Upcycled Greeting Cards

I love re-purposing paper items (okay, let’s be real… I love repurposing almost anything…) so having some gorgeous Cavalleni calendars as well as some Cavalleni wrapping paper to play with was absolutely thrilling.

Using old calendars and some discontinued purple card stock I bought on sale at the Paper Source, I made several gift sets. Here’s a batch:

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I cut my card stock to a folded 3 1/2 x 4 7/8 inch card (4 Bar size) because I felt the smaller size fit the “mail art” look I was going for. Plus I could use just bits and pieces of the images. (The envelopes are also from Paper Source.)

To make the cards (and matching envelopes) I cut out images from the papers and calendars and glued them to my cards and envelopes. (Cutting out images is a great activity to do while watching TV or talking on the phone). I put the cut out images in a box and then rummaged through this “stash” when I was ready to create.

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I also made some envelopes and/or envelope liners using Paper Source templates. If you love making your own stationery sets, these templates are great tools.  (OK, the purple is not quite my cup of tea, but I got it on clearance!)

I also made a cute little portfolio (using a pattern created by the manager of the Las Vegas Paper Source store! Thanks Melissa!).

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I now have a nice stash of stationery to use myself or to give as gifts at the holidays. (Or maybe to bring as a hostess gift instead of a box of candy???)

Here’s a set made from a piece of wrapping paper:

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(The tiny teapots are made using a punch and are the perfect addition to the envelope front.)

What have you recycled today?

Thanks for coming by!

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Up-cycled Tray

Ack! What a bad blogger! I’ve been away waaaaaay too long.

So here’s a quick post of a recent art project: a before and after photo of an up-cycled tray. (And why I keep stuff for so long … eventually, inspiration — or need — will inspire me!)

I bought this tray maybe two years ago because it was on sale for $1. Who could resist? As you can see, it is black plastic with an ugly graduation design:

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Using some paper from the Paper Source and Mod Podge, I turned it into this:

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What have you up-cycled lately?

Scrapalicious Mosaic Cards — a Tutorial

A few months ago I re-discovered an old technique that I learned YEARS ago in a cool class taught by the talented folks at Magenta. It uses long, thin pieces of paper to create nifty patterns. Aha, I thought! Another way to get rid of my scraps!

Making these cards, I found, is very Zen-like. Simple and fun and you can’t go wrong. (And did I mention … you can use up your scraps? Grin.)

Take a look:

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Here’s how you do it:

1. Cut some long strips of paper, about 1/4 inch in width. I generally use scraps.)

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2. Run a piece of flat card stock through your Xyron machine. (You can use other adhesives, but I found this to be the fastest, easiest method. However, you can also line your piece with double sided tape or use any double sided adhesive sheet.)

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3. Lay down your dividing lines. This should be a solid color. I generally use black, but every so often I go wild and use white or metallic.) Start with a longer piece placed diagonally across the card, which sort of divides your paper in an upper and lower half. Then add shorter pieces going the other way to create a grid:

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4. Start filling in the blank areas with your scraps, laying the strips in a herringbone pattern. Let them hang over the edge, you’ll cut them and use THOSE pieces to fill in smaller gaps.

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5. Continue to fill in the areas, alternating directions and strips.

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6. When the piece is all filled in, flip it over and trim the ends:
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7. Mount your piece on a card front. Add a greeting, focal point, etc., or keep it plain.

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My next post will show some examples using this technique, and a variation.

While you’re here, check out my earlier post and leave a comment there for a chance to win a Pinterest book!

Have fun!

All the News Fit to Wear!

When my friend and former news reporter colleague had a birthday, she requested hand made gifts only. Brilliant! Right up my alley!

Since we are both writers, former reporters and newspaper junkies, this gift was easy:

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I used a Formica chip left over from a long-ago remodeling project and collaged pieces of newspaper. I gold embossed the edges and added some pretty yarns, bling and a pin back.

But I couldn’t stop there … I packaged it (and another bracelet) in this box:

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After collaging the box, I sprayed on some gold Perfect Pearls for a little sheen. I added a flower topper made from … that’s right … newspaper, which I cut using a Tim Holtz flower die. So easy and effective!

Here’s a photo that shows the other piece, a bracelet. I used a wood bracelet blank and covered it with pretty paper and a few strategically placed gemstones:
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Are you as addicted to Pinterest as I am? Come back Friday for a Fabulous Find … and a giveaway!

Crazy With Collage and PaperCraft Inspiration

As we all know by now, I am a scrap hoarder. I haven’t met a scrap I don’t like (or try to keep.) They sit on my desk, sometimes for what seems like decades, because I KNOW I will use them … eventually.

So imagine my joy in reading an article in the recent issue of PaperCrafts magazine talking about making a “messy collage.”
Well, THAT spoke to me!
The premise is that you just toss things together, and somehow, if the paper gods are smiling, you actually have a cute card.
Let’s see if it worked.

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I started by dabbing two colors of Distress Ink onto my craft mat, misting, then picking up the ink with my water brush and splattering it on my cardstock. After drying with my heat tool I began adding paper bits. I finished with a rosette (see this blog entry for more on rosettes!), a sentiment (Hero Arts) stamped on a die cut piece (Sizzix Framelets set) and attached with my Tiny Attacher (Tim Holtz). It still needed a little somethin’ somethin’, so I added Dew Drops from The Robin’s Nest (attached using Zots minis) and a leftover bit from a Stampin’ Up’s Mosaic Medly (previously stamped and embossed, discussed here.)

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Here, the background was stamped using an old splatter stamp from Endless Creations, in ColorBox Butter and Hero Arts Wet Cement. Then I just grabbed pieces. (Recognize the happy birthday paper?) Gee, surprise, I found a use for a rosette. The special wishes image (Hero Arts) was one stamped a while ago for another project, but I never could find something else to use it on. The embellies are from the Robin’s Nest.

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You’re So Special:
Splotches stamped using Marvy Matchables Terra Cotta and #12 grey. Pieces are from a Core’dinations sampler. Sentiment from Hero Arts.

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Bird Cage:
Not crazy about this one. It started with the dry embossed piece (Tim Holtz embossing folder colored with sponged on Distress Inks) and the bird cage (Hero Arts?, embossed in Stampendous! PearLustre). But then I decided it needed a background. So I sprayed ColorBox’s Stephanie Barnard Blueberry and Chocolate inks). And it was truly awful. So I just kept adding things. Not sure it’s much better, but I decided to include it anyway. Thanks for not laughing.

News You Can Use

Earlier this year I made two jewelry pieces to be donated to a journalism group for a fundraising event.

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I used newspaper stories and headlines to create the background on Formica chips, sealed with Mod Podge. When the Mod Podge was dry I used a VersaMark pen on the edges, then added gold embossing powder. And finally, some beads and gems.

Naturally, I needed something cool to hold them, so I fashioned these recycled gift boxes from a box that held soap:

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Again, I covered the box with newspaper (hey, this was for a bunch of journalists!) and punched a hole in the sides for a ribbon. But the most fun was the flower, made with the Tim Holtz Tattered Flower die (Sizzix) and, you guess it, newspaper. I spritzed the flower with Ranger’s Perfect Pearls (I think gold and another color… I’m so bad at remembering.)

Here’s a close-up of the flower:

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Thanks for swingin’ by!

Mixed Media Frame

Are you tired yet of my mixed media natterings?

Here are more projects I made while researching techniques for my mixed media article in Crafts ‘n things:

This wooden photo frame was covered with gesso and blue acrylic paint. I painted it first with white gesso, then mixed a dab of blue paint into my gesso and sponged that on for added depth (letting some of the white show through). When dry, I used a stencil (Crafter’s Workshop) and an ink pad for the text fragments.  The birds and butterflies were stamped on tissue paper, tinted with colored pencils, cut out, then glued to the frame (with Mod Podge). The lace fragment was adhered with Zip Dry glue.

(Side note: The photo of the orchid was taken in color, but when it came time to print the photo, my printer ran out of yellow and blue, so it printed in grey tones. I decided I liked it!)

Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are great ways to play and learn about various techniques and media. Here are some I made using the techniques found in “Artist Trading Card Workshop” by Bernie Berlin. I loved this book because of the various techniques. The cards were made during an on-line workshop with the Yahoo group Artists of the Roundtable.

Close-ups of two other ATCs done with inks, acrylic paints, etc.

Thanks for indulging me!