Sunday, November 29, 2015

DIY Teacup Candles

Hi there!  I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I sure did. :) Now, it's time for Christmas and time for handmade gift-giving, if you're like me.  I finally decided to try my hand at candle making and I'm so glad I did. These were very easy, not very time consuming and I think they will make for lovely little gifts for the holidays.  These are also great for other holidays such as Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Birthdays.  You can get all the supplies for homemade candles (wax and wicks; scent/color, if desired) from your local craft store or online from Amazon.  I picked up all of the teacups and saucers from my local Humane Society thrift store and they came to a grand total of about $15, yay!  I can't wait to give these to my friends and family this Christmas!
Here's what I did...teacups, saucers washed and dried. Wax flakes, wick, color and scent ready to go.
First, I secured the wicks to the base of each cup with my hot glue gun.
After reviewing different candle wax online, I chose to work with 100% soy wax because it is supposed to burn slower and cleaner than other wax.  I bought a 5 lb. bag for about $10.
Some people buy a candle making kit but I decided to save money and improvise.  I used a large pot filled with water and a Pyrex measuring cup to heat the wax on the stove top.  Heat the pot of water on medium heat until it's slightly bubbling.  Fill measuring cup with soy wax flakes, then submerge in the pot of hot water being careful not to burn yourself.  The wax will begin to melt slowly but surely.  I found that each cup took about 3-5 minutes to completely melt down.  You'll know it's done when all the wax flakes have disappeared and it becomes a translucent liquid.  I found out later that I could have also melted the wax flakes directly in the microwave, which was much easier.  I will do it that way next time. 
 Stir the wax flakes with a wooden skewer or a fork to help the melting process along.
Once completely melted, remove from heat and add scent, if desired.  I added about 15 drops of vanilla essential oil to each cup of melted wax and the scent is just right.
Carefully pour melted wax into teacup until about 1/2" from the top or however full you wish.
I needed to hold the wicks up while the wax dried so I took 2 wooden skewers and laid them on either side of the wick and gently squeezed them together.  This worked fine.
Let each candle dry completely before moving around or picking up.  About 2 hours is sufficient. Trim wicks if needed. I didn't end up using any of my wax color since I liked the pure white just fine. I found that some of my candles once dry, were a bit bubbled and not as smooth on the top as I wanted. My husband suggested that I hit the tops with my crafting heat gun to smooth out the rougher tops. I tried it and it totally worked! Score one for the hubs! :)
I tied a little tag to each with my Stampin' Up ticket punch to make them look similar to a tea bag.
 And a few more...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Vintage Christmas Bicycle Decoration

Hi friends! I hope you are well. I'm just trying to figure out how the holidays have come upon us so fast this year! I feel like it was summer just yesterday....ah, if only.  Well, to everything, there is a season and now it is time for all the wonderful things that come with winter.  I am looking forward to the holidays and definitely starting to feel the Christmas spirit as I completed this delightful piece over the weekend.  It's an old-fashioned bicycle with a shadowbox frame from Prima and I must say that I really like how it turned out.  It will be a Christmas gift for my Mom as she loves all things Victorian.  I purchased the bicycle frame, Victorian ephemera and Prima flowers from Simon Says Stamp, if you are interested in making one too. The bike was $19.99 and the embellishments were another $15, but I found a $5 off coupon online, so it came to a total of about $30. Considering how much I would spend on a store bought gift, I think this was a very reasonable purchase. And a handmade treasure like this is so much more special to give, in my opinion.  Anyway, there's the rundown on that it, just in case your interested. Now, for my project! I'm entering it into this month's Mixed Media Monthly Challenge #18-"Texture!"
And also for this week's Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge- "Christmas!"
The bike comes unfinished and with the wood base, also unfinished.  I first glued micro-beads to the exterior of the bike, let it dry completely, then sprayed painted the whole piece with Krylon gold spray paint.  I painted the wood base with Prima crackle paste in antique silver but I didn't care for it, so I inked it in different areas with Teresa Collins Glitz Gold metallic ink and then smeared Teresa Collins Loft Black on areas to create a worn, antiqued look. This satisfied me.  Now it was time to begin building the scene on the inside of the round shadowbox frame.  What fun it was to pick and choose from the various ephemera and pretty flowers!  I first sponged a few white doilies with more Gold Glitz ink and layered them on the back "wall" of the frame.  There is a big and a little Christmas tree in the chipboard ephemera and I chose the big tree as my center focal point, adding different chipboard elements and flowers in layers to try and make it look like an old-fashioned Christmas scene.  I have miniature LED lights (another $4.99) on order so I can add them to the inside of the frame so it will light up. I'm excited to see how that will look! 
After I finished the inside of the frame, I added more Prima flowers, some Dollar Tree plastic sprigs and berries and a few tiny pinecones I found on a walk recently, arranging them at the base of the bicycle. The little bird I added is also from the ephemera package and he's so cute.  I then glued the chipboard Merry Christmas banner along the front of the base and sprinkled a bunch of white chunky glitter all over different areas of the bike and base for a snowy effect. 
Thank you so very much for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

And Epic Birthday Card

Happy weekend! So, I broke in my Game Controller dies and Level Up stamp set from My Favorite Things today, yay! I bought this duo last year some time and never got around to opening it up--anyone else guilty of such a thing? I'm so happy that I finally did because this card was so much fun to make and I think the recipient, a friend of my hubby's (yes, my husband still plays video games--ugh) will just be tickled pink by it! For inspiration, I followed along with this week's MFT Sketch Challenge #253 below. If you have some MFT stamps or even if you don't, you're welcome to join in this week's challenge too!
And here's my take on it
Isn't it too fun?! I think so, hehe. I inked the "buttons" up with Versamark watermark stamp pad and then heat embossed over each one with SU! hologram highlights embossing powder because it was the closest thing to clear that I had. I actually like how it turned out with the extra sparkle. :) Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope your day is EPIC!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

My Own Path

Hi there and happy November! Yes, time continues to fly by and now it seems we are only a little more than 3 weeks away from good ol' Thanksgiving--wow. I'm happy to report that I will be off-duty this year, as my sweet sister-in-law and her husband have offered to host Thanksgiving festivities at their new home in! I am looking forward to it. For now, though, I continue to be thankful for each and every day and try to make the most out of the time God has blessed me with. I am waiting to see about a couple of design teams I applied for recently. If I get accepted by either of them, I will be busy with my art and crafts, which is always nice. I'm also getting ready to begin my journey with "faith journaling"--I recently won Jamie Dougherty's "Creating In Faith" contest and am awaiting a very large and wonderful package of faith-based art products and supplies. This is so exciting for me and I can hardly wait to start on this chapter of my artistic journey. Today I'm sharing an art canvas I designed for no particular reason other than I just wanted to get my fingers and hands all messy, which I succeeded in! I really enjoy playing with Gelatos from Faber-Castell--they make me feel all "artsy" and I always like to see what will come of a stark white gesso'd canvas. This is what came of my latest and since I haven't joined in a Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for quite a while, I decided to throw it into the new challenge for November posted over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog-Challenge #18, Texture! There is always tons of fabulous inspiration over there and this month is no exception! The DT rocked their textural creations and there's also already several great challenge submissions, all of which I draw inspiration from! Thanks so much Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog!!! I {heart} you!
I'm not sure what this looks like to your eyes, but I was going for trees in the grass with a changing sunset in the background. My husband thinks it looks like trees in the water...?? I would hope that no poor trees would have to sit in yellow-greenish water, but maybe in the swamps?......heh.  Anyway, I still like this ok and I really just had fun making it and that makes it worthwhile. Here's the process.  First, as always, prep the stretched canvas, or canvas board in this case, with a nice even layer of Gesso.
Next, I colored a basic landscape with grass (or what my hubby calls a green lake, ha) and the sky in the background. I left spaces in the background for the trees.
If you haven't used Gelatos before, these are them. They go on a surface sort of like a crayon--a water-based crayon. You can smear them and blend them as much or as little as you like with water. A lot of water makes them drip or even turns them into a spray or splatter. There are so many creative avenues to take with Gelatos. They are also very forgiving, which is really nice for someone like me who has trouble with perfection. In the next pic, I simply spritzed a tiny amount of water onto the colors and blended them with my fingers. Note that it is a really good idea to have baby wipes or a few wet paper towels handy so you can quickly wipe your fingers clean as to not smear the various colors together too much, or else it will eventually look like a muddled brownish-pink mess--definitely not the look to go for. ;)
So now I have a basic idea of the landscape and now I can move on to bringing in the trees. This part was the most fun for me! I decided not to try too hard to get them right, but just let my hand go. I moved up and down with a dark brown Gelato and made some lines thinner than others, adding little "branches" coming off of some and not having a clue what the result would be....
I went on to blend the trees without any water, but just smeared the color to create a bit more definition in them.
Then I went over the top of the trees with a white Gelato and blended lightly to create highlights and the illusion of bark-like texture. Like I mentioned, Gelatos are very forgiving and the white one can be used over areas to create light where it might look too dark, to cast a shadow or cover up a mistake. I love these things.
To add even more texture on the trees and make them stand out more, I found a wood-grain textural stamp which I inked up in one of Teresa Collins next ink colors called Gold Glitz and stamped over some of the trees. It helped to define them I think. Then I took my PITT artist big brush pen in scarlet red and just add small bits of color here and there near the top of the "sunset" in between the trees. This just added a slight bit more to it quality of the background.
 Finally, I stamped a favorite sentiment by Ralph Waldo Emerson from Unity Stamp Co. onto white tissue paper and adhered it directly onto the canvas board with Faber-Castell Gel Medium (it works much like Mod Podge)
...then added some more textural stamping and a bit more white, yellow and green Gelato in between the words to make it look like it was really part of the canvas rather than a piece of paper glued to it.
So, are you feeling the itch to try some Gelatos yet? I hope so! They are so much fun and I really love mine. Thanks so much for checking out my latest art canvas! I really appreciate you stopping by and look forward to next time! Until then, have a creative and always blessed day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Trinket and Tooth Tins

Hey friends! Happy Wednesday to you! I hope this week is finding you well. I've been busy trying to get my craft space more organized for the upcoming holiday season. I do much more crafting and card making during this busy season and I find it so much more enjoyable when I'm organized. It doesn't usually last long, mind you, but I still try, lol. Today I have a couple of fun tins that I've made with Altoid sized metal tins. First, the trinket tin for my darling niece, Hannah and also a tooth tin for my sweet friend's son, Parker, who recently lost his first tooth. I though this would be cute for him to put his future lost baby teeth in to keep safe and sound until the tooth fairy comes. Both tins are made using 2 vintage stamp sets from Melanie Muenchinger for Gina K Designs, What's In Your Tin I and II. Sadly, they are no longer sold by Gina K. I'm so happy that I have mine forever and ever! They make for quick, easy and super fun little gifts. Okay, on to the tins! First up, Hannah's trinket tin....
 This inside for Hannah to keep her little trinkets and jewelry in. Or whatever her little heart desires!
And the back side. If you remember being a child, you might recall how important labeling your personal belongings with your name was.
And here's Parker's "tooth" tin. I hope he loves it!
 A peek at the inside where he will put his precious baby teeth for safe keeping until the tooth fairy comes and replaces them with a little gift or maybe even a dollar or two.
 And the back side. Just to remind him how awesome he is, hehe!
Aren't they cute? I had a blast making them and I hope you've enjoyed seeing them. Thanks so much for stopping by! Wishing you a most creative and always blessed day!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy Halloween House!

Hi friends and happy Monday! Today I have a really fun 3D project that I made for Halloween. Although I'm not a huge fan of this holiday, I couldn't resist making something with the adorable designer papers and stickers from Doodlebug Design called "Halloween Parade" and "Ghouls and Goodies".  Since I won these collections last year, I decided I should use it and the 3D haunted house from the Happy Hauntings Cricut cartridge was calling my name, so I went for it. The result is this very cute and happy non-haunted house that I like to say has only one true ghost residing in it--The Holy Ghost! :)
This sweet little house came together rather easily, although it was a bit more difficult using all these fun designer papers, as the instructions called for plain black cardstock. So I had to try and make the different patterns and colors compliment one another. The great part about that is Doodlebug Design papers always seem to coordinate beautifully with each other, which makes it super simple and satisfying! So, I'm pretty happy with how my house turned out. Happy enough to enter it into this week's Fun-Day Friday Challenge at Jo's Scrap Shack. I was also inspired to join in this week's PaperCrafter's Corner challenge 123. I went to Joann's to get yellow vellum for my windows because I wanted to put a battery operated tea light inside to create flickering light coming through the windows, but they didn't have any vellum at all--oy vey!!  So, I decided to buy this glittery yellow cardstock instead and it turned out to be a nice substitute. Here's a few shots of the other sides of the house...
Here is the side porch and balcony with a cute little spider hanging out and a mouse peeking out from behind the roof.  Kitty is so sweet and visits Mr. happy pumpkin every morning.
The back of the house with the cellar door entrance and a side shot of the chimney. Notice how kitty is up on the second level now? She just loves to run around chasing mouse all the day long--all in good fun, mind you! The cat and mouse are good friends. :)
And the top level with the watch tower--oh look! There's mouse again looking down at kitty with a satisfied smile on her face because she escaped her again! And cute little casper is coming up out of the chimney just cheerful as can be holding a candy sign so all the kids will know to stop by for trick-or-treating!
Thanks so much for stopping by to see my happy non-haunted house today! I hope you find it all in good fun as I do. And I wish you a most creative and blessed day, my friends!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Graduate Memory Album

Hi friends! I hope your weekend has been great! I've been busy working on this camera shaped chipboard memory album for my little brother's upcoming college graduation next Spring. I'm so proud of him and wanted to make him something special to commemorate his accomplishments. I used the perfect designer paper and sticker collection for this album--Doodlebug Design "The Graduates". Every paper is double sided with 2 different designs that compliment each other, which made it easy as 1-2-3 to put this little album together.
Here's a look at the pages inside. The first has my brother's initials in type print on metal stars. And this adorable little owl from Doodlebug Design "The Graduates" sticker sheet is perfect since my brother also wears glasses, hehe!
And a few more pages....
And the back side using some Doodlebug stickers and washi tape...
I sure hope he likes it! And I hope you've enjoyed seeing it too! Thanks so much for stopping by today!