditional colors so that was the route I went.

What I Used to make My Card
Martha Stewart Punches 
Corner Punch from Stampin' Up!
Sincere Salutations Stamp Set from Stampin' Up!
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
A2 White card base
Black Cardstock
White Cardstock

I have seen so many lovely cards made with die cuts and Silhouette cuts, you
The punches I used
know those beautiful cards with layers and ribbon and flowers? Well, I am not much for flowers on my cards, I don't have the fancy dies to cut from yet and I need a new blade for my Silhouette so I decided to see what I could do with the punches I have. Honestly, I HAD to have the Martha Stewart punches and this is the first time I am using them.  I still can't get the hang of the coveted "punch around the page".

The layers (except the large black)
 I started out with a piece of black cardstock cut a 1/4" smaller than the card base and picked out some punches to decorate it.  I used the Martha Stewart "Swirly Corner" (I don't have names for the Martha Stewart punches, so I named them myself) in the corners and then used the "Scallop Dots" for the center of the panel.  I cut the white panel smaller than the black panel and used the same punches.  For the smallest black panel I used just the "Scallop Dots" since it was too small for the "Swirly Corner" punch.  The last white panel, after I stamped my sentiment, had the corners rounded using the Stampin' Up! corner rounder. I then layered the panels with pop dots (I'd used fairly low pop dots - I may want to mail the card) and that was it. 
Thought I'd show you the dimension of the card

I had a fabulous time coming up with different designs with the punches & I hope you like what I came up with! There are 2 full weeks for you to join us at the Craft-Room Challenge and we'd love to see how you interpret the inspiration photo and show some love for our last challenge. Blessings! Christi

I would like to enter my card in the following challenges:
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge - #288, Christmas
Craft Hoarders Anonymous - #21, Celebrate the Season (Martha Stewart punches are over a year old and this is the first time I have used them)
Crafty Card Makers and More - #129, Christmas
Fantasy Stampers Challenge - #25, CAS Christmas

Monday, December 1, 2014

Button Christmas Tree for Altered Electrics Design Team

For my very first challenge at Altered Electrics I decided to make something that Pinterest inspired me to make.  First, here is my version:
My version

 As I browse through the hundreds of images - and waste lose so much time (hey, it’s for inspiration!) - I came across these beautiful trees made out of jewelry – like this:
Pinterest Inspiration
I do have some jewelry that could be used in this way, but I have many more buttons.  I recently got some of burlap panels by Tim Holtz and I think they are perfect for a project like this.  So, let’s get started!

Burlap Panel, 6 x 4, Tim Holtz TH93063
Holiday Words: Script die set from Tim Holtz Alterations 660058
Pale Gold Shimmery Paper
Remnant Word Band from Idea-ology (Tim Holtz) Observations Set TH93084
Distress Paint in Picket Fence
Star (mine was from some table scatter that I had already colored gold)
Most of the components - I used a different gold paper for the die cut
I have my buttons sorted by color (sort of) and I knew I wanted a vintage look so I grabbed my white, cream and light brown buttons. I have been collecting buttons for ages and I have so many I had to stop! I literally just began placing them on the panel until I got the tree shape I wanted.  The hardest part was choosing which button to use as the trunk of the tree! And I remembered I had gotten some table scatter shapes, so I dug those out and the gold star fit perfectly on the tree! 

Once I settled on the tree shape and glued the buttons down I got started on deciding what else I wanted to put on the panel.  I suppose it would have been fine if I left it alone, or used some Christmas embellishments, but I wanted to
Awesome Die Cut Set!
be able to display it all year long.  I recently bought the Holiday Words die set (the same time I got the burlap panels – I got tons of other goodies as well, all from my favorite store, Alleystamp ) and I felt that peace is appropriate all year long, so I used that die and some pale gold shimmery paper that I got eons ago to cut the word out of.  Trying to get glue on the back of that word made me so happy I have toothpicks in my studio!

So I had one embellishment chosen, what should I put on top? I had the Tim Holtz Word Band already on my desk (part of my use up old stuff quest) and since the project sort of looked like a remnant, that word would be perfect!  I dabbed some Distress Ink in Picket Fence on the band to bring out the letters a tiny bit and wiped it off. I actually did this a few times to get the look I wanted.  Once the buttons were dry I attached the Word Band to the top of the panel and the peace die cut to the bottom and there you have it!  This project was super easy and SO much fun, I’m glad I have 3 more of the panels to play with. I hope you will join us at Altered Eclectics during our 2 month "Anything Goes" challenge and do come back and visit soon! Fondly, Christi
I would like to enter my Button Christmas Tree in the following challenges:
Completely Christmas - #40, Anything Goes
Craft Hoarders Anonymous - #21, Celebrate the Season (the buttons I used are OLD - I have had them for ages!!)
Crimbo Crackers - #70, Buttons
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge -Anything Goes

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I am SO excited to begin designing for Altered Electrics

First, I have to apologize that I am not up on my comments - I have been fighting this awful cold - but please know I have been reading them & I will comment back - promise!

Secondly, and so exciting, I recently received an email from Elaine (aka Ellapu) who runs the Altered Eclectics Challenge Blog accepting my request to be on the Design Team!!! 

I invite all of you to take a look, subscribe to the Blog and perhaps, join us in our monthly challenges.  My first post will be for the December Challenge (all the challenges begin on the first of the month) so stay tuned to see what I have in store.

I hope you all had an amazing holiday! Blessings ~ Christi

Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas Decorations at Craft-Room Challenges!

For challenge #90 at the Craft-Room Challenge, Hazel has chosen to inspire us to make Christmas Decorations - no cards. I have been intending to make ornaments for the three cats that I had to let go last year (they all lived to a ripe old age; Baby was 19, Spike was 19 and Boo was 17) and I know I did what was needed to for their sake.  What made it so much harder was I lost Spike on December 5th and then Boo on December 6th.  I truly intended on making all 3 ornaments, but, I only got to make one ornament because I got just too emotional to make all three.  I chose to make one for Boo first (and you can read a bit about him here).  Letting go of my furbabies is the worst part of being a pet parent, but the unconditional love, joy and laughter I get from my pets is priceless to me. And, I do have a houseful of five cats, so I am certainly never lonely for cat company. 
Big fat, happy Boo :)

What I Used to Make my Project:
Chipboard Ornament, 2  (I can't for the life of me recall where I got these, but they are about 4" at their widest spot)
Folk Art Acrylic Paint in Metallic Champagne, #675
Ribbon (the metallic gold ribbon was about 1 1/2" wide)
3D Enamel Gel in Satin Gold  (Mine came from Globecraft & Piccolo)
Krylon 18kt Gold Leafing Pen
Bulldog Clips (to hold it together while drying)
Your choice of picture

When I bought these round ornaments, I bought 6 of them so I could make 3 ornaments.  My goal was to cut out a portion of the center on 3 of them, and then use the other three as the backs of the ornament.  That was a great plan, except I have a terrible time cutting in circles - just another one of those things.  I enlisted help and got 3 of the ornaments cut & left three intact.  It helped that they didn't need to be smoothly cut.
 Once they were cut, I picked a pair and brainstormed how I was going to cover the chipboard - I wanted to use paper initially, but after conferring with my teamies, I chose to use ribbon.  So I cut a length of ribbon about as long as my arm (I never measure those kinds of things) and began wrapping it around the ornament with the hole in the center (I'm going to call that ornament the front piece and the back the back piece).  I liked the way the wrapped ribbon came out, and I did try some other ribbons on the other front pieces I had, but the gold looked the best to me. 
The Ribbon I used
I did have to re-wrap the end, up by the hanging piece a few times, but all in all I am satisfied with the results.   Before I glued the ribbon to the front, I colored the area where you put the hook with the Krylon Leafing Pen in case any of it showed.  Then I decided to use the 3D gel on the very top just to give some pop to it.  Once the 3D gel dried (I left it overnight) I glued the ribbon and moved on.

While the ribbon was drying I decided to paint the back portion in a nice, soft gold - Metallic champagne is the perfect name for this color - so the ornament would look finished, plus I think I am going to write a bit about Boo eventually on the back.  I edged the back piece with the Krylon Leafing Pen so all of the chipboard was now covered with something.  I set the back aside to dry.
It dried nicer than this - all the brush marks settled in.

Deciding what picture to use was another issue.  I have no children and I take LOTS of pictures of my cats.  But I found one where Boo is on "his table" (it really wasn't his table, but he adopted it and it became his table), where he'd hang out with me in Connecticut while I was in my art room.  He is fat and healthy in the picture and I felt it was a beautiful representation of him.  I printed out the picture on 4" x 6" photo paper, cut it to size, and sandwiched the 2 pieces of the ornament around the picture.  A bit of glue has seeped onto the top of his picture, and I am sure it would have been fine IF I left it alone, but no - I had to try to wipe it off. 
The red circle shows were the glue is peeking out
I found out what happens when you use a baby wipe on a photo printed picture - it takes the color off.  Yup.  I tried to color in where the color was rubbed off, but the photo paper kept resisting every marker I tried to use.  Mortified that the ornament wasn't going to be perfect, I ripped it apart and printed another picture.  Glued that picture over the ruined picture and sandwiched the ornament again.  I found that the back piece warped a bit so I needed to use some bulldog clips, spaced around the circle, to hold the ornament all together while it dried.

Lastly, I took an old embellishment from my stash (I think it is a part of an earring) and placed that at the top of the ornament.  All the emotion and trouble was worth it because I adore this creation of mine.  I think Boo looks like the handsome kitty he was and this was a fantastic way to remember him.  Maybe I'll be able to make the other 2 ornaments after all.  We'll see. 
Another view - this one is a bit more sparkly

Thank you SO much for reading all of this - I know I over shared, but sometimes that's what I have to do.  I hope you will share your creations with us at Craft-Room Challenge (PLEASE read our pesky rules!) – you have two whole weeks to enter, so get going!  Fondly, Christi

I would like to enter my ornament in the following challenges: 
Crafty Ribbons (w) - Challenge #107,  Animals at Christmas plus Ribbon
CCEE Stampers (w) - Photos & Photography 
The Mirror Crack'd (m) - #3, Christmas Decorations
Unruly PaperArts (m) - RAQ - Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Naughty or Nice Challenges (November) - #9, Festive Furballs
Fairy Tale Challenge - #105, Animal Christmas

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Autumn Candle for Anything But a Card

For my “Anything Goes” Project at Anything But a Card I decided to make my mother a centerpiece for her table.  Since I have five cats decorating here is a challenge so I often give my projects to my mom.  Besides, she is my #1 fan.  I started with a plain pillar candle that I bought years ago (I have boxes and boxes of candles – I just love them so much!) and spruced it up a bit for the fall season.  Here is my Fall Candle for challenge #41:
What I Used to Make my Project:
Sequin Leaves (gold, red, orange)
Pillar Candle
Heat Gun
Ribbon (Dollar Store)
Mini Wooden Sign Embellishment
Leaves to adorn the top of the ribbon (Dollar Store)
Straight Pin, preferably with colored top
The sequins
I wanted to make something that my mom could actually use; in this case actually light.  So I had a theory about the sequins and I needed to see if it would work. I took my heat gun (now, I have a Weller Heat gun, it is actually used for paint stripping - I think - so it is HOT. However, please use caution regardless of what heat gun you use) and I heated a spot on the candle and stuck a sequin leaf in the soft wax.  Some of sequins held on the first try, some didn’t.  If a leaf fell off, I just reheated the spot and stuck it back on (it helped that my candle had sort of a rustic look to it) and then I heated the spot a bit more to “set” the leaf.   I found out that sequins melt really quickly, so if you need to set your sequins, you must reheat them with just a quick burst of heat. I let the candle sit for a few hours and then reattached the leaves that fell off when I picked it up. 
Close up of the cute sign

Then I cut a length of ribbon that matched the autumn theme of the candle.  I simply tied it in a bow – my ribbon was wired so the bow didn’t fall exactly like I wanted it to, but, it looked pretty.  Then I notched the ribbon ends and glued the wooden plaque onto the ribbon, not the candle. 

Lastly I used a straight pin with a red top to pin the three silk like leaves to the top of the ribbon. Being able to remove the large silk leaves was very important, since if they stayed on I am sure they would of been a fire hazard.  Everything
else can stay on the candle while it is being used as long as it isn't left unattended.  The ribbon is tied on, not glued on and the wooden plaque is glued to the ribbon.  As the candle melts the sequins should just fall with the melted wax. Besides, who knows how many of them will be left by the time I give it to her (just kidding - I hope!) 

There you have it! Honestly the entire project took me about an hour, and the longest part was getting the sequins to stick, as they would initially stick, and once the wax was cooled, they'd fly off. But they are fine if you don’t touch them (hehehehe).  In spite of the minor sequin trouble, I think this candle came out lovely! And I am proud to say I didn't buy a thing for this project; everything came from my stash (not going to say how I celebrated as it may incriminate me). There is still plenty of time to get your muse going and to make a project for Anything But a Card – as it says on the blog, “Whatever strikes your cre8tive fancy” (but, no cards!).  Fondly, Christi

I am entering my candle in the following challenges:
Allsorts - Anything But a Card
Really Reasonable Ribbon - #106, Winter Holiday & Ribbon
Quick Quotes Challenge - #45, Gratitude
Not Just Cards Challenge - #6, Anything Goes