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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

3D Challenge at Craft-Room Challenges

Wow how time flies!  Seems like just yesterday I hosted my very first challenge at Craft-Room Challenges and it’s already my turn again!  The theme I chose for challenge #89 is 3D.  My cousin flew out here to visit with my mom, my brother & me, and it just so happens that she was here for her birthday so I chose to make a Pop Up Box Card.  I try to only make cards that can actually be mailed and when this card is folded up it fits in an A2 envelope – I think that is so cool!! By the time you read this she will already be home & I have given her the card.  My cousin loved the card and we had so much fun talking about our crazy family!

Before we get started I want to clarify the challenge.  Your card, project, whatever MUST be 3D – pop dotting a flower on the front of your card does not make it 3D.  Please respect the challenge and make your creation easily identifiable as three dimensional.  Also, we are having quite a few entrants disregarding our challenge limit.  You are only allowed to enter 5 other challenges besides the Craft-Room Challenge, this is one of our new rules.   If we did not comment on your project that is because you have been disqualified.

This was the first time I attempted to make one of these cards and it was so much fun I know I will be using them more often!  The cut file I used was purchased at the Silhouette store and it was designed by Lori Whitlock; however, I do know most of the stores that sell cutfiles have the same type of card.  
The picture makes the card look lopsided (it's not) - I can't take another because the card is now in Florida.

What I Used to Make this Card:

Silhouette Cut File (the name of the file I used is "A2 Box Card: Birthday", designed by Lori Whitlock)
Silhouette Cameo
White Cardstock for Base (should be on the heavier side)
KaiserCraft Paper in Violet Crush
Plain Cardstock pieces that match the Violet Crush paper
Pop Dot (I used one that is about ¼” high)
Stampin’ Up! Simple Salutations stamp set

Since I can't explain how to make the card any better than the designer, here is a link to the tutorial that Lori Whitlock made, How to Assemble a Box Card (clicking on this link will take you to YouTube)

First I cut the base out of white cardstock and then cut out the decorative
All the peices of the card
panels.  I had to cut the base and panels twice because I glued the panels that were supposed to go on the outside to the inside (honestly, if everything I did went according to my plan, without a single mess up,  I’d be SO shocked) so you may want to mark the panels. 

Then I worked on the divider tab pieces. I assembled them prior to
View from the top

inserting them into the card.  I built my birthday cake and gift on right onto the divider tab itself.  I wanted to add a bit more oomph so I added another star to the star embellishment and pop dotted that to the backside of the first divider.

Lastly, I personalized the card by cutting another panel, stamping “happy birthday” on it, along with a little note and attached that to the front panel of the card.  You can see
that in the last picture of the card.  I really had fun and now that I know they aren't difficult to make my brain is swirling with fun ideas and ways to use this card.
And the final card with the Happy Birthday panel

I hope you enjoyed my mini-tutorial!  Please get creative and join us at Craft-Room Challenges, there are 2 whole weeks for you to enter and we'd love to see your 3D creations - Fondly, Christi

I am entering my 3D Birthday Card in the following challenges:
Craft Your Passion - #239, Starts with a "B" - my Birthday  
That Craft Place Challenge - Anything Goes
Sister Act - #82, Anything Goes

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween ATCs

I love Halloween and I started getting in the mood a few weeks ago.  I broke out my Halloween cardstock and embellishments and started making these Artist Trading Cards.  To create for the love of creating is so much fun!

I didn’t intend on making so many ATCs, but once I got started, I couldn’t stop.  I actually have a few more I made, but I had to cull the field or we’d be here until winter reading it all.  I typically make a list of the items I used when I create something but this time I used so many different items, from bits of paper, sequins, Dresden, stickers and embellishments from years past, there really was no way I could think of to make the list.  However, each ATC is actually built off a blank playing card that I did purchase ages ago at Silver Crow Creations, they still sell them, 60 to a pack – if you are interested, click here (you should go and check out the store anyway – they have amazing goodies!).  So, no list for the ATCs but all the pictures I used are either from my stash (I used actual photos and scanned them) or found online.  But, if you spot one that you really like and just have to know where I got the items from, just ask in the comments section below and I will do my best to answer.  Since the captions may be difficult to read I am going to type them out for you, along with a little bit behind the creation of the ATC if warranted.  On with the show!


The first card I called “Sisters”.  The caption reads, “Abigail always knew Lenora was a bit different”. Personally, I think her hat gives it away.

The second card I called “Trick or Treat”.  It reads, “He thought it was a treat, but it was a trick”.  I envision a jealous female (the green hearts = jealousy) giving her sweetheart a taste of some special brew.

Then we have the card called “The Baby”.  The caption reads “There was something strange about the baby”.  It’s really hard to see, but the darling infant has red eyes and all those ghosts flying about. It’s easy to see why someone would think there is something strange!

“Boo-tiful” is just a fun card.  I think the two women in this picture are best friends and always dress alike for Halloween. The picture is raised to give the card some dimension.

For the fifth card, the one I call “Coven” is about a group of women, meeting for what looks like a picnic. They are dressed so formally compared to what I would wear to a picnic! The sentiment reads “The Coven met promptly at 8PM.  Once all the women arrived, the fun began”.

The next card is called “Bat Girl” (and that is what the caption reads) and I found her image online somewhere.  The big bat is a cut out that I made on my Silhouette Cameo that didn’t some out right, so I used it on this card.  I like her costume; it actually looks like something I'd wear!

“Witch” is the title of the next card.  I like the kookiness of the glasses and that hat! She is a very stylish witch.  The bat on the very bottom is from Tim Holtz’ Mover & Shaker Die Set.

 Lastly, we have the Prince of Horror, Edgar Allen Poe.  I had the background of this ATC made for ages, it’s actually a really pretty silver fabric paper (for lack of a better term) and I framed him with an old Dresden frame.  I didn’t think he needed any words.

So there are my eight little ATCs that I made.  I hadn’t made any in such a long time I truly forgot how much fun they are!  And they use up so many tiny scraps of paper and embellishments.  I have now designated a small container that I keep on my desk just for little snippets of stuff too good to throw out but too small to use on a card so I can toss in anything I may use later.   I hope you enjoyed my ATCs, and my humor. I'm curious to know, which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments, please! I sincerely hope everyone had a fang-tastic Halloween ~ Christi

A am entering my ATC's (all to be considered one project, or entry) in the following challenges:
Artistic Inspirations Challenge Blog - #115, Anything Goes, Spooky
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge -Things that go Bump in the Night
Pixie's Snippets Playground - week 149 (I used snippets on almost every one of these)
Open Minded Crafting Fun - #22,  Halloween and/or Dress up
Left of Center Challenges -  #52, Happy Halloween
Haunted Design House - Week 2 of  Hellacious Halloween

Psst! What list do you use to check for challenges you'd like to enter? I use Challenges for Days & I highly recommend that you do too! Take a peek at the daily lists and don't forget to bookmark the page!