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I am still embellishing my Crafty Chica bag and I decided that the lining needed a little something.  I didn’t want to hand paint something that is only going to peek out when I’m digging around in the bag, so the answer was freezer paper stencil.  I love this technique and it is sooooooooo easy!

Get a big roll of freezer paper from the store, mine cost about $9.00 at a “big box” store.  (I know it seems pricey, but it is worth it and it was also a really large roll.)  There are images everywhere that can be used for stenciling, for my bag I googled “nautical star stencil”.  I cut my freezer paper to match the shape of my bag and then traced the star images where I wanted them, make sure you trace them on the matte side of the paper.  Since my design was simple it only took about 10 minutes to cut everything out with an exacto knife.  Using an iron fuse the freezer paper to you fabric, it’s easy, just place the shiny side down and press with you iron until the paper sticks to your fabric.  Make sure your cut edges are stuck down good!

chica bag star stencil 1 I like to use a cosmetic sponge to stencil with.  Dab it into you fabric and pounce it on to the fabric in an up and down motion.  Don’t rub it around, just up and down.  You can always go over an area again, so don’t slop the paint on, I can’t say this enough, just dab!  Remember to put scrap paper under you fabric incase the paint soaks through.

Wait a few minutes for your paint to dry and then carefully peel off the freezer paper.chica bag star stencil 2This was what I was going for, but it still needed something, I know, glitter!chica bag star stencil 4 I used red dimensional glitter fabric paint to accent the lines of the stars and once the bag is finished and the edges are wrapped in red binding it will really pop.

I need to finish some outlining and cut out the pockets and bottom and then I will finally be ready to sew!

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If your like me you have some sort of collection of projects to do.  I have stacks of print outs, book marks and wists, so today I thought I would share some of the projects that I would like to tackle.  BTW if you beat me to them let me know how they come out.  This is a very small sample of all the projects waiting to be completed.project wists collage

From left to right, top to bottom:

Skull Isle Pouch, Clothespin Dolls, Ric Rac Flowers

Indian Mirror Embroidery, Roll-up Kitchen Play Mat, Make Your Own Shower Cap

Make Your Own Underwear, Jewelry Organizer, Sewing Machine Apron

If you’re in the market for some fresh ideas visit craftster or oneprettything, I’m sure you’ll find something to add to your must craft list too!

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It took a couple of days for the paints to dry and some of them were still a little wet.  The colors are a little softer than store bought paints and the ones that were still damp were easier to paint with.  I would say that adding a full tablespoon of water and then letting them set for 24 hours would make them the perfect consistency.  I would also advise adding a couple drops of water to completely dried paint before starting a painting session. watercolor tutorial color samples My kids were super excited to paint with these since they found them sitting out drying.  They didn’t have any problems using this paint and it does dry faster than store bought colors, there is also a baking soda residue that is left when the paint is applied thickly.  I like this new texture, it’s kind of like suede.watercolor tutorial action This project was definitely a success!  The kids were delighted to have specially made paints and when they get a little bit older they will be able to help make their own paints.

I have several other crafty art supply recipes to try out this summer so stay tuned!

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When I was a little girl my mother used to come up with all sorts of things to keep me occupied and so in the family tradition I decided to make my own water color paints. 

There are a lot of recipes available on the ‘net for a variety of art supplies, pick a supply and google how to make it.  I think it is important to show my children that you can actually make some things instead of just rushing to the store and buying them.  Any who, on with the recipe, you will need:

1 T. white vinegar

2 T. baking soda

1 T. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. glycerin (this can be found in a drug store, with the laxatives(see pic.), make sure to get the liquid and not capsules)

1/2 – 1 T. water

liquid food coloring

Plastic bottle caps, empty paint box, or styrofoam egg carton

watercolor tutorial suppliesMix the vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl, I used the measuring cup.  Be prepared for the chemical reaction, it’s going to foam up a bit.  I stirred my together and then once it stopped bubbling I added the cornstarch, glycerin *, and 1/2 T. of the water(as we all know you can always add more water it it’s too thick).  

Pour into the bottle caps (or whatever sort of container you’re using).  One batch filled six bottle caps.  I think that the egg carton would be perfect for younger children, but my eggs come in a cardboard container!

watercolor tutorial finished paintsNow for the fun part, add the food coloring.  I used two drops of each color for the paints in the top row.  For the bottom row I got creative and started mixing.  From left to right: a dusty lavender, teal green, navy blue, reddish brown, and black.  I used toothpicks to mix the colors in.

Let dry overnight and start painting.  Mine have been drying for 8 hours and they are still wet on top, but the bottom appears solid.  I’ll let you guys know how they turned out and get some samples posted tomorrow.

*I bought my glycerin at Walgreens and they did not have it in a bottle, (I had bought it that way before to use as a ink retardant for printing), so I had to get in in prefilled suppositories.  If this is how you buy yours make sure to squeeze out the “lubricant” in the tip before measuring your 1/4 tsp.

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I think I need some sort of post title generator, I have the most boring titles. 

On Monday night I decided to make some midnight blue mokume gane.  mokume gane pendants 4I still need to drill or add bails to the squares, but I’ll leave them as cabochons for now.mokume gane pendants 2I had been waiting to get some smaller bails for these hearts, I really like the red one.

large dk blue donut3 This donut is my favorite from this batch, it is 2 inches across and so pretty I am thinking about putting a large bail on instead of wrapping it with the cord.  This photo does not do it justice, the layering is so difficult to capture with a camera!

Don’t forget that if you would like to make you own there is a photo tutorial here on my blog.  If you would rather have me make them for you, some of the pieces shown here are available in my etsy store, I also accept custom orders.

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We spend a lot of time outside once it finally gets warm and I am always looking for ideas to decorate outdoors.  I love making punched tin lanterns, they are easy to make, economical, and really pretty.

To get started you will need:

a variety of tin cans, washed out and labels removed, a hammer, a towel, different sized nails, screw drivers, metal punches, a marker, and spray paint/acrylic paint.tin can lantern 1Fill the cans with water and freeze overnight, the ice will support the can while the metal is punched.  Don’t fill the cans completely full.  I’m sure you know that water expands when it freezes, I forgot this simple fact and froze several cans into my freezer the first time I made these.tin can lantern 2Using a marker I traced a design on to my can.  You can also freehand you design or make a paper template from the label of the can.  It is best to keep it simple, swirls and geometric shapes look great, I’ve even seen jack-o-lantern faces for Halloween and they were super cute.tin can lantern 3Use your hammer and a nail, screwdriver, or metal punch to punch holes in you can.  Laying the can on a folded towel muffles the sound, keeps the can from rolling and soaks up melting ice.  Work from the bottom to the top because once you start punching near the top the ice will start to break and the can will dent more.  The bottom of this can bowed out a bit, but once I had removed the ice I just hammered it back in.tin can lantern 4I like to punch a few holes in the bottom, so if these are left out in the rain the water can drain.  I also like to weight them down with a little gravel or river rocks, I hate chasing after candles holders and lawn furniture when a storm blows in!tin can lantern 5Let the ice melt and thoroughly dry you cans to prepare for painting.  I like to paint my cans with flat black spray paint, but the color is up to you, I’ve seen some painted in a rainbow of colors and swirls and they were stunning (acrylic paints would be better for a rainbow effect, you would also want to seal them for extra protection).tin can lantern 6On the smaller can (on the left) the ice softened faster and the punches I made with the phillips screwdriver are more diamond shaped.  For a more pronounced X shape use a hard frozen can.

I hope everyone has a great time making punched tin can lanterns, let me know if you have any questions.  Make sure to share links to photos of your own lanterns in the comments, I’d love to see what everyone comes up with. 

***Disclaimer*** please use common sense when burning candles, blah, blah, blah don’t leave unattended, yada, yada, yada.  The candle holders may get very hot, use caution, oh and if they are left sitting in the same spot all summer they may leave a rust ring.

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I remember making styrofoam stamps when I was in high school. Living in a small town made it difficult to get art supplies like linoleum blocks, cutters and printing ink. I came up with a lot of interesting projects; beads made from bread, sculptures out of mud, and styrofoam stamps.

I use meat trays, they actually aren’t that common anymore, now most meat comes in plastic trays (yay, they’re recyclable and great for craft projects!) This is a great project for kids, just leave out the exacto knife and it’s pretty safe, just cutting with scissors and a dull pencil.

styrofoam stamps 1This came with the delicious Italian sausage that became a spaghetti pie. You can also use to go boxes. Make sure to wash the styrofoam before you get started. Cut the edges off, so you have a nice flat piece to work with. I used and exacto knife, but regular scissors also work.

styrofoam stamps 2 I cut mine into smaller pieces, yours can be any size you want. The great thing about this project is that almost any tool can be used to make marks on the styrofoam. I used a dull pencil, but you could use a pen, a popsicle stick, a ball stylus, your fingernail, anything!!!styrofoam stamps 3 I used an ink pad to make the stamps (note to self, get another color of ink). The great thing about these stamps is you can also make a rubbing of them using printer paper and a crayon, the kids love this, it’s magic!

styrofoam stamps 4The texture of the styrofoam can be seen in the print. I like the effect, it looks like stippling or even a mono print. My favorite part about this project is that it is free, I would have bought the sausage regardless and now the tray won’t go to the landfill. BTW if you like this project you should try eraser stamps next.

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