Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Advent Calendars

I love Christmas and all the traditions it brings. My boys love counting down the days with the many Advent Calendars we have around the house. Several of them I've made over the years, but this one is definitely my favorite. Maybe its because everytime I look at it I think of the fun night I had chatting and sneaking treats with my two chicks Lori and Pauliene. There are no calories in chocolate when you eat it while giggling with girlfriends! LOL

We used some watchmaker tins and scrapbook papers and supplies to make these festive calendars. I had an old magnet board that I use to hang and display mine one. It was easy to just glue magnets on the back of the tins. The girls came up with a great idea of displaying the tins in a large tray on their coffee tables. Either way, all our kids love opening those tins everyday up to Christmas Eve!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Altered Tin Storage Buckets

Supplies needed:
Tin bucket (the buckets and hanging system shown here was purchased at IKEA)
plain white paper (you can tape several pieces together if needed for larger tins)
printed scrapbook paper
glue (a craft glue stick was used for this project. You could also use glue dots or white glue. Anything paper friendly)
optional: ribbon, tags, other embellishments

Step 1: lay your bucket on your paper close to one edge. Use your pencil to draw a line at the top and bottom of your bucket as you slowly roll it across the page. Be careful not to shift the bucket while drawing. Continue rolling and drawing until you've traced around the entire bucket with a little overlapping. You will end up with two arches.

Now draw a straight line from your top arch to your bottom arch on both ends and cut out. This is your template.

Fit it around your bucket to make sure it fits. You can make any minor adjustments to your template before you cut out your good printed paper.

If the fit is good, use the template to draw it on the back of your printed paper. I used a 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper and drew the template on a diagonal from corner to corner. Cut it out and glue to your bucket. I glued down the starting edge, wrapped the paper around, and then glued the end.

I embellished my buckets by adding some ribbon and some metal rimmed tags, but anything goes! Have fun creating your own unique storage!

Altered Address Book

spiral bound journal
Assorted scrapbook papers
glue (I used a glue stick for the papers and a glue pen for the ribbon)

Lay open the front cover of your journal onto the back of your paper. Measure 1/2" larger and cut out. Do the same for the back cover.

For the front, tear into 3 strips (widths do not have to be even). We're going to leave out the middle part when attaching the paper so that another paper can peek out underneath it.

Cut a strip of coordinating paper wider than than what is needed to fill the open gap, and the same length as the cover paper.

Glue the bottom 'peek-a-boo' stip to the front cover, letting the edges overhang. Glue the two side stips overlapping the middle strip.

To fold over the edges to the inside of the cover, notch out the corner, fold down and glue.

Cut out a coordinating piece of paper the size of your inside cover and glue down. This will hide the edges of your front paper fold. Now complete the back cover the same way, except with only a solid paper on the outside instead of 3 strips.

Glue down ribbon along the paper edge both inside and on the front cover. Repeat on the back cover.

For the dividers, I glued down some precut chipboard tabs I had to the lined pages inside. You can cut these out of cardstock too.

Embellish! Embellish! Embellish!

Fabric Pin Cushions

Supplies needed:
wide unfinished wood candle base (I got this one at the $$ store)
black paint and paint brush
scrap of least 3 inches wider that the area you're going to attach the cushion to.
needle and thread
hot glue gun
quilt batting
small piece of sturdy cardboard (don't use poster board, it must be thicker than that)

Step 1: paint your candle base in black. A couple coats may be needed. Let dry. You can also use some sandpaper and distress the paint after it has dried. Leave the area that the cushion will be glued unpainted.

Step 2: while that's drying, trace the top of the candle stick onto your piece of cardboard. Cut it out 1/8" INSIDE your line so it just a bit smaller than the actual size of your candle base.

Step 3: place your cardboard circle on top of layered quilt batting and cut out a total of 8 circles of batting. (I usually cut 4 layers at a time).

Step 4: lay your cardboard circle on the wrong side of your fabric and draw 1.5"-2" bigger than your cardboard. Just eyeballing this is fine. Cut it out.

Step 5: use your needle and thread to hand stitch around your fabric circle about 1/4from the edge. Make sure you've knotted off the end so it doesn't slip through. Cut the thread leaving a long tail.

Step 6: time to sandwich all your pieces together! Lay your fabric right side down, place the batting in the center and the cardboard circle on the top. Push down with one hand and use your other hand to pull the thread tight. Be sure that the fabric comes over the edge all the way around. Knot off your thread.

Step 7: hand sew a button into the center of your cushion. You'll go through all layers, including the cardboard.

Step 8: hot glue around the edge of the backside of the cushion and in the center to secure the thread. Attach to your candle base.

You can use these steps to make cushions for paper mache boxes, jar lids and anything else with a flat top!

Tin Punching Basics

Supplies you need:
sheet of tin or sheet metal or aluminum flashing
tin snips
black permanent marker
ruler or template design
a scrap piece of wood
a large nail and a hammer.

Begin by using the black marker and your ruler or template to draw the design on the back of the tin sheet. Either side of the tin can be used so I usually just pick whichever side is more scratched up to be the back. Remember that you have to draw your design in reverse.

In this case I drew out a square with a heart in the center.

CAREFULLY cut out your shape with the tin snips. Tin and metal are very sharp, you may wish to wear work gloves.

Let's start punching! Place your piece of tin on your scrap piece of wood. Place your nail on any point of your marker line to start, and hit the hammer on the nail once. Don't hit too hard that you go through the metal, just hard enough that you create a divot. Continue moving the nail and punching it around the whole design, spacing the punches about 1/4" apart. Also punch the perimeter of your piece of tin to create a finished border.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

New Beginnings

Are you surprised to find yourself here? Were you by chance looking for my Primware House or SASSphisticated websites?

Well, here's the scoop.

If you've been to either of my sites in the last two weeks, then you know I announced that after a wonderful 4 years on the web, I was shutting down my sites. Why? It may seem like a silly reason, but to be honest, I grew too big. I'm just one little ol' person and since I LOVE to create and design, I couldn't keep up with the business end of things. So I've decided to SIMPLIFY life a little bit. Oh don't worry, I'm still CREATING and DESIGNING and selling my original works...that's who I am. I can't deny myself that. You know where to find me if you need me (wink, wink). Is this temporary? I don't know. I do know I'm very happy with this decision. That tells me the time is right.

I'm having such a good time setting up this new blog of mine and its a wonderful sense of freedom. As I get things set up, I'll add some more great crafting tutorials for you all (be sure to peek at the ones I have already added), and showcase some new paintings I'm working on. I am continuing to do local exhibits (can you believe I've been doing them for 14 years?!) so I'll keep this blog up to date as to where you can find me.

Hmmm....what else? Oh we'll talk about lots of craft stuff of course. New trends, my fav crafters on the web, how to's, and why everyone should have a ribbon addiction like I do!!! LOL

We'll talk about family, life, gel nails, weight (I could talk about my struggles with that nonstop), polka dots and all things 'bling'.

So please stick around. We'll have lots of fun and you'll still get your fix of primitive, shabby and antique goodies from me, I promise. Best of all now you can leave your comments for me to read!!! Are you ready to take this new journey with me? I sure hope so. I've gotten this far because of you. I can't imagine continuing on my own.


Distressing a Pine Cupboard

Robin's Egg Blue Distressed Cupboard

This pine cupboard was unfinished with no previous paint or varnish on it, so simply by removing the door and the hardware and giving it a quick sand to smooth out any splinters, I was ready to go. Ok, it needed a little bit of dusting too.

First I painted the entire cabinet with a deep chocolate brown (I use Benjamin Moore paints, this one was Hearthstone Brown). Don't forget the inside and the door!! Two light coats worked great.

Let the paint completely dry and cure. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process. Once cured (tip: the paint will be cold if its not cured), lay a wax candle on the wood and rub wax all over the outside of the cabinet (I didn't paint the inside with the blue so there was no need to rub the wax all over it). This will make the process of sanding down the top coat so much easier.

You can apply your top coat right away, just brush away any loose wax. I chose a Robin's egg blue for a splash of color in my primitive kitchen. Again, apply one or two light coats.

Allow the top coat to completely cure before sanding. To sand, I used a med grit sandpaper and gently rubbed all over. The top coat came off so effortlessly.

I rubbed a coat of Minwax Gel stain in Aged Oak to tone down the bright color a bit. Then I put the door back on. All done!!

Distressed Paper Mache Boxes

Supplies needed:
paper mache box...any size or shape will do
black paint and paint brush
wax candle stick...white or cream colored only
your choice paint color for top coat
medium grit sandpaper

This process looks great with a dark undercoat of paint (like black or dark brown) and a lighter top coat (like mustard or taupe) or you can apply the light paint as the base coat with a dark color on top. As long as there's a noticable contrast in color, you'll achieve an awesome prim look!

Step 1: paint the paper mache black. Let dry.

Step 2: once your paint is dry, rub the candle all over the box. Brush off any wax flakes.

Step 3: paint your contrasting top color over the wax layer.

Step 4: when your paint is dry, use your sandpaper all over the box. Seriously, that's all there is to it!

You can stain or varnish your paper mache. I didn't use either here, but when I do stain I like to use Min Wax Gel stain and a soft cloth.

There are so many ways to finish off your boxes! Stack them in different colors and sizes, paint words or designs on the front, stitch a piece of muslin and glue it on the creative!

Altered Recipe Box

cardboard recipe box (the plastic ones would work as well)
assorted scrapbook papers
glue (I used a glue stick for the papers, glue pen for the ribbon)

Measure the width of the bottom half of your box and add 1". Cut two strips of the same paper (one won't fit all the way around) and glue one to the front and one to the back, overlapping at the sides and overhanging at the bottom.

Fold down the corners and glue to the bottom of the box. To finish the bottom, cut a piece of the same paper the exact size as the bottom and glue down to hide the folds.

Measure the width of the top half of the box and add 1/2" (for reference, its the green paper with small daisies) . Again, cut 2 strips of coordinating paper and glue down, overlapping at the sides and overhanging at the top. Again, fold down the corners to the top of the box this time, and glue.

Cut a third coordinating piece of paper the size of the top of the lid plus a little extra to cut into a point that will overhang down the front face. (Use the picture as a reference). Use your ruler to find the center for the point. Glue down.

Glue down ribbon around the top of the box, following the point on the front face (see picture) as well as around the top of the bottom half of the box.

Glue a ripped strip of paper across the top and embellish!