Category Archives: Artsy-Craftsy Misc.

I made a “Girl’s Survival Kit”

Okay, I saw this tutorial on Pinterest:  http://tidymom.net/2011/survival-kit/  And I thought it was absolutely awesome.  So I made one and sent it off in a swap!  It is soooo easy, and I got everything I needed for it, except the potholder, at the dollar store!  I LOVE dollar store crafts.  They did have potholders there that night, but they were a bit small.  I was at Honks today and they have a bigger one that’s dark blue with plaid, kinda butch and cool.  But I got a set of 2 simple red potholders at Shopko for $2 and that’s what I used.  All you do is use a zigzag stitch to sew in 10 snack-size zipper baggies, then fill the baggies with little essentials.  You sew on a button, and the potholders even already have the loop and are ready to go!  Here’s mine:

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Here it is closed up with a pin cushion on a ribbon wrapped around it, which is how I sent it.  I didn’t get a picture of it without that, I’m afraid.  The pin cushion can be tied onto your sewing machine, by the way.  Or around your wrist, or you can wear it as a pendant.  And the round middle of the flower, the stuffed part, is stuffed with steel wool to keep pins sharp.  But anyway…back to the Survival Kit, which I would rename, a “Just In Case.”  Get it?  Because it’s kind of a case full of things to have on hand just in case.  Yeah, so anyway…

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You can see how the loop fastens around the button and makes a handy little clutch.  And I made a list of everything that was packed into it (and it was stuffed!):

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I think this would make a unique, super easy, and super useful gift for anybody.  I plan to make more, that’s for sure!  I need one for myself for starters!

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Filed under Artsy-Craftsy Misc., Dollar Store Crafts, Sewing

Tutorial! My First! DIY craft foam relief stamps!

Okay so yeah, I kinda promised this about…eight or so months ago.  Sorry ’bout that.  But anyway, here’s my little tute on how to make your own super easy craft foam relief stamps.  Now I know I hate it when some craftista says something will be ‘super easy’ and then it takes twelve steps and 35 hours and all kind of weird supplies, so I’m not going there.  I promise.  These are easy.  And all you need to make them is:

Craft foam.  I get mine at the Dollar Tree.

Ballpoint pen.  Mine today is an old giveaway from a title company.

Scissors.  Also from the Dollar Tree, incidentally.

These are the simplest type of stamp to make from the craft foam, in that they are relief, meaning they stamp a block of color with your design in relief (not colored) inside it.  They create a primitive look that I really dig.  You can also make regular stamps by cutting shapes out of foam, but I’ll leave that for another tute.  Other variations are to use different point of ballpoint pens to make finer lines.  This one I’m using is a medium…maybe even a bold, I’m not sure.  I used a fine point for some of the finer lines on the flower stamp I made and it works fine.

So, step 1:

Choose a simple design and use your pen to draw it on your foam.  (I can do a separate tute on how to transfer a design from paper to the foam if there’s enough interest, but for today, we’ll just talk about a simple, off-the-cuff line drawing.)  The pen kinda drags on the foam, so you may have to press very lightly and go over your lines a bit to get the ink to lay down.  I decided to try a border stamp for this one:

Step 2:

Go over your original lines with the pen again and again, one section at a time, pressing the groove way down into the foam.  If you just go over the lines, you’ll start sinking into the foam, and it’s best to let it happen gradually like that at first, so you get a smooth line.  With a fine point, you may even poke/cut all the way through, and that’s fine.  It will even help you see where your design is from the other side.  Here’s my border, pressed down into the foam:

Step 3:

Cut out your stamp.  Leave this to last so that you can move the bigger piece of foam around while doing your drawing.  Oh, and make sure you don’t press into it with your fingernails while holding it.  See the little impressions left above.  Oops.

Your stamp is ready!  You can mount it on a piece of cardboard or something else, if you want.  I made a set of letters and put each one on a square of cardboard.  To stamp, I’ve used these with ink, watercolor paint, Inktense Blocks, and acrylic paint, and it’s all fun.  I’ll use some Inktense Blocks here.  I use mine like pan watercolor.  I like them because once they’re painted on, they don’t reactivate again like regular watercolors.  Instead, they act like permanent ink.  Great for working over with other stuff.  Anyway, I just use a brush (in fact, an old makeup brush, to be exact) to paint the color on:

 

Heavy or light, you’ll have to experiment.  I did it pretty pretty heavy on this one:

…and you’ll see I got a less-than-clear impression.  With the first press, I just put the foam down and apply very light pressure, holding the stamp down with one finger while smoothing to the other end with the other, without moving the foam:

See how you can see the lines through the foam?  It’s great, because you know where your design is, like with clear acrylic stamps.  Here’s the impression I got with that loaded up paint:

I would have gotten more detail with less paint.  Oh well.  For me, stamping is about adding interesting line and shape, and I like it.  I’d definitely experiment with different media and lay it on more lightly to try to get a finer design. What you stamp on also matters.  This is just sketch paper, with a little roughness to it.  Smoother paper works better for finer impressions.

For the second impression, I press the stamp differently, to get some of the paint from inside the lines, which gives me a different impression from the same stamp.  I press harder:

And get a different impression:

I like that.  I often like the last impression where I squeeze that last bit of paint/ink out of the stamp the best!  On the page at the top of the tute, I made one of each kind of impression with two of the other three homemade stamps I use for examples.  Like I said above,  if there is interest, I’ll try to do a separate tute on transferring a design from paper to foam, like for more detailed designs and words.  For now, keep in mind that to do words, you have to write them backwards for them to stamp forward.

Have fun and experiment!  I hope I made this clear, since it’s my first time doing a tutorial for anything!  I’d love for you to leave a link back to a picture of a stamp made with this tute in the comments.

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Filed under Artsy-Craftsy Misc., Tutorials

I made stuff again! Watercolor inchies, sewing kit, wrist pincushion, sketchbook cover, bookmark!

I made stuff again.  After a long, dark time.  I made the inchies a week ago, and I made the sewn things last night.  I haven’t posted my sewing/crafting projects here before, because I kind of stopped crafting when I started doing the art, but now I’m more into the craft than the art at this time, so I’ll be adding that to the blog.

The first thing I made was these inchies:

I made them for a swap on http://www.craftster.org.  They are Yarka watercolor on Stonehenge paper.  It was good to paint again.  🙂  (If you are new to the word, ‘inchies’ are little pieces of artwork that are just one inch by one inch in size, and people do them in all kind of media.  They’re harder and more fun than they look…or at least, than they looked to me when I discovered them!  And they are even harder to photograph!)

Last night, I finally fired up the sewing machine after months of disuse.  First, I made a needlebook/hand-sewing kit to carry around with me, mostly to the couch, to do hand-sewing and embroidery-type projects.  I designed as I went, and it’s a very simple design that of course took me way too long to work out on the fly.

Then I wanted a matching wrist pincushion, so I did that on the fly, too, and it also took me way longer than it looks.

The little pincushion on top is velcro’d on and I can detach it.

I’m going to make a strap for my sewing machine to strap it there sometimes, I think.  But that fabric is just tiny scraps, so I don’t think I have enough to do a matching one.  I want to make a sewing machine cover, apron, and thread-catcher, too.

Lastly, I made a cover for my new sketchbook out of drop cloth.  I call it, “Overcomplicated Primitive,” because once again, rather than go safe with a light cotton and turn the seam allowances in and all that, I had to adapt my usual easy pattern to leave the seams raw.

Not that big a deal until I had to fit these double loops in just right,

so that when I put my mechanical pencil (.9mm point) in them, they hold the book shut.

I also made a little matching bookmark to tuck into it.

I’m having so much fun sewing again.  🙂  It’s exciting to be enjoying *anything* again this much, and it feels so good to be ‘up’ enough to make actual stuff.

 

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Filed under Artsy-Craftsy Misc., Sewing, Watercolor

My hand-carved personal shaman symbol relief stamp

Today is a very powerful day for me.  I took a chance and posted something I was fearful of sharing due to the negative response I thought I might get.  Instead, I have found new friends and so much support and outpouring of personal truth as a result of it.  I have decided to commemorate today with a symbol.

I am a born shaman and was talking with another shaman about our shaman names, and she showed me a symbol she carves on her tools, and I thought I would like to do something like that.  With what happened today, I thought it was a good day to do it.  I used a fine point ballpoint pen, dollar store craft foam, a watercolor pencil, and the paper in my Canson journal.  Incidentally, the paper in the Canson does not erase well.  Now we all know.

So, anyway, here is my result:

My shaman name is Earth Hands, by the way.

I think I will work up a little free tutorial on how to do this, since it’s so simple and shows such wonderful results, and post it over on artjournaling.ning.com in the workshop group!

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Filed under Artsy-Craftsy Misc.

Testing my homemade stamps

I carved some relief letter stamps out of craft foam from the Dollar Store (soooooeasy) and tested them out on this page using glossy enamel craft paint on a book page.

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Filed under Art Supply Testing/Reviews, Artsy-Craftsy Misc.