Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hand Carved Thread Spool Santa - Vintage Find

While I was on Christmas vacation, I was wandering in some quaint shops in Seneca, SC and came upon some interesting vintage thread spools that had been carved with Santa faces.  I thought they were cute at the time but seeing as they had been turned into key chains, I didn't buy one.  Only after I got back home did their images keep going back through my mind and now I wish I had purchased one and turned it into a tree ornament.

Oh, well that is the way it goes sometimes...so I got on the web today to see what I could find on hand carved Santa thread spools and was surprised to see so many options out there for me to choose from.

 I just loved this eBay find - hand carved by Gayle Roush

 This is the top view of the above Santa - showing the vintage thread label.

This fun thread spool carved Santa is by Bayou Creations

 This Carved Santa on Thread Spool is by Touch of Color Knowtes

 And then I found a great page showing how these are carved.

 Step by step as a Santa Face is carved.
By Barbara of Touch of Color Knowtes.
Click HERE for link to see step by step instruction on carving a thread spool.

The Finished Santa by Barbara of Touch of Color Knowtes.

I just might have to give this process a try in 2011.

 Grins, Giggles and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Glitter Art Christmas Tree using Brass Stencils - Tutorial

I seem to pull out and play with my glitter more during the Christmas Holidays than any time of the year and one of my favorite glitter art projects combines sticky paper cardstock with brass stencils.

Christmas Card using Glittered Tree - by EKDuncan

This is a fun but messy process, since glitter has a mind of it's own and seems to hang around your work area for some time to come; so be prepared to sparkle when you are through.

Glitter in various colors - I'm using Art Institute Glitter
Xyron machine with Permanent Adhesive
Heavy Duty White Cardstock
Brass Stencil
Distribution tools - like old paint brushes and a small scoop type spoon
scrap paper - to help keep down the mess
post-it notes - to cover up parts of the stencil as I work on each color
(there is always some cross contamination of colors in this process but the post-its will help)

I did this project using my Xyron machine; however I have also done this project several times using sticker paper and that works well too.  I just find it is easier to do with the thicker cardstock and my Xyron.

Here are some of the supplies I will be using to create the glittered tree.

 Step 1
Run the Cardstock through the Xyron
 I start by running a piece of Heavy White Cardstock through my Xyron machine 
that has Permanent Adhesive in it.  

(I run a brayer over both sides before pulling the cardstock out so that I know 
I have a good bonding between the paper and the adhesive.)

 Step 2
Place the stencil over the Sticky cardstock - Pressing down well
Christmas Tree Stencil is by Lasting Impressions
My cardstock is cut slightly larger than my stencil so I will have a
nice glittered edge all around the finished project.
(this edge will also help me remove my stencil from the cardstock)

Step 3
Add gold glitter to the border edges
 I use a few post it notes to mask off the stencil pattern so I can glitter the edges first.
I tap and brush off all the excess gold glitter before removing the post it notes.

I do the edges first so that the colors I will use later on 
won't accidentally contaminate my border.

Step 4
Add the first color of glitter to the balls on the tree
Next I work on adding a cranberry colored glitter 
from my Monochromatic Pink glitter set to all the balls on the tree.
I use post-it-notes to mask off all the other openings as I work on each ball and
I find a small brush dipped into the glitter works great to get it into each small hole.

(the post-it-notes are needed to keep the cranberry glitter from getting onto the branch areas. If I had used gold for the balls I probably would not have used the post-it-notes since a bit of gold mixing in on the green branch areas would not have been a big problem.)

Depending on how intricate your pattern is and how many colors of glitter you are using 
will determine how labor intensive this process is.
 Step 5
Add the second color of glitter to the tree base
I added 2 different brown glitters from my Monochromatic Brown set to the tree base.
I tap out a small amount of each and then use a brush to push the darker glitter across the lower portion, then I used my fingers to swirl in the lighter golden brown in all the other areas. I press down a bit to make sure I have a good bond.  I then tap and brush off all the extra glitter before removing the post it notes.

Step 6
Add the darkest green shade to the bottom of all the branches
Adding 3 shades of Green Glitter to the Tree - Darkest First.
Here again if find dipping a small brush into the glitter works great to place it 
were I want it, on the bottom portion of all the branches.
Whew, No post-it-notes are needed from this point forward.

Step 6 - continued
Add the medium and light green glitter to the branches
I added the medium green glitter to the mid portion of each branch and finished 
off by adding the lightest green to the top portion of each branch.  I use a slightly bigger 
brush to swirl the three shades of glitter in place.

Step 7
Rub in the Glitter
I use my finger to press in the glitter really well over the whole project, so there 
is good contact between the adhesive backed paper and the glitter.

Step 8
Remove off all the excess glitter
First I tap off all the extra glitter and then I use a brush 
to lightly scrub away and strays.

Step 9
Remove the stencil from the sticky cardstock
 I carefully peel back the paper from the stencil.
The white areas are still sticky so avoid touching that part of the cardstock.
(do this as slowly as you can to keep down the amount of glitter 
that will pop over onto the background area)

Step 10
Add crystal glitter to the background
I poured on some crystal glitter across the top of the project
to fill in my background.

Step 11
Rub in the background glitter
I use my finger to work in the glitter from the top to the bottom of the project.  
I press it in so there is good contact between the glitter and the 
sticky portion of the background.

Step 12 - Mat and Mount
I added a black mat to my finished piece of glitter art.

The Finished Project
A bit of fun paper and a gold background finish off my Christmas Card.

This project took me about 30 minutes because of all the colors I used and the little red balls took the longest part since I had to block off all the surrounding areas as I did that part.  This project could be done in less than 5 minutes if I only used the 2 glitter colors -  one for the border and tree and then one for the background.  See below.

Quick Glitter Tree
Stencil  is by Dreamweaver Stencils
Using 2 colors of glitter I was able to make this one up in 5 minutes

Once the stencil is on the sticky cardstock and I pour gold glitter on, swirl it into all the nooks and crannies and on the border edges. I add more glitter as I need it, press it in really well and then tap off all the excess before removing the stencil from the cardstock.

After I remove the stencil I pour on silver glitter and use my finger to swirl and press 
it into the background. I tap off all the extra glitter, mat and make my card.

Finished Gold and Silver Tree
I love the glitz of glitter

The First Glitter Stencil project I made a few years ago and 
what I learned from the process
Stencil is by Dreamweaver Stencils
I made this card a few years ago and it was my first try at this process, so it has several issues I wanted to share. The stencil for this project was very large and hard to remove so glitter popped over into the background area and edges during the removal process.  I should have used gold or sliver glitter for the background instead of crystal; since a denser color would have done a better job of hiding the over spray of color you see peppered thought the background.  I also did not cut my cardstock to have a border, so as I removed the stencil the sticky edges were picking up stray glitter.  This is why I now add a border and glitter it first.  
What I do like about this first try is the bright pop of red in the center and I used the three shades of green and loved the way it worked out so much that I continue to use this blending of glitter colors in my projects whenever I can.  It's all a learning experience when you try something new and even with its faults it's still a very cheery card in person.

I hope you guys give this one a try.

Grins and Glittery Giggles,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Full Color Digital Frames - A great base for gift coupons, tags, cards and more.

Full color digital frames can be turned into gift coupons, tags, cards or other crafting projects.
I love this process since it is so simple to do and the finished result is attractive. 

 A Gift coupon I created in Photoshop in just a few minutes
(Magic Spring Frame by juliazip at deviantART)

Import the frame into Word or Photoshop - add a text  -  print -  cut out  - and give.  
How easy is that!

Keep the entire process digital and email your creation
to the recipient if you don't want to print it out. 

Here are some of my favorite recent Internet finds to use as full color digital frames

This is a great one that is intended as a computer wallpaper background 

Artwork is by www.hotdw.com and they offer many free photos and clip art on their site.
Click HERE for link to this floral background

 Vector Art Frame by joelogs at deviantART
click HERE for link to this frame

Magic Blue Frame by juliazip at deviantART
Click HERE for link to this frame

Magic Spring Frame by juliazip at deviantART
Click HERE for link to this frame
 (This is the frame I used for my coupon - I rotated it in Photoshop so it was on its side)

 Frame 1 by kadircan at deviantART
Click HERE for link to this frame

 Desktop Wallpaper from www.3ddigitalwallpapers.com
Click HERE for Link to this image

Abstract Wallpaper by http://www.abstract-wallpaper.net
 click HERE for a link to this image

Grins and Giggles,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Digital Frames - Create a Gift Coupon for Christmas

I enjoy using digital frames in various ways and here at the Holidays they come in real handy.

Sometimes I don't know what to get someone for the Holidays but I want to do something a bit more personal than giving a store gift card, so I like to create a Gift Coupon that they can redeem with me.  This way it becomes more personal and depending on what the coupon is for, I get to have a great time with them as well.

It just takes a little time on the computer using a cool graphic frame and then it's up to you if you print it and color it by hand or colorize it by using a program like Photoshop.  You can also create your coupon in a program like Word and print it out on colored paper.

Here is an example of a Girl's Day Out coupon I did in Photoshop.

The great thing about these coupons is you can create them for all occasions and for whatever you want. You could even create a coupon book with a variety of favors, wishes... 
or fantasies if your more naughty than nice.

 This is the original digital frame I used for the above coupon.
Frame is by GraphicsFairy - HERE

Here are several more frames that would be great to create a coupon with.

All of the above Frames are from one of my favorite blogs to visit

Here is an assortment of favorite digital frame "finds" I have in my personal collection. 

Dover clip art - This one can still be found on Picasa - HERE
Sign up for free Dover samples - HERE
Dover Clipart - This once can be found on Photobucket - HERE

Another Dover clip art frame from - Dover's weekly freebies newsletter
Sign up for free Dover samples - HERE
Dover clipart - Can be seen on Picasa - HERE

This was a Dover clipart freebie I got from their digital email newsletter
Sign up for free Dover samples - HERE

This one can be found at www.fromoldbooks.org - click HERE
The above frame came from an amazing site by Liam Quin -  www.fromoldbooks.org
A large variety of vintage engraved borders and frames by Liam can be seen - HERE
Found at www.fromoldbooks.org - HERE

From www.fromoldbooks.org - found HERE

This one can be found at www.fromoldbooks.org - click  HERE

From www.fromoldbooks.org - HERE

Not sure where I got this one but probably available from Dover

Not sure where I got this one

Border Frame from www.fromoldbooks.org - HERE

Not sure where I got this one

Found at www.fromoldbooks.org - HERE

Found at www.fromoldbooks.org - HERE

Two Victorian Scrap frames in full of color
Dover - This one can be found HERE on Flickr

Dover - This one can be found HERE on Picasa
The two frames above are Dover freebies that were made available to
those who get the freebies weekly newsletter by email.
Sign up for free Dover samples - HERE

And here are some more vintage engraved border frames

Found on Picasa - HERE

Found on Flicker - HERE

Found on Picasa - HERE

Found at www.fromoldbooks.org - HERE

Found on www.clker.com - HERE

Found on www.clker.com - HERE

Found this one on www.clker.com - HERE

found on www.clker.com - HERE

Found on www.clker.com - HERE

Found on www.clker.com - HERE

You can even scan a real frame and use that image as a digital frame 

Grins and Giggles,