Mother’s Day Lace Frame

Mother Lace Frame

After going to a recent trade show, I fell in love with this new (to me) craft called Hasty Lace. Such a relaxing craft. Can be done almost anywhere including watching TV. Pity I found this at the end of this dreadfully long, cold Winter. None the less, the sample shown were amazing! I just had to give them a try. Since Mother’s Day is coming up, I thought it would be nice to do something to show my appreciation that was more than just a card. You basically have two options. The main technique is using a very tiny ball tool with the stencil. You can attach it to a light box and just start poking. If you want to add more detail and refinement you can use a single needle tool on certain areas of the design. This is similar to Pergamano but with much less work.  One nice thing about these stencils is they come in relatively small sizes so you can finish one in about 20 minutes. An added bonus of the stencils is that many can be extended to create a larger design, creating bookmarks, photo mats etc. They have larger designs and scenes as well. I hope you check out the Some-Assembly-Required website (SAR). They are a wonderful couple with great products and lots of helpful advice. Have you discovered any new crafts lately? All the best,

Diane Long

 

Snow Day Frame

Snow Day Frame

Wow, it’s been quite awhile since I sat down to write a post. Every time I’d start something, I’d get distracted, (or do more shoveling…) and I just didn’t feel like it.

Finally had an afternoon to myself so play I did. Loving these clear frames from Deflecto. Because the back is clear, you can play around with the different layers sandwiching things in the middle, attached to the back or adding dimension right on the front.

What better theme than a snow day! There are so many great paper punches to use and a tried using several different papers, glossy, vellum and even a few covered in translucent glitter.

Sure hope the cold doesn’t last much longer. Who’s ready for Spring??

All the best,

Diane Long

 

Magnetic Tic Tac Toe Gift

Magnetic Tic Tac Toe image

Well, Autumn has actually arrived. It’s been quite a month of drama, a crisis or two, and packing my youngest off to college (sniff)

Nothing like some craft therapy to throw yourself into in times like this. I’m having so much fun with the magnetic sheets from Delfecto. So easy to punch, cut with diecuts or regular scissors (they are great for storing your dies too)

Magnetic Tic Tac Toe

Continuing in a series of handmade gift ideas, This tic tac toe could make a great gift for a male teacher (especially hard to get for) a co worker, just about anyone and simple to make!

The metal storage tin can be purchased at a craft store on online shop. The one I used is about 5 x 51/2. I had some black binding tape that I cut into thin strips and placed on the lid.

Using Spellbinders Font One set cut Xs and Os in the magnet sheets. Cut again using gold and copper paper. Take the metallic letters and run through the Xyron machine to adhere to the magnet letters.

With a project this easy, you can make a bunch!

All the best,

Diane Long

 

Stamped Wooden Box

Stamped Wooden Box image

I’d like to kick off Fall with a series of handmade gift ideas, but let’s see how I do. Not sure I’m ready to give up summer yet and I have been outside more than in my craft studio lately. That being said, I do realize how important it is to get a jump on the holiday gift giving season so here goes (and as always, please forgive my persistent lack of photography skills….)

Stamped Wooden Box

I picked up a set of 2 wooden boxes for less than 5 bucks but I think I will check out the different stores to see how the quality may vary. It was nice that it had the smaller square already cut into it, made eyeing the stamp even easier. The stamp was just a foam one I had but I do find many uses for it. The wood burning tool I had not used for years but had been wanting to do something with it for awhile. Reasonably priced and fun to work with. You may want to get some practice wood to try it on first.

wood box supplies

I applied gold acrylic paint to the stamp and stamped it on the wood. Took one of the finer point tips to insert in the burning tool and preheated. Traced around the design with the tool working towards me. Sometimes it can stick a bit and leave a larger burn mark but that is less noticeable when done. I painted over the design with the Lumiere Metallic Gold paint (the acrylic stamps better but the Lumiere shows up better)

wood box paint

wood box burn

Apply stain of your choice and add a urethane finish. You could also paint the box with acrylics and lightly sand to reveal design. This box could be used for any number of things including stashing a gift card inside.

Check out some other Homemade Gift Ideas to stitch and Ornaments to make

Let’s get crafting!!

All the best,

Diane Long

 

 

Craft Storage Flea Market Find

Craft Storage Flea Market Find Image

Summer pastimes

One of Summer’s many pleasures that I enjoy is finding treasures and unusual things at tag sales and flea markets.  I think adding some one of a kind or refurbished pieces to your home gives depth and a rich character. They store memories of where you found them, what you were doing that day, or even how little your kids were at the time.

Craft storage flea market find

Believe it or not, when I laid my eyes on this, I didn’t even see the white cabinet sitting underneath the colored blue and pink little cabinet. There was so much stuff around it, and I was amazed that anybody would take such a cute piece and write on it with what I’m guessing was a bottle of fabric paints. I was thinking of all the sanding it would take to get off, and when I picked it up I saw the white one below. Well, that sealed the deal, sanding or no sanding, I had to have them both. They were marked with a combined total of $14 and with my negotiating skills brought it down to only ten bucks!

Wood cabinet flea market find

Wood cabinet flea market find

 

The process

It did take a fair amount of sanding to get that writing off but the task was much easier with the electric sander. My first mistake was spray painting on a hot and sticky day. It seemed to bring all the gnats out. As my shady spot was getting smaller in the afternoon, I had to keep the boxes closer together. The paint just dries way too quickly in the sun. My second mistake was choosing a spray paint with a lacquer finish. It was too glossy and there were imperfections that I didn’t get out with the sanding. This was going in my craft studio so total perfection was not my goal (ie; I’m lazy!)

craft storage boxes outside

After some re-sanding I went back to the trusty Rustoleum I normally use. Much better. After a few coats and a very gentle touch with steel wool, They looked much better. Also added a coat of paste wax to help the drawers slide better.

For the labels, I took a cereal box and cut out ovals. I used 2 Spellbinder dies that I’d taped together to give me an opening on the inside. Spray painted them with a few coats of gold. Keep in mind that if you go to spray paint something small like that, the spray will blow it away. I took a strip of green painters tape, laid it in a pizza box with the sticky side up and bringing the two ends down onto the box to secure the strip. Then I placed each cardboard oval onto the sticky tape.

When making the labels, I couldn’t commit to what supplies I wanted in each drawer. What if I changed my mind? What if I outgrew that drawer size and it didn’t hold enough? So, I came up with the general terms of Stuff, Things, Supplies and Crafts. I printed out 3 sets of them since I had a total of 12 drawers, traced outside the smaller oval Spellbinder around each title. I placed a piece of clear acetate over the titles and cut the oval through both the acetate and the paper.

gold oval

Next I cut narrow strips of scotch tape and taped the titles and the acetate to the back of the gold ovals and attached them onto the drawers with Wonder Tape

Craft storage closeup

Craft storage closeup

craft storage cabinet

craft storage cabinet

 

Now I get to decide what I’ll put in them. The largest drawer already has my Cuttlebug plates and the medium drawers can hold my Spellbinder dies. The rest will have to wait.

Have you picked up any great finds lately? Would love to hear about them!

All the best,

Diane Long

 

 

Dad Scrapbook Layout

Our Dad Scrapbook Layout image

Our Dad

Although my dad has been gone many years now, I wanted to make this page in honor of Father’s Day. These are a few of my favorite pictures of him and I wanted to keep the page simple as to not distract from the photos.

I especially love the one of my mom and dad together. That was their engagement picture. I remember it beautifully framed on the mantle of my grandmother’s house and just staring at it. Such a glamorous shot. They looked like movie stars.

Our Dad Scrapbook Layout

Our Dad Scrapbook Layout

It’s amazing to think of it but my dad and all three of his brothers were in the war at the same time. All my grandparents had to hold onto was four framed photos of their beloved sons- their whole world. As a parent, I couldn’t imagine such a thing.

Dad Scrapbook Layout

I wanted to capture the vintage feel and the glamour of the time so I settled on this frosted brown paper from DCWY Luxury Stack. After stumbling on this solid pewter-ish paper I knew they had to be together. Again, I wanted to keep the layout simple and focus on the photos, Couldn’t bear to even crop them.

Whether or not you will be with your dad this Father’s Day, I hope that you can find some way to honor him, and celebrate his importance in your life.

All the best,

Diane Long

 

 

Gift Idea for Mother’s Day…Father’s Day too

Key chains made from polymer clay

It’s been a while since I dug out my polymer clay stash and I had been wanting to play so out they came. I set up my pasta machine, but don’t let that scare you, you don’t need to have one to create with polymer clay. Buy some of the softer clay brands that you can kneed by hand (they are usually marked Soft) if you find you do enjoy it, look for a pasta machine at a thrift store or ebay.

Mother’s Day Gift Idea

I always like to include something handmade when gift giving. What better time than Mother’s Day. Maybe it’s the old school memories of painted hand prints or noodle artwork that we gave as children, but it feels extra special.Keep in mind, this technique can be easily used to make a pendant, pin or earrings when sized appropriately.

A note about the photos- I just couldn’t get a shot of how the blue and white key chain looked. The white has an iridescence to it which I’ll explain in a moment but try as I might, my photography skills are lacking.

Polymer Clay Key Chains

I wanted this to sort of look of Mother of Pearl. so I grabbed some white  Dicro Fibers and ironed it in between some parchment. Kneaded some Pearl polymer clay until pliable. Cut random shapes out of the ironed Dicro Fiber and placed on the clay, folded it in half and ran through pasta machine. Continue to fold and put through machine in different directions until you can see the threads of the fiber showing through. I also added some Crystal Effectz for added shimmer.

dicro fiber trans

Press a rubber stamp into the clay pressing firmly and evenly. You can do this either by pressing the stamp down onto the clay or turning the stamp rubber side up and pressing the clay down onto it (sprinkle some corn starch on rubber first to prevent sticking) Cut out square with a shape cutter or clay blade. I like to work on a piece of tile, this way, I don’t have to move the piece onto a different surface to bake. Bake in the toaster oven according to manufacturer instructions.

heart stamp

I rolled out some blue clay, cut it into a slightly larger square.Made a small hole with a bamboo skewer and baked. After the pieces were cool, I spritzed with some Armor All (interior car wax) which gave a bit of shine. Attached the two pieces with super glue, added a wire to hold the key ring.

The heart design stamp was an old one from Stampa Rosa. It was nice because the heart shape became raised when stamped in clay. Had some other stamp designs that would have come out debossed in clay so I decided to make a mold. I just took some bits of scrap clay (ended up purple) and I stamped the design, cut it out and baked it.

stamp mold

 

When cool, I rolled some tan clay (combination of tan, gold, white, brown) making sure not to blend completely, I liked the variations of color.

brown clay

Press the clay into my purple mold, and got the positive image of the design. Added a hole and baked. When it was cool I added some brown acrylic paint into the crevices to bring out the design. Added wire and a key ring.

So, now I’m ready for Father’s Day too!

 

Alcohol Ink Easter Eggs

Alcohol Ink Easter Eggs Image

Well I’ve done it again, I don’t know why I am obsessed with Easter Eggs but I am. Perhaps it’s the challenge of the surface not being flat or that its fragile nature can, shall we say, make or break the project. By the way, I could really use some more recipes for all the scrambled eggs I’ve got!

Maybe these first projects of Spring are so cherished, not only for the blessed Easter holiday they represent but the celebration of natures beauty coming alive again after such a cold dark Winter. It probably won’t be long before we start taking all the warm weather and scenic glory for granted!

How to Make Easter Eggs

As always, you want to start with hollowed eggs, you don’t want to use boiled eggs you will be eating. After they are hollowed and dry, you want to spray them with clear sealer. Begin making a design. I usually use Starform stickers. The butterfly used is from Elizabeth Craft Designs. I love these type of stickers because there are so many things you can do with them.Not only are they versatile but the designs are wonderful.

Using the applicator tool and felt, begin applying the colored inks of your choice, dabbing gently around the egg in a random fashion. These inks do dry quickly. I would avoid using the Blending Solution for this technique as I think it will have an effect on the clear sealer underneath. Simply remove the stickers and spray again with clear sealer. The sticker shapes have both an outline and the inside portion of the image and the Alcohol Inks do a great job of coloring the stickers as well.

On the blue egg, you will see the colored outline of the butterfly which was used as a mask for the egg to the right. I placed the butterfly outline on to the egg and added the gold inside portion from the sticker as well.

You can also refer to more detailed directions in the Instruction Sheet for Easter Eggs that I had done previously.

Make the most of these days!

All the best,

Diane Long

 

Valentine Keepsake Box

Valentine Keepsake Box

The thought of Valentine’s Day can be a little daunting since most retailer’s put all the Valentine merchandise on the shelves the very day after Christmas! With so many back to back events during the holiday season, a bit of a break is most welcome.

Valentine Keepsake Box

I do love receiving valentine’s and have accumulated a number of them, especially from my son and daughter. I wanted someplace special to keep them- aside from my other keepsakes, cards, and letters.  I had a bunch of cigar boxes someone gave me and had been meaning to use them for quite some time. If you don’t know anyone who smokes cigars, many cigars shops are willing to give, or sell boxes to you for a small fee. They come in so many shapes and sizes, I know I will find uses for the others throughout the house.

I took some red velvet paper and lined the inside bottom to give it a finished touch. I took some clip art (the couple on the lower left) printed it on acetate then layered it over gold vellum. In addition to the other vintage clip art, I used a doily, Floral stickers, LOVE sticker, and edged the picture of flowers with an edge punch. I didn’t have any antique keys at the time so used a punch and gold paper for that.

The center was done by typing Valentine’s Keeper on the computer, cutting out and layering with a Spellbinder’s die. I bet you have bits and trinkets that you could use on a keepsake box. Keep those loving sentiments in a special place in a box that’s pretty enough to leave on display.

All the best,

Diane Long

 

 

Christmas Poinsettia Tag

Christmas Poinsettia Tag

Wow is Christmas coming quickly this year! I just might finish everything on my to-do, to-make, to-buy, to-clean list. Of course back to back snow storms on the east coast are not really helping. I think it’s vital to keep tons of supplies on hand so you can execute a Plan B or even a Plan C.Couldn’t make it to the mall to get some shopping done but had lots of baking supplies on hand. I was able to prepare several batches of cookie dough to freeze for later. Always try to keep a stock of craft supplies and grab when they are on sale. Then the cabin fever is not likely to set in if I get inspired to create something and have plenty to work with.

Gift Tag

I love dressing up a bottle of wine, gift card or a batch of cookies with a handmade gift tag. You can purchase pre-cut ones or trace your own out of card stock. This tag is done with some gold embossing powder and a poinsettia painted with iridescent watercolors. Not as hard as you may think.

Add a personal note on the back. If you add a ribbon it can be hung from the Christmas tree. If you’d like step by step instructions, you’ll find them HERE

If you’d like more ideas and inspiration for the creative journey, sign up for the FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER  HERE

All the best,

Diane Long

Join in on Project Inspire here

Fall Leaf Tablescape

Metal Fall Leaf Tablescape

Why is it that I can never get enough of fall leaves? The real ones last such a short time so I love to try to reproduce them by any craft means possible. Today I’ve done a larger version of a maple leaf out of metal.

I found a cut out shape that I liked on the internet and printed it out. Increasing the size to 150% worked well for the leaf I selected. You can just print a few draft copies until you like the size based on the plate you will be using.

Craft Metal comes in sheets or rolls of varying thickness and can be found in most craft stores. For this technique you don’t want a metal that is too stiff as the pointy ends you are cutting could become too sharp.I used copper color but gold works well also.

I cut the leaf out using scissors from a Creative Metals Beginner Kit made by Walnut Hollow I don’t see the kit on their website but hopefully can be found elsewhere, it’s a very good kit. 10 Seconds Studio also has some great products,Crafting with metal can become addicting! (I’m just telling ya)

Using Alcohol Inks I covered the leaf completely in Sunshine Yellow, using the applicator and felt that are sold with them. Then I dabbed some Sunset Orange on the pad, and tapped it around the leaf, followed by some Lettuce green. It dries quickly so you can go ahead and start adding some veins. Flip the leaf to the back and place on a piece of fun foam

Using a cuticle stick or ball point pen, draw vein lines. You can always use an actual leaf or picture on the internet for reference. Flip over to the colored side and add some brown color to the tips and the embossed vein lines using Coffee brown Archival Ink

You can just rub the leaf onto the surface of the pad. I have a re-inker so I just added a drop or two to the edges and dabbed off the excess.. Heat set using an embossing gun and spray with clear gloss sealer.

You can give the leaf some shape by gently folding in half, curling up the edges, and shaping the stem.

These don’t take much time at all to produce and you can add smaller leaves as part of a candle centerpiece as I did here

I for one am grateful for the cherished family and friends I will be spending Thanksgiving with. Hope your holiday is a blessed one.

All the best,

Diane Long

 

Beaded Photo Ornament Sneak Peek

handmade ornament Diane Long900

UPDATE

Since I participated in the Holiday Extravaganza I was playing around and decided to do one more photo ornament. this time printing the image on clear acetate as I did with the tree ornament here

Just to show them all together, you can see the 2 printed on photo paper on the left and the two printed on clear acetate on the right. I’ve added a step by step instruction sheet PDF HERE

 

Beaded Photo Ornaments

Beaded Photo Ornaments

Hey, wanted to let you know about an exciting Holiday extravaganza happening soon over at rukristin.com. I’m so thrilled to be guest posting during the event with instructions to my Beaded Photo Ornament!!

holiday_extravaganza_square-600x600It will begin at midnight Friday. There will be a new guest post every hour. Also challenges, DIYs, tutorials, games, prizes, and a ton of fun!!! There will be a more comprehensive supply list early next week for participating in the challenges so head on over to the website HERE

We will also have a Facebook Event Page 

where you can chat, as well as Instagram and Twitter using hashtag #holidayextravaganza Hope to connect with you there!

All the best,

Diane Long