Thursday, July 17, 2014

Recycling, Again!

I love to recycle, upcycle, re-use and re-purpose ordinary things that would normally hit the trash bin. As a crafter and artsy-phartsy type, everything has artistic potential if you open your mind to the possibilities.

As any crafter and most artsy types know, organizing our supplies and ephemera is always a challenge, and keeping this stuff off our desks so we can have more room to play, is our bane. Digging through a jumbled up mess is a time eater and spending an hour digging through a huge box for one piece can drive you crazy. I like things organized and in their place. Can you say OCD?

So, I've been saving cracker boxes.  Big ones, square ones, smaller ones.  They are generally very sturdy and seem to be the right size for storing ephemera, journaling cards, small, clear stamps or whatever you need to store.  I like to put seasonal items in these boxes and then they are safely tucked away until the next time they are needed.  Tonight's project: Christmas.  There is so much Christmas / Wintery stuff in my ever-growing collection, it is time to sub-sort.  Enter the cracker box.

<------Turn this ordinary box into an easily recognizable box of goodness ------> that can happily live on a shelf or in your closet and be picked in an instant.  And yes, these crackers are delicious!

The whole process took about 30 minutes from start to finish.  You will need:
  • two matching 12x12 inch pieces of scrapbooking paper, with the pattern of your choice 
  • Some ModPodge, DIY Podge, glue or spray adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Ruler and/or scoring board
Trim about 1-1/2 inches off the bottom of your papers. This will leave overhang on the bottom.  Start by coating the side with the slit in the box opening with with adhesive of your choice. 
Cover liberally.
Folded Paper on Box Bottom

Working quickly, line up the edge of your paper to just below the slit on the flap and smooth out to the bottom.  Here you can use a brayer, but just smoothing with your hands works well.  Then move to the side of the box, coat with adhesive and continue around the box until fully covered, smoothing after each section to remove any air bubbles.  Trim paper to fit after you get all the way around. Cut down the side of the flaps to trim out the paper so your box will ultimately close.  Then turn your attention to the bottom.  Fold the short sides in and crease as you would on giftwrapping.  Then fold down the long sides.  Apply your adhesive to the bottom of the box. Fold in the short sides, apply more adhesive, then fold in the long sides.

Now, I gave mine 2 coats of glossy ModPodge after I finished it to give it a more durable surface for repeated handling.  And a final blast with Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze.  I am the impatient type, so I hit the box all over really well with my heat gun in between coats so I could finish up quickly and move on to the next one.
  • Think about Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter, Fall, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, Hannukah, Ramadan or a special theme that you have a collection of goodies for!  Maybe you just have a few seasonal items for these special holidays, and they get lost in the grand scheme of things.  This is a great solution!  By choosing themed paper to match your "stuff" you will easily recognize it and be able to grab and create immediately without wasting any time!
Enjoy recycling, and happy creating!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Recycling for Art

I love turning nothing into something. Re-using, repurposing and recycling.  Junk mail cannot go into the trash until all words and images have been carefully scrutinized and perhaps clipped for future art or journaling projects.  The political fodder that fogged my mailbox until the elections was a bonanza of words and phrases, but I certainly am glad that is over for a while.  No box hits the bin unless it is just too small to organize my growing collection of art supplies.

This week's project involved leftover Pringle's cans.  I have a ton of long brushes and they just don't fit in some of my other containers very well.  Ditto with my collection of rulers, palette knives and long handled scissors.

After going from yummy-licious, to all-gone :-( -- a quick rinse out was in order and a few seconds with the heat gun to make sure it was good and dry on the inside and out.

Select some lovely 12x12 scrapbooking paper, giftwrap or painted papers of your liking!  Coat the outside of your can with glue, ModPodge or Acrylic Medium.  I just went with ModPodge since I have tons of the stuff.  I had pre-selected some favorite rooster paper, cut to size to fit within the "lip" of the can and rolled it on.  Smooth it out if you get any air bubbles, and voila!  A decorative, tall container.  Another piece of a landfill is saved.

Happy creating!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mixed Media Journal Tags

Over at Artful Mail Groupies, we're doing a tag swap, with the theme of "Book Pages".  I have two partners for this swap and really didn't want to make them both the same.  So I didn't.   The hard part is going to be how to decide who gets which one.  Maybe I will let Miss Fate decide.  She usually gets it right!

**LIFE IS ALL ABOUT YOU** tag started with a pre-made manila tag, and book page with mop-up paint on it.  It was just a scrap and just about the right size, so I went with it.  Added some fabric tape, feathers, a button and an embellishment card to send all those positive vibes out into the world.  Finished off with lovely ribbons received in Happy Mail!  The colors are soft it has a very serene overall effect.  


This tag, started much the same as the blue one on a plain vanilla tag.  I have tons of book pages from from vintage US Government textbooks from 1949, and this was one.  I drew the sunflower with a black Sakura Gelly pen, added the highlights and then colored it all in with assorted Copic Markers in Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow, Canary Yellow, Champagne and Light Camel.  Additional colors added were Apricot and Mimosa Yellow. Finished off the edges with Champagne and my Scarlet Lime pen and some fancy ruffled and gros grain ribbons.

I always enjoy making tags. They are so versatile. You can put them in your art journal, use them as bookmarks, hang them as decoration.  I am currently collecting swapped bookmarks to make a collage work with them on stretched canvas.  Right now, I have almost filled a 16x20 canvas, so the process will begin soon!

Stay tuned for more, and happy creating!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sweet as Texas Honey: Color Challenge

My friend, Melissa Bochat, also a Texan, is doing a color challenge for the next seven weeks, and I think I am going to play along!  My life is certainly filled with lots of colors from the earth right now as our garden is exploding and color, smells and heat is filling my life.

So let's all play along with Melissa.  Click this link and see what she has to say!
 Sweet as Texas Honey: Color Challenge: Summer is well underway, and  all the juicy color  the earth has to offer is in full flourish. With that, I'm under taking a color proje...