Design team member of Alpha Stamps, moderator at Craftster, lover of ephemera and junk.

Welcome! Grab a cold one, kick off your shoes, and have a look around.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Altoids Gift Tins

My older daughter has been living and working in Korea for over a year now, and soon my husband and I will travel there to see her. A couple of her Korean co-workers have been so wonderful to her, and I wanted to bring them each a little gift. We like to travel light, so the gifts had to be small and easy to pack. I asked my daughter for hints as to what they might like as far as colors and themes, and decorated an Altoids tin for each of them.

One of her co-workers loves children's literature, and works as an English translator, so the tin with the kids and the alphabet around it is for her. Another really loves teal, so the butterfly tin is hers. The third tin is for the parents of one of her friends, who I hear is going to invite us over for a traditional Korean meal. Mmmm! Since I don't know them, I just went with sort of neutral papers I like.

When I get there, I'm going to put some delicious Dove chocolates in each tin before I give them. Look how perfectly they fit inside!

I hope I can find some great ephemera in Korea to use in future projects!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Alpha Stamps Gypsy Fever Blog Hop!

(If you're coming across this post for the first time, please note that the deadline for this contest has passed and a winner has already been chosen. Stay tuned for more fun Alpha Stamps contests in the future!)

Welcome to the Alpha Stamps Design Team Blog Hop, and the Gypsy Fortune game! You will need to visit each of the four design team blogs (link listed below), find the four secret words, and create a Gypsy Fortune by unscrambling them.  Be sure to read through all the blog posts to find the italicized secret word in each one. Then unscramble the words, and leave the secret saying as a comment on the Alpha Stamps blog. If you enter the correct phrase, you will be entered to win $100 worth of supplies chosen for the Gypsy Fortune Teller Swap!

In honor of Alpha Stamps' Gypsy swap going on now, I've posted the little matchbox shrine above, made using an image from the Gypsy Beauty Collage sheet. I made this using the little inside drawer of a matchbox. I covered it with Kaisercraft's "Gypsy Sisters" paper, and added some Wine Beaded Fringe to the bottom of the box.

 For the inside of the shrine, I used foam tape to adhere a vintage postage stamp to the back of the box. I then used more foam tape to adhere my gypsy image. This gives the interior some nice depth. I inked around the edges of the type and glued them down, and then embellished the background with some sequin stars. Here's a little hint: when adding small elements like the stars, it's always best to add an odd number, like three, five, seven, or nine. Odd numbers of things are always more pleasing to the eye.

The beads on the top of the box came from that same beaded fringe along the bottom of the box. They are attached with E6000. The acrylic domino I used is pre-drilled with holes, so I fed the ball chain through the holes, put tape around the ends to make them fit tightly, and then pulled them up through the holes to catch. I then dribbled a little E6000 into the holes to help hold the ends of the chain in place.

I love the brass wings on the side of this shrine. To attach them, I used an exacto knife to cut a little slit, being careful to not cut through to the inside of the box. I dabbed a bit of E6000 onto the edge of the wing and stuck it into the slit. To make them sturdier, I glued a small gold bead to both the back of the wing and to the box. Because the bead is the same color as the wing, it's almost invisible, but it makes the wing so much more secure. 

Here's the gypsy shrine hanging on the wall in my studio. I hope my silent friend and adviser serves me well in the coming years.

I hope you enjoy this Alpha Stamps Blog hop. Did you find the secret word? Make sure you visit the other blogs, starting July 19th. Find the rest of the secret message, and then enter at Alpha Stamps to win the $100 Halloween gift prize. Good luck! Don’t leave your guess here as you don’t want someone else to receive your good fortune.
Artfully Musing - Laura Carson | Visit blog
Junk&Stuff - Kristin Batsel | Visit blog
Rhonda Mum - Rhonda Secrist-Thomas | Visit blog
Starrgazer Creates - Rhea Freitag | Visit blog

Note: this is a private list. Only the list owner can enter links.

What is a blog hop?
Get the code here...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Alpha Stamps Gypsy Swap!

I see a fantastic swap in your future. Are you ready?

Alpha Stamps is hosting a fun new Gypsy Swap using Concertina Chipboard Pennants!

You could make your Gypsy Fortune Teller a palm reader, tarot card reader, tea-leaf reader, part of a traveling show, or whatever sort of gypsy theme you like!

This swap will be 3 for 3: create 3 different "pages" and receive 3 in return, all by different artists!

I'll be playing. Will you? For more information, and/or to sign up (by August 5, 2012), visit the Yahoo Group. Artwork will be due September 4, 2012, so there's plenty of time to create something fun.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fabric Bowls, Take II

I'm still enjoying making fabric bowls, so this week I made a couple more. I decided to try to mix things up a bit. The first one I did has little handles on the top. The handles are a tad too small, though. Next time, I'll be sure to make them bigger. I love the way the colors came out in this one. It was a pretty ugly fabric, but makes a nice bowl!

I really like this next one. It was done with black, white, and grey fabrics with small floral prints:

It was too tall and floppy, so I turned the top down to form a cuff, which makes it much more pleasing to the eye, and also sturdier. So far, this is my favorite. I'll be putting cuffs on other bowls, I'm sure.

I'm just about out of clothesline. Time to buy more.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fabric Bowls

One of the most fun things we did on our Craftster weekend was try out new crafts. We learned how to make glass mosaic pendants, carve stamps, and make fabric bowls out of cotton clothesline and fabric scraps. I don't have a picture of my pendant yet (I had to leave it behind so the resin could fully set), and I have carved stamps before, so I never made it to that station because I was so enamored of making fabric bowls.

I made this smaller one first, just to get the hang of the technique. When I got home I found the perfect plastic button to sit on the coil.

After I made the small basket, I decided to see what it would be like using white thread. Definitely an improvement! This next basket is about twice as big, and was done with a tighter zig zag stitch, which makes it more sturdy.

Look how pretty! I love this color combination.

And, because everyone agrees these would also make suitable hats, a photo of Stella, who graciously offered to model. She's loving this look!

As someone who usually works with paper, I really loved switching it up and getting back to sewing. I'm going to drag my machine out and make a few more of these. I've already started wrapping the rope for my next creation.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pocket Affirmation: Altered Tin

I just got back from a wonderful weekend with some other members of Craftster. We had so much fun shopping for mixed media supplies at antique malls and crafting! We may have slipped in a little time to share some Cosmos and wine as well.

One fun thing we did was a Yankee swap, where we all brought a little craft and swapped them out. Everyone was so happy with what they got that there was no stealing! Here's what I made to give away: a small "Pocket Affirmation" tin.

 Here's the front and the side. This is not a standard Altoids tin; it's a smaller tin that I picked up at a coffee shop.

I had this great image from an Alpha Stamps collage sheet, and felt that this gentleman would be the perfect guy to say everything one would need to hear.

The pocket envelope on the left holds a card that has different sayings on it, so you can make him say whatever you need to hear. I left one of the balloons on the other side blank so that the recipient could write in whatever she personally needs to hear most. The other one says, "You're right, as always."

Couldn't we all use an agreeable chap like this in our lives?

More about my crafty weekend later this week.

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