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I found this tutorial on Craftster and thought that the possibilities were endless.  This is my first attempt and I have to say it was really easy.watercolor portraits This is a super gift idea, I made these to coordinate with my Mother’s dining room. 

Here’s what I learned:

* Masking fluid is similar to rubber cement, so you could substitute if you can’t get masking fluid.

* I bought a masking kit at Hobby Lobby that included masking fluid, an applicator, and a removing tool (rubber cement pick up square) for $15.99(-40% off coupon).

* Using tracing paper to trace the white spaces is a bad idea, the lines won’t come off (do this project during the day and hold it up to a window like to tutorial suggests!)

* Don’t make yourself crazy trying to get it perfect, it will be fine if it’s not.

* Allow plenty of time for your masking fluid to dry.

This project went really fast and I’m sure that it will be a super gift.  The great thing is it’s super easy, so go get your supplies and make your own!

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So after finishing my decoupage jar yesterday I started thinking about making an all red one and I just couldn’t stop (instructions here).  Last night at one in the morning I had amassed a good collection of red letters, numbers and symbols.letter jar letters

Red letters are pretty easy to find in almost any magazine.  I like the ones that are red with white or black, I tried not to use the ones on the right with the yellow and blue, but a few made it on to the jar.letter jar red

I like the look of just the red and that has now got me thinking about how using the same letter or number would be really interesting.  I think that I would have to cheat and print out my own letters (‘cause I would have to use a K) or get one of those clip art CDs, but it would still be neat, especially as a vase.  I’m going to have to work on this idea for a while, but I think I’m going to have to give it a shot.  Anyone know a good source for a variety of font letters?

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Is there anything that can’t be made better with mod podge?  I found these decoupage storage jars on The Swell Life and just had to make my own!letter jar 1 I like how hers turned out, she had better letters.  I also think that I’m going to have to “take one for the team” and force myself to eat some marshmallow fluff, I like that shape of that jar!  I have a giant stack of magazines so I think I should just start saving random letters and then in a couple of months I’ll be able to cover a vase, I have a spare that I found for a dollar at a yard sale.  I was also thinking that using just one color of letters might be cool too!, all red would be awesome. 

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As I was browsing OnePrettyThing I found these super cute notepads from paint chips and I just had to whip up my own.

paint chip match book notebooks

The tutorial is on Craft Leftovers and I really like the idea of using paint chips, so cute and colorful.  My “chips” only had four sample colors so I had to eyeball where to score them, but they turned out fine.  I did use the brad to secure the paper, but I doubt that I will actually refill these when I use all the paper (but I promise to recycle them).  The next batch will be stapled, I think I’ll make some using those wider paint chips…do you think I’ll get busted taking paint chips from every store I go to? 

Would it be something like, “Ma’am, you’ve been here several times shoving paint samples in you purse like crazy, but you’ve never bought any paint, I’m going to have to ask you to return those samples or buy some paint.” 

Me, “I thought these were free and I’m going to paint eventually I just need to make absolutely sure I have the right color.”

“Ma’am exactly what color are you looking for, you seem to have about one of every sample we carry, perhaps if you could pick a color I could help you narrow it down.”

Me, “The lighting here is just so much different I have to have a selection of everything, the colors really change when I get home.”

Or maybe I would just buy a gallon out of guilt for repurposing paint chips…I’ll tweet if I get detained (follow me just in case) or am banned from any stores.

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I was so excited about my recycled paper factory that I decided to use is again. This time I used the tray that holds the paper pulp and water mixture to make suminagashi. I just filled the tray with water and after a little experimenting with pigments that I had on hand I was making marbled paper.suminagashi 1I had some walnut ink on hand, but the effect was too light. I found that watercolors worked perfect. India ink also works well, I just didn’t have any handy. I did experiment with several colors, I decided that I like the high contrast of the black.suminagashi 2This technique is super easy, just load one brush will water color and touch it to the surface of the water, then touch the surface of the water with a clean, wet brush in the center of the color to make the rings. The color can be swirled with a brush, blown with a straw, or left how it dropped. The paper is then laid onto the surface of the water and the print is made! I used basic printer paper, but almost any type of paper will work as long as it doesn’t have a glossy surface. Basically this is mono-printing on water. Rinse off excess pigment and hang to dry.suminagashi 3A resist can be made by painting shapes on the paper with plain water before making the print. I was able to get some interesting results, I like the effect, but the shapes aren’t perfect.

suminagashi 4

This was a fun and quick technique that gives great results without investing a lot in materials and yields some unique papers for other projects.

I also wanted to share pictures of the finished paper.paper recycling factory 6

I love how they turned out and since I stuck them on the counter to dry one side is super smooth and the other side has that traditional handmade paper texture. Expect to see more handmade paper and other crafts made with the paper recycling factory soon!

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Whenever I’m in the mood to try something new I visit OnePrettyThing, there is always something new to try.  Last week I found this tutorial for making cereal box journals.  It’s crafty, useful, green, and inexpensive.  I used several different boxes, not just cereal boxes, so my books vary in size a little bit.  cereal box booksFor the inside I used printer paper (100% recycled) and lined paper from old notebooks.  I spent the afternoon cutting the boxes and papers to size (I made 20 of these, I imagine that making a couple would be pretty quick).  I have to say that rounding the corners is what really gives this project a finished look.  I decided to use my boxes with the printing on the outside.   I also used thread from old projects in my machine, it was a great way to use up those off colors of thread from old projects filling up my bobbins.cereal box books 2My books have 16 pages, just like the tutorial, but I think I may be able to get 20 pages in the next batch.  My sewing machine didn’t have any problem sewing through everything, although I did wear safety glasses incase I broke a needle.  I know I will be making more of these and with the decorating possibilities I will have to leave the plain side of the boxes out next time.cereal box books  scrapsI saved all of the paper scraps and they will be including in another recycling project later this week.

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I finished all of the projects for Lisa and delivered them to her at the Lnkhandmade team craft night earlier tonight.  I repaired the zipper in this dress and added a tulle ruffle to the bottom.  I also made this wrap to go with it.

project lisa finished I really like how the outfit for her daughter turned out.  The summerlin dress in a shinier yarn with a crepe backed satin skirt and a matching shrug with a matching satin tie.

project lisa finished 2I am worried that it might be to long, but I also think it will look a lot different on an actual child instead of a hanger.  It can be shortened, so I’m not worried.

I need to wrap up my entry for Christy’s craft challenge and find a place to keep all the awesome fabric I got at the meeting tonight.

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While wondering around the internet I found this adorable pattern for a candy cane cozy on zakka life blog, (it is a great blog and there are a lot of inspiring projects, check it out). I am also anti-candy cane and right now, as I type, two little children are begging for candy canes that I bought to fill up my own cozies.
I love the idea of keeping track of the candy canes on the tree and this is a very quick project. I used some leftover cotton and crocheted a chain for it to hang on instead of a ribbon. Mine still needs some sort of embellishment on the end (maybe a pom pom), but they will look great on my packages this year!

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I am so addicted to yard sales and thrift stores, I can hardly wait for Saturdays! Today was an excellent day for bargain hunting.

I found a vintage Skyway suitcase in decent shape for $2.00, an adorable picnic basket for $1.00, a large brandy glass with the world ugliest candle wreath(which is already in the trash) for $.25, and an embroidery hoop for $.25.I also found a bag of 18 pillowcases for $2.50 and a stack of 7 round tin trays for $.50. I have big plans for most of my finds today. The suitcase will be gutted, all that stinky old fabric will be removed and replaced. I will also paint the outside, probably a soft blue or pink and then I will paint or maybe decoupage something on the side and it will become a dress up case for my daughter. The brandy glass will be used for a plant it’s just perfect for keeping my kitties from munching on the foliage, but allowing in light and air. The embroidery hoop will be used to make a screen printing frame and the trays will be painted, decoupaged and sealed and used for holiday treats. The pillowcases will be made into pillowcase dresses for my daughter, a couple of summery tops, and maybe a couple of reusable grocery bags. The picnic basket will most likely be left as is, I just have to make some place mat/silverware holders and cloth napkins and we will be all set to have a family picnic! So many projects, so little time, if only I had a maid, a nanny, and a personal assistant!

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Mondays are my days to get things done and today that involved a trip to my local auto recycling center(you know, a junk yard). After seeing this video I just had to have some seat belts for my next project.

I was given directions from the owner of the place(he drew a map in the dirt and said to look for the cars that were stacked) I set off with my box cutter down a slightly muddy path. I walked about a quarter of a mile following the landmarks: past the white one ton truck and around the first curve to the right and found the stacked cars, which I avoided totally because they looked like they could fall at any moment! I will have to take my camera if I go back! Basically I just looked into every car that what sitting around, I was hoping to find black and grey seat belts. I was startled by a bob-tailed siamese cat that was hiding in a van and then I got to thinking about what else might be lurking about. I was able to collect six buckles and webbing to match before I got the heebie-geebies and decided to leave.
What really happened was I started thinking about how some of the cars were really crunched up and that maybe someone had died in them and I’m rooting around in the seat crevices where there might still be blood and guts, eeeewwww. I did come directly home and threw the whole bunch into the washing machine with hot water and lots of soap. They did wash up nicely and they look new!
I have started fusing the plastic and cutting out the pieces, but I am waiting to get some yellow bags for the design I want to fuse onto the pocket and I also need some piping. I can’t wait to see how this turns out, I’m thinking it would make a great man-bag.

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