Monday, August 31, 2015

Using Scraps: How to Use the Negative Space of a Paper Punch

I wasn't originally going to a blog post on this, but it's just such a cool idea, that I had to do it. I also was not going to use it for my Scraps series, but it occurred to me that it actually would work very well.  You know, since the main attraction is totally made up of scraps.

The punch I used is the Martha Stewart Crafts Crochet Flower Punch all Over the Page.  I love the elegant look of it, and that I can punch all over the page!  I got this awesome idea when I made a card recently (that I'm hoping to do a blog post on sometime soonish) that I used this punch for, and as some of you might know, I'm a leetle bit of a hoarder when it comes to anything I might be able to use on a card.  Poo.  I can't help it.  Bahaha.  That is a lie.  So, I didn't want to throw away those little tiny pieces that fall out the bottom, and of course the most obvious way to put them to use (in my mind) was to get a template of a piece of something I'd already punched, and fill in the spaces!  I was so excited to try it out, and am still excited about how it turned out and all, but I can assure you, this was a one time thing.  I worked on it over several days, and some days for at least an hour.  Overall, this had to take many, many hours.  My art teacher has told me many times I have the "patience of a saint."  I don't know about that, but this is certainly not for everyone!
 The picture above shows the process of gluing down the pieces halfway through.  I filled in the spaces with white paper, so it may be a bit hard to distinguish, but hopefully you can see that some of the spaces have been filled in, while others are still empty.

As you can see, I put tape on the edges so that the template stays in place when gluing down the pieces.  I used regular scotch tape, but masking tape would work well also.  Anything that won't tear the paper when peeling off will work.
A toothpick, or some other pointy object, is necessary for putting glue in a space, pushing the pieces into their spaces, and also helpful for getting the little ones where they need to go (dab a little glue on the toothpick and carry the piece to it's spot).  Toothpicks work well because the ends sort of flatten a little, so they don't pierce the paper.  The pieces look kind of spotty and textured because I pressed them down by poking them all over with the toothpick.

Before I actually started adding in the pieces, I thought they would fit right in, but they actually seemed to be a little bigger than the spaces I was forcing them into, at least that was the case for the biggest pieces.  That's why there's sort of a lip on the edge of the big pieces.
Finally, after everything was filled in and the glue dried, I carefully peeled the tape off the edges, and began to pull up the template.  It's not as easy as it looks.  Maybe it doesn't even look easy.  In any case, it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.  Since the template was not glued down, I expected to be able to simply pull it up (although, as soon as I started gluing everything in, I knew that wasn't going to happen).  That was not the case.  The reason for that is partly that the big pieces were a little too big, which, understandably, would make it a bit harder to pull up, but it was mostly hard because, especially when doing the small pieces, glue got under the template, and then made the template tear when I was trying to pull it up.  Heheh, I thought I was going to be able to keep this template to use for future cards, but I ended up throwing it away because it was so ripped and messed up.
Sometimes a layer of paper from the little pieces would come off, and I would just glue it back on.
I went all around and finally worked my way to the bottom right corner, where I finished up.
Because the template was accidentally glued down in some places as I already explained, some bits of the pink template were left behind.  I hadn't imagined it that way, but I really like the way it looks with those small pops of color!  If you see bits of blue in there also, that's because I had previously used that template to watercolor over on some card (another way of using negative space).
I apologize for that smudge in the upper right corner (and I apologize if you didn't notice it until now).  That's something on the lens of my camera that I can't figure out how to get rid of, so it's on every picture.  Hmph.  Anyhooo, since there are bits of color scattered throughout, and I thought it didn't look finished, I added a little pink bow at the bottom.  I'm not sure it was the best placing, but I can't do anything about it now, so I guess it doesn't matter!  Hope you like it!

Be sure to ask me any questions you have if I missed anything!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

In Which I Decorate Five-or-so-Year-Old Bookmarks

 Ooh, that title is so intriguing, isn't it?  Haha, no.  Deal with it!  Haha!

Years ago, as a birthday gift from one of my little sisters, I got a "bookmark kit."  It contained three blank bookmarks, three crosses, and three of some other shape, which I am still confused about what they are.  They look a bit like hats, but the one that looks most like a hat is pretty lopsided, and the other are even more lopsided.  They might be hearts that I'm suppose to finish cutting out?  Hmm, I don't know.  And I'll have to keep wondering, because my sister, Patience, who gave me the kit, doesn't even remember giving it to me.  Was it that long ago?  I didn't end up using those shapes anyway, so you don't get to help me think of what they could be.  Sowwy.

 Okay, FIIINE.  After I published this post the first time, Rebecca was really curious about what that shape was.  I had thrown away the other pieces, but then I found an extra, and took a peektor to show y'all.  Rather queer, don't you think?
I was not very impressed when I received this kit.  However, I was de-cluttering recently, and came across it, and in an effort to put it use, and also because somehow, it looked like a fun thing to do (ha, now that I'm a teenager!), I got out my sharpies and glue and got to work!

Since crosses were going to be involved, I wanted verses on the bookmarks.  For the first one I did (middle), I was sort of planning to do Ephesians 5:1 and 2, but I wasn't disciplined enough in my handwriting, so I didn't have room to do the second verse, which just meant I had to do it on another one.  No big deal!  That one (right) is my favorite, probably mostly because of the pattern in the cross.  I happen to love chevron.  When I was looking for a verse, or verses, to write on the last, I found that passage in Romans, and was hoping to fit all of Romans 5:1-5, but alas, I ran out of room, so I didn't do verse 5.

I also happen to love typography (ooh, can you imagine the two combined?  BEAUTIFUL.  Just saying.).  Howevah, I kind of like the look of a big bunch of my handwriting.  Like, if I ever got into journaling, my pages would be nice to look at.  For me.  Not for others.  That's not allowed.  Just for me.  Except not always.  My handwriting has it's good days, and it's bad days.  Usually it's pretty good.  Sorry, not trying to brag here.  So anyway.  Where I was going with that rant is - I didn't try to do any fancy typography for these.  Instead I simply used my normal handwriting, which is a lot easier, and looks neater probably (as in, the lines are straighter) than typography would, and I usually end up making my letters at the end bigger than at the beginning.  Not cool, Maggie!

So these are what happened!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Re-do of an Old Card

A {long-ish} while ago, I sent a card to a couple friends (sisters), and soon after, one of them asked me to do a blog post on it.  It took me too long, but finally, I got around to it!  I don't usually like to remake cards, so of course I had to change it a bit, a.k.a., improve it.  Below is a picture of the first version of this card.
First of all, I didn't have another huge pink flower I could use, so I had to figure out some other flower to put in the middle.  I happened to have these yellow fabric flowers in my closet that had been there for years.  At first I didn't know if they would work since they're so much smaller than the pink flower in the original card, but I got to figuring in my head, and decided to go with the yellow ones.  I mean, it's not like I'm gonna go out and buy something.  That would be silly.
There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to use the same embossing folder as before.
I knew for sure that I did not want to have that band of paper around the middle.  But of course it still had to have some sort of band in the middle, so instead I used light pink sheer ribbon with black/white baker's twine wrapped around.
I wouldn't normally recommend using tape, but it was really the best option for this since glue wouldn't do the job very well.  So, after wrapping the ribbon around center, I taped both ends down.  I had to re-adjust the ribbon a bit to get it perfect.
After that was securely taped down, I carefully wrapped about 15 inches probably (I'm just guessing as I write this.  I didn't measure when I made the card.) of baker's twine twice around, and then tied a bow on the side.
I love the look of baker's twine over ribbon, don't you?
Here's one of the flowers that had been in my closet for so long.  I was actually quite happy to use it, despite my doubt at first.  I love to declutter!
I didn't want too much yellow, but still a little, so I separated the petals and only colored one.  At first I planned to color the whole thing with my light orange sharpie, so one of the petals is all orange, but after doing that first petal, I decided to do the ends light pink.  That way it goes with the pink ribbon.
I colored the ends with pink, then filled in the rest with orange.
This isn't a great picture, so it's hard to see how it actually looks.  It's not quite so bright in real life.
After all that was done, I had to put the flower center back in, of course.  To keep it all together, I blobbed super glue on the back.  The reason I didn't use regular liquid glue is because it had to be strong enough and fast drying.
Before the glue dried I stuck the flower there in the middle, and the only thing left was to adhere the  whole piece to the card!
In the original card, I dashed around the edge (yeah!  Sharpies can run duper fast too!  ...Okay...I know...lame joke...), but I didn't particularly like that look, and for this, I think it looks better with a blank edge.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Colored Bubbles

I love finding new ways to decorate paper, so when I got the idea to put food coloring in bubbles and then blow them on paper, I couldn't wait to try it out on some envelopes!  Truth be told, this idea was not originally mine (not hard to believe.  It's quite simple.).  We used to have a bubble kit where you do exactly what I'm doing here.  I simply rediscovered the idea in my brain.
We recently went to our cousin's wedding, and they used bubbles as their sending-off device.  Each little bottle had a pretty piece of ribbon or twine wrapped around it.  I couldn't resist.  So after all the festivities ended, I went around picking up all the bubble containers lying around.  Now I have a bunch of ribbon, and a bunch of bottles of bubbles, which I am not just going to throw away!
Don't the food color containers look like elves with their pointed hats?
I wasn't going to use all the colors, but, you know, when I get going...
So I made six colors!  Red (more like pink), green, yellow, teal, purple, and blue.  I put about three drops of coloring in each bubble bottle, and for the ones I mixed (purple and teal), two drops of each color.  At first I would put the top all the way back on to mix the concoction up, but you can actually just swirl it around.  Those tops are hard to get off!
In case you didn't understand, above is the yellow.  I didn't make any orange.
First, I was thinking I would blow the bubbles, and sort of - catch them on the paper, but that approach didn't really work, so instead I started slowly blowing, and then popping them right on the paper, so they went SPLAT.  It worked a lot better.
 I like to combine the colors for a fireworks effect.
I caught this picture right as it was popping.
 And this right after it popped.

Below are just a bunch of random pictures I took during this project.  I didn't think they fit in the post very well, but I really like the pictures.