Hello again! Welcome to Week 2 of the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop! This week features Karen Burniston’s Twist Cube Die. Lemme tell ya…it is a really fun die to play with because it is interactive. When using the die as originally instructed, it twists and pops up. Very cool effect. I, however, decided to do a little something different with it. Hope you like!
The materials you will first need to get started are:
#656739 Sizzix Bigz XL Die – Cube, Twist, 3-D by Karen Burniston
Sizzix Big Shot cutting machine
Sizzix Accessory – cutting pad, extended
Sizzix Accessory – premium crease pad, extended
Here are some other materials that I used:
ATG Tape Runner
Xacto knife and mat
Family Treasure’s Scalloped edged scissors
1/16th” hole punch
Golden’s Fluid Matte Medium
Baby Feet paper, Stemma
Pastel colored card stock, Bazzill
Pale green satin ribbon – 1/8″
Yellow organza ribbon – 3/4″
Plaid’s Folk Art Paint in light blue, jamaican sea, lemonade and baby pink
Doodlebug Design Sugar Coating lily white glitter
Karen and the lovely staff at Sizzix were kind enough to send me a nice neutral color…black. The first thing I did was assemble the box. I am going to be very honest here! I had no idea what I was going to do with it after I’d assembled it. I only knew that I wasn’t going to make it pop up. Don’t take that the wrong way though. It wasn’t that I couldn’t think of what to use it for…quite to the contrary! Did I want to make a photo box? Or an ornament? Maybe a bat…because that is what those top pieces remind me of? Get the idea?
As I was looking at it I thought, “that would make a great alphabet block!” However, having only one to play around with….and of course, I’d gone and assembled it already…it occurred to me how cute it would be as a baby block that one could use for a baby shower favor!
So, I worked a little bit backwards. If I hadn’t put the cube together first, I probably would have covered the individual pieces with paper first. Since I didn’t do that, I had to work a little bit backwards. Now a note to all….if you are going to use your diecut as a pop up, will want to do your assembly with really super strong glue! As I knew my box would be stationary, I used my ATG tape runner to put the actual box together.
I covered the top tabs first. I used PPA to apply the paper to the cube. I have found that once the glue dries, it adds a little stability.
Then I covered the sides also using PPA. I didn’t cover the bottom, but of course, if you’d like to on yours that’s just fine! I also chose to cut away the part of the tab that looks like a wing.
Next, I used 1/8″ pale green ribbon to finish off the top edges of the box. It hid any black sticking out and gave it a cleaner look.
I used my pastel colored solid papers to adhere to the sides of the cube. The first layer I cut 3″x3″ and taped them to the sides of the box. I cut another set the same size and trimmed the edges with my Scalloped edged scissor. How did I get that so straight? You can take a look at the technique I used at this past Tuesday’s Tips, Tools & Techniques post. I layered the scalloped pieces on top of each square. Plus I made sure to have a different color combination on each side.
I love Stickles! It is glittery and sparkly without the mess. Not that I mind mess, of course, but it is fun and easy and quick to use. Here I applied a little dot of Stickles in the center of each scallop.
Don’t those Stickle dots look great? Now my favorite part of the cube is the letters. I used chip board letters that spelled out B A B Y. I painted each letter a different color with acrylic paint and let them dry really well. Then I applied a thin coat of Golden’s Fluid Matte Medium to the front of the letters and then dipped those into that Lily White Glitter. It is a super fine glitter and the paint color shows right through it. Love it! Then I glued one letter to the center of each paper panel.
Finally, I punched two tiny holes using my 1/16th” hole punch into the tip of the triangular side tabs. I threaded the organza ribbon through each side and tied a simple knot. The hole is so tiny that the big knot I made will not go through it. Plus the layers of paper, glue and the ribbon lining should keep anything from ripping. I mean, I wouldn’t load this thing up with change…but for it’s intended purpose here, it is perfect.
I threw in some tissue paper in baby colors to bring it all together. Then I filled my baby favor up with candy. Hmmm…I think I am detecting a theme. I dunno, maybe I’m always hungry when I’m working on these types of projects!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s project. I really think it looks so sweet.
Welcome to the first of my new weekly segments! If you remember from my post last week, I mentioned that I would have at least two weekly segments going. I also complained about the graphic I made! So, I fixed that…I like this one better. Anyway, my goal here is to not only be consistent, but also to perhaps help you have a more enjoyable crafting experience. I know! Can we stand any more fun!! (yes yes!!)
Over the years, I have learned a lot of interesting tips. Sometimes those tips come from others. Other times they are born from a need to adapt due to the fact that my nails are REALLY long (you’ll see in the pics) and I have no desire to cut them. Then there is just those times when I need to find a more efficient way of doing something. I’ll be sharing some of those tips with you.
I am also a tool lover! Any kind of tool…from a simple skewer to power tools! (much to my dad’s delight!) I’ll be showing some of those here as well…in addition to how I use them.
Of course, with just about everything one uses, there is some sort of technique. Which brings me to today’s post. It’s a kind of three for one….it is a tool…that I will give you some tips for…and a technique that I use. Let’s get to it, shall we?
TA DA!!!!!! Decorative scissors! Ok, so some of you are thinking…..”wha?!!? All of this build up for this? I was expecting something more exciting!” Lemme just say…yes, they may not be glamourous…but I bet you have several pairs tucked away in a crafting drawer or box somewhere. I’m right, aren’t I? Come on….you can admit it.
I have found that many beginner crafters have bought a few of these decorative edge scissors, quickly became disillusioned and then put them away…never to be seen again… (cue creepy music). So let’s start with what is so frustrating about them. Here are a few issues. First, some of them are just plain hard to use. Second…lining the scissors up properly so that when you move the scissor, the pattern continues. Finally, if you can’t cut a straight edge to save your life…well it can be down right scary to attempt with scissors that create a pattern.
No worries my pretty lil crafters. Here are some of my suggestions and thoughts regarding these issues. Maybe they will entice you to go and find those scissors! They are really worth using.
Not all decorative edge scissors are created equal. There are some that are just plain not worth a buck. My favorites are Fiskars and Family Treasures. These come in a wide variety of patterns (which will will discuss in a minute) and they are easy to manipulate. Believe me, if you have a pair that are just hard to pull open and closed, don’t keep frustrating yourself.
Now for patterns. The more intricate the edge of that scissor, the harder it will be to keep the pattern repeating. One of my favorite patterns is the scalloped edge because it is bold and easy to line up. My other favorite is the deckled edge because there it doesn’t matter at all if I line up my edge properly! One word of advice when cutting…don’t close your scissor all the way while you are cutting. When the tip closes, it could tear the paper.
To address the issue of being able to cut in a straight line, I like to use a ruler and pencil. I make a light line on the REVERSE side of the paper.
Then, when I begin to cut, I follow that line. This helps out a lot as I can not only line my scissor up with the pattern itself, but I can with the line as well.
See how great that scallop just lines up?
Hello and welcome to Week 1 of the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop. This is so exciting and I have been having way too much fun playing at the studio here. This is a long post, so I’m going to get right down to it….but just remember to click “Hop Forward” (or back) on the Sizzix icon in the sidebar to see what everyone else has done with this fantastic house die, which was designed, btw, by our own talented Eileen Hull.
So, with no further adieu, away we go….
#656836; Sizzix Scoreboards Pro Die – House, 3D, by Eileen Hull
Sizzix 12×12 matboard, white
Sizzix Big Shot Pro die cutting machine
Plaid’s Folk Art Acrylic Paint, Bark Brown
Plaid’s Fold Art, High Definition Visual Texture, Wicker White
Golden’s Gel Medium, Regular Gel (Matte)
Scissors or Xacto knife
Plastic Baggie (1 gallon size)
Styrofoam disc, 6″ diameter
Styrofoam balls, 1.5″ round
Canvas board, 9×12
Candy: Twizzlers (pull ‘n peel), M&M minis, Jolly Rancher Pops, Mike & Ikes
After the die was cut and pulled apart, I used Plaid’s Bark Brown acrylic paint to paint the board. Depending on the look you’re going for will determine how many coats. I wanted a dense look, so I used 3 coats. Above shows what the paint looked like after one coat.
Once the paint dried, I made a lattice pattern on both sections of roof. I did use a ruler and pencil to mark where I wanted the lines. I then traced the lines freehand with Plaid’s High Definition Visual Texture. It really works well for this effect as the bottle has a pointed applicator and it holds the dimension so you have that raised effect.
Make sure everything is dry before you start assembling the house. I used Golden’s Gel Medium to glue my house together. I like the consistency of it. Plus it is really strong. Resist the temptation to touch the roof before the glue has time to set. After it is mostly dry (yes, I’m very impatient lol), I started to add the M&M Minis. They are the perfect size for this. I adhered them with the Gel Medium. I kind tilted the house on it’s side, added the candy and let that set up before starting the other side. Doing this will ensure that none of the M&Ms fall off.
Just to make it a lil sweeter, I outlined the door and the underside of the roof with the Pull ‘n Peel Twizzlers. I glued on the smaller roof, then, using that High Definition Visual Texture again, I made a scallop design all over the front, sides and back of the house. I also added some little details like piled snow on the fence, around the windows and around the door.
This is what it looked like…
Now just to backtrack a little bit, I don’t want you to think that there is a lot of sitting around eating Snickers while waiting for glue and texture paint to dry. NO WAY! See, I was having such a good time that I went a little crazy. I decided to make this into a display piece. So here is what I was doing in between working on the house…
The base is simply a 9×12 piece of canvas board. I keep it around my studio all the time. The styrofoam disc I glued to the canvas board with Gel Medium. I sketched out a pathway so I would have an idea as to where I wanted those styrofoam balls to go. There are 6 in the picture above, but I ultimately went with 5. Those are also glued down with Gel Medium, but before gluing them down, I wanted to flatten the bottom a bit. To do that, just rub two of the balls together and they sort of just file each other down. Doing that before you glue helps make them more stable.
Next, I used a foam brush and put a light coating of Gel Medium all over the board and styrofoam. I covered the whole thing with Buffalo Snow. I pulled the snow very thin. I then glued Mike & Ikes to construct the path that leads from the house.
Set the house onto the display, so the door lines up with the path. To simulate trees, I pushed Jolly Rancher lollypops into the styrofoam balls.
Coconut!! Now, it’s messy…but a cool effect. Take some shredded coconut and put it in a ziplock bag. Add glitter to it! Close the bag. (yep, I said it…cause someone will forget. I guarantee it lol) Give it a good shake. The coconut is moist, so the glitter will stick to it. Then sprinkle that mixture all over. I added a little extra glitter just for good measure.
That’s all there is to it! This was an amazingly fun project. I sure hope you will try it out at home. Be sure to let me know how it turned out.
This past weekend, I hosted my first Open House at Altered Canvas Studios. It was so much fun! I had a great time planning and during the event. I was really pleased with the turn out too. I got to see friends…some of whom I haven’t seen in quite some time…and met some new friends as well. I hope that everyone who attended had a great time!
Before I tell you all the details I have to give out some props! First, I’d like to thank Erica LoFaso and Joanne Marfoglio…their beautiful faces pictured above. Erica spent some time with me down at my studio labeling tag sale items. Everything she does is with a smile and she’s great company to boot! Both she and Jo were present for the big event. I couldn’t have made it through the day without them. Jo did a fantastic job helping out with Make and Takes and she was a big help afterwards.
I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank Ana Araujo, creator and Executive Producer of When Creativity Knocks. Ana was a source of great encouragement. In addition to her wise words, she generously sent giveaways for the event as well as provided the raffle prize that everyone was drooling over.
If you haven’t had heard about WCK, it is a fabulous platform. Ana and her daughter, Megan, who hosts the show, go all over taping craft episodes fit for television. I have personally taped two episodes for them. They are a blast to work with! Every Friday, a new episode airs. Every aired episode goes into an archive that viewers can check out as well. Every type of craft you can imagine is there…from scrap booking to childrens’ crafts to fabric crafts. So, you should really go check it out! When Creativity Knocks
So here are a few pictures of what things looked like on the big day! Here we have our tag sale.
Being the Italian princess that I am, I would not have felt right inviting people over without feeding them! I can’t help it. It’s just the right thing to do, don’t cha think? Of course, it’s not a party without the wine!
This was our Grand Prize! It is a GINORMOUS assortment of Plaid Products just screaming for a set of crafty hands. Congratulations to Samantha M., the young lady who found me and won the raffle!!
For Make & Takes we made these fun necklaces using Blumenthal Lansing Button Coordinates and some beads, wire and leather lace. Everyone seemed to enjoy making them.
Here is the next generation of crafters! They became the expert of our Make & Takes!
She is a happy and proud crafty girl.
We even had a puppy come and visit! This is Romeo. He didn’t make a necklace, but he surely had a great time as he was getting majorly cuddled.
So, that was about it. Workshops begin in November. I am happy to announce that I even got a few sign ups. Needless to say, I’m a busy bee. Buzz buzz buzz…
Now for those of you who don’t know me personally, I am…if I may borrow from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman…a “fly by the seat of your pants kinda gal”. It really is with every fiber of my being that I resist a schedule of any kind. I must say, however, that there are times when I have found it beneficial to have some kind of structure. For example, the open house I just recently hosted….I had a very strict time table for that and as a result I wasn’t up til all hours of the wee morning trying to get last minute things done. I would go so far as to say that it was even … relaxing!
It may surprise you to know that I don’t find blogging easy. It is always most difficult to get started. So, on the advice of Diane Gilleland of Crafty Pod, I have done some things to help me organize. I’ve made a list of topics, but now I am going to take that even a bit further. In the effort to be more consistent I have decided to do two special segments a week that I hope will be of value to you all. Of course this doesn’t mean that I won’t be blogging about other things. There is always something to show and share. AND let us not forget that beginning Thursday, November 4th is Sizzix’s TriplePlay Blog Hop! That will be going on for seven glorious weeks.
Now to the nitty gritty…
Here is the first segment indicator above. Don’t get too attached to that pic up there…I’m already not loving it which means…..there will be a new one coming. For now, though, you get the idea. On Tuesdays, I will share with you some sort of crafting tip, technique or a useful tool. I like tools! Anyway…my hope is to offer something that will make your crafting experiences easier or more exciting.
On Fridays….I’ll be selfish and share my favorite things with you. Whether old or new, I always have favorite things that I use in my artwork.
I really do hope to get dialogue going with everyone. People…this is not all about me! At least not today. I’d love for you to share your tips and favorites as well. I’m really interested to know what’s out there that I haven’t found yet.
Just as an aside…please keep in mind that if you comment on my blog from Creating the Hive, those comments do not show up here on blogger. However, I will be checking both places so that I don’t miss an opportunity to chat!
Hi and welcome back!
Years ago, I came across a quote on a rubber stamp. That quote read: “What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” It really had a profound effect on me both personally and professionally. Back then, I was just starting to define who I am as an artist and designer. I thought, back then, I knew the direction in which I wanted to head. Along the way, I got lots of advice…both good and bad, as well as a lot of encouragement and discouragement! It left me, shall we say, very tentative at best.
As many of us creatives do…I talked myself into and out of things during my journey. As I “grew up” and did some serious self discovery, I began to trust my own instincts and decisions. I was able to get a better grasp on what it meant for me to be successful in all aspects of my life. I found it easier to take a negative and make it into a positive…which brings me back to that stamp!
Now, as I have mentioned, there was just something about the quote on that stamp that had a grip on me. Once in a while, I would pull it out of it’s home in my studio and leave it out on my work table and wonder what…though I loved it…bothered me so. I mean, if you read it, it seems like such a positive message! Yet, in all the years I had it, I believe I only used it ONE time!
Jump forward a couple of years, here I am in my new studio! One of the best things about having to move all my supplies out of my studio was that I got to go through everything I owned…and I found things that I’d forgotten I’d had…or thought I’d lost! LOL One of those things was that darn stamp again! During the move, I saw that stamp and I copied that quote at the top of my massive “to do” list. Every time I opened my notebook to that list, I would read that quote and something about it just felt wrong.
It wasn’t until I’d been in my studio a couple of months that it hit me. I remember thinking I was brave in my decision to move into an independent place. I remember being proud of having set goals that were realistic and attainable. I remember thinking that I was not afraid of the hard work it would take to achieve those goals…one of which was to start teaching classes at my studio. And there I was, looking at that quote again…”What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?”…thinking, wasn’t I attempting something BIG!? I wasn’t letting fear control my choices! So what was the problem with those few words?
It took a little more time before I could hear the answer clearly. It was in the middle of the night…as is typical with me. I woke myself up and grabbed the book I’d been making notes in and rewrote the quote to say…”What would you attempt to do if you knew you would succeed?”…and went back to sleep. The next morning when I reread what I’d written, it made sense. It was the word “fail”. What a negative word. It sure didn’t fit into my place of positivity! I knew that this newly worded quote would become my mantra as I build my empire…however large or small I decide it to be. Soon after, I began creating this textured collage which now hangs proudly in my studio…so I don’t forget. EVER!
This weekend, I am holding my first Open House at my studio. I am introducing my roster of classes, doing make & takes, giving gifts and holding a raffle of really terrific Plaid products…basically just having a grand celebration to let the community know I’m here! In the spirit of Field of Dreams….”if you build it, they will come”…I am here to share my love of art with anyone who cares to join me in this journey. I’m just beginning….again!
Artfully yours always….
Hey all…I am very pleased to announce that a new Sizzix Blog Hop will begin in early November! I’m thoroughly excited because I am actually taking part in this blog hop which features projects created with Sizzix dies.
This should be particularly exciting because there are over 60 professional designers taking part in this fantastic event! Each of us will design 7 different projects…which means that each week you will see over 60 different design concepts all using the same die. Do you realize how incredible that is? I don’t know about you all…but I am very excited to see what my colleagues come up with…the talent that has gathered for this blog hop is outstanding!
Very shortly (like later today lol), there will be a link on my side bar which will enable you to view all the projects contained each week in the blog hop. Of course, you will see mine here along with directions and a materials list. I have to admit, I am a little nervous as this is my very first blog hop, but in general I am excited because there is nothing I am more passionate about than art!
Keep your eyes peeled…I’m looking forward to reading your comments on all the blogs.
Here we go…….
Welcome to my new space! This is Altered Canvas Studios. My new home base, haven, sanctuary. All I know is I FEEL amazing here…not that my anxiety doesn’t sometimes reach the outer rings of Saturn, mind you. Let me show you around so that you know what my new surroundings look like.
The best thing EVER about my physical space is the WINDOWS! I have two of them. All of you artists out there know there is nothing better than natural light. Not that I won’t be breaking out my OTT Lite from time and again, but at least while I am there during the day I can open my windows, get some fresh air, and SEE all the colors in their natural glory.
The second best thing? I have TWO, yes, really, TWO rooms! So now I don’t have all my office things crammed in amongst the art supplies (which are extensive, lemme tell ya). This kind of allows me to pay attention to whichever aspect of my business I need to concentrate on. OK, I’ll cop to it…the “business” side was suffering. Can you really blame me? With all those art supplies looming and calling my name who wants to update Quickbooks??
So here we are….
I have two rooms as I mentioned. Suites 5 and 8 respectively. For my mailing address I use 8…because it’s my birthday! Well, that and it is the door with the mail slot. Sometimes I make decisions that uses a bit of sense.
When you walk in the door, you enter the studio side:
You should get a sense as to what kind of business resides here. Either that, or you are a little slow. I have had a few visitors to the studio…mostly other tenants. This section of my studio generates a lot of questions. I’m happy to answer too…because I have physical stuff to back me up!
Now, if you look left….
Holy batman! Did I mention I have TWO rooms now? We haven’t even gotten to the office yet. I have to tell you a secret. Not to sound like I am bragging or anything, but I am not only gifted artistically and vocally, but I also am amazing (toot toot) with spacial things. Like fitting the most amount of stuff into a small space. AND…a sometimes useful talent…I can find the center of anything usually within less than 1/16 of an inch. Who needs a tape measure to hang things? Puh-lease! I think I just got busted…I AM BRAGGING! Sometimes I amaze even myself. Can you believe that I managed to fit two rooms full of stuff into 100 square feet of space in my house?
Oh boy….serves me right. Apparently I am not all that gifted with Blogger yet as I see I have downloaded the same picture twice and cannot figure out how to delete it without restarting this whole blog. Now I could have been sneaky and said….”wow…I just had to get another shot of that paper rack in”, but I will own up. 🙂
Now here is my office…
You can see the open doorway between here and the studio. Very convenient. While I am paying bills and sorting though email, Facebook and Twitter I can still clearly hear my paints, stamps, paper and other ephemera clearly calling me, but yet I can act like I don’t because it is time for the left side of my brain to get some action. Clever, right?
There are only three things that are in my current space that are new. The two storage cabinets are new. I needed somewhere to store things that were in the closet in my home studio. I’m very pleased with how they are working so far.
The third thing is the desk…
…and there is that second window! Gotta love the light. My internet is all set up and I like that desk a lot. A friend of mine has the same exact one and now we have cute matching desks! Plus, if a screw falls out or something and I can’t find it, I can always conveniently snatch a replacement off of theirs! Shhh…don’t tell. The mind is always going over here…
Finally, you can see I have a couple of little things that still need to find a home. I’ll figure it out. Me and making a space work are tight! The final things I need are a mini fridge and a coffee maker. All in good time…I’m in no rush.
I hope you enjoyed a sneak peak. I really wanted to make sure you all got to see it now as it will most likely be the last time that it is uncluttered! LOL I don’t clean while I work. Nothing more satisfying than an artful mess.
So, what do you think? I’m both excited and nervous. I keep thinking that I need to treat my business more like a business, so…”if you build it, they will come”. Wish me luck. Hope to hear from you.