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

 

 

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

 

 

Mason Jar Card – Fireflies in a Jar

Mason Jar Car fireflies in a jar

Fireflies in a jar

I’d had this mason jar rubber stamp on my desk for ages, trying to think of something to do with it. It has been 2 years since I lost my brother and I was thinking about how incredibly funny he was. I started recollecting about all the many summer nights we used to catch fireflies: or lightning bugs as we called them. Well, one night our mom called us in as it was getting late. We’d collected so many fireflies that we brought our jars inside for show. My brother was older, so I really didn’t know any better than to listen to him when he said “take the lid off”

You can imagine what the house began to look like as these tiny blinking beings were spreading throughout the rooms. When I saw what was happening, I quickly jumped into bed and pretended to be asleep. Needless to say, that was merely one of the many, many pranks he pulled on us.

Mason Jar Card

Working with inkjet printable acetate. I stamped the jar (Inkadinkado) and the fly (unknown) with India Ink. Also stamped the jar on a piece of white cardstock. Colored the flies in with a yellow Painty marker on the front of the fly. Went over it with iridescent watercolor. Painted the lid with a silver Sharpie marker.

jar step 5

 

 

When the flies were dry I outlined the bottom with yellow sharpie marker and took a bit of Blending Solution on a brush and blended the color outward.

On the white card, I ripped a piece of scrap paper to use as a mask and added various blue inks shown (lighter to darker) with a Color Box applicator, also added a bit of pink. Did the same with the greens. Cut out the jar shape with a utility knife.

jar step 2jar step 3jar step 4

To layer the card, I taped the acetate pieces on the back of the cut out. then a piece of white vellum behind it, followed by a gold piece of vellum. This helps give the illusion of light shining through glass.

What summer memories can you recreate?

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!

 

Stamped Winter Scene Card

Stamped Winter Scene Card

Had enough of winter yet?

It seems with a winter of back to back storms ice and cold, it can begin to wear on anyone. Maybe it’s the Turning Lemons into Lemonade motto or what but when the snow is falling, it looks spectacular. When the light hits the snow a certain way, it actually does look like falling glitter. You would have thought with all the days that I was actually snowed in, I would have gotten so many projects done. Truth be told, it takes a LOT of time to remove all that snow!

I did manage to make this winter scene card for a friend, somewhat different from the grey snowy card I’d done last season. It’s amazing how these stamps let you create nature’s beauty in every season. Here’s a video tutorial on using Stampscapes stamps  Their website is also a source of great information.

As 2014 is chugging along, I continue to hold onto focus, keeping my One Word in the forefront of my mind. Pursuing order, although at times I’ve fallen short, has made a tremendous impact on my life.

I guess we just have to keep remembering that in another month we’ll be turning the clocks ahead. Spring can’t be far off. right?

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

Set of Handmade Cards With Storage Box

Handmade Card Set with Gift Box

It’s always nice to have some hand made gifts stashed away. It’s easy to forget a birthday, need a last minute hostess gift or have someone on your list who says “ you don’t have to buy me anything”

I found this great little suitcase at Hobby Lobby and thought I’d do something with it. It was a great size to put a set of cards in so I got to work.

I used a variety of different greetings stamps but stamped them all in the same color. I dry embossed a border with a brass stencil and cut ¼ from the edge. Added a strip of patterned paper over the top of the verse with enough tan paper to stick over the top about ¼  inch. Layered that over the larger piece of patterned paper from K & Co. I used the Life’s Journey paper pad. and added some gold sticker dots to finish them off.

I used some self-stick black felt for the lining (it’s sold by the sheet) I didn’t really do any formal measuring. I cut a piece for the lid by tracing around the outside of the box.

I took an envelope and marked the back of the felt allowing enough room for clearance, drew a line, then I made 2 lines ½ inch apart. I scored and folded these lines  I cut away the backing on these marks to expose the adhesive, then I put a little strip of cardboard down and folded over the other ½ inch section to make a lip. I measured again to the edge of the box and cut off excess. This little section is where a pen will go.

Now to make a section for the postage stamps, Again, I just placed stamps on the back of a piece of felt, allowed a bit for clearance, made a line, made 2  ½ inch lines, scored and folded. Removed the backing paper from just in between these lines, laid down a strip of cardboard, folded over the other ½ inch section to seal. Now I have 2 pieces of felt that each have a lip. These will be attached to the inside of the box after it’s painted.

I painted the box with  Plaid acrylic paint in Country Tan. I wanted a subtle look since the cards were fairly light. Surprisingly, the paint was close to the actual color of the box. I covered the painted box with some Distress inks from Ranger in Brushed Corduroy and Frayed Burlap. I applied the ink directly to a non-stick mat, sprayed the ink lightly with water, then applied with Cut N Dry foam.  I went in a circular motion than switched in a straight line as it dried. I heat set it to make sure it was dry. Went over it with a quick coat of Mod Podge to give a bit of a leathery sheen.. The ink may smear some but that even coloring is the look you want to achieve.

I added ribbon around the outside adhering with some WonderTape

Hope you find some time for crafting before the Summer ends.

All the best,

Diane Long


Butterflies

butterfly card

Once again, I had a wonderful time at the Heirloom Paper Craft Festival this year. I spent time with Greg from Marco’s Paper and Susan Pickering Rothamel from USArtQuest. Susan has a fabulous book The Encyclopedia of Greeting Card Tools and Techniques that is a treasure to have in any crafter’s library.
Inspired by some goodies I took home from the festival, I made this card which I hope my mom will enjoy for Mother’s Day.

I started with a gold butterfly sticker, placed it on a sheet of double sided adhesive  added clear mirco beads and some shimmery Crystal Effectz I painted some beautiful iridescent watercolors on a sheet of paper and added to the back of adhesive. On the pink glossy paper I stamped the oval frame using a liquid Duo adhesive that dries tacky. Covered stamped image with some variegated leafing  Although it’s hard to see, I added some pink chalk around the white oval. The pink paper is mounted on some lovely black velvet paper. Who doesn’t like velvet!
Hope you find time to do something creative today.

all the best,

Diane Long

Great Craft Ideas for You

photo(22)

As I’m finishing some remaining work on areas of the blog, I want to turn my focus on upcoming projects.
One in particular I wanted to do was a series, One Stamp, Many Uses. I haven’t decided exactly what stamp that would be and I’d like to ask you for help. Do you have a favorite stamp that is your go-to? Let me know, I may end up having a full blown challenge with PRIZES!!

If you think about it, part of our creativity is stretching ourselves to see how much we can do, and how far we can go. Sometimes that’s with limited resources. We don’t always have to have the latest products and everything stores have to offer, do we?? (I say this as HSN has a 24 hour craft day!)

Moving forward, I would love to hear from you on what types of projects, tutorials, ideas you would like to see.. I appreciate you and thank so many of you for your kind comments and emails.

You can reach me by email or let me know by leaving a comment..

All the best,

The Long Grey Days of Winter

Grey Day stamped scene

It always seems like the dull grey of winter will never pass. but it always does eventually. There are not only grey days of our seasons but also grey times in our lives. I decided to take this opportunity while being stuck indoors to tackle some of my html computer monsters. An overhaul of my blog was well over due and took longer to figure out some aspects of it. That being said, I hope you find it enjoyable and please let me know if there are features not working properly (and how I’m supposed to fix them!!)

Here is another card using Stampscapes stamps. Making a scene in black and white actually takes a number of colors to achieve the depth to tone. I usually use Marvy Matchables Inks A subtle blue called Salvia Blue, Pale Orange, and Grey with a bit of Black on the edges.
March isn’t so far away.

Diane Long

Serendipity

Handmade Stamped Bookmark

I just love using Stampscapes stamps. You just never know how the finished project will turn out. Coloring is done with regular dye ink. Applied with foam pads, nibs and even an applicator stamp. Bookmarks are such an inexpensive way to give a personalized gift or pick-me-up to friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. You can also include a poem or inspirational verse on the back.
All the best,

Diane Long

Easier than you think Easter Eggs

Easter Egg Decorating Ideas using Stamp Ink

I have always been inspired by my sister Cathy’s Easter eggs. She would dye rice and place them on a glue covered egg one piece at a time. Beautiful scenes and little figures placed inside of an egg which had an opening carefully pricked into it.and the side of the egg removed.

My version takes much less time and effort than the eggs my sister did and easy enough for anyone to do.
I took Starform Stickers (some refer to them as border stickers- see Ecstasy Crafts from my list) Place them on an egg, then apply dye inks, remove sticker to reveal masked design, You can place additional stickers on top, ink over it with a different color, You can also place a fresh sticker back on the egg as a final touch (as done with the striped egg) Try spritzing ink in a bottle onto the egg in various colors. You can add a sticker as a finishing touch on this as well. For complete directions check out Ranger Inks Yahoo Group Inkling project.
Have a Glorious Spring!
Diane

For tutorial on how to make these Easter Eggs in PDF, Click here