Sunday, September 15, 2013

Playing Dominoes: A Tutorial

... or, more accurately, Playing WITH Dominoes: A Tutorial

Several years ago, Sheila taught me how to alter dominoes by Mod Podging a pre-printed image onto to one side, then soldering around the edge and adding a jump ring to create a pendant.  It was the first time I had used Mod Podge or a soldering wand, and I loved each and every step.  Thanks again Sheila!

Over the next few months I added a soldering wand, adhesives, and even old dominoes to the crafty nook, but didn't use them.  Busy with buntings, adopted ancestors, ornament swaps, classroom anchor charts and crafts to compliment learning centers, the dominoes sat in a large glass bowl waiting p-a-t-i-e-n-t-l-y.

Setting my glamour girl up next to an altered art journal, there they were.  Remembering that I had scrap paper and itty bitty letter stickers still out on my work table, I thought I'd see what I could come up with.  Who knows, Halloween domino brooches could be fun!

I measured a domino, leaving the outer edge as a frame, and determined how big my paper could be.  Cutting out some rectangles from black patterned scrapbook paper, I then had to decide what I wanted to layer on top.  One decorative paper had orange and black vintage looking owls printed on it, so I carefully cut some of them out, thinking they'd make nice Halloween characters.  The polka dotted paper needed some color, so out came the paints:

The mini-stickers were bought at Target for fifty cents last month, and they were perfect for spelling out "Hoo," "Boo" and "Haunt" to accompany the scrappy fun.

Once the collage paper pieces were done, I made sure a domino's back was clean and dry.  Then I painted a thin layer of Mod Podge onto it, making sure to coat the surface evenly:

Applying the scrapbook paper into the glue, I pressed it against the domino firmly, working air bubbles out around the edges:

I painted another layer of Mod Podge over the top of each image to seal it to the domino (the owl photo didn't turn out, so here's a photo of my "BOO" domino).

The surfaces of the dominoes will stay tacky/sticky for a while until the Mod Podge dries, so I left the backs of most of the dominos alone, except for one that will have "Trick" on one side and "Treat" on the other, and a sassier yet-still-cute domino with "You don't know" and "Jack" with a smiling jack-o-lantern on alternating sides.

See the Mod Podge?  It's pretty much watered down white glue, but don't worry, it dries clear.

The ghosts were actually in ribbon/garland form, and slightly puffy, so they required extra smooshing and layers of Mod Podge to seal them.  Cardstock is also thicker and needs extra attention when sealing the edges.  I love that glitter paper and accents don't lose their sparkle after being coated!

My favorites are the owls:

What Halloween goodies are you working on?


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Who Doesn't Love a Makeover?

She's looking a bit... dated.

Let's freshen her up with some accessories, accessories, accessories:

Some color and sparkle never hurt anyone.

Though going glam does take a bit of experimentation, to which my table can attest.


I'm excited to be participating in Sarah Johner's Halloween Ornament Swap again this year, and finished up my offering earlier this afternoon.

No peeking yet, but here's a photo of the gift envelopes and tags.  The full reveal will take place in October, once I receive my box of Halloween goodies and decorate for what has become one of my favorite holidays.

Layering cardstock with a little bit of lace was a quick and easy way to make Halloween tags for not only the swap, but for treat bags and gifts too.  Something tells me these will be a pretty touch when they're added to gifts of cookies and snacks next month!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Adopted Ancestors: There's Always NEXT Summer

At the start of summer I ~vowed~ to work on altered art utilizing some of the images of adopted ancestors I've collected over the years.

I scanned the photos, hung several up for display, and considered myself committed.  I had a-l-l summer.

I then spent much of my time back in my classroom, pulling out, sorting through and organizing eighteen years' worth of teaching materials and supplies.  It was a daunting but necessary task.

I'm still reaping the benefits of having invested the time getting everything right where it should be.  I haven't (knock wood) had to spend hours after school or over the weekend finding and prepping materials for my students.  W-o-r-t-h it.

But I didn't work with adopted ancestors in the crafty nook, not once.

Needing a little redemption and finding inspiration as I noticed October sneaking up, I thought I'd work on these ladies:

Slightly stern in appearance... perhaps it's the starch in their blouses.  They would make lovely witches... brujas, "witches, crones."  Oh yes.

I scanned and lightened the photograph, and decided on Elphaba-inspired-green:

Hats, bats, glitter and pennants.  It's fun to color, cut, glue, write, and collage.  So much fun, that I really should do it more often.

There's always next summer. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

My First Canvas: You Mean I Was Supposed to Paint It?

I've never painted on canvas.

Never worked with canvas.

For some reason however, I was inspired to purchase canvas, some small tubes of acrylic paint and a few brushes.  Once I had everything ready and within reach, I took a starting photo:

Canvas, brushes, water, paint, paper towels, candy and peanut butter pretzel bites, Christmas sheet music, and hole punches.  Let the painting begin!

I then promptly veered off-course, and painted a layer of Mod Podge over the entire canvas and smoothed a page of "O Christmas Tree" over the top.  Black and white scrapbooking paper was within easy reach since I've been crafting some Halloween gift tags this week, so I cut out two trees and used a paper punch for a third.  Reaching across the table, I found my snowflake punches (I'm still not certain when or why I had taken them out) and used tan cardstock to make several different designs.  Eventually I used the paint, highlighting areas on the music's borders, and adding dots of color to the trees:

The bubbles under the sheet music worried me, but I gave myself permission to keep going, allowing that this was the first time I was using canvas.  It'll be okay, it'll be okay... and if it's not, oh well, I'll know not to do THAT again.

Glitter pen can't hurt, right?  Treble clef, sharp.

I found the sheet music in a holiday sales booklet from St. Joseph, Missouri, dated December 11, 1988.  Lookie there, my sophomore year of college.  Not wanting to lose the source information, I trimmed the canvas in silver mini-garland.

I love layering different snowflake designs on top of one another.
Can you blame me with the 100+ degree heat we've been enduring for a week now?

Cardstock accents, beads and star and snowflake tree toppers...

I love that the print from the back side of the sheet music is visible through the paper.  It was very thin, so thin I was worried it would tear under the pressure of me smoothing it over the canvas and topping it with more Mod Podge.

This wasn't the way that I had intended to use the canvas when I purchased it and the paints.  Really.

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Being able to handle and turn the canvas while I worked was such a nice change.  Usually my papercrafting is assembled on the table top, with samples being glued into my art journal.  The Mod Podge also firmed up the canvas as it dried, so I can imagine hanging it or setting it up on a stand, tucked into a bookcase or decorating a tabletop. 

Inspired, I brewed some afternoon coffee and started on another canvas (the rippled area is drying flat, believe it or not):

Have you ever purchased crafting supplies that you ended up using in a way other than what you had intended?