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November 14th, 2012

The editor of the well known and well loved Cloth Paper Scissors has just provided a free, online webinar discussing how to get published in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. You can watch the webinar here.

If you want to see the digital edition of Cloth Paper Scissors, please use this link:

Cloth Paper Scissors Pages, 2012 (Digital Edition)

And here is the informational video:

 

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July 12th, 2012

After much inner debate, I decided to join a swap to create a pendent using memory glass. I had never done anything like this before.

A few years ago while visiting the US, I purchased a crafter’s soldering kit called Simply Swank Soldering Kit.

The kit sat unopened in my crafting area for several years. Quite frankly, it intimidated me. I had only a hazy idea of what soldering entailed. The multiple gizmos in the kit puzzled me and so there it sat collecting dust and reminding me of the money I had wasted.

I decided to bite the bullet and use the kit to make a pendent. I spent the better part of two days messing around with this kit and trying to figure out what to do. Thank goodness for Youtube videos. I did get some excellent help there.

I am a very long way from being an expert, but I now have a basic understanding of how to solder.

The picture shows the first pendent I created. As you can see, the soldering is clumsy. By far the hardest part was attaching the jump ring on the top.

Nevertheless, I would have used the pendent except I cracked the glass on one side. As a matter of fact, I broke four sets of memory glass panes before I created a pendent with the glass intact.

soldered memory glass pendent with collage In case you are as totally confused as I was about soldering, this is the basic information.

Craft Soldering Basics

Basic Tools

1. Soldering iron or blow torch. The soldering iron heats up and becomes very, very hot.  A special blow torch is another option.
2. Metallic tape with adhesive on the back. My tape was copper colored. You bind the project with tape and then apply the solder to the tape.
2. Solder. Solder is shaped like a big fat wire. When you touch the tip of the hot iron to the solder, the solder melts.
3. Flux. Flux is a liquid. It acts as a sort of glue. You brush the surface of your project with flux and then smear the hot solder on top of the flux. The flux holds the solder in place.
4. Stand for the soldering iron. The iron is very hot and requires a special stand for holding when not in use.
5. Sponge. This came with the stand in my case. You wet the sponge and touch the hot soldering iron to the wet sponge from time to time. This cools the iron off.
6. Clips for holding the project in place while soldering.

What You do When Soldering
1. Assemble the project then wrap the copper tape in areas where you want to solder. Burnish the tape well with a bone folder or a brayer.
2. Heat the iron.
3. Hold the project with clips, then brush Flux over the areas to be soldered.
4. Touch the hot iron to the solder until the solder melts.
5. Touch the iron tip with the melted solder to the copper tape. Use the tip of the iron to smooth the hot solder evenly over the metal tape.
6. Allow to cool.

Safety Tips
1. Wear safety glasses.
2. Solder in a well ventilated area.
3. Wash spilled Flux from hands or work surfaces. It can burn after a period of time.
4. Remember that the soldering iron is very, very hot and show proper respect.

April 9th, 2012

I wanted a picture of green roses to use in a swap that is coming up at Art for the Creative Mind.

I checked a number of floral departments with no luck, then I finally found these roses in a florist shop over at Park and Tilford in North Vancouver.

Aren’t they beautiful?  I totally love green roses.

I plan on making the picture into a background that will be used in a swap for altered rolodex card.

In the original photograph, the roses appeared to be too yellow, thanks to being photographed under a yellow toned light bulb in the shop.

photo of a bouquet of green roses

I adjusted the color using Adobe Photoshop Elements, bringing it back to the original colour of the roses.

To adjust the color in Photoshop Elements, these are the steps I took:

 

1. Open the photo in Elements and create a duplicate layer.

2. Use the Magnetic Lasso  Tool to select just the roses.

3. Go to the Enhance menu, select color and adjust Hue and Saturation to get the color desired.

4. Save the image using a different file name.

 

 

September 17th, 2011

faux silk background This faux silk background is made from tissue paper and a clear drying glue.

Supplies

1. Tissue Paper
2. Stamps
3. White card stock
4. Inkpads
5. Any clear drying glue

How To:

1. Cut the tissue paper at least ½ an inch larger than the card stock you plan on working with.
2. Stamp your images onto the tissue paper
3. Crumple the tissue paper up into a ball then flatten it out.
4. Repeat step three about three times, or more if desired.
5. Apply glue to the surface of the card stock.
6. Put the tissue paper on the table with the stamped side down.
7. Place the card stock, glue side down, over the tissue paper, centering so there are edges showing on four sides.
8. Turn over and bend the edges over to the wrong side. Glue them down.

This technique is nice on gift boxes.

July 25th, 2011

After making my fabric book recently, I spent some time at a wonderful web site called Cotton Arts Boutique.

The site has a number of free vintage embroidery patterns, which you could also adapt for paper arts. If you are into embroidery, then these are great finds. If not, you can resize them in your photo editing software, print them and use them on paper. They would be great colored, or would resemble faux stitching if you use them as is for a embellishment on a card or other project.

The web site is well worth a visit. The owner is also a wonderful photographer as well as being a skilled fabric artist. You will be captivated by the lovely photographs from nature.

Enjoy.

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May 12th, 2011

gothic arch with swans and an eagle This project is a Gothic arch with the theme Things with Wings. It’s for a swap in the Art for the Creative Mind group at Yahoo.

To make this, I used three rubber stamps. The arch itself is Illuminata by Inkadinkao.  I stamped it on glossy photo paper using Stazon Ink.

The eagle is by GCS Artstamps. I stamped with blank ink and heat embossed it with an embossing gun and clear embossing powder.

The swans are cut from a larger stamp made by The Old Island Stamp Company. They are stamped with Versamark and heat embossed with silver embossing powder.

The word  “free” is also stamped

The background is red card stock and black card stock with a second arch cut from black and white scrapbook paper.

Other embellishments include some red glitter on the bottom right hand corner, and a transparent button-like red thing that serves as a perch for the eagle.

I live in Vancouver, where we have both swans and eagles. In one sense, the project represents the bird life we see in my home city. In another sense, I thought the eagle and the swans represented a contract — peace and tranquility vs power and majesty.   Similarly, the red, white and black colors are stark and represent contrast.

Tip

While I was making this project, I did some experimentation and discovered something I will pass along. I had a package of Special Moments glossy Photo Paper that I had bought at the Dollar Store for $1.  It contained five sheets of paper.  Although my Canon printer wouldn’t print on this paper properly, it does have another use. It makes lovely glossy paper for stamping. I used Stazon Ink because I doubt if pigment or dye inks would dry on the glossy paper. I didn’t try using other inks, however, so perhaps I am wrong about this.

I also found that if you heat this paper with the heat gun, the surface bubbles up and creates an interesting texture. Although not wonderful for heat embossing, the bubbly texture would make a great background paper or would be good for a punched shape or die cut.

It’s interesting what you can discover by serendipity.

 

 

 

 

April 13th, 2011

There are a couple of links that I think are worth a look see.

First, I have found a remarkable site that provides free clip art and various other free images. GraphicsFairy Blogspot has tons of searchable clipart and other images, backgrounds and headers for blogs and web pages.

Secondly, Easter is fast approaching and Web Design Schools Guide has a great article called 30 Easy and Adorable Easter Egg Designs Your Kids Will Love. Some of these designs are equally suitable for crafty, artistic adults.

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April 6th, 2011

childs easter card with yellow bunny I think I will enter this Child’s Easter card with the yellow bunny in Scrap Arts Easter card contest. Scrap Arts is the scrapbook and paper craft store in North Vancouver.

The colors are a bit off in the picture. The card has more subtle tones in real life.

The green frame for small picture and the green grass is cut from paste paper that I made.

This might not be the correct way to make paste paper, but this is how I did it:

 

How to Make Paste Paper

  • Acquire a sheet of white card stock
  • Working in a small tin container or other container, put a big splurt of wheat white glue. I used Aileen’s Tacky Glue.
  • Mix a splurt of craft pain into the paste and stir to combine. Your choice of color.
  • Smear the colored glue all over your white card stock.
  • Use an item such as a comb or fork or ball of crumpled tin foil, swish designs over the glue-covered paper.
  • Sprinkle tiny embellishment such as glitter or microbeads in the wet glue.
  • Allow to dry and cut into shapes or use as desired.

In the card above, the flowers are eyelets. The bunny’s tail is one of the fluffy things cut in half. They do not maintain their shape at all when cut, so next time I will go back to using the whole ball.

I was attempting to reduce the bulk for mailing but that plan it didn’t work out so well.

March 12th, 2011

Yesterday I made a video demonstrating the use of the Microwave Flower Press, also known as the Microfleur. The manufacturer’s web site is Microfleur.com

The Microwave Flower Press operates, as the name suggests, by drying your flowers, leaves or other botanical items in the microwave. A process that takes several weeks the old fashioned way is now accomplished in a minute or less.

The press I use is the smaller version. It is five inches square. A larger version is available for those wanting to dry more items at one time.

There is one word of warning about the Microfleur. You must experiment with times and power levels. Expect to ruin a few batches from time to time if you guess incorrectly. If a tray of flowers and leaves is dried for too long, they will disintegrate and be unusable. If it is not sufficiently dried, the plant ill be damp and will rot. The best approach is to process the flowers for a short time — 15 seconds, perhaps, check for “doneness” and return to the oven if needed.

Here is the video demo:

I purchased my Microfleur several years ago at Be Creative in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. You may find them at a local craft store, or you can buy them at Amazon. Failing that, the manufacturer’s web site may provide information as to where you can purchase this device in your particular location.

You may also be able to purchase them online. On the day I wrote this post, eBay had several:
Microwave Flower Press

Pressed flowers, properly laminated, are wonderful embellishments for cards, scrapbook layouts or other paper crafts.

November 27th, 2010



I admit I’m a sucker for ribbon in almost any shape or form. I use ribbon on almost all craft projects that I make. I especially like ribbon when its shaped like flowers. It’s remarkably easy to make this particular ribbon rose.

It’s simply a case of twisting the ribbon backwards, turning it and twisting it back in the direction you started from. Repeat the twist as often as desired.

This video below show you how to make this ribbon rose that you can make for an embellishment on scrapbook layouts, canvas layouts, cards, mini albums or most anything else you want to use it for.

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