Friday, October 17, 2014

3 Little Birds......made with felt

Today was a play day and I experimented with felt bird shapes cut with a Sizzix die

Sequins and seed beads

Silk ribbon embroidery roses with vintage hand dyed embroidery floss

Ans a couple of pieces of tatting

 These little ornaments are a great way to use up remnants, odd buttons, beads and ribbon

.......don't worry about a thing


Monday, October 13, 2014

Iridescent Autumn Leaves with Decoart Media

Autumn is the hush before winter. ~French Proverb

here in Scotland it is Autumn, but for many it is " fall". In the UK we don't seem to celebrate this time of year as much as our friends across the pond.  I wish we did but, maybe now there is a renaissance in the crafts world, that might happen!

Scotland is beautiful at this time of year, especially in Perthshire. We used to live there and we do miss the beautiful countryside. When we were there a few days ago I was looking for inspiration for projects when I came across a very old horse chestnut tree and picked up lots of shiny conkers (buckeyes in the US I believe)

When I returned home I wiped them with a damp cloth, allowed them to dry and applied some DecoArt Americana Dura Clear Varnish with a lint-free cloth

I then started thinking about possibilities with some dried leaves I had picked up, and decided to use product from the DecoArt Mixed Media Programme. These products are so versatile that I felt sure I would create a nice effect......and I certainly did

DecoArt Media Mister Turquoise
DecoArt Media Mister Magenta
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Green
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Turquoise
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Blue
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Magenta
A flat or filbert brush
a piece of lint-free cloth

How to:
I removed the top of the misters and used the bottom of the spraying tube to drop small amounts on to a palette (I used a piece of aluminium foil), then squeezed  small drops of the Interference alongside  (I gave them a good shake first).

I then brushed the colours on to the leaves randomly. 

This technique changes the colour of the leaves in a subtle, but eye-catching way giving them a kind of petrol effect
. I didn't  clean the brush between products and this added to the shimmery appearance....just look at these colours! 

I also achieved a nice effect on dried hydrangeas by dry brushing with Media Interference, unfortunately this does not show up too well in photos 

There are so many things you could do with these three things....

conkers and hydrangeas in a mason jar, with iridescent leaves tied on with string

Autumn wreaths

Place settings

Hydrangeas in an urn

or place in a bowl with some berries

 There are lots of tutorials and videos online showing how to dry leaves (glycerine is my preferred way) and hydrangeas

Friday, October 10, 2014

Geisha Girl Decoupage Heart using DecoArt Media - Tutorial

I am loving the new Media product from DecoArt!

I can't thank DecoArt  enough for supplying me with some of their fabulous product; they are always one step ahead when coming up with new product and techniques.

Prior to using this product I gained lots of advice watching Andy Skinner's Youtube channel - Andy is an expert on DecoArt Media so it was very useful. Thanks Andy

 This is  how I transformed a wooden heart in to a lovely wall ornament

I used:
A napkin
DecoArt Americana Paint - Indian Turquoise
A filbert Brush
An old toothbrush

 I applied Two coats of gesso (I like to use a filbert brush as it helps stop lines showing in the paint) and left it to dry

I then applied a watered down coat of Indian Turquoise Americana paint 

..........whilst the paint was still wet, I spattered on some isopropanal (rubbing alcohol) by dipping a toothbrush in the fluid and rubbing my thumbnail across it, thereby flicking some on to the surface. This leaves kind of mottled irregular surface

After it was dry, the next step was to apply a coat of blue Interference......unfortunately this does not show up in the pictures, but it gives a wonderful opalescent effect.

I then added some napkin decoupage by
tearing a napkin along any edge/s that will show in the surface - this  leaves  a soft hairy edge.  Separating the layers (there are usually 2 or 3)  and only keeping the top patterned one

Applying thin even coats of Decoupage on the back of the napkin and on the surface, then positioning it on the desired part of the surface (sorry no picture) and smoothing it out with a brush or brayer

I then turned it over and cut off the excess

this is is how it looked, before I went on to embellish it

I sourced this lovely geisha girl image from the Graphics Fairy website
I printed it off, cut it and mounted it on blue card

the applied it to the heart using the decoupage medium. I used a die to cut pink vellum blossom

I wanted to give the flowers depth so I placed them on a deep foam base and pressed down on the middle of each with a large stylus

I added some pearls to the flower centres and an Oriental coin over the hanging hole

and finally added some ribbon and a mini tassel (please see my last post for a tutorial on how to make tassels)

Please watch this space for more projects using DecoArt is a sneak preview of what can be done with Crackle Paint and Interference

my next post will be an easy way to transfer images using DecoArt Media Matte Medium

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mini Tassels for Card-making -Tutorial

I was recently designing some Moroccan inspired cards for a class and decided to add some tassels. 

As all crafters know it can be difficult to source product in the desired colour...also if you buy online postage and handling can cost more than the purchase price.

So, withat in mind, I decided to make some using thread I normally use for tatting and crochet

All you need to make some is thread (I used size 20), a piece of card about 2cms longer than the length you want the  tassel to be and a needle with a large eye such as a size 22 chenille needle 

How to:
Wind the thread around the card as many times as necessary.....for this one it was 20 times (adjust for how thick you want the finished tassel to be)

Pass a piece of thread, about 10 inches long, under the top

Tie a knot

Use a third piece of thread, about 9 inches long, to make a loop and place it over the top of the main threads

Take one end of this thread and wrap it around approximately 6 times

Then pass it through the loop and pull really tightly

Thread the needle and bring it down under the wrapped threads, from top to bottom (sorry I did not take a picture of this) so becomes part of the tassel

 Cut the bottom ends of the loops and trim the ends

To make a twisted cord: wind the thread on the second picture (that you knotted) by holding both ends and twisting in opposite directions, then they should naturally twist together in to a cord. Tie a knot and trim

......completely different tassels made with narrow velvet & satin ribbon

....if you are a burlesque dancer look at the money you will save lol

my website

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rhinestone Clipboard Tutorial

This was a fun project to do....
I used:
A clipboard
Rhinestones, pearls, swarovski crystals, a ceramic rose and pieces of vintage jewellery
Adhesive - I used Araldite
Cocktail sticks
A small piece of lint-free cloth
A stencil brush
A paint brush

I gave the clipboard board one coat of DecoArt Multi Purpose Sealer (use a cork or something small to hold the clip open whilst the sealer and paint dries - and move it around between coats)

then two coats of DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint - the colour I used is called Refreshing
and added a stencil flourish with the same paint in Primitive
I then applied two coats of DecoArt Creme Wax with a soft cloth and, when dried, buffed it with a soft cloth
Next was the fun part.......I applied the pearls, crystals, rhinestones and jewellery piece by piece. I stuck them on in layers until the clip was covered and cut a vintage necklace to fit any awkward parts - I found it helpful to gently push each piece in to place with a cocktail stick

now I have a nice sparkly clipboard to complete my display set when I am teaching.

........and I love it

Monday, August 25, 2014

How to organise your chargers

Aaargh.... know the feeling - it's like Spaghetti Junction on a bank holiday! I have tried everything to keep cables and chargers in some kind of order, but up until now nothing has worked. It must be because I keep pulling them out until I find the right one and the whole thing deteriorates in to a tangled mess. By the time I find the right one I feel like tearing my hair out as well as the chargers. that has all changed, thanks to DecoArt Multi Surface Paint.

All I did was dip the wooden end of a paint brush in to a puddle of paint and plop a dot on to the charger and the device in matching colours (it's a good idea to rub the surface with a little rubbing alcohol to remove any grease and help the paint to adhere).

You could get really creative, but there is not a lot of space to paint on.
If you run out if colours just plop 2 dots on to the surface and pull them together to make a heart

This must be the shortest and easiest project ever posted but, trust me, it works