Monday, December 22, 2014

3 "Quick" Holiday Crafts

So over a few days I had to whip out some crafts as gifts or just for general decoration. Here are three things I made in various levels of easy and how you can do it to!

I found some paper that looked nice at the store. Ran it through a tag die-cut and TADA! I accidentally made a really nice tag with the tiny "love" on it. I added a nice red ribbon and now it's a tree ornament. Inked the edges because it's me.

This next one is sort of a silly level of easy... I took a pipe cleaner and made a circle.
 I added some glue (glossy accents here) and some glitter. I then tossed it around in a bag to remove excess.
 Then I added a little ribbon, a dot of hot glue that I painted and added a pin back. TADA! It's a really REALLY easy festive lapel.
This next one isn't quite AS easy, but the components are really simple and it LOOKS really hard, making it a pretty cool gift for someone needing some wall or office decor. Here is the front:
This was literally made from scraps and things I had laying around (the bottle cap was removed from the soda I was drinking while making this...). Take a burlap panel (any craft store has something like this) and then start laying things on it to see how the space works out. After I decided where everything was going, I cut and inked paper to fill the space nicely. The top right is a "found relatives" card from Tim Holtz (not actually someone I know... that would be creepy. Or is this creepier?). I think my favorite parts of this design are the bottle cap that I added alcohol ink to for an aged effect and the key that is glued down, but "taped on" with tissue tape that I have recently become obsessed with.

I also had some other scraps and stamp samples laying around, so I used them to make a nice baking for the project. It's very "Steve."
This project took about an hour and half after I figured out what I wanted to do and rearranged everything a million times. It doesn't help that my craft space is a wreck. Sigh... Maybe in the new year I will do a "craft space before and after" post. Get excited! Or scared...


12 Tags of 2014 - December!

So my resolution for 2015 is to do all of the tag challenges over at Tim Holt's Blog. But before I get excited about what is to come, I wanted to share my creation this month!

As usual, I was lacking some of the items (but some are really cheap it seems so I will invest soon), but I took the best of it and made it work. First, here is Tim's creation. Definitely go check out the tutorial to see how he made this awesome tag (I'm a fan of the green version he made too):

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Configurations Book (a Gift)

Tis the season to accidentally decide to make really complicated gifts for all of your friends! Yay! So with late hours and lots of ink and glitter stuck to me, people will be getting all sorts of fun things this holiday season.

One bigger project this season was this configurations box. I used paper, tape, and then whatever I had laying around to fill the spaces. There are some views and commentary on the book after the jump:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

12 Tags of 2014 - November! (A "micro" challenge)

It's that time again!

Time for the monthly Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2014 challenge. As you may have noticed on the right hand side, I entered for October as well... AND WON! I was listed first on this month's challenge which helped bring a bit of traffic here. Well I'm at it again but this time I had to be even more resourceful than the last time. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Halloween Re-Cap 2014...AND BEYOND!

So every year I try and find something cool to do for Halloween and depending on how I'm feeling that week I either go big, or go tragically low-effort. Luckily, this year I was excited and had two opportunities to dress up. (Click photos to view larger) But first, let's travel back in time...

The first event I had was Masquerave. The students at my job create this giant pre-Halloween rave every year and I have to work it so I dress up but have to find something functional. My first year I was a steampunk airship pirate thing. That costume was too hot for the event, but I did make a really cool pirate pin that I just sold as my first sale on Etsy (yay!).

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thank You cards for staff at an Art dorm

I just wanted to quickly share the fronts of these thank you cards I made for my staff. We run a creative and performing arts dorm so I figured a fun and artsy card would be appropriate. Enjoy!
This was a fairly simple card to make and allowed me to use some of my watercolor paper scraps. First I stamped a whole bunch of butterfly/moths on scrap squares using the watercolor stamping technique. I aged the edges with Distress Ink in Vintage Photo and then tore the edges off. Then I put some Walnut Stain Distress Ink on the craft mat and got it super wet with my mister. Then I drug the torn edges through and dried with my heat tool to get the darker effect. I attached it with foam tape.

The right hand side was just a stamp from Tim Holtz and then I used the "splatters" stencil to dab in some cool color blobs on the side. Nice and simple, but fun.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Steampunk Airship Pirate Pin

Three years ago, around this time, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for a costume for some events I had. I was reading the Myst series and was awkwardly obsessed with all things steampunk at the time, so I wanted to be an Airship Pirate. I bought some cool victorian pants, a flannel shirt, suspenders, and some cool additions to my glasses that I found in the jewelry workshop where I work. Then I just wanted something that said "pirate." So 6 hours and a lot of epoxy and gears later I ended up with this. (click to enlarge)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ocular/Optometrist/October... you know, "O" things.

So this week I tried something new and COMBINED challenges I found on the net (whoooaaa adventurous). So what were the challenges you ask?

Friday, October 10, 2014

RetroSketch Design Entry!

So I really like these challenges and this week I also wanted to tie in some quilling along with making something for Dia de los Muertos since there really aren't a lot of cards out there for that holiday and I have a friend that I know will enjoy it. (Spoiler alert if you're reading this, Angel!).

So the sketch this week from RetroSketches was pretty fun:

It was crafter's choice! Which meant I could go through the Archives and pick out a sketch that I wanted to use and design around that. Since I'm new to this blog, I haven't done many of the sketches so there were a lot to choose from. I knew I wanted to do quilling, and I knew I wanted to use this festive washi tape I bought soooo I went with this sketch:
And 6 hours of meticulous paper curling and gluing later, I got this beauty:
Feliz Dia de los Muertos! (On November 1st anyway. No shame in being ready early right?)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Creative Chemistry 101 - Day 2

So I finally did it -- I signed up for Creative Chemistry 101, an interactive online art class taught by Tim Holtz that teaches you the chemistry behind different crafting products and how they work together to achieve really cool techniques. For anything that produces a visual I will share it here (as well as trying to catch up with showing other cool projects I've been working on).

Day 1 was an overview of the class and explaining how different mediums work (dyes vs pigments for example) and then I went through what I had and filled out a cool chart to help me choose the right tools in the future.

Day 2 is where the projects started. I won't share the secrets of how to obtain these techniques because 1) Tim asked me not to, and 2) you should sign up for the class! It's super cool and only $35.

But I AM allowed to share my own projects showing the techniques, so here we have (From left to right) Blended Distress/Spritz & Flick Technique, Brushless Watercolor Technique, and Wrinkle-Free Distress Technique.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My first RetroSketch Challenge!

Well I am being a horrible blogger when it comes to getting my posts up in any sort of timely manner that feels like there is regularity. Sorry about that.

This week I tried my hand at a challenge from the RetroSketches Blog where they essentially give you a sketch of a project, and you turn it into a real thing. After a week or so, they pick a stand out project and a few other awesome honorable mentions. If you win, you can use a fun button on your blog that basically tells people that you made something cool and sort of award worthy. You will see from my project that I could really use a gift card (so few supplies... sigh...) but pride is also cool ;)

I also needed to make someone a thank you card, so this worked out as a good starting point for my inspiration for what to make.

So this is the sketch for the week:

 And here is what I created:

I used a basic card and envelope set that I inked with Vintage Photo and some green and orange chalk inks. Then I used some fun "autumn" paper for the first layer and the blue side panel, and then ran some brown cardstock through the Big Kick to make the embossed texture. The stamp was a coordinated set that came with the cutout dies and then I painted the edges a little for fun. Then, typical me, I went and distressed the edges of everything, then regretted it, but alas, I did it. The "enamel dots" are actually just a few brads from a big pack that I bought once. I'd love to use dots instead (probably a lot easier than creating little holes for brads) but if you need a quick fix, there you go!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Scrapbookception! Mini Scrapbook within a Scrapbook

Just wanted to do a really quick post about part of my Vegas scrapbook update. I finally had the time to get the project started and after putting photos and collected items into piles for what I wanted on each page, I had a bunch of pictures left over that I really wanted to use but they didn't have a specific place, so I made this Mini Scrapbook that is attached to the inside back cover!

I started with using photos that were all the same size.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

6x6 Mini Scrapbook - Part 1 - Making the book

I'm back! And making a scrapbook to commemorate my trip to Las Vegas where lots of fun ensued. Before I get started with my own craft journey here and show you some pictures along the way, I want to give credit to who made a 40ish minute youtube video that shows you in real time how to make this. I took the design and added my own spin and this is the result. I also want to say that with the exception of the paper cutter and folder thing, I got all of the supplies for under $2! Watch for sale coupons, buy things one at a time until you get everything you need. I also had a $10 coupon to AC Moore and a 15% discount for working for a school. Huzzah!

Now to get started. I will omit some of the boring obvious pictures that involve preparing paper and just list what you need to finish with here:

  • Two pieces of something firm that will serve as covers. I used grunge paper by Ranger. It's a 6x6 book so use that sized paper or maybe a little bigger.
  • A pad of 6x6 paper (or your own paper trimmed to 6x6). I used a set called World Traveler by Teresa Collins ($2.99 for 24 double-sided sheets). Pick 12 sheets out that you like and go together. The rest of the pack is pretty guaranteed to coordinate well for embellishments or matting photos.
  • Six 6x6 squares of cardstock. You may see the cardstock so pick a color that goes well with the pattern and don't waste nice cardstock. I just used a basic brown from the Core'dinations Chocolate Lovers set (it was also on sale that day).
  • Five 6x2.5 pieces of cardstock (can be the same) this is for the binding of the pages. If you have 8.5x11 cardstock, you can cut it to 6x8.5 and then chop off the 2.5 part to get this and the previous squares you needed ;)
  • One piece that is 7x3.75 for the actual spine. You may see this so you might want to pick a nicer cardstock for this or a color that coordinates well with the paper you want on the cover.
  • Glue (liquid is best here)
  • Other fun stuff like an ink pad and applicator for distressing edges. I also found some sweet washi tape that I wanted to use.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'll be back! Don't worry!

Hey friends. I just wanted to take a quick moment to let everyone know that I will be back with more work soon. I had some health issues pop up that kept me from doing much, and now I'm a little busy with work, but all busy things come to an end, and I'll be back to creating. I actually have a few things I made in the interim that I need to get words to go with pictures and then it will be up. Thanks for being patient!


Monday, July 7, 2014

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2014 - July

Finally, I'm sitting down to take on one of Tim Holtz's crafting challenges. Over on his blog at, he posts a new tag with some cool techniques and then challenges the readers to try their hand at using the techniques. This month, he made one with tools that I actually had on hand so I didn't have to buy too much extra stuff to get started! So to start, here is the finished product:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cool coffee cup design

My coffee mug wasnt cleaned after my last tea so it has cool rings in it. I like the colors and the tree-like feel.

Make your own enamel dots

This is not an original idea, but the experience I had was original and definitely worth sharing. It was a lesson in "quality" shopping and life with a gas stove that I figured was worth sharing. And if you have never seen this process, then maybe it's something new for you.

So to start, you're going to need a glass pan, parchment paper, and Perler beads. The kind that you iron into weird floppy shapes when you're a kid and then lose or maybe use as a coaster or something. BUY THE BRAND NAME BEADS. I will show you at the end what I ended up with when I used beads from Oriental Trading (it's bad).

Preheat your oven to 450. You're melting plastic.

While that is happening, sob softly while you try and get your Perler beads nice and spread out and stood on their ends in the glass dish on some parchment paper. It will take a while, so turn the oven on and by the time you hate handling these beads it should be ready! (Side note: I had to buy Wilton's parchment paper because it was all the grocery store had, but are there other brands? Cheaper brands? I could totally use some money saving tips, that stuff was expensive)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

#TBT - Drinkable Art (21+)

If there is one thing I really like about a holiday, it's that my friends want to get together and have some drinks. I like to offer an array of options for people by infusing my own liquors. This "craft" (going loosely defined today, sorry) is super simple. You need alcohol (I prefer vodka and bourbon), mason jars, and stuff you think is tasty.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

#TBT - Quilled Freeway

So this was my first attempt at quilling:

He didn't turn out that bad! Check out my About Me page at the top to see the picture this was based on. It took about 6 hours of work and a lot of that time is just holding tiny pieces of paper together with tweezers until glue dries. It's a very slow process. The shapes could have been a little better, perhaps some smaller, and the colors are a little Simba-esque, but overall my students see it and know it's my dog, so that's success to me.

This could have gone on a card, but instead I attached it to a piece of paper on my office door that let's people know when my dog will be in my office. Most people come by to see him, not me, so it's nice to let everyone know when "the Dogter is In" (I just made that up, and I might use it in real life).

I will try and do #TBT (throw back Thursday for those of you new to the internet) every Thursday or every other Thursday until I run out of things to throw back to.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Kicking it off with a Meta-post, sort of

I'm not gonna lie, I don't really understand the whole concept behind the term "meta" but I think it just means things that are self-referential. With that, I thought I would use my first actual post to reference the blog itself and do a quick tutorial of sorts about how I created the blog (the header and the social media buttons).

The Header

The header was a fun project using a few tricks in photoshop and a little patience. Most of what I do is a combination of things I picked up from other blogs or youtube videos so when appropriate I will try and give credit to those folks as well.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Welcome to my stuff!

What is this blog for?

Why did I bother?

Who is going to look at this?

How frequently will it be updated?

The list of questions goes on and on and for some questions I don't have a really good answer. But in the spirit of art, I will try.

I made this blog for a few reasons. For one, I love art. I love making things, trying out new techniques, and giving away finished products as gifts. That last part is one of the main reasons I created this blog--I give all my art away and then I never see it again. Sometimes I forget how I did something or I forget I made a piece all together. With this blog, not only can I share my work with the world, but I can also have a small archive for myself in case I want to revisit something later without having my house crowded with stuff. The pages at the top of the blog give an idea of some of my most common projects.

I also made this blog because there are very few male crafters out there--at least in the internet realm. I was noticing on Tim Holtz's blog (he makes really awesome paper craft supplies) that it was impossible to find another male commenter or submitter beyond the author and I wondered why that was. Sure, there may be a stigma against crafting for men, but as someone who crafts to keep my sanity, I think it's a stigma worth breaking. I love being able to use my hands to make something out of little and then be able to share it with someone else. After a hard week of work, I like to put on some music and just paint the hell out of something. Maybe with a beer and some friends (shout out to the #TipsyCraftNight crew!). I'm hoping to get some idea sharing going and maybe find some other dudes that like to make stuff. Of course, all gender expressions are welcome to my blog ;)

Who will look at this? Well me, for one. Maybe a few of my friends. Perhaps some students. Eventually a handful of strangers. Who knows? It's mostly for me, but I wanted to share as well so... you're welcome. I intend to post my art projects as well as some tutorials if there are things I'm really interested in sharing. I already have a post planned about a failed project I tried this afternoon (those are hilarious right?), but I have a lot of successes too. I also intend to take pictures of cool stuff I see around my world that might inspire a project.

How frequently will I update? Well if this goes like my video blogging efforts, I will post once a month until my account gets deleted... not that I'm still bitter or anything. (GIVE ME BACK MY VIDEOS!!!) Seriously though, I hope to update fairly regularly. If not with a project I finished or a demo for you to try, then at least with some life updates in case you decide to get nosey and want to know what's going on in my life. Speaking of which, the "About Me" page is currently blank, but I'm planning on making that my first project tomorrow along with collecting some pictures of things I've made in the past. I won't bombard the blog right now with them, but expect some #ThrowbackThursday crafts or something. 

If you have something that you would like to see in my blog or if you know of something I've made that you would like to see on the blog, feel free to comment below and I will try make that happen. I'm especially open to new project ideas or themes. I love a good challenge :)

I think this is a decently crafted opening post, so I'm going to publish it and then make sure it doesn't look like crap on the blog itself. Thanks for stopping by and I hope we can make awesome stuff together.