Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Flower Ornaments and a tutorial!

After a couple of false starts, it looks like spring has arrived in southern Virginia! Everything is greening up and smelling sweet. I got inspired to create these flower ornaments and I'll show you how I made them. (There will be links to all the supplies at the end of the tutorial)

I started off with a little wooden block (1 1/2 x 1 1/2) and a couple of wooden finials. The larger one is about 1 inch tall and the smaller one is 3/4 of an inch.

I covered the square with a paper that would make a good background for the ornamentation that will be applied on top, (I used Mod Podge) painted the finials and after they dried, I drilled holes in the top of each one wide enough to accommodate my wire. I inked all sides of the block.

I glued the large finial to the top of the block and the smaller one to the bottom.

You should have a piece that looks like this:

And obviously, from the picture above (and because I forgot to photograph it), you can cut and glue the images of your choice on to all four sides of your block. The images I used for these blocks are from the Secret Garden Collection from Graphic 45.

Next, I enameled some lovely raw brass stampings of flowers (these lovelies came from Vintage Jewelry Supplies) with nail polish. Any colors you think will go with your papers, bits and bobs will do. The nail polish gives the stampings a richly colored translucence that the gold of the brass shines through nicely.

Whilst waiting for the polish to dry, cut out any paper images you want to attach to your blocks. I wanted a little dimension to mine, so I cut out some butterflies for one and bent their wings up a bit to make it look as if they had just lighted upon the block.

On the other blocks I used some pretty paper flowers I got from Alpha Stamps.
What I did next was measure my bit of wire to the depth of the holes I drilled into the finials and marked them with a sharpie.
A good tip to keeping your wire glued tight in the hole is to bend a small bit over into a 'u' shape and squeeze it closed with a pair of pliers. This gives the wire a little tooth and helps it adhere well in the hole and makes it more difficult to pull out.

Next step is to glue your enameled flowers in place. Because you have a finial on each end of the block, it becomes difficult to keep your ornament upright. I solved this little technical problem by finding a container deep enough to hold the ornament and used two rulers to beep it in place while I worked on it.
When you glue your flower in place, make sure that the hole in the center of the flower is lined up with the hole in the finial.

Because you have to tip the ornament upside down to glue the flower on the bottom finial, make sure you glue the flower on upside down as well. Otherwise, when you tip it back up the color will be facing the wrong way.

Also,  you may have noticed in the picture with the nail polish and the flowers, there are two size flowers. I glued the bigger one to the top (bigger finial) and the smaller flower went on the smaller finial.
You can also bend the petals to get the effect you want. I do this before I glue them on the piece.

While waiting for glue to dry, I get my wires, one measured for the top and one for the bottom and play around with arrangements for the beads and doodads I want on the top and bottom wires, keeping in mind the sizes of the bottom and top flowers and finials. Generally, I like to keep the top fairly simple and make the bottom a little more complicated because it pleases my sense of proportion, but everyone is different, so you must please yourself! When I am ready to cut the wire I make sure that I have my components above the line I've measured indicating the depth of the hole in the finial. For the bottom wire, I trim the wire down, leaving a small length past the components long enough to make a small loop for attaching a single bead and head pin.

I do the same thing for the top of the ornament, but leave a bit more wire to make a bigger loop to accommodate a ribbon. Add your components and make your loops.
I use dimensional fabric paint in pearl to add some detail to the top and bottom of the block, and after it dries, give it a touch of color with a Copic marker.

Add your extra touches like the paper flowers and butterflies and tie your ribbons on.

A nice little gift for a spring baby shower or spring birthday. Thanks for stopping by!


From Alpha Stamps
Wooden Finials (medium and small)
Orange Daisies
Old Fashioned Roses
Tiny Purple Roses
Silk Ribbons
Old Curiosity Shoppe Butterfly Paper

From Vintage Jewelry Supplies
Multi Layered Flower
Large Raw Brass Flower
Huge Raw Brass Flower
Bell Shaped Bead Cap

Graphic 45 Secret Garden Collection Papers
E-6000 Adhesive
Glass Pearls
Czech Glass beads
20g gold wire
Dimensional fabric paint (Pearl)
Jacquard Lumiere Metallic Acrylic Paints in Olive, Pearl White and Metallic Gold

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

French Dress Shoppe

This little vignette was inspired by some wonderful papers and doodads from one of my favorite art supply sources, Alpha Stamps. As I was playing with the papers and bits and pieces, the doll house I'm in the process of building caught my eye. Wouldn't it be fun to make one of the rooms a wee dress shop? That is all it took!

I started out with some of the pretty papers from the Lyric six inch stack and the chipboard mirror frames. I traced around the frames and cut out six papers. (three for the front and three for the back) I used some bookbinding tape to connect the three mirror frames together, then covered them with the papers. I used an old gold stamp pad to 'age up the edges of what is now a dress screen and then added some gold marker to give the edges more substance. Then I embellished each of the three components adding the feet last.

I cut out the adorable dresses from the  More Fairy Tale Costumes- Royalty Collage Sheet and glued them on the hangers. The dress form I covered with more of the Lyric paper, and glued the legs of a second dress form to the legs of the covered one, enabling it to stand up.

I played with accessories and bits and bobs until I like the way it looked.
The table is made from a little dowel and a piece of cardboard glued together and painted white.
It was a fun project!

Die-Cut Chipboard Mirror Frame
More Fairy Tale Costumes-Royalty Collage Sheet
Tiny Paper Roses
Die-Cut Chipboard Dress Form
Lyric 6x6 Paper Pad
Mini Wooden Coat Hangers

Additional supplies:
Birdcage charm
Treasure chest
Thin gold-colored chain
Decorative filigree brass patina piece
Bronze patina bead caps (the feet for the screen)
White book binding tape

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Cat House

'Cat House' was created for an Edward Gorey swap on Craftster, and was inspired by Edward Gorey's "Categorey," a whimsical little book full of one of his favorite subjects, his cats.
I feel like it's a bit of a tribute to him......I've always loved his way of looking at the world and his wonderful and distinctive style of drawing. Which, by the way, is harder to imitate than it looks!
All the cats on this piece were hand drawn. It was a lot of fun and for a little while,  I got to immerse myself in Gorey's world.

Cat House. Altered Altoid tin.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My new paper storage

My super husband made this awesome paper storage case for me. I love it, it's perfect for all my paper and looks great. He had left-over lumber so he made me a smaller version as well. That one is waiting to be painted by yours truly. It's so nice to have a handy (and cute) man around.
Thanks, MacGyver!