Sunday, February 7, 2010

A is for.... Acrylic (book covers and inks)

This 3 x 3" book has acrylic pieces for the book covers. The back cover is exactly like the front and the book is filled with some blank white card stock that the recipient will be able to do with as she wishes. The acrylic pieces came with 3 small holes punched in them, but I needed to make the holes a bit larger to fit the black rings. I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch in the existing holes and was disappointed when the acrylic cracked a little around the holes. I was almost ready to give up and try something else, but luckily I kept going with the project. Once the backing is on the covers the cracks in the acrylic are not as visible.
I stamped the image (Stamp Zia) with black stazon ink onto the inside of each cover and then zapped with a heat gun to make sure they were dry. I wasn't happy that the acrylic pieces warped slightly from the heat! Then I painted the image with various colors of acrylic paints, again on the inside of the covers. I let the acrylic paint dry overnight; I didn't want to use more heat on these covers and ruin them completely. The next step was to apply embossing ink to the entire inside of each cover, sprinkle with embossing powder (I used kaleidoscope, a transparent powder), and heat. I was careful with the heat gun, but needed to make sure that all the powder melted. After that cooled I cut 2 pieces of shimmery blue card stock to fit the covers and adhered them with diamond glaze.
I cut pieces of white card stock for the pages and punched holes to match those on the covers. The black rings you see are made of rubber; I found them at the local Home Depot store. They are located by the paint swatches and are to be used for gathering all your paint swatches together. They pop open and closed easily so it will be easy for the recipient of this book to take it apart when she wants to decorate the inner pages of the book.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gift Card Holder

Gift cards are a popular choice for gift giving ideas. I wanted to create a gift card holder that would be as fun to receive as the gift card itself!
I used the Come Softly image from the Ching-Chou Kuik collection that is available on Sweet Pea Stamps Plate #25.
Before stamping the image I colored the entire gift card using a combination of distress inks and homemade pearl-ex watercolor sprays. I rubbed several distress ink pads onto a craft sheet, sprayed with water, and pressed the card holder into the mixture. After drying this application with a heat gun, I sprayed the card holder with the pearl-ex watercolor sprays. I still wasn't quite happy with the coloring so I sponged china blue distress ink around all the edges of the gift card holder. Okay, now I was happy! Once the paper was dry I stamped the Come Softly image using India Ink black. I wasn't crazy about how the coloring looked on the image so then I painted some areas using twinkling H2O's and added highlights with a glitter pen.
I used a Cuttlebug border embossing folder on the bottom edge of the front flap.
Here the top flap is opened, but the bottom flap still closed. On that bottom flap I stamped one of the sentiments that is available on plate #25. I also stamped some stars in coordinating colors.

On the inside of the top flap I attached an embossed piece. I used a piece of Core 'Dinations paper, ran it through the Cuttlebug with an embossing folder, trimmed the piece to fit on the flap, and sanded it to reveal the purple color that is on the reverse side of the paper.
With the bottom flap of the gift card holder opened you can see the center section where the gift card is placed.

Altered star box

Back in November, I and 3 friends got together for a play day. My friend Mary, who hosted the event, has a lot of paper mache boxes and wood beads. This star-shaped box was already the white and gold color that you see here. I did paint the sides of the top a solid gold, but that was all I did with regard to the box. I also used a large round bead for the head and 5 disc-shaped beads for the feet; all beads were painted with gold acrylic paint. I didn't finish the box while at Mary's house that day; in fact, I just finished it a couple of days ago!
The angel wings are from Tim Holtz's grunge board shapes. I placed a few angelina fibers between a couple of pieces of fantasy film and heated, then I cut them the shape of the wings and glued them onto both sides of the wings.
The angel's face was stamped onto a piece of white card stock, colored, cut out, and glued to the bead. I used a couple of small nails to attach the wings to the head, and in the process cracked the wood bead, but it is not easily visible (thank goodness; I didn't want to start over). Before gluing the head to the box top I formed a piece of gold wire into a halo, punched the end through the top of the box and secured on the inside of the box top. After the glue used to secure the head was dry I wrapped one small piece of ribbon around the head to hide the puddle of glue, and I took another piece of ribbon that I tied into a bow and attached it in front of the head.
Here's a better look at the wood beads I used for the feet. After painting them with gold acrylic paint I glued one to each of the points of the star. I liked the unusual shape of these beads. My friend was happy to get rid of the beads; she has many of them in her stash. You know how that goes...

So, now it is February and I finally finished the box. Getting it done had nothing to do with the amount of work I put into this project or the difficulty of doing any of it. It all had to do with fitting it in between the other things I was working on for the months of Dec and Jan!
It feels good to finish it. I don't like to leave craft projects unfinished... although, you'd never guess that if you saw the number of items that are still 'in progress'!!!