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I have been wanting to make these little holders for a while.  I see all sorts of “fancy” gift card holders in the stores, but I am hesitant to spend few extra dollars for them, a lot of times they go straight into the trash.  Hopefully these will be cute enough to be reused, they would be great for storing essential cards and cash in a small purse or for holding business cards.  The tutorial and pattern can be found at the RePlayGround.card holders 1

I used a variety of boxes from our recycling, mini nilla wafers, cake mix, and cheddar bunnies (my favorite one and really good snack too!)  I used self adhesive Velcro dots and glued the side flaps in place instead of using the elastic cord.  card holders 2

Then I decided to cover a box with fabric.  Some spray adhesive and a fabric scrap made this spotted one.  Unfortunately the printing on the box shows through the fabric, next time I’ll use darker fabric!  I bet scrapbook paper would work good too!  Now I just need some gift cards to fill them with!

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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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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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Now that the weather is getting nicer I’m in the mood to knit winter wear!  I was going through my yarn stash yesterday and I am officially grounding myself from the yarn store until I use up or give away some of this yarn.

dropped stitch scarf

I had quite a large ball of epais yarn left over from the Town and Country capelet that I made in December and so I decided to try an easy Mile a Minute scarf.  It worked up quickly while I watched TV and didn’t require a lot of attention to the pattern.  I really like the color of this yarn, it is much richer in person with flecks of orange and black.  It ended up about 5 1/2 feet long, not to bad for leftovers! dropped stitch scarf 2

I’ll have to put this away until this fall.  I think tonight I’ll work on some more washcloths.  It’s nice to have a stash of finished scarves and washcloths available for last minute gifts and filler at craft shows.

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Bear with me here, I promise there is a point to all this.  I was on twitter and Kathy Cano-Murillo (the Crafty Chica) tweeted about how this Sunday is Worldwide Pinhole Camera day and shared a link to the Craft Magazine blog for a template to make pinhole cameras and a great link to photojojo for more info on pinhole cameras.  Turns out that Craft Magazine is linking to Corbis Readymech Cameras where the actual templates are available for download.  I got a little side tracked looking at all the great stuff and while I have printed out my camera template that’s about as far as I’ve gotten, so I will just tease you with a picture of the camera that I’m working on.

pinhole camera peek

Oh and you can follow me on twitter here.  I’ll let you guys know how the camera turns out and I dare you to not get distracted looking at all those links!

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I have been working on my entry for Christy’s Craft Challenge for a few weeks and I am finally finished. The first thing I did with my packet was to take the cloths pins apart. I was hoping to use the spring wire too, but it proved to difficult to bend and when I drew blood that was the end of it. After trying several different configurations I noticed that placing them backward resembled a goddess figure.

I used polymer clay to accent that and then began twisting strings from the burlap around knitting needles to make curly hair. Cereal boxes became the shrine box. I cut one inch strips and glued them together in a stack that I molded around a can and let dry. Once dry they retained the curve. I covered the inside of the box with the felt and painted the outside green. I embellished the edge by adding seed beads and vintage flower beads. I also added burlap to the outer arch for some texture. craft challenge 7The punched circles became mini works of art for the background of the shrine and rhinestones were added for that extra sparkle. The other cloths pin was cut to make little feet for the bottom of the shrine.craft challenge 6

I would have to say that my favorite part is the Goddess figure. I had a great time with this Challenge and I’m sure I will try it again. The prize for next month is a basket of stuff from the Lincoln Handmade Team, so order your packet now and maybe you’ll win some of our awesome stuff!!!

***BTW semifinals voting goes until April 24th at 5:00 pm go here to cast your vote.***

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